Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This Pattern IS Incredible!

That is the "Incredible Custom-Fit Raglan" Pattern from http://www.woolworks.org/patterns/raglan.html. I downloaded the pattern a while back but was a bit perplexed and nervous to start.  Then I took a class on Craftsy.com  from the great knitter and designer, Stephanie Japel, called Fitted Knits and I really felt I had the confidence to start this.  Now I have made a couple of sweaters before, and felt happy with them, but this just works so well for me, I think I will take bits of this with me now to every garment I make!
Having said that, let's get to the actual 4, yes four, sweaters I have completed with this pattern:

 Sweater #1:  I made this one for me.  It starts out with taking measurements and notes.  You must, must, must make a gauge swatch - did you notice I said MUST?  That is the secret to the entire sweater!

 Since I did all my measurements and combined with the lesson in measurement taking in my Craftsy Class, I felt confident in starting in:

I tried to take detailed notes, and with the pattern, there is a line for just about everything!  I used some Fisherman's Wool I got at half price at Hobby Lobby.
     One neat feature of this pattern also, is that you cast on for the neck, but don't work in the round until you have the prescribed number of stitches increased properly.  That allows for a lower front neck than back and seems to me that that is the key to this sweater being so much more comfortable than a previous one I made that seems to want to slip up my neck to the back.
     Next, I knew I wanted to decrease for my waist.  My bust is such a size that if I make something to be comfortable on top, the waist seems to get lost, so I learned I could decrease after the bust to give a more flattering waist shape.  After I knitted past the armholes, I tried it on and marked the 'bust points' so I could do 1 decrease at each point.  I also marked the center back and did a decrease on each side of that.  That gave me an inch decrease every inch.  When I knitted to the measurement just above my waist, I knitted for a couple of inches then started increasing.  At the high hip measurement, I made my hem.

At first I did a ribbed hem, but it looked very unflattering.  With my 'ins and outs' it had a balloonish look right where I didn't need a balloon.  So I pulled it out and made a knitted hem.  I had read about it someplace but couldn't find the directions again, so from memory I tried this:

When at proper length, purl 1 row.  Knit a round decreasing 10% of your stitches (K8, K2Tog), continue in Knit for 1 inch, bind off loosely, leave a long tail and whipstitch hem up, folding at purl row.

It's a nice hem and I'll use it again and again I'm sure!

So, being so happy with knitting my sweater in less than 2 weeks, I started in on one for my daughter:

This one is made with some Cascade 220 I had in my stash.  I love using this yarn!
I used the same rolled neck, (just stockinette stitch for about 3"), but put a ribbed hem on hers.  She's about a size 6, so she can handle that .  Also I made her slight decreases on the sides instead at the bust points.

 Sweater #3:  I made this for my 10 yr old grandson.  I decided to use Red Heart Soft Yarn since it would be washable and dry able for his mom.  On the label it says NO DYE Lot.  Well, imagine my surprise when I got finished and in the bright light of the camera flash I saw the line very clearly where I changed skeins!!!.  Hmm,  really Red Heart??
The variation I made on his was to make a ribbed neckline.  I made the rest very straight forward so he wouldn't feel uncomfortable wearing it.

Sweater #4:  This also went very fast, and I also used acrylic yarn, Red Heart Soft yarn.  This is for my 5 (soon to be 6) yr old grandson.  I figured he wouldn't mind a bit of decoration, so I ventured out and tried to add a cable down the front.  It went fast and I was so happy with how it turned out.

Both sweaters have been mailed out, so I'm hoping they fit and will be fun to wear for the boys!

     I started the first sweater at the end of September, and finished the fourth one November 21,  so this is a remarkably fast pattern with worsted weight yarn and large needles.
    If you are thinking of making a pullover or a cardigan and you haven't before, this just might be the pattern for you!
     I hope this sweater diary has helped you on your way!