Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Finished FLAK

Marguerite wearing her freshly finshed heavy wool FLAK on a hot summer day

Pattern: Follow the Leader Aran by Janet Szabo

Yarn: Elann's Peruvian Highland Wool

Color: Antique Rose

Needles: US #5

Gauge: 22 stitches/4 inches in Moss Stitch

Thanks to Janet Szabo for an educational, successful, and rewarding knitting experience.

It's done and I love it. It's almost enough to make me look forward to winter. Almost.

If I look a little pale in the picture, it might be because I'm wearing a heavy cabled wool sweater outside in the eighty degree temperature.

The yarn color in the ribbing shots below is more accurate than the outside picture above.

Close up of FLAK bottom ribbing
In our FLAK instructions, Janet suggested decreasing 15% to 20% of the stitches along the bottom.

Doing the ribbing the way I wanted resulted in only a 10% decrease. I'm not afraid to frog when needed, so I gave my way a try. I like the way it turned out.

For the few who might be interested, here is what I did:
  • Started ribbing after Row 2 so all cables were freshly crossed.
  • Reduced needle size from 5 to 4.
  • Did k1,p1 ribbing in filler stitch area with a p2tog at the side seam to keep everything lined up.
  • All the p2 troughs between the cables carried on down through the ribbing. If the 10% decrease hadn't been enough, plan B was to purl them together to make one stitch.
  • For the six stitch wave, k2, p2tog, k2.
  • For the four stitch honeycomb, continue the honeycomb pattern down the ribbing.
  • For the ten stitch braid, k2, p2tog, k2, p2tog, k2.
  • For the eight stitch horseshoe, k, k2tog, p2, k2tog, k.
  • For the two stitch left cross and right cross, continue the cross down the ribbing.

Close up of FLAK sleeve ribbingI decreased the sleeve down to 54 stitches and used the same ribbing pattern as the lower ribbing.

Close up of FLAK neckline ribbing
My least favorite part of the sweater is the neck. It's 100 picked up stitches of k1,p1 ribbing. Between the body and the neck ribbing are two purl ridges to transition between the unlike sections of the sweater.

The neck is a little larger than I prefer, but not enough to make me unhappy. I've never worn 100% wool next to my skin. If it turns out to feel scratchy and I need to wear the sweater over a turtleneck, the neck opening will be perfect.

I knew the size of the neck opening was going to be a challenge when I decided to include the wave cables in the neck bindoff. To not include them would have made the neck opening too small. I feared I would not be able to get the neck to look OK if I only bound off half of the wave, so the whole wave it was.

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