Monday, February 05, 2007

Something new

This weekend I started some teddy bear sweaters using a new pattern I saw on Knitty Gritty. I have made 10 or 12 sweaters with a different pattern, (you can see some of them here, here and here), but I have wanted to learn how to make one in the round so that I can cut down on the seam-sewing. I absolutely loathe sewing sweater pieces together (which is funny because I like to sew, but if I'm knitting I want to knit...but I digress) so I couldn't believe it when this pattern fell into my lap! I missed some of the footage from the show because the show is inconveniently scheduled for 11:00 and I need to meet Elliot's bus at 11:20 each morning, but I think I can figure most of it out.

The first thing I had to do was get some yarn that would get my gauge close to the gauge used in the project. Of course everything I had was too heavy or too light, and I really hate to use yarn that doesn't feel nice, so most of my acrylic junk was out of the question. Now I know what you knitters are thinking..."You just HAD to make a trip to the yarn store! Clearly you had no choice!" Well, that may be, but instead I only went as far as the Joann Fabrics in town. As much as I love a good trip to Joann's, their yarn selection leaves much to be desired. I ended up buying the Lion Brand Microspun yarn (which I've never used before) in lavender and lime. It's not exactly what I wanted, but I'm approaching this as a prototype to be perfected later.

Anyhow, (my! she's long-winded) I cast on and got this far the first night...

I'm really happy with the color combination and the yarn is very soft, though it splits easily.

One of the things I liked about the pattern, and had seen before, was this hem facing that will be turned under to make, well, a hem.

Even though I also like the ribbed hem of the previous sweaters, this is a nice alternative.

So, today I finished the body of the sweater. It turned out pretty well.

It's difficult to minimize the ladders (loose stitches) between needles because you have to leave enough ease as you change colors so the sweater will stretch as it should. Perhaps some blocking or a fluff in the dryer will even out some of the rough patches.

There is no neck band as in the other sweater pattern. Rather, the shoulders are sewn and the remaining opening is the neck. Apparantly I'll be using these purl stitches (one round of purling before casting off) to magically sew the shoulder seams together.

It looked like a breeze on the show...we'll see!

What I'm trying to determine is if it is worthwhile to make the sweaters this way even though I am so much more familiar with the other pattern. A deciding factor may be the steeks. I have never (intentionally) cut something I've knit and I'm not really looking forward to it! I'm hoping that it is a technique that gets easier (and less daunting) every time you do it. Seems like you can get such wonderful results!! I'd also like to be able to make textured sweaters with cables and all-over stitch patterns, but I've never done this in the round either. Do I just adapt the pattern as I go since there is no "wrong side"? So much to figure out! I'm going to need to make a nice simple pair of socks after this. And that will definitely require a trip to the yarn store!!!!


Brett Probert said...

Robyn, I always enjoy your blog. I don't knit or even understand the knitting stuff you talk about sometimes. However, you talk about real life. You obviously love your kids and your calling as a mom. You obviously love to create things (other than kids, that is!) and see yourself as someone who participates with God in creation. You never question or dispute the deep theologies of just live it. What a breath of fresh air you are in the blogging world. Be blessed, and thanks for blessing me.

Dove Knits said...

I'd say go for the steeks - what a good project to practice on. If you mess up, there's little yarn and time loss.

I do love those colors together, and your colorwork is so tidy and nice!

Also, has posted a free doll pattern! I think you'll like it and wanted to let you know!