Friday, 28 March 2008

Return of the prodigal sock

I've been working a little on Lenore.

But not much, unfortunately. These socks haven't been much in evidence for quite a while now - well, I have been knitting other things - but somehow it happened that I wanted a small portable project to work on the other day. So I picked it up again, for a while.

This is such a nice straightforward pattern, and will produce a really useful and wearable pair of socks. I don't know why I'm finding it difficult to work up any enthusiasm for them right now, but that's the way it is. I will get them finished, I will.....

Yesterday evening I also cast on a new pair of Kaffe Fassett socks for my husband.

This is going to be used in my sock class on Saturday, and I need to get the leg finished and work the heel flap, so that I can demonstrate the heel turn. I'll run a lifeline at the end of the heel flap, so that I can be very devious and use the same sock again for the repeat class on Tuesday. And I'll pull back what I work on the second sock during the Saturday class so that I can demonstrate the cast-on again on Tuesday.

It looks as if my husband may get a new pair of socks every time I run a sock class. He approves of this.

And here is what I actually want to be working on.

I've cast on for Mine.

This is Rowan Bamboo Tape, which I haven't worked with before. It is lovely and soft in the hand, and has a beautiful soft sheen to it. As you can see, I've already got the beads for this. They are really pretty, and I'm looking forward to using them.

This isn't a straight vest, it has an A line shape to it - really I suppose a trapeze shape, as it is very wide at the hem. I've decided to go with the size 14, mainly because I'm so pleased about the fit of the Wrap Waistcoat. I made the medium size for that one, to fit 12 - 14 (UK sizes of course!) and I think I could almost have got away with a size small.

You know, there is one factor that not much discussed when we consider the fit of a garment, but which is absolutely crucial to whether something looks good or not - shoulder width.

I think one reason why it isn't much discussed is that it is quite hard to measure shoulder width - certainly it is very difficult to measure one's own shoulders. Very nearly impossible, actually. And pretty difficult to measure someone else's, as well.

I don't have wide shoulders, and as I've mentioned before, if I make the size garment indicated by my bust size, then it is unlikely to fit well. Raglans make for a good fit, because they don't have a defined shoulder line, and I can just shorten the sleeves. And sleeveless is good too, because I can adjust the width of the neckline if I think it's necessary.

Over the past few weeks I've been looking through the galleries over at Knitting Daily, and as far as I can see, the amount of positive or negative ease doesn't always seem to be a critical factor with regard to how well a garment fits. Shoulder width, on the other hand, does.

Have a look here, and also here, and see what you think. And look here - the same sweater looks absolutely brilliant on three different people, fitting with positive ease of just 1/2" all the way through to 5". Which one has the best fit though? - look at the shoulderline, and look at the overall appearance. It isn't the amount of ease that makes the difference.

Finally - here you can see someone wearing a garment with a full 10" of negative ease - and it looks just fine, although the armholes may be a little on the tight side.

Shoulder width is key, I think. And negative ease is our friend. Well, mine, anyway..... I hope.

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