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Ilga's Knitting World

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sideways Skin of the Sea

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The unique characteristic of the Skin of the Sea vest is its side-to-side construction.

Working sideways has a lot of advantages, especially when working with a handpainted yarn:
skin_of_the_sea_034_400 skin_of_the_sea_detail_1_400
  • The natural striping effect of a handpainted yarn works in your favour, making the striping move vertically, rather than horizontally. This is usually more flattering for most of us.
  • An otherwise simple, even boring stitch pattern, takes on another character and it's usually a surprisingly interesting one. Even Garter Stitch looks more intriguing.
  • You can control the length and shaping of your garment in a different, often more advantageous, way.
  • There is also less seaming.
  • Depending on the stitch pattern, you can more easily create a feeling of movement and flow.
  • Mostly, it's just fun.
A knitter on Ravelry recently mentioned that she particularly enjoyed working the Skin of the Sea because of its sideways method. She speculated that she wanted to try more. I suggested that she could experiment, starting from what she had learned from the Skin of the Sea pattern.

Once you have the concept down, you can adjust the Skin of the Sea pattern for other variations. If you own a stitch dictionary, just go through it and find another stitch pattern that works horizontally. (Remember: you are going to take a horizontal pattern and turn it on its side when you work side-to-side.) Swatch it, block it, and turn the swatch on its side to see how you like it.

If it has the same gauge as the Skin of the Sea pattern that you already own, then you wouldn't even have to do any math to adjust the pattern.
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If you want to encourage some waist-shaping: a few well-placed short rows in the underarm sections should do the trick.
As for any finishing details, like shoulder gussets, neckline and borders, those as all taken care of in the pattern.

Try it and see what interesting variations you can come up with.

Posted by Ilga Leja on 05/31 at 03:16 AM
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