Friday, April 27, 2007

Go ask Alice

I got scared today. I was afraid my top would resemble a MD warshrag, but it DOESN'T! On the Elann chatside, I asked how to make this boxy thing fit better. Alice Trueman gave me some good ideas. She said-

Bets, try the following. Knit the front longer than the back - about 2" for a C or D cup, less for A or B. Mark the bust point on the front panel - same place both sides. On the side panel, decrease (K2tog or SSK) just below this point on right side rows (or all rows if need be) to reduce to the same number of stitches as the back side panel from hem to shoulder.

Measure around your arm/shoulder at the point on your body that the panel reaches to. Add a little ease. Convert this measurement into stitches. Put a marker at each end of these stitches.

Start the sleeve decreases within these stitches. When you get beyond desired body width, continue on the sleeve stitches. At the same time start short rows from the armhole downwards to bring in the waist a bit. You may find it easier to transfer the sleeve stitches to a separate needle and knit the sleeves. Then go back to the body stitches and knit into the ends of the sleeve rows as you come to them - this forms a little gusset so that you can move without excess bulk. Depending upon length, you may need to add some short rows to provide hip room. Remember that all your shaping except the shoulders is in the side panels.

Holy crap~just throw ALL the how-to books away, and ask Alice.

So I added an extra four rows to the front. I expected to have more stitches to pick up and knit on the front edges , but accidentally saved myself the heartache, because I did them on an interior square. The wide swath with no garter ridge is where those extra rows are. When I compared row counts front to back, counting garter ridges, I had the same number, even though one had an extra four rows built in. No reductions were needed at the sides, but the four interior rows gave me length and depth where I wanted it.

On the side panels, I was worried because it looked kind of dishraggy at the join...I followed directions, but it's not the prettiest thing ever. That doesn't show when it's on-the graphic nature of the fronts carries it. I added short rows at the hem, to allow a little hip room. I also worked in a few purl rows so that it matches the main pattern of the top.

On the sleeves, I did gusset the seams a little (got rid of six stitches total, then picked two up when I switched to working in the round. I started working short rows early on, so that it resembles a normal set-in sleeve. I was scared that my sleeves wouldn't match-that is a HUGE pet peeve of mine with self-patterning yarns, but in all honesty, no one is gonna even be looking at my sleeves.

I tried it on after I finished the first side. I am totally happy with this. Hope I can duplicate all this on the second side.


Suzann said...

Betsy I don't understand a word of this, but I expect it will be clearer when I actually start knitting. I am being positive :-} Yours looks beautiful. I love the colors. I am sure you will not have the MD warshrag look. Is it very stretchy?

junior_goddess said...

Yes, because it's all on the bias, Suzann, and that makes it really stretchy. The first thing you should do when you make this is measure a top with the fit you want. That will help a lot!

Anonymous said...

I didn't understand it either--but that is often the case nowadays. It looks fantastic and the yarn is perfect for the design. Looking forward to the finished object. happy knittin! kelly

Suzann said...

Good idea Bets, since everything I make tends to be big enough for me and a really close friend.
I really want this top.

Karin said...

Hi Bets, I'm back in the land of the living (knitting?) love the yarn you've chosen for this project, I'm sure it will look great when done. I think I need a summer sweater or tee on the needles, one more sock and I may have to fall upon my needles!

benne said...

Hey Bets, your top looks terrific. Alice is an unending source of knitting knowledge. I don't quite understand all of the instructions either. Maybe you have to be knitting it. I really like the way the colors are working out. You and Suzann need to get together in your Heartbeats. :-} I tried to post to you last night and this morning but blogger wasn't speaking to me. ;-}