Kerry’s WIP: Ahead of the Curve

One of the details I love most about the Buttonside Sweater from Knitting Short Rows is the swoop of the curved shirt hem. When I first saw this design as a sketch, I tried to sort out the construction in my head. Would the body be knit, then the buttonbands applied at the end? Would this be knit bottom up starting with the hem?
curved hem
Turns out both of my ideas were incorrect. The secret to the curve of the hem is short-row shaping, of course! As you already know from my last post, this sweater is knit top down starting at the shoulders. The buttonbands aren’t applied after the body is worked; they’re worked as part of the body by casting on extra stitches once you reach the bottom of the underarm.

The buttonbands themselves are stitched with an easy-to-memorize six-row repeat that works up surprisingly fast. Remembering my row gauge is shorter than it should be from my swatch, and being a taller gal who likes sweaters a bit longer, I added three extra repeats beyond what the pattern calls for. Then the fun part: that curve!

With a few short-rows, the buttonband seamlessly curves and becomes the bottom hem. Once you reach the opposite side, buttonband stitches are grafted together with Kitchener stitch for a nearly invisible join.

With that, the back of the sweater is done and the front is worked in a similar manner. Again, stitches are picked up along the shoulder saddle and a bit of neck shaping is added before you work the body. The front of the neckline scoops just a bit lower than the back and is another lovely detail of this design.

Next time, I’ll be tackling the short-row shaping of Buttonside’s sleeve caps. I’m a bit nervous about it, truth be told. I’ve only worked this type of sleeve cap once before, and sleeves are a place I tend to stall out in the knitting process. (Think second sock syndrome, but with sleeves.) I’m excited to actually wear this sweater, though, so I’m hoping the intrigue of the design and the desire to have a finished wearable will keep the momentum going.

—Kerry Bogert
Editorial Director, Books


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