Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Glentrekker Cardigan: Staying in Pattern at the Raglan Line

Welcome to the next post in a series about knitting the 
The previous one was about joining the sleeves and body, 
so what comes next?
Working the raglan decreases while keeping all those cables intact, that's what!

Before we look specifically at some of the cables in the Glentrekker and how to navigate the decreases with those, let's look at the ordinary 
2/2 RC worked at a rate of every four rows when confronted with a raglan line.

The vertical diagonal white line at the left is the right-leaning raglan line worked as k2tog (knit two together), k1 (knit one) at a rate of every four rows. The k2tog decrease worked this way forms a stacked, clean line all the way to the neckline. On the facing raglan line, the left-leaning decrease is worked as k1, ssk (slip one knitwise, slip one knitwise, knit the two slipped stitches together) every four rows, which forms a clean line all the way up to the neckline as well. Point A shows the last full 2/2 RC (two/two right cross, a four-stitch back cross) to be worked without involving the k2tog decrease. After that, no more cable crosses have been attempted. 

This is all a matter of personal preference, but I do not like for my raglan lines to look like this. I like to make those cables cross just as close to that raglan line as possible. I want it to appear as if the cable pattern goes on about its business in the background, with the raglan line hovering over what appears to be a fully-completed cable fabric going on uninterrupted underneath. Sometimes I can accomplish that and sometimes I only come close, but I can certainly do better than that poor 2/2 RC abandoned to become a plain, old band of knit stitches. 

How to do that? Let's examine this more closely.

Point B on the left-leaning raglan line to the right is the same complete 2/2 RC as in point A. Moving up four more rows, we see that point C is a partial cable from the three stitches left after a raglan decrease, a 2/1 RC. Point D shows that when the raglan line had eaten the cable stitches down to only two, I worked a 1/1 RC. Shortly after, at point E, the raglan line had obliterated the remaining cable stitches.

But how did I work the partial cables while at the same time working the raglan decreases?

Point F is a good example, and there we see that both the raglan lines are about to devour that middle 2/2 RC. At this point I knit one stitch, slipped one stitch, re-positioned the four stitches to be worked as a 2/2 RC (two to the back and two to the front, with the front two being worked first). I completed the ssk with the stitch I first slipped and the first stitch of the newly-re-positioned cable stitches. Once the cable stitches were in position, I worked across the next two stitches and then k2tog with the last of them and the first of the raglan line. After that, it was all over with and the raglan line had gobbled up everything. 

So, if you find yourself in the predicament of having a raglan decrease come in conflict with a cable cross, try this. For the left leaning decrease, slip the first of the ssk decrease, re-position the cable as you normally would do, and then work the ssk with the first of the stitches intended for the cable. Do the same for the right-leaning decrease, except re-position the cable stitches first, knit to the last stitch of the cable, and then knit two stitches together with it and the raglan line stitch. All of this business is done on the right side of the fabric so you can see exactly what you're doing, I might add.

This will work with any sort of cable, with varying results. 
Be brave and try it!
Bare Naked Wools Kent DK
This is a closeup of the right front decrease line eating up a 2/2 RC on the Glentrekker and the converging body raglan line eating up another at a rate of decreasing every right-side row. At point G you see a 2/1 RC cable, the decrease taking away the first of its stitches, the next RS row ate another stitch, and at point H, the decrease line finished off the last of them. Since a left-leaning raglan line depletes a 2/2 RC cable differently than a right-leaning one does, you see in point J that a 1/2 RC keeps the semblance of right-cross action before the next decrease takes away another stitch and then finally at point K, the last stitch of the cable is gobbled up.

I could go on and on, because there are a few different cables in the Glentrekker, However, as I told you in this post, there are a whole lot of 2/2 RC cables in this sweater, so this all will take you far when trying to stay in pattern while decreasing the upper body of the cardigan.

The main thing to do is to trust yourself and work these as you see fit, as you think best. There are many ways to do this, and I'm sure you will discover your own favorites!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Holidays!

I have a little gift for you.

I have been contacted a few times over the last couple of years about a pattern I discontinued. 
I finally paid attention and did some research and found that there indeed was a need in the world for my Madrona Felted Derby pattern.

So it's back!
Stormy models the Madrona!

It's currently only listed on Ravelry, so go there to grab it.

I hope your holidays are going very well and your knitting, too!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Assembling the Glentrekker

There's still time to get in on the Glentrekker KAL on Ravelry. The deadline is still February 1, 2015, so you could make the sweater or one of the hats and still qualify for the prizes.
Come and join us!

Alrighty, let's see where I am on this Glentrekker project.

After testing the written instructions on my first body repeat, and then testing the charts on my second body repeat, I printed out the chart page for my size and with my trusty clicker (row counter) I've chugged all the way up to the point where I join the sleeves. I prefer charts when knitting, as I have an easier time keeping my place that way. 

When I worked my sleeves, I consulted the pattern to check my increase rate, wrote it down, and checked it off as I went along, with the clicker keeping me on the right row. The sleeve cable is so easy I didn't need the chart after a couple of pattern repeats. 

I have also been trying to save paper and ink this time by sending the pattern PDF to my Kindle and using it instead. The sleeves and body of my Glentrekker are ready to be married and joined for life. You may notice that my sleeves are pretty long. I always lengthen my sleeves. I like them long. You will remember that I am using Bare Naked Wools Kent DK for this project, which was so generously donated by Knitspot just because they wanted to see a Kent DK Glentrekker in the world. Aren't they nice? I love this yarn. I am partial to undyed, natural-fiber yarn, and this one is an exquisite example.

Okay, let's get busy. Noting where I am in the cable pattern, I take up a different long circular (the metal Addi on the right), work that pattern across the right front section of the cardigan until I arrive at 16 stitches before the first marker. I am about to slip those next 16 body stitches onto a piece of waste yarn to wait for joining the underarm sections after the body is finished. I place a new marker on the right needle at this point.

Then I take my first sleeve and slip all the stitches from the larger piece of waste yarn onto the left needle (my Clover bamboo with a super-pointy tip). This is why you are instructed to place two sets of stitches on waste yarn when your sleeve is to the correct length and number of stitches. I keep a little jar of smooth, white or cream cotton yarn for just this purpose. It makes the stitches easy to find and easy to slip off onto a needle. After working that set of stitches, I am going to place a new marker where that green one is. You can just leave the one you have in place, but I wanted to change my markers for this section because I keep losing my little green ones and I want them all the same color. I could only find two green ones, and I need four.

After I joined that first sleeve and worked across those stitches in pattern, I worked the back section in pattern to the next marker. Then I placed the next 16 body stitches on waste yarn as I did before, and that sets me up for adding the second sleeve. The pink pen is for editing my pattern. Yes, I keep finding ways to make it better. Also, there was a missing comma. Oh, brother.

After adding the second sleeve and placing my four markers where they belong, and then working the left front section in pattern, I have one big piece ready for the raglan decrease. This is my favorite part. It's fun to watch the raglan line eat up the cables. 

Speaking of eating cables, my next blog post about this project will cover some tricks for making that go more smoothly for you. I will show you how I manage to keep the cables intact as close to that raglan line as I can.  Yummy, yummy cables.

See you soon! Happy Cabling!