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Old 05-11-2006, 12:15 AM   #1
Jackie F.
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might modify next Picovoli's seams & underarms
Recently, I cast on for Green Gable and noticed something about the pattern that reminded me of Picovoli and what knitqueen said about its fit... In GG, which is also knit top-down, there are no cast on sts for the underarms -- NONE! The pattern says to drop the sleeve sts to scrap yarn and continue knitting the front and back sections in the round. That means there is no excess bulk or poochiness at the bottom of the raglan seams (Check out some of the FOs at the knitalong site). I'm wondering if this idea of no cast on sts could be applied to Picovoli for those of use who like a snugger fit at the armholes.

Also, the GG pattern does its raglan increases every other round rather than every 3rd round as Picovoli does. This alters the angle of the seam which, in thinking specifically of its application to Picovoli, could be good or bad depending on where the seam ends. I'm not far enough on GG to see where the seam ends. If it's a little too far outside the underarm, it wouldn't look right on Picovoli.

If I someday make another Picovoli, I'm going to fiddle with the raglan seam length, frequency of increases, and especially the number of CO sts (if any) at underarm. This is not to say that I don't like the Picovoli pattern -- I it. I think that Kathy/Grumperina would encourage modifications since she is always modifying patterns herself.

Knitqueen, what do you think?
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Old 05-26-2006, 07:40 PM   #2
Marnie
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You might want to take a look at the book Sweater Design in Plain English by Maggie Righetti, she devotes a couple of chapters to talking about raglans and making them fit.

I'm not sure I agree that not casting on stitches is a solution to excess fabric under the arms. Some of that depends on the angle of the raglan and the amount of stretch the final fabric has. In fact, casting off under the arm, when knitting bottom up, is meant specifically to reduce the excess fabric under the arm, so it stands to reason that this still holds true in reverse.

As for the frequency of decreases or increases (depending on direction) much of that has to do with your gauge as well as the angle. Going back to the book recommendation I've made, Righetti recommends that the raglan actually be worked in a sort of zig zag so that you decrease frequently at the underarm, gradually for most of the armsceye/sleeve cap, and then more frequently again at the top, which gives a better fit overall. Interesting stuff. Other people have recommended short rows at the shoulder to improve sleeve cap shape. Check out Jody's post here
http://www.savannahchik.com/2006/04/...lan_should.htm
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Old 05-27-2006, 02:30 AM   #3
Jackie F.
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Thanks Marnie!! I didn't think anyone would ever respond to this post, and then wham!

Originally Posted by Marnie
As for the frequency of decreases or increases (depending on direction) much of that has to do with your gauge as well as the angle.
Definitely true! My Green Gable sweater is 5 sts/in; whereas Picovoli is 5.5-6 sts/in. The Picovoli can afford to have slower increases and is angled differently since it is sleeveless. GG is angled to hit right at the center of the armpit.

Speaking of GG, I finally got to see how the raglan seams and armhole turned out with my Green Gable pattern -- the armscye is very snug, borderline tight. Looking at the stitch count and the gauge, there's no wondering why. In fact, when I go back and work these sleeve stitches at the very end, I'm wondering if I'll have to cast on 4 more sts for the 2x2 rib so that there isn't too much stress at the join. The top-down raglans I've knitted thus far have had matching CO sts at the underarm and at the bottom of the armscye to reduce the stress there, like you said. But when I do this, it's the one part of my sweater that doesn't fit in the end. Usually, these extra CO sts are what do it because the sleeve and sweater circumference already have ample positive ease before I even CO. I've noticed on top-down patterns that the smaller the size, the smaller the number of CO sts at the underarm. Usually the lower armscye of my sweaters fits like an unwanted semicircular donut. I'd love to make the smallest pattern size for the entire sleeve, but can't since the sleeve cap must match the armscye. I was hoping that GG's method of not CO sts and making shorter raglan seams would be a solution. The shorter seams worked out perfectly, but GG's sleeve circumference defied all my previous sweaters by being too tight. Darn! Oh well.

Short rows are awesome! I finally got to do the Japanese kind on my Green Gable's bust section. When I tried GG on after putting the sleeve sts on scrap yarn, it was way too small in the chest. So, I put in 12 rows (6 pins each side) about 2.5" down from the underarm and then completed the pattern's waist shaping. Then I tried GG on a 2nd time and found the short rows did the trick. GG fits like a glove. Now I only have to worry about fixing the tight sleeves... I saw a few months back that savannahchik did short row shaping on her Somewhat Cowl sleeve caps. I'll have to look at that when I do GG's sleeves, although GG only calls for about 3-4 rounds on the sleeves after joining. So, there wouldn't be much room unless I made the sleeves a little bit longer than the pattern intended.

It's so nice to learn and get info on how to tweak a pattern to fit my non-uniform torso. Now I know to: 1) make one size smaller than the one that would fit my bust and just add short rows at the bust (then I don't have to worry about bulkiness in the arms, shoulders and neck); and 2) make the smallest sleeves on the pattern (and shorten more if necessary, which usually happens), tweak the increases so that the stitch count equals the size I'm making for the rest of the sweater at beginning of the sleeve cap.

I have the Ann Budd Handy Book of Sweater Patterns which has a chapter dedicated to raglans ITR, but not the top-down kind. Does the Maggie Righetti book discuss top-downs ITR? Lately, I've been thinking about getting Knitting in the Old Way to see Priscilla Gibon-Roberts' techniques. I want to see what she says about short rows ITR. People are always referencing that book.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond and for your suggestions! :D I'll have to leaf through the Maggie Righetti book next time I'm at the book or craft store. I love savannahchik's blog -- she's so helpful with tweaking patterns.
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