knitpicking

Friday, February 17, 2006

rrrrrrrrrrippit

As I mentioned in my last post, I think it's time for a trip to the frog pond. I've been really excited about this wrap cardigan from the beginning... and I was hoping to get a nice, submittable pattern out of it, but that's looking less and less likely. (Tope suggested Knitpicks as another option in addition to MagKnits, and I really like the idea, but I feel like there would be a lot of pressure on me to get all the details absolutely perfect if people are going to pay for the pattern.) I still think the stitch pattern is really fun, and the fabric has both a lightness and a drape that are fabulous. I had finished the back and a little bit of one front before I really sat down and looked at my work - and there are two big problems so far:

1. Edges. All of them. The fabric has a lot of horizontal spread, so I found that I had to cast on to a much larger needle. I'm using a US8 for the body, and in order to get top and bottom edges that weren't binding, I had to go up to a US10.5. While this worked great at the beginning and end, I forgot/ignored it for the armhole bindoffs and just used the 8. Well, my armhole bindoffs now pull in a lot, which could be a bit uncomfortable. Then, there's the side edges. To make seaming and shaping easier, I tried to leave a 2-stitch selvedge in stockinette stitch. But my row gauge for fluffy brioche must be smaller than my row gauge for stockinette, because the side edges are doing this weird ripply thing. It might get a little better once the whole thing is seamed and blocked, but it looks bad enough now that I don't want to wait and find out. I think a garter stitch selvedge might match better.

2. Gauge. My problem here isn't a lack of consistency in the knitting, but in the measuring. It's hard enough to count stitches and rows in the pattern; when you add the fact that I'm knitting on larger needles than are recommended for the yarn, and the fact that the fabric has a lot of spread and give in all directions, figuring out gauge is nearly impossible. I tried blocking a swatch, and I did get some numbers from it. But while knitting the back, I think I just ignored those numbers and tried to measure while stretching the fabric some random amount. Uh... don't really know what I was thinking there, but I was on a 7 hour flight at the time, and had gotten 4 hours of sleep the night before, so I'll use that as my excuse. Anyway, I guess if/when I reknit, I'll make sure to do everything by the numbers from my washed swatch. It's just tough because those numbers have little to no relation to the numbers I get before washing. Also, this makes me very hesitant to offer the pattern to other people, because the sizing will be that much harder.

So that's where I stand. I'm putting it aside for the time being because I have enough other projects to keep me busy, and it will be a while before I can wear a thin short-sleeve cotton cardigan without at least 2 layers over it anyway.

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