Saturday, March 27, 2010
Variations on a sweater
Pattern: Seamless Hybrid by Elizabeth Zimmermann from Knitting without Tears
Needles: 4mm circs + 3.5mm circs for hem facings
Yarn: Rowan purelife British Sheep Breeds DK Undyed Bluefaced Leicester 3 balls each in fawn and ecru
This shot is almost Rowan-esque*. If it weren't for the fact that I'm wearing thick cotton tights and sitting in a centrally heated modern kitchen rather than an ancient farmhouse somewhere in the wilds of Ireland I could be in the photoshoot for The Next Big Thing. Oh, and the fact that my sweater is knit out of an eminently wearable dk weight yarn rather than the super chunky which makes supermodels look as though they could do with cutting back on the calories a bit.
I appear to be on a bit of a seamless hybrid jag** at the moment. This is my third of the year and I've just cast on for the fourth. I shook things up a bit this time around by knitting exactly the same sweater on exactly the same needles at exactly the same gauge but with a different yarn(!) in two colours(!!). The two colours bit means that this is actually an almost seamless rather than an actually seamless sweater. In the instructions for this sweater in Knitting Without Tears EZ explains how knitting in the round means that you can execute a central double decrease every three rows without any hassle, because all your knitting is done on the right side of the garment. Knitting the yoke in two colours means that instead of knitting in the round you have to knit back and forth and so instead of a straightforward central double decrease on the right side every three rounds you have paired left and right decreases either side of a colour change and on both knit and purl sides of the fabric. So it's a little bit fiddly. But so worth it. I've been wearing this sweater all day today and I plan to wear it all day tomorrow, and then maybe all day the next day too. It's so warm and fitted and the knitterly raglan decreases, intarsia colour changes, and saddle shoulders just give me a warm glow inside every time I look in the mirror.
Talking of technicalities, Felix asked how the turned picot hem is created. It's actually pretty straightforward. Directions are given here for knitting in the round 'cos that's how I roll.
When casting on:
Cast on an even number of stitches using a provisional crochet cast-on.
Join for knitting in the round, then using a smaller size needles knit x rounds (the value of x is up to you but for all my sweaters x = 5).
Change to a larger size needle and knit an eyelet round (K2tog, yo, around).
Knit x rounds with larger size needle.
Undo provisional cast on and slip resulting live stitches onto the smaller needle.
Using larger needle and starting at the beginning of the round knit the first stitch from the larger needle and the first stitch from the smaller needle together.
Continue to K2tog around as set until all stitches from the larger and smaller needles have been knit together.
Using a smaller size of needle for the hem facings means that the hem is less likely to splay out or flip up when being worn. If you don't have a smaller needle then you could try knitting a round less on the hem facings.
* I apologise for the fact that my right arm is over-exposed to the point of disappearing into the wall. Let me assure you that my right arm is still fully attached to the rest of my body. In fact I'm using it to type right now.
** Technical knitting term meaning I just can't stop knitting the damn thing.