Yes, I do have lots of small ones, but I don’t make a lot of adult size sweaters, and even fewer for me. And even fewer of those are from commercial patterns. But this one is done:
This one ended up being an extremely quick knit. I used Sarah James’ Entrelac Pullover pattern. This is the second piece of hers I’ve knit up. The first was her Ribbed Leaf Pullover – a challenging bit entirely predicated on twisted stitches. Lots of twisted stitches.
This one was equally fun, but far easier. In essence, you knit four Entrelac panels; two small ones for the top of each sleeve, then one for the front and back of the sweater. Only the one in the front bears any shaping at the neck. A seed stitch panel is picked up along the long side of the sleeve panel, and knit longitudinally, using short-rows to add width at the top of the sleeve. That panel is joined to the other side of the sleeve Entrelac panel using a pick-up-and-knit-together technique, eliminating hand-seaming (although you could do it that way if you were timid).
The front and back fancy panels are joined at the shoulders, and a seed stitch panel is added right and left to bring the piece out to shoulder width and provide the desired total body size. Once those panels are done, the sleeves are sewn in and the side seams are done. Then cuffs, necklines and hem ribbing are added.
Because the piece is so square and boxy, adding extra width to the top size of 46” was easy. First, I used a slightly heavier yarn than indicated. My tiny bit bigger gauge gave me about an inch across the Entrelac. Then a couple of additional rows to the seed stitch panels made short work of the rest of the size adaptations.
My other change was the treatment of the ribbing. The pattern original advocates using the same variegated yarn as the body. Instead I chose solid black, as a framing element.
I am pleased by the the color play of Noro Taiyo – the yarn I used. However I strongly caution that this is not a good yarn for an inexperienced knitter, or for someone who doesn’t have the patience or inclination to tame it. Taiyo is a fluffy, multi-fiber single. It relies on over-spin for structural integrity. That means that the yarn kinks back on itself, twisting and tangling as one works. It also denatures quite easily. If you rip back and re-knit this yarn, you’ll have to re-introduce some of that twist, otherwise the strand will shred and break. Sewing up with it also introduces the counter-spin that shreds the strand. If you use this, spare yourself and find another yarn for seaming. In my case, I used Valley Yarns Berkshire for seaming and for all of the ribbing. Berkshire is a wool/alpaca blend single, roughly comparable in weight to Taiyo.
All in all, I am quite happy with the finished product. And even though it’s a very warm pullover, we still have lots of cold weather left in which to wear it.
I haven’t made a knitting gadget post in a long time. Here’s a frugal crafting tip, echoing something I posted in 2004.
Save those little, rectangular plastic clips that seal up bags of commercial bread, pizza dough, bulk food purchases, and other groceries. They are very handy for knitting and crochet. Here are some uses.
Stitch markers. Very obvious. All of the standard and exotic stitch marker tricks can be done with these, marking repeats, separating design panels, using them to delineate a group of stitches that will be added or decreased away, using them as an in line abacus to keep track of row or pattern repeat counts.
Progress tags. Like fancier plastic clip style closeable markers, tags can be fastened onto in-progress knitting to mark spots of interest, like centers of pieces to be matched together later while seaming. Because tags are larger than commercial clips, and disposable (in my house, a renewing resource like wire hangers), they can be written on with a Sharpie marker, for one-use notation.
Seam basters. Use the jaws of the tags to hold pieces together when seaming instead of pins.
And here you see another use: pick-up tracking. I have a lot of stitches to pick up along the edges of my current project’s center entrelac panel. The desired number works out to ten stitches per edge triangle. It’s very easy to lose track, an annoying to constantly repeat the count. But if I clip a tag onto the needle, pick up ten stitches after the tag, then I clip it and repeat, the process is relatively painless.
Wow. Over a month since my last post. Not good. I apologize and plead an attack of real life, including work deadlines, multiple snowstorms, and other consumers of discretionary time.
Still, I have not been entirely idle. There has been knitting. Double knitting, to be precise:
The dog jacket is actually a combo of knitting and sewing, with a polar fleece rectangle being the base of the garment, edged out with a knitted rib collar and chest section, plus a bit of ribbing to gather the hind part somewhat. If folk are interested, I’ll post a more detailed method description so others can make one, too.
And on to more knitting. I’m currently working on an Entrelac tunic pullover, from a commercial pattern by Sarah James. This is the second pattern I’ve done by that designer, the first being her Autumn Leaf pullover. I’m using Noro Taiyo yarn, an Aran weight variegated made in Japan, that has a very improvised and rustic Raku-ware look to it. The yarn I’ve chosen is slightly heavier than the heavy worsted/Aran weight yarn specified, although they have the same native gauge. This is not turning out to be a problem for me because I want my finished product to be slightly larger than the larger of the two provided sizes.
At this point I’ve finished the sleeves, the center back panel of Entrelac, and am now on the center front panel. The construction of this piece is slightly unusual. First the (mostly) rectangular fancy-work panels are knit, then the interstitial parts making up the sides of the sweater or back of the sleeve are picked up and worked from the rectangles. These extra bits are done in seed stitch, and are then bound off against another Entrelac panel. This (plus the Aran weight gauge) makes for quick execution. I just started on Saturday evening.
I have not done the ribbing at the cuff because I may want to do all the ribbings in a complementary solid color, possibly charcoal grey, because I am not fond of the stripy/spotty look of variegated in ribbed stitches.