All Roads Lead to Rome
May 3, 2011 § 8 Comments
‘Western Union,’ echoed Miss Sharples, inscribing on her tablets something that resembled an impressionistic sketch of pneumonia germ…'”Happy Birthday”,’ murmured Miss Sharples, pencilling in two squiggles and a streptococcus. Spring Fever, P.G. Wodehouse
This weird looking piece of knitting is making me inordinately happy. I recently attempted Barbara G. Walker’s simultaneous set in sleeves from the genius Knitting From the Top. While I love the idea of this method, I was frustrated with the results.
Walker’s method involves casting on for the top back, working a couple of inches of back, picking up stitches for the front shoulders along the shoulder edge of the first piece (or working from a provisional cast on), and working down the fronts a couple inches to match the back. Sleeve caps are then created by working across a front, picking up stitches in the side of the work for one sleeve cap, working across the back, picking up stitches for the second sleeve cap, and working the remaining front section. In subsequent rows, the sleeve cap gains stitches raglan-style with sleeve-side only increases on alternate rows.
I loved watching the set in sleeve caps grow with the yoke, but I found myself frustrated with the little bumps in the fabric at the corners at which the knitting moves perpendicularly to the picked up sleeve cap top stitches. I also found myself wishing for lovelier smoother rounder caps.
A few weeks back I decided to experiment a little with the method, inspired by Jared Flood’s Vogue Knitting article on seamless set-in sleeves from the bottom up, and this little patch of knitting is what sprang into being. It is worked using magic loop – imagine a toe-up sock with one side slashed open, and Median or Row Below increases, which conveniently look just like a seam. My next step is to insert this into an actual sweater – I will work both shoulders first as mirror images to the bottom of the back neck shaping and then join them with some cast on stitches equal in width to the back neck.
I’m finishing my annual spring cardi – photos soon – this time in the lovely Sanguine Gryphon Bugga in Tomato Frog (a loud “transvestite-lipstick” red as the SG website describes it) and then it’s on to my actual sweater prototype, so more soon! If all goes well, I’ll post a tutorial.