Let the Finishing Begin
After blocking the front and back of my Blouson, I was worried that they were a tad short. My row gauge was a bit off, and it was naturally going to affect the fit. I had used a crochet cast on which made it very easy to unzip and put the stitches back on the needle and knit down another inch or so. This also gave me a chance to experiment with the pleats. The pattern says to pick up the stitches from bound off edges, here I would have the opportunity to make the pleats with live stitches. My sleeves were pleated using the method called for in the pattern, the front and back are pleated with my own method. Let's have a looky at how it's done and the finished results.
First I pinch and folded my pleats. (Sidenote on this matter, the pattern calls for 1.5 inch pleats on the sleeve which is huge compared to the pleats for the body. I did 4 smaller pleats instead.)
Using a crochet hook I picked up stitches and placed them on a needle. When I came to the pleat, I picked up through all three layers of fabric.
And there you have it, a nice, clean pleat! Each pleat was about 4 or 5 stitches wide, roughly 1 inch. This one is 1/2 done.
For the front and back pieces which had live stitches, I started with a life line. If all else failed, I could rip out my pleats and start over with the creating the pleats as written.
I marked the pleats as before, which was in a way easier to do as I could count stitches to make my total number of stitches accurate. My pleats used 9 stitches total.
I picked up each stitch one at a time, keeping my life line in place.
When I got to the pleat, I picked up the 3 stitches from each layer. They have to be lined up, which if you take the time and care to work that out beforehand, like the picture above, the pleat is really easy.
The finished result! Looks pretty much the same as the pleat that was picked up from a bound off edge. The time it took to do either was about the same, the level of difficulty was about the same. The live stitches might be slightly more tedious, the major difference was on the wrong side.
To pick up the stitches as written results in a very bulky edge. Considering there is still some stockinette to go with a hem, that's a lot of stuff around the cuff. (Rhyme intended, thankyouverymuch.)
So there you have it. The pleats of Blouson. A neat detail for a basic sweater. I am so close to being finished...