Archive for the “stripy sweater” Category

Well would'ja look at that, it's a stripy sweater!

The pieces of a stripy sweater laid out on the floor as if they were sewn together. The stripes are gray, blue, and green - on the sleeves the gray stripes are wider, and on the body the blue stripes are wider.

All four pieces are done. I basted them together and tried on the sweater, and it doesn't not fit! It may be one stripe longer than necessary, and there may be a little weirdness with slight tension differences between the blue yarn and the others, but I made a sweater!

Well, almost. I still have to pick out all my basting and replace it with actual proper seaming, and then I have to knit a neck/collar, and then it needs to be washed and dried (because it's all superwash sock yarn, it will go in the washer and dryer - although carefully, in a mesh bag, so it doesn't get pulled out of shape)... and THEN I will have made a sweater!


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Remember that time I knit a sanquhar-inspired scarf with little skulls hidden in it?

A scarf in navy blue and white, folded over to show that one side is the reverse colors of the other side. Each section of the colourwork is a different traditional Sanquhar pattern.

It's not that it was a bad idea, it's that my execution was off, and so was my estimation of whether I actually wear scarves. I've been looking at this thing all winter going "okay, but it's too long and too thick to be comfortable, and not only does my jacket have scarf-eating velcro but I can zip it up to my nose so do I really need a scarf anyway? Especially one that's going to make me look like I'm either pregnant or shoplifting? Maybe I should unravel it and knit something else. There's enough yarn here for a sweater."

"There's enough yarn in that scarf for a sweater," I've grumped to myself pretty much every time I see the scarf in the closet, feeling a little sad about having knit something that's really cool but actually useless.

"There's enough yarn in that scarf for a sweater," I thought as I was buying entirely different sweater yarn.

"There's enough yarn in that scarf for a sweater," I pretended not to remember, as I picked out the gray and green and blue from my stash and charted out the stripes.

Do you know where there is NOT enough yarn for a sweater? Indeed, it's the stripy sweater. I finished both sleeves and weighed the remaining gray yarn, and did some math. I said some bad words (sorry) and re-weighed and re-mathed. Then I called a friend who verified that my math was right and my sweater was not.

But here's the thing. The blue yarn in the sweater is the same blue yarn that's in the scarf. And (you see where this is going) there's enough yarn in the scarf for a sweater. What if I reverse the stripes on the sweater body? That would actually look really neat.

A pattern schematic for a sweater, showing the front, back, and a sleeve. On the sleeve, there are wide gray stripes and narrower green and blue ones. On the body of the sweater, the blue stripes are widest, and the gray and green are narrower.

"There's enough yarn in that scarf for a sweater," I muttered, and stomped downstairs to retrieve it from the closet. I spent an evening un-seaming my careful seams, and then Michael helped me re-wind about 2000 yards of yarn. He turned the ball-winder and I wound directly onto the swift.

A partially disassembled colourwork scarf sits next to a ballwinder on a wooden coffee table, ready for unraveling.

There's enough yarn here for a sweater.

Two white and two navy blue skeins of sock yarn. They are neatly tied and folded, but the yarn is squiggly from having been knit and unraveled.

It needs to be soaked to get the squiggles out, and then of course I'll have to wait for it to dry, but there's totally enough blue yarn here to finish the stripy sweater, and enough white yarn for... well, for half a sweater. I'll worry about the white yarn some other time.

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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 2x2 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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