Noah's new sweater
I just finished a seamless raglan for my eight-year-old son, Noah. This was my first introduction to Elizabeth Zimmerman's percentage system. In general things went very well. I am amazed at how close I was to her numbers despite this sweater being for a child. I should note that I didn't rely exclusively on Knitting Without Tears. I also used Knitting Around and the Knitters Almanac for various references to sweaters for children.
I chose to taper the sleeves since I knit them with hems. I wanted the cuffs to be snug enough to keep out drafts.
I used three different hem styles. Call me inconsistent, but I viewed this sweater as a test. Noah was the recipient simply because he is the smallest in the house. The bottom hem is an afterthought hem knit in a contrast color with 10% fewer stitches, on a smaller needle. The final row is knit in the sweater color and the live stitches were basted down very loosely to allow for lots of stretch. The sleeve hem facings were knitted first (10% fewer stitches and smaller needles). Then I caught the cast on edge and knit them into place. The collar is knit at the end (of course) but I increased to mirror my outer neck decreases and I loosely basted down the live stitches.
Like many others I encountered a few problems when it came to building up the back of the neck: How to continue the saddle and the decrease line while building up the back? I am sure that with some better training in short row techniques the finished product would have been perfect. However, as it was, I knitted and ripped back three times before reaching what became the final solution. The pithy directions failed me but the final piece works anyway!
Overall the design is a winner. The seamless raglan makes up as a very masculine sweater that enhances my son's already broad shoulders. (Could it be that all that swimming is showing?) I love the fact that there aren't any seams to pop since he can be a little wild when pulling things over his head. He loves the gentleness of the hemmed neck (its not tight at all!) and the suprise of the color in the hems.
I used Cascade 220 in colors picked out by Noah. You will note the hems all faced with yellow--his favorite color. I believe my total was five skeins. This was also my first experience with Cascade 220. I found it a bit itchy and splitty to work with but it blocked out into a softer, cohesive fabric--very nice.