Sunday, September 23, 2007

Converting a sweater

So, there's this Tangled Yoke sweater

from the Interweave Knits Fall 2007 issue, the Tangled Yoke Sweater KAL and the Knitting From the Top KAL on the Craftster Forums and they all started to merge in my head.

In general, it's a basic sweater - ribbed at the bottom & wrists, stockinette stitch the rest of the body/sleeves, a little waist shaping, and finish with a round-yoke. And don't forget to knit that gorgeous cable. Changing it to top-down is, in theory, easy. Do the round yoke first, divide the yoke for the sleeves & body, knit the sleeves finishing off with the ribbing, knit the body with a little waist shaping and finish off with the ribbing. But the cable....

Is the round yoke shaping part of the cable? How much is the yoke shaping impacted by nearly 2" of cable (18 rows of cable at a pattern gauge of 36 rows per 4") How will the cable look being knitted 'upside down'?

I was curious, and I'm thinking of making this sweater. Sometime. After the other sweater is done (which has had no progress in nearly a month. It's really hard to finish a sweater that doesn't get worked on...)

Anyway. So I read the pattern.

Body section - instructions from the bottom hem up to where the sleeves join. Not a biggie to convert to top-down, especially with Barbara Walker's Knitting From The Top book handy. The body is stockinette with waist shaping and ribbing. I'm not going to convert these instructions to top-down (especially since from the schematic, the waist shaping may not be at the right height for me anyway)

Sleeve section - Same as the body. Nothing fancy on the sleeves except for the ribbing. I know how to knit sleeves top down so I'm not converting this section either.

Yoke section - the section on page 74 is about joining the sleeves and body, nothing about the cable (yet) There's a lot of decreases. Top of page 75 is where the cable info starts. Ok, let's see, the row before the cable starts has 216 stitches in the smallest size. Then info about knitting the cable. Then, the last cable row is still 216 stitches for the smallest. So, no yoke shaping is happening during the cable. Cool. That means the cable doesn't need to be adjusted. Ok, back to the instructions, after the cable, there's more yoke shaping decreases, some short-row shaping of the neck, and the neck-edge hem.

Converting this to top-down is easy (hypothetically anyway) - Start at the neck, do the hem (or cast-on provisionally and do the hem later) do short row shaping, and then the round yoke increases fast enough so there's enough stitches for the cable by the time the cable is started. Do the cable, finish the round yoke, then divide the sleeves & body and finish the sweater. Sounds so simple doesn't it?

At the pattern's gauge, the cable is 2" so the sweater needs to be cable-ready about 2" before shoulder width so the cable hits the shoulder in the same place as the picture.

The cable has 2 repeat sections - 10 stitches each, so a multiple of 20 - and another 28 stitches that doesn't repeat, and then the sweater has 4 stitches on both edges as a 'border' between the cable & buttonbands. 20 stitches for the repeating part of the cable, plus 28 for the non-repeating part of the cable, plus 8 stitches for the border means a "multiple of 20 stitches plus 36 stitches" is how many stitches the yoke needs to be when the cable starts.

I haven't decided whether to work the cable from setup row to row 18 or 'backwards' from row 18 to setup row, I'm going to wait until I swatch the cable. My thought now is to leave the cable as is and knit from setup row to row 18.

The buttonband instructions are directionally-independent so to speak, they're knit on after the sweater body is done, so it doesn't matter if it was bottom-up or top-down.

I love the look of the cable, but I'm not so crazy about the round yoke (although I see why they go together - it wouldn't be the same sweater if the cable was broken by shoulder seams like in a set-in-sleeve sweater). I'm thinking maybe after the cable, I'll finish the yoke using Barbara Walker's instructions for set-in sleeves using the 'simultaneous set-in sleeve' variation.

1 comment:

hanna said...

You seemed to have work everything out. I hope you knit the sweater.