Monday, 30 December 2013

Having Fun Practicing

I have a little stuffed bear for which I have knit a couple of seasonal sweaters.
Jack O'Lantern for Hallowe'en
Nordic Star for Christmas
Inspired by a recent visit to Hudson's Bay (the store, not the body of water), I thought I'd knit him a little Hudson's Bay sweater. For you non-Canadians, pictured below is the trademarked Hudson's Bay blanket with its points (black lines which indicate the blanket size) and 4 colours. The HBC Collection has a whole department in the store and seems to be quite popular with stylishly-dressed Canadians.
Always liking to learn and practice knitting techniques, I decided to knit a top-down raglan sweater. As I wanted a moderately stretchy ribbed cast-on I used the 'Alternating Cable Cast On' on p. 47 of Leslie Ann Bestor's handy book, "Cast On, Bind Off".

For the raglan sleeves, I did a m1 on each side of a centre 'corner' stitch. I also started the new colour after this centre stitch employing the jogless stripe technique, slipping the first stitch of the new colour in the 2nd round.
With this stitch just after 'turning the corner', it really doesn't show at all.
Once at the armpit, I left the live sleeve sts (including the centre st of the raglan increase) on a holders (contrasting yarn) and knit the rest of the body down to the bottom ribbing.

I used the 'Invisible Ribbed' bind off (a sewn bind off) to create an nice, rolled edge to the ribbing, snugging the yarn quite tightly. In addition to looking very tidy, there is still a moderate amount of stretch.
I then picked up the live sleeve stitches and maintaining the pattern, knit down to the cuffs and bound off using the same sewn bind off. This tubular bind off would also work very nicely. Basically, you put all the knit stitches of the ribbing on one needle and all the purl sts on another and hold them parallel to each other with the points to the right. Then just use the Kitchener stitch.
It was great fun knitting this and I was pleased to be able to learn and practice some knitting techniques. I now know why people like knitting top-down, raglan sweaters. They're seamless and can be tried on for fit all along the way.

Hmm, I don't wear pullovers as I'm 'hormonally and thermally challenged' at this stage in my life, but one could certainly 'cardiganize' one of these pullovers by simply steeking the front and adding button bands.

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