Leftover Surprise Knit T
I call this one "Leftover Surprise" because it was made entirely with Simply Soft leftover from other projects. The surprise is that I didn't have to run out and buy more yarn at the last minute (though I did decide to frog this scarf instead since I never did like it much). And the other surprise was that it came out reasonably well when I was very much winging it.
I was trying to decide what to work on next when I could not help but notice that the basket and tin that I keep left-over yarn balls in were both so over stuffed that balls were like to roll out and everywhere at the slightest disturbance. Noticing how much of that was simply soft, I decided to try to use that up. Got out my kitchen scale and managed to come up with 10 ozs of colors I liked together, and so I was off and running. I started with the same pattern (knitty's 'Tempting') that I used as the basis for my first knit sweater, figuring that by the time I got to the top, I would have figured out how I wanted to change it up this time. Which fortunately worked out.
Not liking the length of the sleeves on my first try, I made these very short, about 2 inches. And I got a second pair of circular needles and was able to do fairly well with the magic circle technique. It was still a little awkward, but not too bad. Not sure if I'll be wanting to do that for the length of a full sleeve, but maybe.
I skimmed various articles on-line about top-up raglan shaping (see the resources page) and decided that didn't look too hard, so I decided to give it a go. I also wanted a V neck, which I had a hard time finding general instructions for, but it didn't seem like rocket science, so I decided to try that too. V neck part turned out to be pretty easy, it was just a matter of not going in a round anymore, jsut going back and forth and decreasing a stitch every few rows until it met the raglan decrease. I had a bit of a harder time with the raglan decreases, because the ribs made it a little confusing as to which of the decreases I should use. I'm still fuzzy on this right-slant, left-slant thing, I think I'll study that a bit more carefully before I embark on my next project. I just did pairs of knit-together or purl-together, based on what the rib pattern I happened to be on needed. It lacks elegance, but I don't think it's hideous. Not as hideous as my messed up stitches on the last sweater anyway!
To finish the v-neck, I picked up stitches around the front two sides of the neck-hole, and knitted one row around, then bound off. Again, lacking in elegance, but it worked. That's another thing to research, how to do a cooler edge for the neck.
To lay out the stripe pattern, I decided to group the 4 colors into pairs by similarity and then separate them by white. Every other white band, I increased the width of the stripe by one row, trying to make a progression up the point where I would switch to all white (because I didn't want to be messing with all the decreases *and* color changes at the same time.) The row-height of the stripes in other colors I varied as randomly as I could, with an eye to how much of those colors I had to work with. Fortunately I just barely managed to eke out the colors I had the least of and retrain my color-order pattern. So I'm pretty happy with how the coloring worked out.
I haven't washed it yet, but based on my swatch, it shouldn't change too much in size, just get a little drapier. Maybe some of the stitches in white will even up a bit; the white yarn was all pre-used, so it had a bit of a kink to it that effected the stitch quality a bit. Meanwhile, it's very comfy. I don't want to take it off!
oh, and for future reference: cast on 148 stitches for body, 48 stitches for the sleeves, size 7 circs.