it’s growing. i’ve got the body knit to the underarms and next i will join those sleeves on and start the yoke. i haven’t talked very much about the sweater’s design, but basically, i am using EZs seamless hybrid rules and adding some detailing for style.
last saturday i did a little sketch as i worked out the numbers i needed for the body (we don’t want any unfortunately-placed ribs or a bad meeting of the parts at the neck, and a little planning goes a long way to waylay that sort of trouble).
david loves anything that even hints at cargo wear, so i thought a fatigue sweater would rock his christmas the right way, and knitting it in a fun red would add that element of surprise that freshens up a classic shape. it will have a neck placket set into an angled ribbed panel, with a ribbed panel at the sides.
the neck placket is a good design for him . . . he has a large head and big hair, so crewnecks are a little difficult to work in secret. also impossible to get a snug, cozy high-necked look in a crew for him. a button placket solves all of that nicely.
david is quite bulky through the upper arm, shoulder and chest but narrower at the waist, particularly in back, so the ribbing helps to give shape at the sides. i also taper his sweaters from waist to chest to compensate for the fairly large dimensional difference.
most men’s sweaters benefit from having a bottom rib that is at least 10 percent smaller than the sweater body, but where most patterns will add that 10 percent just above the ribbing, i like to add it gradually as i work up the body, by increasing every 2 inches or so, to about 3 inches below the underarm. this creates an attractive, tapered silhouette and eliminates that poochy pouching just above the ribbing which is such a turnoff (i still leave plenty of ease to mask any belly action; we just don’t want to add to it).
my next step is to join all the parts and here’s where the mystery thickens a bit for me. i have the EZ books. i have access to many EZ resources. but always, at some point with these patterns, you are on your own.
For instance, EZ makes her sleeves 33 percent of the body circumference which i know for a fact is going to be too narrow for big hunky david (let’s just say i have inside information). so i made his sleeves 40 percent, which was recommended in this knitty article on the subject.
now though, as i work my way through the yoke, i am wondering how to mesh the knitty recommendation (and david’s sizing needs) with EZs decreasing and saddle construction.
another reason i feel a little adrift here is that EZ does not offer percentages for some measurements . . . like armhole depth and the length of the shoulder saddle. she tells you what she would do for her hypothetical 200-stitch sweater, but not what i should do with my somewhat larger sweater.
i’ll probably wing it and see what happens. again, i’ll let the inside information and hands-on experience with the recipient will guide me (wink). i think i can eyeball it as i go and end up with something that fits well.
i can always opt to call on a helper who’s just hanging around waiting for a job like this to do.
my man’s form. it’s not exactly the same shape as david, but it is close enough for me to know if the armholes will be deep enough or where i should begin the neck placket. he doesn’t even whimper when he has to do this six times.
i am also going to break with EZ to add a front placket by working back and forth in rows for the upper part of the yoke. my extensive swatching tells me i can do this without a gauge change by switching to size 6 needles.
all in all, there are pretty decent odds that a snafu of some sort will crop up in the yoke section and i need to be prepared to do some ripping if necessary. by reminding myself that i can think about all of the traps above “later”, and with constant injections from the now-bottomless supply of holiday sweets, i’m finding the sweater an all-around enjoyable and stress-free knit.