Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Toss the pattern, keep the design

Grey Sweater
Originally uploaded by Project Pictures
I've decided to make knit gifts this year for some of my family. I already have two done and left behind with appropriate persons to had them over at the proper times. Here's one more in the works.

My sweet niece will be receiving a beautiful Debbie Bliss cardigan. I figured her older brother needed something just as handsome. I had plenty of Debbie Bliss Rialto in my stash from when our local Ben Franklin Crafts decided to close out that particular type of yarn. My nephew has great blonde hair and bright blue eyes, much like I did when I was younger. So I'm certain this soft grey is going to look smashing on him!

I picked out a DROPS design (s7-5 Sweater in Alaska) on Ravelry. The pattern is written for a heavier weight yarn than the Rialto, but it also only goes down to size 3/4. As my nephew is 2.5 years old, I figured I could work out the differences in gauge to give me a smaller size. I started off following the 3/4 size pattern, casting on in the round and working up to where the sweater split to create the armscyes. Around that point I decided that back-calculating lengths and gauges was much too much of a bother. I rummaged through our old clothes and pulled out a much-loved sweatshirt that had the same basic shape as my pattern.

The pattern got tossed back in the basket. Instead, every few rows I lay out what I've done against the sweater. It's working out quite well. The other night I did the front, binding of stitches to match the sweatshirt's neckline. Today I was able to work up the back and do the same. I sewed the shoulder seams with a standard mattress stitch, and then picked up and knit all around the neck. I did about one inch of a 2x2 rib on much smaller needles and I think it's come out pretty well. I was slightly tempted to pull it out and do it on one size smaller yet.

Then I decided to tempt my daughter into trying it on. She's a year older than her cousin.. so clearly I'm still a bit big. Then again the model in DROPS shows the shoulder seams extending half-way down his upper arms, so maybe not!

I've spent the rest of the day puzzling over the pattern instructions for the sleeves. I think I've got it all figured out but for one thing. For some reason there is shoulder cap shaping... but it's only two rows. In the pattern's gauge, that's all of 1/2 cm of shoulder shaping. I'm thinking about ignoring it altogether. My yarn stretches 1/2 cm if you look at it. What's the point of those two silly short rows?

If you know, feel free to enlighten me. It'll take a while to get that far up the arm, anyway!

1 comment:

Geek Knitter said...

No enlightenment here, just a compliment on your gorgeous daughter!