06 May 2011

Turn of the Glass FAQ (edited 10/19/11)

First of all, thanks to all of you who liked Turn of the Glass. I hope those of you who knit it like yours as much as I like mine (wearing it again today). Since its publication I've received some questions and thought I would reiterate my answers here in case other knitters had similar questions. But if I haven't answered yours, please ask.

Q. What other yarns might work?
A. Not everyone can use madeline tosh DK for whatever reason. If you are looking for a similar hand/kettle-dyed yarn, Malabrigo Rios would be a good choice and is also superwash. A knitter has already worked up the sweater in Malabrigo Merino Worsted, which must feel dreamy, but it certainly pills - the tradeoff you must accept when working with this yarn. Since tosh DK is something of a light worsted, Cascade 220 (regular or superwash) would work, as would Berocco's Vintage or Plymouth Encore. Goodness, there are lots of yarns in this range!

Q. Wait! I thought the yarn you used was a DK-weight, but you're talking about Worsted-weight. Which is it? And under materials it is listed as 50g/skein, but on Ravelry it looks like tosh DK is sold in 100g skeins.
A. It is a little confusing, but tosh DK is a heavy DK or light worsted yarn. It used to be called tosh Worsted, but the company renamed it to align some other yarn names. Tosh Worsted is now a single-ply yarn, and the yarn used to knit this sweater  (tosh DK) is a multiple ply, which will make it a little sturdier. The yarn comes in 100g skeins; the listing of 50g/skein is a typo.

Q. I'm having trouble getting started with the chart. Do I have to worry about mirroring the cables on the other half? Any advice?
A. Although these look like cables, technically they are twisted ribs; you don't need to use a cable needle to work them, since they only involve two stitches. The twisted ribs are set up so that you don't have to worry about mirroring. By working an odd number of ribs and adding a pair at each increase, all you have to do is remember which rib to work next.
Let's call Little Hourglass Rib "A" and Twisted Cross-Stitch Rib "B". In the first row of ribbing, after working Seed Stitch and Stockinette, work the ribs as follows: B, A, B, A, B. After working four rows bookend these ribs with a pair of A's.
For those who have trouble with charts, here are the rib patterns written out:

Little Hourglass Rib
Row 1 (WS): K2, *p2, k2; repeat from * to end.
Row 2: P2, *k2tog-b, then k2tog the same stitches again through the front loops, p2; repeat from * to end.
Row 3: K2, *p1, yo, p1, k2; repeat from * to end.
Row 4: P2, *ssk, k1, p2; repeat from * to end.
Reverse Cross-Stitch Rib
Row 1 (WS): K2, *p 2nd stitch and leave on left needle, p 1st stitch and slip both stitches to right needle, k2; repeat from * to end.
Row 2: P2, *k2, p2; repeat from * to end.

Q. How do I choose a size?
A. That depends upon your measurements, but it's probably best to go by your chest measurement, since the ribs are more elastic. The ribbed section can stretch quite a bit without looking stretched out and still, through the play of light and shadow on the purl and twisted sections of the ribs, give the illusion of a curvier figure than you may have. Can you tell that I'm a classic apple shape?

Q. At the Waistband, you say to work the Waistband Chart, but the charts are labeled A, B, and C. Which one?
A. Chart B is the Waistband Chart, although at this point in the sweater you probably don't need it, since you've been working the stitches in the twisted rib pattern. Just keep everything in their respective patterns: 10 stitches in Seed Stitch, the next whack of stitches in their respective twisted ribs, and the last 10 stitches in Seed Stitch.

Q. Right before the Neckline shaping begins, it looks like I'm supposed to work three WS rows, in a row. How can I do that?
A. I think there is a typo there, and the row where you place the underarm markers should be labelled RS (and should be one last repeat of chart B, row 4).

Q. Eep, the Joining Round! I'm confused. Something seems wrong with the numbers. And what's up with those held stitches?
A. If you've never knit a sweater "together" rather than in pieces, this will seem a little confusing, but it will be OK. I promise! On your sleeves set aside 'x' stitches at the beginning and end of each sleeve - these held stitches will, combined with the same number of stitches on the body, be your underarms when the sweater is complete. 

Start with the sweater body, work your way *in pattern* (Seed Stitches in Seed Stitch, Stockinette in Stockinette, twisted ribs in twisted rib) until you get to 'x' (as in pattern) stitches before the first marker. Place 'x' times two stitches from the body on waste yarn or a stitch holder, then get a sleeve. It doesn't matter which, since they should be identical. Place a marker on your right needle and, starting after your set-aside 'x' stitches on the sleeve, knit across until only the other 'x' stitches remain. The numbers for this sleeve should be 54[54, 54, 60, 66, 76, 82]. Add another marker, knit across the back stitches until you reach 'x' stitches before the other marker on the body. Repeat the setting-aside-body-stitches-and-sleeve thing with the second sleeve, using the same numbers. Work across the second front in pattern.

Now your entire sweater is on one needle. This is the fun part! You're going to magically set your sleeves into the body of your sweater.

I'm sure there will be more questions, so I will add to this post or post another.

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