Saturday, September 24, 2011

a sleeve pandemic

I’ve got 3 sleeves done...let me explain...actually, the first one was chocolate brown and took forever! Now, the sleeve is supposed to be purl stitches background with a single, braided, knit-stitch cable running up the centre of it. For the body of the garment, on my swatches, the cables are on the main bed and the purl stitches are on the rib bed (side away is right/outside), so it made sense to do the same thing for the sleeve. Actually, let me back up a bit again.
Often, I start by making the sleeves of a garment - for a couple of reasons. First, when trying out new techniques, it is usually easier to master new stuff on the sleeve rather than the back which is a whole big, piece. The sleeve, being smaller, allows you to work out the quirks of the technique or the design without it being a major deal, like for example, figuring out how to change from one needle arrangement to the next, between the cuff area and the main part. And if it doesn’t go well, not too much is lost, time-wise. And if you do make a few changes, it will be less obtrusive on the sleeve and you can usually get away with minor stuff.
So, I was using the chocolate brown and though I did get a perfect sleeve off, it took forever. Turns out that shaping on the rib bed is much more time consuming than if you were working the other way around. My end stitches were on the ribber, so the increases and sleeve cap shaping were all ribber stitches. I did shortrow some of the sleeve cap, but it was tricky. I was going to make the second sleeve in brown, the other way, using the main bed for the purl stitches and the rib bed for the cable (side facing is right side), but when I looked at the finished chocolate brown sleeve I decided that with this much work involved, I wanted people to be able to see the detail from more than 6 inches away!
I switched back to the mushroom grey and whipped off 2 perfect sleeves with the cable done on the ribber in half the time!
Funny how things come back to haunt you - I remember once saying that I’d never turn cables on the rib bed....turns out, it was quite easy...
I know, I know...remind me later to tell you how to re-use that chocolate brown, after all, it is real wool crepe deluxe!

1 comment:

Lynn said...

Thanks for the tip to do the sleeve first! Great idea.

Hmmm, I may need to see the turning of the cable on ribber needles - Sounds like a contortionist act.

Thanks for the blog, fun to read..