Thursday, February 11, 2010

Diminishing Ribs Cardigan, knit and done

Done and worn! A fitting ending for a fitting cardigan...

The fit might be a little less than perfect, but it is close enough for me. My version of the Diminishing Ribs cardigan was knit in (mostly) the recommended yarn, Tahki Savoy. The result is ultra soft, smooth and slinky-drapey.

Three changes perfected the fit: (1) lowering the front neckline by short-rowing the back after the ribbing; (2) increasing twice as often as recommended for the lower portion of the raglan line, thereby reducing the number of stitches cast on under the arms and rounding out the bottom of the armsyce; (3) decreasing down to the waist, using the stitch counts for a size smaller below the waist. The ribbing begins an inch lower, falling at my natural waist.

The end result is quite comfortable and easy to wear. The only reason there's a bit of excess fabric by my shoulders in this back shot is that my arms are pulled back. I've put more photos and details in my Ravelry project page, including one with my arms down.

There I explain my struggle with the sleeves. For here, I'll just say that this was the most satisfactory sleeve I could manage with the yarn I had left. With about the right quantity of yarn, (6 balls of Tahki Savoy and 2 of Louisa Harding Grace), I was lucky to get a cardigan that is a size larger in the shoulders and 2 inches longer than recommended, with sleeves 4 inches longer than recommended. The sleeves sit nicely and don't bunch or flare when I move my arms. After multiple rips and reknits, they are good enough.

Although the sleeves were a struggle, modifying the body was simple. I benefitted from the hundreds of projects on Ravelry, a wonderful resource of useful notes and suggestions. It was those other projects that convinced me it was important to get the fit right for this cardigan. Without buttons, it is the fit that keeps it in place, even when I stand more casually.

There's enough ease at the neckline to allow it to be pinned closed, but a closure isn't really needed. I'm prone to throw on my cardigans and often don't bother to button them, even when it is cold out.

Which is what it has been out--cold. The angel has left for the winter, hiding behind her blankets of snow. She'll be back in the spring.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Nearly FO's, sweater and socks

I have a couple of knitting projects in which objects are nearly done, but whose outcome is uncertain.

My Diminishing Ribs cardi has a nearly complete body, but no sleeves.  I have enough of the khaki Tahki Savoy for sleeves of some sort. What sort?--not sure. The intended sleeves are three-quarter length with a flared ribbing at the bottom. These sleeves, in the numerous finished versions of this cardigan on Ravelry, are prone to rumpling up when the wearer bends her elbows. Although simpler sleeves wouldn't rumple, simplicity might take away from the appeal of the design. Maybe a single brown stripe will be enough to make the sleeves echo the shape of the cardigan?
As to the shape of the cardigan, I'm very pleased with it. I made several subtle changes to improve the fit. First, I dropped the front neckline by one and one-half inches with short rows. Next, I shaped the armsyce by increasing more at the end of the raglan line and casting on fewer stitches (8, not 14) under the arm. Finally, I decreased at the side seams down the body to the waist enough to change from the 35" stitch count to the 32" stitch count. Not that I'm a size 32, but that size is nearly 38" around at the bottom. Add that to the 3" gap between the fronts, and it is plenty big enough. After that, I used the dark brown to accent the waistline and de-emphasize the hips. Once I knit another couple of inches, I'll bind off the body and tackle the sleeves.
Meanwhile, I've been working on socks that are nearly a pair, one light

and one dark.

The question is, will the next socks be light or dark? With over 800 yards in two Zauberballs, There's enough yarn for another pair or two. Either way, all the socks will have a seam stitch in the alternate color. I've found this to be a smooth way to carry the yarn from stripe to stripe. Also, it makes a cute line down the heel, one that matches the contrasting "boomerang" rows between the two sets of short rows in the heel.

I'll probably use this heel once more in a third sock. If the next sock is better match for the second one, I'll rip out the first one and use the lighter yarn in the second pair, probably using a different heel. I like the looks of the striped short-row heels in the socks that inspired these.

ETA: See the link to my pattern that evolved from these socks on the sidebar under "My Patterns".

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