The shoulder straps, and the back of the neck shaping. The order they're worked in, is right shoulder, left shoulder, and then back of neck (that means the right shoulder when you wear it, not as you're looking at it). There are a few things to keep in mind while we're doing this:
-You're going to be working in pattern, and it's going to vary from area to area, as you go. At one point you'll knit across the right shoulder strap, the back of the neck, and then the left shoulder, and depending, those three areas may be on three different pattern lines. So try to think of them as three different zones, each one doing their own thing.
-You're going to be working back and forth. That means purling with two colors, in pattern. Try not to freak yourself out over it. Remain calm and just do it. For most people, in-the-round knitting and flat knitting wind up two different gauges. That's okay. If you have a choice, it's better for the shoulder straps to be worked a little too tight, than a little too loose. (Though you don't want the stranded knitting to pucker up, of course.)
-When working flat with two colors, you've got the potential to create holes in the knitting, rather like you can make holes in intarsia knitting if you do it wrong. When you turn your knitting, you've got to do one of two things: Knit the last stitch with both yarns (I don't suggest it for this project, but you can do it if you like; it's called a locked turning stitch, if you go for obscure knitting terms), or, you can twist the yarns around each other after you turn the work. That does the trick, and is easy enough. If you twist in opposite directions, clockwise and then counter-clockwise, you won't even have to untangle your balls of yarn. (I forget and twist the same way and wind up untangling. Either way, it works.)
Okay. So. You've cut the steek and your yarn is (hopefully) at the right side of the steek (as you wear it), ready to continue knitting. If it's not, cut it off from wherever it's at, darn in the ends, and then join it in at the edge of the steek. Knit across the front of the jacket to the decrease column where the sleeve and front meet. With the last stitch of the body and the decrease column stitch, work a knit two together.
For the shoulder straps, you're going to be nibbling up the body stitches again, which means decreases TOWARD the center line of the jacket.
Keep going, and knit across the sleeve stitches, which are now the shoulder strap. When you get to the last stitch of the sleeve/strap, which should also be the decrease column, work a slip-slip-knit with the stitch of the decrease column and the first stitch of the back of the jacket.
So far, this is just like the previous decrease rounds, but now comes the new part. TURN THE WORK. Yup, that's it, turn the whole sweater around so you can purl back across the shoulder strap.
Slip the first stitch, the one you just worked the decrease with, twist your yarns around each other, and purl back across the shoulder strap.
When you reach the last stitch of the shoulder strap - the decrease column - work it and the first body stitch together with a purl two together. Then turn the work again, just like you did before.
Slip the first stitch that you worked the decrease with, twist your yarns around each other, and then knit across the shoulder strap. When you reach the last stitch/decrease column, work a slip-slip-knit with it and the next body stitch. From here on out, when I say 'turn', that really means 'turn the work, slipping the first stitch of the work, and twisting the two yarns around each other'.
Turn, and work back. You get the idea now. Keep doing this until your're either out, or almost out (two or three stitches at most) of body stitches on the front of the jacket, and your decrease column of your shoulder strap meets a vertical pattern line on the back.
Knit across the shoulder strap, and work a slip-slip-knit with the decrease column and the vertical pattern line of the back. Turn. Purl back across the shoulder strap and purl together the decrease column and any front/body stitches left. (There should only be two or three at most.) Turn. Work back across the shoulder strap, knit the decrease column stitch like it's a regular pattern stitch, work across the back.
When you reach the decrease column where the back of the left sleeve meets the body, work a knit two together with the last body stitch and the decrease column of the shoulder strap. Keep going, knitting across the shoulder strap. When you reach the decrease column, work a slip-slip-knit with the decrease column and the first front/body stitch. Turn the work, and purl back across the shoulder strap; purl together the decrease column stitch and the first stitch of the back.
Work this shoulder strap like you worked the first one.
When you work the final knit row, where you knit together the last of the body stitches, turn the work and purl back across the shoulder strap. Keep going, and work the back-of-the-neck stitches, over to the first shoulder strap again. Work the stitch of the vertical pattern line of the back, and the first stitch of the shoulder strap, with a purl two together. Turn. Knit across the back of the neck to the last vertical pattern line, work a slip-slip-knit with it and the first stitch of the shoulder strap. Turn.
Work back and forth like that until you've nibbled up half of the shoulder strap. There should be a handy vertical pattern line running slap down the middle of the shoulder straps to keep track.
Once you get there, you're done.
To bind off, either knit or purl over to the steek, turn the work, and work across the entire neck line in the other direction, binding off as you go.
When you're done, go drink some champagne, or a martini, or eat a really big bar of chocolate. Or a batch of brownies. Or something. I know I'm gonna go eat a chocolate bar to celebrate writing this out.
If you want another take on this shoulder-decreasing method, Elizabeth Zimmerman discusses it in "Knitting Without Tears". We're doing the saddle-shoulder method.
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Steeked Jacket: Shoulder decreasing part two.
Today, we're gonna discuss this:
at 12:46 PM