Stop me before I

October 30, 2009

do something stupid. If that’s how this looks to you.

I made a couple of modifications in the blue cardigan.

1. I decided after reading a post by b r o o k l y n t w e e d to use a twisted rib for the ribbing on the bottom of the sweater. Jared Flood said, “I also opted for twisted stitch ribbing at the waist band and ankle-cuffs – a choice made to achieve a bit more elasticity – a great little perk of knitting things through the back loops.”

In my brain, I casually omitted the next part of what he says about stumpy limbs. I wanted stretch around the bottom of the sweater. Sounded good. When I got to the sleeves, it was a no-brainer to use the same ribbing on the cuffs. I also looked at my favorite sweater. (No, I did not knit it. So, no hesitation whatsoever in saying it is a magnificent sweater; it’s an Irish handknit.) It has twisted rib cuffs and a twisted rib lower hem.

So, twisted rib it was. I merrily proceeded onward. Then, I could hardly switch to a different ribbing for the button bands. This leads to choice two.

2. I changed the collar to a shawl collar of my own invention since I couldn’t find a pattern for one. All my knitting patterns were packed at that point, so I just sallied forth. It uses twisted rib — to match the bottom and the cuffs.

Twisted rib shawl collar took some time. A really long time. On to choice three.

3. On both the bottom and sleeve cuffs, since I had ribbing, I did a kitchner sewn bind off. Looks good, is stretchy, works well with twisted rib.

Here’s the problem. I don’t want stretchy button bands. That seems wrong. It also seems wrong to use a different bind off along the front of the sweater. So, what I am doing is this:


I looked for a grosgrain ribbon, but I wasn’t sure how to make button holes in it for the button hole side and it didn’t make sense to put it on one side and not the other. The store did have this tiny little satin ribbon in a good color, so I bought it and I am just laying inside the sewn bind off.

I figured I will need to tack it down at the top of the button bands:


So, I’ve left myself a little loop on either side of one stitch where I can sew the ribbon to itself to keep the front band from stretching. Then, I can arrange the collar with the ribbon as loosely or as firmly inside as it wants to block. I’ll tack it again when I get around to the other side at the top of the band and finally, after it’s all done, I’ll tack it down at the bottoms of each of the front button bands. All you should see is a little blip of ribbon at each of the four tack points.

Is this stupid? Will I have problems washing the sweater with the satin ribbon inside? Will it want to curl up or stretch or something when it’s wet?

I don’t think the ribbon will show more than the tiniest bit here and there:


You can see a tiny glimpse about four stitches in from the bottom edge of the photo.

What do people normally do to stabilize button bands? Besides of course the obvious: plan ahead and do not use an exceptionally stretchy stitch as the button band foundation and bind off. Your thoughts, please.


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