Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hourglass Aran sleeve design

After some tribulation, sleeve #1 is long enough to show you.

The central cable is a (slight) adaptation of No. 46 from Annie Maloney's Cable Knitter's Handbook, the next cable out is my own, and the texture stitch is... um, I can't find which book it came from anymore. It's probably called "little honeycomb", and if you like doing 1-over-1 cable crosses this stitch is for you. :)

I made my life unintentionally difficult by wanting to do a shallow set-in sleeve from the top down. The faster I could increase stitches, the shallower the set-in... but it turns out that there's a limit to how quickly a person can do increases, and it's hard to even hit that limit gracefully. In the end, I begged for help on Ravelry, and this is the wisdom I came away with:

To increase 1 stitch on each side on every row, just do a yarnover for the increase -- you need that extra yarn in the fabric so that the edge (diagonal) stitches can be longer than the other stitches. Twist each yo on the next row to close the hole.

You can see in the upper right of this closeup that I got it working pretty well.

You can also see that I did a gusset rather than do the texture stitch all the way across. Decreases actually continue at the same rate after the gusset; it's just a visual feature more than a shaping one. I could have done without the fake seam, with a bit more planning, but joining in the round left me with a one-row jog in the pattern from one side to the other.

Finally, here's what the sleeve will eventually look like from the front when being worn:

Yeah, the cap wound up a bit trapezoidal, but I think it won't show much.

I already know it will be annoying to set these into the sweater body. I'm thinking of trying to do it using backstitch and a dressmaker's technique, explained here on Ravelry by Annie herself. But first things first: I need to finish the forearm, figure out how to gracefully end the central cable (which I'd like to close off) and do the cuff. To say nothing of the dog the second sleeve.