Over the weekend, I finished designing Matt’s pullover and cast on! Woo ha! Will he get a sweater for Christmas this year? Stay tuned!
Here’s my vision – saddle shoulders, modified drop sleeves, minimal ribbing on the cast-on edges to stop the curl, knit flat, and seamed. Matt OK-ed a fleece pullover as a model garment (Eddie Bauer has an “XLT” size that fits him pretty well). It’s sufficiently wide and long in the body and sleeve, but the style is more of a set-in sleeve than drop shoulder. Eh, it’s close enough. I muddled with a tape measure, design software, and Ann Budd’s book to come up with the exact silhouette.
I always agonize a little when designing because no one’s ideal sweater really matches a standard schematic. Matt is long in the torso, he’s got a tummy, and his arms go from here to WAY WAY OUT THERE. (We compared appendages long ago and found that his arm is longer than my leg! ) Just for fun, I put 1 of my sweaters over his model garment.
Ha. Ha ha. Single ladies, think about what you’re signing up for when you marry big-n-tall. Especially if he likes handknit clothing.
I took measurements from the mondo swatch – I noted the width of each stitch pattern and the width of the spacers (2 purl stitches between motifs), arranged the motifs to my liking, and calculated how wide it would be with just the motifs. It turned out to be ~8 inches narrower than the target dimension, so I determined the number of filler stitches required to bring it up to the correct width.
It was just the maths. No sweat. I was more worried about measuring inaccurately.
Nothing left to do but cast on – held my breath, dove in. I knit 4 rows of mostly 2×2 rib and began the pattern knitting. Some random notes in list form because WE LOVE LISTS:
1) Binding hems bother me, and I always try different cast on techniques to get around that problem. This time, I opted for a crochet cast on (exactly the same as the unzipping provisional cast on that you do directly onto the needle) and used a hook that was 1.5 mm larger than the needle size. In hindsight, I think I should have used the same size hook, but we’re talking galloping horse precision here, I think it’s not worth it to rip and redo.
2) I’m not sure if I like the look of mini-rib at the bottom of the sweater. Maybe an applied I-cord would have been better. Again, not going to go back.
3) Although I knit the entire mondo swatch without a cable needle, I think I was pushing the limits with the 7-st crossings. I’m sacrificing principle for pragmatism and am using the needle for the less stable crosses.
4) It takes me about 15 to 20 minutes to do 2 rows, depending on the complexity of the row.
5) I cannot memorize a 28-row cable.
Preliminary results – looks like I measured correctly.