Sunday, November 1, 2009

Francis Revisited-Mods

Disclaimer: In order to make sense of these notes, you’ll probably need to have some familiarity with the “top down raglan” sweater construction. My notes might be a little confusing otherwise, since I didn’t take a lot of notes with this sweater, just enough so that I could repeat the knit later on if I wanted to.

When I began looking at the Francis pattern, I knew immediately that I didn’t want to knit at the large gauge suggested. I made several gauge swatches with my yarn (Patons Classic Merino, a worsted weight) and decided to go with about 5 sts per inch. After I began knitting the actual sweater I realized my gauge had become a looser 4.5 sts per inch, so I ripped the sweater and adjusted my calculations accordingly. Thus, all notes below are for my sweater knit at 4.5sts per inch. As for row gauge, I have 6 rows per inch written on my notes, but I didn't double check that after I began knitting.


I ended up with about 1.5” of neg ease around the bust (sweater measures 31.5 at that point) and 2” of positive ease around the waist (sweater measures about 30” at that point).

The Pattern Mods:

I cast on 112 sts and divided them as follows:
40sts for front
2 sts for between increases (the sts that I increased on either side of)
12 sts for sleeve 1
2 sts between increases
40sts for back
2sts between increases
12sts for sleeve 2
2sts between increases

Raglan Increases:
I increased using a “make 1” increase on each side of each 2st increase column. So I increased 8sts each increase round. I knit two plain round and then did an increase round, I prefer the look of a steeper increase slope, but in order to adjust to the large neck opening necessary for the cowl I did the increases every two rows.

Side note: If I were to knit this sweater again, I would change the cast on ratio of front/back/sleeve stitch counts. For this sweater, by the time I was ready to put the sleeves on stitch holders and begin knitting just the front and back, the sleeves were still too small while the front/back sections were growing too large. I would probably subtract about 5sts from the front and 5sts from the back cast on section and add somewhere from 2-4 into the sleeve sections.

I knit in this increase pattern until the sweater measured 6.5”
Stitch counts (not including the 2 sts increase columns, or so my notes read):
Sleeve: 38sts
Front: 66 sts
Back: 66sts

When I removed the sleeve sts to st holders, I added one st from each "two st increase column" on either side of the sleeve (so each sleeve had one st added to each side of it, 40 sts). I also cast on two sts after removing the sleeve stitches to the needles.

Knitting the Front and Back:

Knit until top measures 4.25 from underarm cast on (the sts I cast on in place of the sleeves).
Work decrease row. (decrease 4 sts evenly placed on the sides of the sweater)
Knit until sweater measures 5.5” from underarm cast on.
Work decrease row.
Knit until top measures 9.5” from underarm cast on.
Work increase row. (increase 4 sts evenly placed on the sides of the sweater)
Knit until top measures 11” from underarm cast on.
Work increase row.

At this point my notes disappear. But I continued knitting plain (no more shaping) until the sweater was about 3” shorter than I wanted, and then I worked 3” of 1x1 rib and finished off with a tubular bind off.


I cast on two sts for the underarm of each sleeve (42sts) and knit until the sleeves reached just to my elbow and then added 2” of 1x1 rib and bound off using a tubular bind off.


The most important part of course!
I picked up all the sts from the original cast on (112) and knit in 1x1 rib for 2.5” with size 8 needles. Every 2.5” I switched to a larger needle size (I used 8’s, 9’s, 10’s, and 10.5’s) and the cowl finished off at about 10”. I bound off with a tubular bind off. The tubular (or kitchener) bind off is the best finish I’ve found for 1x1 rib because it doesn’t give a ruffled edge. You could also use a standard “k2, slip first st over 2nd st” bind off, but I can never make that bind off loose enough.

To finish I just seamed up the underarms and wove in the ends. It’s really a very easy and fun sweater to knit, and I’ve already wore mine quite a bit!

Hope you found these notes helpful!

1 comment:

Alhana said...

Very hepful! I am going to knit it with smaller needles too so your notes will come in handy. Thanks for sharing them. :-)