Wednesday, May 02, 2007

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  • Small Changes

    Without a hoop, without a ruffle,
    One external jig and shuffle.

    -Catherine Marie Fanshaw

    Thanks to Jenn for pointing out that I've knit nearly all of Rowena (from Knit2Together) without posting. So let me wax poetic for a moment on the joy of knitting plain stockinette. When reading. When studying. When one is too tired to knit lace. When one is riding (not driving, just riding) in a dark car. When waiting for friends at a restaurant. Or really, any time that isn't reserved for knitting of a higher order. That's why so much has gotten done. Each piece of Rowena (1 back, 2 fronts, 2 sleeves) begins with a ruffle and then proceeds merily in stockinette stitch, with a raglan at the top. Easy peasy.

    I did make a few small changes to the pattern as written, so I'll share them here now. Because if I wait any longer, it'll be done. Above you can see what I didn't change - how the turning edge looks with the purl turning row and the kfb increase every other stitch. I think the turning row is crucial to letting the ruffle be kind of flat and not too '80s-pouffy. To the left you can see the part of the ruffle that I did change. Although Laura recently had a good experience sewing down hems, I like to knit them up. It makes the sweater seem so much more finished as I knit it.

    The pattern didn't clearly account for a place to knit the hem stitches together. There are 11 rows on each side of the hem, and the back has half the stitches of the front (hence the ruffle - following?) On the 12th row, you decrease the number of stitches in the ruffle by half (back to your starting number - still following?). On the 11th row, then, I picked up my hem by knitting one stitch of the cast on (just a regular long-tail cast on) with one stitch from the ruffle - only I used every other ruffle stitch. And it worked great. Because of the pouffiness of the ruffle, I can't really see the hem knit up. Can you?

    The only other change I've made involves the raglan decreases. The pattern calls for decreasing the last two stitches of the row together, which makes for rather poor seaming in my experience. Examining the photo in the book, however, it was clear that they wanted to minimize or de-emphasize the raglan lines. It is not, after all, a sporty sweater by any means. Instead, I decided to put the decreases in one stitch from each edge, but to make them fully-fashioned, i.e. angled into the edge rather than away from it. (Like in this pattern.) So far it looks nice in the pieces (and I thought I had a photo somewhere . . .), so let's hope it looks good all sewn together.

    Need a refresher on the other sweater details? My early posts about it are here and here.



    Blogger Jenn said...

    I do love it when entire projects are suddenly done, when it seems like I've just been working on them for a minute or two here and there. I think the ruffle looks great - I can't see any distortion at all. Can't wait to see her seamed!

    5/02/2007 6:00 PM  
    Blogger Marina said...

    Definitely prefer knitting up the hem unless it's Fair Isle. The ruffle looks really girly cute. Can't wait to see it all done!

    5/02/2007 6:13 PM  
    Anonymous nova said...

    Hem? What hem? Can't wait to see the finished sweater!

    5/02/2007 7:05 PM  
    Blogger Meg said...

    Ah, good ol' stocking stitch. I have a whole Hourglass Sweater that has literally leapt off the needles without my even taking one look at it, much less blog about it.
    I am looking forward to seeing how these ruffles are going to come together into a Rowena!

    5/02/2007 11:39 PM  
    Blogger Wool Winder said...

    Stockinette stitch doesn't get the credit it deserves sometimes. I happen to enjoy it for it's simplicity--the very reason some people are bored by it.

    5/03/2007 5:29 AM  
    Anonymous Rachel said...

    I'm also a big fan of knitting down the hem as you go -- it's much more satisfying to regard your progress on a sweater when that's already done. Your ruffle looks great!

    5/03/2007 5:50 AM  
    Blogger Rebecca said...

    And stockinette stitch especially works when you are waiting in a DOCTOR's office and he walks in and starts talking away without letting you finish the row you were on!

    5/03/2007 7:57 AM  
    Blogger JayJay said...

    I think your mods look great, and I definitely can't see the knit up hem. I really want to make this sweater at some point (so pretty and feminine), so I'm excited to see how it turn out!

    5/03/2007 8:17 AM  
    Blogger TeresaB said...

    I agree with everyone else, the ruffle and hem look fantastic. I have that book, bought it for a hat pattern, but found a few items I'll eventually knit, including this one. Looking forward to seeing yours completed.

    5/03/2007 1:14 PM  
    Blogger Elinor said...

    Rowena looks so pretty! I can't wait to see the FO! That ruffle hem is so sweet!

    5/03/2007 7:04 PM  

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