Project updates

I’ve moved the older Ravelry project posts here.

  • For anything referring to a Stitch-Maps chart, use this link: Stitch-Maps.
  • If you are jumping here from the Ravelry post mentioning this, start reading the tutorial development on the Conti-Rag Tutorial page.

7/31 ~ I’ve tweaked the spreadsheet again. I’m sure this will be a recurring theme as I work out the bugs. I’ve got a better formula for calculating the caston.

8/3 ~ I’m cautiously optimistic that my spreadsheet formulas are going to work. Woot! The Wool of the Andes fits as well as the Whitney camo cotton/acrylic. I’m now working on the cotton 4-ply fingering. This is the real test. The wool and the cotton have the same SPI but different RPI, both on a US8 needle. The caston required a US10 to match the project’s SPI. The cotton fingering is being knit up on a US5 but the caston needle is two sizes smaller, a US3. We’ll see what it looks like when I get the full shoulder caston done.

8/4 ~ I’m going to have to get a diagram up for the measurements used for this project. Where the measurements are taken is a bit unconventional. Let me explain.

The first measurement required is the width of the neck opening at the shoulderline. This measure is a springboard for the shoulder measurement.

The second measurement is the width of the shoulders from shoulder joint to shoulder joint. Like the neck width, because this measurement is through the column of the neck it’s a bit tricky to take, but it is vital for it to be as accurate as possible.

The third measurement is the torso measurement where the arm and body (standing relaxed with arms hanging at sides) start to form a crease. The back and the front are separate measurements.

The fourth measurement is around the arm at the same place the torso measurement is taken, from start of crease in front to start of crease in back.

I’ll get a diagram up as soon as I can. Once I open this to testing it will be vital to be able to get accurate measurements.

8/6 ~ I knitted the fingering weight test and it fits the same so I think we’re off and running. Measurement instruction time!

8/7 ~ I am slowly building the pages for the conti-rag tutorial. The measurements page is up.

8/7 Part Deux ~ I’m got to step back and develop a set of formulas for this shoulder with no back neck shaping. That will simplify the test-knit for everyone who has never tackled conti-rag before. For those of you who want to do the back neck shaping bit I’ll swap back to the back neck shaping version once that’s done.

8/10 ~ I have the Stitch-Maps chart for the sampler up. I also have a website page for the (see menu). The solid green cotton is the sampler as-written.

8/12 ~ I’ve updated the spreadsheet linked at the bottom of the sampler page. I removed the ease from the calculations for rows above arm/torso crease. This may not be the ideal solution. I like positive ease but not so much the fit is sloppy. People who like negative ease may find this solution not ideal. Test knitting now . . .

8/13 ~ The sampler page has been updated. If you’re working through the test-knit you’ll want to check out the changes. The row by row now has stitch markers. I’ve linked a chart for stitch/row gauge. If you’re knitting to test fit, this is a good exercise and it will highlight inconsistencies between shoulder line row and straight stockinette row gauges.

8/13 part deux ~ The last page for the sampler test-knit is up. I’ll give myself a day off and tackle the back neck shaping tutorial. If you’re waiting on that make sure you do the sampler so you have a firm grasp of how things work. The shoulder with back neck shaping isn’t that different but knitting the sampler will be time well spent regardless.

8/14 ~ My Wool of the Andes sweater is at the the underarm shaping stage. Wadly helped me test fit it last night and it fits SO nicely! This is so exciting!

8/15 ~ I have enough of the body done to test fit and I’m pretty pleased with it. I have a tiny bit of an issue at Point C which will solve itself when blocked, but otherwise it fits as expected using the spreadsheet formulas. This is without any short row leveling of the sleeve which makes me very happy.

8/17 ~ On to back neck shaping! Woohoo! I’ve got the first and second shoulder instruction up on my website. I’m working on the finale.

8/21 ~ I’m making a change in the instruction today. If you’re working along with us on the development of this technique, make sure you read through the page on applying the spreadsheet numbers. The sleeve increases from Point B to Point C need to be fairly evenly spaced through the rows from Point B to Point C. I’m working the math now and hope to have an adjusted spreadsheet up by the end of the day. I’ll start adding version numbers to the spreadsheet. If you don’t see an attached version number in A1, patience, I’m working on it.

8/21, part deux ~ I exceeded my rule of three and have frogged. Il est mort! I will restart forthwith.

Here’s my completely snarky list of things I will be changing. If you have no sense of humor or no ability to laugh at me (one of my *very* best skills), don’t read any farther. Since starting my test-knit . . .

* (thing one) I’ve changed the increase sequence for the first five rows which improves/eliminates the slight jog in the neck edge. (Yeah, yeah, anal much? Bite me. You knew going into this I am completely anal.) I want to use the new/better sequence because . . . well . . . it’s *better*
* (thing two) I’ve moved the sleeve increase markers into the sleeve area by one stitch which improves/smooths the appearance of the increase line for the raglan increases (yeah yeah, I know, completely anal but *I* noticed it and changed the instruction so *you* would benefit. Just being me.)
* (thing three) I knit the first color change row set too loosely and wasn’t happy with its appearance (that was sloppy Hugh)
* (yeah, thing four, the one that tilted me into frogland) I’ve changed the sleeve increases to include enough no-increase rows to make the last of the increases at or near Point C. I HATE the dimple and rings I got when I clustered them all together. It’s a tiny thing that would probably (maybe) disappear with blocking but . . . ugh! Plus I’m thinking this will be a big improvement on appearance while being a slight nudge for better fit. (Yes I *know* I’m anal. Think of the awesomeness therein! Embrace the attention to detail! Yeah, laugh all you want, you know I’m right.)

Okay, I think I’m done with snarky. Maybe. So, that’s the four things that added enough weight to warrant a complete and thorough frogging. Reknit to commence immediately.

8/24 ~ I’ve got a nice restart and I’m pleased. My caston and increases are now per the instruction on the website and stitch-maps. The new increase sequence produces *no* jog at the neckline which makes me ecstatic. I’m past the shoulder line row count and am now working the increase and skip rows toward Point C.

7/31 ~ I’ve tweaked the spreadsheet again. I’m sure this will be a recurring theme as I work out the bugs. I’ve got a better formula for calculating the caston.

6/8 ~ SO much of the way I originally developed this technique has changed and might yet change more.

Here is the first change. I’ve updated my icord caston technique. I’ve tried many things in getting to this point. The result is a no holes or oversized stitches caston. The end result is quite good while still being fairly easy to execute.

If you view the video you will see I am also doing my provisional caston at the start of the icord a bit differently. When I’m ready to continue the icord in the opposite direction I take out the crochet chain and the result is live stitches with enough tail to execute the fill in stitches at the back neck, usually enough extra tail to do one row of icord before continuing the caston with the working yarn.

6/28 ~ I started playing with Stitch-Maps and it’s an amazing program. I was able to chart the conti-rag shoulder and it’s beauty!

6/29 ~ The completed conti-rag shoulders chart is in Stitch-Maps. Stitch map doesn’t do a perfect job of reflecting the stresses of the work but the stitch counts are correct. You can see what I mean by the straight line of the caston when we all know the work creates a curve at the caston edge. Also the chart shows a jog in the caston row when we know the process doesn’t produce a jog. Stitch-Maps doesn’t have a symbol for German short row turns. The best I can do in the chart is use a wrapped turn marker which is a perfectly acceptable alternative. Don’t mistake my clarity for criticism, Stitch-Maps rocks.

7/3 ~ I reworked the Stitch-Maps chart. I changed the increase direction of the dart and fix an extra stitch in the first set of increases for the back neck shaping.

The single shoulder chart can be found in my lot of Stitch-Maps. I haven’t found the symbol/abbrev yet for a twinned stitch at the end of the shoulder before the caston for the back and second shoulder starts, so note the change below. Instead of the *slip one with yarn in back* . . .

Row 15: K12, incL, k8, incL, k28, *sl1 wyib* (51 sts) is what’s in the chart.

. . . work a twinned stitch instead as shown below.

Row 15: K12, incL, k8, incL, k28, *twin the next stitch*. (51 sts). This is the point where the caston for the second shoulder occurs.

The full shoulders version of the conti-rag with back neck shaping is up on Stitch-Maps. I haven’t yet learned how to relay the twinned stitch and have substituted *s1 wyib* which is an inferior technique for this. When you get to that final bit of instruction work a twinned stitch instead.

If you’re interested in knitting this up to see how it works, when you get to the w&t on row 30, don’t work it. Do a twinned stitch instead to match the first shoulder. Once that’s done, stop there and use the tail of the caston to knit (or purl) the six stitches of the back between left and right shoulders, then continue knitting (or purling) across with the working yarn. This smooths the edge of the back neck.

7/4 ~ The double shoulder for icord caston is up on Stitch-Maps.

7/20 ~ The formula for determining the number of icord caston rows is ((width of neck times stitches per inch)-number of stitches for straight bit at back of neck)/2. It’s a tiny bit more complicated than that.

How the back neck short row turns are spaced determines the shape of the back neck. If the turns are spaced evenly it makes a very nice half-circle. If the number of stitches between turns starts small and increases near the center back the shape is more drop near the shoulders, more level at center back.

The setup I’m using for the conti-rag shoulder is . . .

Row 1: Sl1, k4
Row 2: Sl1, p2, incL, p1, k1
Row 3: P1, k2, place shoulder marker, k3, incL, k3
Row 4: Sl1, p to Smarker, sm, p1, incL, p to last stitch, k1
Row 5: p1, k to marker, sm, k1, incL, k3, place back raglan marker, incl, k to end of non-caston stitches, k5 caston stitches
Row 6: repeat row 4
Row 7: repeat row 5
Row 8: . . . I’ll come back to this. The front raglan marker is set in this row and the first front raglan increase is worked. I wish Stitch-Maps would accommodate the setting of markers. It is what it is (fantastic) so we improvise.

7/29 ~ I’m still working on this and I’ve made wonderful progress. I now have a spreadsheet with formulas for any yarn weight, any needle size, any size/shaped body measurements. I’m pretty excited about this. I still have to calculate number of turns and stitches between turns for the back neck shaping.

For testing the formula result I am using a variety of yarns. I have a four-ply cotton in fingering, Wool of the Andes Tweek worsted and a cotton DK. As a result I’ve had epiphanies that are moving this right along.

In the process of knitting the numbers I finally figured out what my holdup was in getting the perfect fit across the shoulders. Yeah, total duh. If my rpi for the caston portion of the icord doesn’t match my spi for the body it cramps or expands the width of the shoulders which throws everything off. TOTAL DUH. I end up knitting more or fewer rows for the shoulder width which throws everything else off. I will frog and rework the sweaters I have started. If it works out as I think it will I’ll run an open test to see if it holds up for other people’s work and for body shapes/sizes other than mine.

9/3 ~ My brother and SIL came for a visit. Vala let me use her as a fit model. It was interesting.

Vala and I are not built the same, though we would probably wear the same commercial size. Her back is narrower and her upper arms are fuller and the difference shows. Look at the “Vala test-knit back sleeve join” image on the Ravelry project page and you’ll see the sleeve is a little too snug and the back has a bit too much fabric.