July 30, 2008

Crap-free pattern writing is difficult

I miss knitting. Lately, I've been spending my knitting time writing a pattern for the Kelso Lace Cardigan, aka Horseshoe Corset Cardigan.

Pattern writing is a high-anxiety activity. My brow is furrowed. The stressful part is trying to make sure I don't publish something that's a piece of crap! No one likes crap.

Thanks for all the queries and compliments, both here and on ravelry. I hope to complete the pattern in August. I hope it will be sooner rather than later. I hope you will like it.

July 17, 2008

Horseshoe Corset Cardigan

I made this sweater from scratch. It’s a bottom up raglan, knit in one piece to the arms. I knit the sleeves individually and joined all the pieces on one circular, decreasing at the raglans and front neck until the yoke was okey-dokey.

I eyeballed the decreases and adjusted as I went. I was aiming for a shoulder and sleeve that are fitted but not tight. I hate it when my armpits are strangled.

The stitch pattern is horseshoe lace. I threw in a few rows of straight stitch at each “side seam” to give me the right width. The front edges are a 4-stitch eyelet pattern. I picked up stitches around the front and bound off purl-wise. This gives the edges a firm, neat finish. I thought the neck might stretch out, but on its test-drive, it was fine.

Horseshoe lace is very easy and looks cool. It doesn’t look much like horseshoes to me. The curves bisected by the ridged spine remind me of a fossilized something or other.

I didn’t want to think about waist shaping and interrupting the stitch pattern, so I went down one needle size in the midsection. This, along with negative ease, gives the cardigan shape. The width is 2” narrower than my chest measurement. Lace is stretchy, and looks good when it’s “opened.” So, I figured negative ease was the way to go.

I also wanted the look of an A-line without the extra width at the bottom. Leaving the bottom half of the front open, gives me that nice triangular shape. The lacing was an afterthought. It's a crocheted chain.

Pattern: My own.
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in Lake (#110), about 3 skeins
Needle: Size 7 & 8 circulars and a crochet hook.