Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Just this.

As I mentioned here, the yarn is a blend of cashmere (8%), merino (47%), polyamide (15%) and viscose (15%) in an aran weight.  The pattern is from the winter 2012 edition of Twist Collective.  The colour is dark green, not blue as appears in this picture.  More knitting info on Ravelry.

As a sewing audience, you may be interested in the modifications I made to the shawl collar.  This is knitted on by picking up stitches all the way from the hem on one side, past the lace yoke, around the back, and down the other side.  The pattern states that one knits in k2p2 rib for 3.5", then the fold over shawl collar is shaped by knitting short rows.

For the uninitiated, knitting short rows adds length and shaping by going back and forth on less than the full row.  There is an exceedingly good description of the theory of short rows on the TECHknitting blog (which I highly recommend for all sorts of useful knitting information, copiously illustrated and clearly described).

Anyhow the short rows called for in the pattern started around the back of the sweater (even with the outer edges of the ribbed panels on the back) and moved outward slowly (by 2 stitches per row) so that the back width of the collar would increase radically before one got to the intended stopping point for the short rows.  The result was a collar that was very high at the CB.  I calculated that the collar would be a total of 57 rows high at CB (about 9").  I also thought the collar was a little loose-looking at CB, i.e. it does not hug the neck at all.

At the same time, the collar looked rather skimpy from the front.  (These images are from the Twist website.)

My modifications aimed at moving the starting point for the short rows towards the front, to keep the collar visually wider from the front, and to lengthen the collar more gradually.

I also snugged the back neck in by decreasing stitches in a band in the centre back.

Here is a picture of my modified collar.

In this photo I've marked up where the short rows and decreased stitches are.  You can enlarge either one by clicking on it.

See how the collar is a better fit for my neck than the original design?


  1. Now I am certain, you are wonder woman,

  2. It's really gorgeous, Kay, well done! I love the modification to the collar, it looks much better than the original design. I, too, believe you may be wonder woman in disguise. ;)

  3. Just gorgeous! I'd love to see a front and centre view.

  4. Wow. You are a fantastic sweater architect!

  5. Very well made. And lovely colour too, would love to see the front.

  6. So impressive Kay and quite gorgeous. The resulting fit of the collar is perfect!

  7. Gorgeous and love your changes to the collar both fit and length.

  8. gorgeous! You are that envied double threat, a grand sewist and a fabulous knitter!

  9. I just learned short rows and found that modification to be a fantastic idea -- what to apply your fit experience to knitting! I'm in my first cardigan (the funky grandpa from Ravelry) and am completely enjoying the experience!

  10. You did a fabulous job and in record time!

  11. Harika, müthiş. Çok güzel olmuş. Güle güle giyin.

  12. Your sweater is absolutely stunning! How did you know to work the modifications that you did? In seeing the collar on the pattern, I would not have purchased it, however with your modifications the sweater looks great. How did you know that the decreases worked where you did would improve the way the collar hugged your neck and how did you figure where to place the short rows to achieve the nice roll and the shorter stand? I am so impressed with your fit that I would definitely try this pattern myself.
    Thank you for sharing your journey with this sweater, it helps those of us struggling with how to figure out modifications


    1. Thank you Marie. I am happy if readers are interested in my thoughts on modifying knitting patterns for better fit. How did I know what modifications to make? Good question. Hard to answer :) In part it's because I sew and I have learned over the years about how to shape cloth to better fit my body. But it's also reading the knitting pattern, figuring out the geometry of the increases or short rows called for in the pattern, and making a decision about whether a different geometry would produce a better result.

      But it's also trial and error, and not being afraid to rip and re-knit. I actually knit the short rows in this collar twice - the first time to see what was wrong with it, and the second time to improve it.

  13. I think you're actually an engineer!