Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Back Up—and Band On.

Grafted up that is... Here it is before I reworked the stitches to get perfect tension—not bad but now, looking even better. (that was yesteday—mid afternoon!)The graft is in the greenish kahki color stripe--about center back if you want to inspect!

Then the front got finished up--I had plenty of yarn in skeins 5 and 6 to work a few rows (decreasing at top for the neck and at the bottom for some matching shaping) and then some.

After that, stitches pick up for ribbed band—that was dinner time.

After dinner, rounds and rounds of ribbing. Used up skein 5 and then skein 6. Now there is not enough left of skein 6 to finish a round. The ribbing is about 2 inches. Nice, but not near enough.

There are still rounds and rounds of ribbing to go!

I think its going to need at least 2 more inches of ribbing. But I am kidding myself--I don't think I will be happy with less than 5.

But it looks like a shrug! It's very rapidly nearing completion. And I love it more every round! (at this point, the needles restrict the front/opening so much, the shrug won't even fit on my child sized dress form! So its a bit hard to see the real shape.)

I have taken some notes—and have a a recipe—not a pattern. The thing is, it's a successful design because its been designed to suite (and fit) me.

--To start –knit a swatch to find a gauge you like. I ended up using size 8 (5mm) needles for the whole thing. (not the size 9/5.5 suggested by the yarn.)

Cast on for the cuff--(for me, that was 40 stitches) and knit a deep cuff (for me, 8 inches)
change to stocking knit, and in the last round of the ribbing (to hide) increase from 40 to 48 (8 increases/space 5 stitches apart)
On the next round find the center and increase 1 more time (49)

For the first 12 rounds, increases at the rate of 2 increases for 2 R's (for rounds or row) then 1R plain. The increases are either side of the Beginning of round.

At the same time begin a lace pattern on the upper arm (centered on the last (49th ) stitch
I did a simple V lace—but any symmetrical lace pattern would work—the extra odd stitch is almost a requirement for a symmetrical lace (and means there are no K2tog's or SSK that cross from needle to needle (the whole think has been worked on 2 circ's)

After R2, change the increase to Every Other Round.

Knit till desired length (I measured from top of my shoulder to middle of my hand –23 inches)
I didn't do the math—except for some rough figuring—but this worked out fine When I had 23 inche in length, my round was about 34 inches around (or flattened, about 17 inches per side)
This worked perfectly for me—since I am long waisted, and my nape of neck to waist measurement is 18 inches! But you might go for shorter sleeves (and less depth) or you might want to change the increases (making more for a deep back on the shrug,(if you are taller, or even more long waisted) or fewer for a shorter back (if you are shorter or short waisted)

Cast on a few stitches at BoR—use a simple cast on —turn work and begin to knit flat.
At the end of the first ROW, pick up some stitches (I cast on 4) from the loose loopy edge of the cast on.
For the next 3 inches, I worked flat. From back hem to shoulder (top) and then back down to front hem.

Then I divided the work and only worked the back—
First a few decreaces for a bit of back neck shaping (2 sets of 2 decreases on each side of the neck)
And I added 2 short rows at the neck edge, and 4 short rows at the hem edge (since the sleeve—which looks like it has a straight edge—is actually curved (think of the a paren! ( ) when the sleeves gets opened (as you put your arm into the sleeve!)

so while the flat knitting looks like this: | On, the knitting fits like this: ) or the this: (
so the back actually lookes like )_|_(
--see how you'd need some short rows at the neck, and even more at the hem?
When the back is wide enough—and here is where custom fitting comes in!--graft the 2 edges together.

The front was decreased almost evenly--that is 3 decreases every row, on both the neck edge and on the hem edge making the ) ( curves of the front even more rounded.)

Finishing? Pick up stitches all round the perimmeter, and work a edging in ribbing.

Yardage ? Depends a lot on gauge and other factors—but my shrug is coming in at 1200 or so yards--or about a standard sweaters worth of yarn.

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