Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Questions for Advanced Knitters

Hi folks! When I saw this sweater on the cover of IK, I immeadiately thought, "I want to make this but it's way too hard for me." Well, I mustered up my courage and I think I'm ready for the challenge.

Up to now I have only knit things in the round (hats, socks, one sweater). I love knitting in the round, I think it's elegant and efficient; it appeals to my sense of aesthetic as well as my fear of seams. So it is with trepidation that I approach this sweater. I looked at the instructions, and it seems that the sweater is knit flat, from the bottom up, in 4 pieces: front, back, and 2 sleeves. Then, at some point near the top all of the pieces are joined together on one big circular needle and the remainder of the sweater is knit in the round to the collar. The last step is (yikes!) sewing up 4 seams (front to back x 2, sleeves x2). Do I have this right?

Couple of questions for you advanced knitters:
1. What is the best cast-on for this sweater?
2. What is the best way to knit the individual pieces so that they can be invisibly seamed together? Should I just knit across each row to the end, turn, and purl back? Or should I slip the first stitch on each row like I was taught to do with heel flaps on socks?
3. It seems disadvantageous to knit the front and back separately and them seam them up. Can I flagrantly disregard the instructions and knit the body in the round, or will I just be getting myself into trouble?

I can't wait to get the yarn for this one...I'm thinking bamboo. I'm also planning on doing 3/4 length sleeves and a slllightly shorter torso to make this more of a spring/fall sweater. Thanks for being my yoda! I look forward to hearing all your words of wisdom.


Robin said...

I don't know if I qualify as an advanced knitter, but here are my thoughts.

1. Cast on shouldn't matter for this one as there's no special tricks they want you to do, like provisional, or dropped stitches or anything. If either of those were the case, I'd say definitely long-tail, but as they haven't said, I'm using my old standby that I use for everything - the knitted on cast on.

2. Slipping the first stitch will make it a little easier to seam the pieces, but IMO isn't really necessary.

3. Biggest issue - I am going to look at this pattern and try to figure out if there was a reason they chose to knit it in pieces or not. My thought was no, that we can just knit it in the round -because even though I'm decent at seaming, I still don't choose to do it. It makes everything take so long to get finished if you procrastinate like I do about sewing seams at the end.

Pam said...

I'm not advanced but I've been knitting for over 20 years and I agree with Robin, cast on shouldn't matter. I am using a long tail cast on as it gives a nice edge that is elastic.
As for assembling the knitted pieces, here is a suggestion and what I always do when I knit garments that have to be put together. Depending upon the pattern, and for this one-stockinette stitch-you can either add an extra stitch to each side and always KNIT these extra stitches, even on the purl side, or you can just knit the first and last stitch on both sides. I personally like adding the selvedge stitch but you have to remember to knit these two stitches on each row. This gives you a very defined edge that can be matched up for the seaming.
Personally, I wouldn't knit in the round on this one because I'm not crazy about adjusting patterns as written, but there isn't any reason I can think of why you couldn't. I kind of like the challenge of getting the garment all put together, not to mention that if I knit in pieces, I can carry it along with me without all the bulk of the whole sweater having to be toted around....that's just me though!
Bamboo yarn should be gorgeous!!

Knittymuggins said...

Thanks so much Robin and Pam, for sharing your expertise with everyone! I'm by no means an expert knitter, so you all added much more detail than I could have :) With my little knowledge, I agree wholeheartedly with everything both of you said and I too am planning to try to knit this in the round. Thanks again for sharing and I hope this helps answer a lot of questions for people. Great job ladies!!

Vasantha said...

1. I would knit in the round if I were to knit this sweater again.
2. If you decide to do them in pieces, I read somewhere that one is supposed to slip the first stitch only if the edge is going to be exposed; if it is going to be seamed then knit evvery stitch.
3. I used long tail cast on because each of the pieces started with ribbing.