And the gods of knitting have smiled on me… (More on that later)
Basically it is the February Lady as written... but not quite.
1—I used an inverted Magic (Judy’s) Cast On.
I cast on the correct count, over 2 needles, using the solid purple yarn. Then I worked 2 R’s of Purl stitch. Finally, working with 2 needles in my left hand, and with my right hand, and the hand painted yarn, I Purled 1 from back needle, 1 from front, until all the stitches were on single needle
This gave me a tubular edge (in reverse stocking knit) in the solid purple, and put the color change row on the inside.
I let the tubular cast on count for 2 of the 4 rows to be worked before the increases began.
The tubular cast on is stretchy, but it isn’t… One problem I noted with many of the February Lady sweaters I’ve seen is the cast on edge stretches out.
A simple cast on of any sort will work for most sweaters, (and would most definitely work for any baby sweater.) But for a 24 inch long full sized adult sweater, the entire weight of the sweater is hanging from the cast on edge! The tubular cast on is a bit sturdier.. and a bit less likely to stretch out of shape.
2—I cast on 4 extra stitches (No, I didn’t/Yes, I did) and use them in pairs, at either edge to make a 3 stitch reversed (purl) I-cord at the edge.
2 extra stitches, plus the 1 stitch that most knitters slipped (for the slipped chain edge)
Again, a slip stitch edge is fine for a baby sweater, but a full size sweater needs something more to support the front edge. Right now, the edge is a bit short.. but after a few wearings, as it stretches, it will be just fine (unlike many February Lady sweaters that have stretched and sagging fronts.)
3—I cast on 8 fewer stitches (No, I didn’t) I cast on 4 fewer stitches, plus and the 4 stitches “stolen" in step 2!) So the sweater was, at the time I placed the markers, 8 stitches less than needed for my size. I made up for difference at the end.
For the last 4 R’s, I increased EVERY ROW not every other row.
This did 2 things:
2-And it made the armhole shorter (tighter)
A general problems with raglan sweater shaping is it too big for most women (it’s great for women (or men) with broad shoulders. but not so good for woman with narrow shoulders.
By changing the shape of the raglan ‘seam line’ from a simple slope to an upside down gambrelled one, there is less bulk under the arm, and neater fit.
The armhole is a little tight, and it is 2 row shorter than it would be with convention raglan increase. 2 rows don't seem like much, but they make a small but significant change. The Garter is stretchy--it will be fine. (So far, many have complained about too deep armholes, and no one about to shallow ones--2 fewer rows in the armhole should be just about right!)
4—I ran out of hand painted yarn before I finished the yoke and raglan shaping. And switched to the solid purple I was planning to use for lace portion of the sweater.
Since I had (mentally) designated the purple for the lace-I started with lace.
I worked 2 rows of eyelets, (K2tog, YO) –a pattern I know by the name of BEADING (simple beading!) I used the beading hid the final increases.
So I have Two full row of eyelets, not a eyelet increases spaced out over a single row.
5—At the hem of the sleeve and the hem of the body, I added another row of beading, to echo the beading at the top.
6—Remember how I mentioned the gods of knitting smiled on me?
I had a few yards (not quite enough to do a whole row) of the hand painted yarn left.
I used this to for a cast on –and cast on for a pair of semi sleeves—and had just enough. (OK so I have 6 inches tails, (to start/to end) so it’s a no stress amount.) and then switched to the solid purple. This is sort of mirror image of the sweater cast on.
Semi-sleeves are a bit more than wrist warmers; I plan to make them long enough to cover from wrist to elbow (but nothing on the fingers). And to use the same gull lace –and to knit in a tube. They will be enough to cover, for those odd occasions when I might need to, my lower arms—and to extend the use of the sweater. (Why hasn’t everybody done this?)
I started them last night, and this AM frogged almost back to the beginning. I hadn’t put in the row of Beading—and by the time I started the lace, this was annoying me. And I switched to size 7 needles.
I added a single purl between the lace repeats – (35 stitches was too small, 42, too big. 40, (5 lace repeats of 8 stitches each, (7 +1 purl) was better,—but it was still a bit loose. The slightly smaller gauge effected by a smaller needle will make the size just right!
Tomorrow the buttons and view of the sweater being modeled by me, not by a size 8 manikin!