Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Totally Tubular

I started another sweater in mid-March, using some yarn I spun last year during Tour de Fleece, six bumps of Southern Cross Fibre's "Longest Night" on Cheviot. It is a three-ply, about DK weight.

I had been thinking for a while about copying a very beloved store-bought sweater, a simple cardigan. I'm greatly intrigued by this cardigan. It is a simple little thing, a classic, straight-forward shape, but it has a few simple details that make it special. One of the things that I find clever about it is that the shoulder seams aren't on the shoulder. Silly, right? Well, the front yoke is extended just enough to go across the "straight" part of the top of the sleeve. The front yoke/shoulder is straight at the top, though the armhole side of the shoulder is shaped with increases. Weird, right? (Just a few...) The back then joins the front by shaping the back with increases every row. (I counted the increases across the back and the rows of increases... one for one.) I also like several other details of the sweater... joined front bands (ribbed), the bands on the pockets, and the wide ribbing on the bottom.

Classic Cardigan

In inspecting the sweater ribbing, I convinced myself that what I needed to do was a tubular cast on. I had never done one of those before, and I had become somewhat reluctant, almost resistant and superstitious about it. After looking in my various knitting books, I decided to try a "provisional tubular cast on." It starts with a provisional cast on just like any other... I do my provisional cast on by starting with a plain crochet cast on using the waste yarn. (I get confused when I try to do the "EZ" and Barbara Walker method of provisional cast on, where you use both yarns and wind them back and forth.) Then, I just knit the working yarn into the waste yarn stitches. The "tubular" part is just four rows of "k1, yf, sl1 pw, yb," as described on Romi's blog. Simple, right?

Classic Cardigan

I can't believe I waited so long to try such a simple maneuver, and it looks awesome! Now, the trick will be to do the tubular cast off at the top. That will require some grafting. There are some good instructions here.

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you! It took me six tries to perfect a tubular cast on. Once done, it was worth it but I felt like a beginning knitter. I can't wait to see this sweater.