Finished! After binding off the second sleeve I put internal crochet reinforcements across the shoulders, around the top third of each armhole, and across the front and back yoke along the bottom of the trinity stitch section. That’s keeping everything in place nicely, and should stop unwanted stretching over time.
I skipped the button and just crocheted the keyhole closed across the top, reinforcing the intersection with some extra yarn.
The fit is maybe a little too close, so I might give it a little stretch next time I wash it. Otherwise it’s very comfortable, still love the colour, and I will get lots of wear out of this!
First sleeve bound off last night, second sleeve started this morning. I used the same picot hem as on the body and made the sleeves full length, with a close fitting arm since I’m almost always wearing a cardigan.
There is quite a bit of excess fabric at the top of the sleeve/upper yoke intersection. I considered trying to “steek” it out but was too worried about cutting into a one piece garment and ruining the whole thing, so I’m going to try and re-shape as much as I can with some crochet reinforcements inside and careful blocking. It’s no worse than many commercial sweaters I enjoy wearing, just not perfect like I aim for with a hand knit ;) Next time I will adjust the yoke width, as well as the shoulder and bust.
I’m also not entirely happy with this sleeve construction method, having it knitted in contiguously with one sleeve row for every body row means I ended up with little gathers all around the sleeve and far more stitches than I needed for arm circumference. In hindsight, I would have preferred to pick up stitches so I could have a different sleeve:body ratio.
AND, I changed the bands of plain purl stitches that run from the neck edge to the top of the shoulder - I thought they looked a bit like I’d messed up the trinity stitch pattern, so I dropped two columns of stitches back on each side and re-hooked them as knit stitches. I like that effect much better.
Lest you think I’m tearing the pattern to pieces, I should note I have very weird proportions. Making it as written would probably work out fine for other people!
Body finished! I abandoned the pattern at the bottom of the armholes and worked out the shaping by trying it on frequently and doing a little maths. I needed a lot of body increases, and putting them all at the sides would have made a weird pointy shape, so I decided to create a feature and run them down in lines about where a princess seam would be. There are shaping lines on the front and back, plus some decreases under the bust on the front, short rows at the side of the bust in front, and more short rows at the back hip.
I didn’t like the hem in the pattern, so went for simple picots (one row of k2tog, yo on the fold line) and sewed down the live stitches on the reverse side for maximum stretch. I really like how the shape of the picots echos the trinity stitch on the yoke. In the WIP photos I just added I’ve given the hem a tiny blast of steam, but no proper blocking yet, and it seems to be sitting flat.
My purl faux-seams sounded like a good idea in theory, but in practice they were loose and looked like I’d seamed very poorly. I thought about dropping them down and re-hooking as knit stitches, but I did want some definition at the sides (for blocking and folding as much as wearing) so I tried hooking up a column of knit stitches out of the purl bumps without dropping the stitches down. Not a technique I’ve seen elsewhere, but it worked perfectly! On the right side there is a distinct column of slightly smaller knit stitches, and on the inside what’s left looks like knits as well. Very tidy, with nice structure and anti-droop protection.
This project is two steps forward and one step back. Since my last entry I reached the armhole division, knitted down past the short rows for the bust (not in the pattern, but I need them!), then found a better short row method, so I ripped out several inches to do that section again. I’d rather re-knit now than have those short rows bother me every time I wear the sweater.
The good news is it looks much better with “double stitch” short rows, and I’m now decreasing for the waist shaping. Everything from here down in the body is improvised based on trying on and measurements; I’m a very different shape from the pattern so it’s easier just to go it alone.
Last night I thought I had reached the armhole division, but once I knitted a couple of body rows and tried it on I realised I needed a much deeper armhole - at least 10 more rows. Ah well! Tink tink, and I’m back on the lower yoke for a while longer…
Finally, finally out of that stitch pattern. The shaping at the shoulder and top of sleeve looks, frankly, quite odd - but I’m going to go with it until I reach the armhole division and can try it on properly.
I’m adding some increases to one of the early stockinette rounds - 8 inc on the front, clustered slightly above each side of the bust region, and 4 inc evenly across the back. With the extra repeats I put in the yoke that brings me to +28st or +5” over the XL size, which should be about right.
I’ll take a WIP photo soon!
I’m finding the trinity stitch on the yoke very slow going - but I’ve done 27 out of 52 rows, so I’m halfway through! Looking forward to all that lovely meditative stockinette :)
Love the patterning on this sweater, and I’m keen to learn the top-down contiguous sleeve construction. I can read about new techniques and ‘air-knit’ my way through patterns to get an idea of how they work, but I really have to put them into practice before I feel I have a full understanding.
The XL looks like it will be a smidge small around the top for me, so I’m improvising an XXL by just adding the difference between the L and XL instructions. I wouldn’t do that to increase more than one size, but I think it should be alright here. I’ll also have to add a LOT more body stitches, but that should be easy enough in plain stockinette, and I can try it on to check as I go.