Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I might be right, or I might be wrong...

Only time will tell, I've been both many many times.
So my knit-life has had two or three problems, problems? No not really problems, Worries, no not even worries, well I'm not sure what to call them. Moments of indecision maybe, or better yet moments of uncertainty about what to do next, yes thats it, What Do I Do Next, and Will It Work?

Uncertain about what you ask? Well Brother Amos, and Fannigan, and why a double yarn channel island cast on would unravel, especially if the socks in question were hand washed?.
First up Brother Amos.

Brother Amos, sorry gratuitous colour shot there, I'm so pleased with the way the dye worked on this yarn, but I couldn't get the heel to work out. I am working the reverse gusset and heel flap version, Brenda has provided two options, short row heel and reverse gusset and flap, and heel flaps just fit so much better on my feet. The flap is based on the Widdershins gusset and heel flap, knit from the toe up but seemingly identical to the old fashioned top down sock shaping. Widdershins, I have knit many, many many times in many many sizes (ages 4-ages 53). I started to knit the heel-cup Sunday night, but left the main knitting till last Monday night. But frogged the heel cup not one, not twice but three times, that same night. I could not make it work. I so wanted it to work.

In the pattern for the heel cup, the w&t ends up being performed on a M1 stitch, which is very very odd. I thought it was so odd there would be a 'special' note to that effect written in the pattern for Brother Amos', but there is not. So I went back to Widdershins, which was the inspiration for Bro Amos's heel and compared the two heel cups. I found four differences
  1. Brenda has improved the pattern, all the M1's are on the knit rows, in Widdershins they are on alt knit and purl rows, so while Widdershins is 'lopsided' by one row, Bro Amos is not. Well done Brenda!
  2. Brenda has included very clever tips for knitting up the wraps, that work and these appear invisible when finished. Again well done Brenda!
  3. Widdershins, always has a K1 after a M1, which is missing from Bro. Amos, well there is a S1 before the M1L, but no K1 after the M1R, so I added one (which I have written out in pattern instructions below)
  4. there seems to be a missing M1R on row 6 as at least one other Raveller suggests
    There is also a missing M1 in the 'fixed' chart, but we will let that one go for now.

My altered pattern now reads thus(Note: I've kept Brenda's original numbering even though there are two row 1's)

  • Row 1: K16, Pm, K1, M1L, K18, M1R, K1, yarn fwd to wrap next stitch (note this wrapped stitch is the stitch that is slipped on the next row), PM, Turn
  • Row 1: S1, P19, w&t
  • Row 2: S1, M1l, K14, M1R, K1, w&t
  • Row 3: S1, P15, w&t
  • Row 4: S1, M1L, K10, M1R, K1, w&t
  • Row 5: S1, P11, w&t
  • Row 6: S1, M1L, K6, M1R, K1, w&t
  • Row 7:S1, P7, w&t
  • Row 8: S1, M1L, K2, M1R, K1, w&t
  • then as written from row 9 onwards as in the pattern. This 'amateur' correction seems to work as shown in the photo. I am quite taken by the idea of wrapping M1 stitches so I maybe should have persevered, but as I couldn't 'get my head around them', well maybe another sock, another day?

And Fannigan?
First a little background. Fannigan is my self developed/designed, Fanna inspired cardigan, a short waisted, slightly boxy, cardigan, with a lowered square neckline, and raglan sleeves, knit and shaped entirely in the round. Knit on 2.5mm needles, using a 50:50 silk merino blend. Because Fannigan is not only knit in the round, but shaped entirely in the round it wouldn't sit flat if you laid it out. If I were to cut Fannigan apart on imaginary side seam and under arm seam lines, and cut right down the center front line and the center back line, and flatten it out, well Fannigan would look a little like this. (Breathe now, it was a theoretical cutting, not real cutting, there were no scissors!). Well kind of like this, this is a diagram of half-a-Fannigan.

Notice the front has a steek, then above the cast off for the neckline, there is another steek. That 2nd steek so far has allowed me to continue to shape the front and back raglan sleeve into the body while knitting in the round. I am now at the point where the front raglan shaping has exhausted, meaning I've decreased until the raglan decrease line has intersected with the neckline.

Then I got stuck, well I knew the back neck needed 'raising', to create the fit I wanted. I knew that usually this was done with short rows. I also knew that suddenly switching to short rows could cause problems, mostly as I knit Fannigan totally in the round, and despite my best efforts with the colour change every 3 rows and every third row with two colours, there was a very real danger of my purl tension showing up as markedly different like this (sorry Cindy).

If I continue to work a modified version of the raglan shaping on either side of the neck steek, (ssk on one side, and K2tog on the other side), then I should have the equivalent of short row shaping to raise the back neckline higher than the front. Notice I say should, the past few days I have sketched countless little diagrams, to prove to myself on paper this will work. I have perused the many many pattern making books on the shelf behind my desk at work, Helen Joseph Armstrong, Winifred Aldrich, Natallie Bray, Lori A Knowles, and Martin. These were no help at all. Those sources for making patterns for sewn garments all showed me diagrams indicating that as well as the raglan shaping, I should have additional shaping from the tip of the shoulder to the neck line. When a pattern maker makes a pattern for a raglan sleeved garment, to be cut from either woven or knit fabric, they end up with a dart from the shoulder point to the neck. Elizabeth's raglan formula doesn't use this dart. I think I understand that by using the stretch of the knit fabric together with a slightly looser fit, the dart is not necessary to successful fitting of the EZ raglan. It is about now I admit my 'day job' is teaching pattern making and construction, including tailoring and drape techniques to final year students on a fashion design degree.

That appears to have set me up perfectly to over-think a problem like this.

So, finally I've decided, to continue half the raglan shaping up along the side of the neck steek, which should replicate the same effect as short row shaping the back neck. Every 2nd row, I will end up knitting 2 stitches fewer, so 2 rows at a time, the back neck will grow taller than the front neck raglan shaping line. Let me know if any of you spot any fatal errors in my logic, please?

And the cast on which didn't last, look! The top edge of Pomatomus, where I used a channel island cast on, with the yarn doubled around my thumb, so should be a long lasting and secure knot - but no...., so sometime in the next week or so, I will mend Pomatomus. I just don't understand, she was hand washed, so maybe the pegs damaged the bamboo fibres? But there is 75% wool in there as well. I just don't understand.


fitknit said...

I can so relate to the worries you have. I often start..then stop...will it work, is it right, am I wasting valuable knitting time...will it frog if I need to....

Knitting Linguist said...

I totally understand about the convincing yourself on paper part; while I am not nearly the knitter you are (just looking at your calculations made my head spin!), I have a tendency to work out a new pattern or a pattern change about three different directions in my head, to make sure I come to the same conclusion every time before I start! BTW, I still just adore the color of that red yarn :)

Diantee said...

Hi, I seem to remember in one of her patterns EZ did a short row in the ribbing at the top of a sweater Not sure how this would look though Strange about the cast on What did you use to dye that lovely wool?