First things first. I've had many hours of preparatory knitting with the Rowan 4 Ply Soft and I finally have something to show for it. Not a pattern, but a name: Blueberry Moon.
Second things second. I am so longing to start this project. Still. Yesterday, after moaning about my lack of pattern books, I actually had two ideas. One was to check my local library for the Barbara G. Walker books - which yielded three of the four treasuries - and the second was a simple solution to my swatching fears.
Swatching fear happens when one’s need to swatch and test knit meets up with the realization (or irrational fear) that one may not have enough yarn to finish the sweater once one has swatched herself to kingdom come. For this problem I realized test yarn was needed and after work I hit a LYS and found a similar yarn, with the same ‘twist’ as the Rowan 4 Ply Soft.
By solving these two dilemmas so swiftly in succession, I thought I could swatch out my idea and the pattern would magically reveal itself to me. I thought that I could get my hearts desire, that I could design a top-down raglan with an open shoulder seam accented with the mini cable.
I was wrong. My preferred test swatch reveals that the stitches to the left of the increase would be too many.
They would in fact push the increases too far to the left and muck up the simplicity that is the top down raglan pattern:
I shouldn't say it could never be done. I should say it can't be done the way I saw it in my mind, with my meagre knowledge of pattern mechanics. I either have to give up the shoulder seam or the cable in that part of the pattern.