This week in Sweater Workshop I worked on THE RIBBINGS. The ribbing is the most significant factor in the shaping of a sweater and, depending upon your ribbing choice, your sweater might hang loose, fit snugly or something inbetween.
Knit 1, Purl 1 Rib.
I learned this is the least elastic of the ribbings and is best used on fingering weight yarn.
The Twisted Rib.
The twisted knit stitch is a more decorative ribbing and pleasing in appearance. It is a tricky rib and you have to alternate a round of K1b, P1 with a round of plain K1,P1. I actually messed up on my twisted rib rows by kniting a plain knit row instead of K1,P1.
Knit 2, Purl 2.
This rib is a good, snug, all-purpose rib and the more of it you do, the more elasticity it will have. I learned to work at least 2", if not 3", on the body of a sweater and 3-4" on a sleeve cuff.
So, the bottom line lesson for me was - the higher the number of equal alternating knits and purls, the greater the amount of pull-in to the fabric.
A bit of knitting history - The Scottish fishermen gansey's were all ribbed with K3, P3 so their sweaters would hug their bodies. Why? The last thing these fishermen needed was to have their sweater flopping around while they wrestled with "the big catch".