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2/30: Taking shape


detail of a handknit sweater in progress, dark blue violet in color, showing the collar, button-band and shoulder increases




I've reclaimed the yarn that I bought originally to make the impossible cardigan, and am making a possible cardigan instead. The new pattern is called Romy by German designer Ankestrick.

It's challenging enough to stay interesting, but not so difficult that I can't listen to a book while I work. And--bonus!--it's kind of cute.

What's more, it uses one of the coolest new techniques ever to come out of the creative ferment that is Ravelry: Susie Meyer's Contiguous. Contiguous is a shoulder shaping method that lets you knit a top-down, one-piece, completely seamless sweater with what looks like tailored, set-in sleeves.

And it is so cool! You start at the top of the collar:

the first phase of a top-down cardigan, showing the completed collar and the start of complex shaping
Collar, neck shaping and shoulder seams completed, and you can see the start of the sleeve caps between the markers


...and it's like watching a completed sweater rise up out of a pool of yarn, one row at a time. Like the Liquid Metal man in Terminator 2!

screenshot from Terminator 2 showing the metal man rising out of the linoleum floor and about to kill the security guard
Run, security guard, run!


...only soft and non-murderous.

The dark blue-violet cardigan in progress, showing shoulder and sleeve shaping
Here it comes!


The shoulder cap and armhole "seam" are created with increases. You do things like short-row neck shaping, buttonholes, and front/back shaping all at the same time--so there's definitely a row-by-row spreadsheet involved, unless your sense of knitting topology is way clearer than mine.

(If anyone's interested, I'd be happy to share my spreadsheet--the pattern itself is condensed to the point of head-scratching, to be honest.)

detail of shaping on the blue-violet cardigan in progress


I left off this evening at the point where the sleeves diverge from the body.

the blue violet cardigan with shoulder and bust area completed


From here, I'll knit the rest of the body, then go back and pick up live stitches and knit the sleeves in the round from the upper arm down to the wrist.

And then only thing left to do will be to sew on buttons and weave in the last yarn end.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
cattraine
Jun. 2nd, 2013 07:24 am (UTC)
Beautiful lovie!
emeraldsedai
Jun. 2nd, 2013 06:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm so delighted to have found the sweet spot for my knitting skills--the project is going so smoothly as a result. Amazing what not-struggling can do for the mood and productivity.
helenajust
Jun. 2nd, 2013 07:47 am (UTC)
This looks impressive! I hate sewing up so much that I find myself reluctant to finish knitting the last piece in a pattern because I know that my beautiful knitting is going to be spoiled by my useless sewing. (I can sew material perfectly well; I just can't seem to sew two pieces of knitting together.)

I usually avoid complicated patterns because then I can't follow my book at the same time, but I think it might be worth it in this case. And presumably once you get to the body it's pretty straightforward from then on.
emeraldsedai
Jun. 2nd, 2013 07:06 pm (UTC)
It does look impressive! And it is--the impressiveness is mostly built into the pattern and techniques. The most impressive thing I've done here is to break the highly-condensed five-page pattern out into a row-by-row list of instructions.

Then I use County Plus, a knitting row-counter app, on my phone to keep track of which row I'm on. It's basically a 200+ row pattern with no repeats.

I've had to turn off my audiobooks on rows where things change, but the beauty of one-piece knitting is that the rows quickly get very big, so there are long periods where I can turn the book back on and just knit or purl away mindlessly.

I am 100% with you on the seam-sewing. I first learned to knit in the mid-century "sewing pattern" style, which made perfect sense to me since I learned to sew first. The discovery that knitting could be done in one piece, shaping as you go, was like a bolt of lightning! Wow, like magic! Of course it soon became clear that "real" knitting had always been done this way, and that the Vogue Knitting style was mostly an intrusion of haute couture into traditional craft.

This current project, strangely enough, is my first attempt at a real one-piece, top-down cardigan. It's like I've finally arrived at real knitting.
starfishchick
Jun. 2nd, 2013 02:13 pm (UTC)
Wow, that is fabulous!! I'm still knitting scarves - I tried a hat and failed miserably ao it's still scarves for me for now. Oh, and dishcloths.
emeraldsedai
Jun. 2nd, 2013 07:09 pm (UTC)
I just know there's a hat pattern out there that will let you have a success. And meanwhile, scarves for the win! To break out of my terrible-failure knitting slump, I went back to scarves, and now I have two gorgeous pieces that make me eager for winter's return so I can show them off in public.
starfishchick
Jun. 3rd, 2013 03:41 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid to fail, so I keep doing Very Easy Things. I need to figure out the next steps that are both challenging and do-able.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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