Progress Report & Detailed Explication: Jay’s Sweater
February 10, 2012 § 3 Comments
After putting in another 5 hours on Jay’s sweater, and knitting a pretty mindless rectangle, I got up to the underarms.
All the arrows, you can see, are pointing to tiny irregularities that occur at regular intervals up along the garter stitch borders. These irregularities are wraps. The amount of vertical space (known as row gauge, and measured in rows per inch) that stockinette stitch (the stitch the body’s done in: every stitch a knit stitch) and garter stitch (the stitch the front borders are done in: alternating rows of knit and purl) take up are different. Garter stitch, since it moves more laterally and frontwards/backwards, takes up less vertical space. Therefore, if the two are going to coexist side-by-side, you need to work an extra row or two of garter stitch every now and again. Turns out, every 6th row, you turn the work, and add a short little 7th and 8th row to each border– the irregularities, the wraps, are the evidence left over from executing that turn (the move itself is called wrap and turn, and is used for working short rows. Also, there are lots of different ways to work a short row.).
Okay, so, another 5 hours, and we’ve got both the right and left fronts, and the back completed. The fronts involve putting stitches for the underarms on hold (white yarn), decreasing for the armscye and the opening of the neckline (arrows again), and working increases on both sides of the garter stitch borders to create a gentle shawl collar.
So, what we’ve got, from the front, looks like this:
The two sides of the collar meet at the back of the neck and are grafted together. Here’s the back of the neck. The seam’s circled:
The back, of course, is sewed to the right front and the left front. These seams, usually situated at the tops of the shoulders, are, in this design, placed a few inches over the curve of the shoulder– it’s a very thoughtful touch, and looks very clean and professional (Bravo, Alexis!).
After that, the body’s done (until it’s time to return for finishing work: zippers and pockets). Time for sleeves.
Okay, I’ve put the sleeve on hold so I can take this photo, because this is important. So, basically, thus far, I’ve knitted a vest. To put sleeves on it could be as simple as picking up the stitches around each armscye and knitting around and around. However, let’s do one better, and think about sleeves (and arms). Because the arms’ natural position is by one’s sides, less material– less fabric– is needed at the underarm than at the top of the arm. Hence this, the short-row sleeve cap. Before working the spiraling round-and-round of the sleeve, first you work a sleeve cap back-and-forth, using short rows. You begin working the stitches at the top of the arm, and, with each pass back and forth, add one stitch on either the right or left side of those stitches– you’re working a short-row that gets longer by 1 st with each iteration. Eventually, all the stitches have been subsumed, the center/top of the sleeve is longer than the sides/bottom, and you switch to working the sleeve in the round (that’s the part I’m about to start on).