Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Ribbed Cardigan Update

Well! Just look at this elegant thing. Isn't it wonderful?

(If I say so myself. And it seems that I do.)

This is the back view of the Debbie Bliss Ribbed Cardigan which has been hibernating for an age. There are lots of reasons for delays on this project, but the most recent was that I lost the pattern book with the collar instructions. Found it recently and managed to find the time to get back to it.

It was this back view of the collar in the book that sold me so absolutely on the project so I'm thrilled that the collar has turned out so well.

This part was a real joy. Well the results were. The actual process was a bit more tricky.

When seaming the fronts and back I briefly considered grafting them - and had even left some of the shoulder seam stitches live with that very intention (i.e. didn't cast them off, but left them on spare yarn). However, I recall reading somewhere that seams add structure and strength to the garment and they shouldn't be abandoned just because grafting is an option.

So I seamed the shoulders and was very happy with the result...even tho' it took a few tries to line up the ribbing at the top of the shoulders. I'll try and get a photo of this soon.

The instructions for picking up the collar stitches were a bit confusing however. First you are told to pick up the stitches with 'right side facing', which is clear enough. That's with the right side (i.e. the outside) of the garment facing you.

So far so fine.

However, the very next line gives the stitch instructions (K6, P3, K3. etc) also with 'right side facing'. If you take it (as I did) that you're still on the right side of the garment it soon becomes clear that the ribbing is now 'out of step', i.e. you are knitting where the purl rib is and purling where...ok, you get it. Plus the garter stitch edgings were turning into stocking stitch, which seemed wrong also.

So far, so not fine.

I mulled over this for ages and even knit on a few rows but I still wasn't happy so I finally tinked back and decided to just reverse the instructions so that it would come out right.

And then I realised.

The 'right side facing' in this 2nd instance is in fact the 'right side' of the collar.....and therefore the inside not the outside of the garment. In other words, between the 1st instuction 'right side facing' and the 2nd instruction 'right side facing' on the very next line, you TURN THE PIECE AROUND to reverse the way the garment faces.

In fact it does make sense, because you are just turning around ot the wrong side of the garment and knitting back the way you came in the usual way of knitting. But that's NOT WHAT IT SAYS. I'm just sayin'.

(Funny enough, it wouldn't have happened with straight needles since I would have no choice as to which direction to go in. Never thought there would be a downside to my beloved Addi circulars.)

If you're still with me on this one, go off and get a coffee or strong beverage. I nearly had to lie down in the dark with a cold compress. Guess I just take the written instruction too literally. The point is that you need to watch what you're knitting and respond to what's happening in front of you as well as read the instructions. Between the two methods I might get there eventually.

Anyway, the results were lovely.


You'll notice the bobbles? Well, I tried to omit them here, but the purl part of the ribbing is increased in the last few rows to give the right flare. And dammit it just looked bare and lumpy without the bobbles. So they were reinstated. Still don't like them much, but what the hell. I don't think I'll be able to see them when I'm wearing it.

Now for the simple task of setting in the ribbed sleeves and finishing seaming. Might take another few months.

Oh and to find the perfect buttons of course.



Ellen said...

That is stunning;) Cant wait to see my hat;)

Anonymous said...

Looking good! Great job.