Monday, October 25, 2010

Sandridge: the Feminine Version (Helpful HInts)

A couple of days ago I finished up teaching a class at Janie H. Knits on the feminine version of Sandridge. I'm reluctant to use the word "teaching", since it makes me sound like an authority on something. Really, I just passed on what I had learned from making and knitting the pattern and listened to what others had to offer. Here are a few ideas that might be helpful:
1. Since the pattern was initially written as a man's jacket, a woman, especially if she's on the shorter side, might want to modify the raglan depth. This is easily done. Put the work on a length of yarn and try on the jacket as it grows toward the underarms. On my vanilla cream version, I simply stopped when I reached the end of the sleeve increases and cast on the extra required stitches for the body at the underarms. (Just use a backward loop cast-on and knit into the backs of the cast-on stitches when you knit them up for the sleeves.)
2. Consider whether you want to decrease the number of stitches in the forearm. Women generally have narrower forearms than men. If you are making a size with an even number of forearm stitches, decrease to an even number; if you are making a size with an odd number, decrease to an odd number.
3. If you are on the shorter side, you may want to decrease the sleeves at a faster rate. One of the advantages of knitting in the round is that you can decrease easily every third round instead of the more usual four or six. Do the math to figure out whether you need to do this-- you'll need to check your row gauge. Remember that the design plan is that you should knit straight for several inches for a fitted forearm. Of course, if you don't want that look, then feel free to decrease right to the cuff. You are in control!
4. When finishing the jacket border, after you have cast off all the stitches, DON'T BREAK OFF THE YARN; pull the last loop through, then insert your crochet hook into the loop, ch 1, and then begin to sc into the top 2 loops of the cast-off stitches. After a couple of inches, check for tidiness. You may want to unzip your crochet stitches and try with another hook size.
5. Experiment with buttonhole sizes. Carol needed only 2 stitches for her cute wooden buttons while Sue needed four for her pearly-grey oversized buttons.
Here are some photos of the class sweaters.
Janie, of Janie H. Knits, modelling my sweater, in vanilla cream Cuzco from Berroco
Carol, wearing her rust Cuzco sweater (too bad that her matching rust hair doesn't show!)
Sue, looking great in her jacket in Berroco's Vintage Chunky