Mar 12, 2007

Plotting and planning

This weekend, I sat down and figured out the beginnings of the plan for my cardigan. The way I tend to work is to make a rudimentary sketch, fill in the measurements I want at the key points in the sweater, use my gauge to figure out what the stitch counts need to be at each point and figure increase and decrease rates from that. I want a garment that's relatively close-fitting at the bust, but not through the waist, which works out well in terms of not having to do a lot of shaping within a complicated stitch pattern. I want the sweater to be 36" around and 13" to the armhole.

The swatch is two repeats and measures 4.5" across: serendipity! The math works out most tidily. The back needs to be 18" wide: 8 repeats. Each front will be 9" wide: 4 repeats. I'm adding two stockinette stitches to the edges that will go into the side seams because I don't like seaming garter stitch. It always ends up looking clunky, at least when I do it. And I'm slipping the first stitch at the opening edge for ease in picking up stitches for the buttonband—that's the left side of the piece in the picture.

I'm still finding the stitch pattern rawther delightful, particularly since I took Joanna's advice about slipping the stitches for the left-leaning decrease one at a time, instead of two together. It makes for a perfectly symmetrical motif instead of almost perfect. So, it's slip 1, slip another 1, k2tog, pass both slipped sts over at the same time.
It's been a while since I've knit with mercerized cotton and I'm really enjoying it.


Liz K. said...

Gorgeous!!! It looks so structural!

Emily said...

Oh, that is so pretty! Nicely done!

And cotton is going to be so comfortable...

Joanna said...

Okay, I thought I liked this pattern before, when you only had a few of the "shells" in your swatch. But when there's a whole bunch of shells all together like that, I LOVE it! I'm curious to hear what the fabric is like - is it stiff like garter stitch, or more loose and drapey because of the stockinette and the fact that it's cotton?

klosekraft said...

It's not stiff at all. I think the eyelets and stockinette sections add some drape, while the garter gives it body. It moves the way I'd expect ribbed fabric in this yarn to move--not as light as stockinette would be, but nowhere near as heavy as all garter stitch.

Julia (MindofWinter) said...

Gorgeous stitch pattern. I love your designing sensibilities.

Here's one thing to consider when doing a cardigan that you may not have thought of: the width of the button band when closed needs to be subtracted from the two front pieces if you want the front and back of the cardi to have the same dimensions, which I think is your goal in this case. So you'd have to modify the front pieces to each be a little less than four repeats to make everything work out perfectly.

If you do a zipper instead (I don't think this is what you're going for, but it's good info so I'm sticking it in), rule of thumb is to take about a quarter inch of fabric off of each side.

I hope this is helpful. I've really enjoyed checking out your blog - you have a wonderful sense of fashion and I know I am going to love this piece. (Maybe you'll share or publish the pattern?)

xox, J

klosekraft said...

Thanks Julia. I had thought of that and I'm taking the lazy way out since the numbers worked out so well--since the pieces will need some blocking, I'm going to block the fronts slightly less than the back. The buttonbands will be pretty narrow, just a couple of garter ridges each.

Julia (MindofWinter) said...

Hee, hee! I can relate to that choice! I'm sure that it will work out well, especially with a slender button band and a flowing piece like this one. I just thought I'd throw that in, since I've been known to forget such things myself.
xox, J