With each pullover or cardigan (one so far) I design, I’m trying to refine the design and create my ideal design. With each design, I want to deal with a design failing and see if I can correct it. I love set in sleeves, as they give a close fit at the top of the arm, in comparison to the drop shouldered variety. I’m not keen on trying raglan sleeves as I’m not confident that my row gauge is standard. With set in sleeves, once the armhole shaping has been done, you can continue the armhole for as long or short as you want, to suit your own row gauge. One flaw that I’m finding, is the tendency for neck openings to stretch, making the cross back look wider than I’m actually making it. I’ve done some Ravelry research on the matter and have found someone with their own explanation for this phenomenon. Joan Schrouder aka schrouderknits on Ravelry is “peevish” about this aspect of set in sleeved garments.
In response to a question about a garment with set in sleeves and negative ease perhaps riding up, Joan said:
How stretchy is your fabric? your yarn/fiber? What kind of st patt – does it stretch? How much wt is in the sleeves? (cap sleeve vs long sleeves?) What kind of shaping are you doing for the back of your neck? Are the sleeves separate pieces or extensions from the body? (ie is there a seam joining them to the body) My personal pet peeve with lots of set-in sleeve designs is that the shoulders are too wide to begin with, then the back of the neck cut-out, the fabric is knit loosely and with a stretchy fiber so the problem is compounded to make the sleeves droop unattractively off the natural shoulder line, looking much more like a drop shoulder.
In another about short row shaping on shoulders, Joan said:
I don’t know if you should do short-rowing at the neck part, too; try it if you want and see if you like it. I much prefer binding off my back of neck sts to help retard stretch that often occurs if those sts are not bound off. Rather than rejoining yarn to BO those center back sts, I would bind them off on the last time that I crossed them. I also rarely shape the back of my neck as I don’t like how it fits and it tends to lead to more stretching, one of my pet peeves.
So, it’s looking like back neck shaping may, in part, be the culprit. Back neck shaping certainly isn’t a necessity. The cast/bind off is nice and firm, it’s the step up between cast off sections where the stretch seems to occur. I suppose this is happening with the front neck shaping too, but theoretically, if the back neck is firm, it should help stop the whole neck opening from stretching. The front neck can’t stretch far if the back neck isn’t coming with it. I also have the feeling that a collar will sit much better this way.
This is something to try in my never ending search for the pullover, as it should be.
My turtleneck lace pullover is finished and I’m now blocking the collar. Here are some photos with the collar underway.
After sewing it together, and before starting the collar, I tried it on. It fit’s exactly the way I wanted it to! I’ve shaped it from the waist to the bust (another refinement I’m trying). As I make my pullovers short, this is to prevent the baggyness at the waist that can occur without shaping.
So, I need to properly write out the pattern, get some photos done, and I’ll be all systems go!
My love/hate relationship with Microsoft Excel is continuing. I have been periodically complaining about various things:
how all those grid lines make the thing hard to look at
how the hell did I come up with that figure? (I don’t want to have to click on a cell to see what formula is in there)
why can’t I make it be more text focussed with a few figures here and there?
I’ve since been informed that the grid lines can be hidden. For those that already knew this, well done. For those slow learners like myself, join me in celebrating! At last I’m able to make it look the way I want. I can enter long, descriptive sections which describe exactly what’s going on behind the scenes and I’m not being sent cross eyed by all those grid lines.
So, here’s the difference. The first screen shot is a section of my spreadsheet with grid lines.
The second screen shot is a similar section of my new spreadsheet, without grid lines. I’ve been able to make it more word focussed, and have added in lovely little blue comments (my choice of colour) to let me know what’s going on behind the scenes. I do love a bit of documentation, preferably done by someone else.
My lace cashmere pullover is continuing nicely, with minimal hiccups. Here’s the front, almost completed. I’d virtually finished the first sleeve, when a calculation error became apparent. Gah! Just the sleeve cap to redo. Could be worse.
After a few false starts, I’m knitting up my latest pullover design. My idea is for a lace cashmere turtleneck pullover. All good in theory, but I’ve stumbled over a few hurdles on the way. The first lace pattern I tried was strangely arranged so that the sides of the work bulged and increases would be difficult to work out. On the second, I discovered a discrepancy between the written/charted pattern and the photo provided. I could’ve solved this, but I couldn’t decide which alternative I preferred. I finally settled on a third pattern, had done all my design calculations and pattern writing and was halfway through knitting the back, when I realised the increases were too confusing for the average knitter (including myself) to work out. Rip, rip, rip. Iteration number four and I found a pattern which I like and which is simple to work increases in. Hooray! The yarn I’m using is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, which I purchased from Sunspun in Canterbury.
The picture on the right is my tension square, which was worked in camel colour, discovered to be discontinued after purchase! The back of my pullover so far is in Basil, although it’s difficult to see the difference in these photos. Since taking these photos, I’m well on my way on the armholes. All is going well. It may not be apparent from the photo, but I’m shaping from the waist up to the bust, in the attempt to create a more fitted garment. As I prefer my pullover’s short, to hide as little of my scant lower half as possible, unshaped garments may seem a bit baggy at the waist. This will hopefully solve that problem. Every design is an attempt to improve the flaws of the last. Enjoy your knitting!