Tilted Duster

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The Tilted Duster (Ravelry pattern page) is a popular sweater pattern which was first published in Interweave Knits, Fall 2007.

Almost everything about this sweater was difficult and a challenge. Many of the complications were because of my own choices and pattern changes but there were plenty of fit and knitting challenges as well.

I started the Tilted Duster early in 2008, finished it in 2011 and I'm blogging about it now in 2014. I procrastinated with every step of this project! If you decide to knit this sweater, save yourself from headaches and frogging by researching the experiences of other knitters and what they've done. Begin with the Tilted Duster project page at Ravelry. You won't regret it.

Here are my contribution to the research:

  • My Ravelry project page is here.

  • First, check gauge. Proper fit is important with this design so do not skip making a swatch. Second, measure yourself and use accurate measurements. The Tilted Duster has an modified empire waist and it is NOT flattering to have the skirt of the sweater start mid-breast.

  • Webs did a knit-along with this pattern in 2007 and their tips and tricks were extremely helpful. A keyword search using Tilted Duster at their blog will return a page with links to posts and podcasts where the knit-along is discussed. There used to be a link to an electronic file containing the notes from these podcasts but now I can't find it (if you happen to know where this link is please let me know and I'll post it.)

  • When binding off I used the sloped bind-off method and on the skirt side panel I used paired increases of make one right and make one left. Knittinghelp.com has videos on all of these of these techniques.

  • I made a checklist to keep track of the increases, decreases and number of stitches between the markers while knitting the skirt.

  • I completely reworked the sleeves. The tightness of the sleeve design was frequently mentioned by other knitters so I knew I was going to have to make alterations. I knit the sleeve in the round and made a looser fitting sleeve with these adjustments:

    -- Cast on 36 stitches
    -- Knit rib for 4" - ending wrong side.
    -- Increased every 6 stitches - 42 stitches.
    -- Increased 2 stitches every 6 rows until 60 stitches.
    -- Worked sleeve cap shaping for size 44 (I was working everything else in size 36) and I also added a couple of extra rows in the sleeve cap for additional length.

  • Other knitters used various techniques to prevent the skirt front from rolling (garter stitch, crochet, I-Cord) but I thought they all spoiled the clean design. I simply steamed and ironed the bottom edge of the sweater using a plush towel to help prevent compressing the yarn.

    It was hard to persevere and see this sweater to completion. It wasn't that far from being done when I lost patience and threw everything into a bag and the corner of a closet. The Tilted Duster became an UFO (unfinished object) for over two years before I got back to it with fresh eyes and renewed energy. I'm glad I didn't give up on it. It's a creative and different design, a challenging knit and a great sweater.


    Post a Comment