Looking back over previous posts, I discovered much to my chagrin that I first wrote about starting my Drumlin sweater by Amy Herzog over a year ago! I finished it last summer, then Life intervened and I wasn’t able to blog much. Now I’m back, and here’s Drumlin, using the fantastic CustomFit program I’ve been raving about.
I’m happy with how the CustomFit instructions put just the right shaping in just the right places to fit my own body. Placing the shaping on the front and back of the sweater makes it much more attractive than the side shaping I’d been used to. You can see on the back how the shaping occurs about 1/4 of the way in from the sides.
One of the things I learned was that when adding pockets to the front of a sweater with this sort of shaping, the pocket will droop if the shaping isn’t compensated for. Because of the decreases, the top of the pocket spans fewer stitches than the base of the pocket. I took two stitches out of the upper part of the pockets so they’d lie flat. Here you can see where the decreases for the body shaping are, and why the pocket had to be adjusted:
This is a seamed sweater, which I actually prefer over a seamless sweater. Yes, it’s more work, but I like having the structure – my seamed sweaters wear better because they’re less prone to stretching. (As an aside…I am soooooo very grateful to The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA) for their Master Hand Knitting Program! Working Level 2 forced me to learn how to seam properly, so I’m no longer intimidated by seaming and am happy with the results.)
Drumlin was the perfect pattern for my first foray into using CustomFit. It’s very basic, so I could concentrate on the customization that CustomFit created for me. It’s given me the confidence to use CustomFit for more projects. Plus it has proven to be a much-loved staple of my wardrobe.
I made several modifications to the pattern:
I wanted the 2×2 ribbing to look continuous. To do that, I needed a multiple of 4 (2 knit sts and 2 purl sts), plus 2 sts for seaming. Where the pattern’s cast on count was 60 sts for the sleeves, I cast on 58 and then increased back up to 60 within the final (WS) row of ribbing. Seaming will use up 1 st at each end of the row, so by starting and ending each row with 2 knit sts, the final result is also 2 knit sts flanked by 2 purl sts. Nice continuous ribbing!
Where the bottom ribbing meets the button band I wanted there to be 2 knit ribs on each side of the button band. In planning for the ribbing for each front piece, I made sure there was a 3rd knit stitch that would be used for picking up the button band, leaving only the two knit ribs visible on each side of the bands.
On the back I used 3 pairs of short rows toward the top of the armholes to bring the back up higher.
For the button band/neck trim and top-of-pocket ribbing, I used a needle one size smaller (#4). This gives the bands a bit more structure.
In order to make the neck trim lie flat, about 1″ in from the beginning of the band, I p2tog on each side of a k2 in the ribbing at the corners where the stitches along the back neck meet the sts that start the neck shaping (dec 4 sts). This allows the band to lie flat along the back of the neck. In the photo below you can see the decreases in the 2×2 neck trim; these make the neck trim lie down perfectly.
I saw a suggestion somewhere to cheat the button holes slightly toward the body of the sweater in order to mitigate the tendency to pull toward the outside edge of the band. So I’ve tried that. This was a nifty trick as the buttons look centered when the cardi is buttoned up, rather than pulling to the side of the band.
I love learning little bits and pieces along the way that help me make my sweaters more refined!