Based on a True Sweater

Nov. 29, 2005

A Bit About Set-In Sleeves

Once again, I've been MIA. I've been working on the imminent issue of Knitty, and not much else. Well, some social life and lots of nice time with Zak, but not much else beyond that. Oh, and some knitting. And I bought yarn, which I've done almost not at all this year until now. But really, that's it. Oh, wait - did I mention this?

The book that ate my entire summer (I was tech editor). But oh, just you wait. Big Girl Knits is a fantastic book, the designs are beautiful and diverse, and Amy and Jillian have put together some excellent, friendly chapters on fitting and alterations. (Possibly I helped with those too.) It was a great way to spend the summer, actually. I'm proud and grateful to have been part of this project. :)

Anyways. Some of you asked about the technique of knitting a seamless set-in sleeve sweater from the top down. First of all, I highly, highly recommend Knitting from the Top. Buy it, buy it. It's even cheap. (I'm sure Amazon has it too, but I really like Needle Arts Book Shop, so I link to them.) It explores several different methods for knitting a sweater this way.

The quick and dirty explanation of what I did was this:
1. Decide how many sts around you want your sleeve to be.
2. Cast on sts for the shoulders, and knit the front and back pieces down from the shoulder until there are enough rows that you can pick up 1/3 of your sleeve sts along the armhole edges (3 sts for every 4 rows).
3. Knit a RS row across the left front, place a marker, pick up sts along the left armhole edge, place a marker, k across the back, place a marker, pick up sts along the right armhole edge, place a marker, k across the right front.
4. Work back and forth, increasing 1 st at each edge of each sleeve every RS row, until you are a couple of inches from the bottom of the armhole; then start increasing 1 st at the armhole edges of the fronts and back on RS rows as well.
5. When your armholes are deep enough, cast on sts at the underarms and work either the body or the sleeves down until they're done. Pick up 1 st in each cast on st (and whatever extra fudging sts are necessary) and work the sleeves or body.

Of course, it ends up being a little more complicated than that... because, you know, you have to figure out how deep your armhole will be, and how many sleeve sts that translates to, etc etc. It didn't end up taking that long to work out the sweater on paper, but I have a lot of practice because that's what I do for Knitty. The way Barbara Walker explains it, though, is nice and clear and not intimidating. She is more kind to the math-phobic than I would be if I explained it.

There's a less complicated way to do it (seamless, though not in one piece in the same way), but you'll have to buy the book for that. Or, you can buy the pattern for Hopeful and see how it's done, because that's the method Jenna uses in her pattern. (I edited this pattern for Jenna, too. I got around this summer, it seems.)

And now, a photo of some of the things that make my life nice.

The End.

Nov. 19, 2005

Beautiful Tea

Nov. 14, 2005

Manos Cardigan, Take 1

I finished my Manos cardigan last night! I need to get Zak to take some good photos for me, but he's in the grip of jet lag right now, so coordinating some time when we are both awake and free during daylight hours may take a few days (especially since there are precious few daylight hours right now). Since he got home on Saturday, most of our conscious hours have been at night.

I couldn't wait, though, to take a few quick photos and post one. This sweater was inspired by Scoop du Jour, and by the wonderful book Knitting from the Top. I knit it in one piece, from the top down. This is the first time I have worked set-in sleeves this way, though I have been obsessing about them for a few months now. I am very happy with the results, and I will definitely knit more sweaters this way. More soon...

Nov. 12, 2005

My Nona Rocks My World

I had to share this photo. This was taken at a Halloween party my Nona (grandmother) was at. She's the one on the far right, in the leopard-print skirt. Cool, yes?

Never mind being in as good shape as her when I'm 70something, I want to be in as good shape as her now!

Nov. 6, 2005

It's... ALIVE!!

If you were reading my blog this summer, you might remember this thing. The RIP Tee, with its ugly, puffy sleeves, its stupid, prissy picot edging, its half-assed, blotchy overdye job (I actually kind of liked that part)... well, it was unfit to live. I tried a number of times in the last few months to learn to love it, because the fit really was nice, and it was very comfortable, but in the end it was just too frumpula.

Last week, I ripped it out down to the underarms (the lower body was such a nice fit), then I used many, many boxes of cherry Kool-Aid to dye the ripped wool and the lower body to this new, beautiful colour (it was originally the colour of the green central stripe). And now... behold it!

Doing the Rachael:

Dressed up a bit:

Funny story: I'm still not completely used to this camera, and I keep forgetting that when using the timer, the timer button must be pressed before each shot. Hence, I have many photos like this:
(I really liked that one, for some reason.)

One more for good luck:

(I'm sitting on a counter there, hence the odd pose.)
Hey, who's that peeking out from the neckline? Am I... really, really predictable?? Apparently so.