In Which the Pirate Starts a Sweater.

It’s (finally) time for a machine-knit fingering weight sweater! I chose three yarns out of my stash – two skeins of gray, one of a bright kelly green, and one navy blue. First, swatching. I tried each of the three yarns on tensions 5 and 6, and decided that T5 felt better, and was less see-through, without being so stiff that it won’t feel nice to actually wear.

Tension swatches of yarn in medium gray, kelly green, and navy blue.

The tensions and my measurements all went into Designaknit, which produced a sweater pattern (hopefully one that fits). My next step was to learn how to cast on and knit an “industrial rib”. While I’ve heard about this type of ribbing on the machine knitting forum, I had no luck searching for instructions. But then an enlightening post came through – the thing that everyone calls “industrial rib” appears in my ribber’s manual as “different method of 2×2 rib knitting.” Who knew? And the post included instructions for a cast-on that won’t flare, which went really well. It’s incredibly stretchy and the edge folds so nicely with the ribbing:

The ribbed cuff of a sweater sleeve. Half is partially stretched to show the cast-on edge, the other half is a zig-zag of edge stitches, as the ribbing is very elastic.

Then I knit a whole sleeve! Stripes and all! There’s just one problem… I knit it at the wrong tension and it’s 20% too large in every direction. Guess I’m going to rip it out, re-wind the yarn, and try again. My decision to carry the yarn up the side of the sleeve, instead of cutting it to weave in later, seems like it was absolutely the right call. (Also, how weird is it that my gray yarn and my gray carpet are almost exactly the same gray?)

A sweater sleeve laid flat on the carpeted floor. It is striped in medium gray, kelly green, and navy blue. The gray stripes are almost exactly the same colour as the carpet.

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2 Responses

  1. Renee Anne says:

    Well……….[insert curse word of your flavor here]. That’s not how that was supposed to go. But, you learned something and that’s always important. Also, you didn’t wind up with a ton of various sized strings of yarn as you carried it up the side, which was absolutely the right call.

    Then again, I know squat about knitting machines so I don’t know how much of an issue any of this really was.

    • Pirate says:

      Oh, I definitely muttered some savoury words :) But I did learn a lot! and Husband helped me re-wind the yarn, which was a great help. The whole sleeve took about four hours from start to finish, including the time I spent being distracted by the internet and playing a few rounds of a silly game on my phone here and there.

      If I’d been hand-knitting, I would have noticed the wrong size long before getting to the top of the sleeve, but it probably still would have been more than four hours of work to get to that point.

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