Sunday, December 13, 2015

Knitting -- all righty roo

So I have finished my first suite using Wool of the Andes worsted and I like it.
From 16 skeins you get:
one long-sleeve boat-neck pullover for a 40 inch chest and 18 inch finished length from the nape of the neck, 11 skeins.
one pair size 7 1/2 crew socks, one skein each.*
one pair size 7 1/2 gloves, one skein each.
one size 7 1/2 ribbed cap, one skein.
The yarn costs about $50 and you can make an entire suite in a couple of months if your life isn't too crazy.  On the down side, the tools cost almost as much as the yarn.

The glove pattern is here:

I recommend size 3 double points even though you're working with worsted weight yarn.  It makes a nice tight fabric to keep your hands warm.  If you're having trouble figuring the pattern out, I can give you my stitch counts.  They leave a little room and you could layer the wool gloves with silk glove liners on the coldest days.

You will probably want to knit one glove at least as far as the fingers to make sure it's comfortable on your hand.  What I found is that the same stitch count I start with when knitting a worsted crew sock, is the same count I should start a glove with.

The hat pattern is here.  You want size 7 circulars on a 16 inch  tether, and  size 7 double points when you get toward the top.

The sock pattern is here, you have to buy it.  It includes stitch counts for 5 different sizes.  $8 is not too much for that kind of flexibility, and with Wool of the Andes, a pair makes up in about a week depending on how crazy your life is.  For #5, my sock size, I recommend size 5 double pointed needles, again, because it makes a nice solid warm fabric.

When I use sport weight yarn to make socks, I use pattern #6 and size 4 needles.  I use #7 and size 3 needles with fingering weight yarn.

* If you want to do a 35-round cuff, you can make a size 7 1/2 sock with one skein.  If you want a 40-round cuff, you can either buy 3 skeins of the same color, or you can buy 2 skeins plus one in some other color.  If you want to make lots of pairs of socks with 40-round cuffs, it's probably cheaper to buy two skeins of one color for most of the sock, plus one skein of a neutral color to finish the toe.  You probably want to make mono-color socks if you're going to wear them with Birkenstocks. :-00000

The  pullover goes like this:
You need size 5 circular  needles with 24 inch  tether,
size 7 circular needles with 24 inch tether
size 7 circulars with 16 inch tether
size 7 circulars with 12 inch tether
size 7 double points
size 5 double points

Start with size 5 needles with 24 inch tether, cable on 200; do 8 rounds k2/p2 rib.

Change to size 7 needle with 24 inch tether.
Knit 75 rounds to armpits.

Move 10 stitches at each armpit to holders (I keep waste yarn on purpose for  this) and cast on 10 stitches for steeking. 
Knit 55 rounds with steeking.  On the first 3 rounds, 3 stitches before the steeking slip a stitch, K1, SSO and after it K1, K2TOG.

It will help you place the sleeve right if you run a very long piece of waste yarn outside the decreases on the armhole and up over the shoulder on each side.  When you cut the steeking, make sure there are 5 stitches on each side and the cut falls in the middle of this marker.

Knit off 25 stitches at each shoulder, knitting around from the first to the second shoulder.
When you have knitted off the second shoulder, knit around to the other and then
Start k2/p2 rib, adding a stitch where there’s a gap on each side at the shoulders.
It’s possible you’ll have to K2TOG one or more times to make the rib on this first round come out right.  I know that sounds goofy, but you really don't want nasty little gaps that look like you dropped some stitches, and this K2TOG trick will make the rib look right.
Do k2/p2 rib for a total of 6 rounds and bind off in rib so it can stretch around your head when you put it on.

Using a size 7 circular needle with a 16 inch tether, knit the underarm stitches from right to left off the holder, cut the steeking and pick up stitches around the armhole, making sure to pick up just outside the decreases at the bottom of the steeking.  Use a piece of waste yarn to mark the middle of the underarm on the sleeve and about every 6th row, flip it to the inside or outside of the sleeve so as to leave an obvious line; then you will be able to get your decreases in a nice straight line.

Knit 2 rounds. 
On the next and every 3rd row, right after the middle of the underarm, K1, K2TOG, knit around.
For the 3rd stitch BEFORE the underarm, slip stitch, K1, PSSO, K1.  This decreases on both sides of the middle of the underarm every 3rd round.  It looks very tidy and you won't have to sew an underarm seam, so when you're done knitting, you're done.
Do this for a total of 84 rounds.
Switch to size 7 with a 12 inch tether, knit 3 more rounds.
On the next and every 4th round, decrease on both sides of the middle of the underarm.
Do this for a total of 26 rounds, which means you will decrease for the last time on round 110 from the shoulder.
At some point you might have to switch to size 7 double point needles because the tether makes it hard to work stitches.
There should be 60 stitches in round 110 from the shoulder.
Knit 2 more rounds.
Use K2TOG evenly spaced to wind up with 52 or 48 stitches, depending  on how tight  you want the cuff.
Change to size 5 DP needles and work k2/p2 rib for 12 rows.  Bind off in rib.
Wash and block.  Take extra stitches where the shoulders meet the neck if there’s a gap.

Don't throw out the ends of the skeins.  This will provide waste yarn for future holders, also you could buy a skein or two of black, cream, gray or beige as a neutral tone and knit up all the  scraps into a scarf that will then go with every suite you make,

I hope you can make one suite during what's left of the winter.  Even if your life is too crazy for that, you might be able to finish it in time for next winter.  These clothes are snuggly warm, and WotA also comes in super bulky if you want some matching or contrasting outerwear, a sport weight for a toasty liner, and the same company has Palette for Fair-Isle patterns or thin layering wear.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

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