Monday, July 07, 2008

Masters Monday - 2.23

Although it may have seemed like I neglected working on my Master Knitters project last week, I actually did do a bit, but I never had time to blog about it. So today we have a 2 for 1 feature.....two weeks of Master Knitter, Level II progress in one post.

In the first week I struggled mightily to do the side seams. I ripped those seams out so many times that I frayed the length of yarn used for seaming.....twice. I kept having troubles with the mattress stitch going astray and being off by a half stitch.

Eventually I made sure I had it all lined up first by basting it loosely at the obvious design elements using a smooth crochet cotton. After that the seaming was easier and when I was done the smooth cotton was easy to remove, although I had to pull it out one stitch at a time.

I'm not completely happy with the seam. The pattern all lines up perfectly, but the 2 knit stitches that are seamed together are kind of flattened looking compared to the other ridges. For the patterned section this was the best I could do. When I did my preliminary swatching I determined this was the best location within the stitch pattern for the seam. Otherwise I would be seaming a changing stitch arrangement which would be way harder! In "real life" knitting (as opposed to having to design according to the course requirements) I would have done this vest back and forth from front opening to front opening, eliminating the side seams all together.

Same sort of problem with the 1x1 ribbing seam. It looks flattened compared to the other columns of knit stitches. This was once again unavoidable if I wanted to use a tubular cast on. Ideally 1x1 rib would be seamed between a knit and a purl stitch so that the seam would be hidden "in the ditch", but tubular cast on results in an odd number of stitches making it necessary to seam the ribbing using half of the selvedge stitch on each side.

The remainder is THIS week's progress. I've seamed the shoulders using short row shaping and then a 3 needle bind off. I have also picked up the stitches around both armholes and knit the armhole bands ending in a tubular bind off.

I'm now working on the shawl collar. It will be a very deep, warm, neck hugging collar that is shaped with short rows and ends below the bust line. It is consuming alarming amounts of yarn!

If I don't run out of yarn I'll be back next week with photos of the finished vest.

What type of buttons do you think I should use?

Oh. Which reminds me. I also did one of the required buttonhole swatches this week. I wrote up the pattern and everything. I just have to make up it's tag. Photos of that next week too.


Carrie said...

I love the whole idea of a masters knitting course. I think your work is beautiful! Can't wait to see the collar - good luck on not running out of yarn!

Dave said...

I've been enjoying watching this come together. Are the flattened stitches likely to, umm, puff out again once it is washed and blocked?

Marlene said...

There is always hope Dave, but honestly, I don't think it will help much.

The fronts and back were blocked when I finished knitting them, but I will likely block the whole thing again when I am done. Even through ribbing (collar and trim) isn't "blocked", a wetting may help to set the stitches in place and even them out. And it certainly couldn't hurt to TRY to fluff the seams a little while it dries. I'm wondering if I could lay a narrow dowel under the side seams to encourage some plumping of those stitches.