I’ve decided to take on a more measured, thoughtful plan for this blog (and life in general!). Specifically, to think and prepare more for each thing I make and how I should change bits to suit me more. And also document how I go about planning things for others to see and maybe take inspiration from (if anyone knows other blogs that do this I would be delighted to hear about them 🙂 )
The pattern I’m talking about today is Fell (Ravelry link), also available here (Rowan website). I’m using a dark red yarn from Brooklyn Tweed (Quarry, I had to buy it from a Canadian website and get it shipped over here to the UK).
First step is a gauge swatch. I get 12 stitches to 4 inches (4.5mm needles), the pattern calls for 14 stitches. I like the fabric I have, so I’ll reduce the numbers to make it work. The size I want is the smallest, so I can’t just sneakily knit the next size down. The last page of the pattern has blocking measurements, and I like the length of the sleeve, but the body seems a bit long. I’m doing the sleeve first for a number of reasons, and there’s some interesting stuff going on with the body anyway.
The next step is to have a look at the project notes- most people don’t have much to say about this. A few people say it comes out big, a few others say it comes out true to size. One person specifically mentions the sleeves are wide, so I check that- I’m going to be making the smallest size, and according to gauge the sleeve comes out at 14 inches around. I want about 12, so I definitely need fewer increases.
So, I want about 2 inches fewer, which if I had gauge would be 7 stitches. (Lets round that down to 6, because even numbers are much nicer for sleeves). Given that the pattern only calls for 10 stitches increase, I think I’m also going to need to reduce the number of stitches I cast on for the ribbing of the sleeve. In the first instance I’ll guess at 6 (I would usually do half, so 4, but then I’m also knitting it in the round and you lose 2 stitches to sewing up so I’ll take out 6 and see how it goes). I can always frog if things don’t work out.
Looking through the pattern gives some interesting gems as well. The pockets- when I helped a friend do a simpliefied version of this pattern, we omitted the pockets because I couldn’t figure what was actually going on with them. Looking back at them now, I have no idea what I was thinking because they make perfect sense…*facepalm*. So I’ll be doing the pockets as written, or maybe making them slightly deeper (at the moment the opening goes all the way down to the bottom of the pocket, which to me feels like it’s a recipe for things Falling Out). The other thing about the pattern is that the sleeves and body pattern has to match at the underarm. This is…slightly awkward if you only notice when you want to start the sleeve cap. I’ll be getting around that by doing the sleeves first, and seeing where on the sleeve I want to start the body patterning, and work off that.
I’m also going to knit the sleeves in the round and the body all in one piece, because what sort of heathen doesn’t? (This is a joke. There are many reasons why you may want to knit sleeves flat, and the body in pieces and seam. If I didn’t hate seaming so much I would do so 😉 ). The only other thing I think there is to say is that I’m going to try and find some antler buttons for it, because I’m trying to use less plastic and antlers seem really cool!
So, my total plan of attack for this jumper:
- Knit the first sleeve cuff and edit the number of stitches if necessary
- Knit the second sleeve cuff, and then the sleeves at the same time, in the round (I have a very bad history of sleeves not matching if they are knitted separately, and I quite like TAAT knitting)
- Check numbers for the body, and cast on for both fronts and the side together. I will consider putting in a fake seam down the sides, but probably won’t bother
- When I’ve finished the ribbing for the body, ascertain where on the pattern to start the main body
- Knit the rest pretty much as standard. Play around with numbers again for the button bands- I should make sure I have buttons before starting the button band, so that I can make sure I get the button band big enough, and the buttonholes the right size.
Time to get knitting I suppose!