Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Let's make something! Part 5--finishing the body

The knitting of the body of the featherweight cardi went surprisingly fast. It's all stockinette, but it still surprised me by the quickness. Yesterday morning I was half done, and last night--poof!--it was all done! I knit a full 10" of stockinette, as directed by the pattern, though I considered stopping at 9.5". If you're of shorter stature, you might want to do less than 10" of stockinette.

For the edge of the body, the pattern calls for 1x1 rib. I'm not always pleased with how my 1x1 rib looks, so I considered doing seed stitch for the edge, but in the end decided to give the ribbing a chance. And I like how it looks. The pattern recommends 2", but I stopped at 1.25". I didn't want a full 2" of ribbing at the bottom, but I wanted enough so that the bottom of the sweater doesn't curl up. Something else I considered was a folded hem, but in the end decided this might counteract the lightness of this sweater.

1x1 ribbin

To cast off the 1x1 ribbing, I used what calls, the Knit-One-Purl-One Bind Off. Basically, you use kitchener stitch to graft the stitches together, as though the knit stitches were one piece and the purl stitches were another (like how you graft the toe of a sock). I find it easier to complete this bind off with the knits and purls on separate needles (though this is not necessary):

Ready to cast off body

For the sewing, it's important to have lots of yarn--3x the width of your knitting (or more). Many times I've run out of yarn, then have to join in a new piece, and this is just annoying. So more is better. Plus, I want this cast off to be nice and stretchy, so I don't want to worry at all about yarn budgeting. While working this cast off, I like to keep it super loose. It looks messy, but it's easy to go through and clean/tighten things up a bit when it's done (or every few inches for a project with this many stitches).

Casting off

The thing about this cast-off method: it takes FOREVER. The new Phoenix album and an entire episode of This American Life (#381 Turncoat). But I'm pleased with the result. It's nice and stretchy but still neat-looking. This cast off creates the same look you would get with a tubular cast-on if you worked the sweater from the bottom up.

Cast off edge

I was super congested this morning (thanks, allergies) so I took some Sudafed, which is a wonder. But now I'm left with that jittery feeling, like I had too much caffeine, plus a weird foggy head. It's not pleasant.

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