March 4, 2006

What to do with all that lovely leftover Decor wool...





I was very generous when I purchased the wool for my olympic challenge--fearing, I suppose freezing rain or another act of God combined with 'running out of wool' --horrified gasp--would mean that I would not finish my challenge. By the time I finished the Maple Leaf Forever, I had used two balls of red, but only 4 1/2 balls of the cream. What to do with the other almost 6 balls of cream wool, and the various balls that were from the first two frogged attempts.

Wishing for the cottage and wanting something totally comfortable but easy, I cast on 88 sts on my 4.5 mm needles, and began a variation of my grandmother's favourite sweater. My grandmother has knit MILLIONS of these sweaters--all in exactly the same size. I think this is what drove me to learn to knit things that have a hope of fitting ME--not the 6'2" 34" chest model my grandmother believed she (and I) were. I am not knocking grandma's knitting, in any way, but at just over 5' and for most of my life a generous 37" chest, I wasn't so comfortable in grandma's sweater.



Dreaming of the Cottage, baby, sweater




Neckband:
Cast on 88 sts using 4.5 mm needles and magic loop method. Join in round, being careful not to twist sts. K2 P2 ribbing for 5" or desired depth of neckband.
Switch to body pattern , establishing markers for shoulder increases as follows: PM (place marker) K3 (for mock cable) p2 K3 (for second mock cable), PM, K36 (front) placing marker after st 18 for center front, PM, K3 (for mock cable) p2, K3, K36 for back.
body pattern:
round 1 K3, p1 around
round 2: K around round

Short rows for neck:

Note: if you don't want to bother with this, you don't have to, but it makes a more comfortable sweater.

Maintaining body pattern, knit to within 12 sts of center front marker, increasing on either side of cable sts with a p marker st. This translates to knit to within 2 sts of round marker, K front and back, p1, SlM (slip marker), K3, Kfront and back of next 2 sts, K3, SlM, p1, Kfront and back of next st, knit to within 12 sts of center front marker, Sl, Sl, yarn to the front, turn. Wrap first st, purl around row to within 12 sts of center front marker, maintaining all sts as set (purl the mock cable sts from the back; knit the purl sts that set them apart by the markers), sl2, turn, wrap one st.

Repeat short row to within 9 sts of cf marker, remembering to increase on either side of cable, leaving a p st as a divider, and to pick up and knit or purl the wrap with the st it wraps as you come to it, sl2, turn, wrap 1, purl around to within 9 sts of cf marker, sl2, turn, wrap 1. Short row to within 6 sts of cf marker, sl2, turn, wrap 1, purl back to within 6 sts of cf marker, sl2, turn, wrap, continue around, picking up wraps and knitting them with the st, and increasing 1 st on either side of every marker to the marker for the beginning of round. Check sleeve counts: both sleeves should have the same number of sts between markers; both fronts should have same number of sts between markers. If not, on this round only, increase on either side of the markers on the one sleeve so they both match. Otherwise, you will have one sleeve smaller than the other. (Ask me how I know).

Continuing to increase every other row (I like to match the increases and the cables with the pattern round that has the purl sts), on every 6th row when you come to the mock cable, knit the mock cable by knitting the 3rd st from the needle without removing the st, then the second st from the needle without removing the st, then the first st from the needle, and then sliding them all off together.

Maintaining the body and cable pattern, increase on either side of the cable, every other round, until the depth from the base of the neck is 9", or desired length to underarm divide.

Divide for the underarms:
Knit across sleeve sts, place on st holder, knit across front sts, maintaining pattern, knit across sleeve sts, place sleeve sts on holder, knit across back sts maintaining pattern. Cast on 12 sts, or enough sts to complete pattern across body (up to 12 sts). Knit across front body; cast on 12 sts, or enough sts to complete pattern repeat (up to 12 sts). Knit across back sts, maintaining pattern. PM. My sweater had 200 sts total, including the underarm sts, which was 25 repeats of the 4 st pattern in front, and 25 repeats of the 4 st pattern in back.

Knit continuing to maintain pattern for 4 inches, or until you want to start the mock cable pattern for the body.

Place markers at center underarm 'cable'. The cable pattern starts every other cable, every 6th round. In other words, for your first cable set, knit to one cable past the center underarm cable, mock cable these three sts, maintain pattern to one 'cable' before underarm cable, mock cable these three sts, knit underarm cable plain, mock cable next cable, knit across to last cable before underarm cable at beginning of row, mock cable these three sts. Continue with body pattern for 5 more rows. Next cable round, underarm rib set plain, mock cable previous cable, next rib set plain, mock cable next rib set, knit to within 2 rib sets of previous cable, mock cable rib set, one rib set plain, mock cable previously cabled rib set, underarm rib set plain, cable previously cabled rib set, next rib set plain, cable next rib set, continue across to 2 rib sets before previous cabled rib, mock cable rib set, one rib set plain, mock cable rib set (previously cabled rib), next plain rib set should be the underarm and the plain rib.

I am sure there is an easy way to write this, but essentially, you are adding a mock cable to the pattern on each side every sixth row, to create the center front diagonal rib. Knit continuing pattern established to 13" or desired body length before ribbing. Change to k2 p2 ribbing, and rib to 15" from underarm cast on, or desired body length.

to be continued

to be continued

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