Sunday, March 16, 2014

1RT raglan...

I’m still on my A-line raglan kick and, while waiting  around for these KALs to get going along, I dashed off a one-row-tuck raglan. A while back, I did that white lace remake of ‘comfy/rich raglan’ and it turned out very nicely and I had intentions of trying one of my 1RTs with the A-line raglan shape.  Briefly, 1RT means there is a row of tuck and a row of stockinette, so it makes a faint pattern on the knit side – advantage, not as boring as plain stockinette, it makes a wider fabric because of the tuck (WCD in stockinette at T6 gives a gauge of 34 sts and 50 rows to 10 cm whereas the 1RT at T7, gives 28 sts and 60 rows to 10 cm) and the tuck allows you to knit looser (yarn goes further)and not have to worry about the fabric biasing as sometimes happens with a loose knit.
I had an old cone of woolray, the pre-WCD version of wool/rayon in a bright, leaf green - not my colour – a little too vivid for me but would be perfect for my sister Jan – when I was visiting her in Toronto last Fall, she had tried on a cardigan in this colour and it looked very nice on her, but didn’t fit well enough to buy – she’s a bit shorter than me (well, actually, I feel quite tall when I’m with her!) and doesn’t really know what it’s like to buy a garment with sleeves that aren't too long, so I decided to make this one for her – I figured if it didn’t really come out good I wouldn’t tell anyone, just chalk it up and toss it. But, darn, have you even had a time when something just went flawlessly...there isn’t even one spot that you want to rub your finger over, hoping to erase a small glitch…even the stockinette band seaming compared to the side seam – perfect! And the raglan shaping and seaming – OMG!  
If you want more info on 1RT,  see blog post August 13, 2010.
Here’s the back story - I was inspired by my friend Grace (AKA Kay, Sep ‘09)- she had purchased a Silver Reed machine and wanted to learn to use it with DAK so we’ve been emailing back and forth and I was making her make one of my tuck patterns from Knitwords – she chose 'Match or Set' from #37 and to refresh my memory in using KFS (knit-from-screen), I got going with this green raglan.
For knitting tuck, usually you want the end stitches to knit plain. If you are an old Silver Reed knitter, like me, dating back to the punchcard machines, you will know that when knitting tuck, pulling out the end needle at the beginning of the row will cancel the pattern and ensure that the stitch knits. With the electronic machines, you can use the point cams to cancel patterning by setting the point cam one needle in from the edge, eliminating the pulling the needle trick, but sometimes that single end stitch just does not want to knit through properly and you either have to knit it manually when you see it didn’t knit, or maybe try to pick up a dropped stitch if you didn’t see it in time…so generally I will be watching the pattern and you get to know when the stitch is not going to knit and you can pull out the needle when needed.
For the A-line side seams I used a 2-prong tool for the full-fashioned decreases – pick up the 3rd stitch, place it on the 2nd needle from the edge and then move the 2 outside stitches in one space – the decrease is on the second stitch which becomes the edge after seaming and looks really neat. For the sleeve increases, I moved only the end stitch out one space and hung the heel of the inside stitch to fill the empty needle – looks awesome as you can see!
So, back to the tuck pattern, make sure there are no tucks happening on the row before or after the increase or decrease otherwise you may get a weird hole or a bigger bump from the tuck than you want. Most of this just requires that you watch and override the tuck by bringing out the needles to cancel tuck or re-knitting the tucked stitch. I move the point cams (one at a time on the side opposite the carriage) on the row before the increase or decrease. For the raglan shaping, I still wanted the five plain stitches for the raglan seaming and placed the point cams in 6 needle spaces from the edge to achieve this. Note, this method of having 5 plain sts for the raglan shaping won't look good with regular allover tuck because there will be too many rows of plain knitting at the edges compared to the pinched up tucks of the main fabric...Now, I’ll have to make one for myself in good WCD!  
AKA – also known as
KAL - knitalong
KFS - knit from screen
OMG - oh my goodness
WCD – wool crepe deluxe
1RT – one row tuck

PS - forgot to mention - for the stockinette bands added as hems (cuff, bottom and neckline), I used the same number of stitches as in each tuck piece - usually, when adding these to stockinette, I would decrease the bands by about 10% so the bands are slightly smaller and don't flare out, but because the tuck is a wider fabric, no need to do this and they matched sizewise perfectly!

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