two steps forward, 3 steps back?

Sometimes that’s the way of things, ain’t it? I finished sleeve number one on M’s Stripes! cardigan, but the entire time I was knitting it, I had a sinking feeling about the bottom hem on the body:


See how it’s pulling in at the bottom? It’s not supposed to. The corrugated rib at the bottom is pulling in even more than I anticipated, and there’s also some weirdness at the tubular bind-off, which has a larger effective gauge than the rib.

It’s even more obvious in this photo of the opening at the front (I’ll be adding a button band):


And you can get a better sense for the gauge compression that happens in the corrugated rib but not the standard rib/tubular bind-off in this photo, I think:


And yet, the sleeve cuff seems to be working out quite lovely:


Why the difference? I think it’s a few things: for one, the cuff is in the round, which doesn’t provide as much opportunity for weird “flipping”. The other thing that I think is affected by it being in the round is my corrugated rib gauge in general – I strongly suspect that I knit that particular sort of rib tighter when knitting back and forth than when knitting in the round on DPNs, so there wasn’t as much compression. But also, there’s the fact that you kind of DO want a sleeve cuff to pull inward, just a bit, whereas that’s less desirable in a bottom hem (I mean, it can be a deliberate design choice, but it isn’t, here).

So, I’m going to rip back to just before the vikkel braid and reknit. Here’s my plan:

1. On the final row before the braid, increase MORE than I did last time. I had used the increase ratio that I’ve used in babyStripes!, both those are different yarns at different gauges on different needle sizes, and clearly I need to increase a bit more here. I increased after every 7 stitches before (turning 7 stitches into 8) but I think what I actually need is to alternate increasing after every 5 stitches and increasing after every 6 stitches (turning 11 stitches into 13)

2. Use a larger needle for the vikkel braid and the corrugated rib, before switching back to the “normal” needle size for the regular rib/tubular bind-off.

Wish me luck!

3 thoughts on “two steps forward, 3 steps back?”

  1. What about working the tubular bind-off on a much smaller needle? I’m doing a tubular cast-on right now using a #4 needle when the ribbing is going to be on a #6 and the main fabric on a #7. Seems like the same principle should hold working in the opposite direction?

    1. It wasn’t much ripping, because I knit it top down…though ripping out a tubular bind-off wasn’t fun! I was mostly concerned about conserving the Noro yarn in particular because I wanted the bottom hem to be that bright green but also want the second sleeve to “match” the first (which would require all the remaining bright green). I’ve done all but the Kitchener bind-off and I think it’s gonna work out with more stitches and a looser corrugated rib gauge!


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