Thank you everyone, for your very generous offers of time to swatch the Sylvia shawl charts. I really appreciate it. 🙂 I will be in touch very shortly!
Today, I thought I’d take a break from knitting the Windsor Cardi to talk about it.
It’s an interesting knit, something different. It is constructed in a way I haven’t experienced before. It seems I’m learning something new even though I hadn’t planned to!
Here she is, the main body done, and almost one sleeve completed. It will look nicer once the lace is blocked.
So far, I’ve knitted bottom-up-in-pieces patterns; bottom-up-in-the-round (where the sleeves are joined in afterwards); and top-down where you knit the sleeves afterwards. Well, Windsor is knitted bottom up-all-in-one from the welt to the armholes, then you put that aside, and knit the sleeves in-the-round separately, and then you finish by joining the sleeves with the body and knitting the bodice all in one. It’s like backwards top-down.
The mind is boggling. I can’t quite picture how the sleeves can be knitted together with the bodice and there not be a few awkward moments! There are only 11 stitches on the holder for the underarm join, so the sleeve is still decidedly tubular. Hmm. I guess it will all fall into place once I put it together, which is what usually happens. Having now finished one sleeve, I’ve held it up against the body of the cardigan where the join is to take place, and I think I can just see it happening.
I have to say this is not my favourite method of knitting a garment. If you’re knitting top-down, you can measure against yourself as you go, which gives you a reasonable guarantee of a good fit. If you’re knitting in pieces, you can similarly measure as you go to make sure that things are fitting. But knitting this way, I have absolutely no idea if the sleeves will be the right length, or if the body is the right length, or indeed, if the entire thing will fit at all. It’s like knitting blind, and it is a most uncomfortable feeling.
I suspect if I use this method a few more times I’ll start to understand whereabouts on the garment the joins take place so I can anticipate fit, but in the meantime, must.stop.hyper-ventilating…
The other interesting thing about this cardigan so far is the sleeve width. It’s surprisingly very wide at the cuff – almost a bell. It’s something I didn’t pick up in the photos of the pattern, and it wasn’t until I was casting on 80(!) stitches with sport-weight yarn that I realised something was a little different! My wrists are quite slim, and after knitting a few rows, I decided the sleeves would look ridiculous on me at that width, so I frogged it and started again with 72. I chose this number because it’s just two stitches more than the stitch number for the body of the sleeve, so the general effect will be a straight sleeve rather than a puffy (or bell) one.
This number of cast-on stitches does not create such a pretty transition from ribbing to lace as per the waist welt, but at least I won’t look like I’ve got overly stretched sleeves.
Here’s hoping I will have a pretty cardigan to show you in the not too distant future!