a blog about a yarn company
Working day in and day out with gradients you get to daydreaming about different ways they can be used and played with. The Sirene Sweater is designed by Leah Chapman, my lead studio assistant. It shows off really nicely the blending of an ombré and a solid when one is allowed to flow into the other.
Here she has chosen
Mint Julep and works it into the Kraken semi-solid. Sirene is knit from the top down in a Bohus style, with a fair isle yoke worked in the round from the neck down. She has then taken a modified version of the fair isle pattern she created and used it as a nice detail on the cuffs.
To give the sweater the desired effect, one would need to take into consideration the yardage of the gradient yarn so that you can ensure that you have enough, but not too much yarn. You don’t want to have a whole lot left over since you want to use the full color range, but you also don’t want to run out too quickly. To this end, Leah chose to work with our sock gradients, which is a 50g ball with a healthy 215 yards, rather than our larger fingering balls of 75g and 300+ yards. Regardless of sweater size, you will need just three ombré sock balls – one for the neck, and one for each sleeve.
I fell in love with this design at first sight. I don’t usually have a huge amount of time to work on larger projects but this one I had to do! I decided to use Autumn Rose for the the ombré and work the body of the sweater in Swamp, a lovely mossy green. Leah is quite slender and so this would be a good test knit as I would need to make a Large to fit my frame.
This is a good project for anyone who has even a minimal amount of fair isle experience. Leah has broken the pattern into a series of smaller, easy to follow charts. This made the garment work up in manageable chunks.
I only made a couple of minor modifications. Where the green segment of the ombré meets up with the swamp semi-solid I chose to alternate rows from each ball to minimize any sudden color changes, as it turned out this was not particularly necessary but given the nature of variations in hand dyes it’s not a bad idea. The other change was to reduce the amount of semisolid before working the arms – I probably could have gone directly into the ombré for the arms after the split for but I wanted to really be sure I’d have enough to work my way through the full color range down at the cuff. It worked out fine, I had about 5 grams from each ombré ball left over at the bottom of the sleeve, which was a good distance into the last color so it was well represented and I had some room to spare. I could have gone longer into the ribbing on the body but was too excited to get it finished, the length is good as is, hitting me just at the upper hip bone.
I kept this project under wraps and surprised Leah with the finished sweater at work – I had it all bundled up in a small bag and asked her to take a quick look at this project I’d been doing.. It was worth the torture of keeping it all under wraps to see the surprise on her face as she realized that it was a Sirene Sweater.
I’m very happy with the final sweater. It has a very flattering, slimming fit. The neck is wide and comfortable and the overall style of the sweater suits the weight of the yarn nicely. Once the weather cools down a bit again here in California I know this one will be getting a lot of use!
Now I’m thinking of making another one.. it’s a bit of an addictive knit. I think it would be lovely in Ice Queen with the body in Ecru, or perhaps Pixie and Wisteria, South Beach and Coral or Charcoal, Espresso and Ebony… Vintage and Bell Heather… oh! the possibilities!
If you’d like to make your own Sirene, the pattern is on our website here: http://www.freiafibers.com/sweaters.htm – what colors will you chose?