Wednesday, March 13, 2013

WIPW: Try-It-Out Sweater Part 4

I am so happy of the progress I have made so far on my sweater!  The body is almost done, with something like half a sleeve.

Next week, I'll probably blog about it on Friday as I suspect it will be finished.  This Try-It-Out Sweater is basically a simple sweater knitted with inexpensive yarn as a mean to try various knitted techniques I read about or saw in my Craftsy classes.  I've listed a few last week.

Here they are again, with a few comments:

  • I am knitting top-down, in the round, as suggested by Barbara Walker in Knitting from the Top.  The great thing about  this knitting method is that you can try your sweater on as you go.  This came in very handy for me - see my bust story below.
  • I've slipped the first stitch when joining the initial round and performed a "knit repair" on that stitch at the beginning of the second round using the long strand of yarn that gets created when joining.  I have learned that from Amy Detjen in her Craftsy course Custom Yoke Sweater.  So easy to integrate in all  objects knitted in the round.  And effective too:  it really reduces the gap you usually get.
  • I've swatch in the round using the Whole-Loop Method.  It worked out great for me in the end, but it took me some time to get used to.  I often ended up with too much or too little yarn at the end of a row, forcing me to increase/decrease.  The result was a very uneven side to my swatch, but as it was fairly large (6 inches), I still had plenty of space to take my gauge measurement.
  • I've incorporated rolled stockinette edges.  It looks great on the collar!!  I'll do the same after the ribbing.
  • I've made jogless stripes and have woven in my ends "as I go".  I believe I'll need to re-read the TECHknitter's posts on this topic because sometimes my joins look good (that is, you cannot really see them), and other times, something is going wrong.  That is besides, obviously, the one or two times where I simply forget to slip the stitch like I was supposed to!!
  • I've incorporated bust darts.  Once you get the maths and the wrap-and-turn twist, bust darts are easy to incorporate.  I cannot wait to see what it will look like once my sweater will be blocked.  

The Bust Story

When I started my sweater, I was worried that I would not have enough beige yarn to finish it, so I decided to randomly throw in some brown stripes.  I did so when I was working the yoke.  I then split the stitches between sleeves and body and continued on the body.  A few rounds later came the time to add bust darts.  And so I did.  So far, so good.

Once the bust darts were done, I thought it would be a good time to throw in some more brown stripes.  I continued in this fashion for another 20 rounds approximately, and decided to try my sweater on.


I had basically framed my bust with brown stripes.  Adding the effect of the bust darts to this was truly scary.  A flashing sign saying "hey! look at my bust!" would have been more discreet.

There was only one way to go:  frogging.  As I was contemplating - with a fair bit of discouragement - the frogging of 20 or so rounds, I remember this Craftsy class, Lace Shawl Design, in which Miriam Felton demonstrates a way to frog lace.  She picked up stitches a few rows below where she was at with a smaller needle.  It was impressive: she was doing so in curvy lace, full of k2tog and yo.  It looked so difficult that I thought at that time that I couldn't do it.  However, with a Try-It-Out sweater mostly done of stockinette stitch, I thought I could give it a go.

I remembered that Miriam said to pick up the right loop of every stitch.  She also said at some point that if you couldn't figure out which one was the right loop, you should just pick any loop.  That's what I did.  I then frogged the 20 rounds and believe it or not, I was ready to go again.  All my stitches were on the smaller needle, all ready to be knitted again, except my tiny cable stitches which were mounted backwards.  I was amazed!

That sweater is probably not something I'll wear a lot, but it has been a fantastic learning experience so far.  You should try something like that to!

If you want to read more great work-in-progress stories, visit Tami's and Ginny's blogs!


  1. I really need to do a cardigan in this fashion. Taking techniques I have learned through the years and putting them into play in a knit piece. LOL on the bust story! It's like when you put bobbles in a bodice, they are invariably going to end up right over a nipple!

  2. What an interesting idea - a kind of sampler of techniques. This is the second time I've heard about using a smaller needle to pick up stitches several rows back. I'm definitely going to need this sooner or later. It might save me some ripping and reknitting!

  3. Wow an amazingly useful technique thank you for sharing.

  4. What a great idea, it's looking lovely. I use that frogging technique when I make a mistake, unless it's lace in which case I pray I've remembered to put a lifeline in previously :-S


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