I've been thinking for a little while about a light, drapey shell in a soft cotton, wrapped around the body with long, sinuous ropes of cables. At first, I was thinking that they'd be worked along with the body and shaped with increases and decreases, but that method doesn't proved a cable as distinct as what I imagined - I wanted to evoke the clingy flow of the earliest Regency dresses, chiton-inspired loose muslin made dangerously form-fitting with twists of cord. Last night, chattering away with Amie, I fiddled around and came up with the bind-off you see above. It's perfect - it pops with wonderful three dimensionality from the plain fabric. It's also worked perpendicular to the direction of the knitting - the shell is going to become an interesting exercise in using short rows, and in constructing a piece out of many puzzle-like sections of knitting. Working theory: the difference between row gauge and stitch gauge will make the plain portions gather a just a little bit along the cable lines - a reminder of billowy fabric wrapped and tied.
The ideas for handling the sleeves on that jacket were really wonderful (thank you!!); so many of them things I could never have come up with on my own. I'm still waffling a little bit - I'm nervous, since I feel like this is where the mood of the sweater gets decided once and for all. The slightest bell, combined with that ornate brocade-like pattern, would feel awfully medieval, but a fitted sleeve with a turned-back cuff would give the jacket more shirt styling than I want. The aesthetic I want is confusing, even to me - I'm finding it very difficult to articulate what I want it to look like, or decide exactly how to make that happen. I guess I'm looking to temper the forbiddingly antique look with some youth: the historical source, a sensible Norwegian brocade blouse with no-nonsense drop shoulders and sturdy ribbed cuffs, hangs over my head and leaves a vauge sense of depression, but dozens of hook-and-eye closures up the front and a tall collar lined with a shockingly pink ribbon facing might go a long way towards sweet freshness.
Anyway, here's the body before cutting:
I blocked it as-is to make sure I'm on track with measurements, and tried it on a couple minutes ago - discovering thereby that the phrase like a glove dispells malaise pretty quickly, too.