Sunday, January 13, 2008

Garter Stitch Does Go On...

It seemed to take an awfully long time to get through the garter stitch yoke on the Rose Leaves Tunic. I put a good movie on and got to it on Saturday night, but still didn't finish it up till late Sunday. Once over the garter hump, it has been smooth sailing down the sleeve. I'm just beginning chart B.

Black yarn does not make for exciting pictures. Let me explain a little about what we are seeing here. On the far left hand side, the straight grey bit is a provisional cast on. The yoke is knit in garter stitch, sideways. The grey squiggley bit in the center is the left side of the neck, being held on waste yarn. You shape it with short rows. The other side of the neck requires you to cast on stitches. At the far right we have a lace sleeve starting out.

Hmm... the close up is not much help. You can see the phony seam going horizontally in the middle of the picture. I really like the way it adds structure to the otherwise floppy garter stitch created by knitting so loosely.

I've decided on a rather major modification for my tunic. The original design calls for a drop shoulder with a finished circumference of 46". I need more width than that, given my 48" chest. So I decided on a set-in sleeve. I referred to Barbara Walker's Knitting from the Top to figure out what to do.

Instead of starting the sleeve in the round right after the main yoke was knit, I knit back and forth for about 3". Then I joined the sleeve in the round. When I pick up the body stitches, I will do so around the yoke, and along the bottom of the sleeves. I've left myself plenty of wiggle room, but if I've got too much ease, I can sew up the sleeve seam a bit highter, and/or pick up fewer stitches.

Oh, one other mod. The sleeves as written are 15" around. My upper arm is bigger than this, so I added some extra stitches and I'm knitting them in stockinette on the underside. I've just finished decreasing them away as I'm about at the elbow I think.

I'm not a methodical knitter. Instead, I fly by the seat of my pants. Here's hoping I don't crash.

Hmm... Maybe I should put that sleeve on a circular needle and try the thing on.

Ha! No sooner typed than done. Everything is going according to plan.


  1. Looks pretty good for being "off the cuff"!

  2. So that's what a provisional cast on is!

  3. Yes! I love it when a plan comes together.