The weather is so wonderful in the UK at the moment. I used up one my lovely Japanese fabrics to make a little light summer dress. This tried and tested Butterick pattern has featured on the blog many times and both Esme and I have several versions. Everyone needs a one piece dress and I have never been able to buy one in a shop as my top half is at least one dress size smaller than my bottom half. The Nani Iro fabric is based on a water colour painting and I just love the ethereal colours and strong turquoise detailing. Of course, as ever, I didn’t have enough fabric (1.5m, when 2.20m was specified) The dress is cut with the selvedge running across, rather than down, the fabric; the sleeve facings are cut on the bias, and the facings were made out of what was left. The double gauze is very nice to wear in this hot weather.
Nick and I spent a really great day in Blockley, Gloucestershire. Historically it was a major centre for silk production, although now it is just a very beautiful place with wonderful walks nearby. And horses.
Back to our knitalong!
Where are you now? Sue is miles ahead with both sleeves done, and Mags has got the ribbing done. So a range of achievements. Have you managed to finish your bodice yet? This is where we were aiming to be today. If not, don’t worry. The overall pace is relaxed and I will feature the finished jerseys in two hits – those finishing with me, and those finishing a little later.
But I am going to assume you have done the bodice and you are going to start on the sleeves. If you have already done the EZ colourful yoke sweater I don’t need to tell you what to do. This is the same as before.
I can’t really improve on those instructions so please have a look at the older post. The key idea is to divide your overall number of bodice stitches by 5 to get the quantity of stitches for the wrist, to increase two stitches every fourth row, until you get to your bodice stitch number divided by 3, and then knit to the required length and then stop.
One thing I have found, but it may be me, is that I prefer to increase every sixth row. This makes a slightly more slender sleeve, and you will probably be increasing almost to the end.
Also I am going to say one thing that you may like to think about.
When you get to making the raglan “seams” – actually where you do the decreases, you may find that the jumper goes almost to a point at the neckline, as the sleeve stitches get used up in the decreases more rapidly than the bodice (as they have less stitches). I have been thinking of increasing the sleeves just a bit more than Mrs Zimmermann specifies in order to have marginally more width at the shoulder point. I am not recommending a new percentage – say 50% of the first number rather than 33%. But if you want slightly more than 33% I would say that might improve the look. It is up to you! Also, in passing, I will mention that Mrs Z also includes a saddle shoulder look which I tried once and failed with, but I might be able to tackle that now I am more experienced. Maybe that is the project for another Knitalong – maybe next year. There is a nice one on pointy pointy sticks blog.
Anyway let’s get back to the raglan that we are knitting! I am obviously having problems with my concentration at the moment. Here is a view from the house. This year our swan pair have six cygnets which is a joy to behold.
This week we will try to do both sleeves. With stripes I feel the sleeves should match each other. Personally I don’t mind if they don’t match the bodice line by line, stripe by stripe. If you are short of colours you could do your sleeves in one plain colour. Courtney of @blackyarns has made beautiful sleeves in her main colour (black) but with a band of stripes. It is going to be wonderful. Another idea is to use a block of colour from the wrist to the elbow, as this can look effective, and may help with over-striping! But I am going for very srtipey!
You may remember I am a “magic loop” knitter. If you haven’t tried this before I really recommend it as you can make your narrow tubes (sleeves) with the same circular needles as you used for the wide tube (bodice). Zimmermann never mentions this method so I am not sure she knew it. But we do and it is magic. So let yourself go and do it. I had one go with dpns and found it much harder. But of course use your preferred method to make a seamless sleeve. Let us all know how you are getting on and I will see you next week.