So, it is finished; my very first seamless set-in sleeves cardigan. I had to make a few adjustment down the road. In a slim fitting cardigan or sweater the size of the neck to the body will be relatively big, so I couldnt use the EZ ( Elizabeth Zimmerman ) formula the neck being about 40% of the Key number. I even wanted the neck to be generous, so I Drew the neckline on gtaphic millimeter paper and since I was knitting it forth and back on the needles, I had no problems adapting this to the actual knitting
Just a little note here before we go on with the technical stuff: I love summer, but I have to admit I don´t really like being in the sun. The picture is on the lawn in front of the studio and I am hoping that the apple trees will grow very fast to provide shade for me, my coffeecup, my knitting and all the people I love... And the rabbits...
I basically followed the instruktions in Elizabeth Zimermans book "Knitting Workshop" ( for the set-in sleeve sweater ) but made a lot of changes to fit the technique I was using and the design I wanted. I guess that is just what she wanted me to do. Providing me a frame to creative within.
So here comes the story from the notebook. Please bare in mind that this is not a recipe but more my reflections on Lady Mabbott.
Before I knitted this I transformed EZ direktions for the sweater into a diagram. I found that very usefull for my understanding of the principles involved and also made it possible for me to draw the neckline I wanted.
My shoulderwith is 35% of the key number
June 7. join the body to the sleeves leaving 18 stitches at each underarm on pieces of wool. Knit 6 rows with no decreases. Now start decreasing at every row at the four points where the sleeves joins the body. It is important to make the decresing on the right and on the wrong side in such a way that it looks the same. I found out that knit two together on the right side is the same as slip slip purl two together on the wrong side and that slip slip knit two together on the right side is the same as purl two together on the wrong side. I knitted 8 rows this way decreasing 4 times 8 stitches.
( Knowing a few things of pattern construktion for sewing, I would have started to decrease right away after joining body and sleeve and only made the decreasing every other round. I even think that most sewing patterns can be adapted to this basic idea just with a few calculations )
Note I started the shaping of the neck four rows after these decreases. I made a pretty wide neck but will spare you the details...
June 8. now start the decreasing that eats up the sleeve stitches. The decreses are only on the right row being at the four point : 1) SSK2tog 2) K2tog 3) SSK2tog 4) K2tog.
Knit 18 rounds this way decreasing on every other round.
June 11. Now speed up the decreasing to every row and knit 14 rows this way. There is 12 stitches left at the shoulder.
June 17. Start knitting forth and back on the one side of the front. Decreasing 1 stitch at the end of each row ( Shoulderpoints ). Continue like this until 6 stitches remains at the sleeves. Work across the shoulder and apply this principle to the back and the remainig front piece. I also made a couple of short rows to shape the shoulder a bit more.
I grafted the shoulder stitches together and found out that it is important to be precise at this point making sure, the spot where the shoulder seam meets the actual sleeve, is precisely made.
I made the borders but I have never really been satisfied with the way the wrong side of the knitting looks at the neckline, so I used the same technique as I used on this cardigan but I crocheted from the right side through the fabric making a line of chain stitches. I really like the way this look and I will probably do this a lot with future projects. It looks especially good where the neck line border is not the same colour as the body.
The flat seam also feels very comfortably to the neck and I think it is the right neckline finish for a seamless cardigan or sweater. When picking up the stitches for the front border, it is important to go as close to the edge( 1 stitch from edge ) as possible to make the seam as flat as possible. I tink I might have 1½ stitch which shows a bit... Next time just one stitch... Do I hear you saying "does it matter ?" I can only say with a smile on my face "of couse it does, it makes a HUGE difference"... No, not really, but it is always good to see the things that can get better, but at the same time be aware of all the things that went really well.
Bottonline ( yes there is one, and this is it )...I do like this cardi...a lot...