Sonntag, 19. Juli 2020

Garter Stitch Bias Top

I love garter stitch. If you use self-striping yarn, you can make it stand out with unusual constructions - so that you can create quite interesting garments (e.g. Summertime Garter Stitch Top, No Assembly Required Top) or accessories (e.g. Color Explosion Mitts, Little Rectangles Scarf, Patchwork Cowl).
Another feature of garter stitch is that one ridge (2 rows) of garter stitch are basically as high as one stitch is wide. That way, you can easily put pieces of garter stitch together at right angles. And that's what I did with this piece.
This top is knitted on a 45 degree bias - and except for the arms - it is knitted in one piece.  It has a V-neck in front, this V is partially filled in the back.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.



This is NOT a row-by-row pattern in different sizes. It is a rough tutorial to construct a similar garment yourself - explaining the measurements to take and the underlying calculations to make. This means that you can use other yarn weights as well.

Even though, the calculations involved seem a bit complicated at first, the actual knitting is straight-forward (garter stitch with a increases and decreases). Plus, the only real calculations you need, have to be done right at the beginning (when you calculate your COs)  - and here I've given several examples. The rest can be done by measuring your piece as you go along.


Materials
  • yarn, I used about 8,5 skeins of Lana Grossa, Linea Pura A Mano (here's the yarn's Ravelry page), which amounts to about 950 meters of cotton DK weight yarn - since this is a tutorial that explains the calculations you can use other yarn weights as well. I think the design looks best in variegated yarn.
  • knitting needles that suit the yarn (I used 4mm circulars - with quite a long cable)
  • a crochet hook, roughly the same size as the knitting needles (I used a 4mm hook)
  • quite a few stitch markers - scrap yarn works fine
  • scrap yarn - as stitch holder for the arm stitches
  • a tapestry needle to weave in ends
  • a piece of paper or cardboard - big enough to measure half of the width of the shirt and from your shoulder to under your arm (for me an A4 piece of paper was enough)
  • a notepad, to take notes while you're knitting


Techniques
  • Crochet Cast On: basically the same as a provisional CO with a crochet hook - except that you use your working yarn and that in the you put the stitch that is still on the hook on the knitting needle. Here's a YouTube video by KnitPurlHunter that explains the technique.
    There are two cast ons - one at the beginning of part 1 (the left part) and one at the beginning of part 4. To make sure, that both sides look the same, I used a crochet cast on for both.
  • Short rows with wrap and turn (w+t) - as shown in this YouTube video by Very Pink Knits.
  • Pick up and knit: Picking up stitches from the side edge of your work as shown in this YouTube video by B.Hooked Crochet & Knitting
  • Picking up stitches from a gap or ditch: After separating the arm stitches, going on knitting and then picking up the arm stitches again, there usually is a gap under the arm. This gap can be closed by picking up a couple of stitches. An example of how to pick up gap stitches in a top-down raglan sweater is shown in a YouTube video by The Chilly Dog.

Measuring, Swatching and Calculating

Start by knitting a swatch to find out how many ridges and stitches you need to knit a 10 x 10 cm square.
With my swatch I had 20 stitches for 10 cm in width and 20 ridges (40 rows of garter stitch) for 10 cm in height.

Knit a swatch - don't rely on the yarn label for the calculations for this sweater. If you don't knit a swatch, you'll probably end up ripping back, i.e. knitting a bigger swatch :/

Then take your and decide on your measurements.
A = depth of your V-neck (front) = half of your neck width (since you are knitting on a 45 degree bias, these will be the same)
B = shoulder (from neck opening to shoulder head)
C = depth of neck in the back
D = width of your shirt, this is a boxy shirt (without any shaping around the bust or waist), so take the widest measurement around your torso
E = shoulder to under arm
F = height (shoulder seam to bottom hem)


Since you're knitting on the bias (45 degrees, i.e. your calculations are based on a right-angled isosceles triangle), the width and length that you measure needs to be multiplied by √2 (square root of 2 or roughly multiply by 1.41) to get the stitch numbers.
And if you want to calculate how many "biased" centimetres give you how many centimetres (or ridges) in your measurements you have to divide by √ (i.e. roughly divide by 1.41).

I wanted the following measurements - and with my gauge 1 cm equalled exactly 2 stitches or 2 garter stitch ridges (that's where the first "2 *" comes from).
A = 11 cm: 2 * 11 = 22 ; 22 *  2 stitches = 22 * 1.41 stitches = 28 stitches
B = 10 cm: 2 * 10  = 20; 20  /  2 ridges  = 20 /1.41 ridges =  14 ridges
C = 3 cm: 2 * 3 = 6; 6 *  2 stitches = 6 * 1.41 = 8.5 stitches
D = 50 cm: 2 * 50 = 100; 100  /  2 ridges  = 100 /1.41 ridges = 71 ridges
E = 20 cm: 2 * 20 = 40; 40  * 2 stitches = 40 x 1.41 stitches = 56 stitches
F = 55 cm: 2 * 55 = 110; 110 /   2 ridges  = 110 /1.41 ridges = 78 ridges

When you decide on the width of the neck (A), I'd advise to err on the generous side, because it's nearly impossible to widen the neck afterwards - but it would be possible to make it a bit narrower, e.g. with a crochet edge. (Believe me, I had to frog it once ... while I was knitting part 4 and detected that the neckline felt too small.)



Construction / Parts

This top is basically knitted in one piece (except for the arms). The picture below shows the construction and parts - it only gives you a front view, but during most parts you'll knit both on the front and back of your piece at one time.

  • Part 1: Cast on for the back neckline and the left side of the V neck as well as the triangle in the back just below the neckline. This triangle is created with short rows and decreases.
  • Part 2: Left shoulder - knitted back and forth over the shoulder while increasing
  • Part 3: After putting the left arm stitches on a stitch holder, Underarm left hand side - knitted back and forth under the left arm
  • Part 4: Main body part - started by picking up stitches from the edge of parts 2 and 3 and - in the middle a cast on for right side of neck, right shoulder, then knitted back and forth over the right shoulder
  • Part 5: Underarm right hand side - after putting the stitches of the right arm on a stitch holder
  • Part 6: Arms

Instructions

Part 1: CO and Triangle at the Back of Neck

Calculate the number of stitches for the left half of the front of the V, the left half of the back neckline and the horizonal part of the back neckline (for details see Section "Calculations" below). After you've done these calculations, you've done the worst part of the "maths" bit (and I've given you some example calculations below) ... the rest can be done by measuring the piece as you go along.

CO the calculated number of stitches with crochet CO.
(I used a crochet CO here, because there will be another CO - the right half of the V in the beginning of part 4 - where you only have 1 strand of yarn and you need an appropriate CO method for that. I wanted both halves to look the same. In my first (then frogged) try, I used a longtail CO in the beginning and knitted CO at the start of part 4 - next to one another these two CO methods looked just too different.

The CO consists of number of stitches for front neckline (A * √2), number of stitches for the back neckline (C * √2), and number of stitches for horizontal part of back neckline (2 * (A-C)). Place stitch markers after each part.
(For the next CO - at the beginning of part 4 - the calculation is a bit easier, it's only (A * √2) + (C * √2)).

I wanted A to be 11 cm - and C to be 3 cm. 
  • : 11 * 2 = 15,5 cm (with my gauge 31 sts)
  • 2: 3 2 = 4.25 cm (with my gauge 8.5, sts rounded to 9 sts)
  • 2 * (A-C) : 2*(11-3) = 2* 8 = 16 cm (with my gauge 32 sts)
Therefore my complete original CO (beginning of part 1) was 31 + 9 + 32 = 62 sts

Row 0 will start with the stitches for the front neckline; your stitch line-up is:
front neckline (A * √2), marker A (top of shoulder), back neckline (C * √2), marker B, horizontal part of neckline.

Row 0 (RS): k all

Now you're starting to knit a triangle of short rows.
Ridge 1 (WS/RS): sl1, k1, w+t, k to end
Ridge 2 (WS/RS): k1, ssk, w+t, k to end
Ridge 3 (WS/RS): sl1, k up to wrap, k1, w+t, k to end
Ridge 4 (WS/RS): sl1, k up to wrap, ssk, w+t, k to end

Repeat ridges 3 and 4 until the number of stitches on either side of stitch marker a are the same. This should (roughly) conincide with reaching stitch marker B since you're decreasing at every 2nd ridge. After a few repeats your piece should look similar to illustration 1.
You can remove stitch marker B now.
You're at the tip of the triangle you just knitted and the next row is a WS row.


Part 2: Left Shoulder

Row 0 (WS): sl1, k to end

Now you're starting to knit back and forth in garter stitch - increasing at the shoulder.
Row 1 (RS): sl1, k to 1 bef marker A, kfb, slip marker, kfb, k to end
Row 2 (WS): sl1, k to end

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until the shoulder seam is as wide as you want it to be (i.e. until you've knitted  B/√ 2 ridges in part 2).
Place a removable stitch marker between the last ridge you knitted and the next to mark the row where you ended the above sequence (or make a note how many ridges you knitted up to now).

Then start the following sequence - which will give a slightly downward curve at the shoulder seam.
Row 3 (RS): sl1, k to 1 bef marker A, kfb, slip marker, kfb, k to end
Row 4 (WS): sl1, k to end
Row 5 (RS): sl1, k to end
Row 6 (WS): sl1, k to end

Continue repeating rows 3 to 6 until you have enough rows to separate the arm stitches. 
While you're knitting, it might be helpful to mark the RS (with a removable stitch marker or some scrap yarn).

You can either calculate the number of ridges you need to knit until you have to separate the arm stitches (see calculations below - yes, they seem a bit complicated). Or you can cut out a piece of paper or cardborad with the following measurements:
  • width = half of the width of your shirt (D/2)
  • height = shoulder to underarm (E)
To measure, align you knitted piece (folded at the shoulder seam), so that the shoulder seam is at the upper edge and the tip of the V-neck is at the left edge (see illustation 3; the upper edge is marked with a light green line, the tip of the V-neck with a light green dot). Once you've reached the lower right hand corner of the piece of paper (indicated by the arrow), you can separate the arm stitches. (If you really, really want to know how the number of ridges could be calculated, I have provided this a the bottom of this post.)
Count the total number of ridges you knitted in part 2 and make a note of this. You'll need this information in part 4.


Calculated from the top of the shoulders, the arms should in theory be E * √ 2 stitches wide. However, since your arms hang downwards, you're not exacly knitting on a 45 degree bias anymore (but you're not yet knitting straight around the arm). Therefore the number of stitches you need to reach the width around the arm on that angle is lower than the stitches for E * √ 2, but higher than E. To get the number that's right for you, measure your piece and / or put it on. Then decide on a number of arm stitches somewhere between E and E * √ 2. Make a note of that number.

So, place temporary markers at that stitch at both sides of the shoulder.
On a WS row, knit up to the first temporary marker, put the stitches up to the next temporary marker on a big stitch holder or scrap yarn (while leaving marker A in), place a new middle marker (let's call it marker C) and continue knitting to the end of the row.

For me, E * 2 should have been 56 stitches (on the bias around the arm) and E (straight (not on the bias) around the arm) 40 stitches - the midpoint would be 48 stitches. Since garter stitch as a fabric is stretchy plus my yarn was stretchy too, I decided to make the arms a bit tighter and chose a width of 44 sts, i.e. I put temporary stitch markers 44 sts away from marker A at both sides of the piece (front and back) - then on a WS row I knitted up to the first temporary marker, put  2 * 44 sts (around marker A) my stitch holders, and finished the row.


Part 3: Left Underarm

Row 1 (RS): sl1, k to 2 bef marker C, ssk, slip marker C, k2tog, k to end
Row 2 (WS): sl1, k to end

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until there are only 4 sts left
Row 3 (RS): ssk, remove marker C, k2tog
Row 4 (WS): sl1, k1

Your piece should now look similar to illustration 4. The two stitches you have still on your needles will be the starting point of the stitches you're about to pick up.


Part 4: Main Body Part

Starting from the back and looking at the outside (RS) of your piece, pick up and knit one stitch for each ridge of the back diagonal edge.
When you reach the top of the filled triangle (of part 1), start a crochet CO of   C * √2 + A * √2 stitches - and place a marker (called marker D) after C * √2 stitches (i.e. at the top of the right shoulder). Then continue picking up and knitting stitches from the front of the diagonal edge. Your piece should now look similar to illustration 5 - and the number of stitches on either side of marker D should be the same.
(If there is a difference of one or two stitches on front and back, you can remedy that later in part 4 (Underarm Stitches) by leaving out one decrease (or two) just under the arm.)

In my case the new CO was 40 stitches - and I placed the marker after 9 sts.
  • 2: 3 2 = 4.25 cm (with my gauge 8.5, sts rounded to 9 sts)
  • : 11 * 2 = 15,5 cm (with my gauge 31 sts)


Now you can start the main part with an RS row - the front and back side of the piece will be connected while knitting (with k2tog at the end of each row). Even though your stitches could now be knitted in the round, you'll be knitting back and forth. The end will be clearly visible. There will be increases at the top of the shoulder and below the arm.

Row 1 (RS): yo, kfb, k to 1 bef marker D, kfb, slip marker, kfb, to to 2 bef end, kfb, k2tog
Row 2 (WS): yo, k to 1 bef end, k2tog

The k2tog at the end of each row, connects the last stitch of the row with the yo at the beginning, thereby connecting the sides.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until one of the following things happens (depending on your measurements, either may happen first.):
  1. the shoulder width (B) is reached.
  2. the intended length of you piece (F) is reached
When no 1 happens:
Change the RS rows in a way, that now you only do the increases at the top of the shoulder every 2nd RS row - so you have the same contour at the shoulder seam than in part 2
E.g.:
Row 3 (RS): yo, kfb, k to 1 bef marker D, kfb, slip marker, kfb, to to 2 bef end, kfb, k2tog 
Row 4 (WS): yo, k to 1 bef end, k2tog
Row 5 (RS):  yo, kfb, k to 2 bef end, kfb, k2tog
Row 6 (WS): yo, k to 1 bef end, k2tog

When no 2 happens:
Change the instructions in the beginning and end of the row in a way, that - instead of increasing and connecting - you now decrease (without connecting to the other side). That way you'll knit the lower hem.
E.g. (if no. 1 happened before)
Row 7 (RS): ssk, k to 1 bef marker D, kfb, slip marker, kfb, to to 2 bef end,  k2tog 
Row 8 (WS): p1, k to 1 end
Row 9 (RS):  ssk, k to 2 bef end, k2tog
Row 10 (WS): p1, k to 1 end

Here (and during part 5) you would also have the opportunity to shape the piece at the hem - for most people (me included) the hips are a bit wider. You could widen the lower hem by knitting a few short rows (symmetrical at the front and back of the piece). I didn't do this -  but I wanted to mention that it is possible.

Knit on until the total number of rows you knitted in part 4 equals the number you knitted in part 2, i.e. it's time to separate the arm stitches of the right arm.
Place temporary stitch markers at the number of arm stitches away (see part 2) from marker D. 
On a WS row, knit up to the first temporary marker, put the stitches up to the next temporary marker on a big stitch holder or scrap yarn (while leaving marker D in), place a new middle marker (let's call it marker F) and continue knitting to the end of the row.

Photo 6 shows how your piece should look after separating the arm stitches.

Part 4: Right Underarm

Row 1: ssk, k to 2 bef marker F, ssk, slip marker, k2tog, k to 2 bef end, k2tog
Row 2: p1, k to end

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until there are 8 sts or fewer left.
Row 3: knit only decrease stiches (e.g. ssk, ssk, k2tog, k2tog)
Row 4: p1, k to end
Row 5: knit only decrease stitches (e.g. ssk, k2tog)
Row 6: BO the remaining stitches


Part 6: Arms

First arm:
Put the stitches of one arm from the stitch holder to your knitting needles - and rearrange them, so that your row starts at the top of the shoulder (at the place of the stitch marker, that you left in). There will be a visible gap at the middle of the row just under the arm.

You start knitting at the inside (WS) of your piece.

Row 1 (WS): ssk, k to the middle of the row (just under the arm) and pick up an even number of stitches from the gap (I picked up 4 sts) and place a marker in the middle of the stitches you just picked up (called marker UA (underarm)), k to last 3 sts, yo, k1, k2tog

Row 2 (RS): ssk, drop yo of row below, k to 2 bef marker UA, ssk, slip marker, k2tog, k to last 3 sts, yo, k1, k2tog
Row 3 (WS): ssk, drop yo of row below, k to 3 bef end, yo, k1, k2tog

After working rows 2 and 3 once,  you can remove the marker at the top of the arm, since the end of row is clearly visible now.
The yo you do in one row and then drop in the next help to get a stretchier edge.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until there are 8 sts or fewer left.
Row 3: knit only decrease stiches (e.g. ssk, ssk, k2tog, k2tog)
Row 4: p1, k to end
Row 5: knit only decrease stitches (e.g. ssk, k2tog)
Row 6: BO the remaining stitches

Repeat on second arm.

Back view - at the neckline you can see the short row triangle knitted in part 1


Calculations and Examples

All calculations below are based on the the Pythagorean theorem, that states "that the area of the square whose side is the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the areas of the squares on the other two sides." (direct quote from Wikipedia)

Number of Stitches to COs

The pictures below show the COs of this pattern. In black the original CO that is done in the beginning of part 1 (for the left side of the front neck, and the back neckline - and in magenta the CO for the right side of the neckline. The schematic below shows the same from the top - with the grey dotted line as the shoulder seam/fold line.



So, the original CO is calcuted as follows:
2 + C 2 + 2*(A-C)

And the CO at the beginning of part 4 like this:
A * √2 + C * √2 

I wanted A to be 11 cm - and C to be 3 cm. 
  • : 11 * 2 = 15,5 cm (with my gauge 31 sts)
  • 2: 3 2 = 4.25 cm (with my gauge 8.5, sts rounded to 9 sts)
  • 2 * (A-C) : 2*(11-3) = 2* 8 = 16 cm (with my gauge 32 sts)
Therefore the complete original CO (beginning of part 1) was 31 + 9 + 32 = 62 sts
The CO at the beginning of part 4 was 31 + 9 =40 sts.


To create this neckline, there are only two dimensions that you can choose:
  • the depth of the front V (A)
  • the depth of the neckline in the back (C)
Because this is a right-angled triangle, the other sizes (widths) will follow.

Here are examples of the CO length for different values of A and C - in centimeters, where
  • "1st CO" is the length in centimetres of the CO at the beginning of part 1 (2 + C 2 + 2*(A-C)), 
  • "marker" indicates after how many centimetres you have to place the "top of the shoulder marker" (2 ) and 
  • "4th CO" the length in centimetres of the CO at the beginning of part 4 (2 + C ). I've rounded (up or down) to the next half centimetre.


C=1.5 cmC=3 cmC=5 cm
A = 10 cm1st CO: 33 cm
marker: 14 cm
4th CO: 16 cm
1st CO: 32 cm
marker: 14 cm
4th CO: 18,5 cm
1st CO: 31 cm
marker: 14 cm
4th CO: 21 cm
A = 11 cm1st CO: 36,5 cm
marker: 15,5 cm
4th CO: 17,5 cm
1st CO: 35,5 cm
marker: 15,5 cm
4th CO: 19,5 cm
1st CO: 34,5 cm
marker: 15,5 cm
4th CO: 22.5 cm
A = 12 cm1st CO: 40 cm
marker: 17 cm
4th CO: 19 cm
1st CO: 39 cm
marker: 17 cm
4th CO: 21 cm
1st CO: 38 cm
marker: 17 cm
4th CO: 24 cm
A = 13 cm1st CO: 43,5 cm
marker: 18,5 cm
4th CO: 20,5 cm
1st CO: 42,5 cm
marker: 18,5 cm
4th CO: 22,5 cm
1st CO: 41 cm
marker: 18,5 cm
4th CO: 25,5 cm

Of course, you have to calculate the number of stitches from the centimetres according to your swatch.


From edge of V-neck to just under the arm

Just if you're interested - if you are not, please use a piece of paper or cardboard to measure as you knit (as indicated above) ...

It took me a while to figure this out - and I don't think it's quite elegant (as calculations go). If you know an easier way to calculate this, please let me know.

There are three numbers that you know
A = (the depth of the V)
D/2 = half of the top's width
E = shoulder to underarm

These are shown in the picture below - laid over a sketch of one shoulder of the top.

There is an rectangle with side lengths E and D/2. To calculate the centimetres from the edge of the V to below the arm (x), you need to enlarge this to an (imaginary) square with the side length D/2.
The diagonal of this square measures (that consists of x and another unknown y):

y can be calculated as follows:

So, x can be directly calculated:

Example calculation:
I had A = 11 cm, E = 21 cm and D/2 = 25 cm.

To calculate y (step by step)
A + D/2 - E = 11 + 25 - 21 = 15
15 * 15 =  225
225 /2 =  112
√112 = 10,6
=> y = 10,6

Now x+y:
D/2 * D/2 = 25 * 25 = 625
2 * 625 = 1250
√1250 = 35, 35
=> x + y  = 35, 35

x = 35,35 - 10,6 = 24,75 cm

With my gauge 24.75 cm equalled about 49 garter stitch ridges.

Front view - the skirt is an upcycling project made from old jeans

Kommentare:

  1. Bewundere immer deine konstruktionen von verschiedenen projekten, da ich selber auch freude habe, etwas anders zu stricken. Was mich nur sehr wundert, dass du fast immer die anleitungen in englisch schreibst. Finde sehr bemerkenswert dass du die auch kostenlos zu verfügung stellst. Danke, das freud bestimmt viele.
    Bin gespannt auf die weiteren idee.
    Mimi

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    1. Hallo Mimi
      Vielen lieben Dank. Irgendwie finde ich "Strick-Deutsch" deutlich umständlicher (schwerer zu lesen) als "Strick-Englisch" ... warum, weiss ich nicht und wahrscheinlich sehen andere Leute das genau umgekehrt :)
      Mittlerweile veröffentliche ich auch Kaufanleitungen und stelle nur diejenigen Anleitungen umsonst zur Verfügung, bei denen ich wirklich keine Lust habe, jede ach-so-winzige Kleinigkeit zu erklären. (Und hier hätte man tatsächlich diverse Grössen ausrechnen und testen müssen - wofür ich zu faul war ;)
      Liebe Grüsse!

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  2. Thank you. Quite a challenge, but I'd like to try it.

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  3. Ich kann mich Mimi nur anschließen.
    Tolles Shirt! Klasse Konstruktion!

    Werde ich mir wohl oder übel übersetzen müssen. :)
    Danke für deine Mühe und tolle Idee.

    LG Chrissi

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  4. Thank you so much for this pattern. I’ve started it and have a question on part 4.
    I’ve past no 1 and started to do the increasing ever 4 rows at the shoulder. Is row 3 correct ? No kfb in the beginning but only in the end of that row??
    Agneta in Stockholm

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    1. You're absolutely right.
      Row 3 needs a kfb in the beginning and end - also row 5 of part 4.
      I've corrected it.
      Thanks for letting me know <3

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