Sunday, 5 October 2008

Pointed Goth Rib Pullover

I reverse-engineered this design from something I saw in Jane Waller's display at the iKnit London 'Stitch n Bitch' day, 2007. The original was a very ingenious, very flattering Forties pattern with sleeves, but I decided to make this as a pullover. I think it's a bit too long, the proportions make me look too thin and the lower edge will probably get damaged. You can see in the lower picture that folds appear where my belt is. So I may unravel from the bottom, lose 8cm or so, and cast off, but I like the shape and pattern and the armholes worked out well.

The pattern is nothing more than a k2 p2 rib, and there's no shaping. The whole shape is created by increasing one stitch at each side of each side line, and decreasing one stitch at each side of each centre line. You do this on alternate rows. Everything else is k2 p2.

There's no shaping around the neck, either. The pattern takes care of it. I'm calling it Goth-Rib because of the way it automatically creates this close-fitting, pointed-bodice shape.

At the armholes (front and back alike), I cast off 6, then left out the side increases for a few rows, using the slope of the pattern, then started them again. At the shoulders I just cast off 12 at each side, I think, and sewed them together, leaving the middle stitches live. Then I knitted a few rows of reverse stocking stitch around the neck and cast off. I've never designed armholes or a shoulder-and-neckline before so I was completely winging it.

The effect of that cast-off mimics the bottom edge, where I used TechKnitting's elegant tubular edging.

I had to restart this project at least four times. First because I twisted the cast-on, then because I wasn't happy with the way I'd done the increases at the sides, then because I still wasn't happy with the sides, then because I had dye-lot problems. But I got there in the end. The answer about the sides was that it's important to leave two vertical knits there. It would have been even better if I'd done the same at centre front and back. It's also important to use the right kind of increases - make-one-left and make-one-right (demonstrated there by KnitWitch).

The Debbie Bliss cashmerino splices well and is pleasant to work with. It's also deliciously warm. I got one mid-ball knot, and a rather severe problem of non-matching dye lots.

I might make more woollen sleeveless pullovers. Worn over a sleeved blouse, or a cotton or thermal vest, they're cosy without being sweaty, good in an office building with the usual random alternation of heating and aircon.

Sorry about the poor quality photos, taken on my phone at work.


Elizabeth Brinton said...

Nice design, the chevron rib is very flattering and the color very good.
I think I might have to learn to knit.

msHedgehog said...

Hi E! I was working on this when I was round your way. Textile works are very satisfying - especially if you're interested in colour. Knitting is time-consuming, but you might enjoy just looking at the truly beautiful variegated yarns that are available in Seattle yarn shops. Perhaps V will comment and tell you where the best one is (we went there together, but I can't remember - I mean the one where we got the square buttons).

miss tango said...

The knit talk totally confused me, but the results of your work is fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Smart. That is, intelligent design and good looking.

msHedgehog said...

@misstango, non-knitters are not expected to have a clue what's going on here. I daresay the non-tango readers feel the same most of the time.

@Jo, I have something for you, and another in progress. Are you also still in progress? If you're writing comments you surely must be.

Anonymous said...

Hello E - I watched you knit and unravel and refine this pattern over and over again, so I feel I have a deep appreciation for the patience and skill that went into it. And it's beautiful, truly. Well done, my dear. In related news, those lovely square buttons came from Seattle Yarn Gallery in West Seattle. And that crimson yarn I bought just to see if I could knit to gauge for the big girl version of the Einstein coat? It works! Now I just have to get up the nerve to order 1200 yards of it. Yikes.
Much love...V

maya said...

I love it, I love it. What a great piece of work. I saw the original and I like it but your design has brought it up-to-date. Ideal for someone with a short torso like myself.

msHedgehog said...

@V, that is a LOT of that stuff. Bon courage!

@maya, thank you! I've posted at yours about the Jane Waller, but if you fancy making your own version of this I could write you up a more detailed pattern. If your size is significantly different from mine all you have to do is add or subtract from the cast-on in batches of 16; or for more flexibility with the numbers you could change the rib to a 1x1.

maya said...

Unfortunately I cannot help you with the point query. I do not remember the detail on the point. I think you are right about shortening it.