by Khoral Harbaugh (pronounced Coral)
(Sunshine's oldest daughter)
Four years ago my family, as it usually does, went thrift shopping and my sister acquired a large bag of lace weight yarn she gave me half of the bag and I hung on to it waiting for a project for it. Then a year later my sister gave me the other half of the bag since she was not using it.
Then the following school year we read in class the Lord of the Rings. I had previously read this book, but due to me being quite young when I read it had hardly any idea as to what was going on. When I read it the second time for school I found it quite amazing. The next school year I was on a date dance (Sadie Hawkins/Preference) and it was a costume dance. We decided to go as Aragorn and Arwin from the book we had read the previous year. This introduced into my mind again the image of the Tree of Gondor.
After that dance, I was in the mood to make a sweater and as I was looking around I came across two patterns which I liked for different reasons. The first was the Angband Sweater which I liked because of the Tree that was on it due to it having a tree similar to that of the Tree of Gondor which was very prominent in my mind at the time, but the site only had the pattern for the tree so I searched for the pattern for the sweater that I found. However, I could not use it due it requiring some money, which I did not have. The solution, use the tree pattern on a different sweater.
So the hunt for a sweater pattern continued and I found the second pattern, the Whitney Double-X Hooded Cardigan. I liked this sweater due to the cabling and I thought it would go well with the tree since it looked similar to the dwarfish designs. I liked this because Gondor was a union of the Elves and Humans and the Dwarfs later helped in the reclaiming of Gondor and the destruction of the ring. So in some way I way emulating that through the sweater.
I looked in my minute stash, compared to my mother's, and I found the bag of lace weight yarn that I had stashed away years previously. However, when I looked and the pattern for the Double-X Cardigan I found that it, the yarn, was just a "little" too small. So, I had to figure out what the difference was between my yarn when worked and their yarn when worked. When I found out the difference I roughly made a pattern, then looked at what the Double-X Cardigan had for its pattern, then I spliced these two together. The result was it had roughly the same pattern as the Double-X Cardigan it just had more of it. Once I had the front two panels complete then came the job of figuring out the back with the same cables, but including the Tree of Gondor. This took far longer than I expected, but with some very messy scratch paper with drawings and calculations I finally figured it out. Throughout the production of the front and back panels I also compared it to a sweatshirt that I already owned due to me having to graph two patterns together which now was three patterns due to the sweatshirt.
After I finished the back, it went into hibernation for a couple of months. This Christmas break I returned to the project and have nearly completed the sleeves for my sweater. My sweater originally was going to have some Elvish writing on it to better tie in the Elves, but it was a little too much for me. It would have said, "I find that the harder I work the more luck I have." This was said by Thomas Jefferson which I did not know at the time, but I am glad to know the author. I will also add to my sweater a hood similar in style to both of the patterns, but slightly different as well.
All in all for a first attempt at using lace weight, cabling, knitting a sweater, and drafting roughly my own knitting pattern I think I did fairly well. However, I do not think I will knit another one due to this one has already taken a year of my life. The bonus I get to wear it for many years to come if my mother does not claim it first since we tend to claim her projects.
Note from Sunshine:
This project is being made by my 17 year old daughter she started it in her 10th grade year at 16 she is now half way through her 11th grade year at school. Yarn was found thrift shopping and the needle size is 1 and vintage needles being used. She ruffly doubled up the stitches in the pattern and combined the two patterns to make her own design. This is her first attempt at cables, her first attempt at making a sweater, her first attempt at a blog post, her first attempt at lace weight, and her first at redrafting a pattern (multiple patterns) into something she could use. I think she is doing awesome and her first attempt at making something this elaborate and detailed. Please welcome my oldest daughter to my blog as a guest author. I will probably post most things as I have done in the past but I wanted her to post this one herself. With just a little note from me at the end of her post. Here is her project in my Ravely projects so if you want a few other details please look there.