Last year, The Knitting Guild of Greater Buffalo brought in designer, Heather Lodinsky, to teach a skill on one of her designs. The pattern was her two-tone slip stitch cable pullover and the skill was using slip stitches in cable work. In my experience in knitting, I had not encountered slip stitches to be used for the design of a garment, only to be done along the edges of knitted pieces. So, I was quick to take on the pullover with the Guild and it led me to do a self-investigation of slip stitches, in general.
ON SLIP STITCH STUDY
One way to choose a pattern is to have specific learning intentions in mind. With this ‘study’, I purposely looked for patterns that used slipped stitches and and used those slipped stitches in the design process. This kind of focus not only informs, but also helps to narrow the field of potentials. My curiosity is now satisfied and this is what I’ve found:
- Slip stitches can be used as a variation to the basic cable technique. More [HERE] about this project.
- Slip stitches can be used to create an overall linen or tweed look in the fabric . There is more [HERE] on this.
- Slip stitches can create a unique broken-line look in striping. More [HERE].
- Slip stitches can be utilized to create a decorative yoke such as this honeycomb stitch, as written about [below].
I knitted this sweater back in April, finishing it in June when it became immediately too hot to have it photographed. I thought it would look lovely on a beautiful Fall day as the colors in the sweater compliment nature’s autumn bounty.
ABOUT THIS GARMENT
I have knitted very few yoke sweaters. This pattern, by Deborah Newton, caught my eye due to its turtleneck tipped in striping that smartly compliments the yoke, almost like an extension of the yoke when folded over. I’ve not seen too many yoked turtlenecks. I also liked the fun cuffs. I don’t know ‘best practice’ in knitting yoke sweaters, however what I do know is my continual interest in the construction of garments, in general, both in the area of wearability and longevity. I can’t stop thinking about seams. I talk a lot about seaming [HERE]. In this case, I did not change the construction from the pattern. One begins by knitting the cuffs, picking up stitches for the sleeves to knit them, then setting them aside. The body gets knitted separating for front and back at the armhole, picking up the sleeves to attach to knit the yoke and turtleneck. I guess, a typical yoke construction. Somehow, this project made me much more cognizant of the design and construction process of all projects. Almost like a turning point. This revelation is quite freeing and has already shown itself in my knitting.
Just because the pattern says, doesn’t mean it is right for you.
I didn’t feel the schematic for the sleeve cuff was symmetrical. Would it place the seam at the underarm like I wanted? This was knitted in the round which meant there was no seam up the sleeve to line the cuff up. I didn’t like that. And, there are no side seams in which to give the body the support and stability I like.
(In the photos, hubby was drawn to this compost pile. A tad dark, I do like the texture of the soil juxtaposed with the texture of the yoke.)
ON THE YARN
This yarn. ugh, I had my difficulties. I do not know all the ins and outs why some yarn cooperates one way while another does not. So many questions. Luckily, experience gave way to answers. This yarn was chosen for another project, again life style change made me switch to this easy-to-wear garment, and time will tell whether the content of this fiber will be suitable. When I was knitting, why were my stitches not as even as normal? A very light blocking helped. Why was I struggling with casting on? The long-tail cast on pulled way too tight. I found that unusual. I looked up and tried a dozen different cast-ons and found a certain success with the cable cast-on as it was both stretchy and durable which is what I was after.
The great news is the yoke and sleeve cuffs are bits from the sport weight remnants from my stash. I love utilizing scrap. And, in such a lovely way. Not only is the yoke pretty but reminds me of projects of the past. And, such a savings on cost.
I happen to love Deborah Newton and think highly of her designs. I love her expert, precision knitting, the fact that she is published, her kindness but mostly her approachability. I hope I’ve done her proud with my honeycomb turtleneck that helped me to widen my awareness and understanding of slip stitches. Think I just might wear this to the next Guild meeting.