Wednesday, July 4

Sweaters

I covet this:From Louisa Harding's Modern Classics.

The softness, the delicacy, the style! Hard to tell from the photo, but there are 4 different lace columns asymmetrically repeated. If I could only knit one more sweater in my entire life, this would be it.

The book has some wonderful designs and some terrible instructions. Charts where the keys don't match the symbols in the chart. Sweater sets where the outer sweater has two inches less ease than the inner one. Complex stitches -- such as p2tog tbl --- that are not described in the glossary, while pages are devoted to describing simple stitches. (Does every book need to explain knit and purl?) And the chart for this sweater is a confusing jumble that would be impossible to follow without previous lace experience. If I make this sweater, I'll use Ann Budd's book of sweater patterns for the details and use the pattern for inspiration.

Having used Ann Budd and Elizabeth Zimmerman's percentage system, I am slowly learning how *I* want a sweater to fit, which is different than either Ann or Liz. For instance, Ann tends to have the sleeve circumference at the armhole at 50% of chest measurement. EZ says to make this 33%. Well, Ann's proportions are part of my problem with Franz's Cambridge Jacket, the arms are too big. EZ's proportions, on the other hand, mean my Fibonacci Sweater's sleeves are turning out to be tighter than I would prefer. I suspect that the differences lie in how much ease one wants or expects in the chest measurement. I have not a clue how to modify a set in sleeve design for more or less ease in the arm, but EZ's percentage system for a raglan can be personalized just fine.

I am still puzzled about cardigan designs. I read over and over that the backs and fronts must match, and sure, in pullovers that's easy to accomplish. But Cardigans have button bands. Therefore, I would assume that designers would account for the width of the button band and make the fronts a wee bit narrower than 1/2 the back. That's not the case though. In almost all patterns I have read, each front gets exactly half the number of stitches cast on for the back. Why?

So far, the sweater on the left, Diamond Mesh from Knitter's Magazine, Summer 2007, is the only exception I have found. The back has six more stitches than the sum of the fronts. (I like this sweater a lot.)

Wait. One more exception. That red sweater above I covet? It has the traditional button band knit on sideways, 6 rows worth. But the fronts added together have two more stitches than the back.

2 comments:

kmkat said...

Maybe the extra stitches in the front are for boobage? Although 2 - 6 extra stitches does not much boobage allow for.

Dorothy said...

It's not boobage, Ann Budd's book of Sweater Patterns is unisex. And a friend who sews says that you really need darts and shaping for boobage. Just making the fronts wider doesn't do it.