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CLOSED #3-Designer (teacher) -Knitting a sweater our measurements,no pattern- closed
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Mar 28, 2016 19:57:26   #
Designer1234 (a regular here)
Make a sweater by
calculating our stitches per in and designing a sweater without a pattern.

Conversation about how to measure ourselves and design our own sweaters with no pattern.

Welcome. I am starting off with a basic idea of what each different type of sweater consists of. I hope it is helpful. So away we go!!! Shirley


ON PAGE 24 of the workshop are links to help you with all sorts of different things when you make your sweaters. Please go there and copy these links and glue them into your notebook. They are really useful!

Go to Page one for the Measurement chart. Measure yourself and put the figures in your notebook. It also gives the basic instructions as to do your calculations================================================

If you need information as to how to do a swatch it will be on the first page of the workshopThere is also the information for calculating your stitches per inch


I have been talking about a process I use for my sweaters, which is great for my shape, and will work well for each and every one of us if we decide we want to use it.
More and more knitters are doing this and I started years ago as it works so well for me.

First of all, why would we bother?

Answer: first of all it works exceptionally well for some shapes.

It is easier to knit and control the size, it is easier to make narrow areas of interesting stitches which will be slimming when it is turned with the sides across the top and bottom.

Texture is so much fun to do, but we don't want it to add pounds to the look of our sweater. Narrow areas of texture work extremely well. – better than wide strips
To do the T shape to do the bottom section. You will start at one side and knit each section - you will be knitting across the 'BOTTOM' which will actually be the sides. So if you add the center of the T you would just add the rows after you finish the first color, then when your T is wide enough (your choice in inches) you start knitting with the original main color. You have your center piece knitted with no necessity of having to have two balls, and once you get the right size you will turn it on end, (once you have cast off.

I shape this section of the sweater so that for people like me by adding short rows to give the bottom more size and slowly reduce as I knit up the sides to my waist I make room for my hips and reduce for my waist up.
The other side which will become the yoke. you will see that if the top part is turned on end, with the wider side at the bottom it will give a flare at the bottom which works well for people with my shape. The adjustments are always worked on the SIDES OF THE back although they are knitted as if one end is wider than the other

***It also works very well, if I start the sweater the size I want for the bottom, then I would slowly decrease the rows to reduce the number of stitches at the yoke. This would depend on what you are trying to accomplish and that would depend on your shape.

Then look at the second part of #4 - the bottom piece has been turned up with the narrower part at the top.
We will pick up our stitches from the top and cast on the yoke stitches. I pick up 3 stitches and miss one, across and I make sure it lies flat. I often put a nice ribbing across the join and that will be your choice.

When you look at the pictures of my sweaters please note the one with the yoke (tunic) picture shows a different way of doing the top. I often join the bottom and the yoke with a 4 row rib. If anyone is interested in what the stitches are for my favorite ribs I will happily post them for you. (the rib can also be added if you are knitting the rectangle style (not the side knitted style.)

Then you could do your yoke with a pattern or without, and work up to the bottom of the neck on the front. I always do the front first, put both sides on a stitch holder and then do the back. NOTE: It is also important that you know that this technique can be used for ALL shapes. I really think it is different and it is useful, and to me it makes sense. I am not suggesting everyone should use this method for all sweaters.

ALL my sweaters use one of two patterns , actually 3 patterns.

#2 " " “ - CARDIGAN

#3 sideways bottom portion of the sweater for both #1 and #2 -attaching all of them to a yoke and knitting up to the neck etc.

To knit the bottom sideways – here is how you do it.
YOU MEASURE FROM UNDER YOUR ARM TO THE TOP OF THE BOTTOM BAND .and then calculate by multiplying the # of stitches per stitches per inch on your swatch. You will have fewer stitches to cast on but it makes your designing much easier. It works well for the T shape too. If you are going to do a tunic, decide where you want the top of the band to be – mine ends just around the knee. Then I add my band. If I want a very wide band I reduce the length of the sideways knitting a bit.

NOTE: you will find that there are less caston stitches when you are knitting sideways. However it gives you the opportunity to add texture and color which will show up vertically and is much more attractive and slimming than having the texture done horizontally.

In this one you can do whatever design you wish and it works out very well for the T pattern as you don't have to split your main color into two balls
A TOP DOWN CARDIGAN (I don’t do my pullovers as I like the others better. –I use a basic cardigan pattern - got it free on ravelry. Search one you like.
Then I add color and texture, or use one color and textures. See my sweater pictures .

I don’t teach the top down sweater but will help anyone who seems to have difficulty with the idea of how it works. The most difficult part is calculating the neck and where to join under the arms for the sleeves.
You will need the {shoulder next to the neck, to under arm measurement} as that is where your increases will occur on the front and the back.

The measurements are very important here if you want your sweater to fit- I have to change from medium to large just below the waist so I usually have my tops too large, on purpose so that my bottom area is covered. I also rarely button them all the way down. I put one or two at the top.

I don't use a flare for the top down pattern as it is one piece all around .
Here are 3 links to information and instructions as to how to knit short rows:

Don’t do them too suddenly and only one every l0 rows or so –at the most. It doesn’t take a lot to give you a flare. Make sure you stagger where your short rows end as it will make a ‘shelf’ if you don’t’.
Here is is a document kindly organized by Lupines. It will give yuou the workshop information on the Cotton Dishcloth sweater- she kindly consolidated this information for us all. Thanks very much Lupines. I am posting both a dockx and a Pdf copy.
PDF-Consolidated information for dishcloth cotton sweater- Lupines
Attached file:
Docx--Consolidated information
Attached file:
Mar 28, 2016 20:13:42   #
I would love to follow this workshop. I have a friend who is always trying to do her own adjustments to fit the body the knit is going on. Shirley...You are a wonderful blessing in my life. I think of you often.

Thank you - I am happy to see you join us. You might want to check out the workshop link at the top of the page and read it once or twice and then come back and join in the conversation!
Mar 28, 2016 22:33:47   #
run4fittness (a regular here)
I am along for the ride also! Want to see how our techniques differ. And always willing to learn something new!

Thanks Shirley!

Good to see you!

What type of sweater are you going to make? There is a bit of info in the pdf download (same as posted here) and you can still use the workshop for referral. I hope that everyone will make a choice and do completely their own thing. We hope to discuss them as we go along
Mar 29, 2016 08:44:36   #
Shirley, I'm still working on my T-band sweater but will follow this conversation as I keep on with the first. I'm very interested in the construction of this second sweater plus I want to add in novelty yarns for texture contrast. I bought a couple of books (used) by Laura Bryant on using novelty yarns & texture in knits. I'm very excited to start this second adventure!

That sounds very interesting - have you done anything like this in the past? Have you ever used novelty yarns? they can be added to the stashbuster sweater, but not too many but they sure can make a 'different' look. Good for you. Please join in the conversation anytime,
Mar 29, 2016 10:09:25   #
Designer1234 (a regular here)
Designer1234 wrote:
I started another tunic and have it done up to where I join the shoulders. It is my basic tunic stashbuster and is in a moss green, brown,cream and beige colorways and I am using three different zip colors to give it some life.

I am including a picture showing How I weave in the ends when using worsted yarn. I cut the ends yarns about 4 inches, and in some cases if they are very loose at the edge I do a half knot - then I take both of the color yarn threads and split them into two. then I weave in all four making sure I weave one color into two different directions. It makes a much flatter appearance at the edge. I do this with all my threads. It takes a bit of time but I do it 2 or 3 times as I am knitting and it does make a flat edge. I have done the Russian join if I join colors in the center, but I rarely do that. See picture of my join process

I had posted a download and it will be here in the next few days. Shirley
Back finished- working on front
Back finished- working on front...
Weaving in split ends -
Weaving in  split ends -...
I used a grouping of narrow bands for joining and starting the yoke I joined it at the brown on the bottom which is garter stitch.
I used a grouping of narrow bands for joining and ...
I like this join for the shoulders as I am narrow and smaller at the top and it gives me some interest -
I like this join for the shoulders as I am narrow ...
How your sweater goes together-Thisis the same for a cardigan or a pullover. Knit Up or sideways. Your sleeve measurement can start above the yoke join if you wish.
How your sweater goes together-Thisis the same for...
Mar 29, 2016 11:50:12   #
Designer1234 (a regular here)
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (or anything else that interests you).

Do you make a lot of sweaters? what kind usually. Are you interested in
lace, or ganseys, or do you have a favorite pattern?
Do you have any suggestions for the new designers who joined us and finished their first non pattern sweater? We would love to hear ideas from all of you.
Are you a new knitter? if you took the class what did you like best about it?

Have you ever designed your own sweater using your swatch, stitch number instead of a pattern? Do you have any suggestions that might be of interest to the ladies here?
Do you do anything interesting on the necks of your sweaters? what kind of changes do you make in your patterns when you are knitting if any?
Do you have a problem shape, like I do, and how do you knit for a shape different than the basic shape that are used in most patterns.
How do you adjust your size in any area?

Do you change the knitted patterns once in awhile, often, or all the time? Do you feel you want to knit exactly as the pattern says, or is the idea of going off in another direction, something you think of at times? There is no wrong way in knitting.
do you have any special stitches you use for texture?
Mar 29, 2016 12:23:10   #
Hi Shirley, I will be happy to join this conversation! Will have to start while we are still snowbirds away from home, so I do not have my stash. I would love to make a stashbuster next time, as I really love the visual interest of the different colors, but for now will do a sideways skirt in a solid, with a different yarn for yoke and sleeves.
Even though it is a solid, I love the idea of bands of different stitch patterns for texture, so there will be new techniques to try out!
Thank you for the photos, schematics, tips, and for all your time in running this extra conversation.
Mar 29, 2016 12:25:08   #
Count me in Shirley. I have my measurements, picked out my colors and am now looking for some different textures for the stripes. Do you have any suggestions? I normally do texture going from bottom to top but this is side to side.
I did the t shirt with you and love it. Linda

There have been some suggestions posted by one of our members who finished first. I will go check out the ones she said and post them here. It will be helpful to many of us.
Mar 29, 2016 12:41:08   #

Nice to see you!
Mar 29, 2016 12:54:20   #
Mar 29, 2016 13:09:23   #
Ctown Nana
weteach4ulinda wrote:
Count me in Shirley. I have my measurements, picked out my colors and am now looking for some different textures for the stripes. Do you have any suggestions? I normally do texture going from bottom to top but this is side to side.
I did the t shirt with you and love it. Linda

Hi Linda When I did my side to side in the last class, I used seed stitch, stockinette, bamboo stitch, blueberry stitch and reverse stockinette. New Stitch a Day\ website has some wonderful directions for different stitches. You did a fabulous job on your bottom to top from the last workshop. I think I am going to make the bottom to top this time--just need to finish another project first. Good luck!! Ctown Nana [Kathryn]

I have used different stitch guides and end up using the same ones most of the time as they work so well. I really like new Stitch a day, as well as the site that gives all the alphabet with patterns for each letter. can't think of the name but will see if I can find it.
Mar 29, 2016 14:15:50   #
i would like to be a part of this. altho my wrist is still in a cast, i have definite plans to make my first sweater sideways, thanks to your fine directions, and a second sweater from this class. hooray for saving these tutorials.

I am so glad to see you back with us. Don't push your luck with your wrist - this and the first workshop will be here permanently and I am always available to answer pms.
Mar 29, 2016 16:58:14   #
Designer1234 (a regular here)
I just finished the neck band in mine. Trying to decide whether to add another two strips to the sides as it is a wee bit tight. It does stretch with wearing so I am basting the sides and will see what I think then. I also have some weaving in to do before I start seaming the sides permanently and then will do the sleeves with 40in turbo addis using magic loop for my sleeves. I am not sure what I am going to do with them.

If any of you need any help I am here. I just want you to do as much as you possibly can, on your own. So nice to have a new set of friends!!! The information from Lupines has a section about adding side panels to each side of a sweater if it is knit too small - I am going to study it because that can happen . At first I always ended up with sides too big but I like things loose. However with my tunics I am following my measurements more closely and I like the way they are fitting. I would love to make two side panels narrow at the top and wider at the bottom, rather than build in a flair on the original sides. I am going to try that next time.

Mar 29, 2016 19:23:54   #
JoyceinNC (a regular here)
I would love to listen in on this "conversation" also. Would like to be proficient enough at altering knit wear patterns, possibly in the same manner as sewing patterns. I've been altering and combining sewing patterns to get what I want for a long, long time. U.S. dressmaking patterns say average height for women is 5' 5" to 5' 6", but I am only 5' 2", and I'm not shaped like a stick figure! There just isn't anything in the stores that I can buy off the rack and wear.

Would like to know about using design elements from various pattern sources to add to or alter my favorite basic patterns. Most of the runway items are just too extreme for me, the colors and styles I see in stores don't interest me at all. Even if I use a published pattern, I always seem to have to re-do the math to match my yarn and gauge, then change the widths and lengths to be more comfortable. I might as well start with blank paper and sketch pencils! Now, if only I could draw....

Looking forward to this discussion and will look up the previous one for additional information. Many thanks!

It is a long time since I changed a sewn pattern but I used to do it. I know some knitters who took my class and they make a drawing of the sweater design they want changing the pattern to fit their shape, and adding or deleting different parts of the pattern - so you certainly can use the idea of changing sizes - just think of your knitting areas as pieces of fabric. I know one lady who has a lot of her favorited sewing patterns and she lays them out and knits a shape the same as the pattern shapes and she has made some wonderful sweaters that way. There are unlimited ways to do your own thing. So if you think of something you might want to do GO FOR IT!

From your post you already do a lot of the procedures I am teaching. You might find it just more fun to branch out a bit with a start by using some color, and different textures starting without a pattern as you did for the first sweater. Obviously you are experienced in changing and adjusting which is very important and good to know.
Mar 29, 2016 21:03:28   #
I'll be checking in as well.

Great - make suggestions and ask any questions. I want everyone to make their thoughts known and discuss their ideas for this second sweater. I hope most of the decisions are their own. I would love to see each and everyone make a completely original sweater. You can do that by using one of the pattern suggestions at the top of this conversation. If a pattern works, or an idea works you can use it more than once.
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Copies of all closed workshops for use by KP Members - Designer1234
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