Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Res Originalis: Trina

There are definitely things about this sweater that I wish were slightly different, but it still feels pretty cool to have created something from a pattern available only in my head.

Pattern: Trina, my own. Design was based on an existing sweater (see this post), so I named her after the designer/brand.
Yarn: Classic Elite Skye Tweed, 6 balls of Sage (color #1221)
Needles: US 6 32" circular and dpns
Start to Finish: February 22 - March 15, 2008 (that last week was mostly just blocking and sewing on buttons and snaps)

Notions: 3 snaps, and big ol' neat wooden buttons from Global Beads in Mountain View

The pattern I cooked up to replicate my other Trina sweater was pretty simple -- a bottom-up raglan knit in the round. The width of the bottom edge is only one inch more than the chest width, and the bottoms of the sleeves are only an inch bigger than where the raglan decreases start. I wish I had thought about this while taking pictures, but I did try a nifty mitred hem -- you can barely see it here, where I'm showing off my steek:

Basically, I didn't want the horizontal and vertical hems to overlap, creating bulk in those corners where it would occur, so I did something like the following before actually joining to work in the round:

- Cast on 8 fewer stitches than eventually desired for body of sweater (EXCLUDING vertical hems)
- Work eight rows in stockinette (back and forth), increasing at each end every other row.
- Purl to create turning ridge
- Continue in stockinette (back in forth), increasing at each end every other row until desired number of vertical hem stitches have been added (I did four on each side)
- On next knit row, join for working in the round, and continue

To create the vertical hems, I slipped one stitch at the edges of the hem every other round. This created a nice and easy fold. Gosh, I really should have taken pictures of that, too! Here's a little diagram instead:

This is the bottom of the front of the sweater before steeking.

The only tricksy part of this whole sweater was the short-row shaping of the front collar (see two pictures up). I don't know why short-rowing still feels tricksy to me, but it does.

After that, I bound off, and picked up stitches around the collar to create the turtle neck, then did the whole mitred hems thing again. I thought about knitting it all in one piece, but I think binding off and picking up added a little stability.

The buttons are so huge that I didn't want to do buttonholes -- they'd be way too massive. Instead, I sewed the buttons on, then put snaps underneath. Nice and easy!

So, overall, I quite like this sweater and have already worn it twice. But because I was the one who came up with the pattern (as simple as it was), I am feeling highly critical. It's super short. The hems flare out all funny on the bottom and the sleeves. I didn't pick up my wraps very well on the collar shaping. But I DID get to try a steek, I used up stash yarn, and, again, there's something pretty cool about turning a vision in your head (well, ok, mine was a copied vision, but whatever) into a physical reality.


Anonymous said...

It's hard not over-criticize your own designs. But really, it's super cute on you!

I was curious to know how you did the button-holes after seeing the gigantic buttons, but a-hah!--Snaps were a great idea!

The Paskins said...

Hilary H. S. Callis, you are amazing. Great work!

Elena said...

Lovely, lovely cardi!

sheepish one said...

this is just such a leap of genius, à mon avis. i don't think that i will ever be brave enough to steek nor to dream up any semi-original idea for a knit design.

i'm SO impressed hilary. SO impressed.

Anonymous said...

Very cute! You'll be writing your own book of patterns before we know it. Jo

peaknits said...

Bra-VO! It is darling! I love that you sewed the buttons on and put snaps under there - so much neater than a button placket! Looks great on too! Nice job!

Ella said...

Too cute! It looks fabulous on you - I love the color and the fit is wonderful. I think the wee bit of flaring on the sleeves and hem adds to the style. Plus that button/snap idea? Genius. I love it. :D

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

That is a totally awesome sweater! Congratulations on your design and I'm so impressed that you used elements such as steeks and short-rows. Being free from the constraints of a pattern really allowed your creativity to shine through!

Team Knit said...

Maybe because most of us don't know what the original looks like, but I have to say that your Trina is gorgeous! LOVE the big wooden buttons (and snaps are brilliant).

- Julie

Anonymous said...

this is gorgeous -- you've done an incredible job.

and yikes! steeking! that leaves my whining about dropping clapotis stitches behind it in the dust in the competition for scary knitting instructions...

Teresa said...

I actually like the length. I think it looks very chic as it is. Great job!

jenna said...

I lovelovelove it!! I'm completely impressed. :)