Wednesday, June 21, 2006

denim dress

no. i'm not knitting a dress... although, it feels like i am sometimes! the pre-shrinkage raspy body measures approximately 32". It looks even longer when you straighten out the curling edge at the bottom. check it out, next to my raglan prototype:

Raspy Pre-Washed Torso (Looong)

and another thing - it already weighs a ton. the fabric lightens up a little after washing, but i forgot how much heavier denim is than say... dk wool. nonetheless, i'm having fun with it. the body is basically done, although there is still some shaping to do for the front neck (covered in above photo). as it turns out, i'm modifying raspy in pretty much every way. making things little more complicated for myself, but i think the results will definitely be more "tailor-made." i'll be sure to detail all the mods in a finished post.

i've started the sleeves - as with the body, i'm just knitting them in the round until the raglan shaping - there i'll flatten them out (again, like the body). I had considered doing the whole thing seamlessly (joining the sleeves and body in the round at the armholes), but i really didn't want to lose the reverse raglan seams as a design element. I like those very much. so this method is the best way for me to have both cool armhole seams and work mostly in the round.

Raspy Sleeve Beginning
sleeve sprout

now, the whole "20%" shrinkage thing really has me on edge. i know i thoroughly swatched. and washed. and very thoroughly calculated. blah blah blah. but no matter how sure i am of the true percentage of shrink, the fact that my sweater currently measures 32" continues to make me uneasy. since sleeve length is important to making or breaking a sweater of this style (rolled cuff), i knew i needed to safeguard myself from possible shrinkage discrepancies, even slight ones could really ruin this whole thing for the perfectionist inside me. since the sleeve is going to be knit at 26.5" (yes i have long skinny arms... i always have to lengthen sleeves from a pattern, even male patterns) and should shrink to 21.5" (1" accounted for the rolling of the cuff) i'm just too nervous about having an extra inch and never wearing it. knitting from the cuff up just seemed like an invitation for disaster. so i've decided to knit top down, this way, if its too long, i'll just tear out a bit and re-bind off. more than that, its a relief not to be stressing through the duration of the knitting.

i provisionally cast on about 5 rows beneath the raglan armhole shaping and knit about 3 inches into the shoulder decreases. slipped that onto scrap yarn to deal with later (i'm doing some more intricate neck shaping and i'm going to wait till all pieces are complete to get perfect symmetry up there). I then picked up the provisional stitches and started working downward from shoulder to cuff. i'm not sure why i included the picture above - it definitely does not illustrate any of these things more clearly.

other than the obvious safety reasons of more accurate length with a top down sleeve, it also means all my shaping will be done by decreasing, rather than increasing. i'll take decreasing over increasing any day! decrases are much cleaner and more consistent and are definitely preferrable in my book.

now, i know what you're thinking: what about Jarrett? right? Jarret, weren't you knitting that really great tweedy jacket from that vintage rowan book? wasn't there some problem with a sleeve cap something or other?

yeah.................... well

i took about a week vacation from Jarrett, which was a very smart idea. i've spent the last week researching sleeve cap anatomy/construction and filling in all those unsightly holes in my design knowledge... while its frustrating to deal with the problem of possibly reknitting the cap, i really do feel like i'm once again master of my domain. i have strategic plans for getting Jarrett back on track, now all I need to do is sit down and actually do it. so you should be seeing some progress soon, if i can pull myself away from the denim. wool is just a little less desirable than cotton in the humidity. but only a little. wool is still my number one. always.
to keep you satiated: Jarrett has grown a collar since the last viewing:

Jarret Unfinished (with Collar)
lovin' that tubular bind off...

i shall execute my sleeve solution this weekend. i swear.


Post a Comment

Back to top!