So, longer ago than I'd like to admit, Kristi asked me:
So of course I'm curious why you didn't leave the underarm space -- because it messed with the lace?
I think the space is less imperative on smaller sizes -- if you were doing a conventional shaped sleeve, your initial bind off would be about (chest - crossback)/2 on each side (this is assuming you're in the round) Or even less.
Plus, the lace is going to be more flexible/less bulky than stockinette and stretch or constrict as needed.
If you're thinking of sizing up the pattern though, I think the underarm shaping will begin to make a big difference.
Instead of writing her back (eek, sorry) I thought I'd post my response up here where y'all can see my reply because, man, she is just full of damn fine information.
The original concept of the piece was to work a lace, that had vertical symmetry, up the side of the piece, then split it off for the armsceye. The sleeve would be constructed the same way giving an uninterrupted path for the lace. The idea was that the lace would never appear to break even though it obviously had to split for the sleeves.
If I wanted to do a bind off at the underarms, I would have to gradually migrate the lace inward to be just inside the bind off point. This is possible but I really wanted to avoid disrupting the pattern.
With Kristi's great insight, I see that the combination of the stretchy Calmer and the small size make this possible. It does seem to work great for me so far. I have to seriously think how I'll approach the larger sizes (yes, I'm getting persuaded to actually write the pattern.) though.
If I do decide to write the pattern, I'll probably knit a partial second piece and do a gusset on one side and migration of the lace for a bind off, on the other to see which produces a nicer effect. I won't have to work a full chest circumference, just enough to be able to visualize the end result. Again, as Kristi pointed out, the lace will give some flexibility and the yarn is stretchy so I think I would have to do a relatively small amount of binding off even for a much larger size.
Talking to my dear friend, Julia, yesterday, I feel ready to tackle the neckline, which I've put on hold for a couple days while I contemplate. She suggested just a folded hem and I like that idea very much. I'm also considering something with eyelets that can be cinched in a little, to accommodate various undergarments. Either way, I want it to be relatively unobtrusive since there's already a lot going on with the lace. In the end, I think her hem idea is going to win out.
*Nod to Ze. I miss his show, The Show.