Apr 22, 2007

Yarn choices, gauge, and buttons... oh my!

You know you're excited about a project when you work on it despite the deadline that is Mother's Day looming and hand-knit socks expected on all fronts. Here are the final swatches: cartridge rib increased to stockinette stitch.

The top swatch is in the color "Hurricane," which is lovely, but doesn't show off the texture of the cartridge rib as well as the lighter "Marmalade," so I've decided to use something bright for my first go at this pattern: "Candy Girl" (the left-hand color in the photo). The other, light pink ball may be used to produce a second layer of fabric for the puffy bust portion (thank you, Hannah!). What do you guys think?

The gauge of the cartridge rib is 7 stitches/inch, and garter stitch is 6 stitches/inch using size 4 needles. On the top swatch, I increased from 29 to 64 stitches, moving from just over 4 inches to nearly 11 inches. Too much! For the bottom swatch, I increased from 25 to 38 stitches, moving from about 4 inches to just over 6 inches... more like it.

While selecting my yarn and discussing the design with Hannah at Windsor Button, I realized that the ribbed section of this top must be worked flat, both in order to produce cartridge rib without excess fiddling and to fit closely: the cartridge rib is not particularly stretchy on size 4 needles, and I want this top fitted. This flat knitting will necessitate a button band, which will actually give me the chance to include tiny, vintage mother-of-pearl buttons in the design!

I measured just under my bust: 29 inches. I will therefore cast on 228 stitches in order to produce a 30-inch tube plus 2 additional inches for the button band, which will be a doubled one-inch-wide band of currently undetermined stitch pattern (garter? Moss? Stockinette? Any suggestions?). At the bust, I will increase by 107 (228 minus the 14-stitch button band) stitches to 335 stitches and begin to work in the round. This may be too many stitches (over 50 inches!), so there will be a lifeline at the end of the cartridge rib, allowing me to rip and redo until I like the proportions.

Ready to go! Progress pictures of the actual project on the way!


EDNA HART said...

I love the Moss Stitch, so that get my vote.

weaverknits said...

Me too. The name is fantastic, as is the result. mmmm, moss.