Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hi all, I posted this question on Ravelry, but thought that someone here probably knows the answer to my question, so am posting it here, too.

I'm having a lot of trouble with the neckband for a raglan pullover. The pattern is from Ann Budd's "The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns." The sweater fit over my head after the bind-off, but before picking up the neckband stitches.

I followed the directions for picking up ("With smaller dpn, RS facing, and beg at center front, pick up and knit 1 st for every BO st and about 3 sts for every 4 rows along sloped edges around neck opening for a crewneck.") I worked k2, p2 ribbing for an inch, then bound off loosely. Way too small to go over my head.

Then I picked up a tip that said the number of neckband stitches should be approximately equal to the number of stitches that were cast on for the back of the sweater. I had cast on 180 stitches for the sweater (in the round), so theoretically, I should need 90 stitches for the neckband. I picked up 112. Still too small. The problem seems to be at the point where the neckband stitches were picked up.

Should I be picking up even more (!) stitches? Or should I be using the same size (or larger) needle to pick up the stitches that I used for the body of the sweater, and then switching to the smaller size to work the ribbing? Does anyone have (hopefully foolproof ;-) ) suggestions? I would like the third time to work!

Thanks for all opinions and suggestions.


Kathy said...

This may not be foolproof, but I have good luck using the same sized needle (or larger) for picking up and knitting the collar, since I personally prefer a looser neck. Good luck!

Laura said...

The pick-up ratio you were given is good. You could always pick up more stitches,either 4 or 8 to keep the 2/2 rib pattern. That will add between 1" and 2" in circumference and might help enough.

Before doing that, I would undo the bind-off row and try the collar over your head with live stitches on a piece of waste-yarn. You may find that the collar is stretchy enough. The problem is the bind-off, unrelated to the number of sts. I just dealt with this on a yoke sweater. I ended up using Elizabeth Zimmermann's sewn bind-off which isn't very elegant but truly stretchy (and easy to do). There is a good demo here (scroll down to it):

Another option would be to keep the live stitches on top of the back and front and only pick up stitches on the diagonal, so that there is extra stretch at the base of the collar. But again since you had no problem with the sweater in its pre-collar stage, that may not be the solution to your problem.

Good luck!

Elizabeth D said...

Here's my favorite way of keeping the neckband stretchy. I learned it from a pattern several years ago, but don't remember which one. It's going to take me a number of words to explain, but it's not complicated. First, knit your collar or neckband to twice the length specified in the pattern (you're going to fold it over). With live stitches still on your needle, cut the yarn, leaving a long working length. Thread it onto your sewing-up needle. Now, fold the collar over, making sure the stitches on the needle are aligned with the same stitch at the beginning. (If it's easier, you can thread a contrasting length of yarn through the live stitches and remove the needle.) Sew through the base stitch (that's the one where you first started knitting the collar), then up through the stitch on the needle. Take that stitch off the needle. Pull yarn all the way through -- make it snug, but don't jerk it tight. Continue all the way around -- sew through the stitch at the bottom, then the stitch on the needle, take off the needle. Continue until you're done. Fasten off securely at the end. Beautifully stretchy -- and looks uncommonly nice too.

mittknitter said...

Hi all, Here's a copy of the post I made on Ravelry (I'm afraid I'm too lazy to retype it all), but must add that I'm really glad that I managed to figure this problem out, since it means this sweater might actually make it to San Francisco in time!

Thanks to all who offered advice, and sincere apogolies for wasting your time. It turns out this whole fiasco was a matter of my not reading the directions properly.

I neglected to bind off the proper number of stitches for the neckline in the front (I bound off some of them, but neglected a few lines in the pattern!) Consequently, I ended up with the proper number of stitches on the needle at the end of the back because I continued the raglan decreases, but the neckline at the front was not wide enough. I ripped out to the point where the neck shaping began, and reknit (according to the directions this time). Ta-da! A pullover that can actually be pulled over!

Again, many thanks for everyone’s help.

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