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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

If I had to pick a prevailing fascination in my projects, ribbing would probably be my defining detail, one I come back to over and over.

Ribbing? you say? That plain ubiquitous border; that ever present first chapter of most any sweater and you are thrilled with it?


chicoutchicintEven in one of my first (published) designs, the 3XChic, I was busy playing with rib, but uncommon rib. This pullover had columns in a 7×2 ratio and as I worked it, something became apparent that had not occurred in the visualizing stage. Sometimes, you just don’t know how it’s going to *look* until you actually are making it and it presents itself to you.

One version (and the way it was offered) had wide columns of knitting, punctuated by narrow lines of purl. The other, had fields of purl stitches, bisected by narrow columns of knit stitches and this was only in my musings as I never made one, but looked at the other from the inside out, fascinated.

Such is Sandrine. I am knitting the first sleeve of the sweater now and have regressed into one of my favorite ploys to get it done fast. Since I think (but have never really timed myself) that I am faster knitting than purling and the stitch pattern has more knit sts on the wrong side of the work, I’m going to knit it from the Wrong Side. (Quick! Call the Knitting Police!)

To begin, I’ve picked up all the sleeve stitches as the pattern indicates, then I flip the garment inside out. The working yarn is in an awkward place, a few stitches from the underarm marker. However, this is NOT a big deal. The gauge of most sweaters is small enough to stand an extra row worked in there somewhere; you see it all the time in shoulders, underarms, necklines and you’ve probably done it yourself if you’ve knit a sweater. Anywhere there are mirrored segments, most likely one will have an extra row lurking and I’ll bet you’ve never noticed it in the final product.

Here I’ll work the few stitches once to have the working yarn going in the right direction at the real beginning of the round. To avoid a little hole, I will wrap the last sleeve cap stitch with one of the new underam sleeve stitches. Then I just work away as usual, remembering to transpose the decrease type as necessary.

But back to the uncommon rib…


Here is my sleeve (and my Sandrine) shown wrong side facing, as I’m ready to start the sleeve. I really like the way it looks from the wrong side! The wider columns of ribbing are a completely different take on the effect of the stitch pattern, here presenting almost as Stockinette Stitch, but gracefully broken up by the narrow columns. You can see it in contrast here in the original sample sweater, with the right side to the Left of the picture, and the wrong side to the Right-Middle of the picture:


And on a larger scale, here in the sweater I’m working on, shown from the WS:


One of these days, I’m going to make one, wrong-side out, maybe out of denim yarn, with the wide rib pattern going all the way to the hem.

>>>>>> Read all posts in this category: Cotton Sandrine.

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