Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘sweater’

There are some BEAUtiful pastel yarns in the baby color section.  I made this sweater using Caron Simply Soft in Baby Brights Ombre.  I’ve used this color before on an entrelac scarf and people always compliment it.

The color pattern varied with how many stitches I used per row, but seemed to mostly want to make stripes.

babybrightsSweaterKnitting2

My mistake:  I learned something doing this.  It came out a bit short.  Not so short I can’t wear it, but shorter than it was when I held it up to myself and decided it was the right length from the hip to start the armholes.  This is why you see a bulge at the waist, that was supposed to be a bulge for the hip.  (It’s a little weirdly lumpy, but I’ll still wear it.)  What went wrong was that I overestimated how big I’d make the armholes, and made them pretty tight.  I shot for an 8″ armhole, (measured flat on one side from middle of the armpit to over the shoulder), and this turned out to fit, but it was small and effected the sweater length.  From now on I will not do armholes as small as that.

babybrightsSweaterKnitting

This picture is probably closer to representing the colors on this yarn.  Every pastel color of the rainbow except green.

How it was made:

I calculated my needed gauge for hips, waist and bust.  I’ve used this yarn before so I already had my # of stitches per inch.  I cast on in the round at the hip and worked upwards in a tube, increasing or decreasing as needed to reach my numbers.  I tried a knit/purl texture chart for the bottom edge, but didn’t wind up liking it.  The variation in color pretty much hid the textured pattern so you can’t even really see what it is, and it looks a bit messy.  Ribbing /garter /or seed stitch would have done the trick to prevent curling and probably looked nicer.

I divided front and back for the armholes and continued working upward (first the back piece then the front piece).  I bound off the correct # of stitches for the neck in the back and made it shallow, (just a couple of rows from the tops of the shoulders), and kept an equal # of stitches over each shoulder.  Write down how many so you don’t have figure out what that number was when you make the front to make the front shoulder stitch number equal the back number.  The front neck hole I bound off the same way, but made it a little deeper.  Then I did double crochet around the neck hole to make it look nice.  I did a pretty small opening to have the sweater up around the neck so it would be warm … and I almost messed this up!  I can fit my head through this neck hole, but just barely!  Make sure you don’t make your neck hole too small to fit your head through, or you can’t wear your sweater.

Sleeves with a shoulder cap:  I did something different this time.  I copied a pattern, but in the reverse direction.  I used the sleeve pattern of a sweater I made by calculating their number of inches they used for each part of the sleeve, then calculating my needed number of stitches to achieve this, then doing it all in reverse of the direction of the pattern, which was made from wrist to shoulder, (I do like to make things difficult, don’t I).  I did have a reason – I like to make mine from shoulder to wrist, because I can attach the sleeve after I’ve made a few inches of it, then accurately get a reading on length when I put on the sweater.

The shoulder cap part was about 6 and 3/4 inches high (from cast on to the widest part of the sleeve), and the widths had to be calculated with my gauge to come out like this.  Increase or decrease on both ends equally to make it come out a symmetrical piece.  To get the width in inches for the lower part of the sleeve, measure your arm around the elbow and around the wrist, (add room to the measuring tape for a less tight sleeve).

This is for a tightly fitted sleeve in size medium, not at all baggy.  SleeveKnittingSketchilovesocks

I see by this photo I did pretty thick seams over the shoulders.  I grabbed 2 strands of yarn from both pieces, the shoulder and the sleeve, making a 4 strand thick seam, (plus more for seaming yarn).  I probably could have grabbed only 1 piece of yarn from each piece to make it look better, but I like things bolted down and secure, so there it is.

babybrightsSweaterKnittingBack

Caron Simply Soft, Baby Brights Ombre.  Needles: size 8.  Gauge: 4.5 stitches =1 inch

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

(Quick note for the weavers, I’ve updated my weaving post with pictures of new finished scarves:  https://ilovesocks.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/working-without-patterns-weaving-skirt-and-scarves/)

HomespunSweaterForestFront2This one is SO warm!  I love the Homespun. I’ve made several shawls out of it and they are my carry- everywhere warmth in the summer when the air conditioning in public places always freezes me.  And you can just throw them in the washing machine and not worry about felting.

For this sweater, I knitted a small square and got my gauge, then calculated how many stitches I’d need for all my parts.  (See this post for help with that.)

Body: I cast on my hip amount, then worked upward going back and forth with some garter stitch at the bottom and edges to prevent curling. When I got to the armholes I split to a back and two fronts, and decreased to get my appropriate measurements for under the arm and over the shoulder.  On the fronts, I kept my decreases in the rows next to the garter so my garter border would stay the same width.  Then I bound off and seamed over the shoulders.  Sleeves: I picked up the appropriate amount of stitches at the arm holes and made my sleeves.  I just made tubes, no shoulder caps.  For example: If you make your armholes about 8″ tall for a medium size sweater, you will want to pick up about 15-16 inches worth of stitches.  Just past the shoulder, only a few inches in, I usually decrease a couple of inches to around 11-12 inches worth of stitches, then do most of the sleeve at around 11 inches.  (This measurement will of course vary person to person, so you should measure your arm and use an amount you would find comfortable). I did garter at the wrists to foil curling.  I did my sleeves back and forth on a short circular, so I made the seam at the bottom of the arm where it would be most hidden.  When sleeves were long enough and bound off, I stitched up the side of the arms by pulling yarn loops through with a crochet hook.

Then I added the clasp with a needle and thread.  I found the clasp pulled on the sweater too much, so I sewed a piece of felt on the back of the sweater behind both parts of the clasp to strengthen this area.  I attached the felt by sewing around the edges, and added more sewing around the clasp to attach it to the felt.  The piece of felt on the right is the most sturdy and doesn’t pull – I put rows of sewing throughout the area, and this seems to work best, so I will go back and do that to the piece on the left too.  You can see in the top picture it pulls a little, but I don’t feel like its going to pull the sweater loose or stretch it out now.

HomespunSweaterFelt

Finished!  It was a fairly quick sweater since I used a big yarn and such big needles.  Now I kind of want to make a similar crazy sweater in one of those fun color changing Homespuns.

HomespunForestSweaterBack

Yarn: LionBrand Homespun in Forest, and size 10 needles.  My gauge: 3 stitches = 1″ on size 10 needles.  Clasp: La petite #1056.  If I remember right, I picked it up at Joann craft store.

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

The idea for this sweater came from something I saw in a magazine, the “Meandrous Tunic”, (by Jill Wright in Creative Knitting, Spring 2014, page 62).  For my usual reasons, I did not want to follow a pattern, but I really liked the look of this sweater, and wanted to give making one like it a try.

This was my attempt.

WristToWristSweaterFront
This sweater is made from cuff to cuff.  You start at one wrist and go across the chest, ending at the other wrist.  Then you pick up loops and make the body.

To start – Measurements:   I knitted a square with my chosen yarn and needles and got my gauge, then figured out how many stitches to cast on by measuring the number of inches I wanted the sleeve to be around my wrist and calculating.  (Here is my post on how to calculate your needed number of stitches using your gauge and your measurements.)

I measured the number of inches around various parts of my arm (wrist, lower arm, elbow, upper arm and shoulder), leaving a little extra room with the tape measure so the sleeve wouldn’t be very tight.  Calculating as stated above with these measurements told me how many stitches I’d need for each part of the arm.  I also measured vertically from where I wanted the top sideways part to stop at the front, over the shoulder, and down to where I wanted it to end at the back.  (In my case this was 18 inches, and this was the widest I would need my arm and chest tube to be.)  You also need to know how many inches across you’ll want the neck hole and the hole for the chest (measure around you under the arms to get that measurement all the way around yourself, half of that is the length of the opening for the chest – again, remember to leave a little extra room if you don’t want it tight.)

WristToWristSweaterChestOpening

This photo shows the wrist where I started on the right side, it is open from about the elbow to the wrist because I wanted a smaller circle than my circular needles could pull off so I joined as soon as I could so that at least some of it would be seamed already.  I started with my appropriate number of stitches at the wrist, then increased as I went up to get to the next needed number of stitches, (I increased at the ends and beginnings of the rows until I joined them into a circle, and kept my increases there after joining).  I always increased under the arm to make the increases less obvious later.  Under your arm will be where you put your hole for the chest.   I put a marker here for reference.  In this spot, under the arm, is the part that will go across the chest, so you have to plan your stitch pattern choice accordingly.  I wanted something twisty, but easy, so I chose this one which looks like a cable, but isn’t, and interspersed other random choices of garter, knits, purls and rib.  You may want to choose stitch patterns that look nice and flowy when worked longways. You will want something that doesn’t curl at the wrists.  I had two of the flowy cable looking pattern going the entire length of the sleeve, positioned near the top of the arm, and I added another flowy one to each side once there was enough room after the increases for the upper arm. (Stitch references below.)  (See the shoulder cap section for another tip on choosing your stitch patterns.)

Essentially, you make a tube, but you need to put the neck and chest holes in the right places.  You don’t even need to increase up the arm if you don’t want to, you can have sleeves that are widely open at the wrist, and this would just be straight tubes.

I added shoulder caps. If you want to do your cap like this one, it will be helpful for you to choose stitch patterns with a lot of space in between to make this easier.  For example, I only have the flowy twisty thing that looks like a cable, and I have 4 of them.  So when I turn around and go backwards to do the shoulder cap, I don’t ever have to turn around mid pattern.  I have random knits and purls between the flowy parts, so I always turned around in those.

Here is my diagram which has most of my measurements on it, and the round thing on the right shows how I made the shoulder caps.  If you are looking at your circular with all of the stitches on it, you are looking at that circle, and the thing at the bottom of the drawing represents the marker where the bottom seam of the arm is.  The arrows show how I added rows to the top of the shoulder gradually leaving off the ends of the rows under the arm so there was less cloth there.    This was confusing enough that I did the whole thing in one sitting, not something I might know where I was if I went back to it later (unless you keep really detailed notes).  I followed this diagram twice. You can’t really read what’s written under the circle, but in general, it shows that I was on row 9 of my pattern, did that about 7/8 way around the sleeve (where the innermost arrow makes a U turn), then turned around and went back doing row 10, and stopped about 1/4 of the way from the beginning, etc., keep following the arrows in this fashion, and keep following your stitch pattern and keep notes on what part of it is done. As you can see by the drawing, I didn’t do row 9 on the last eighth of the circle until I got done with the whole thing.  Yarn wrap: Each time I changed direction, I took the next stitch that I wasn’t working off the needle and laid the yarn on the other side of it, then put it back on the needle.  This yarn wrap helped to prevent holes everywhere I turned around.  The yarn wrap kind of looks like a purl, so you might want to turn around in a place that isn’t a knit stitch.  Follow the arrows, turning around in places near the arrows that look ok with your stitch pattern (exactness not needed).  The last arrow goes all the way around and back to the marker.  I did this circular pattern two whole times to achieve the shoulder cap you see.

The photo below this diagram shows a completed shoulder cap.  The yellow marker shows the beginning before any of the cap was worked. Its a pretty shallow cap, but its enough to prevent too much sweater bulging under the arms, which you can sometimes get if there are no caps.

WristToWristPeachSweater

My stitch patterns weren’t all on the same row after the shoulder cap. To deal with this I used 2 torn pieces of a post-it note to stick to my stitch chart, torn very small so I had only the sticking part, with writing on them telling me which one went with which place.

WristToWristSweaterSleeve

After the shoulder cap is done, you are at the armpit, (where your marker is), so here is where you want to split it in two to divide for the chest. You will want some cloth over the shoulder, so you would go a few more inches before you split for the neck hole on the opposite side.  Here is what it will look like on your needles after you split for the chest hole and the neck hole.  You will then be working back and forth on both pieces instead of in the round.  I attached a second piece of yarn from another ball so I could work both back and forth at the same time.  I wanted to be absolutely sure they were the same length, so this ensured that.  I turned a few of the stitches at the edge of the neck hole into garter stitch to prevent curling and make a nice edge.

WristToWristSweaterSleeve2

Below is what it looks like after the chest and neck hole are done.  I had closed the neck hole off a long time ago in this photo.  I measured and figured I wanted 3 to 3 1/2 inches over each shoulder, and the length of the neck hole to be 9-10 inches.  10 + 3 +3 =16 inches.  I needed the chest hole to be 18 inches across, and  I wanted 16 inches from shoulder to shoulder.  So, that is a 2 inch difference.  (Going under the arms adds an extra inch on each side.)  What I wound up doing was making over the shoulders a little longer, then shooting for the 18 inch chest hole to make sure that was big enough to not be tight.  The important thing is to keep the neck hole in the middle and make things equal over each shoulder.  You can hold it up to yourself as you work and see how its going, and that’s what I did.  I checked my measurements with a tape measure, but I also just held it up to me once in awhile and made decisions based on what I saw.

I closed the chest hole by going back to knitting in the round.  You get to cut the second yarn ball off at this point (and that’s always a relief!)  Then just work the next sleeve the same way you did the first one.  Start with the shoulder cap, same as whatever you did before, then go down the sleeve decreasing along the under the arm.

WristToWristSweaterTop

Here’s the whole top of the sweater completed, you can see the hole for the chest and the neck.  I’ve seamed one arm from elbow to wrist but I still need to do the other one.

 

WristToWristSweaterReadyForPickup

Here is where you will be when you start the body. I used my gauge and inch calculations to figure out how many stitches I would need to pick up.  I went around the hole for the body of the sweater, picking up every stitch and this wound up being a lot more stitches than that.  I decreased crazily (under the arms where it would be hidden) to get down to my ideal number.  I don’t think it is noticeable at all that I did that.  I figured it would be better than leaving stitches off during pick up and maybe getting holes.    Tip: Pick-up is easier if you jab the needle into a stitch, then knit one through it, and make the first row as you pick up. Pick-up loops tend to be a bit tight and harder to work if you have a needle full of only pick-up loops.

After pick up on a big circular needle (same size for everything), I then I did a stitch pattern of knit/ purl alternating, a few knit rows, then another row of knit/purl to make a decorative line across the chest.  Then it was smooth sailing, nothing but stockinette I could do in the dark during tv!  I decreased a little to get to my measurement for the waist, but not much, only 4 stitches, I was going for a straighter sweater.  I increased to the appropriate number of stitches for the hips before starting the pattern at the waist.  Getting the increases out of the way kept me from having to figure out how to keep the counts right for increasing during patterns.

WristToWristSweaterBack
A few more decorative stitch patterns (see below) for the waist and border (to prevent curling), and a couple of rows of white after I ran out of peach yarn and still wanted it a tad longer.  All done!

References:

Idea for format of sweater: “Meandrous Tunic” by Jill Wright, Creative Knitting magazine, pg. 62.

Stitch Patterns:  The New Knitting Stitch Library. Lesley Stanfield. Quarto Publishing, London. 1992. ISBN:1-57990-027-5.  Flowy cable looking stitch: #196, pg.126. Stitch at waist: #95, pg. 62 (only row 3-19 with only the symbols on the left side).  Border at bottom edge:  #284, pg.165 (only the bottom half of the design.  For this I was working from the top down on the sweater, but these rows made the same pattern no matter whether they were worked from top down or bottom up.)

Yarn and needles:  Size 9 needles.  Vanna’s Choice yarn by Lionbrand, color: Soft Pink.

 

 

Read Full Post »

SeamlessCrochetContinuousSweaterDone

I’m really loving the seamless / continuous crochet!  It makes such nice objects without the tedious working-in of the ends that you usually get with crochet squares.  To see sleeveless items I have made before also using seamless crochet, see here for part 1 and here for part 2. (Not necessary to read those to understand this post though, no worries!  …Also, that’s not a hole at the belly button area, that is where the jeans are poking through it.)

I have been dawdling over how to write this post for the past month, and how much detail I can go into.  What I made up on this sweater was how to get connected motifs into a sweater shape, but I had a drawing in a book to give me the idea, and the motif design itself I got from books.  (The motif I used in this sweater is in both books, see references below.)   So, this post will tell you how to construct the sweater with continuous crochet, but you need to know how to make a motif. In general, this means making a long chain, then slip knot into a ring, then do something of your design for row 1 for the center around the ring, then chains around the outside edge for joining (chains making corners and sides).  You can design your own motif if you wish.  As long as you do them all the same, you will get a pattern.

In one of the books I reference at the bottom (Nihon Vogue-Sha), they have a drawing on how to construct a similar sweater on pg. 77 (see reference at the bottom).  They do this differently than how I did it, and their way may be simpler and better than what I did.  I have not found this book in English though, only Chinese and Japanese, so exactly how they did it was not completely clear to me.  It looks to me like they complete a front half all the way, and then do a back half all the way, then seam some other way when the pieces are completely done.  I don’t think the pieces are joined as they go, but it could be I just didn’t get it.  So, exactly how to construct the sweater is what I made up as I went, generally based on their drawing.  Let me add, I LOVE this book even though I can’t read it.  It is full of drawings, pictures and interesting motifs, most of which I can use just fine just by looking at the drawings.

If you are interested in making these, you may want to buy a seamless or continuous crochet book. The drawings in the books help a TON in trying to attach these things together the right way.  The first sweater I made with continuous crochet was really very confusing as to what parts of the motif attach to what, even with drawings to help.  But you do get used to it the more you make, and it becomes very easy.

How my sweater was constructed:  Look at the photo below.  I made row 1 starting at the waist.  I made this bottom row 6 motifs across. (For sizing – hold your row of motifs up to yourself and stop when its wide enough to go across your hips – careful not to stretch unless you want a tight sweater).  It was worked the way continuous crochet usually is, doing bottoms and rights of the outer chain edge of each motif on row 1, then doing the top chain edge on all 6 motifs after all 6 were done, but leaving off the left outer edge, (meaning don’t work the outer chain on the leftmost motif of the row).  Do Row 2 the same way, the leftmost motif is joined at its bottom, make it, then do its outer bottom edge, joining it to the one below on row 1 as you go, then work its right outer chain edge,  then make the next motif.  After all 6 motifs are done, work the bottom and right outer chain of that last one, then work the outer chain edge over the tops of all of them to get back to the left, and leave off the left outer chain edge on the last one.  Row 2 is done.  The left outer chain edge is done after all rows are done to get back to the starting point.  So, I worked a rectangle with 6 motifs across and 8 rows high, (this is from the hips up to the armpits in this photo), then after working the outer chain over the top of the last row (row 8), I then did the left outer chain edge of all rows, bringing me back to the starting point at the left bottom.  The starting yarn-end is tied to the ending yarn-end and worked in, and those are your only ends to deal with on this rectangle (as long as you didn’t need to join a new ball of yarn).  Back half “body” is complete.

A note about my use of the words “left” and “right” for the remainder –  My words say what was done as I was holding it, however, I was looking at the backs of all of my motifs as I went (the inside of the sweater).  So left and right as I say it will match what it looks like when you are doing it, but you will notice it seems reversed in some photos, because the sweater isn’t inside out in all of them.

1ContinuousCrochetSweaterBackThen, to work the piece for the arms, I started at the left wrist and worked the first row all the way across to the right wrist.  That was joined to the first rectangle (the body) when I got to the point where the armpit would be, and as the bottom outer chain (of each motif) was worked on that first row.  You have to hold the arm motifs up to your arm to decide how long you want it to be, and make sure you are doing the same number of motifs for each arm and getting the body joined in the middle.  Using markers may help.

The photo above is not half of the sweater, my arms were going to be six motifs tall total, (3 on the front side, 3 tall on the back side), so this is 3 rows, which is the back half, plus 2 half rows which are really on the front, and allow for the neck hole.  (So the back half of the arm piece has no space for a neck hole, the motifs go all the way up, and it is simply a long rectangle.)

Neck hole:  This was kind of complicated, let me draw out how I did the half rows for the neck hole in 2 ways.  Look at the second drawing below, if it makes sense, that will allow you to skip all of these words!  Number one to remember, if it is a pullover, it has to fit over your head or you can’t wear it.  I used the already made parts of the sweater to stretch around my head and see how many motifs would have to be missing in the neck hole to get it to fit over my head.  This is pretty stretchy, and I only needed 2 motifs to be missing.  It may help to count these out before you start and mark the last motifs you do before leaving the neck hole.

The dark blue lines below are motif rows, worked to the right.  The other drawn-on colors show how the outer chain edge of each motif was worked (back over the top to the left).  So, we start with the bottom dark blue row, the last row of the back half of the sweater, (worked all the way across, to the right). For the right side – Follow the yellow line back to the left, this is the outer chain edge of that solid row, stop when you get to where you want the neck hole to be, don’t work over the tops of the neck hole motifs yet.  Then, work the dark blue row right above the yellow line, making motifs to the right, working them from the neck area to the right side wrist (in my case this was 10 motifs).  Then follow the green line back to the left for the outer chain, go over the tops of those motifs you just made, then go around the left side of the first/ leftmost one, then do over the tops of the solid row below for the neck hole, then do over the top for the length of the other sleeve to the wrist and stop.  The topmost solid row on the back half is now fully complete (except for the left outer chain edge, which you always leave off, for around the left wrist).  Left side – Then work the dark blue line over the left side sleeve, from wrist to neck, but stop, leaving a neck hole in the middle (have the same number of motifs as for the other sleeve, in my case 10).   Then follow the red line to do the outer chain over your last motifs on the left sleeve.  (You still leave off the left edge of that sleeve.)  At this point, your neck hole so far is complete, all of the outer chains are done everywhere except the left wrist.

1ContinuousCrochetSweaterNeckHere is another drawing in case one is easier to understand than the other, they say the same thing:

Sweater

Finishing the front half of the sleeves and making sleeves into tubes – After the neck hole row / rows are done, you then do more solid rows the same way you did the first few.  (In my case, that was 2 more solid rows so that I would have sleeves 6 motifs tall.) You work the bottoms of the motifs that go over the neck hole the same way as you make them on the usual starting first row, just remember not to connect them so that you leave a hole.  Your neck hole should not have any unworked outer edges left on it after you pass over it with the next solid row, it is complete.

The photo below shows  how I connected the sleeves.  I didn’t seam them later, I used working the outer top edge of my last sleeve row (done on the leftward return after making the last row) to attach to the bottoms of Row 1 as I went.  (The bottoms  of row 1 were already finished when you did row 1.)  Looking at the photo below, you can see this joining.  It looks like I’m going the wrong way in the photo from what I said, but as I said before, it may be inside out when you are working it.

Complication modification – how I made this more confusing, and why you see another half row there at the top – (You don’t have to do this, you can make yours a solid row to make it easier to do.)  My sleeves are 6 motifs tall (in the middle) and 5 tall from the elbows to wrists.  I didn’t want my sleeves to have a very wide opening at the wrist, so I only made my sleeves 5 tall at the ends.  The simpler sleeve way – If you make yours the same number of motifs high all the way across, that makes it a little easier, you just join your sleeves into tubes as you are returning from the right with the outer chain on the top of the last row, making sure to leave openings starting at the armpit for the body as you are doing that top edge of the last row. (Just work across the body motifs without joining).  Once joined, your right sleeve is finished, and the edge at the right wrist is already done.  Once you get back to the left wrist, you work the outer edge on the wrist of the joined sleeve to finish it and cut the yarn here where it meets your starting tail.  Only one more yarn tail to work in, and both sleeves and the neck hole are completely finished.  You only need one more rectangle now for the front body.

2ContinuousCrochetSeamlessSweaterHalf

The complicated way – Adding extra half rows for sleeve modification:  You can work row 5, (the last solid row on the long sleeve rectangle), get to the right wrist with the motifs, then starting at the right wrist join the top outer chain of row 5 as you go to the bottom of row 1 until you get to the right elbow.  At this point continue working over the top of row 5, but stop joining it to anything. Work over the top of the top row with the outer chain back over the neck hole and stop at the left elbow (or to wherever you want row 6 to start – lets say elbow for simplicity). Now you start making and joining row 6 motifs from the left elbow to the right elbow. Then when you get to the right elbow, work the top of row 6’s outer chain – you will continue connecting the right sleeve into a tube now (I made this text purple to connect you to when it was last purple – that’s when you stopped connecting the right sleeve into a tube). You will be using the top of row 6 to connect to the bottom of row 1 at this point.  (See note below on bunching up that first row 6 motif.)  Stop connecting into a sleeve tube when you get to the arm pit of the sweater.  Keep working across the top of row 6 for the body area doing your top outer chain, and go back to joining the top of row 6 to the bottom of row 1 when you get over to the arm pit on the other sleeve.  Join this sleeve down the length, first while working the top of row 6, then it will turn into row 5’s top when you get to the elbow.  When you get to the wrist, you then need to work the left edge around the wrist, and cut the yarn and work in the end.  Your end yarn should join at your starting yarn for the long rectangle sleeve piece.

Note on bunching up end of row 6 motifs:  Below you see the “complicated sleeve” elbow, and what the underside of the sleeve will look like if you add the extra half row.  Here you see row 1 joined to row 5 on the left, and to the right of it, row 1 joined to row 6 where you see the extra motif in there which is looking bunched up.  To make that join, you just squish the usual joining spots on the hook and pull the yarn through all of them at once.  Your joining happens under the arm so this bulging at the elbow is not really obvious, as you can see in the two photos where I’m wearing the sweater, you wouldn’t have noticed it.

JoinSweater

Below is what it looks like after both sleeves are tubes.  The front body is another rectangle, identical to the back rectangle.  You work it in the same way, I would suggest starting at the waist and working up like you did the first piece, joining on the right side edge as you do the last motif of every row, then joining the whole rectangle to the front of the arm piece when you do the top outer chain of the last row. Leave the left edge undone and unattached to work last, and join at that left edge after you’ve joined the rectangle to the front of the arm piece at the tops of the last row, (row 8 on mine).  This is the simplest way to do it.  (Not what I did!  I attached the yarn at the armpit and tried to work downward, attaching to the arm piece first. It worked, but something about the joining was confusing and I had to cut and restart on the opposite side, so doing it the way you did the first piece in all the same directions and just attaching the two with the top edge of the last row of motifs, then the left edge, is probably the easier way to go.  Once again, your last yarn tail will be where your first starting tail was, so only one more tail to work it.

3ContinuousCrochetSeamlessBackToFront

Whew!  I think it’s harder to explain than it is to do!  If you stuck with this post this far, bless you for your infinite patience, and may your projects all come out lovely!

SeamlessCrochetSweaterContinuousBackDone

Books on seamless / continuous crochet that have this motif in them:

Continuous Crochet Motif 60. Nihon Vogue-Sha. 2009.  ISBN-10: 9866817466.  The motif I used on this sweater is design No. 6, page 13.  This book also has a drawing showing how to construct a sweater in a little different way on pg. 77.

Seamless Crochet. Kristin Omdahl. 2011.  Interweave Press LLC, Loveland, CO. ISBN 978-1-59668-297-9.  The motif I used on this sweater is in this book too, called Lace Flower motif, pg. 60.

 

 

Read Full Post »

KnittingGrayWinterSweaterFront

So very warm!  For this sweater I started at the waist and worked up.  I did a front piece, then a back piece, then seamed them together on the sides and shoulders.  Unusual for me, I usually try to eliminate as much seaming as possible, but I’m happy with the result, it fits very well.  Charts were used to add fanciness (see refs below), but otherwise I just did what seemed sweater shaped.  A ribbed looking chart was used at the bottom and wrists to stop curling.

KnittingGrayWinterSweaterBack

Once I had the vest shape after seaming the front and back together, I did ribbing for the neck and made some sleeves, wrist upwards.  I did my sleeves by making them identical, which when seamed on with the pattern design on the top caused the increase seam to be on opposite sides of the arms (meaning what looks like a seam goes up the front of one arm and up the back of the other arm, making the sleeves look different, and the pattern looks off center in opposite directions.  I’m not displeased about it, it is unusual but doesn’t look bad.

Charts:   The New Knitting Stitch Library.  Lesley Stanfield.  1992 Quarto Publishing.  Ribbing: Chart #21, pg. 32.  Middle of body: Chart 188, pg. 124.   Sides of the body and arms: Chart #185, pg. 124.

Yarn:  Vanna’s Choice, Art #860, color #405, Silver Heather.

Read Full Post »

A new Knifty Knitter pattern-free sweater, made solely on the largest round loom (the yellow one pictured below).  I made some mistakes on mine, but it all worked out okay.  So, I’ll tell you all about it so you can make yours even better.

KniftyKnitterLooms

KniftyKnitterPurpleSweaterFront

I made this one with the body all in one piece instead of separate back and fronts.  Now that I’ve done that, I’d recommend making the pieces separately, then seaming them together and adding sleeves.  Making it all in one piece may avoid needing to seam over the shoulders, but I wound up doing that anyway for support (see below) and doing it in one piece made it a lot harder because you still need to hold it up to yourself to check some things, like arm hole height for example.

Here’s the easy way.  Measure yourself in all the places indicated in the photo below, using a swatch you knitted with the same yarn on the same loom (something like 10 rows wide by 5 high is a good sized swatch to make, then you can save it and reuse to measure yourself anytime you want to loom something.)  Be sure not to stretch the swatch or your sweater will be too tight, and add a couple of stitches if you want some extra give in your garment.   Then, just make the sweater as directed in the photo, using your numbers of stitches instead of mine.  Hold the pieces up to yourself as you go to see when the various places are long enough.  I have increases and decreases for hips, waist, bust, and arm holes.  Bind off stitches for the neck hole.  For more detailed directions, from when I made earlier sweaters, and photos on how to increase and decrease, see this post:  Working Without Patterns, The Knifty Knitter – Rainbow Chakra Vest.   For more directions, and how-to on binding off, use a crochet hook as directed on the photo in this post:  Working Without Patterns:  The Knifty Knitter Round loom sweater.

KKpurpleSweater

The waist decreases, bust increases, and arm hole decreases were all done on the sides where the arms are.  The fronts should be straight on the neck side from the neck down.

Finishing the body:  After making your pieces to your own measurements, seam the shoulders and sides together.  (Seams on the inside!  Believe it or not, that’s the kind of stuff I forget! lol).  I added granny squares on the bottom of mine because I didn’t feel it was long enough.  I am impatient so I tend to go “I think its long enough!”, then quit, then wish I hadn’t.  It’s all okay though, you can always add more crochet if you are an impatient person like me.  The crochet edge also stops the curling that knit edges tend to have.  If you don’t know how to crochet granny squares, try this page, or doing a search for other pages or youtube videos to show you:  http://www.craftstylish.com/item/1437/granny-square-how-to/page/all. I used a size K hook and attached these as I went – and was surprised to see them turn out exactly the right width!  Go figure!  You can make yours all in one piece and attach them to the sweater afterward if you want more certainty in life.  That way if they are off by a little, you can always do a row of double crochet around the edge of them, or do a crochet trim, or whatever you need to fix whatever width it comes out to make it match your sweater.  Have fun being creative with it!

I also used double crochet, (same K hook), to add a few rows around the front piece edges and neck hole.  This prevents curling, made the sweater a little roomier, and gave me automatic button holes, after which buttons were sewn on the narrower side.  I had designed this sweater with one front piece wider than the other so the buttonhole side would overlap to one side over the buttons, and so there would be a flap over the top button, but you can always do equal pieces if you prefer, and put your buttons on where it will line up right on the other side.

Making the sleeves.  You can stop there if you want a vest, and if you wish, add some double crochet to the arm holes to finish it up.  If you want sleeves, measure your arm in the following places to get your number of stitches.  The sleeves start at the shoulder and are worked on the yellow loom back and forth, then seamed to the sweater, then seamed up the underside of the arm.  (I found I had measured too tightly and wished I had made my sleeves bigger.  They work, but I’ll probably like them better once I’ve worn out the sweater more and stretched them a bit.  I didn’t even seam all the way to the wrist or my hand would not have fit through it.)

KKpurpleSweaterSleeve

You’re finished!  Now, discussion of my mistakes….

KniftyKnitterPurpleSweaterBack

The way I would NOT recommend making this sweater:  Now, that way above will help you do it better, but here’s what I did, which I wouldn’t recommend.  See how my neck hole is so big?   It hangs low in the back.  That wouldn’t have happened if I had made it in separate pieces and seamed them together.  This happened because I wanted to avoid any extra seaming and made it like this:

KKpurpleSweaterWrongWay

The problem with doing it that way occurs when you hit the arm holes.  This is the inside of the back piece, (showing where I marked rows for increases or decreases so I could make the front pieces match without too much row counting).  You have to take one shoulder off of the loom if you want any hope of holding it up to yourself to see if its long enough to fit you.  If you have a definite stop point where your shoulder seam is going to go, you know that “Okay, I hold this spot right at the top of my shoulder”.  If you do it the way pictured below, you have no seam, so deciding how big to make the neck and arm holes is more of a challenge because there’s a lot of swing room in what you hold up to yourself as “the top” of the shoulder.  My decision making was a little off.  My arm holes are a bit small, and my neck hole hangs too low.  It all could have been avoided by making separate flat pieces.  KniftyKnitterPurpleSweaterShoulder

I also saved myself no pain at all, I only added extra, because I wound up adding shoulder seams anyway.  This is the inside over the shoulder area, I wound some yarn through these stitches to add support.  If you don’t have seams, because there is so much space between stitches on the yellow loom, your rows can start to pull apart as the sweater ages.  So, the seams do serve a good purpose, and that’s why I added some where there were none.

KniftyKnitterPurpleSweaterAfter

If you add fake seams the way shown above, they won’t show on the front side, its the same method you would use to work in ends.

KKpurpleSweaterShoulders

If you found this post through a search, please visit my Links page to see my other Knifty Knitter projects.  There is a “Links” tab at the top of this page, and also a link to it at the right.

Yarn:  Caron One Pound acrylic, in Deep Violet (this sweater took more than one, but not much more, so you will have most of the second one left with which to make a matching scarf or other accessory.)

Read Full Post »

For the past couple of years, whenever I passed through a clothing store when the long sleeved goods were out, (which was almost never, I seldom shop), I looked for a bright yellow… anything for winter.  I never once found it.   Popular winter attire is largely made up of fairly dull colors, which do nothing for me!  So since I couldn’t find it, I made it.

Since I had done so many sweaters before using Red Heart yarn and size 7 needles, I knew exactly how many stitches to cast on for the waist band.  If you think you might make a lot of no-pattern sweaters, and you plan to use the same yarn and needle size, you may as well just knit yourself a nice long swatch or a waist band so you can use it to measure you, then write down your number of stitches so you can always just cast on and go.   To risk sounding like an ad, I use Red Heart because its not only the cheapest, it doesn’t shrink or felt in the wash like real wool.  I have found that real wool and nice little balls of fancy yarn are wonderful to knit with, and make a really nice garment, but if you forget and throw it in the wash once, its over.  Not only that, but it may take 6 or 8 balls of nice yarn to make a sweater, and at the usual price for fancier yarns, this can run you up to $80 bucks quick.  That’s just too much for me to want to spend on a sweater, especially if I have to make it myself!  This yellow sweater took me 2 skeins of Red Heart super saver.  I forget if that was $2.50 a skein or $4, but it was somewhere in there, for a very cheap sweater.

Here I am in this slouched position again.  That’s because I’m always bending to pet a dog.

How to make it:

I used a 40″ circular for the cast on, size 7 for the whole sweater except the neck ribbing (which I used size 5 for).  I cast on 160 (for my size), using knit 2 purl 2 ribbing.  Always use an even number for cast on if you want to do 1:1 ribbing, and a number divisible by 4 for k2, p2 ribbing.  That way you will end with p2 if you started with k2, and you won’t have a seam. (160 divided by 4= 40, so I know I have a whole number of repeats, no decimals (leftover stitches)).

For those who have never cabled:  A discussion on how to do pattern-free cables:  After I ribbed for as long as I wanted, I just went upward in a tube in stockinette to make the body.  I added a cable for interest up the middle, so in the first row after the ribbing, I used 2 markers to separate out 12 stitches where the cable area would be, and started working the cable stitches on that first row.  I decided to use a cable of 2 stitches on each branch and that I would separate, then cross them over each other in a twist, and alternate purl stitches and seed stitches on the background.  (You can see that in the photo, the inside of the bottom cable has seed stitch, and the background has purl, and this alternates for the cable above it, etc.)  So for this first row, I just set aside the 4 stitches in the middle of the section between the markers to be in stockinette and make the cable, and did all other stitches in the background (purl).  If  you want to vary your cable thickness, again just be sure to use an even number of stitches between your markers so that it won’t end up closer to one edge of the cable area than the other. (Drawing it out on graph paper can help you design a cable visually.)

I moved my cable stitches over using 2 cable stitches and 2 background stitches, and only on every other row.  If you use only 1 background stitch to move the cable with, your cable will move left or right with a less extreme angle. So, this is something you can vary.  When I worked on my sweater, I always made sure to do a non-moving row last before putting the sweater away, so that when I picked it up to work the next time, I’d know the first row would be a cable moving row. This kept me from messing it up.  You may notice that my cables don’t look all exactly the same, that is because the stitch you use for background effects the way the cable looks too.

How do you know what to do on a cable without written instructions or a chart?  Cabling follows logic, so after you do it enough, it will just become obvious what needs to happen next to make it move in any direction.  If you’re just starting learning cables:

To make your cable stitches go to the left: When you get to the cable stitches, put your two cable (stockinette) stitches on the cable needle and let it hang to the front, work the next 2 stitches in whatever background stitch you’re using, then knit the 2 cable stitches from the cable needle.

To make your cable stitches go to the right: Put the 2 (or whatever number you want) stitches located before the stockinette cable stitches on the cable needle and let those hang to the back, knit the stockinette cable stitches, then do the stitches from the cable needle in the background stitch.

Then, much like the other pullovers I’ve made before, just work upward until you get to the arm holes.  Armholes:  You know how many stitches you’ve got, divide your body stitches in half equally and separate these 2 halves at the sides where you want arms to be (either using markers, or setting half aside on another needle or piece of yarn).  These will now be front and back pieces.  Make sure your cable is exactly in the middle of the front piece (same number of stitches on each side of the cable on the front piece).   As you continue working in stockinette, (and continue the cable pattern on the front piece), decrease at the arm holes (knit 2 together a couple of times on the first row, then a couple more times on the next row until the arm hole is the shape you want.)  Add a neck hole once you get as high as you want it to be.  Knit a couple of stitches together in the middle of the front piece and start working in 2 pieces side to side.  Decrease by knitting 2 together as you wish at the neck edges for the neck shape, just always do the same thing on both sides.  For the back I did my neck hole straight across, so just bound off those stitches, leaving the same number of stitches to keep working for over each shoulder.  Remember to make it the same number of stitches on the front piece shoulders as the back piece shoulders so that they match when you seam them together.  You can kitchener stitch over the shoulders if you don’t want there to be a seam, (which was what I did). I continued my cable pattern into the neck hole in the front, until my decreases had me run out of cable area stitches. K1 p1 neck hole ribbing was added last – after seaming the shoulders together, stitches were picked up around the neck for the ribbing using a size 5 needle (this was the only place on the sweater I used the smaller needles).  I decreased during the ribbing only once, on the first row of the ribbing to help it lay flat against the body, (I knit 2 together in the center of the front above the middle of the cable.)  Again, if you have an even number of stitches after that point, no seam.

Arms:  Stitches were picked up, then worked in stockinette for arms (I picked up 74, this may vary for whatever size armhole you make, but this made a fairly loose arm).  I marked where the underarm was and gradually decreased along the arm always above that marked spot, mostly once I was past the elbow, until I got to 48 right before the 1:1 ribbing.  (Read on before doing…this was probably a mistake).  I found this still made a big wrist hole, so I decreased 8 more stitches within the wrist ribbing (always doing 2 or 4 decreases at once to keep the ribbing pattern and always where it would be located under the wrist and more hidden.  It ain’t pretty though, so you may want to get any decreasing in before starting the ribbing.

UPDATE – FIXING STUFF I CHANGED MY MIND ABOUT LATER

You CAN change your mind later!   After wearing this for awhile, I decided this sweater was too short for the bulkiness of the sleeves, so I made it longer.  I didn’t feel like pulling all the ribbing out, so I made it part of the design:

KnittingYellowSweaterUpgradedFrontThe trick to making that work is using the same yarn, the same size needles,  and making sure you pick up exactly the same number of stitches you had before.  If you add too many or too few, your sweater will buckle out or be pulled in and it will look like more of an add- on.  It was easy to tell how many stitches I had, both because I keep notes when I make a sweater, and because my bottom ribbing was knit 2 purl 2, so it was really easy to see what needed to be picked up where.

This was the cast on edge originally, as the sweater was worked from the hips upward.  I picked up stitches on the outside, picking up the bar going across the front, that way what was knitted from there on would look like it was connected with no dividing line.  Picking up stitches this way is easier if you pick up a loop, then knit or purl that stitch, then pick up the next and knit or purl that one, etc.  It keeps the picked up loops from being very tight on the needles, (which would make doing the whole first row very hard).

KnittingYellowSweaterPickUP

I also chose a pattern that matched the rest of the sweater, which helps to keep it from looking like as much of an add-on.  The center cable is done the same way as the rest of the cables up the front were, and the others on the bottom are all alike, and similar to it.  Then a new bottom ribbing edge was done, identical to the first.

KnittingYellowSweaterUpgraded

Yarn:  Red Heart, regular old bright-as-can-be-yellow (for which I lost the label)

Cables:  The cables and design up the front of this sweater was random and made up, as well as the middle-front cable on the bottom.  The other cable design around the hips was a chart from:  The New Knitting Stitch Library. Lesley Stanfield. Quarto Publishing, 1992. Chart # 175, page 113.

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »