Friday, September 11, 2009

Can I make St. Brigid as a FLAK? Should I? It is such a beautiful sweater as designed in pieces, knit bottom up and then sewn together. FLAK is a method by Janet Szabo of Big Sky Knitting of starting a sweater with the shoulder saddles and knitting down from there. I've made three so far and they fit just right.

First photo shows the blue finished FLAK with pieces of the new lavendar St. Brigid laid on top. The bottom lavendar piece was the original start to St. Brigid and is being used as a swatch (or to be continued if the FLAK doesn't work). The charts for St. Brigid used as written in Cottage Craft worsted yarn work perfectly for the width I want for the finished piece. The yellow Post-It notes are the blue FLAK's width before adding the sleeves.

Second photo shows the two 5" saddles knit using Annie Maloney's cable #8 from "The Cable Knitting Handbook". The center thinner area is Chart D and half of Cable #8 on each side. This makes the neckline 9" instead of the 7-1/2" I'd like but can handle that. Actually as the D cable progresses it should draw in some to match the big swatch. However, there are still a chart B (#8) to add on both sides plus a few stitches such as seed for smoothness.

Here's the whole view:

So what's the hesitation or problem? My cross shoulder measurement is 18", the width of the cables "hung" on the saddles is 19". I don't really want to remove any of the cables as it would spoil the look of St. Brigid. With a FLAK, the sleeves are picked up from the chest area's front and back and then width is added after the added width matches the full width you want on the body. The only way I can see making this is to use the full charts at full width as the original St. Brigid and then pick up the sleeves from that width (no more width added). At this point, might as well make the original sweater from teh bottom up.

Anyone else who makes FLAKs want to weigh in on this. If you belong to Ravelry, a free knitting/fiber discussion group at take a look at the Big Sky Knitting group at
In that group there is discussion of making St. Brigid a FLAK under the heading "I Just Realized" started by another knitter trying the same thing.


Anita in SE IN said...

Since you say that the center panel should pull in more I would go ahead and knit the back to the end of the armhole and see how much it pulls in, otherwise, (without looking at the pattern) is there any where that has 2 purls together as separators that you could reduce to 1, until after the armholes?
I will be interested to hear how this goes.

laughingmuse said...

Anne, I don't have any helpful suggestions, but I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy reading (and seeing in photos) your design process and project planning thoughts. Aside from your beautiful work.