little glance, big ramble

Here's a sneak-peek of something new. Could it be... a ribbed sleeve with ribbed facing at the cuff? (is it, though? you can't actually see the facing, can you?)

The photo doesn't really do it justice, but I'm enjoying this one a lot. The hem/facing thing is tremendously satisfying, as is the knitting in the round and adapting bits of one pattern and ideas from elsewhere to fit with a whole new yarn with a whole new gauge and behaviour. But let's start with the little things first -- how glorious is it to have knitted a sleeve right up to the armshaping with no seaming to be done and no ends to be woven in? Well OK, there was the end from the very beginning of the first round, but I wove that sucker in before I knitted in the hem, and god it's so beautifully neat.

I'm not starting from the beginning, am I? Right. For those of you who haven't come across Ysolda's blog, she's well worth a look. A while back I was very impressed by a project where she'd incorporated a knitted hem with a different colour for the facing. Around the same time, while diligently following the pattern for my own Ribby Cardi (still, sadly, languishing in my knitting basket and awaiting the re-knitting of the two front pieces and then finishing, collar-knitting, and zip-inserting...) several thoughts started nagging at me. Wouldn't it be good to knit the sleeves in the round? What about knitting a version in some kind of gorgeous cotton blend? How about making it into a jumper rather than a cardigan, and knitting the body in the round too? Never really been satisfied with the standard cast-on I've always used when it comes to ribbing (unless it's k1p1 ribbing, obviously, where the tubular cast-on is king) -- wouldn't it be ace if I had a knitted ribbed hem, which would look neat and stretch as much as all the rest of the ribbed material?

Wouldn't it, though?

So. Ysolda demonstrates a beautiful knitted hem with a gloriously vibrant hidden facing. I thought long and hard about how I could do the same with ribbing, but ultimately there's no getting around the fact that different colours will bleed together if any variety of purl stitches are involved. No concern -- let's make this project all in one colour. Now, if one were inclined, one can do all sorts. So here's what I did.

I could leave it like this... but I won't.

The keenly observant among you will have realised that the ribbing can't match up exactly on the inside. There's no way to avoid this -- the stitches picked up from the provisional cast-on are all half-a-stitch out of synch from the main ones (you're really picking up the stitches in between the ones you originally created). If you're knitting in stocking stitch it doesn't really matter because you can't tell, but it's quite obvious in ribbing. However this doesn't faze me -- I still think it looks brilliant, and the off-centre nature of the ribbing just illustrates the fact that this is the inside of the cuff.

Planned future episodes: set-in sleeve vs raglan; adventures in seamless set-in sleeves for the foolhardy; choosing the right collar type (zip, no zip, hood...?); will I run out of yarn; do I really like pink..?

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