Sunday, September 22, 2013

Reversal of Portions

I got the side panels of the Redford sweater finished this weekend. Without giving too much away, the instructions use the same perspective of right (stockinette) and wrong (reverse stockinette) sides, but when the pieces are finally all sewn together, the side panels are put in "wrong" side out. It was hard to get used to being concerned about how the wrong side was shaping up, since it's the part that will show. Here, I've pinned out one side panel between the front and back pieces so you can get some idea of what it will look like. From a distance, you might not see the difference, but if you look at a larger version at Flickr, you can get he effect.

I got a start on the sleeves this afternoon, having just started the 4th of 6 hanks called for in this size. I think should have enough. Looking at this picture already has me worrying about the complexity of the finishing. But what's a knitting project without a little fretting?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Front & Center

This week, I started and finished the front center section of my Redford Sweater. It's the same as the front for about 4/5 of this piece, then things get interesting.

A small triangular reverse stockinette section near the neck adds a little flair, and now that I think of it, will go nicely with the reverse stockinette side-panels that I'll be tackling next. I had to do this section twice, though. I was almost done, and realized the purled M1 stitches were leaving gaping holes. I think it was from a combination of not watching my gauge and from all the tugging I was doing to try and purl through the back loop for one of the increases. Purling through the back loop is a bear on the best of days, but on small yarn and rounded needles, I found I had to use a crochet hook to get anything done. Suffice it to say, the second attempt came off much more satisfactorily. It almost looks like you're looking at the inside of the back through the neck hole, doesn't it?

So now I have the two largest pieces finished and haven't quite got through the third of six hanks required for this project. This front piece seems to be a tad shorter than the back, even though I'm fairly sure they have the same number of rows. I'm hoping that blocking will take care of that.

This week, we bought tickets to go visit my brother's family in Germany over the Christmas holiday, with a short visit to Amsterdam on the way. Exciting! I'm planning on packing this, so I'd better get back at it.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Back Talk

I've been working most evenings of the past few weeks on my Redford Sweater, but progress is slow, what with the tiny stitches. Fortunately, my gauge and measurements are spot on -- even the row gauge, which is rare for me. After knitting 229 rows, this piece should measure 25.5 inches. And mine is exactly that.

One aspect of the design almost made me pass on this sweater, and that was the square back and front with no apparent armhole shaping for set-in sleeves. I've knit enough drop-shoulder sweaters to know that I'd rather avoid such patterns in the future. The resulting garments just have too much extra fabric under the arms, right where one doesn't need extra warmth and bulk.

But closer inspection did reveal set-in sleeves. How? Note how this piece looks rather narrow for the back of a sweater. Who's that thin? Not me. This clever design uses separate side panels, displaying reverse stockinette on the visible side, and with the armhole shaping at the top end. Imagine about 2.5 inches of extra fabric on each side of the front and back pieces, sewn in later. A bit more fiddly in the finishing, but I really think it's going to be worth it.

I've just started in on the front of the sweater, which is "the same as the back" up to a pair of asterisks in the pattern. Here's hoping I don't whiz past them in my enthusiasm. It's happened before.