Tuesday, October 30, 2007

FO: My First Handspun Sweater--and a free pattern!

Pattern: My own. See below for your very own copy. It is done in allover 4x2 ribbing, with waist shaping, fitted, set-in sleeves and a stand-up split collar. The ribbing makes it quite stretchy, so it clings to the body lightly. A little steam blocking would give it a looser fit, if that's your preference.

Yarn: My own handspun. About 680 grams (about 850 yards) of heavy worsted weight wool (16 stitches and 22 rows to four inches). I spun it from three undyed shades of BFL, alternating colors while spinning and plying to create heathered stripes.

Size: In stockinette, this would be a 37" finished chest. The actual measurements depend on how much you stretch the ribbing. I left it unblocked for a fitted look. (My actual chest measurement is 34".) This size would probably be comfortable for a 32"-36" chest.

Free Pattern

The pattern is quite simple. I'm making it available here because it is a nice, basic shape that is endlessly versatile, depending on yarn and variations on the theme. Any heavy worsted weight yarn will work fine. Because of the ribbing, the pattern is very forgiving if your sizing is not perfect. (This does not mean you can ignore gauge. Do not mock the knitting goddess.)

A note on sleeve construction:
I knitted the sleeves top-down, starting with the sleeve cap. I did this so that I could make the sleeves exactly the right length. When I was nearly done with the first sleeve, I sewed it into the sweater, sewed the sleeve seam to nearly where I had stopped working, and sewed up the side seam, then tried it on. I then continued knitting the sleeve until it was the right length for me, bound off, and finished sewing up the sleeve seam. I made the second sleeve to match. You can use this method, or follow the generic measurements given in the pattern (which are not the same as my measurements. I am very tall and have very long arms. If you usually add or subtract length, do so! Same goes for the body length).

Increases/Decreases:
Work all increases/decreases one stitch in from the edge. Increases on the body are worked as M1 (pick up the bar between two stitches and knit through the back loop to twist the stitch closed). Note that the increases on the sleeve cap are worked by casting on stitches at the end of each row, so that the new stitches are knitted or purled at the beginning of the next row. This is to maintain the ribbing pattern without disruption while the cap is shaped. Decreases are all paired at opposite ends of the same row as ssk/k2tog.

Sizes: 37" (42.5", 49") finished chest to fit up to 36" (42", 48") chest measurement.

Yarn: About 850 (1100, 1250) yards of any heavy worsted weight yarn.

Gauge: 16 stitches and 22 rows to 4 inches on size 9 needles, or size needed to get gauge. (The body and sleeves can be worked on straight or circular needles. The collar requires a circular needle.)


Front:
CO 74 (86, 98) stitches.
Set up row (WS): *k2, p4* repeat across row, ending with k2.
Work as established in ribbing until work measures 4 (4.25, 4.5)", ending with a WS row.

Waist Shaping:
Next row: Decrease 1 st. each end of row this row and every fourth row three more times (66, 78, 90 stitches on needle).
Work one inch even, ending with WS row.
Next row: Increase 1 st. each end of row this row and every fourth row three more times (74, 86, 98 stitches on needle).
Work until piece measures 14 (14.5, 15) inches or desired length, ending with WS row.

Shape Armhole:
BO 4 (4, 5) sts. at the beginning of the next 2 rows (66, 78, 88 sts. on needle).
BO 3 sts. at the beginning of the following 2 rows (60, 72, 82 sts. on needle).
Decrease one stitch each end of the next 3 (4, 5) RS rows (54, 64, 72 sts. on needle).
Work until armholes measure 4 (5, 5.5)".

Shape Neck:
Work across 27 (32, 36) stitches to center of piece and divide for split collar. Work each side separately until armholes measure 7.5 (8.25, 9.5)", ending with WS row.
Next row: Working each side separately, BO 7 (7, 8) sts. at each neck edge (20, 25, 28 sts. remain each side).
BO (0, 3, 3) sts. each neck edge. (20, 22, 25 sts. remain each side).
BO 2 sts. each neck edge twice (once, once) (16, 20, 23 sts. remain each side).
Dec. 1 st. each neck edge twice (three times, three times). (14, 17, 20 sts. remain each side).
Work even until armholes measure 8.5 (9.25, 10.5)". Place shoulder stitches on holders or scrap yarn for three-needle bind-off.

Back:
Work as for front, leaving out neck shaping and working until armholes measure 8.5 (9.25, 10.5)".
Using three-needle bind-off, join at shoulders to front (14, 17, 20 sts. for each shoulder). Place remaining (26, 30, 32) stitches on holder or scrap yarn for collar.

Sleeves:
(Remember, these instruction are for working sleeves top-down.)
CO 14 (16, 18) sts.

Size 37 only
:
Set-up row (WS): k2, p4, k2, p4, k2, cast on 4 sts. (18 sts. on needle).
Next row: Work in 4x2 ribbing to end of row, being sure to work new stitches in pattern. CO 4 sts. at end of row (22 sts. on needle).
Next row: Work in pattern to end of row. CO 1 st. at end of row.
Continue to work in pattern. CO 1 st. at the end of each row 27 more times, keeping new stitches in pattern (50 sts. on needle).
CO 3 sts. end of next two rows (56 sts. on needle).
CO 4 sts. end of next two rows (64 sts. on needle).

Work 10 rows even, ending with a WS row.

Next row (RS): Dec. 1 st. each end of this and every following sixth row until 38 sts. remain on needle. Work to desired length, or about 18" from underarm. BO all sts. loosely.

Size 42.5 only:
Set-up Row (WS): p1, k2, p4, k2, p4, k2, p1, cast on 4 sts. (20 sts. on needle).
Next row (RS): Work in 4x2 ribbing to end of row, being sure to work new stitches in pattern. CO 4 sts. at end of row (24 sts. on needle).
Continue working in pattern and CO 2 sts. at end of next four rows (32 sts. on needle).
Continue to work in pattern and CO 1 st. at end of each row 16 times (48 sts. on needle).
Work three rows even.
Continue to work in pattern and CO 1 st. at end of next 10 rows (58 sts. on needle).
CO 3 sts. at end of next 4 rows (70 sts. on needle).

Work 10 rows even, ending with a WS row.

Next row (RS): Decrease one stitch each end of this and every fourth RS row 9 times. Then decrease one stitch each end of every sixth RS row 7 times. (40 sts. remain on needle.)
Work to desired length, or about 18.5" from underarm. BO all sts. loosely.

Size 49 only:
CO 18 sts.
Set-up Row (WS): p2, k2, p4, k2, p4, k2, p2, CO 4 sts.
Next row (RS): Work in 4x2 ribbing to end of row, being sure to work new stitches in pattern. CO 4 sts. at end of row (26 sts. on needle).
Continue working in pattern, and CO 3 sts. at end of next 4 rows (38 sts. on needle).
Continue working in pattern and CO 1 st. at end of next 8 rows (46 sts. on needle).
*Work two rows even. CO 1 st. at end of next two rows.* Repeat these four rows twice more (52 sts. on needle).
Continue working in pattern and CO 1 st. at end of next 10 rows (62 sts. on needle).

CO 3 sts. at end of next two rows (68 sts. on needle).
CO 5 sts. at end of next two rows (78 sts. on needle).

Work 10 rows even, ending with a WS row.

Next row (RS): Decrease one stitch each end of this and every fourth RS row 10 times. Then decrease one stitch each end of every sixth RS row 7 times. (44 sts. remain on needle.)
Work to desired length, or about 19" from underarm. BO all sts. loosely.

Finishing: If you have not already done so, sew sleeves into body. Sew side seams.
Collar: With RS facing and using circular needle, pick up and knit 16 (19, 21) sts. along right side of front neck. Work across 26 (30, 32) center sts. Pick up and knit 16 (19, 21) sts. along left side of front. (58, 68, 74 sts. on needle).
Next row (WS): Work in 4x2 ribbing to match up with live stitches on back neck.
Work as established until collar measures about 3", or desired length. BO all sts. loosely.

If I've written the pattern correctly, you should have a finished sweater. Weave in the ends and block, if desired. If you do happen to use this pattern, I'd love to see the finished product. If you run into any errors, please let me know and I'll correct them.

24 comments:

Sarah said...

It's gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the pattern!

Senja said...

Cute! I especially like the neckline.

janet said...

Ah, what is the name of your pattern?
Might I suggest - delightful, Eve or Tawny.
Or even better -
How about a contest to name your first pattern?

Tammy said...

You did a fabulous job! I'm way impressed.

Khalila said...

Congratulations on your first handspun sweater! It's something that I aspire to and it's wonderful to see someone in my corner of the world whose able to do it. Your yarn looks wonderful and I love the design of your sweater!

Viktoria said...

Wow! I'm impressed. You make it look so easy! I'm really looking forward to learning how to spin ( just two more weeks before I take a class)...maybe a handspun sweater isn't too far off in my future

Kristin said...

It is great! Looks really good on you too.
Well done.
Do you think you could knit a little slower? I'm starting to feel bad.

trek said...

Yes, I am much impressed that you spun all of that yarn!

marit said...

The sweater looks great! Thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

Wow. It's just wonderful you designed a sweater just for your handspun. That's awesome! Add me to the impressed list.

Sarah said...

You certainly are a knit wizard. That was fast.

It is a great pattern too, I am filing it away.

Sharon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sharon said...

You are amazing! And inspiring. Look at you, just learning to spin a mere couple of months ago, and now this.

Kudos!

sophanne said...

That is so cool! Congratulations! I'm right behind you ( and very likely staying there!)

uberstrickenfrau said...

wow. I think I see Knitty in your future then the big mags next.....

The_Add_Knitter said...

Mazel Tov to you, it's phenomenal!

Weedwacker said...

Cute sweater! Thanks for sharing the pattern.

kmkat said...

Great sweater -- you can feel right proud of your spinning and knitting self!

Kim said...

LOVE IT!! The sweater looks awesome! You should be very proud. Thanks for the pattern too.

Haley said...

so glad you are all doing okay. your sweater is lovely. the colors are beautiful and kind of smokey. appropriate for all you've been through. hope it always reminds you of how lucky your family was during this crazy time. thanks for sharing your pattern.

Mrs. H (aka The Outlaw Jenny Purls) said...

Surprises await... check my podcast blog http://ilikeyarnpodcast.blogspot.com

Romi said...

Wow! That's stunning on you. Thank you for the pattern! :)

Tracy said...

Ooooo this is a VERY doable sweater! I've been wanting an all over ribbed sweater since last Nov. but haven't pulled the trigger to write one up.

Love the neckline it is sooo me!

Thanx!!!!

Anonymous said...

thanks for share.