FO: Silky Henley

I’ve delayed writing this post because it deserves a nice writeup which of course requires a big ol’ spot of time. But it’s been hanging over me — I can’t delay any longer!

all finished!

I love Wendy Bernard’s (knit and tonic) patterns. I knit Something Red back in 2007 and while I don’t wear it a lot because it it fits a little larger than I like, it is a great design. Simple, classic but with great details.

I picked up Wendy’s book Custom Knits (read a review by Deb from Knitting Scholar here) shortly after it came out and immediately knew I would have to knit this pattern.

Why? 0 – it’s a henley. 1- it has interesting details in the ribbing to stockinette transition. 2 – the sleeves are set-in sleeves knit from the top down, a sweater construction I’d never knit before.

not really grumpy
not really as grumpy as I look here

Stats ‘n Facts [my ravelry project page]

Slinky Ribs, designed by Wendy Bernard, published in Custom Knits (recommended) [ravelry pattern page]

10 Jan 2010 – 25 April 2010 (with some time-out and other projects in there)

Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in #43, hazel. Not quite 7 balls used for the 42.5″ size.

US3 for cuffs and neckline, US5 for the rest


Where do I start?

I love top-down construction. I like being able to try on a sweater as I knit it to verify that it is fitting properly and doesn’t have any details that are hitting me at the wrong areas.

This sweater begins with a provisional cast on at each shoulder and you knit the front down to the point under the arm where you would join. Then you pick up stitches at the shoulders and knit the back down. The only issue with this is that the rib will be off by 1/2 stitch because you’re knitting in opposite directions from one point. It was initially really noticeable to me but after finishing the body of the sweater, it is really difficult to pick out now. If I were to make a sweater with this method again, I might cast on normally for the front and just pick up and knit from the cast on edge for the back.

I added short rows at two points in the bust — at the top of the bust and then, after trying it on a few inches later, I added another set of short rows under the bust.

placket detail

I brought the neckline up a bit, and only knit a 3″ placket because I planned on 3 buttons rather than the 5 specified in the pattern.

Also, because I am busty, I extended the 2×2 rib so that it traveled completely across my bust and switched to the other rib patterns under the bust (so, around my high waist). I actually had to rip back a few inches when I switched too soon and found a line across a very inopportune location!

I added some decreases for the waist and increases for the hip.

Knitting the sleeves top-down from the armscye was a good experience for me in fit. You pick up stitches along the entire armscye and then work back, knitting short rows across the armscye from the center top shoulder down. It worked out so well for me that I am planning to use this method on the sweater I’m working on now.

I didn’t work the sleeves straight down from the elbow because they belled too much to be wearable for me. Instead I worked decreases around the entire sleeve twice to get it to be a tapered sleeve that I like the fit of (and I did have to knit three sleeves to get this to fit properly, lots of ripping back and re-knitting on this project).

that darn sunlight

I worked 6 rows of 1×1 rib on the buttonband with no rolled edge.

I worked 4 rows of 1×1 rib at the hem with no rolled edge — I just wanted a small hem.

I worked 3 rows of 1×1 rib on a smaller needle on both sleeve cuffs, adding 5 rows of stockinette after that for a rolled edge.

I discovered that while the body of the sweater without sleeves fit my shoulders great, after I added sleeves, they pulled the neckline a lot. I knew that the collar would make a big difference once I added it, but I was still concerned, so I added 3 sets of short rows along the back of the neck.

I worked 3 rows of 1×1 rib on the neckline plus 3 sets of short rows at the back neck, so some parts of the neckline have up to 9 rows of 1×1 rib. I followed that with 4 rows of stockinette stitch for a slight rolled edge.

The yarn was wonderful to knit with, super soft and silky. It did grow with a wash, but not too much. It slightly fuzzed up after getting machine washed (cold/cold) and dried (air fluff).

Overall: a good project, a good pattern, easily customizable, and worth the 800+ words I’ve written here (phew).



5 Comments so far

  1. E on May 18th, 2010

    Hi! Awesome write up, great FO, and very cute pic. :D

  2. Sara on May 19th, 2010

    It looks great! You did a wonderful job!

  3. Holly Jo on May 19th, 2010

    Thanks for such a thoughtful post! I have been intrigued by the set-in, top down sleeves and glad to hear you had such success with it. It looks beautiful on you….fantastic knitting!

  4. noricum on May 22nd, 2010

    Looks great! :)

  5. Jess on May 24th, 2010

    LOVE IT! Can I ask what amount of ease you gave yourself? I’m pretty sure I made the wrong size.