Hi, I'm new here, but have been reading and lurking for a bit. I'm a fairly new knitter who is attempting her first sweater. So far I have knit hats and scarves but I'm not one to shy away from a challenge. I am going to attempt the top-down raglan sweater from knittingfool.com for my dd, who is seven. My kids have smallish heads so I think we'll be okay with the head opening.
I am planning on making this sweater in Merino Style in Iris with an intarsia bunny or kitty in the center of the front (adapting the one from Stitch N Bitch that goes on the backpack).
My first confusion with the pattern generated at knittingfool.com is that she just says to knit and gives sizes of knitting needles but not length of circular needles. What would I need? Can I knit a kids' sleeve on a 17" circ or do I need DPN's for the sleeves? I ordered some (can't find dowels in the right sizes, sigh) but am wondering about it. Also wondering what size I would use for the body of the sweater - 24" chest circ so would 24" circ's be right? I'm guessing so, but just want someone to say "yep, sounds good." LOL. Just to hear kind of how switching the needles as you knit goes, would be good.
On top of that I want to do intarsia in the center, which I have never done before, with designing my own pattern. I want to adapt a pattern from SnB, the bunny that's on the backpack. Minus the sarcastic eyebrow. If anyone has ideas on how I would transfer that, which is written for 4.5 st/in, to 5.5 st/in, I'm all ears.
Finally - speaking of gauge - how important is it that I achieve the 5.5 st/in for the Merino Style from Knitpicks? I'm using the pattern generator so *I* get to say what my gauge is in the pattern. Right now it is 4.5 st/in with size 5 needles. I am going down to size 4 but if I stayed at 4.5 st/in I could just knit the intarsia chart straight from the SnB book. That would be nice.
Um so I guess my thoughts from what I know are that yarn has an optimal gauge, and for the merino style that is 5.5 st/in, so the sweater might be kind of loosely knitted, more so than ideal? But the merino style doesn't seem true DK weight but more like a light worsted, to my newbie hands. I have some WOTA that I ordered at the same time and it looks like almost the same weight!
Okay. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
Oh! And a huge THANK YOU to this site. I learned how to knit here. I had Stitch N Bitch but found I wanted to knit Continental (did learn English too, from SnB) and the instructions in the book were difficult for me. I watched that Finnish video on purling Contintental style and suddenly it all clicked! I have a weird little throw I do when purling but hey, it works.