Fridays with Franklin – The Adventure of the Transparent Excuse to Show You More Pictures of My Adorable Dog, Part Two


The Adventure of the Transparent Excuse to Show You More Pictures of My Adorable Dog, Part Two

For an introduction to what goes on in this column, click here.

For the first part of this adventure, click here.


Sometimes when you know where you want to go and plan how to get there, you still end up in a ditch.

We ended last time with a peek at the swatch for Rosamund’s new sweater.

Transparent 2.1

(This is Rosamund.)

Transparent 2.2

I swatched with the usual good intentions:

  • To determine my stitch and round gauges.
  • To test the drape and appearance of the fabric.
  • To test the motif.

I also washed and blocked my swatch. Yes, I did. Oh boy, did I feel smug.

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The swatch was promising. Cuddly drape. Firm enough to be warm in a Chicago winter chill. The motif was fine.

When I sketched the sweater, I had in mind something bold and clean and crisp. A repeating motif, probably geometric. Not a large motif, though. Large repeating patterns are a tricky proposition on small garments, because there’s usually not enough space for them to breathe.

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The construction would be the same as that of the first sweater–neck down, in the round, with steeks. Familiar territory.

That motif, though. That motif. It bugged me.

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Would you look twice at that if it ran past you on its way to chasing a squirrel? No, you wouldn’t. Not even with that rich purple in the mix. So pedestrian.

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I decided to mess around with pushing stitches here and there, and at some length had jazzed it up into this.

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Repeated, it looked very promising in the chart.

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No need to swatch again, right? Nah.


I got this far

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and realized that I didn’t like it at all. This patterning is less crisp, clean, and bold than the first version; all those little changes made it feeble. Muddy. From a distance, it’s barely visible as a pattern.

So what to do? Rip. Reconsider. And swatch.

See you in two weeks–at which time I intend to have something more interesting to show you. Dang it.

Transparent 2.10

Tools and Materials Appearing in This Issue

Simpliworsted by Hikoo® (55% Merino Superwash, 28% Acrylic, 17% Nylon; 140 yds per 100g skein). Colors: 033, Red Hat Purple and 013, Violette.

addi® Turbo 16-inch circular needle

About Franklin

Designer, teacher, author and illustrator Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008). His new book, I Dream of Yarn: A Knit and Crochet Coloring Book has was brought out by Soho Publishing in May, 2016 and is in its second printing.

He travels constantly to teach knitters at shops and guilds across the country and internationally; and has been a popular member of the faculties of such festivals as Vogue Knitting Live!, STITCHES Events, Squam Arts Workshops, Sock Summit, and the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat.

Franklin’s varied experience in the fiber world includes contributions of writing and design to Vogue Knitting, Yarn Market News,Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Twist Collective; and a regular columns and cartoons for Mason-Dixon Knitting, PLY Magazine, Lion Brand Yarns, and Skacel Collection. Many of his independently published designs are available via

He is the longtime proprietor of The Panopticon, one of the most popular knitting blogs on the Internet. On an average day, upwards of 2,500 readers worldwide drop in for a mix of essays, cartoons, and the continuing adventures of Dolores the Sheep.



Franklin lives in Chicago, Illinois, cohabiting shamelessly with 15,000 books, a Schacht spinning wheel, three looms, and a colony of yarn that multiplies whenever his back is turned.

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