Tuesday, November 8, 2011

One sweater ready to mail

This sweater has watched several A4A campaigns pass by. I am no longer entirely sure when I started it -- I am pretty sure it was in the fall of 2009, but it might have been a year earlier than that. I should write these things down.

All of the yarn was yarn I already owned -- the brown yarn is Alafoss Lopi (two different dyelots, but I can't see the difference), and the red and gold are both Lamb's Pride Bulky. I knit a lot of socks on teeny yarn, so knitting with bulky is a pleasant change. I used a pattern by Design from Louise, the Child's Fairisle Pullover. (I was not entirely happy with this pattern; henceforth I will be using the Knitting Pure and Simple Children's Bulky Top Down Pullover).

I made the sleeves and body 2 inches longer than specified, and I started the sleeves with 4 stitches more than called for, because I'd read a review that said the sleeves on this one were too tight. I also did the increases on the sleeves every 3, not 4, rows, so they would get wider earlier.

I used my favorite trick for the neckband, to avoid making one that won't stretch over a kid's head.

Pay attention! This is a great trick! If your sweater calls for a crewneck, like this one, here's what you do. If the instructions say to rib for 1 inch and then bind off, do this: rib for 2 inches. Now, rather than binding off, you are going to do something so clever and simple. . . (This works better if your neckband is on a circular needle, but can be done with double-pointed needles if necessary). Leaving your neck stitches on the needle, cut your yarn, leaving a very, very long tail. Thread it onto a sewing-up needle.  Thread the yarn through the first stitch on the needle, as if  to knit. Remove that stitch from the knitting needle. Follow the line of that stitch all the way down to the first stitch you knit on your neckband. With the sewing-up needle, pull your yarn through one leg of that one, too. Pull the yarn all the way through. Go back to the stitches on the knitting needle, and do the same again. Continue -- one stitch from the needle, corresponding stitch at the beginning of the neckband -- until you've sewn all of the "live" stitches from the knitting needle, one by one, to the corresponding stitch at the very beginning of the neckband. Voila! A stretchy neckband (and no need to try to disguise the jog between last and first stitches that often occurs when you bind off in the round).


Judy said...

Great tip on the collar - I have often folded the collar down as you say but have just sewn it to the inside neck - not finished it as neatly as you describe,

Linda S. said...

It is a lovely sweater with great colors. I plan to go out this morning to get the pattern Knitting Pure and Simple at a local shop. Someone else mentioned it too. I'm also going to try your collar idea. I have done 2 inches, folded it over, then sewn together with yarn. This way looks clever and easier.

Elizabeth D said...

Linda, Knitting Pure and Simple is the name of a whole pattern line. Make sure you get the one that matches your yarn weight.

Beth said...

This sweater looks great! I can't wait to try your tricky collar technique. Thanks for the tip.

SandyJ said...

I'm almost to the collar on my a4A sweater-- this tip will be SO helpful!

Afghan Ann said...

E, where did you photograph this gorgeous sweater??!?!?!?!

sherri said...

This is gorgeous! The child who gets it will be so lucky!

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