5 November 2008 · 9 comments in Knitting

My striped cardigan is coming along slowly, but surely. So far, I’m just about done with the first sleeve, and since I don’t have much to share in terms of the actual knitting, I wanted to talk a bit more about my thoughts behind creating this sweater.

I already went over the basics: plain cardigan, stripes. With such a simple recipe, the first thought might be to do it top-down raglan style to avoid seams and trying to match stripes. I did consider it, but when it came down to it, I knew that when it’s comes to straight-forward pieces, the details became more important. I know a lot of people don’t find seams necessary, and that’s fine, but to me, they add a bit of structure to a garment, and make a garment look  more polished and professional. Since I’m working with a light drapey fabric, this became even more important.

That meant I had to figure out how to make that work with the stripes. I’ve heard seaming stripes is surprisingly difficult, and I had no idea how to match the stripes across the sleeve cap, but I decided to tackle it anyway. I had a hard time finding resources online, so I worked it all out myself. I spent a couple of days graphing out the sleeve caps (more about that later, once I know whether it’s going to work out). I also practised sewing up the stripes on swatches, and came up with a neat little trick to make them match perfectly every time.

NaKniSweMo Progress

The other thing did was to spend a lot of time researching cast-ons and cast-offs. I was set on 2×2 ribbing, and I wanted the cast-on and cast-off edges to match perfectly, while still looking good with the ribbing. Although I love the look of the tubular cast-on for 1×1 ribbing, I’m not overly fond of the 2×2 version. Of course, after countless swatches, I decided to go with 1×1 ribbing anyway, which let me use the tubular cast-on. Doesn’t it look pretty? To me, it’s details like these that take a sweater from just boring to simple, and from homemade to handmade.

Now, let’s just hope the rest of my math works out.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

adele November 5, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Wow, look at your progress. You’ve made it far considering all the designing/research you have done.

I wish I had my sweater book with me so I could reference it for you. It’s the Maggie Riati (spelling?) one about designing sweater. I could swear that is reference in there about conventions to use when working in stripes.

And I know I said it before, but I LOVE the colour combo. I also like that you went chunky stripes. I’m loving watching this develop. Very inspiring.

Amy November 5, 2008 at 2:06 pm

That’s going to be one special cardigan. And I’m with you both on seams and on sleeves–raglans have their place, for me, but they’re never my favorite.

luckylily November 5, 2008 at 5:15 pm

I can’t wait to see how this turns out. I love the color combination and the yarn looks so wonderful. Your cast on does look gorgeous and 1×1 is a good choice. I’ve done swatch after swatch of tubular bind off for 2×2 and I’ve never been happy with the way it turns out.

Kingston Foster January 12, 2009 at 11:25 am

Nice post thanks ;)

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