Monday, July 07, 2008

Finishing Tutorial

I thought I would show you in depth how I constructed the Vera Jacket. Like the Papyrus lace cardigan, the collar extends from the front and wraps around the back. I did not want this sweater to stretch out like that sweater, so I knit it with side seams to give it structure. I forgot, that in a striped sweater, this results in 3x the ends to weave in (x is a much larger number than a single color sweater). I wove the ends in as I went along to spare myself the grief of weaving in all of them at the end. (Vivian Hoxbro nicely illustrates the weaving technique in Domino Knitting.)

I short-rowed the shoulders and then performed a three needle bind off across the entire shoulder/back neck using a crochet hook for the third needle. While binding off the back neck, I stuck the crochet hook through both the stitch being bound off and a loop of the back extension. No need to sew in the back neck extension! No extra bulk!

I didn't have enough hands to take a picture to illustrate the technique. But Mark was around to take a picture of the bind off of the front edging.

I agree with Maggie Righetti in Knitting in Plain English, "buttonholes are bastards!" But this button loop wasn't half bad. I will definitely use this technique again. If you have ever used Mags Kandis' patterns, you will know they are rather terse. They don't even have schematics.

I was supposed to bind off till the marker, cast on 8 stitches, turn, bind off the 8 stitches I just cast on, bind off 3 edging stitches, then attach the end of the loop while binding off the next stitch. Is that clear?

I was supposed to start the button loops at rows 41, 61, 81 (or 61,81,101 because I added 2 stripes to lengthen the sweater). But, in a 10 row stripe with 7 garter stitches per stripe, it looked more balanced to start 2 stitches into the stripe. 2+3+2=7.

There are several ways to cast on stitches with only one yarn end. After experimenting with the backward loop and the knitted on cast on, I liked the look of the crochet cast on best. The astute observer will notice that this is really a crochet chain provisional cast on, nicely illustrated in Lucy Neatby's Spun Yarn #13.

I cast off with the crochet hook until the start of the button loop, then I bring a spare knitting needle up, perpendicular to the band with the working yarn BEHIND the needle. Chain one. Throw the yarn back behind the needle. Repeat for a total of 8 stitches.

Now chain stitch into each stitch on the spare needle (that's a bind off). The working yarn is back at the base of the chain with one end dangling. The single thread that holds the chain to the front band looks lonely. Chain one into the bar between the last stitch you bound off before forming the loop and the next stitch (yet to be bound off). That will make the loop more secure. Bind off 3 more front band stitches. When you bind off the next band stitch, put the crochet hook through the stitch, then the middle of free end of the chain, yarn over, and pull through.

Here's how it looks from the inside. Pretty neat, huh?

Read more about the Vera Jacket in What I did last week and Lemonade.

More details:
  • 3 balls of deep blue and 2.5 balls of turquoise Cotton Ease (100 g balls).
  • Vera Cardigan from Mags Kandis' In Living Color.
  • Size 7 needles
  • Body knitted combination style
  • Sleeves knit in the round
  • Size S for a 40" sweater.
  • Added 2 stripes or 20 rows.
  • Added waist shaping.

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