Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The story of a cardigan

Rescued Post - Originally posted Monday, August 29, 2011
On holiday a couple of years ago, I wandered into a yarn shop and fell in love with a colourway of Noro Blossom. I bought up what the shop had in stock, even though it was not enough for a complete garment, then sourced some more from a couple of online sites. I felt with such a variety of colours in the yarn, a mismatch of dyelots would not notice too much.

After researching the available patterns, I did not like any enough, so I looked at pictures of other garments, and finally decided on a sidew
ays knit cardigan with an asymmetric front opening.

Since the yarn is self-striping, I decided I would need to ke
ep the widths of the pattern pieces fairly even to reduce the amount the stripe widths varied. This led to my choosing to design a pattern with separate sleeves, and a separate front and back. To make the garment fit together easily with the stripes, I decided on square shoulders, and for such a garment I felt darts would be unnecessary.

With such a basic garment shape I was able to use a Simple Fit sloper.

So the choices were:

Top Group: Basic
Top Style: Average
Shoulder: Straight
Neck Group: Round
Neck Style: Standard
Darts: None
Sleeve Group: Separate
Sleeve Type: Drop Shoulder
Combo: None
Armhole: Standard
Sleeve Shape: Tapered
Sleeve Length: Long


Looking at the on-screen pattern, my first thought was that the sleeve was too wide at the top, so I changed the armhole depth by selecting the underarm point and nudging it upwards using the up arrow key.


Next I worked on the front opening. Changing the L/R Symmetry to Give/Take, and switching off F/B Symmetry so I didn't affect the back neckline.


I selected the centre front segment and moved it to the right using the right arrow key. When I had moved it so the left neckline was almost straight, I changed the Display to Actual Size and was able to nudge the line using the arrow kes until I completely got rid of any jagged sections of the neckline. (I often change the display scale to get an exact measurement or straight line.)

I then turned L/R symmetry off completely, made sure I only had the right frontĂ­s centre front segment selected, and moved it further over to obtain an overlap for closure. 

My cardigan was now ready for the yarn information. I hand knitted a test swatch on the needles recommended on the ball band, measured it, and recorded the information: 


Next came the conversion to sideways knitting. I generated my Pattern Pixel-Per-Stitch Graphics.

Selecting each front piece in turn, I pressed 'Z' once to rotate them clockwise.I then selected the back piece and pressed 'Z' 3 times to rotate it to the same position as going anticlockwise. The sleeve did not need rotating as I planned to knit it in the conventional direction. 


I now changed from displaying Dimensions to displaying Stitch Counts. 


Because I was planning to knit by hand from the left side, I set the cast on points to be the bottom left of the fronts and the top left of the back, by clicking on the numbers at these points. I also decided to work the sleeves top-down to allow for easy length adjustment, so I set the cast on point at the top right of the sleeve.

The shaping instructions were fairly straightforward. In order to work a moss stitch edge, I needed to manually add instructions to start and finish a moss stitch portion around the neckline as well as the opening edges at the fronts and the bottom edges of all pieces. I also needed to manually add the buttonhole. 

I started knitting with the left front, so I could check my tension, and also weighthe finished piece to determine the stitch count by weight to determine if I had enough yarn.
I finished the cardigan with a large button at the top of the asymmetric opening, and press studs down the rest of the opening to prevent it flapping open.





I recently wrote a guest blog for Cochenille Design Studio detailing how I used the software to design one of my cardigans. They graciously allowed me to repost the blog entry here.

To see the Cochenille Design Studio blog, visit http://cochenilledesignstudio.blogspot.com/

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