September 06, 2005
Operation Orange Overload
I've got a front and a back to my Filati tunic, but of course they aren't the same:
The wider piece, the one on the bottom, is the first incarnation, and it got just a little too wide after blocking - lace is pretty, but also pretty stretchy :). The more narrow piece resting on top is the second incarnation, and it has one fewer lace repeats - although I cast on 16.7-inches' worth of stitches in stockinette terms, it stretched to a perfectly comfortable 18" after blocking due to the lace.
Now I just need to make the wider piece match the more narrow one. I decided to follow a plan I conceived earlier: I would re-knit the bare minimum - a more narrow lace panel and decreases leading up to the waist - and graft it to the perfectly suitable upper portion of the sweater piece.
But first, some practice. My knitting reference book of choice is Montse Stanley's The Knitter's Handbook, and she has a lovely illustration on p. 242 explaining how to graft live stitches.
Can you tell which row is grafted?
Heh, not bad :).
Okay, okay, don't corner me!
That the third try ;).
Getting the right tension wasn't a problem, but (and I hope some experienced knitters chime in here) I didn't realize that cutting off some knitted fabric and picking up the stitches as though to work in the opposite direction results in one fewer stitches. It took me three tries to be convinced of this fact, although I haven't thought carefully about how the "geometry" of stitches causes this.
Practice out of the way, it was time to fix the real deal.
Continue onto the extended entry to read more.
(click thumbnails for big)
First, I knit the bare minimum replacement and placed it on a length of thread, in this case. I also threaded the equivalent of a lifeline through the stitches of the completed sweater piece - the lifeline will hold the first row of "saved" stitches.
Then, I snipped the first row of the errant lace portion and unraveled until it was fully separated from the perfectly suitable upper portion.
The lace replacement was introduced to its better half, and I started grafting. You can see the stitches are far from perfect - during the initial grafting, my goal is to secure all stitches in the proper orientation, nothing more.
I grafted while fully ignoring the lifeline threads, which remained in place until all the stitches were secured. They are very thin and did not at all interfere with what I was doing.
After the initial grafting was completed, I removed the lifelines. I think you can clearly see the grafted area, it is nowhere near perfect.
Then I worked from one edge of the piece to the other, meticulously tweaking the tension of the graft. To the left of that big yarn loop are stitches which have been tweaked, and to the right are ones that still need adjustments.
Here is the grafted row. The tension is right, but I bet you can still see the boundary between the two pieces of fabric. The top part is blocked, and the bottom part is not, adding to the visual difference.
Tada! Sealed and delivered! I mean, blocked and delivered :).
I can see the grafted row (how about you?), but I think it will blend in more and more with washing and wear. Besides, one grafted row is a whole lot better than reknitting the entire sweater piece from hem to neckline, don't you think? ;)