Saturday, October 10, 2009

Stornoway Neckline: Running the #'s

As you can see from this photo, the original neckline for the men's Stornoway design is fairly deep and wide, with a loose mock-turtleneck collar. But my husband would prefer more of a traditional crewneck, like Eriskay (the ladies' pattern that I've chosen for myself). A while ago I posted a query about neckline mods on a couple of Ravelry forums and was rewarded with some helpful suggestions, including one as simple as folding over the original collar and sewing it down to form a rolled neckband. A number of Ravelers did just that and have posted some lovely pictures. It would certainly be a no-brainer!! But I still think the intended recipient for my handiwork would be more comfortable with a slightly shallower and narrower neckline. Nothing drastic, just a minor adjustment...

I've been mulling over various possibilities for the last couple of weeks while working on the front yoke. Now that I've got about 6" above the gussets (out of 7" called for in the original design), the time is fast approaching when I must make a decision about what to do with the collar. So today I finally ran the numbers to see if I could find a way to achieve the desired results with a minimum of fuss. Because of the designer's characteristic attention to detail, especially when it comes to the nuances of shaping, the math looks A LOT more complicated on paper than the knitting will be in practice. That's why so many people have chosen the expedient of folding over the collar without changing the neckline!! But I think I managed to figure it out.

I'm going to add 3/4" to the front yoke below the neckline and then keep the number of center front stitches the same, while reducing the number of decrease rows (& decrease stitches) on either side of the neck. That way the neckline can be raised and narrowed just a bit, without changing the overall height of the yoke from gusset to shoulder. A narrower neckline means slightly wider shoulders, but I can easily lengthen the shoulder straps to absorb a few extra stitches on either side. For the neckband itself, I will already have fewer center back stitches to match the smaller number of decreases on the sides of the front neck, and from there it will only be a matter of picking up fewer stitches along the (somewhat reduced) side front edges. Fortunately, the neckband is just a simple k2, p2 rib (no baby cables or anything): I need only ensure that I come out with a multiple of 4 stitches.


P.S. This post has no new pictures of my Stornoway, because I'm waiting to finish the first cone of the Cedar yarn before the next photo-op. Just stay tuned. It will make a nice milestone, and we're getting close...

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