La Petite Grue (aka Smooth and Simple)

There are sometimes benefits to being too tired to think straight. Don’t think, knit :P.

La Petite Grue front
Robin Dodge’s La Petit Grue from MetaPostModernKnitting.
La Petite Grue back

Made with reclaimed 100% cotton on 3mm needles, the slightly tighter gauge meant that this has 1.5″ negative ease. I think there may be an error in the posted pattern as I followed it (as of yesterday morning): there seems to have been a double posting of the “Continue to shape neck as foll:” after the first stitch count shown in the “Shape Left Neck and Sleeve” section. Doing only one of those has the numbers add up for the second stitch counts given, so that’s how I did it.

La Petit Grue side

Please forgive the lack of blocking – because I knit it straight off the (washed) cotton sweater I was repurposing, it’s a bit kinky. It’ll come out with blocking, but will probably take a vigourous wash or two. Plus trying to dry thoroughly wet cotton in this sticky weather… In other words, it’s going to be a while before this piece gains it’s best look. I’m slow enough as it is getting out projects I can post, I wasn’t going to wait that long!

La Petit Grue sleeve

This is why I love delving into other people’s patterns – bind-off blocking notwithstanding, Robin has managed to make the sleeve edges on the bias both top and bottom – which means they don’t curl even though they are unadulterated stockinette!!! How brilliant is that???

Half of the above pics were taken with the tripod and self-timer, because the indirect daylight made DH’s attempts at playing photographer a bit interesting:


It’s warm enough now for proper outdoor shots – I should probably start taking this gig on the road!!


eta: I forgot to add the way I turned this pattern to seamless! Well, except the straps that get sewn down to the back – I’ve learned the hard way that necklines need stability, so the back did get cast off and the straps sewn down.

The body of the top is simple – just remove two stitches on either side of the front and back, cast on the total number of those two together, and work in the round to the armholes. Bind off 2 less stitches per armhole (because you don’t have the seam allowance stitches). Work the fronts and back separately up to the last cast-on for the sleeves – cast on one less on the last row. Making sure that all pieces are set to work the RS the next row, start knitting them all together again (would be in the round, except the front is already split for the neckline). Again, when the time comes to cast off for the top edge of the sleeve, cast off one less of the *total* stitches cast of for both the front and the back sleeve the first round. After that you are back to working the fronts and back separately and you follow the directions as written. This means the sleeves are already whole, and there’s no side seams to sew up.

Oh, and part way through my bind-offs I remembered the trick of not working the first stitch that’s going to be cast off (ie work to the end on the previous row, slip the first stitch, knit the second, pull the first over the second to bind off, continue as normal) – it smooths the stair-step effect of all the little bind-offs and makes the top of the sleeve look like a smooth curve.


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