Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Finishing Considerations on the Hexacomb Cardigan

I finished the body of the hexacomb cardigan on Sunday. I joined the shoulders using kitchener stitch instead of binding off and sewing them together later. (And hooray to me for planning ahead to do this!) I toyed with the idea of doing a three needle bind off so I would have a seam, but I ultimately decided that a seamless shoulder would be a little sleeker and that's the look I wanted to go for.

The pattern instructed me to end the shoulders of the front and the back on the same row in the pattern - for me that was row 8 (out of 12). I'm not really happy with how that turned out because I ended up having a huge, elongated hexacomb on the shoulders. To my credit, I did actually consider this before-hand but if I'd knit up to the corresponding rows for each to continue the pattern that would have ended up adding an extra inch to the shoulder - or I would have had to take away almost an inch because either way I would have had to add or subtract a full pattern repeat. So I decided to go for it. I'm seriously considering taking out the graft and adjusting the knitting somehow to make it look better - I just don't know how. Maybe if I had gone for the seam on the shoulders this would look better? Then again, it still might look bad and be even more noticeable because it would be sticking up. I don't really like how it looks now, but objectively, it doesn't look that bad and it is better than having too-short or too-long armholes. I just strive to have everything look as nice as possible. With all the time I put into knitting the thing, I don't want it to look amateur. As an avid believer in the miracles of blocking, I'm thinking about going the route of cutting one of the repeats out and stretching it during blocking. I guess I should really knit up a swatch and see how far it will stretch before I rely on that. I really hate swatching though and I want to finish this quickly before the fall really sets in. The blocking gods tend to be pretty merciful for me.

My second consideration is the sleeves. The pattern has you knit them flat, from the cuff up, and then seam then and sew them into the arm holes. I've been debating picking up stitches at the armhole and knitting from the shoulder down, but I'm not sure if I'm talented enough to reverse the shoulder shaping instructions. Maybe I will still knit them in the round, but from the cuff up. I think it's probably within my ability to convert the shaping from flat to circular knitting. Still... I wonder if there is a reason the designer has you knitting the sleeves the way she does? Maybe having the seam along the bottom of the sleeve looks better? Thoughts?

One thing I am very proud of myself for is that I have been weaving in the ends as I go through the whole project! I have either been using my fancy new knitting in the ends technique or just stopping the knitting every now and then and weaving in the ends with a needle. That way I am only weaving in one end at a time and it doesn't seem so horrible vs. the sheer hell of weaving in every single end while finishing. I'm also dreading finishing much less. It's funny how one little step can make such a huge psychological impact.

OK, I think that pretty much summarizes my thoughts/plans for finishing this garment. I am putting off thinking about what I will do when it's time for the button holes. That can be a whole other post. I'm never happy with the look of my buttonholes so I'm determined to seek out a better technique.

Now I really should start doing my homework or I will never have time to knit! (I already don't think I'll be able to find any time today or tomorrow and I'm very sad about it).


  1. You may have the elongated hex on the shoulder, but as long as the other shoulder is the same won't it look like it is supposed to be that way?

  2. Yeah, it might. They are symmetrical, so at least I've got that going for me!

  3. I'm a big believer in the "avoid seaming if you can" school. I've done sweaters either way (set-in sleeves and raglan all-in-one piece sleeves). The one piece sleeves are easier, but the set-in sleeves look better on me.

    They just seem to "hang" better on my shoulders, if that makes any sense, and gives the FO a more structured look. But that's just my opinion; YMMV.

  4. Update: I decided to do the sleeves as written in the pattern -- flat and then set in. I agree with laiane - I think it will look better & give the garment some structure. I still haven't decided what to do about the shoulders. :(