Monday, November 12, 2012

WHERE ARE MY SLEEVES?!







































While knitting the sweater I’ve been constantly hearing this question, that is why it was easy to come up with this name.  So, here is a very simple hoodie for my Dear Husband.  No sleeves! No shoulder seams either. Front zipper and hood zipper. Hood zipper allows to wear it just as a generously sized collar when unzipped.

Size: XXL.
Yarn: about 3 pounds of naturally  true black alpaca yarn, beautiful and shiny, from “Oak-Leigh Peacocks and Alpaca” farm . True black is the rarest and the most precious alpaca color. Unlike with other animals, alpaca’s black color gene is recessive, i.e. even if the mother-alpaca and the father-alpaca are both black the baby can be of a different color. This is exactly the same yarn as for my “Yellow Submarine”. And I will whine again about making photos of black sweaters: OMG, how difficult it was… As I have already noted, if the light is flattering for the face of a model, the sweater looks just like a big black hole (the deeper the black color is the less discernible is the garment), and vice versa: if the light falls sideways you can tell what the sweater is like; but it is usually not good for the face to be highlighted from one side. When the sunset lighting was perfect both for the sweater and the face (one time in Florida), my model was not in the mood to pose, and in addition… I unexpectedly ran out of batteries. Poor me.

 
Needles: #5
Zippers:
1) YKK #5 Nylon coil separating zippper, customized length – 44”
2) YKK#5 Nylon coil boot zipper, closed bottom, length - 18”
4 stitch markers

Gauge: 4” (10 cm) = 18 sts (stockinet stitch).




Main stitch pattern: Royal Diamonds (RD) - multiple of 12+13 sts
25 stitches x 16 rows
Stitch Key  




RunThreadInc: Pick up the running thread that lies before the next stitch and knit it.
 
Set-up row (RS): sl1, k12, p2, k3, *p7, k5; rep from * to last 25 sts, p7, k3, p2, k12, p1.
Next row (WS): sl1, p12, k2, place marker (pm), p3, k7, *p5, k7; rep to the last 18 sts, p3, pm, k2, p13.


Row 1: K1, RunThreadInc, k2, *p2, p3tog, p2, k2, RunThreadInc, k1, RunThreadInc, k2; rep from * to last 10 sts, p2, p3tog, p2, k2, RunThreadInc, k1.

Row 2: Work as established (knit the knit stitches, purl the purl stitches).

Row 3: K2, RunThreadInc, k2, *p1, p3tog, p1, k2, RunThreadInc, k3, RunThreadInc, k2; rep from * to last 9 sts, p1, p3tog, p1, k2, RunThreadInc, k2.

Row 4: Work as established.

Row 5: K3, RunThreadInc, k2, *p3tog, k2, RunThreadInc, k5, RunThreadInc, k2; rep from * to last 8 sts, p3tog, k2, RunThreadInc, k3.

Row 6: Work as established.

Row 7: K6, p1, *k11, p1; rep from * to last 6 sts, k6.

Row 8: K4, p5, *k7, p5; rep from * to last 4 sts, k4.

Row 9: P2tog, p2, *k2, RunThreadInc, k1, RunThreadInc, k2, p2, p3tog, p2; rep from * to last 9sts, k2, RunThreadInc, k1, RunThreadInc, k2, p2, p2tog.

Row 10: Work as established.

Row 11: P2tog, p1, *k2, RunThreadInc, k3, RunThreadInc, k2, p1, p3tog, p1; rep from * to last 10 sts, k2, RunThreadInc, k3, RunThreadInc, k2, p1, p2tog.

Row 12: Work as established.

Row 13: P2tog, *k2, RunThreadInc, k5, RunThreadInc, k2, p3tog; rep from * to last 11 sts, k2, RunThreadInc, k5, RunThreadInc, k2, p2tog.

Row 14: Work as established.

Row 15: *P1, k11; rep from * to last 1 st, p1.

Row 16: P3, k7, *p5, k7; rep from * to last 3 sts, p3.

Repeat rows 1-16 for pat.

For trimming – Cables:
20 stitches x 30 rows 

Stitch Key
  c6b:  Slip next 3 sts onto cable needle, hold at back of work. Knit 3, knit the stitches on the cable needle.
  c6f:  Slip next 3 sts onto cable needle, hold at front of work. Knit 3, knit the stitches on the cable needle.


 Rows 1 - 30:

Row 1 (Right Side): k6, p2, k12.

Row 2 (Wrong Side): p12, k2, p6.

Row 3: c6b, p2, c6b, c6f.

Row 4: p12, k2, p6.

Row 5: k6, p2, k12.

Row 6: p12, k2, p6.

Row 7: k6, p2, k12.

Row 8: p12, k2, p6.

Row 9: c6b, p2, c6b, c6f.

Row 10: p12, k2, p6.

Row 11: k6, p2, k3, [p1, k1] 2 times, p1, k4.

Row 12: p3, [k1, p1] 2 times, k1, p4, k2, p6.

Row 13: k6, p2, k4, [p1, k1] 2 times, p1, k3.

Row 14: p4, [k1, p1] 2 times, k1, p3, k2, p6.

Row 15: c6b, p2, k3, [p1, k1] 2 times, p1, k4.

Row 16: p3, [k1, p1] 2 times, k1, p4, k2, p6.

Row 17: k6, p2, k4, [p1, k1] 2 times, p1, k3.

Row 18: p4, [k1, p1] 2 times, k1, p3, k2, p6.

Row 19: k6, p2, k3, [p1, k1] 2 times, p1, k4.

Row 20: p3, [k1, p1] 2 times, k1, p4, k2, p6.

Row 21: c6b, p2, c6f, c6b.

Row 22: p12, k2, p6.

Row 23: k6, p2, k12.

Row 24: p12, k2, p6.

Row 25: k6, p2, k12.

Row 26: p12, k2, p6.

Row 27: c6b, p2, c6f, c6b.

Row 28: p12, k2, p6.

Row 29: k6, p2, k12.

Row 30: p12, k2, p6.

 Note about selvage stitches: Always slip the first stitch in the beginning of each row and purl the last stitch in the end of each row. In such a way you will have a chain of selvage stitches, - one vertical loop for each 2 rows - on each side of a knitted piece. They will be used to simplify row count and later when assembling this particular vest, they will play an important role: because I use inside-out seams, they will form the nice rows on the right side of the sweater.

 Back:


Italian cast on: 195 sts. After 4 rows of hollow ribbing and 1 row 1x1, start Royal Diamonds chart (1st and 195th stitches are ss and not included in the chart).  1st row of Royal Diamonds: ss, 6 sts of the chart, then repeat 7…18 sts 15 times and finish the row with 19-25 sts). 

Work Royal Diamonds stitch repeat almost 8 times, starting to shape the armhole in the 17th row of the last repeat. 

Armhole shaping: Bind off 15 stitches at the beginning of the row, knit 11 (as a result we have 12 sts on the right needle), purl 2, knit 6, purl 2, place a marker, and finish17-th RD row as usual.

Wrong side row: Bind off 15 sts, 11p (as a result we have 12 sts on the right needle), k 2, p 4, k 2, place marker, and finish 18th RD row as usual. 

Total: 165 sts on the needles.

 Continue to work straight. Between the stitch markers work RD stitch repeat 4 times, and in the beginning and the end of the rows work the cable chart (the cable pattern is separated from the stitch markers by 2 purls). Don’t make selvage stitches, just the cable chart.

 Shoulder line and neckline shaping: 

Continue RD chart (5th time). In the 8-th row of the chart place central 47 sts on the stitch holder and start working 2 halves of the front separately.  This is the row where shoulder stitches would be. So, work 59 sts of the left front and place them on the stitch holder, work central 47 sts and slip the on another stitch holder, and continue 59 sts to the end of the row. Turn, work 59 sts to the end of the right side row and cast on 35 sts.







Right front:

Turn, 1ss, p 12, k 2, p 6, k 2, place a stitch marker, then k3, p7, k5 etc. according to the pattern. 

Yes, front opening has selvage stitches described in the beginning, and the arm opening doesn’t.

Work straight. Between the stitch markers work RD, and in the beginning and the end of the rows work the cable chart (the cable pattern is separated from the stitch markers by 2 purls).

When the distance from the armhole opening will equal 9 RD chart repeats, stop cable armhole trimming and cast on 15 stitches in the end of the wrong side row. Work straight 8 RD chart repeats.

Work 1 row 1x1 ribbing, then 4 rows or hollow ribbing and make Italian cast off.

Left front: the same way as the right front, reversing all shaping. (Yes, she was supervising and helping me a lot!)

Hood:

Pick 53 sts from the right front neckline, making even increases not along the cable, but along the RD part, the 47 sts from the center, and 53 sts from the left front neckline. Mark the center of the back. Work straight 6 RD chart repeats (at the same time continue 22 sts cable trim on the edges) and bind off.

How to prepare the fronts for attaching the zipper:

The zippers will be sewn in the grooves formed by 2 narrow bands along the edges:

1)       along the half of the front and hood pick from every 2 selvage stitches 3 stitches (working on the right side). The front zipper may not go all the way to the end of the hood because above the neckline it becomes rather decorative than functional – but the bands still have to be made from the bottom to the very top. Turn and purl all the stitches the end of the row (wrong side). Turn, knit all the stitches to the end of the row (right side). Turn, knit all the stitches to the end of the row (wrong side). Turn and bind off all the stitches knit-wise.

2)       Working on the wrong side of the same piece, pick the same number of stitches from the same selvage stitches. Turn and purl all the stitches the end of the row. Turn, knit all the stitches to the end of the row. Turn, knit all the stitches to the end of the row. Turn and bind off all the stitches knit-wise.

Trim the other half of the front.

Trim the same way both halves of the hood.

Sewing in the zipper: The zippers are sewn in between the narrow trimming bands. Never stretch the knitting fabric, rather ease it in. First step – pinning. Then - basting with thin strong thread of the matching color (this allows to leave it in after sewing), and then – actual hand sewing with very small stitches or on a sewing machine.

 Sew together the front and the back but not all the way to the bottom, leave side slits about 5” long or as much as you like.

Mmmm... definitely not my size...
So, WHERE ARE MY SLEEVES? :-)
 

3 comments:

Handstrick Flair said...

Another very interesting pattern. I'm always fascinated of your detailed work and your knitting process, which you describe so precisely. Very good idea for zipper on hoody. Your approach how to sew it on is very useful, too. I consider to create my next design with zipped fronts. But I rather tend to integrate sewing the zipp into a double knitted seam technique.
You often created designs without seams on shoulders. What is your experience with resilience of alpaca yarns? Do sweaters overstretch without seams on the top of shoulders?

P.S. Your fury labour inspector is so cute. :-)
Have a nice autumn and happy knitting!
Snjezana

O'Casey said...

Snjezana, your comments are always not only pleasant and sweet - but also constructive. And I’m admiring your designs and wish you lots of inspiration and also TIME to be able to implement all your smart and beautiful ideas!

About absence of shoulder seams: I read somewhere that long-long time ago, when Irish sweaters were still knitted by men, not women… they were assembled from long strips without shoulder seems! Now we make them totally different: we change stitch patterns across the sweater, we make set-in sleeves, we add some other sewing techniques… but back then they just would make long homogenous rectangular strips (much faster to knit!), including the ones for the sleeves, then combined them according to their believes or rules, and even wouldn’t add ribbing! So, I’m experimenting with this  First: I don’t make the sleeves heavy, rather light-weight, no cables. Second: I choose springy wool, well twisted. When the yarn is a little “droopy” – I choose twisted-twisted voluminous stitch pattern for the areas that are close to the arm openings (like for “Auburn Blues”), and it makes the fabric more elastic so that it holds its shape better. And according to my experience, it works.
Resilience: you are completely right, pure alpaca is not resilient. That is why all my alpaca sweaters are sleeveless except for the one – “Yellow Submarine”: that sweater is different – it has relatively narrow shoulders and set-in sleeves. But even though I made the sleeves very light, simple, almost without any decorations, - they still stretch the shoulders apart, and as you see, the sweater doesn’t look like classy “set-in”, but rather relaxed. After that I decided not to mix contemporary schematics, old technics and less that very springy yarns that definitely haven’t been used for those techniques :-) But it was worth to try, and the recipient likes the result :-)

IrkaDblrka said...

Олечка, у тебя очень симпатичный кот! И очень симпатичный муж. :)
И сразу видно что ты его очень сильно любишь: перевязать 3 паунда черных ниток - это настоящий героизм! Классный дезайн - с молниями так прикольно!