Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Learning Curve

There are times in my life when I declare that I never intend to learn anything new, ever again. I sense a saturated brain and declare it closed to learning.   Having once heard that reading the weekend edition of the  New York Times provides the brain with  more to absorb  than an entire lifetime of information available to a person from the middle ages I worry about overload.    I know for sure that my brain hasn't evolved enough to absorb information 'ad infinitum'  and so I play hooky from learning for a period of time.

Then along comes a new - or new to me - idea that ignites my curiosity fire and off I go learning again.  That is exactly what happened when I came across Susie M's group on ravelry.  Called Contiguous,  it is  a group that details a "way of knitting the shoulder seams and sleeve caps of a garment from the top down."  That would be set-in sleeves, people.

I have knit top down sweaters of course, but always with raglan sleeves.  Nothing wrong with raglan, but a 'change is a good as a rest'.  I have knit top-down, set-in-sleeves, but always separately from the sweater body.  In those cases, stitches are picked up around the arm hole and short rows  used to create the sleeve cap.  

Knitting  a top-down sweater with set-in-sleeves that are knit as one with the body was something I thought impossible,  until I spotted SusieM's group.

Now all my summer projects are on hold until I learn this new method.  Susie M is hosting a KAL sample sweater to showcase her invention and for today's homework, I completed row 12.  Here you see the entire top-down sample.

Seen here  is a series of increases in the back neck section -
the purpose of which,  I'm sure  will,  eventually, become  clear.

Shoulder seams radiate out from the cast on stitches,  with increases  done on both sides of the shoulder 'seam' stitches  on each row.


Although the KAL isn't  yet as far along as the sleeve cap,  I've been reading ahead.  It seems that a few stitches are set aside as top-of-the-sleeve stitches and increases made on the body side of those stitches to form the sleeve cap. 

I'm very excited to learn this new method.  Since I never read the New York Times, I have empty brain cells available for knitting info. Now what could be more relevant, I ask you.


Stephanie said...

Huh, this sounds like a really cool development in knitting. (Never too old to learn a new knitting technique! :)) I look forward to seeing what happens next!

Needles said...

Guess where I am going this morning.


Sandra said...

I hope Needles makes room for me, because I'm headed there too! As a huge lover of top down sweaters, having an option to raglan sleeves is wonderful!

Zieknits said...

Very interesting! Off to check out the group.

I'm spatially-challenged, so this ought to be...um...'fun?'

MamaMidwife said...

I am off to check out the group too!

Brenda, I love you writing style and sense of humor.

Christy J said...

I'll have to check too and see if this is the same method as the one in the Saratoga Shrug pattern by Val Love that I used for my ruffled shrug. It was very interesting to work.