It’s friday, and I actually have a FO! In further exploration of the Contiguous shoulder construction method, I’ve done up a spring cardi with some broken rib detail on the button band. To me, this method still has some problems with a tight and very sloped shoulder, which might be good for some styles, but certainly isn’t ideal for everything. What I really like for this design is that there is no picking up (except for a few stitches from the body underarm when doing the sleeves); the button band is knit in, and most exciting of all, the collar is done first, with live stitches incorporated into the body using short rows. Of course this approach can be done just as well with a raglan or seamless topdown construction, and I definitely will be using it again with one of those. Also, seeing how great the Tosh Vintage works for a sweater means I’ll be doing more with that as well. In the meantime, on to finishing up the pattern!
Plixi is a long and lean open front cardigan, with gentle waist shaping and a flowing ruffle at the front edge and cuffs. Worked seamlessly from the top down in a drapey fingering weight yarn on larger needles, Plixi uses the contiguous method of seamless shoulder and sleeve construction, with a picked-up ruffle along the front edge, and a simple purled hem finish. Long, slim and elegant, Plixi works with jeans or a dress, for sleek and chic style with any outfit. Techniques & Skills Used: contiguous construction, knit/purl, short rows, increasing/decreasing, picking up stitches. Size: 32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 44, 48)” bust; shown in second size with no ease. Garment Measurements: Bust: 32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 44, 48)”; Waist: 30.5 (32.5, 34.5, 36.5, 38.5, 42.5, 46.5)”; Hip: 32.75 (34.75, 36.75, 38.75, 40.75, 44.75, 48.75)”; Length from shoulder tip to hem: 25.75 (26.5, 27.5, 28.25, 29.25, 30.25, 31.25)”. Yarn: RYC Cashsoft 4 Ply (57% wool, 33% microfiber, 10% cashmere; 175 yards/50g); 8 (8, 9, 9, 10, 11, 12) balls, shown in #423 Monet. . . .
Deadlines really motivate me; I suspect I might achieve close to zero if I didn’t utilize them. The current challenge is to finish my second contiguous cardigan by saturday midnight. It’s worsted, yes – but still a whole garment. I think there’s a good chance; I had to rip the first sleeve because it was too small, and I updated the sizing while knitting the second. Happily, sleeve in a day was achieved. Next challenge is the front edging; last night I ripped the 2″ I had because I decided some short-rowing would be just the thing. So less than 48 hours for around 25 long 200+ stitch rows. I hope it comes out well.
My first cardi using the Contiguous method is finished, and I love some things about it, while I need to revise a few others. I love: 1) the single, gently-ruffled cuff and front edge – just swishy enough; 2) the length – longish but not dragging, and because it’s open front, the fronts dip and drape nicely; 3) the yarn – Rowan RYC Cashsoft 4-ply – with merino/microfiber and cashmere, knit at a loose gauge; and 4) the way Contiguous lets you make a more refined dressmaker look, with the sleeve fit and easy construction of a raglan. But there’s the thing; my fit in the upper body area needs some tweaking, since this sweater method grows a little bit differently than a raglan or a set-in sleeve. The shoulder is quite sloped due to the rapid increases, and the back neck is high. A very square-shouldered person might find a problem with that slope, but I think that making a point to knit the shoulder increases loosely, and block diligently, resulted in a good . . .
My contiguous sweater is moving right along, unfortunately to the point where it appears highly likely I will run short on yarn. I’ve already reduced the front ruffle to a single layer, mostly because two layers was bulky, and one will match the one sleeve cuff ruffle. As you can see, the amount of yarn remaining is small (and frogged from the swatch), and meant to make 3-4 more 600-ish stitch rows. Not looking hopeful. The cuff ruffle really came out nicely, so I’m committed to duplicating that on the front edge. Off to stalk other people’s Ravelry stash for RYC Cashsoft 4-ply in Weather.
I’ve always liked different construction methods, for garments, accessories, or whatever. It’s interesting to find better ways to make things, and sometimes the better way differs depending upon what’s being made. In terms of sweaters, I favor seamless construction whenever possible, to avoid excessive casting on, binding off and picking up. It’s not that I mind seaming, and sometimes I can see the advantage of the structure gained in a seamed piece; I chose to keep the seams when I knit my Plummi, because it was such a long, heavy sweatercoat. I also think nothing can beat a picked-up button band, where you can control the tension of the band versus the body, despite the anguish of getting the right number and interval of stitches. But in general, I like seamless construction from the top down, so you can try it on as you go and make adjustments along the way. Recently, the innovative SusieM developed a new seamless top down construction method she christened Contiguous, and she shared it on Ravelry in the Contiguous . . .