Based on a True Sweater

Jun. 11, 2007

Thinking About Edgings

Crocheted Edging

Thank you for all the comments and requests for the summer sweater pattern! (And thank you so much to dear Rachael to posting about it on her blog!)

I spent a large chunk of the weekend working up charts and numbers for the sweater, and have knit most of the yoke of the second version. I've changed the way the raglan and neckline shaping are worked; they are much more refined, and are charted out to integrate more beautifully with the lace pattern. The finished-measurement size range goes from 81cm-142cm (32"-56").

Version 2 will probably have the same simple crocheted borders as the original, unless I come up with a knitted border that will work as well with the lace and stockinette. (I have an idea to try, but I'm not sure if it will look as good.) For any non-crocheters out there, I'm curious; what would you do with a pattern that had simple crocheted borders? Would you try to learn the stitch involved? Would you come up with your own knitted border solution? Would you just make something else? Please let me know, I'm curious.

I'm a bit torn on this. On the one hand, I want to make a pattern that's accessible to a wide range of knitters, and I know that not all knitters know (or want to know) how to crochet. On the other hand, I feel that crochet offers the best solution for the borders of this sweater, and I want to be able to produce designs that use the best technique for the job.

This is where my impatience with all the knit vs. crochet crap comes in. They are both excellent ways to make things from yarn. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Each is easy to misuse, and can make things of unparalleled hideousness as well as things of beauty and delight. The question of one being superior to the other is ridiculous; the problem comes in thinking that they are interchangeable.

The lace pattern I'm using for this sweater would not have the same deliciously clingy, squishy, collapsible drape if I substituted a crocheted pattern, no matter how pretty and drapey it might be. Likewise, the crocheted border gives me the chance to make a lovely, stable border with perfect buttonholes, that looks both distinct from the fabric of the sweater, and harmonious with it. My original idea for the sweater involved knitted borders, but the crocheted border worked much better in the end, both visually and functionally.

I will probably end up keeping the crocheted borders, though perhaps I will offer a suggestion and photographed swatch for a knitted alternative. What do you think?


At 4:26 p.m., Blogger jen c said...

delurking to say that i love the crocheted border. and if it's what you feel works best on your sweater design - then use it!

At 5:07 p.m., Blogger Inky said...

I'd use the crocheted border, and I agree, if it's what works best then go for it!

At 5:31 p.m., Blogger jacquieblackman said...

Delurking as well to throw in my 2ยข... I don't know how to crochet but I would learn for a pattern for sure. I just haven't had a reason to learn. Although if there was a knitted border I'd probably do the sweater sooner. I guess what I'm saying is that I wouldn't run for the hills if a pattern called for a crochet border.

At 5:36 p.m., Blogger Rabbitch said...

Truthfully? I'd probably think about it, long for it, buy the pattern and then not make it.

It's a beautiful sweater, and I ~can~ crochet, I just hate doing it.

However, it's not all about me (I know, I was shocked too. You may wish to sit down for a moment).

You're the designer and I think that you should do what's best for the sweater.

At 6:22 p.m., Blogger Marnie said...

I just love your two pieces but this one especially. The shaping is so gorgeous and offers a lot of opportunity for customizing.

I'm all for combining knit and crochet and I think you should go with your vision. Most knitters at least know a crocheter who can help and if they really can't, I'm sure there'll be discussion groups with suggestions for alternatives. Sometimes, crochet is just a good choice and I really like it on your piece.
My $0.02, worth every penny.

At 5:44 a.m., Blogger Amy Boogie said...

I crochet well but I'd probably work a knit edging anyway. Or maybe not. I'm not sure. I'd have to be there :)

At 7:11 a.m., Anonymous ck said...

Your design...you should do what you want. It looks great the way it was desgined. If someone doesn't know or doesn't want to learn how to crochet...well...assume knitters as a group are reasonably intelligent people and can figure out how to do a different border! Or if you're inclined to offer an option in the pattern for a knitted border that is nice too.

At 7:59 a.m., Blogger jodi said...

I like this crochet border, you can see that it's sturdy and won't flop around (I'm not the type to be put off by crochet in a knit pattern, though). What about offering instructions for an optional second border treatment in something simple like garter stitch, which would be about the same thickness and sturdiness as the crochet edge (if a bit stretchier)? Then you're not forcing non-crocheters to either suck it up and learn to crochet or not get to make the sweater, but also not knocking yourself on your arse as far as extra work goes.

At 9:39 a.m., Blogger Jean said...

I really like the crocheted border as well. Keep them, and I can't wait to get my hands on the pattern :)

At 11:32 a.m., Anonymous Jan said...

I'd like this sweater, as well. A very nice range of sizes, for which we thank you very, very much!

At 2:38 p.m., Blogger leigh said...

When I came across a knitting pattern with a crocheted boarder, I learned to crochet. You can learn anything from a good set of instructions; and trying out new techniques is part of the thrill of the Make - for me anyway.

At 8:26 a.m., Blogger knitty_kat said...

This is gorgeous Mandy!!

I like your idea of including the knitting suggestion with the pattern.

I think it's lovely the way it is. I don't crochet but I don't see that it would be all the challenging to at least try it.

At 10:40 a.m., Blogger Dani said...

There are tons of patterns out there and every pattern isn't for every body. As the designer, you should be true to your vision for the design. If I see a technique in a pattern that I don't want to bother with, I just pick another pattern. For every person like me, however, I bet there will be two people who aren't scared off by the crocheted border.

I liked your comments about respecting the strengths and weakness of knit and crochet. I prefer crochet for blankets and hats, and stick to knitting for clothing.

At 1:22 p.m., Blogger anna said...

I've never crocheted a stitch, but if that border were simple enough for a total beginner, I would do my best to learn how to make it. I like the idea of using the best tools and techniques for the design's needs.

At 10:16 a.m., Anonymous Rachael said...

I'm DYING for this. Seriously. If you need a test knitter, I'm your girl. I don't care if I'm reading chicken-scratch handwriting on a napkin, I have to have a sweater like that SOON. And I heard crochet borders, they're so EASY! Please pleae please please? Hi to Zak who left a nice comment the other day..... xo

At 6:54 a.m., Anonymous Karen said...

I love this sweater. Coincidentally just ordered some Rowan All Seasons Cotton. I will be watching for the pattern to be offered on your blog.

At 10:16 p.m., Blogger Andy's Crafts said...

Crochet gives it a different look , still is a crafty border. If you need testers for men stuff, I volunteer myself. Your work is great!


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