More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Sleeves

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Here is an excellent and extensive article about armhole shaping and sleeve styles. It doesn’t use the top-down method for set-in sleeves, but if you’ve been wondering about drafting a sleeve, plus drop-shoulder and modified drop shoulder (and raglan and everything else), check out this article from Knitty.com.

Sizing for Children’s Sweaters

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Following up on the last post, you may find the following handy: the Craft Yarn Council publishes sizing standards. Here are standards for babies and children.

As I said previously, it’s a lot like knitting two washcloths and adding sleeves. However, don’t forget to give the little guy some room at the neck–a round neck an inch deep will be plenty.

Pondering Avocet B

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

When I developed my sweater design method, I couldn’t imagine using anything besides knitting a one-piece sweater, a top-down circular sleeve, and 3-needle bind off for my shoulders. I mentioned Avocet B by Berroco in my last post–here is a pattern that kicks all three methods to the curb.

  • Knitting in the round–well, it’s a cardigan. I can knit the body in one piece…but do I want to? It has implications for the sleeves (see below).
  • The shoulder seams: short rows in garter stitch don’t look so hot. I’ve played around with Japanese short rows, which seem to be the least of all the possible evils. So binding off the shoulder seams and grafting may be the best way to go here.
  • Top-down, circular sleeves. Hmmm, knitting garter stitch in the round means knitting one row, purling one row. Kind of defeats the fun of knitting in the round.

So I may want to work the sleeves flat, which means one of two things:

  1. I knit the body in pieces, seam the shoulders, pick up the sleeve stitches on the flat, opened body. I would knit the sleeves flat, then seam the sides and seam.
  2. Knit the body in one piece, knit the sleeve flat, seam the sleeve, and then sew it into the body as a tube. Geez, I hate that one already.

Live and learn. I will still use my system to ensure a good fit. Just not sure it really will be next up on the needles. I’ve started to update my Ravelry account, and the ghosts of projects past are starting to haunt me.

You Saw the Videos, Now Read the E-Book!

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Production on my videos is scheduled to resume this month, but in the meantime you can peek ahead to the exciting conclusion. The entire sweater design process is now available in an e-book at www.KnitSweaterPattern.com. I’ve called it “Easy Knitting Design: The Basic Sweater.” You can view the Table of Contents.

Book cover: "Easy Knitting Design--The Basic Sweater"

The e-book is now available!

If you’ve been trying to take notes while watching my videos, you can stop now–I’ve done it all for you. I’ve included illustrations, thorough step-by-step instructions, and photos of the actual knitting, along with an additional section of illustrated Techniques. I walk you through the design and knitting of a pullover sweater, followed by a section on knitting cardigans. I also include a guide that walks you through the design of your own sweater. You have everything you need to create a wardrobe of original sweater designs.

Once at the site, you can read my (long, but thrilling!) sales letter, or jump right to the PayPal button at the bottom. I’ve brought the book out at an introductory price of $24–I hope you’ll take advantage of it. I also hope you’ll give me your feedback–my goal is to give you tools you can use.

The Top-Down Sleeve

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a new video because I am in the process of putting the whole method into an ebook (coming soon). I thought is would be a fairly quick process (hysterical laughter here). It hasn’t been, and that’s why the videos have been temporarily tabled. However, I’ve had several requests for information on how to work the sleeve, and I hate to leave anyone hanging.

So here is a quick and dirty description of how to knit a top-down sleeve:

1. Measure upper arm and add half of body ease (e.g., if your body ease was 3″, add 1-1/2″ to upper arm measurement).
2. Use your stitch gauge to compute the number of stitches this is. This is the number of stitches you need to pick up around the sleeve opening. You will pick up the bound-off underarm stitches one-for-one, so subtract this number from the total to get the number of stitches distributed around the rest of the sleeve. You could count the total number of rows and figure out a ratio, or be a little more casual and divide the sleeve up by folding and placing markers. Whatever method you choose, you will also want to place markers at the shoulder seam, and 1/3 of the way down each side of the opening.
3. With right side facing you and a 16″ circular or double-points, start at center of underarm and place a marker. Pick up the bound-off stitches one for one, then pick up the rest of the way around in the proportion you’ve determined, and finish with the rest of the bound-off stitiches.
4. Knit around again, up one side, past the shoulder seam marker and on to the 1/3 marker beyond. You will now start short-rowing. Wrap and turn at the 1/3 marker, purl back across the shoulder seam again to the other 1/3 marker. Wrap and turn.
5. Here’s the pattern now: work back and forth across the cap, each time working one additional stitch past the last row, then wrapping, turning, and working back. According to my sources, you don’t need to pick up the loop–it’s supposed to snuggle into the seam.
6. When you reach the bound-off stitches, work straight across them, picking up the center underarm marker, and your sleeve cap is worked. From then on you’re working in the round and decreasing to shape the sleeve.
7. To figure decreases, measure your fist. This is the cuff measurement. Figure the number of stitches this is. Subtract this from the number of stitches in your upper arm to get the number of stitches to decrease–round up or down to make it an even number. You will be decreasing one stitch on each side of the center marker.
8. Check your row gauge to figure how often to decrease. Typically on the sleeve it is two stitches on a right-side row every four rows, but do what works.
9. When your sleeve is as long as you want it (minus edging), work your edging stitch and bind off.

Keep Working–Part 2 of the V-Neck

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Let’s Move on to the V-Neck

Friday, October 16th, 2009

We switch to the front and start knitting a V-neck. This is Part 1 of 3. We’ll return to the sweater back after we’ve finished the front.

Now the Armholes–Part 1

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

Armholes are next. I have you start on the back of the sweater, where we’ll concentrate on the armholes. We leave the back unfinished–we’ll return after the front is finished. That way we can take one new technique at a time.

Overview of My Knitting Design System

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

OK–so here is a way to design and knit a woman’s pullover sweater.  This video gives you a fly-by of the whole process.  Each step described in this overview will have one or more of its own video tutorials–e.g., a tutorial on v-necks, one on armholes, sleeves, shoulder shaping, etc.  I hesitate to call it “my system” because I have invented almost none of it–it’s really a set of commonly used knitting techniques that I have gathered into one place.  I did put a tweak or two of my own in, but mainly what I did was take the simplest methods I could find and eliminate as much guesswork/estimation as possible.  I am not quite finished with all of the videos, and I’ve had to edit down what I have done to fit it onto youtube, but the work proceeds apace.   Stay tuned.


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Easy Knitting Design: The Basic Sweater
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