Friday, January 25, 2008


Two leaf repeats done.

Can you see any difference at all?

I have one more repeat to do, and then I'll be at the underarms. After that I'll start the sleeves. I've decided to work circular set-in sleeves, using Elizabeth Zimmermann's directions in Knitting Workshop. I've lost the hatred for dropped sleeves that I used to have (I discovered with my previous Poetry cardigan that they can look quite normal if you don't have a lot of ease), but I really would prefer to have less seams to sew. I want to wear this sweater as soon as I can.

I realized today that my sweater is going to look very different than the picture - which sounds ridiculous, but it's one of those things that I had to see in order to really understand all the differences. Colors aside, I am really not following the directions given for this sweater. When I knitted my previous Poetry cardigan, I was able to follow all of the instructions because of my gauge. The pattern's gauge was 30 stitches/4 inches, and mine was 36 stitches/4 inches. This meant that if I followed the directions for the larger size (43 inches), my finished sweater would actually come out to 36 inches, which was just what I wanted. In this case, however, if I just followed the pattern's instructions I would end up with a sweater that was much too small.

Using my gauge, I figured out how many stitches I would need around the entire sweater for it to fit properly. My magic number ended up being 324. Looking at Chart A, which is 6 stitches, I knew that I would end up with exactly 54 repeats around my sweater - perfect. Chart B has 28 stitches, which unfortunately means that if I didn't do some fudging, I would come out with 11.5714...repeats of those peonies around myself. Since I never did like fractions, I substituted some numbers and discovered that if I wanted 11.5 repeats around (which, although a fraction, is at least a more manageable one), I would need 322 stitches. After that it was only a simple manner of decreasing 2 stitches when I was ready to start Chart B, and making sure that I centered that half of a peony at the front of the cardigan. Chart C (the leaf pattern that I'm working on now) was another easy one - it has 18 stitches, which goes in evenly to 324. I increased 2 stitches at the beginning of Chart C to get back up to my magic number, and then sailed away. It didn't hurt that I decided to make my cardigan symmetrical, either. It was a lot easier to center Chart B, and I suspect that the sleeves will be much easier to attach, too.

Now, though, I have more peonies around the border, and I'm going to have quite a few more leaf repeats, too. The picture from the book only shows 1.5 repeats of leaves on the body - I'm already past that, and I'm not even done. I'm hoping that it won't make the sweater look too busy. I'm already a little astonished at how pink it's going to be.

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Anonymous Beth S. said...

Thank you for sharing your thought process with us! I'd never have guessed that any stitch-fudging was going on here; the small changes you've made seem completely organic.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is looking great at the smaller gauge! Karen

11:28 AM  
Blogger Knitting Painter Woman said...

You are one ambitious, proficient, FAST knitter. Inspiring!
Love the leaves and Oleana-like things. May have to go off my book diet for Poetry in Stitches!

10:55 PM  

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