View Full Version : Ya Knit And Ya Learn

07-14-2008, 08:45 PM
Well, my sweater isn't coming out exactly as I had planned. One of the chances you take when not using a pattern I suppose.

I already knew that I had used the wrong bind off for the bottom of the sweater. It isn't nearly as stretchy as it should be. None at all in fact. That's ok, it's a mistake and I learned from it (should have used the sewn bind off) but I can live with it.

It's a learning experience, after all.

Today, while sitting in the waiting room of the engine shop that was looking over my truck (broke down today), I thought the sleeve was looking like it might be getting close to the proper length so I tried on the sweater.

I was right about the length, it's getting close but not quite there. What I did notice most though is that my decrease rate on the sleeve simply wasn't enough.

I was doing a decrease on either side of the stitch marker every six rounds. I can see now that it should have been every five, or possibly even every four.

I'm re-thinking the bottom of the sleeve and have started decreasing at a sharp rate in order to bring it down, but will have to cuff it differently so as to look right.

I had planned on just ribbing the cuff, but may have to do something else, but am not sure what yet.

Ah well, I am learning. I think I can still make it come out looking ok if somewhat different. That's ok, I like different.

I can use what I have learned to make the next sweater even better.

07-14-2008, 08:56 PM
Try a knitted hem on the cuffs. Some people do them when working cuff up by starting with a provisional cast on knitting around a couple inches then folding it over and knitting the cast on stitches with the working stitches together. But you are going the opposite way. So knit and decrease to desired length, purl one row- which makes the hem turn neatly, then knit another inch or so on a size smaller needle so it folds under neatly. Then instead of casting off turn the hem in and with thinner but matching yarn--or the same yarn might work tack down the the live stitches on the inside neatly so no little lumps show though.
This has some varied info and a good photo of a hem where the inside has contrasting color. http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2007/12/sewing-shut-hems-and-facings-part-5-of.html

Jan in CA
07-14-2008, 09:04 PM
It certainly is knit and learn! I'm also knitting a top w/o a pattern. Last week I had to frog the first 6 inches (it's bottom up). I had cast on 206 stitches, but had to remove 30 so I only cast on 170. I think this will work. I guess since I knit loosely it affected my gauge. Oh well. I hope this works! Can't wait to see yours!

07-14-2008, 09:26 PM
It certainly is knit and learn! I'm also knitting a top w/o a pattern. Last week I had to frog the first 6 inches (it's bottom up). I had cast on 206 stitches, but had to remove 30 so I only cast on 170. I think this will work. I guess since I knit loosely it affected my gauge. Oh well. I hope this works! Can't wait to see yours!

I'm sure it'll turn out great. Even with the mistakes, kinda fun to just make it up as ya go eh?

07-14-2008, 09:29 PM
You guys are brave. I am one of those rule followers. I like patterns. Now..blankets, coasters, etc.. those I make up, sweaters, hats... uh I want and need a pattern, lol.
I'm so glad there are people like you so that after you guys learn you write up the patterns for those of us to chicken to try it, lol

07-15-2008, 07:34 AM
I think it very much is a guy thing-- to make it up and not be so worried about every little detail (whaddya mean "wear a jacket" doesn't mean a denim one?:) ). But reading your post truly was inspiring-- to not get freaked out that it isn't turning out exactly as you planned and that you're feeling good about it anyway-- something for me to work on!:hug:

07-15-2008, 07:51 AM
i truly admire yours (and Jan's!) ingenuity. i'm still such a beginner that knitting anything but a simple scarf without printed word terrifies me....i'm looking forward to seeing both finished sweaters!!!


ps-mason, i like the oversized look. if you decide you don't like the sweater, i'll proudly wear it for you! <g>

07-15-2008, 09:19 AM
I agree, you have a great attitude about it!

I know EXACTLY what you mean! I'm making a skirt for dd and the decreases are really looking the way I had hope for. I am making them matching ones though so I think I'll make the second one with different decreases, I think it's the way I placed them.

And I had to frog the beginning a bunch of times, just wasn't coming out like I had pictured it.

At least the skirt is just a tube.

I have yet to make a sweater (a bunch of friends think I'm crazy I love socks and have done color work ones but have yet to do a sweater). I'm thinking my first one may be soon and I'm thinking of going with one of EZ's formals.

07-15-2008, 09:20 AM
I'm with the other posters-- very neat that you guys feel so comfortable going off and doing stuff with no pattern! I can do that with anything BUT knitting but hopefully eventually I'll feel comfortable enough with knitting to go pattern-less as well :)

07-15-2008, 10:15 AM
I agree with everyone else - you're very brave to knit without a pattern and I envy your creative spirit! I wish I could do that! I rely so heavily on a pattern. Maybe I will get more adventurous when I am a better knitter. When you finish your sweater, post pics!!

Denise in Michigan
07-15-2008, 12:43 PM
Most sweater patterns suggest the decreases every five or six rounds or rows, but in addition many also have you work additional decreases on the final row before the ribbing. I don't have oodles of sweater experience, but many of us here do (like Ingrid :notworthy: ). Perhaps they could enlighten us!

07-15-2008, 03:19 PM
This is why I started on baby sweaters.
You use a lot less yarn, it can be cheap yarn and you're done in a week or two.

But I'm using patterns to get an idea of knitted clothing construction before I venture off on my own.

Wanda Witch
07-15-2008, 03:41 PM
One has to admire someone who can knit without a pattern. Truly a creative spirit. I've done quite a bit of knitting since returning to the needles in the past year (almost) and still rely on the written word as though it were law. I've sewn for many years (more than I care to admit) on projects from easy patterns to the designer-type ones, and there again - must have that guide sheet right there.

Mason and Jan, again admire your courage and fortitude.

07-15-2008, 03:56 PM
Knitting is an adventure for sure. I've had more problems with fit following a pattern than improvising. Most of my patterns are from the 80's and they weren't real good about showing the sweater so much as the model. It was hard to tell sleeve shape and some details of the design from the one photo. The Sweater Workshop opened my eyes to construction and fit as well as giving me the mathematical formulas for shaping and sleeve width. KH and the Yarn Harlot are making me braver about experimenting and being willing to frog and start over.

07-15-2008, 04:18 PM
I, too, am making a sweater, sans pattern. Saw a ready-made piece online and fig'd 'How hard can that be?' Esp being it's fairly unstructured. Riiiiiight. Grafted the upper body pieces this morn, tried it on and already have noted several things I didn't get right but am hoping I can work around those issues and still have a workable garment. Yes, Mason, most definitely a learning experience...but there's something fun about the challenge. On the remote chance I opt for another version...not sure I'm THAT motivated...I'll know what to do differently. (The test pics I took make it look better than it is!) My one hope, should I ever wear the thing, is that the reaction is 'Wow, did you make that! Love it!' instead of 'Hmmmmm.....did you make THAT?!'

As a long-time seamstress, if this were a sewn garment, as Wanda Witch can attest, I'd have a better feel for what the fabric and shaping needs are but it's always tricky understanding how knit fabric will behave and fit.


07-15-2008, 05:31 PM
I'm dying to see this sweater, Mason. It'll be interesting to see what you do with the sleeves.

I'm willing to bet that you are the only male trucker in the U.S. who knits his own sweaters without a pattern.

Any takers? :)

07-15-2008, 07:08 PM
Ok, call me stubborn but I decided to go ahead and make ribbed cuffs work no matter what.

I finished the sleeve and posted pics in Whatcha Knittin. It doesn't look as bad as I thought it might, but then maybe I'm just biased :rofl:

07-15-2008, 09:45 PM
I would've gone with it too, Mason!

I'm off to see your sleeve!