Ribby Cardi

March 18, 2005

Next Up

The Lucky Clover wrap was really next in the line of knitting projects. But, there are only so many eyelet-patterned wrap sweaters a person can knit in a row. Believe it or not, It did not occur to me how very similar the Rebecca wrap and the Lucky clover are until I was already midway through the former. The mohair must have thrown me off.

Traveling with me this weekend are the materials to begin a Ribby Cardi.

Ribby_materials.jpg

Peruvian Wool from Elann.com in Mesa Teal, Size 6 and 7 circular needles, and a pre-highlighted pattern.

Two 3-hour train rides await.

I planned to knit an allover-ribbed version. The pattern calls for a combination of k2,p2 and k3,p1 ribbing. But why two different ribbings? This doesn't make sense to me. Is it so the 3x1 area will lie flatter? I want it to look the same, so I am going to try an allover 2x2 rib. According to my calculations, the pattern decreases *should* still work.

March 22, 2005

2x2 Ribby

The Ribby Cardi got a good start this weekend.

The back is done. It looks pretty strange. Apparently, it will improve with blocking.

ribby_back.jpg

Now, does it qualify as a true ribby if the pattern is altered? I am doing an overall 2x2 rib, lengthening the body to 13" and the sleeves to 21".

Changing the pattern is one way to keep things interesting. I've heard experienced knitters say they can't follow a pattern without changing something. I understand that. You get to a certain level, and need additional challenges to overcome, to feel like you're still moving forward. plus, with experience, you start to figure out what you like best, and its easy enough to include it.

My changes here are relatively minor, but motivational. I keep going because I want to see how it turns out. (also, it stresses me out to have multiple projects going at once, so if I ever want to knit anything else, I will need to finish this one!)

The fronts are in progress, working simultaneously.

ribby_fronts.jpg

To work two matching pieces at the same time, you have to use two balls of yarn. You knit a row on one, then the same row on the other. This ensures that they turn out basically identical.

Its an okay technique. The yarn didn't get as tangled as I expected. But I may not ever use it again. The whole switching back and forth from one piece to the other slows me down, breaks the rhythm of knitting. I am not really down with it. *however,* if they turn out perfect and zipper installation is a breeze, I could be swayed..

March 28, 2005

Pre and Post

Herein lies evidence of the amazing blocking abilities of ribbing. The fronts of the Ribby Cardi, before and after blocking.

ribby_blocking.jpg

I now understand how completely possible it would be to over-block ribbing. I could easily have gone too far and ended up with non-stretchy, really wide sweater parts.

All Ribby parts are now complete and seamed. I knit the collar while watching a movie with subtitles. I read most of the subtitles and finished the collar by the end, which means I must be making progress on my ultimate goal in life: knitting without looking.

March 29, 2005

I heart attached i-cord

How did I make it this far without attached i-cord? I just added a three-stitch attached i-cord to each side of my Ribby Cardi, and it looks so clean and professional.

ribby_icord.jpg

My only experience with attached i-cord thus far has been in admiring the work of others, so I thought for sure the edge would be too tight or too loose, and would have to be redone. Luckily, it came out fine on the first try!

Attached i-cord
I followed the instructions in The Knitters Book of Finishing Techniques, which specifies picking up three out of every four edge stitches. I picked up the stitches with one length of yarn and a circular needle first, then went back and worked the i-cord with size 8 DPNs, one size larger than I'd been using.

The Knitters Book of Finishing Techniques is highly useful. I just got it last week, and its already become my standard reference. It has all the information I used to go through multiple books to find.

All that's left on this sweater is the zipper and its done!

March 30, 2005

Ribby Complete

The Ribby Cardi is all zipped out.

ribby_done_01.jpg

Yarn: Peruvian Highland wool from elann.com, in Mesa Teal. 10 skeins.
Gauge: 19sts to 4" in st st on size 7 needles
Pattern Modifications: Allover 2x2 ribbing, lengthened sleeves to 21" and body to 13". Used attached i-cord instead of seed stitch for the front zipper bands, and extended it up to the collar.

ribby_done_02.jpg

Other Technical Notes:

1. Zipper Installation. I ended up sewing the zipper in by hand. My sewing machine was all ready to go, but I decided that hand sewing would be easier to control. It took about 2 hours, and came out very clean.

2. Imperfection One. The zipper at the top does not match up. The collar is mostly for show, and barring a surprise snowstorm, will never be zipped up all the way. So I am trying to let this one go.

3. Imperfection Two. The second imperfection is more subtle, but troublesome. The bottom does this wavy thing. One side just wants to be longer than the other. After basting in the zipper, it was not even at the bottom, so I kinda pulled it into place and sewed it down. But it looks like the knitwear does not appreciate being treated this way. Its visible in this flat photo below:

ribby_done_03.jpg

4. Length. I lengthened the body of the sweater to 13 inches. If I were to use this pattern again, I'd make it more like 14 or 15 inches.

5. Construction. Since this is all in one color, it would have been easy enough to construct it entirely in the round. The men's ribbed cardigan in Last Minute Knitted Gifts is constructed this way.

6. Peruvian Highland Wool. Its very soft and comfortable, and unbelievably economical, plus I was able to splice the joins between skeins. yet I've heard people say this yarn does not wear well. Its kinda fuzzy, so I could see that happening. If I made this again, I'd use Cascade 220.

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diana AT streetsandyos DOT com

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