Friday, September 14, 2007

You Ask Questions, I Have Answers

I'm glad you all enjoyed my shots modeling the French Market Bag. It now seems to be dry (three days later!), so now I can start using it to actually hold some yarn. Like, perhaps, the yarn for The Mister's Seamless Hybrid.

Kenny wanted to know some more details about this sweater, probably because he's been doing extensive research and experimentation on his own seamless sweater. So here are the specs, as requested.

This is the Seamless Hybrid sweater from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Without Tears. It's an entirely seamless sweater, knit from the bottom up in simple yet elegant stockinette, and called a hybrid because it's a combination of several seamless sweaters. I was inspired by the version Jared knit -- in truth, I'm inspired by just about everything he knits! The yarn is Cascade 220 (my stand-by), knit on size 5 needles at a gauge of 5 stitches to the inch.

Although the mister is a very plain-and-simple kind of guy and would only agree to a muted solid shade, I had to add a little excitement to the sweater with the contrasting facings on the hem. And in true Brooklyn Tweed fashion, I made the hem truly seamless by knitting it into the fabric of the body, rather than sewing up the cast-on edge after the sweater was finished.

To do this, I provisionally cast on 90% of the total body stitches (in this case 180) with the purple acrylic you saw in the last picture; I used a crochet cast on for ease of undoing later. Then I knit one row with the main color -- this is so that the contrasting color doesn't show through in the seaming row. I then switched to the contrasting color (gray) and knit eight rows, and on the ninth row I increased evenly across the row to get to 100% of the total body stitches (an increase of 20 stitches to a total of 200). I kept this final row in the gray to have that little bit showing at the hem. Then I switched to the main color and knit 10 rows, so that this portion was equal to the length of the facing. To join the two sections, I undid the provisional cast on and knit the resulting live stitches together with the stitches on the needle, knitting one stitch on the needle alone every 10 stitches or so to account for the difference in the number of stitches.

It's really quite cool how this works. There's a neat row of purls along the bottom of the hem and a cushy double thickness around. I'll do the same hem for the sleeves.

Any more questions?

Finally, since it's Friday, and all the cool kids are doing it, here's a little yarn pr0n:

This is 280 yards/4 ouncesof handpainted superwash merino from Zen Yarn Garden, received as a prize for SAM3. I'm not normally an orange girl, but this skein is especially yummy. It's aptly named Orange Creamsicle; were it not for the furriness, I might just lick it!


  1. You were smart to do it with a provisional cast on instead of sewing it at the end, sewing it at the end is a pain in the arse. I've done hems like that that required you to pick up an edge stitch from a cast on and knit it together with a live stitch, but next time, I'm doing it your way! Even though I hate crochet cast on. I can be strong.

  2. Anonymous7:53 PM

    Awwww. That was so sweet of you to tell me about your project. You really didn't have to, but I'm glad you did. I'll be updating soon on my top down saddle shoulder sweater. I think it just might work!!!!

  3. 1. I think that's the first time in my entire life that I've been called a "cool kid"
    2. Your hemmed sweater sounds fantastic. It's certainly on my list of things to try once I get a whack of socks out of my system! :)

  4. I haven't made a hemmed sweater yet, but I found your instructions to be nice and clear -- thanks!

    I love that Zen Yarn Garden colorway. Definitely yummy (and what a great prize)!

  5. Thank you so much for the info on the Seamless Hybrid. It's definitely going to come in handy very soon.

    MAJOR question though. I've got my gauge swatch, I've got one skein of the yarn I want to use, but how do I calculate how many skeins of it to purchase?????