I started with a swatch (of course!) to get my stitches and rows per inch. Then, I used the Incredible Custom-fit Raglan to calculate the beginnings of a sweater I would never knit. Why? I wanted to cast on at the base of my Drops Jacket collar, and needed to calculate how many stitches I would have at that point.
Oh wait, let me begin again. I used the Top Down Raglan pattern to calculate how many stitches would have cast on if I were making a crew neck. At this point, I didn’t worry about whether my head would fit through the neck opening, because I wasn’t planning to knit a crew neck. Next, I measured on myself how many inches below the hypothetical crew neck opening I wanted the base of my Drops Jacket collar to sit. This length multiplied by row gauge told me how many rows – say, X – below my hypothetical crew neck my actual cast on would be. Using the TDR pattern, I calculated how many stitches I would have at the Xth row for each section (fronts, sleeves, back) had I started with a crew neck. Ta da! A quick addition of stitches to the fronts to account for the overlap, and I had: 36 Right Front, 28 Right Sleeve, 40, Back, 28 Left Sleeve, 36 Left Front stitches.
The rest of the jacket was a standard top down construction. I added bust shaping (increases and decreases). After decreasing down to underbust measurements, I didn’t bother to add much hip shaping – just 6 sts increased after the waist, at the back only – since I wanted the jacket to swing open in the front.
The collar was picked up around the neck and knit in a rectangle with a few decreases here and there. Cuffs in double moss stitch. To finish both cuffs and collar, I did a single row of 1×1 rib, and grafted the knits to the purls for an elegant ribbed finish… I like it, I think?
My big experiment with this one was the ‘optical illusion’ shaping. Under the arms, I started with double moss stitch on eight stitches, and, on the fronts, incorporated one more stitch into the double moss pattern every other row. After underbust level, the double moss moss stitch gradually gave way to stockinette at the rate of one stitch every seven rows. This I definitely like!
The bottom hem has a purl turning row and then a reduction of stitches by 10%.
Next time, for a yarn of this weight, I’ll reduce more stitches, because there was Flipping, resolved only by Blocking. Finally, I sewed the live stitches down.
Buttons: mmm can’t decide!