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Monday, November 12, 2007

Old Yarn, New Design

On Friday, after I blogged, I began frogging the wrap cardi. By lunchtime I was ready to start fresh. So what am I doing? I had in mind a hooded, button front cardi with a ribbed empire waist and deep ribbed turn back cuffs so I pulled out Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Guide to Sweaters, decided on a raglan shape, found my gauge and desired size and started making changes. In such a chunky yarn, I knew I needed my front bands to be fairly wide (dainty front bands in this gauge would look really dumb and try to flip around like crazy), so I took some stitches from the fronts to accommodate these. If I hadn't done this, the sweater would be bigger than I had planned and for this idea to work it needs to fit pretty close to my body.

The second change I made was regarding size. My hip area is bigger than my front porch so I cast on for the 38 inch size, knowing that the ribbing should fit perfectly over the hip area and compress in around my waist so I won't look like the Goodyear blimp. At approximately where the cardi was long enough to hit under my bustline, I worked some decreases down to the 36 inch size in the last row of ribbing, worked a Vikkel braid (see Nancy Bush's Folk Knitting in Estonia for more information on that) and switched to stockinette. As you can see below, I now have the body on a holder and it's waiting for the sleeves.


When I went to grab some double points to begin my sleeves, I found that I didn't have any in the right size. I don't do Magic Loop or any of the other acrobatic circular tricks that have been recently figured out, so instead of losing momentum, I decided to knit my sleeves flat, which also gave me the chance to knit them both at the same time.


As you can see, I've got about 3 more inches until I'm ready to bind off for the underarm and join these to the body. I did a little trick with the ribbed cuffs - if you look, you'll see a little jog in the ribbing. There is a reason for this. By starting the ribbing as K2, P2, when I got to the place I wanted them to turn back, I worked a purl row on the RS (makes it turn better) and then switched the ribbing to P2, K2. This way, when I turn it back, the ribs will "lock" into each other and won't try to unfold. It also lays a bit flatter when the ribs mesh like this. The top part of the ribbing, where the cuff will fold over isn't as long as the cuff itself because I didn't want ribbing peeking out at the top of the turn backs.

Clearly, frogging the wrap cardi was the right thing to do since this sweater is practically flying off the needles!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is really cute and I can't wait to see the finished product! Mindy

9:56 AM  
Blogger CathyCate said...

It was obviously meant to be this sweater, not the other one! Isn't it wonderful when the yarn is happy? It's looking so good, and the yarn is yummy.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Geek Knitter said...

Wow, you are just flying through this! I'm so glad you found/created a design you're happy with!

11:00 AM  
Blogger Amanda D Allen said...

What fantastic progress. I love it when projects seem to work themselves out.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

And here I was, all proud of myself for putting a little bell cuff on the baby pants I'm making! No, really, gorgeous sweater, and I love that ribbing trick! As someone who constantly buys/knits long sleeved things but can't STAND having anything below her elbows (I don't make any sense, and I'm at peace with that) I will remember about turning rows and interlocking ribbing. Very cool.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Marji said...

Well, as long as you haven't been busy! It looks divine and I refuse to believe you have eaten or slept to get that far in a couple of days.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Looks great! I love the idea of making the cuff ribbing stick to itself - my cuffs (on purchased sweaters) unwind themselves all the time. I guess I'll have to make one, and fix the ribbing when I do!

12:21 PM  
Blogger Connie Peterson said...

Wow! FAST knitting! And here I am just about 3 rows farther on one mitten than I was yesterday at this time! You must have magic flying fingers!

Lovely looking sweater! Really yummy looking. You chose wisely!

5:45 PM  
Blogger Rositta said...

Hi Melanie, do you know the Debbie Bliss simply baby book? It has a little hooded jacket that I made for the granddaughter. My DIL now wants one for herself. Do you know of any patterns for adults like that or have you one?
If anyone who reads this has any ideas where I can look it would be appreciated.Might make my DIL love me more...ciao

10:08 PM  

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