Sunday, July 10, 2005

Now, Back To Knitting

I need some help from you folks who like to design/modify patterns. (Colleen? Cate? are you out there?) This week I finished the back of a sweater for my four year old daughter. It is based on this pattern, from Knitter's Stash:

The pattern calls for cotton chenille, which I cannot buy locally, and I was afraid to spend a lot of money on yarn via mail order and then discover that I didn't like knitting with chenille. Instead, I am holding together two strands of sportweight Wool-ease that I found on sale. This makes for a firmer, less drapy fabric than the chenille (I assume). I like the way that it is knitting up.

However, I have a couple of questions about the front. After adjusting just slightly for gauge, I cast on 62 stitches for the back. If I do a similar adjustment for the front, I will cast on 31 stitches for each side (hence a total width of 62 stitches, just like the back). The original pattern does call for an equal number of stitches for front and back, and there is no official "button band"; the designer just tells you to evenly space buttonholes up one side, and then finish the edges with a band of single crochet to prevent curling. This seems a bit odd to me. First of all, on other cardigans that I have knit, the patterns directed me to cast on a few more stitches for the front pieces (allowing the center edges to overlap slightly) or to add a button band at the end that basically served the same purpose. So, my inclination is to cast on an extra 3 or 4 stitches on each front piece so that there is a button band that overlaps. Does this sound right to you? Or is that crazy?

Second, I have never ever been successful in stopping my stockinette edges from curling by using a narrow crochet edge. Never. So, I would like to carry the seed stitch pattern from the bottom of the sweater up to make a button band on each side (keeping the top of each piece in stockinette except for the front edges). What do you think of this? And which type of buttonholes would you make in a vertical band of seed stitch?

While pondering these issues, I have been doing a few rows on some other projects, and I completed my first (small) skein of handspun following a six year spinning hiatus. Photos and details to come later on.