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Lovin’ the Top Down January 26, 2011

Even though this month is speeding by, I’ve realized the only way I’m going to enjoy the top down is by knitting it instead of driving it ;p

I’ve been working on what I call my “reward sweater”, although by now I’ve almost forgotten what it was the reward was for, oh wait! It was after the June show in Columbus that I found this scrumptious color (Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light #4294) and had to have a little retro, vintagey cardigan.

Even though it’s a half-a-year LATER, I’m making progress — am a few inches into the first sleeve. It’s been quick going too — I’ve been using the magic loop method of knitting in the round and have been doing it slightly different than usual.

The circ I’m using has a stiffer cord than I’m used to, but it’s very thin — so I’ve stumbled on way to get it out of my way while I’m Speed Stockinette knitting. Instead of the loop lying behind the needle point, mine is in front. Because I’m a “thrower”, this frees up the point to be the portion in my hand at all times. Before, there was the cable & the needle portion that had to be managed and it Drove Me Crazy. Now it’s out of the way and almost supports the work as it flies by.

The picture above is dedicated to those following along as first-time top-downers.

Here you can see the underarm cast on — a few inches, varying according to the size you’re making — but a very important area. :) Just for grins, look at yours and take a ruler and measure that flat part of your body. That’s about what will have to be added to your section of the yoke that will become the sleeve.

If you recall from out last outing, we were starting with a circle of fabric, the Yoke of the sweater as seen in the graphic at left. Somehow this flat, but rounded, piece as going to have to change if it was going to be more than a cape! Which at this time, is what was an AH-Ha moment for me once upon a time when I was asking myself Capes: HowDaydoDat? But not being quite the superhero in need of this particular wardrobe enhancement, I wanted SLEEVES. And a Body, or in common parlance, a Sweater.

I am a Cardigan Girl.

Somewhere in time, the prominent garment of almost all people was a Tunic, a long rectangle of fabric, intersected by an opening for one’s head.

SLEEVES, as we know them, were a relatively johnny-come-lately type of thing. When it got cold, on went the Cape, Cloak or Stole.

But people long to move long to have freedom of limb and someone somewhere invented the tubes that attached to the above, in some way.

Looking at your anatomy, you see that the top (yoke portion) of the sweater needs to wrap around the other three parts of the body. So to go under and around the arm, stitches are cast on to accomodate that flat space.

The raglan lines brilliantly increased the area of the top of the sleeve up by the neck, and wrapped around the upper Body, getting progressively bigger to accomodate the Arm.


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