Icecream bias-stripe sweater
September 20, 2012
November 8, 2012

Icecream bias-stripe sweater

Project info
Bias-knit Sweater by Woman's Day
Size 14 (assumed 32")
Needles & yarn
US 2 - 2.75 mm
Light DK
none left in stash
1 skein = 100 grams
Light DK
none left in stash
1 skein = 100 grams
Pale blue
Light DK
none left in stash
1 skein = 100 grams
Light DK
30 grams in stash
2 skeins = 30 grams
blue/green scraps
Light DK
15 grams in stash
1 skein = 15 grams
Bright pink
Patons UK Diploma Gold DK
none left in stash
1 skein = 131.0 yards (119.8 meters), 50 grams
Wendy Family Choice 8 ply
none left in stash
0.86 skeins = 148.8 yards (136.0 meters), 43 grams

Total weight of jumper in lightweight DK - 13oz. So much for needing 7-8oz of wool as per pattern!

8 Nov 2012: Stunning success! Having managed the complexities of a crochet edging along a multi-coloured edge (and having forgotten to add the crochet button-loops the first time round), I was finally able to button the sweater up and try it on - and it looks wonderful. The odd shape, the way the collar ribbing seems to bulge out in the front… it all makes sense when you see it on the body. And it fits perfectly: no problems with the 34” hip measurement or with the neck opening being too small. The lurid pink edging - the odd combination of horizontal stripes in one set of colours versus diagonal stripes in another set - it just works.

This sweater not only looks just like the picture on the pattern… it looks better than the pattern photo. The positioning of those strong diagonal dark blue and rose stripes is ideal (if only I could claim that it was by design!) A garment that is definitely going to turn heads.

The only problem I can foresee is that with the high neck and densely-knitted yarn it is actually rather warm for the sort of temperatures in which such short sleeves would be appropriate!

7 Nov 2012: Finally sewed up other side of sweater and started on neck ribbing, after the usual agonising about which colours I had enough of and what would make a good combination: the first row has to be in dark rose because of the triangle in this colour at the back of the neck, which means I can’t just copy the colour sequence on the cuffs (and anyhow the neck ribbing is one stripe shorter).

Found some suitable pink-and-silver vintage buttons ‘on stalks’ in my button stash - only four, but then I don’t think I have any buttons small enough to fit the specified six down the opening.

2 Nov 2012: Completed welt and cuff ribbing. Since the cuffs are not intended to be gathered in by the ribbing even in the original - just to provide a non-rolling edging - you effectively have to pick up stitches round the edge at twice the density of normal ribbing: here k.1 p.1 more or less equals 1 stitch of stocking-stitch, in order that when the ribbing contracts it is about the same width as the original sleeve! Eighteen stitches picked up per stripe on the cuffs, as opposed to a mere sixteen on the welt…

Colour toning on the cuffs - with just one stripe of two rows for each colour, plus one row+cast-off for the ‘tipping’ pink - is better than the pattern I used on the welt, but even some of the ‘new’ colours are down to scraps now. The combination as a whole is still too yellow in tone (more so than is apparent in photos) but oddly enough that violent salmon pink does work as a compromise between the two pinks of the body colour.

Sewed up shoulders and one side-seam using all the ends of colours left over. The join on the striped ribbing is something of a mess :-(

26 Oct 2012: Having finished the front half with only tiny amounts of wool left in any of the ‘body’ colours, I had to go looking for more wool to do the ribbing in. I ended up with the various blue-green scraps from my Trellis jersey, which are about the same not-quite-four-ply weight and a vaguely similar colour palette. I should have liked to ‘tip’ the ribbing using the dark rose wool to tie it back into the body section, but I simply don’t think I have enough left for that, so I found another reasonably toning pink.

Picked up 130 stitches across the welt instead of the 126 specified, mainly to make the arithmetic easier (16 stitches per stripe plus two in the centre) but also because I’m worried about this section being too tight - the lower down I go, the wider my hips get, and the jumper is only a 34” tube. I also omitted to change down to smaller needles, chiefly because I’m already using needles two sizes smaller than those in the pattern (and attempting to knit this wool on size 14 needles would be pointless as well as ridiculous!) but additionally to get extra width as above. I’m glad I did, since the stiff diagonal ridges of the main body really don’t ‘blouse’ at all neatly when constrained by the ribbing even as it is. In practice it’s supposed to be stretched tight when worn, I think, so not a problem….

The horizontal stripy effect of mixing all the different coloured scraps in an attempt to tone them together is less than ideal (plus the colours are a bit too ‘bright’ for an unobtrusive border). It would have been better if I could have had a single plain colour for the border, but I’m afraid it’s always going to look a little odd with a straight horizontal border underneath the strong coloured diagonals. I hadn’t thought about this - the original design is more subtle.

24 Oct 2012: I had four inches of the denim wool left at the end of the 14th row of that stripe… so there definitely isn’t going to be any unravelling and grafting going on! I was definitely right to leave those two rows on the previous stripe, since I should otherwise have had obviously misaligned stripes on the shoulder seam instead.

Unfortunately it seems that I do need to squeeze another stripe out of my 9g of remaining mauve, since the neck opening doesn’t start quite so low down as I had assumed.

22 Oct 2012: Shoulder-shaping for the second time - and really getting to the end of the wool now. Final stripes of dark rose, pink and mauve (I hope) now completed: only 9 grams of the mauve, 2 grams of the dark rose, and a negligible quantity of the pink left respectively after finishing each stripe. Brinkmanship to the ultimate degree, perhaps, but very nerve-racking!

Now for the moment of truth where the denim stripe is concerned; this is the one case where I’m hoping I shall end up unpicking and grafting, provided I have enough of the denim wool at the end to ‘fix’ that narrow stripe down at the bottom….

17 Oct 2012: So much for using the ‘messy’ side as the back…. After finishing the denim stripe I had even less of that wool left than of the dark rose, and although the ‘long’ denim stripe is smaller than the other (falling on the shoulder decreases) I simply didn’t dare risk it, but deliberately ripped back the last few rows and left it too narrow. I actually did this by mistake on my previous attempt at this design, where the first full-length mauve stripe turned out to be only 12 rows instead of 14, and didn’t notice for a long time (just - but only just - visible in photos above) so I thought I could get away with it. But since this side has to match the other side I needed to get the extra 2 rows back in before the sleeve increase, and had to add 1 each to the next two stripes. Unfortunately the boundary between a 12-row stripe and a 15-row stripe does show, and quite badly.

It will be ironic if I get to the top and find that I have spare denim wool after all… looking at the photos, it does seem that the upper denim stripe is almost exactly the same size as the lower one when pinned out straight. (Alternatively, I may get there and find that I don’t have enough wool to complete the denim stripe at all, in which case I’ll end up with a matching pair of ‘narrow’ stripes!)

I just can’t tell until I’ve knitted all the remaining stripes, and I just can’t risk it; so I’m mentally reserving the option to unpick and graft yet again…! If I can’t get it even I may end up making this the back after all, in which case I shall have to unpick a lot of short bits from the top of the other piece, which will waste even more wool with re-joining. But better a lot of joins than disconcertingly uneven stripes down the front, I think :-(

14 Oct 2012: Starting second full-width stripe after finishing final batch of triangles. I now have 15 grams of rose-colour left with which to complete that very wide stripe all the way across the arms, and I suspect even less of the denim by the time I have finished this stripe :-(

10 Oct 2012: Still very worried about wool usage, even after adding in the extra two balls. I seem to have used almost exactly half of everything (possibly over half of the denim colour…), and don’t know what on earth is going to happen about the waistband and cuff ribbing. They may have to be in a different (again!) colour. Probably doesn’t matter if I do them in DK or 4-ply instead, provided I find an appropriate needle size for the rib….

New colour scheme is actually looking very good, thanks to completely fortuitous positioning of ‘strong’ stripes :-) Now to find out what happens at the front neck.

9 Oct 2012: Finished grafting after three hours. Not the very neatest of jobs - maybe I ought to make this the back instead of the front? - but not too bad except for the place where I found, after painstakingly grafting 93 stitches, that my two centre front ribs were out of alignment… might need to darn over that to create the missing ‘ridge’. Not bad for only my second try at grafting - especially given that the book doesn’t tell you how to graft a garter stitch ridge (let alone how to graft over a decrease), only that anything other than stocking-stitch is very difficult!

8 Oct 2012: It’s hard to believe that it could have taken the best part of two full days to undo and re-knit a couple of small triangles - I must have ended up knitting, counting and ripping back each row at least twice… Finally starting to replace the two missing body stripes, not aided by the fact that I unravelled a considerable quantity of the vital wool, with great labour, from the bottom up instead of the top down, and thus ended up cutting it every time I encountered a split strand :-(

6 Oct 2012: I got to the top and had to stop, and that’s what’s a-botherin’ me…
I still don’t have (quite) enough of the two main background colours to complete the neck: after my final blue/mauve stripe I have used slightly over half the available wool and thus shan’t be able to complete a matching second side. So I need to do some unpicking again.

I’m hoping to be able to get away with unravelling downwards from the stripe above the lower pink one (colour change should help in picking up the right strands to hold on a spare needle/holder) and only re-knitting the bottom triangles and first two stripes. If I can’t graft it back together at that point (ridge should help to conceal mess?) than I shall have to re-knit the whole thing all over again…

But I am quite glad for the opportunity to adjust the lower colour scheme, which is now looking rather unbalanced. Ditch the original two-blues/one-pink idea altogether and repeat the top pattern downwards, I think: blue-mauve-blue (unravel at this point) denim-mauve (end of full stripes, top of triangles at this point) pink-rose (then mauve-blue as original).

So the total repeat runs blue-mauve-blue-denim-mauve-pink-rose, thus giving right ratio of colours (twice as much blue and mauve as anything else).

2 Oct 2012: After five inches of sleeve it was pretty clear that 10oz of wool wasn’t going to be enough - I had used almost half the wool already and still had a good deal of front to finish. Very difficult to match this lightweight double-knitting as most of the rest of my stash is either 4-ply or DK: I was lucky to find two more random balls which just happened to be in toning but rather more strident colours, a darker pink and blue.

Ripped back two stripes (about a week’s work) in the hopes of being able to incorporate these colours in place of the second pink stripe and make it look deliberate: a striking V across the centre of the front. Not at all certain this is going to work, as the existing colours all share a white/pastel component while the ‘new’ ones are more saturated. I may have to start again from the bottom with the darker stripes ‘enclosing’ the rest.

Meanwhile, it really isn’t practical to carry five strands of wool up the side of the work, so I have had to cut off the oldest ones; unfortunate if it turns out I need instead to re-knit from the start….

29 September 2012: Not sure what measuring five inches ‘straight up’ on the arms implies - technically speaking, the edges of the sleeves aren’t vertical, since increasing on every other row produces a slightly curved edge as opposed to increasing 4 rows and working the 5th even (as at the start of the pattern). Measuring along the edge, I currently have 4 inches of (very short) sleeve. Each row takes about 15 minutes to knit….

23 September 2012: Increased for arms. I now have to work five and a half inches with 228 stitches on the needle(s) - slow going….

Found on zilredloh’s blog. Like other readers, I was intrigued by the idea of a garment knitted on the bias - apparently unlike the rest, I actually set out to try it! Am doing the ‘stripes’ in three different colours rather than as texture interest in a single colour as per illustration, since as usual I’m trying to use up scraps.

Had to go down two sizes of needle (assuming I’ve translated the original US sizes correctly) in order to get the required gauge. I thought this unlabelled scrap wool was 4-ply, but it looks as if it may be a lightweight DK instead. As a result, the fabric is coming out pretty dense and heavy - certainly not going to be a lot of ‘bias stretch’ in this one…. I can just squeeze my 188 stitches onto one of my long size 12 needles (pattern uses circulars), but will need an auxiliary needle to handle overflow when we reach the sleeves, which are knitted in one piece with the bodice.

The garment is basically a tube with sleeves sticking out at right-angles; hope it isn’t too stiff to ‘drape’.

viewed 1224 times | helped 4 people
September 20, 2012
November 8, 2012
About this pattern
3 projects, in 25 queues
HarrietBazley's overall rating
HarrietBazley's clarity rating
HarrietBazley's difficulty rating
About this yarn
by Patons UK
55% Wool, 25% Acrylic, 20% Nylon
131 yards / 50 grams

2542 projects

stashed 1574 times

HarrietBazley's star rating
About this yarn
by Wendy
50% Acrylic, 40% Nylon, 10% Wool
173 yards / 50 grams

51 projects

stashed 79 times

HarrietBazley's star rating
  • Project created: September 22, 2012
  • Finished: November 10, 2012
  • Updated: November 11, 2012
  • Progress updates: 10 updates