Sunday 13 February 2011

Not particularly helpful

Comparing Russian sweaters
Originally uploaded by Asplund
As I mentioned in my previous post, I prefer writing to talking. A good example of the disadvantage of speaking is when I was asked in the interview how I match back and front pieces to make a pattern continue across the shoulder join.

I said something like "um, well, it's about planning... put the pattern in the centre of both back and front sections... and then you try not to make mistakes..." How useful is that?

In this post I'm going to try to explain it better. (More vaguely would hardly be possible!) In the photo you can see two shoulder joins with the same pattern. I knitted the red version in the early 1990s, when I didn't dare to make modifications - and didn't have the skills either. The pattern is from Uuve Snidare's book "Fiskartröjor" (fishermen's sweaters), which is probably the most important one of my knitting books. In August I was lucky enough to get to meet Uuve Snidare at a knitting camp and thank her personally!

Even though I was (and still am) proud of knitting that sweater at 18, there are a few things about it that have annoyed me slightly since I finished it. A couple of years ago I knitted a new russet brown version, in which I incorporated some of the things I've learnt since then. I might write posts about all of them, but blending patterns across shoulder joins will do for today.

Placing the pattern so that the centre of a pattern repeat is in the centre of both back and front is crucial. It isn't in the red sweater, which shows when you look at the shoulder join. There is no row where I could have ended to get the lines to carry across the join smoothly.

The second crucial thing is ending at the (horizontal) centre of the pattern repeat, like in the russet brown sweater. The join is a three-needle bind-off: you turn the sweater inside-out and cast off the back and front sections together. The same thing goes for knit-purl patterns, like in this sweater (photo rather blurred, I'm afraid).

"Lerwick" sweater
You don't have to end in the middle of a repeat, though: in this case I ended after a whole repeat. (This design is also from Uuve Snidare's book.) I guess it depends on the pattern. The tricky thing is figuring out how many repeats you will have to make to get them to blend and get the length you want.


Anonymous said...

I have found using a spread sheet helps immensely... I used to use graph paper but only for a small repeat and hope that I did my math correctly... Now I chart the whole sweater to make sure it lines up the way I want it to - well, for baby sweaters ;) I hope this will work with the next adult sweater I plan to take on (sometime please?)
Thanks for the pictures! Always worth 1000 words!

Carolina said...

I'm not into spread sheets—and frankly not good at planning a sweater all out in advance. What I did on my Obsession sweater and with the Maya Dreams sweater is knit until I'm getting close to the correct length of the armhole. Then I see where I can end to make a good pattern match. The pattern has 72 rows I believe and there are a few places where it looks good mirrored. (It helps to be a bit lucky too, with this method.) Then I adjust the way I decrease the sleeves from the armhole. For example, if I need to make an excessively deep armhole, I decrease in the underarm much faster than if I make a smaller armhole. I guess this isn't much of a "method" but it's been working OK.

ylva said...

Nu blev jag lite klokare men den dagen jag beslutar att sticka detta konstverk , då kommer jag att be om en genomgång till;-)

ps. det blir ju så fantastiskt mycket bättre finish om mönstret stämmer ds.

Annika Odelstav said...

Jag beundrar verkligen din monteringsteknik! Snyggt stickat hjälper inte om inte monteringen också är fin! Just nu försöker jag lära mig att klippa i stickat och försöker hitta bra beskrivningar på steekar och sånt, har du möjligen någon bra bok att rekommendera så skulle jag bli vansinnigt tacksam. Din blogg är en sann inspirationskälla för mig!

KiwiJames said...

It's the extra detailing like this that turn a wonderful garment into a spectacular garment.

I am very envious that you have kept all these beautiful garments you have knitted over the years... I made the mistake of gifting many of mine

But then again gifting things to friends who love and appreciate the garment can't really be a mistake... I call it sharing the love.

Anonymous said...

Awesome knit and the pattern!

Anonymous said...

I tend to work things out on paper too - but then there's often a difference between the plan and the reality! Your photos are very inspirational. I think it's worth taking the time to make things be as good as we can make them.