April 1, 2013
Sweater Update - Lattice Be Warm
Several months ago, when here in sunny SoCal the winter was chillier than normal (humor me, please), and I decided I didn't have enough warm wool sweaters. As an intrepid knitter, I decided to do something about that. You know, knit a sweater. Honestly, I was nearly giddy at the thought of needing more wool sweaters.
First, the criteria. Foremost, knit a sweater using existing stash. I planned on using the yarn from the frogged Pinwheel sweater. Plenty of yarn there for another sweater. The sweater needs to be warm. Well, duh, it will be made of wool. I wanted this sweater to be serviceable, something unfussy that I could reach for over and over. It shouldn't be too bulky, I might want to layer a raincoat over the top. And I want texture, cables or something other than row after row of stockinette. There must be pockets! and a collar that snuggle up against the back of my neck. Sounds cozy, eh?
Using stash yarn, check. I'd already decided to use the yarn mentioned above. But my chosen yarn presented a dilemma. The hand-dyed color way would only clash with cables, and I didn't want plain stockinette. I had to find another way to get my texture fix. I searched and searched for a pattern, but didn't find what I needed, so I decided to strike out on my own.
I dove into stitch pattern dictionaries to find textured stitches that would compliment the yarn, and came up with two likely candidates; the woven stitch and the lattice stitch. I posted swatch sample pictures of both already, here, and some other stitch samples here. In the photo at the top of this post, the center panels are lattice stitch, and the side panels are woven. When I sampled these stitches, I really liked how the stitches and color work with each other. Maybe the diagonal direction of the stitches randomizes the color changes a bit? The lattice stitch portions remind me of how ripples at the surface of a pool cause the light to dapple on the bottom of the pool. Another thing I like about both of these stitches is that they make a nice, no-curl edge. I'm thinking I won't need to knit a button band. If I even use buttons. I might put in a zipper instead.
Between the panels is a 3 stitch broken rib; on the right side its purl tbl (through back loop), knit, purl tbl. On the wrong side its purl tbl, purl, p tbl. I used the tbl to twist the stitches and tighten things up. I added them to get a vertical element in my sweater. It turns out they are more than just decorative, here is why. The row count for the 2 stitch patterns is not the same, there are more rows to the inch in the lattice section. My first go at this sweater, I didn't think the difference would amount to much, but it did affect the fit. The sides were slightly longer than the front and back, so they bulged a little bit. Bulging I can do without the help of a sweater. Hmmm... Wonder what would happen if every so often I tossed in a little wrap and turn whilst knitting the lattice sections? Well, it works out great! I can knit to the end of the lattice stitch section, wrap and turn on that first purl tbl stitch and add an extra two rows to even things out. Because the purl tbl stitch is basically garter stitch, I don't even pick up the wrap. It doesn't show up. Happy happy!
Now its time to start the bust increases. I'm still toying with how I want those spaced, and were I want the broken rib going. I'm happy enough with how things are going to give this project a real name, Lattice Be Warm.