So. Where am I on the Rebecca 22 tutti-frutti striped Estelle Young Touch cotton sweater
Okay, here's the deal. As I substituted the yarn required by the pattern, my row and stitch gauge were off. Not much, but enough to make a difference in the length and fit of the sweater, so I reworked the pattern (including armhole depth and sleeve cap shaping) to accomodate the difference. [Sigh*.]
Anyway. I managed to achieve the above successfully. See? Here are all the pieces I had completed
, looking all rumpled and indecent with their ends hanging out. I'm on my way to seaming, right? Er, no. Because when I finished the second sleeve I realized that as a result of my reworking the pattern, the bottom of the sleeves had more green rows than the bottom of the front and back pieces. Argh. Just by four rows, and I know that there are people out there who would leave it like it is and not let that bother them, and to you and I say: Hurrah! But I know myself. Seeing that wee difference would have irked me into the ground, every time. Oh, if I could only add four measly green rows to both the back and front pieces!
So I did. I pulled out the scissors, some Katharina Buss, an embroidery needle, stuck Shrek
into the DVD player and had myself a little grafting party this afternoon.
Katharina Buss' Big Book of Knitting
(pages 184-185) has some instructions on lengthening and shortening pieces. I didn't follow her written instructions to the letter, but I used her excellent photos as a guide. What I did was snip the selvedge of a row at the LEFT end of the piece using scissors. Then I used the tip of an embroidery needle to gently pulled out the yarn, undoing the row stitch by stitch. This separated the work in two, and I placed the open stitches of the BOTTOM piece (which contains the ribbing) on a needle so I could work the additional 4 rows in green on that piece. The row I had cut and ripped out had been a knit row, so I joined new yarn and started knitting on the right side of the work. I worked the four rows, ending with a purl row. Then I joined the open stitches of the bottom piece to the open stitches of the top piece by grafting. And just for you, here is a little photo display of my mini grafting adventure.
I've joined pieces by grafting before
, but this is the first time I've taken scissors
to knitting, lengthened a piece and then joined via grafting. I liked it! Seeing that little row of grafting bring those pieces together seamlessly made me want to sing like Donkey from Shrek
, Katharina Buss!
*Fact: I don't particularly like reworking and/or drafting patterns. I am Lazy (yes, with a capital "L") at doing the math, which is why I love knitting from patterns. Pulling out the calculator just makes me want to yawn. Which is funny, because I have a specialization in financial tax law. Hahahaha!
Additional things worth sharing re grafting:
As in free-loop backstitch
(which is just as FUN, oh yes it is!), I find that holding the open stitches down with a thumb while pulling the yarn through keeps them from stretching out.
I found it easier to keep the stitches of the top piece OFF a needle and the stitches of the bottom piece ON the needle. The stitches of the top piece didn't come undone because they had been knitted for a while, but the stitches of the bottom piece had just been added on so they probably would have come undone if I had pulled them off the needle.
Working the new rows on the bottom piece meant that I got to keep my selvedges as they are, so seaming will still be a breeze. Working new rows on the top piece would have shifted the stitches over by half a stitch.
I would only do this sort of cutting and grafting on pieces knit in stockinette stitch. Maybe garter. But anything else? No, gracias!
That's all I can think of for now, and dinner's a-callin'.
Viva le grafting!