Sunday, April 3, 2011

Rivendell's a Wrap!

Done. I love the finished sweater. It's exactly what I had envisioned. At first I really wanted the Waterslide color (turquoise), but I think I prefer this color now.

If I were willing to re-do the sleeves (which I'm not), I'd pick up a few more stitches under the arms when starting the sleeves. There's a bit of pull across the chest because I picked up so few (9, I think). Live and learn!

I'll tell you what, I didn’t enjoy weaving in the ends on the backside of a p2 x k1tbl ribbed item. I tried to keep the joins in places that wouldn’t be seen much.

The weather was really beautiful this morning so the photo session got a little hot, even though this is a fairly lightweight sweater. Not surprising, I suppose, because of the wool content. I’m actually glad because it’ll keep me warm at the office (aka Ice Station Zebra).

KnitPicks seems to have discontinued this yarn (Risata) and I haven't found a good substitute. There are a couple of other stretchy cotton/wool sock yarns (Paton's Stretch Socks and Mary Maxim's Bounce), but neither have a good selection of solid colors. I'd love to know if anyone is aware of any similar yarns. Fixation doesn't work because it's more of a sport-weight.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

One Sleeve Down

The first sleeve is finished. I was prepared for the grafting to be imperfect because of the ribbing and sure enough, it was. To camouflage the imperfections I decided to add a set of cluster stitches over the graft line by “sewing” them on. I put the sleeve on my left arm while sewing to make sure I got the tension right. It was only mildly problematic doing it with one hand.

The fit of this thing is so “painted on” that I really have to adjust it after putting it on to make sure that the pattern is straight, that all of the ribs are lined up, that the sleeve isn’t pulling down the neckline, etc. The good news is that once it’s all adjusted, it looks great. One sleeve to go!

Monday, March 21, 2011

More Rivendell

I’ve finished the body. It’s sooooo stretchy that it really didn’t require any shaping, but I threw in some increases toward the bottom to accommodate my own extreme angle in that area.

I’ve started the sleeves. The plan is to do the lower part of the sleeves bottom-up on size 0 needles. I’ll be doing the sleeves from both bottom and top to meet in the middle. It’s a tortured way to make a sleeve, but that bottom part is critical because that’s how this whole thing started. When I get past the Rivendell pattern I’ll stop and switch to working shoulder-down on size 4 needles, changing needle sizes as I go until I’m back at 0. Eventually I’ll graft where the two pieces meet.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rivendell Sweater

I recently started working on a pair of Rivendell socks. Just before I started the heel flap I slipped one of them onto my arm to stretch out the pattern so I could see it properly. It looked so nice there that I thought, “this would make a great sleeve.” My mind took off from there and before I knew it, I’d bought the yarn (Knit Picks’ Risata in Woodland Sage).

I was picturing a tight-fitting, long-sleeved pullover with a mock turtleneck. I couldn't really find any patterns like that in fingering weight so I started with some numbers from the closest thing I could find (a scoop neck) and did some calculations to get 36 stitches each for the front and back and 9 stitches for each sleeve for a total of 90 stitches.

Using the magic loop method, I cast on the day the yarn arrived. I made the neck about 2” before starting the increases for the body. The increases look a tinier bit messy than I’d prefer, but not so much that I’d rip it back and re-do it. If I ever do this again I’ll figure out a different increase method.

I decided on 3 repeats of the pattern across the front of the sweater as if it were an “opened up” sock. Since I’m doing it top-down and it’s a top town sock pattern, the pattern is right-way-up. I started the pattern at about row 34. I only made a couple of adjustments to the Rivendell chart. The first one was to “crop” the ends a bit for the first row of wrapped stitches since I didn’t have enough stitches across at that point for the whole pattern. The other was to switch a lot (but not all) of the YOs to paired lifted increases since I didn’t want all those holes across my chest.

Due to the ribbing, the negative ease and the stretchiness of the yarn, this thing looks like it’s made for a 3-year-old! Not to worry, it fits great so far.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Yarn Over Bind Off for 1x1 Rib

I love the yarn over bind off for a really stretchy bind off. Unfortunately I dislike the ruffle that it tends to give to a 1x1 ribbed sock cuff.

My version is very simple - really just like binding off "in pattern," except that you add YOs after each knit stitch. This adds just enough extra yarn between stitches to allow the edge to stretch without giving the "curly" effect of the sewn bind off or the "full" YO bind off.

Here we go. Assuming the first stitch is a knit stitch, the first three stitches are just "normal" in-pattern bind off:
  1. Knit the first stitch.
  2. Purl the next stitch, slip the first stitch on the right needle over the second and off the needle.
  3. Knit the next stitch, slip the first stitch on the right needle over the second and off the needle.
  4. YO (bring the yarn to the front, up and around the right needle).
  5. Slip the first stitch on the right needle over the YO and off the needle.
Repeat steps 2 through 5 over the whole edge of the sock. Here are some photos illustrating steps 4 and 5.

Step 4: YO (bring the yarn to the front, up and around the right needle)

Step 5: Slip the first stitch on the right needle over the YO and off the needle.

In the above photo you can also see what the edge looks like after a bit of the bind off has been completed.

Here's a photo of the stretched edge. It pulls in slightly here because I was binding off quite tightly on purpose. This is about as tight as it can get:

That's it!