Monday, 14 May 2007

The Sleeve Head

Okay so now you want to knit a sleeve.

You need to have decided what the width at the widest part is. For this sweater we will make that 46cm (for a man).

The wrist will be 26 cm.

So you will need to increase from 26 cm to 46cm.

You know how do to do this from previous isntructions.

What you really need to know is this:

The sleeve head MUST be worked over the same amount of rows as you decreased over on the body.

So on the body you decreased over 64 rows. Remember you must decrease that 3 cm group on each side of sleeve head first. You do not start to count rows for sleeve head until this is done.

Once done, you will count rows until row 64 has been done, which is the final row of the piece.

Okay. You want to decrease from 40 cm to 20 cm over 64 rows. You know how to work that out by following the rules as previously shown.

The whole sleeve needs to be 64 cm in length, not including rib. Our gauge is 40rws to 10cm

So you divide 64 by 10 and multiply by 40. This leaves you with 256.

Your sleeve is knit over 256 rws.

Your sleeve head is 64 rws so you take 64 from 256 which leaves 192. So you need to knit 192 rws before the sleeve head decreasing.

In practice, you knit 190 rws. Now you decrease the 3cm worth of sts on right side, knti across , repeat fro left side. Knit back to right. Now your row counter reads 192.

Turn row counter back to 0. Now yout start the 64 rows of decreases. Once complete, your sleeve is done.


Sunday, 21 January 2007

Set In Sleeves

We start with the body.

My piece will be 62 cms wide and 64 cms long. The armhole depth will be 26cms

The gauge/tension is 28sts and 40 rows to 10cm.

Okay so we need to cast on 174 sts(62 div by 10 x 28).

To knit up to the armhole, we need to find out
how many rows we need. To do this we take the armhole depth away from the total length.

64 - 26 = 38

38 div 10 x 40 = 152

So we knit 152 rows.

Then we need to shape for the armhole. We need to decrease the stitches required, on both sides, to leave us with a shoulder width of 38cms.( I find this is the best fit for man's sweater, regardless of the actual width of piece. )The best way to ascertain this for yourself or someone you may be knitting for is to measure them from shoulder socket to shoulder socket. Then I take 2 cms away from that. We want the shoulder seam to be on the shoulder, not down on the arm.

Okay so 62 cm(our starting width) minus 38 cms(our end width) equals 24 cms. So we need to take away 12cms from each side.

Over how many rows? Well, we need to leave 10cms of str8 knititng after we have done the decreasing. So we need to decrease over 16cms.

BUT we also need to cast off 3cms first on both sides. This means we only have 9 cms to decrease over those 16cms.

This is how I work it out. It is not as complicated as it may at first seem.

First of all, once we have knitted up to the first decrease, in this case row 152, we decrease first on the right and then on the left. 3 cms each side.

3 div by x 28 = 8.4 sts. So we decrease 8sts at beginning of row 153 and at beginning of row 154.

Now set your row counter to 0.

We still need to decrease 9cms over a 16cm length. Here is how we work that out.

First of all the rows-16 div 10 x 40 = 64.

So we knit 64 rows. During the knitting of those 64 rows we need to decrease 9cms. 9 div by 10 x 28 = 25.2. I would decrease 26 sts.

For even decreasing we need to use the Magic Formula again.

64 div by 26. It goes in twice with 12 left over.

Now take that 12 away from 26 and you are left with 14.

So you need to decrease 1 st ev 2 rows 14 times and every 3rd row 12 times.(remember you always add 1 to the first figure, in this case the 2).
Start your decrease on row 3 and decrease 1 st ev 3rd row until row 36. Then you dec 1 st ev 2 rows(ev alternate row) until row 64. Your final decrease will be on row 64.

Then knit to top with no decreasing, in this case another 40 rows.

I do not do sloping shoulders.

RMEMEMBER to do your neck shaping, just as in the drop shoulder inst

Thursday, 11 January 2007

The Sleeve

Once you have done the back and the front and the neckband, and out them together, you are ready to do the sleeve.

How long to knit the sleeve?

Measure the length from your spine behind your neck to you wrist whislt you are standing with you arm held outward in a T shape. You will need help for this!

For my test sweater, that measurement is 80 cms.

Now remember that the body pieces are 62 cms wide. To get the sleeve length, you need to halve the body meaurement and take that away from the length from your spine to wrist.

In this case that is 80cms. Take away half of 62 which is 31. We are left with 49 cms

The sleeve then needs to be 49 cm long.

Now some people include the ribbing in this 49cms and some add the ribbing to this. For this exercise we are going to knit the ribbing and then knit the sleeve 49cm long.

Okay. At the wrist we want to start off with 26cms. Divide 26 by 10 and mulitply by 28. This gives you 72.8. I would start the sleeve with 72 sts.

You want the sleeve 49 cm long. 49 div 10 x 40 = 196.

Your sleeve will be 196 rows long.

The top width of your sleeve will be 56 cms(2 x 28cms). 56 div 10 x 28 = 156.8.

So we need to increase to 156 sts.

We do not want the increasing to finish right at the top, so I normally finish it 5cms below the top.

5cms in this case is 20 rows. So we want the increasing to finish at row 176.

We want to increase from 72 sts to 156 sts over 176 rows. You halve the start number and the end number.

So that we increase from 36 sts to 78sts on BOTH sides. That is icrease by 42sts on each side. (78 - 32 = 42)

Here is how we work out even increases.

Divide 176 by 42. it goes in 4 times with 8 left over. 4 x 42 = 168.

Take away 168 from 176 and you are left with 8.

Now take 8 away from 42. You are left with 34.

So you increase 1 sts both sides every 4th row 34 times and then every 5th row 8 times.

(You always add 1 to the first figure that you get when you divided - in this case that was 4-as 42 went into 176, 4 times.)

I would start by increasing 1 st ev 5th row 8times and then every 4th row 34 times.

This means that your fist increase is on row 5 and you last increase for ev 5th row is on row 40. Your first increase for ev 4th row will be row 44 and your final increase will be on row 176.

You then knit 20 rows str8. Your sleeve is complete.

I guess the most complicated part of this whole sweater has been working out the icreases using the so called 'Magic Formula'. It took me ages to figure it out myself as reading about it made no sense. Now I use it all the time and I do it just as I wrote above.

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Getting Started

I will assume you have chosen your yarn. I would suggest you start off with a simple stocking stitch sweater.

Now you need to knit a swatch.

Once you have done your swatch, you need to wash it and dry it, then give it a light steam press, moving the iron vertically, in direction of stitches.

Now you need to measure it for gauge. You need to find out how many sts and how many rows there are for a 10cm square.

I will base this test sweater on 28st and 40 rws to 10cm.

The following is for a drop shoulder sweater. This will be the basic block from which the set in sleeve , the raglan and saddle will develop.

Decide on the width and length you want to knit.

My sweater will be 62cms wide and 64cms long, without ribbing. The amount of ribbing you want is up to you.

So our gauge is 28st and 40 rws.

For a piece 62cms wide you will need to divide 62 by 10 and then multiply by 28.

This equals 173.6. Roundup to 174.

You will need to cast on 174 sts.

You want the piece to be 64 cms long. So this time you divide 64 by 10 and multiply by 40.

This gives you 256 rows.

You will need to knit 256 rows for your length.

However, our armhole depth will be 28 cms. To find out how many rows that will need, you divide 28 by 10 and mulitply by 40.

You get 112.

Take 112 away from 256 and you are left with 144 rows. So you need to knit 144 rows and then place a marking thread either side to indicate the start of armholes. You leave those markers there until you are ready to join the sleeves.

However, we do want a neck opening. We want the round neck to be 10cms deep. We already know that means the neck opening will start 40 rows from the top.

So we take 40 away from 112, this leaves 72. So we knit 72 rows, and then start the neck shaping. So neck shaping begins on row 73 NOT row 72.

Lets say the opening will be 20 cms. So we already know that means 56 sts(2 x 28 which is the st gauge).

We work only on one half at a time. That means we decrease 28 sts all told for one half of the neck.

I would work it like this:

I would place on hold(MK) or cast off(HK) the centre 30sts. This would leave 13 sts on both sides still to be got rid off.

On a machine I would place 2sts into hold every two rows(on left side) until 25 sts all together on that side have been decreased.

For hanknitters, I would cast off 2 sts every other row until 25 have been cast off.

For MK and HK, I will then knit 4 rws str8 and decrease 1 st, and repeat this until all 28 have gone. Now knit str8 to top.

This is one side of your neck done. Repeat for the other side.

This is the most complicated part of the sweater to do, and it isn't hard is it?

You would do precisely the same for the back, ommitting the neck shaping. HOWEVER, you should still mark stitch 28 on either side of the centre, so you know where to stick your neckband.

If you want the back to be shaped too, usually about 3cms deep, you must get rid fo those 56 sts over 3cms. 3 div by 10 x 40 = 12. So you need to shape over 12 rows.

I would do this:

Put centre 36sts into hold(MK) or cast off (HK). I would then put into hold 2sts ev 2 rows until the 12 rows are done. Your 28 sts for one side will all be in hold. Repeat for other side.

For handknitting, cast off 2 sts every other row until the 28sts for that side are cast off and 12 rows have been knitted. Do the same for the other side.

REMEMBER that you the centre 36sts into hold or you cast them off. So you only have a further 10 sts to get rid of on both side of the sts cast off or held.

Note: 62 cms wide is the same as 24.41" inches.(62 div by 2.54). Your total circumfrance will be 124cms or 48.82"

In practice, I would make the neck opening 17cms wide and 7 cms deep with a 3cm scoop on the back piece. For both male and female garments.

Monday, 1 January 2007


I am going to be giving instructions here for designing your own sweater.

We will learn how to design a drop shoulder sweater, a set in sleeve sweater or a raglan sweater. Possibly a saddle shoulder too.

It is very simple to do. It will mean that you can use any yarn and any pattern that you like.

We will be working in centimetres only, inches are not accurate enough and besides it is time you that don't know how to use them learnt to! It is very easy. One inch equals 2.54 cms. You do not need to be a genius to work with the metric system.

You will need:

1. A pen and some paper.
2. A ruler
3. A calculator
4. Knitting machine or knitting needles
5. Yarn

I will not be giving instructions on how to knit. I will assume you already know how to machine knit or hand knit. I also will not be giving instructions on how to sew up your garment.

If you learn these basics, you will really free yourself up. You will no longer have to hunt down a pattern for that yarn you found. You can make your own. You will be able to create your own yarns by using two or more yarns together. You will be free to create what is in you and will not have to rely on others to do this for you.

You will get much more satisfaction. Which is what knitting is about after all!

And, no, you are not too thick to do this. If you are prepared to learn the simple basics of working out your shape, you can do whatever you want.