Hey, look! It's an actual knitting post!
Thanks to Ann Budd, I've got an alternative to ribbing -- a hemmed edge.
Doesn't it look neat and tidy? You might have noticed I've knit virtually NO garments for myself. Pesky waist ribbing is just one of the reasons. I couldn't bring myself to knit ribbing around my waist (however, if something is ribbed throughout, it's a bit more flattering on me). I've been aware of this nice hemmed edge and even knew how to accomplish it, but it wasn't until Ann's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns that I finally paid attention to the math.
And it makes sense -- you just start knitting (in the round, from the bottom) with the number of stitches with which you'd do the body of the sweater. There's absolutely no extra math to figure out which percentage of stitches to set aside for ribbing. (However, if you're knitting for kids, go ahead with the ribbing).
If I'm getting 5 stitches to the inch and my chest measurement is 34, I'll cast on 170, knit a few rounds (5), and purl one round for a turning row. I'll do waist shaping of course, and I still have to figure out my choice of neckline, but how easy is that? And for further edge ideas (and if you prefer to work with actual patterns), check out The Perfect Sweater Pattern. The link to the free pattern (.pdf) is in the blog entry.
And, Lisa, thank you so much for all the research you've been helping me with and for the phone calls and updates. (Y'all, I've rediscovered my love of the phone since my laptop's officially a paperweight now).
Something huge I learned this past week: Take photos. Tell your story. For about a nine year span, my dad kept scrapbooks. He saved a LOT of stuff, but the scrapbooks have proved to be invaluable now that he has dementia. These aren't necessarily artistically presented, but just plain black scrapbooks with photo corners and his handwriting and artwork (in white pencil) throughout. I know that an entire industry is now built around anything you can put in a scrapbook, but I've learned they don't have to be fussy. They can be simple and prove to be valuable.
Check this out:
Take photos. Tell your story. Blog shamelessly.