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Archive for the ‘sweaters’ Category

I working on a sideways knit baja style sweatshirt for my husband on a small gauge Markman Farm loom. 

I’m almost done the first 1/4 body panel and now I have a new helper.  I’m sure things will go much faster now. lol!

Anyway, it’s a cotton wool/blend in assorted colors.  Since I’m knitting sideways, the stripes will be vertical when it’s done. 

I didn’t love the fabric in the swatch.  So on a whim, I tossed it in the washing machine and dryer with the regular laundry.  I LOVE how that turned out.  Just a bit of shrinkage and/or felting.  So I’m using the stitch gauge from the shrunken swatch as my pattern guideline.  I also have the pre-wash numbers in case I need to check them.  With a little luck, the final sweater will have similar shrinkage and this thing will actually fit!

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When I started my sweater, I knew that I wanted to add border stitches to lessen rolling.  So I knit 10 rows of moss stitch along the bottom of the body panel and 3 rows of moss stitch on the sleeve edge.  The top of the sleeve, which forms the neckline, got 5 rows of single ribbing. 

Well, the edges didn’t roll, but they poofed terribly and turned under.  And I really just didn’t like the ribbing.  What to do?staggered moss edge

I decided to try an experiment.  What would happen if I alternated 5-6 stitches of moss with 5-6 of stockinette?  Well the stockinette and the moss sections seem to counter-balance each other.  So no rolling OR turning under.  And much less poofiness since half the stitches are still stockinette.  I think  I like the look.

Of course everything needed to be ripped out and re-stitched first.  Do you know it’s a lot harder to rip knitting out from the cast on edge?  Well I do, NOW anyway.  For the sleeve top, I put a lifeline in a couple rows back from the sleeve top, rehung the piece on the loom, and reknit the sleeve top border backward.  The body edge was just frogged and reknit normally and I decided that blocking would take care of the 3 rows on the sleeve edge, so left that be.

So all the panels are done.  Yeah!  Time to seam.  My inspirations stitched the sleeve selvages to the body, starting at the center.  That made an impossibly low and loose vee neckline (front and back).  I thought about picking up some stitches in the back and adding some sort of gusset, but still it would have been a serious, frogworthy UGH LEE thing.

So I unstitched the sleeves from the body (and back a few inches more).  I counted 15 rows in from the top sleeve edges and put markers there.  Then I found the center of the body pieces and marked them.  I stitched the sleeve pieces to the body, lining the markers up with the center markers.  It ended up crisscrossing in the front and back.  That solved the too deep vee and I think I like the design element.  Don’t you love accidental design?

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Take it Easy neckline detailSo I started a sweater for myself LAST summer.  I had found five matching skeins of worsted weight wool in a thrift shop grab bag.  Okay, it was a fairly hideous variated from Red Heart, so I wouldn’t feel too bad if the project didn’t turn out, but at least it was 100% wool.  I just don’t like wearing synthetics.

I knew I didn’t want to double strand it, since I’m pretty hot blooded.  So my knifty knitters were out.  Lucky for me, I have a lovely half gauge loom from Markman Farm that has about 120 pegs.  Now I need something easy and pretty simple.  So I find this vee neck sweater by Clella Gustin: http://www.provocraft.com/projects/projects.php?prdindex=kniftyknitter&dsp=project&idnum=34

It uses bulky or doubled yarn, though, and I really need sleeves.  Still, I like the simple rectangle construction.

Then I find this picture of a sweater by Denise layman: http://www.flickr.com/photos/84044692@N00/2177079216

Same idea, but with long sleeves and the yarn is just as hideous as mine.  Unfortunately the pattern isn’t available at this time.

So, I was on my own.  I swatched (shudder) and figured I’d need to CO with 96 pegs for all four panels.  For the body panels I did 90 rows of stockinette and 10 rows of border stitching (more on that latter) and bound off.  For the sleeves, I started with 5 rows of border (this will eventually frame the neckline), then 35 rows of stockinette.  At this point, I started decreasing.  On each third row I deceased a stiched on each end (well actually one stitch in from the end to make seaming easier).  I countinued decreasing for 84 rows (row 124 of sleeve). Take It Easy SweaterI probably should have stopped a couple decreases sooner.  The sleeve is just slightly snug on the forearm, but not too bad.  Then I did 15 more stitches of stockinette and three rows of border stitches and bound off.  With maybe 10 yards of yarn to spare!

Sizing  notes:  My gauge is generally pretty tight, so your mileage will vary.  This fit pretty well. I’m 5’2″ and a size large to extra large.

So this is what went right.  Next up: everything that went wrong first!

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