sampling the sweater sampler; part two: both sides now

In case you missed the previous post, and my header doesn’t make it obvious enough, one of my current works-in-progress is a sweater sampler. (As seen in, and on the cover of, Jaqueline Fee’s The Sweater Workshop.) When we last had a peek at our progress, I’d gotten through the ribbed section and was ready to move on to short rows; so let’s do. But first a couple of quick side notes.

I neglected to mention how much I enjoyed and appreciated the illustrations in this book, courtesy Patricia LaLiberte. (An example of which can be seen at the top of this post.) No offense to people who draw pictures of sheep knitting from their own wool and the like, but I prefer my knitting illustrations to be cute and useful, and Patricia’s are definitely both.

I also realize I neglected to post the scan of the back side of the sampler in our previous entry – and we’ve reached the point where different things are starting to happen on each side - so I’ve added that below.

And now, back to sampling the sampler…

Short Rows: This was another addition I don’t quite understand the purpose of. I use short rows all the time - when knitting socks for the husband, shaping a shawl, etc. – and they certainly serve a purpose in those garments but it’s unclear to me why someone would want the back of their pullover to be a few rows longer than the front. On the other hand, I prefer a cardigan so what do I know.

Cardigan Border With Chain Selvedge And Buttonholes: Again with the cable cast on. Sigh… (See part 1 for the origin of the sigh.) Thus far the majority of my sweater knitting adventures have been top down cardigans, which normally require picking up stitches along the edge for your border so this is a good technique for me to have in my bag of tricks. Still not loving the 1x1 ribbing but I do like the chain selvedge. (It’s a bit hard to see all of this in the photo below, and my efforts to get a close up shot were unsuccessful, but if I can get a better shot I will add it in.)

Sweatshirt Pocket: AKA the point where we officially move into unchartered territory. (Officially.) Or so I thought. In retrospect, I already knew how to pick up stitches many rows down thanks to Veera Valimaki’s Pop Block pattern (for the record, since you move towards the left side as you go, I like to pick up the right side leg of the stitch) and from there it was a simple matter of knitting back and forth as many rows as you need to get to the height of the round on the original needle(s) and joining the pocket to the “sweater” with a three needle bind off. Easy peasy indeed! Not sure how many times I will need to knit a kangaroo pocket in the future but I’m glad I tried it once.

(Another side note: In addition to the other things I didn’t have on hand for this project, apparently I don’t have a set of size 7 double pointed needles. I had a set of size 6 and size 8 to choose from, elected to go with the former since it’s only a .25mm difference and it worked out fine.)

The Bar Increase: Just in case, like me, you thought a bar increase and a lifted increase were the same thing, they are not. The bar increase is the same as a KFB, aka knit thought the front and back of the same stitch. Personally, I prefer the look of a lifted increase. (Plus, when I first made an attempt to master it, it took what felt like forever to get the hang of it so I think I feel compelled to do it that way when I need to add stitches.) But I followed the pattern as written so I could see what the thee different sets of paired KFB increases would look like in case I want to substitute in a future project.

Stripes; Knit, Purl and Raised: Nothing much to say about a knit or purl stripe. The raised stripe was new to me though. Much like the pocket situation, I’m not sure I will be using this decorative accent much but it was cool to have an excuse to try it out.

At this point it’s time to decrease the stitches we increased in the previous portion of the sampler and, as of the photos seen above, I’ve just completed the set up row which means it’s time to push the euphemistic pause button on this topic.

Speaking of the photos, I should also point out this thing is becoming a bit of a beast; currently clocking in just shy of 16” long and inching ever closer to outgrowing the spot on the floor in my office where I like to take pictures of my knitting. So I may have to forgo continuity for the sake of better pictures in parts three and four.

Anywhoo, hope you have a great weekend! See you back here Monday.

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