Archive for September 2007

Amazing, isn’t it? You post one day and next thing you know, it’s been 2 weeks.

Oona’s sweater isn’t done; Muswell is, but while he’s been keeping me company at my desk, he has yet to sit for a photo session. I’ve been working for the past while on 2 secret knitting projects and while I like one of them, I just want to knit something for myself… really, really badly.

So, Ive been fantasizing about an oversize lace scarf, something very light that I could wrap around my neck like so many of The Sartorialist’s subjects. I’d also like to make a Shetland square, but it would only be for entertainment since I never wear shawls. At the end of the day, it’ll probably remain a designer’s fantasy – if I have a week or two between projects, I should really just finish Oona’s sweater. One can always dream.

Back to reality: how many of you will be attending Stitches East in Baltimore? I’ll be signing books on Saturday at 2pm and will be wandering around all weekend. Please come up and say hi!

One of my favorite things about Ravelry is the ability to see projects from books – I’ve been known to hesitate before purchasing a book because I didn’t know whether I’d like the projects enough to knit at least one (never mind that I rarely have time to knit for leisure; I buy new books regardless). So, I’ve uploaded photographs from my book(!) to it.
Not everyone’s on Ravelry, though. So for those who aren’t, here’s a gallery of Knitting Classic Style‘s first chapter, Fashion Mavens. And click on the thumbnails to check out my newly installed WP toy…

Reynolds SaucyLana Gatto VIPMuench TessinAdrienne Vittadini CeliaAdrienne Vittadini AllegraGrignasco CashmereReynolds Odyssey

Galleries for the other chapters will follow… soon. Really. (Edited to add: all done! Check out the sidebar for a full preview)

I considered writing a full post containing all my notes for Silver streak, but decided to split it up – I’m a slow writer with a full schedule and this might be easier to navigate. Remember, comments and questions are always welcome.

Most of the time, length alterations are the easiest things to change about a pattern, particularly in the case of body length, as only rudimentary subtraction is needed. For example, take the back of ‘Silver Streak’ (figure A.): if you only need to take off a couple of inches, you’d work 1.5” instead of 3.5” before beginning to decrease. It’s a little more complicated to remove something like 6”, but barely – just figure out how many stitches should be there and cast on accordingly.

In this case, 83 sts were cast on for the smallest size and were worked even for 3.5”. Since the gauge is 6 rows to the inch, the first decrease row of the pattern falls on row 21. Subsequent decreases follow on every 14th row, and will therefore fall on rows 35, 49, 63, 77 and 91. Since only 36 rows would need to be deducted for the new length, all you’d need to do is cast 4 fewer sts and work for 2.25” (about 13-14 rows) instead of 3.5”.

The front’s a different story – increases are worked from hem to neckline, as can be seen in the smallest size’s chart at the top of this post.

In order to alter the length of this piece (the original schematic with the patterned section shaded in blue is shown in figure B.), there are two choices: One, you could calculate how many increases should be where the new hem will sit and cast on accordingly as for the back. Two, you could cast on as in the pattern but increase more often.

Both have advantages and disadvantages: the former’s front hem will be comprised of two different angles, but will provide more coverage since the front edges do not sit at a steeper angle than the original cardigan (fig D.; no, they’re not in order);

the latter’s hem will be pretty much straight, but might recall a cutaway jacket due to the more acute angle (figure C.).

In any case, calculating regularly spaced increases calls for the same calculations needed to recalculate a sleeve’s length or how to distribute increases (or decreases) evenly across a row. I’ll go on in detail about how to go about it in Part Two another day, but the impatient can google ‘magic formula knit’ to find out more.