Drape Happens

I began knitting the Lush and Lacy cardigan a few weeks ago with my lovely alpaca-silk yarn. If you know me, this may surprise you as I am not really a 'lush and lacy' person, but I was tempted by the idea of a tomato red silky cardigan in a feminine vintage-ish style. I would wear that, oh yes. As you can see by the photo, I am no longer knitting a cardigan nor is my work-in-progress particularly lacy. What happened?

Drape happened.

If you are used to working with textiles, you know that drape is important. It is how the fabric falls or hangs. When you are planning a knitting project, you try to match the drape to the pattern. Some patterns call for a rather indiscernible drape while others incorporate drape into the design. When choosing yarn, it is important to remember that silk and cotton drape more than lambswool or merino which both have good stitch memory.

When I chose my yarn, I knew it would have a lot of drape. The cardigan would put the drape to good effect. Perfect. Except when I had pretty much finished knitting the back of the cardigan, I was looking at the floppiest flap of fabric that had ever flupped. And I still had to knit the two fronts, two sleeves, sew it all together and pick up stitches to knit details. I knew it wasn't going to happened because the end product would look like a giant tomato had just coughed up a dead alpaca goat on top of me. Not exactly a stylish vintage-ish knit.

So I ripped it all out and started over. This time I am knitting a very, very simple top-down raglan* top as you can see in my photo. It is knit in one piece and because the pattern is so minimalistic, the drape will be able to work to its advantage. I'm using St. James as my template although I am going to modify the pattern slightly. The sleeves will be much longer (because I live in Scotland) and the neckline a tiny bit different. And I'm very happy with how it all looks thus far.

And in related knitting news, my knitting group was filmed by Scottish TV last night because we are so damn hip. I was goaded into being interviewed by TangledFrog but I think I managed to sabotage the interview by mentioning astrophysics. I am not sure if the programme will air outside Scotland but I will keep you posted. Unless I feature heavily, of course.