Monday, March 12, 2007

My First EZ Project--Doomed from the Start?

Have you ever had a project that you just can't seem to get off the ground? That's how my first EZ project, a seamless yolk (or maybe raglan) sweater for my one-year-old son, is going. First, I cast on and then, about an inch later, I realized I had twisted the stitches when I joined in the round. Frog. Next, I was knitting away happily, untwisted, when I started to feel that perhaps I was knitting the wrong size. Yup, I measured some more of my son's clothes that I like the fit of and discovered I was making the chest 2 inches too large. Apparently, the sweatshirt I measured the first time is average length but very wide. Frog. I adjusted my measurements, refigured my cast on stitches, and cast on again with the correct number. (I should mention here that I hate casting on. Even more so, I hate casting on large numbers of stitches--figuring out how long of a tail to leave for the long tail cast on, counting stitches, recounting and re-recounting to make sure I have the right number of stitches. Shoot me now!) I was feeling very good about this little sweater, when I realized--again an inch or two into it--that I had again twisted when joining in the round. (Mind you, I knit in the round all the time, and I never have trouble with twisting like this. ) Frog. That brings me to my latest (and hopefully, final) attempt. I'm about 6 inches in, we have no twisting, and the measurements are coming out perfectly. Woot! But . . . there's no way I have enough yarn to finish this sweater. For some reason, when I bought the yarn, I figured one 3 1/2 oz. skein of each color would be enough. (I'm going to arrange the colors something like this.) What on earth was I thinking? Now I have to order more yarn online (and pay more shipping), because I'm pretty sure none of the local craft stores carries this yarn. And of course I'll have to deal with mismatched dye lots. And how much more do I need? . . . I'm trying very hard to take a deep breath and remain calm.

If anyone else has knit an EZ seamless pullover for a one-year-old, I'd love to hear how much yarn you used. I'm making mine with a 24" chest, 8" long sleeves, and 8" long body (measured from the armpit). I'm also doing rolled cuffs, which is probably sucking up more yarn than ribbing, because this edge really wants to roll (but darn it, I like rolled edges!).



  • What a rough path you're on right now! But it *will* get easier. What kind of yarn is that?

    By Anonymous Beth in WI, at 2:10 PM  

  • If you re-order and the dye lots dont match - as long as you dont butt the mismatched colors together (put a stripe in between) I bet no one would notice the difference in the colors. Plus I would buy one more blue and one more of the second color. The extra is always great to have for a hat to match!

    By Blogger Donny, at 2:18 PM  

  • I knit a neckdown pullover (knitting pure and simple pattern, but still a seamless raglan with roll sleeves, collar and cuffs) for my little boy in a size two. I used less than 500 yards of worsted on size 7 @4.5/inch.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:30 PM  

  • Did you know that the front of the sweater takes a third of the total yarn, the back a third, and the sleeves a third. You can figure out roughly if you have enough. When casting on I always cast on ten stitches and frog those to see how much yarn I used. Then I sort of pull that length through my fingers and count by ten. I add a few more inches and it always works out ok.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:36 PM  

  • I have made several for my two and it is tough but you are going to do it and love it. I used about 500 yards of Dale of Norway Heilo. I knit it on a Us 3 and got 6 to the inch...That is what my book says...LOL

    I hope this helps you...


    Ps if you think the color way will be really off you can try calling the company to see if they have any left. I did that once and it worked.

    By Blogger Minnesota Mazzio's, at 3:32 PM  

  • For casts on, I prefer the cable cast on worked on a needle at least 3 sizes bigger. (Directions: make a backward loop on left needle, knit into it, pull yarn through and up, placing it on the left needle. Put the right needle between the stitches before pulling tight, and then pull a new stitch through, repeat.) I never count the bw loop as a stitch, instead, I knit the first row back, slip the loop onto the right needle, and then join in a circle, slip the loop back to the left needle, place my marker for the round, and knit the loop and first stitch togther. This makes it much easier to make sure the work isn't twisted. It also presents a nice finish on the outside of the work and a handy row of purl bumps to pick up if your going to knit a hem after-the-fact.

    For a rolled edge, after knitting three or four rounds, if you purl a round, it will stop the roll there. Ribbing uses a LOT of yarn, so the roll is likely to be a better choice.

    About an inch above joining the sleeves and body, knit stripes of a contrasting color for several rounds; making sure to use a yarn of the same weight. You'll not only be sure you've got enough yarn to finish, you'll show off the sweater construction.

    Be brave, because you're doing great. Important lessons you've learned include recognizing that you were twisting your stitches (recommended Reading: Annie Modestt's Confessions of a Knitting Heretic), losing the fear of frogging -- frogging sets you free, and the importance of matching the measurement model's weight to the weight of your knitted fabric.

    Once you join the pieces and start decreasing, it will go really fast, it's fun, and uses much less yarn then you'll imagine.

    Just make sure not to make the neck too tight, and cast off using (once again) a needle 3 sizes bigger.

    Can't wait to see the finished sweater on your son!

    By Blogger Rebecca Z., at 5:07 PM  

  • Instead of doing a regular long tail cast on, the long tail can be from a different ball of yarn (same color). That way you don't have to guess at all how much you'll need. Good Luck!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:08 PM  

  • if you knit in the round and have different dyelots you can simply fool the eye by knitting alternately with the two different dyelots for one row. i did this and you cannot see any difference.

    By Blogger knititch, at 1:45 AM  

  • Thanks for all your kind words and advice. I'm knitting away and am eager to see how this turns out.

    Beth--the yarn is TLC Cotton Plus in the navy colorway. I think I like it. I wanted something other than wool for a spring sweater, but I didn't want acrylic, and 100% cotton didn't seem like a good choice (no stretch to the yarn, tendency to bag out when worn, etc.) This yarn is about 50/50 cotton and acrylic. It's a little splitty, but I like how it's knitting up.

    By Blogger Kelley, at 6:29 AM  

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