28 May 2014

Fast Finish

In the midst of teaching at three shows in four weeks, I decided to cast on the Six Point Tee by Cathy Carron from the current issue (spring/summer 2014) of Knit.Wear magazine. I had been doing a lot of writing handouts and knitting swatches for classes. I really needed a quick knitting pick-me-up project. I also wanted something fairly mindless that I could work on at Unwind. I wasn't planning on purchasing Knit.Wear, but I did my due diligence by thumbing through the pages when it arrived at the shop.

The Six Point Tee has a couple things going for it that intrigued me. I was pretty sure the styling and sleeves would be flattering on my small-busted figure. The top-down modified raglan construction looked like an interesting knit. Instead of establishing four double-increase lines, you establish four double-increase lines and two lines that increase only one stitch every-other round. I altered the pattern so those lines also became double-increase lines, but every fourth round. Unlike a normal raglan cast-on, the neck opening is not rectangular. Instead, it is basically a slit with the tops of the sleeves meeting at the center front and back of the neck. The shaping grows the sleeve a little, but it grows the front and back of the garment from a starting point of zero.

I've been on a yarn diet for a long time. I really am trying to knit from stash. In this case, I had six skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy that were purchased in Wisconsin in the summer of 2009. The pattern is written at a gauge of 3 stitches per inch. Hempathy is meant for 6 stitches per inch. So I simply cast on twice the recommended number. If the pattern said, "Increase until you have 100 stitches," then I increased until I had 200 stitches. As it turned out, I didn't even need four skeins, much less all six.

In addition to changing the gauge and the central increase lines, I also changed the increase lines in the hem. After joining the body in the round, you work double decreases at the side seams to shape the waist. That worked fine. But the corresponding double increases to shape the hips flared more than I liked. I finished the top and wore it at Maryland Sheep and Wool. But then the following week I ripped it back to the waist. I took out four rounds at the waist to make it just a bit shorter -- the original length hit me at exactly the widest part of my hips. I reknit the bottom but with the increases spaced out so that the flare is spread across all the garment, rather than concentrated at the sides.

I cast on during Easter Sunday and finished by early May. All in all, a quick and satisfying knit.

No comments: