Toys for knitting geeks (now with edits!)

… of the widget variety. Yeah, I’m no graphic designer, and good heavens, I was surprised to see that I could zip a file with no effort (um, did every version of OS X have that built in? because I wasn’t paying attention).

Anyway. If you slogged through my most recent Knitty article, you might have run out of energy and therefore need assistance with even the most trivial of tasks. So here’s little tool to help you with your number-crunching.

If you have a Mac and you’re running OS X Tiger, you can download the same calculator tool in widget form (scroll down to the bottom of the page). If you install it and think that the format is grotesquely huge (it’s 514 pixels wide), let me know so I can reduce the size for future widgets (oh, there are so many I want to write! such fun! they’ll be listed here, in the stitch & bitch section). I’m running at 1680 x 1050 so most widget fonts look too small for me.

[Note: um. The person whom I currently consider the lowest common denominator of computer users (can you feel the love?) claims that it's confusing that one sets the side to be calculated to zero. This person wants three checkboxes or radio buttons that say "calculate this side" or something like that. If you've got a viewpoint and you can actually knit, I'd like to hear it.]

Pondering sleeves reminded me of this Fassett gem from Rowan 38:

Do you know what’s wrong with this picture? (Other than the fact that it’s a stranded colourwork sweater made from DK-weight yarn — gorgeous, but not for wearing indoors.)

What kind of sleeves does it have?

They’re not raglan, although the colourwork suggests that style line.

They’re not set-in, although the sweater seems to be a close fit on the model.

As with most Kaffe Fassett designs, which are great on artistic composition but not so great on fitting, they’re drop shoulders (or modified drop, can’t recall). If you’ve got the magazine, you can see the seamlines crossing the model’s upper arms. The sweater was clearly pinned to give it a tighter fit. And the model’s odd pose suggests that there’s something odd about the fit — while the body is close-fitting, the sleeves are clearly baggy. Bah. It would be gorgeous, and wearable, too, if it had been knit to fit at a finer gauge.

Edit: Along the same lines, take a look at the Monday offering at YKW. Note the apparently semi-fitted body, with baggy drop-shoulder sleeves. I’d venture a guess that this was pinned at the back as well, although I’ve never seen the schematic for this pattern. (If it turned out to be a set-in sleeve, well, that’s just wrong because nobody’s shoulders are that wide. And if they were, they couldn’t fit into that sweater body.)

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7 Responses to Toys for knitting geeks (now with edits!)

  1. parking princess says:

    Isn’t that photo related to the dolman sleeve? My mother loves them and they always end up looking lumpy, on me.

  2. indigirl says:

    I immediately fell in love with this colourwork but haven’t started because I know I’d have to change it to a raglan. It’s there for the taking… I’m just lazy.

  3. L B says:

    Thanks for the knitty piece (the whole collection). I’ve learned so much from them.
    The widget – way good idea by the way. But, humongous and takes up more real estate than I like – I could go for smaller. How much RAM does this take? Every widget takes a certain amount of RAM, even when the Dashboard is minimized on the Dock. Would smaller use less RAM?

  4. kbsalazar says:

    Thanks for both the Knitty sleeve piece and this post! Sleeves do seem to be the downfall of many designs. Even some of the ones that deal with fitting tend not to express it well across all sizes. I’ve lost count of the sweaters I’ve seen that when knit in the largest size include unwearably tight (or laughably large) sleeves.

    Aside – Again thanks! I live for bits of brainfood like this. Even a crumb of this caliber can counteract weeks of the cotton candy lack-of-substance that too often fills my inbox.

  5. JoVE says:

    I’m actually tempted to try your widget thingamy but I’m still running OS X Jaguar (I think). No point updating on this computer which is threatening to die imminently. Should I click those links? Enquiring minds want to know.

  6. Dr. Steph says:

    Why the hell didn’t he just make a raglan? The lines of the pattern work for it. And, hell you could even do colourwork in the round.

  7. Krista Jo says:

    Thanks for saving me from shelling out for the pattern and yarn only to find that what I THOUGHT was the first wearable Kaffe Fassett sweater I’d ever seen was, sadly, just like all the rest.