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Sunday, March 20, 2005

My First Seamless Sweater!!!

This sweater is out of the best knitting book around - KNITTING WITHOUT TEARS by Elizabeth Zimmerman. It's done with Twisted Sister's 50% wool/50% silk yarn and used 4 120-yd skeins of purple, one skein of black, plus a little of the pink and a little more of the purple. I actually went into a 5th skein but used so little of it that I should have found something else to do the neck in and save myself the $40 for the last skein.

Yup, that Twisted Sister stuff ain't cheap. But it's SOOOOO soft and yummy that I don't care.

Okay I finished it - it was about a week and a half of work, with a trip to Florida in between.

Since this was kind of a practice sweater I did it exactly as was in her book, following her instructions to make a 40" sweater. A little bigger than I'd want for me but I didn't want to have to mess with the math while learning her technique.

As it turns out, the sweater is roomy and comfy and I really like it too big.

Without copying from the book, you do this whole sweater in the round. The sleeves are done on a 16" circular and the body on probably a 24" one. I used Denise (naturally) so when I was done with the body (reached the underarm at 14") I just took off the needle ends and applied the stopper ends. There the body sat, waiting for me to finish the sleeves. Denise doesn't have short enough needle bits so I actually bought a 16" #7 Addi Turbo to do the sleeves.

Here's the second row of the yoke - I did the first row in the purple because I was going to do the underarm seam in it and didn't want the black right on it.

The bits of green yarn are the center stitches for both the sleeve and the body - these get the Kitchener Stitch once the rest of the sweater is done, so you get a completely seamless garment.

Getting all the stitches onto the one long needle is a little daunting, but very easy: Once the center stitches are on the scrap yarn (I used a yarn needle and tied the green into a square not), you put the needle ends back onto the body needle and just slip all the sleeve stitches onto the needle so that you are ready to keep knitting in the round, only now you're making the yoke of the sweater.

I did the sleeves last so that the working yarn started at an underarm so the patterns would start and end at that point.

It was a little strange carrying the whole sweater under the knitting but the yoke went fast and it was done pretty quick.

I have to confess I was a bit confused by Zimmerman's neck instructions, so I just ignored them and did the proper decreases, then did a couple of inches of K1 P1 rib and bound off. I don't like that high neck anyway so this came out perfect.


Blogger Mary Jessica said...

WOW! That is amazing! And beautiful! And fantastic! And everything! I have to check out that book - I like making my top-down raglans as they're well-suited to my beginner's status, but I don't have a lot of control in making it fit me better past the arm pits (well, I probably do but don't know how). Congratulations on a lovely sweater! xo MJ

6:06 AM

Anonymous Jenny said...

That is a CRAZILY well-done sweater! I am dumbfounded!! GOOD SHOW!!

1:19 AM


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