Thursday, October 9, 2014

to WY or CO? that is the question...

Someone had some problems last week and it set me off on another direction briefly…I do have all four garments done for Jan, but not the final wash and dry, press/steam and add buttons. I left it all to the end because of the two WCD garments – no point in laundering separately, might as well wait and do them all together – I know, I know, you’re thinking, excuses, excuses…I do think it’s valid procrastination!
So, anyway, this knitter, who shall remain nameless, (actually, I’ll call her ‘Lana’) told me she used my ‘Rich Raglan’ (Serial Stuff 2, Sep 2011) pattern and my blog from early this spring to make a 1RT (one row tuck) raglan from WCD (wool crepe deluxe) and it turned out huge! What went wrong?…she made a new swatch, drew a new schematic, blah, blah, blah and ended up with this too-big disaster and was getting pretty depressed – she felt that her machine knitting skills to this point should have been good enough to not let this happen. ‘Lana’ has made the ‘Rich Raglan’ several times and been quite successful, using the pattern yarn and substituting yarn so what gives? In analyzing her bad product, she begins to blame it on my beloved 1RT… I can’t let this happen, I feel responsible and immediately start to make a 1RT raglan, this time for myself – the last one was for my ‘little’ sister, Jan, so ‘Lana’s’ panic starts to give me doubts as well. Did that one really fit what I had planned or was I deluding myself?
I start at the beginning and make a new swatch – I don’t want any come-backs on this. I choose a different 1RT pattern from what I used in WCD previously ( from KW43, ‘caped wrapper’ – I still love this one!) and with a pretty ‘poppy’ WCD, I make the swatch, carefully adding appropriate weights so she can’t blame the problem on too much weight on the garment as opposed to the swatch. I measure it immediately off the machine and get 29 sts and 48 rows (to 10 cm/4 in.). I give it a little pressing with my steam iron which I would normally do with my knitted pieces before assembling and get 29 sts and 49 rows. I wash it, roll in a towel and then think, hummmm, let’s get this show on the road, I’ll just use the hairdryer a bit to speed up the drying ( then, I conveniently block this from my mind)…done. Measure it and now have 29 sts and 56 rows. I proceed with that and make the back. But as I’m making the back, force of habit makes me add my little ‘cheating at swatches’ (blogpost, Cheating, Apr 21, 2008) yarn marks to the centre of the piece. Back done, lightly pressed out, measure the marks and I’ve got 29 sts and 50 rows…WTH? gee, does the tuck make that much difference and should I have let it rest before steaming? It does look pretty big and what do you know – a tape measure to the side seam comes up with 38 cms instead of the desired 32 cms. Huh! Reprogram my KR11 for 50 rows and make a sleeve, adding the cheat yarn marks and what do you know, it reads 29 sts and 50 rows after I take it off the machine. The sleeve, left overnight before touching it with the iron is the exact measurement that I planned.  Make remaining pieces, reknit back all at 50 rows/10 cm. Make a new swatch and let it dry naturally – 29 sts and 50 rows. How’s that for persistence and covering all the bases!
So, I still don’t know what C – er- ‘Lana’ did wrong but this is perfect.
I realized I have changed something from my original pattern instructions and here it is – instead of taking the top of each piece off on Waste Yarn – these would end up being rehung for attaching the neckband but I’ve found it easier to Cast Off the top of each piece (after the shortrowing is done, knit 1 row over all to get rid of the wraps, then knit a loose row and chain cast off) – on fine (or dark coloured) yarn like this, it’s easier to pick up the cast-off edge than try and find all those tiny, wee stitches which sometimes escape and you later find a dropped stitch after the band is attached…anyway, this means a slight change in finishing the neckband. Make the band the same way as the pattern states:
Stockinette Band. Cast on WY and ravel cord. CAR. MC, T5, K10R. T8, K1R. T5, K10R. Hang hem and remove WY. T7, K1R. Right side of band is facing you now.
New method: Now, remove band. Hang garment neckline, right side facing, hanging both sides of cast-off stitch. Don’t worry about the seamed sts – they are cast off and inside the seam. Turn band and rehang, open sts in hooks. Bring ns out carefully, leaving sts in hooks, putting neckline behind latches. Close latches and pull through. Knit loose row and chain cast off.
Looks the same  from the outside, has the added protection of a double cast-off on the neckline and is easier! What could be better! Now I have 3 WCD garments to wash and dry together – I told you there was a valid reason to wait!


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