Monday, April 30, 2007

Colorwork questions

I have done just a bit of colorwork so far~ EZ's first hat from Knitting Workshop.

My son wears it all the time and it was very easy to do up ( one evening!)
My problem is this,,,,
I am currently studying the top down method of knitting as well as bottom up , at this point I am much more used to the bottom up method.
I wanted to ask some questions before I get started with a larger sweater.

I cant quite figure out how to chart out a top down sweater in the round, because it throws me off for some reason~ but ,,,,I have been told that a top down sweater guarantees the wearer the best fit.
I don't know if that is true or not,,, but I can understand the logic of this statement.
What do you do when you want to add a bit of fair isle to your sweater then?
Is there more difficulty doing up a chart?

It seems that I can think bottom up better,, but have great difficulty doing any cable or colorwork top down.

Am I the only one that thinks like this?

Second question,,,if you do a top down sweater , and you wish to steek it for a cardigan what do you do?

I noticed that there are instances of both on this website, so I am asking the pro's and cons of either method.
I really don't like knitting back and forth in stockinette stitch (as they do in top down) but will do it if thats the only way to insure a good fit.( OK I am being honest, I really dont like to do all that endless purling,,)
I am hoping to get some good insight on this from you.

Thank you all for your help ahead of time!
Happy Knitting to one and all!


  • For fit: You can achieve a perfect fit by knitting bottom-up or by knitting top-down. The benefit of knitting top-down is that you don't need to know what size you want your sweater to be before you start. If you know what size you want your sweater to be (for instance, you can measure an existing sweater that fits perfectly) then there is no advantage to knitting top down.

    For steeking: it is exactly the same if you are working bottom-up or top-down. Knit as if you were making a pullover, leaving a few extra stitches in the front for cutting. If you are knitting top-down, and you want to try on your sweater for fit, you will need to take these extra stitches into account (pin the sweater together excluding them, for example).

    Colorwork top-down: You should always be reading colorwork charts from the bottom-up. However, if you are knitting top-down, you will turn the chart upside down (rotate it 180 degrees) before knitting from it.

    By Blogger Emily, at 7:02 AM  

  • Top down sweaters are fun. EZ has made the formula for a raglan only, but Barbara Walker may have other sweater styles. It seems easier to control the fit, although if your math is right there shouldn't be a diference.

    For your first question- you can use any chart you want (color or cables) just turn it over and read right to left, bottom to top. If you're doing colorwork the Vs will point up, but it still looks fine.

    Steeks- you can plan your steek anywhere. Plan first and don't use any patterning in the steek sts. I've done them in the raglan line and down the front. If you plan a crochet steek put in several extra stitches for cutting later. For a sewn steek I like 2 purl sts.

    There are lots and lots of wonderful tutorials out on the internet but I hope this helps for now.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:07 AM  

  • Thank you oh so much for your advice!
    I was leaning towards a top down as I know I can try on as I go along and this helps size so well!
    I was just concerned I would be so limited in colorwork as well as being able to steek , as I * honestly* do not like purling so much~
    Thank you kindly for your advice!
    I havent seen much info on EZ's method of top down sweaters, is that in a Wool Gatherings newsletter or a book?
    thanks everyone!
    happy knitting!!!

    By Blogger luv2knit, at 9:07 AM  

  • I have done a couple of top down sweaters,none with fairisle yet but some with striping. I figured out that no matter where an actual round starts, it is important to make color changes in an inconspicuous place, i.e. one of the two raglan "seams" in the back of the sweater. I place a marker there and call it the beginning of the round. Later, when I am back to the solid body of the sweater, I return to the correct beg. of round. No one's the wiser and the color changes are not a focal point.

    By Anonymous Laura, at 12:13 PM  

  • I actually had the same kind og questions as you did in my 1st trying to knit from the top down. It would be nice to see your progress, but you don't have a blog, don't you?
    You can see my blog for Something that I did in one evening (and I will rip it out)

    By Blogger the_crocheter, at 4:01 PM  

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