It’s June already. Lovely summer weather in the UK makes thinking of a knitted sweater a little challenging. But you know it won’t last.
Who is in?
As Karen wrote “Bringing the world together through knitting”. What a nice thought as we gather to knit the same thing, in completely different styles, colours and sizes. I am pretty sure we have people in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and UK – probably other places. So far the following knitters (four joined me last year) have said they are keen:
- Michelle R
- Michelle S
- Sue S
- Susan W
Maybe some will drop out, and maybe some will join in, but a dozen or so is a good number. (with Geo and Helene now added!)
If you have already completed one or more Elizabeth Zimmermann seamless colourful yoke sweaters this project is very easy as it follows on in a logical way. If not, don’t worry. It is a straight forward project suitable for a beginner.
If you want to do the yoke instead here are the instructions.
Now I am going to assume that most of us are going for stripes! That is because this jumper just looks lovely in stripes and it is nice and eco-friendly to use up small pieces of yarn. I always feel sad when I waste yarn or silk, feeling the animal has worked hard to create the product and we just throw it away. Silly sentimental feeling for silk worms (who of course usually perish) and sheep who are probably glad to lose all that hot fleece. But I hope there are a couple of knitters who go with plain as it is always interesting to see the variations.
So, from past experience, you need 500 grams of yarn. I find 300 grams more than enough for me, but I am saying 500 as you don’t want to run out and you may want a really big, baggy one, or you may like a large size. I suggest for quick results double-knit yarn and something like 4.5 to 6mm circular needles. You can also do this in 4 ply and smaller needles, or just about any variation. In this Knit-along we all take responsibility for our own gauge (I will hold your hand if this is a new area for you). Buy or borrow the book if you don’t have it, Knitting without tears, by Elizabeth Zimmermann. But if you can’t get hold of one, don’t worry. You can knit this sweater just through following the blog posts. I will be suggesting a more comfortable and modern neckline you might like to try, and I (or a more experienced knitter) will answer questions as we go along.
The yarns I am looking at are the last knockings of some soft DK merino yarn sets I got from Colourmart yarns. I also have some green cashmere in odd bits from the same source. You may already have a colour scheme in mind, but next week we will talk about colours for a striped jumper. I am thinking green this time as it is such a good colour to go with my wardrobe. Now might be a good time to see if you have yarns you can use up. The received wisdom appears to be to stick to one fibre content eg merino, alpaca, cotton, silk, acrylic, or of course a mixture.
If you are itching to get started, work out your gauge. I will reproduce my instructions from the last KAL.
- You can check the gauge by using say 5mm needles and DK yarn; or say 3.5mm needles and 4 ply yarn. This is just a suggestion – you do have to make your own mind up, or use what you have! Cast on say 20 stitches and knit in stocking stitch for say 20 rows. Then measure one inch or 2.5cms across and count how many stitches are included in this length. It is likely to be a whole number and a part of a number eg 4.25. This is the figure you multiply by your chest/bust circumference measurement to find out how many stitches you need to cast on. The width is the most important measurement – depth is not as important as will be measuring the length of the jersey with your tape measure, or against your body, as you go along, rather than counting rows.
- Now you know how many stitches you need to cast on for the body. For me (s8 UK), with my personal knitting tension, I have used 160 stitches for DK and 200 stitches for the four ply. This is just a point of reference – you may be smaller or bigger, and knit tighter or looser. The other casting on you do is for the sleeves and the number of stitches is a percentage of your first cast on number for the body ie 160 or 200 in my case. I will explain this as we go.
I will be back next Saturday to discuss colour and stripes before we begin to knit. Do ask any gauge, sizing or fitting questions at this point – or anything else you would like to know.
I’d like to join you, I have 500g of dark green merino/silk/cashmere blend I want to knit into a relaxed v neck. But I’ve just started a dress and I’m not a very fast knitter, let’s see how it goes.
That sounds like such a nice project Geo and we can be green together. See how you go. I find knitting and sewing are done in different places and at different paces.
I’m planning to use up some of the oddments from my stash so will dredge and see how much is available. Stripes sound like an excellent way to use it up.
Hello Kate! I have commented your last two posts but my comments were removed (or not published). Anyway, please count me in! For mine, I will use up cotton yarns left-overs. Can’t wait for your tips on stripes! Bisous xx
I think this would be fun, but I’ll have to pass till the next time cause I a a poncho on the go( which is a blanket with a hole in it lol)….I’ll catch you on the next one!
I have never participated in a KAL and am intimidated by Elizabeth Zimmerman’s patterns. I also love the idea of stripes as a stash buster as I have lots of knitting worsted to use up.
liz from Toronto
Hi Elizabeth. I am sorry you found EZ a bit intimidating! The knitalong is a good way to approach her with lots of us giving you support. Honestly these tubular seameless sweaters are fundamentally easier than anything with a pattern. Looking forward to knitting with you.
Any room for a small one in the Seamless raglan knitalong ? Cheers
Of course. Always room for a keen Kiwi!
I’ve been on holidays and neglected my blog reading! Add another Chris to the list please 🙂 Glad to see you doing another KAL, and I love having knitting on the go in the summertime, especially if I’m sitting on the beach. Now to plan some colours !
Whoop! Another Chris. And this time it’s my knitting Godmother. So pleased to have you along.
I hesitated when I read the first post as I haven’t really done anything creative in months but when this post appeared I didn’t want to miss out! I’m looking forward to next weeks post about colours. I’ve checked my stock of left over dk and I have more than plenty without having to buy any more but I can’t visualize the colours working together, I need some inspiration!
Interesting question. Sometimes I think every colour will work with every other colour and then I chicken out! I am certain that most of us are far too cautious. But if your yarn is your own left overs chances are they will generally be colours you already like and wear.
I’d like to join in please
Excellent news Lisa! Welcome to the knitalong!
A bit late but I would love the join. I’ve just remembered a lot of baby cashmero wool with no plans, so it would be great to use it up!
Great news Maggie. Let’s get those stripes going!!
I’m in! I have the pattern book, lots of helpful ‘how to knit’ books (I’m a relative beginner, even though I’m currently knitting a fair isle jumper from a pattern by Marianne Isagar) and a range of circular needles. However, no suitable yarn as yet. I’m planning to do it in cotton, sleeveless, in a slightly loose fit, and with broad stripes of my favourite colours: teal-turquoise, orange, mustard, bright green and cream. Not to everyone’s taste, I guess, but they are ‘me’. Will be back once all ingredients are lined up.
Great to hear this Carole. The colours you have chosen sound harmonious to me.
I’ve been a lurker on your blog forever. I’m returning to knitting after a very long time and think this might be a way for me to get back into it. If I can work in the time frame and find yarn locally, I’d like to give it a try. I think the idea of a knit along is brilliant!
So happy to hear from you Lynda. I think you will find this a really fun way to get into knitting again. I hope you can find a suitable yarn or a selection of left overs. See you again on Saturday!
I’ve never knitted in the round and am finally tempted to try so I might join in. What is the time path for this KAL?
Oh fantastic Marianne – I am sure you will enjoy knitting in the round. Timewise I am going to talk about colour on Saturday, and encourage everyone to swatch and find the size the want, with a proper start the following Saturday. Then I am thinking four to six weeks to complete the jumper. How does that sound?
Thanks! It sounds great, but I’ll be away for three of those six weeks. Not sure if I’ll join in or start later but I’m really looking forward to reading your posts.
Hello from sunny Manitoba! Looking forward to using stray bits of yarn for a sweater. I’ve not made an EZ sweater. Patiently awaiting my Library copy of Knitting Without Tears. Wondering do the swatch calculations above include ease, maybe you will cover that topic later.
Manitoba? I was there in 1974. Amazing. Anyway Hello Yvonne. You will love the book and her technique is really quite easy and I have found addictive. Perfect way to use up your scraps. I am so pleased that you are knitting along with us and look forward to hearing more about you. On ease Mrs Zimmermann suggests you measure a sweater that you like to wear – some of us like close fitting and some of us like baggy so this strikes me as a better suggestion that knitting to our exact personal dimensions. Measure the chest circumference, the body length and the sleeve length. We work out the gauge using these measurements.
Hi Kate, I’d like to join in. I half knit a striped raglan top down sweater last summer and got discombobulated at some point and gave up. Ready to try again, though. Thanks for hosting the KAL.
Hi Kate – I’d love to join in, I just found a hodge podge of random colors of Matchmaker that will do nicely!