Ready for some Shetland Sampler Cardigan progress? Me too. :)
After I completed the body of the sweater, I was ready to start on the bottom ribbing. That meant cutting off the COWYAK and picking up the left behind stitches.
Remember the COWYAK? (cast on with waste yarn and knit) If not, click here. To remove it, I slipped the needle into each Shetland stitch and then cut off the COWYAK stitch. Like this ....
Then I was ready to start on the bottom band. On a whim I decided to try a corrugated ribbing, which is a traditional Fair Isle technique. I chose black and gray, the two colors I have the most of. I had already calculated that I had enough black for all the bands, but I really wanted to try this anyway.
It didn't take long however, for me to realize that it was totally unsatisfactory. Here is a photo of what I mean, taken after I transferred it from the circular needles to some waste yarn....
The body of the sweater was puckering and the ribbing was flipping up. I was using a needle two sizes smaller than I used for the body, so I could understand the puckering, but not the flipping up. Isn't a smaller size needle supposed to prevent this? Pooh.
Now thinking that I should have done my homework on this before I started to knit, I figured "better late than never." In searching through my knitting books and the internet, I found the most useful information at Maggie's Rags. Under her "Knitting Tips" I found a whole page on Corrugated Ribbing: Problems and Solutions. Very helpful.
One thing I learned is that because corrugated ribbing is stranded, the end result is very tight. Consequently, a needle two sizes smaller isn't necessary and the same size needle as the body was knit with is recommended.
I also learned the curling is typical of this technique, but there are measures to prevent it. One solution is to use a very tight cast on. However, I'm picking up and knitting downward from the sweater body. Other solution is an off numbered rib pattern such as K1P2 or K2P3.
In thinking through these, I also saw that the two-color ribbing is a lot thicker than the body of the sweater. I'm not sure I like that. So, back to the mental drawing board. I'm going to have to make some decisions and I may end up with all black ribbing after all.
Posted 13 Jan. 2009 at http://leighsfiberjournal.blogspot.com
A Shetland COWYAK
Technically Not Fair Isle
Shetland Sampler Cardigan Complete!