Friday, August 23, 2013

Pattern Support: The Figheadh Fundamental Top-Down Cardigans

I have received a couple of e-mails from knitters having trouble deciphering the V-neck shaping in my Fundamental Top-Down Cardigans. The baby, junior, and women's cardigan patterns all have the option written in for either crew neck or V-neck, and the men's is V-neck only. The baby pattern has such small numbers that the Sequences were not necessary, but the others have a bit of a tricky explanation because of the Sequences.

First of all, allow me to say that the way this part of the pattern is written was my way to try to cover more ground without making the pattern stretch out to 20 pages or more. All of my Fundamental patterns are written for so many sizes and in so many multiple yarn weights that they cover a lot of ground, each without going past 12 pages in length. The 13th page is a worksheet page for plugging in your own individual project numbers. When you buy any of the sweater patterns in this series, once you choose your gauge you have one sheet (front and back) that you can carry around with you to work the sweater without having to print out (or carry) the entire pattern. And if you choose to use the template, you only have one page (front only, albeit tiny print) to poke in your knitting bag. I think that's pretty neat!

Okay, on to clearing up some issues.

Basically, when working a top-down raglan sweater, usually the knitter must increase at least every other row at the raglan line (the line between body and sleeves), and also usually this is accomplished on the right side of the fabric. For some sizes in these patterns it was necessary to factor in more rapid increases to arrive at the required number of stitches for the body and sleeves before the length of the armhole was reached. This caused a complication: How to let the knitter know when to work increases if they are happening sometimes simultaneously and sometimes not. That's when I wrote in the Sequences.

Sequence One is for when the knitter is working only the raglan increase every RS row.
Sequence Two is for when the knitter is working the raglan increase and the neck edge increase every RS row.
Sequence Three is for when the knitter must work only the raglan increase on right side and wrong side both. This occurs with some sizes toward the end of the armhole when the neck increases have been completed.
Sequence Four is for when the knitter is juggling all of the above and must work the raglan increase on both right side and wrong side and the neck increase on right side only. This sequence is not used by most of the sizes.

All of the Sequences explain what to do on the right side rows and the wrong side rows.

Ignoring the Sequences for a moment, let's take an example. Here is the instruction for the V-neck increases for size 43 chest for gauge 4 (or generally worsted weight yarn):

"Work raglan inc every RS row [Sequence One] 22 (25, 28, 27, 25, 24, 22, 22) times and then every row [Sequence Three] 0 (0, 0, 5, 10, 14, 19, 22) times. At the same time, beg count with WS row after set-up row, work inc at RS neck edge [Sequence Two] every 6 rows 2 (2, 5, 7, 8, 7, 8, 7) times and then every 4 rows 8 (9, 6, 4, 3, 5, 4, 6) times [35 (39, 42, 46, 49, 53, 56, 60) sts on LF and on RF]. When raglan inc every row and neck edge inc occur simultaneously, use Sequence Four."

This one's pretty simple. Remembering that the Setup Row has accomplished the first set of increases, the raglan increase is worked every RS row (every other row) 28 times--not counting those in the Setup Row. On the third raglan increase, the V-neck starts and is worked every 6 rows five times and then every 4 rows six times. Going back to using the Sequences to know how to work everything, this size uses only Sequence One and Two. We could list it out this way, accounting for every single row.

1 (RS): Setup row
2 (and every even row) Purl.
3. Sequence One
5. Sequence One
7. Sequence Two
9. Sequence One
11. Sequence One
13. Sequence Two
15. Sequence One
17. Sequence One
19. Sequence Two 
21. Sequence One
23. Sequence One
25. Sequence Two
27. Sequence One
29. Sequence One
31. Sequence Two
33. Sequence One
35. Sequence One
37. Sequence Two 
39. Sequence One
41. Sequence Two
...and going on from there, working the raglan increase every right side row and both neck edge increase and raglan increase every other right side row. In other words, the knitter would repeat rows 39-42 three more times to complete the required increases.

Let's take a more complicated example. This one is for working the women's top-down cardigan with V-neck in size 54 chest. 

Work raglan inc every RS row [Sequence One] 29 (30, 31, 33, 35, 37, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44, 45) times and 6 (8, 9, 9, 9, 10, 9, 11, 12, 12, 13, 15) times every row [Sequence Three]. At the same time, beg count with WS row after set-up row, work inc at RS neck edge [Sequence Two] every 6  rows 7 (12, 12, 10, 10, 13, 13, 14, 14, 15, 15, 17) times, and then every 4 rows 6 (1, 2, 4, 5, 2, 3, 2, 3, 2, 3, 1) times [51 (54, 57, 59, 62, 65, 67, 70, 73, 75, 78, 81) sts on LF and on RF].  When raglan inc every row and neck edge occur simultaneously, use Sequence Four.

1. Setup row
2 (and every even row). Purl.
3. Sequence One
5. Sequence One
7. Sequence Two
(Repeat rows 3-8 fifteen more times) 
92. Sequence Three (WS)
93. Sequence Three (RS)
94. Sequence Three (WS)
95. Sequence Four
96. Sequence Three (WS)
97. Sequence Three (RS)
98. Sequence Three (WS)
99. Sequence Four
100. Sequence Three (WS)
101. Sequence Three (RS)
102. Sequence Three (WS)
103. Sequence Four
Rows 104-107 work Sequence Three only and all increases are complete.

So maybe with this small slice of pattern action, you can start to see why I tried to introduce some order so that I would not STILL be trying to write these patterns and folks could already be enjoying what has become one of my best-selling set of patterns to date. Was there another way to write it? No. There were probably twenty other ways to write it, but this is the way I chose.

Thank you to all of you who have tried the Fundamental patterns or who have them queued. 
I hope this helps facilitate your knitting!

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