Tuesday, January 23, 2007

of afterthought pockets and other things....

I own a gorgeous sweater- it's actually a lovely green, but I had poor light when I took these pictures. It was made in the mid 70s by my paternal grandmother, for my mother, while she and my father were dating. Of course it is wool, my mother cannot handle wool, I can. SCORE!

Since learning how to knit last autumn, I've been thinking that I'd like to recreate this gorgeous sweater for my Mom, in a fiber she can handle. The original was made flat and seamed, but I'm planning to apply some EZ logic and make it seamless.

This is my problem though: It has vertical side pockets. How on earth can one put in vertical pockets when knitting on the round? Can it be an afterthought pocket? Would I need to steek?
Sadly, mother refuses to wear anything without pockets, so that's not an option either. :(

If anyone has any input I would be very very grateful!


  • I've never knit pockets like that,(or at all) so I'm drawing on my sewing experience here, but...
    If you were to steek where you wanted the pockets, and then pick up stitches and knit a "bag" on the inside, it would form a pocket. Or you could cheat and knit a facing for the steeked edge, and sew a fabric pocked in when you sew the facing down... Just brainstorming. Hope you find something that works.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:55 AM  

  • I haven't knitted a sweater in the round, but I have knitted fingerless mitts which have a slit for the thumb, and I just did it by turning and knitting that section on two needles (2 sets of two in your case) and then going back to knitting in the round when I passed that bit.

    You could knit the ribbing on the front edge as you go, and then pick up the stitches to make a pocket. I think it'll come to you once you've got it in your hands.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:03 AM  

  • Great job! I hope so I knit also a jacket like this one!

    By Blogger gocce & knitting, at 5:49 AM  

  • I'm not sure what to do about the pockets, but I just wanted to say--what a beautiful sweater, you lucky, lucky girl!

    By Blogger Kelley, at 6:14 AM  

  • Dear Peggy, Elizabeth designed vertical pockets, knitted as you go, without steeks or separate pieces. They are incorporated into the Epaulet Jacket - photographed on p96 of Knitting Workshop. I snuck instructions into a recent printing of that book -- on pp165 and 170. Alas, I left out a chunk in the first printing -- which has been corrected in the most recent print run of that title. And I think the missing piece is on our website (but it doesn't involve the pockets). Onward, Meg

    By Blogger Meg, at 6:22 AM  

  • Hmm. Possibly you could increase the stitches when you arrive at the pocket section, and put every other stitch on a stitch holder (in front of the work on the right side). Knit the sweater up to where the top of the pocket joins. Then go back and knit the stitches on the stitch holder in pattern to the desired length. Then, knit a round on the sweater and when you arrive at the pocket, transfer the stitches from the holder to the circular every other one as you finish the round, thus rejoining. Uh, you'd probably have to transfer the stitch and K2tog (one st from the sweater itself, one st from the pocket) to keep the overall stitch count accurate.

    That's my guesstimate for the day.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:16 AM  

  • Here's are some considerations:

    The sweater you want to create is an aran. Arans require quite a bit of purling regardless of whether they are made round and round with a steek, or whether they are made back-and-forth. Therefore, you might want to consider whether it makes sense NOT to steek, but instead to make the cardigan back-and forth in a large flat piece of fabric to the armholes rather than steeking a tube. You would then make the sleeves in the round, and unite the sleeves with the top of the body in the way for raglans that EZ has taught us (it must be in Knitting w/o tears.) Once you had the sleeve stitches on, you would continue to go back and forth for the top of the body, decreasing at the raglan points as instructed

    If you did decide to do work flat to the underarms, then here a method that would work for making vertical pockets:

    Assuming you have started at the bottom of the sweater, when you get to the bottom of the pocket opening, divide the work so the sweater is now in three sections: The section from one front edge to the edge of the pocket opening,the large section around the back from the edge of one pocket opening to the edge of the other pocket opening, and the final section from the edge of the second pocket opening to the second front edge of the cardigan. Keeping the two sections not bing worked on a stitch holder (a long scrap piece of yarn also works) knit each of these three sections back and forth until all three sections are the same height--and that height is the depth of the pocket opening you want. Unite all three sections back onto one needle, and finish the sweater. As part of the finishing process, create the pocket "bands" the same way you'd make front bands-sewing down the tops and bottoms to the fabric behind them. You now have several choices for how to make the pocket linings.

    1) you can pick up the edge stitches of the pocket on a small, thin needles. Using a thin yarn (sport weight or fingering, you can knit pockets. (The use of thin yarn is because there are very few women in this world who need extra padding around the hip/abdomen area where pockets are usually located.)

    2) you can sew a pocket from dress lining and sew it into place around the pocket opening. This would lay even flatter and be even less "padding" than alternative #1

    All of the foregoing will be made easier if you SLIP THE FIRST STITCH of every row at the pocket facing, as you knit the three divided sections. That will give you a nice edge through which to pick up the "band" and lining stitches. (If you slip every row at the front edges, this will also make it easier to sew in the zipper when you are done).(That is a zippered hoodie, isn't it?)

    Good luck to you.

    By Blogger techknitter, at 12:28 PM  

  • Or, make some patch pockets in the appropriate stitch pattern and sew them on at the finishing. Not an EZ solution, but a quick fix...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:12 PM  

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