Wednesday, March 25, 2009

FO: Shalom

Here are some more composed pictures of the Shalom cardigan, taken in the sober morning after my wearing it out immediately upon being (almost) dry yesterday. You may notice that the sleeve is a little wrinkled, from my bending my elbow last night at choir rehearsal.

A little difficult to catch the color in this light (barn-red-rust-brown-orange is almost as hard to photograph as red, it turns out). This striped-with-window-sash pic comes closest to getting it. Looking at that length laid vertically, the thing looks really cropped and boxy, right? Hard to believe that it gets weighed down enough by its own weight to be pretty much the same length as all my other sweaters.

The yoke is just gorgeous, and the short rows I worked in the back do the trick in hiking up the back of the collar just a bit. I would probably work a few more were I to do it again. I used some vintage buttons I bought a few years ago at antique show; they match quite nicely and I think give the sweater a nice old-fashioned look:

In the end, since following my gauge (5 st./in.) mods of Ishi's mods didn't work perfectly for me, here's what I did. I placed markers, rather than dividing, right after the last garter ridge: right front 43 stitches, sleeve 51 stitches, back 72 stitches, sleeve 51 stitches, left front 43 stitches.

Then I knit to the center of the back (36 stitches in) and marked it, and worked short rows as follows: knit to 10 st. past marker, wrap and turn, p to 10 stitches past marker, wrap and turn. Knit to 15 stitches past marker, knitting into wrap with wrapped stitch when I encounter it, wrap and turn. Purl to 15 stitches past marker, purling into wrap with wrapped stitch when I encounter it. Repeat these steps, each time going 5 more stitches out, until I've gone as far as 25 stitches from the marker on both sides of it. Were I to do it again, I think I'd go to 30 stitches past the marker. I did it this way, rather than working my short rows in from the furthest-out point, because I am not super-great at picking up wrapped stitches and I feel like you can always notice them, so I tried to hide them all right underneath the last garter ridge.

Then I went on with the body, dropping that center-back marker. I increased every other knit row inside both sides of just the sleeve markers, the way I would have for a raglan increase, but only in the sleeves. I did this 3 times, for an increase of 6 stitches inside each sleeve. Then I worked regular raglan increases (increasing on both sides of each marker) every other knit row twice. At that point, I was at an armpit length that seemed more reasonable, so I divided for the sleeves. Since I had increased 2 stitches on each side of the armpits, I only had to cast on 11 stitches under each arm as I separated for the sleeves. Were I to do it again, I think I'd have cast on fewer than that, because this sweater is a little too big, and because those cast-on armpits are kind of noticeable when you're wearing the sweater. I think maybe 5 or 7 would have been more reasonable. I also think the sleeves are a bit too wide, so cutting back the cast-on for the sleeves would not be terrible.

I left the body stitches on a holder after a few rows and worked the sleeves; I think this was a great idea, because it helped me avoid second sleeve syndrome. I worked the sleeves in the round using magic loop, and decreased on each side of the center stitch picked up under the arm at the 4th round, the 21st round, and every 14th round after that. I knit them until they were about 11 inches long, then worked a decrease row, decreasing every 8th stitch, then worked 12 rows of garter and bound off. I wanted my sleeves to be a little boxy and not too close-fitting at the elbow.

For the body, I just worked straight to (what I thought was) the right length, working a slipped-stitch "seam" under each armpit all the way down, then decreased every 10th stitch, worked 12 rows of garter and bound off. A proportion of garter to stockinette of 90% seems perfect for not flaring out or pulling in. After blocking, of course, I realized it was much too long and ripped back about 20 rows of stockinette, then reworked the garter hem.


Julia said...

Your sweater turned out gorgeous! I am about 3/4 done with the yoke (obviously I'm not as quick as you!) of my Shalom. Thanks for your suggestions. I'm hoping it works out!

Rachel said...

Wow, that's a really beautiful sweater, and I like your modifications!