Monday, April 30, 2012
Of course, my original plan was to work on sweaters that I had patterns and yarn to do. This has one quality--the yarn is from my stash (mostly). But the pattern? Not so much.
I started with a Noro pattern. Only that pattern was written bottom-up and in pieces that were seamed together. I had a bunch of unrelated colorways of Noro Silk Garden and quickly decided that there was no way I could handle letting it strip willy-nilly and mis-matched! No way!
So the first thing I discarded was "knit in pieces". I began to plan how to knit it as a whole. Then I realized that since I was modifying, and because I'm a long-waisted gal, that knitting bottom-up was a recipe for disaster, too. So now I figured I had to knit it top-down and in one piece.
And of course, there's all the different colorways. What's the best way to deal with Noro's crazy color changes when you want something with continuity? Why, two-row stripes, of course!
So, I began to re-work the sweater. I did the math and plugged numbers into a spreadsheet. Because I wouldn't have seams, I added a two-stitch cable at the raglan shaping. This gives the fabric more structure along that line, much like sewing a seam there would do.
I knit the yoke and as I went I double-checked my gauge. I was able to add that gauge into the spreadsheet and do some adjustments on the fly. When I got through the yoke and moved the arms to spare needle-cables, I knew I needed more ease, so I cast on extra stitches. Then I slowly decreased those stitches away to bring the sweater in under my bust. After that I increased again to give it some swing.
The ribbing eases in rather than switching between stockinette and 1x1 ribbing all at once. I added one purl every 8 stitches in the first row, every 4 in the second and every-other stitch in the third row. This reduces rolling so the ribbing is less likely to flip up.
The buttons were in my stash. I frogged my Versatility a while back. That left me with a big pot of gorgeous buttons to play with. I did briefly consider using three vintage enamel buttons I had on hand, but I was advised to let the yarn shine in this sweater and devise something else for those lovely buttons in a less color-intensive project. It was good advice!
So now I have a sweater, designed by me, and it's lovely!