I'm back to tell you that my plan worked with the Annabelle. I thought it would be great to try short-row, top-down sleeve caps on this cardigan. I sought advice first from Barbara Walker's book, Knitting From the Top, and then from Wendy Bernard's book, Custom Knits 2. I first tried this technique on the Promenade Dress from Modern Top-Down Knitting by Kristina McGowan, which I just realized that I never blogged about, nor did I add it to my Ravelry projects page--more work to do! Anyhow, it was high time for me to learn how to put this technique into my own pattern, and I used Wendy's instructions--they made it so easy!
Here is the first sleeve of the new Annabelle laid flat. You can actually work this sleeve flat or in the round--your choice. I worked the body sections flat, so I wanted to continue in that vein. See how the little cap hunkers up? That's what the short rows do. With short rows, you are working only some of the stitches while leaving the rest to...well, rest--until you get back to them. It makes things round, or wedged, or whatever shape you need them to be. A sleeve cap? It should be round, not pointy. Short rows make that happen!
Here she is all laid out. You can also see even better in these pictures how I replaced a lot of the seed stitch with Stockinette Stitch. Seed stitch is fun with hand-dyed yarn, but good old Stockinette lets it really shine. It's also easier to work all the shaping on Stockinette Stitch.
Here's the setup. I took a 24" circular needle and picked up the required stitches around the armhole.
In this closeup you can see that I picked up three stitches for every four rows, making sure that I picked up a stitch at the shoulder seam, because this stitch pattern requires one center stitch.
Then I got out all my markers and placed them by color as I worked the first row. The orange fixed marker holds the center stitch, the green markers are where the central stitch pattern will be worked and where I will need to start working short rows, and the white markers are where I will stop working short rows and work all the stitches back and forth. Wendy advises that one-third of the armhole stitches at the top center should be placed between short rows. Barbara's numbers were working out to about 24% instead of 33%. One third worked great for me, because it perfectly coincided with my central stitch pattern (the sections between Stockinette stitch sections). Once I was done knitting the sleeves, I closed up the side seams and sleeve seams with mattress stitch--so much fun!
Here is the new improved Annabelle pre-bath. She's kind of lumpy and malformed, but I expect great things when I block her! Now if I can just choose the right buttons....
I'll be back in part three with FO pictures! See you soon!