It feels like a little luxury to reknit a pattern. Promoting my Nua yarn as well as a pattern opened up this possibility for me and I’m really enjoying the relaxing effect of reknitting a pattern. Designing is not always relaxing knitting time; especially at the early stages when you’re trying to figure out if a design is going to work. It’s rather soul destroying and humbling and you’ve got a constant hum in the back of your mind ‘this is never going to work’. Fortunately they work out more often than not, but it’s not very relaxing!
This is the original version of Spirtz Stripes that I knit in Madelinetosh Tosh Light. This is a fingering weight yarn rather than sport weight so to reknit the pattern in Nua was going to take a bit of recalculation.
I thought I’d give a little bit of an insight into the process of redesigning a pattern for a different gauge. If you ever need to make gauge adjustment to a pattern the process might be of use to you.
The first job was a gauge swatch. This is going to tell me how much change I’ll need in the pattern. I discovered that the lace stitch gauge changed quite a bit from 16 stitches to 14 stitches per 4″ / 10 cm. The row gauge though had a much smaller change. This means that I recalculated the stitch count I would need to get close to the same finished sizes for every size in the pattern. I needed to be careful as well that I had the correct stitch count number for when I divided the body into the front and back at the armholes as well.
I decided to leave the row count for the body the same (which made the body longer) but to shorten the armhole depth. This made the sweater a bit longer overall.
Now to get started with the knitting (you may notice that I kept it in red, which I loved, this time using Angry Monkey colour). With this sweater the lace stretches a HUGE amount so I was reminded again of how important Jeny’s Stretchy Cast-On is for the success of the sweater. If it can’t stretch it won’t fit.
Once the body is finished you divide into the front and back, working straight until the shoulder shaping that’s done with short rows. I’ve put in lots of details on how to do the short row shaping in the lace pattern. It requires some concentration but as every turn is at a complete lace repeat it is manageable (plus it’s just for a few rows).
Now the last stage is doing a 3-needle bind-off for the shoulders (I developed a stretchy version for this as the standard one just doesn’t stretch enough) and the sleeves are plain stockinette knit from the top down.
Now for the best part – the blocking! I always love this stage as it means I’m almost finished. I used a combination of blocking wires, pins and bars to get a nice stretch to open the lace and keep the edges straight. You can really see here why you need stretchy cast-ons and bind-offs.
I’m going to get an awful lot of use out of this sweater at shows and classes. My favourite way to wear it is with a long tank top/dress with leggings. It’s comfortable and feels a little dressed up.
What colour would you love to knit it in?