Posts Tagged ‘set-in sleeve’



The Gathered Pullover from Interweave Knits is not a difficult pattern.  It took me 3 months because I decided to embark on some modifications to the pattern that required learning and trying out new techniques so I could do as little sewing as possible.  At the end, I only needed to sew the shoulder seams.

First it was the turned hem for the bottom of the body.  I consulted with Techknitter’s blog and it was the easiest to learn.  The rest of the body was fairly straight forward; I skipped the increase/decrease stitches around the center cables and knitted more rows before splitting for neck opening so it wasn’ t so large.

The first challenge I encountered was trying to knit the sleeves top down.  I first read about it in Melissa’s blog here and have ever since wanted to try this method so I could avoid the part of finishing a knitted garment I dreaded the most-sewing the set-in sleeves.  But because this was my first time, I had to really study how it was done, calculate carefully how many and which stitches to pick up around the armholes, and review short row knitting that sewing might have actually been quicker.  I am sure though I’d be much faster next time so it was worth investing the time.

The second challenge was finishing the sleeve edges and was the most time consuming.  I could have used the turned hem and be done with it sooner, but again I was so determined not to do any sewing (I would have to sew this time as it was top down instead of bottom up as in the case of knitting the body bottom), I looked up how to knit tubular cast off at the Techknitter’s blog again and Anna’s blog.  The reason this was the most time consuming challenge was that when I tried Anna’s method, the hem flared out a lot.  I then ripped it out and  switched to Techknitter’s method which was a 1×1 ribbing tubular cast off- not  a look I was going for.  Ripped.  I thought then if I used a smaller needle and tried Anna’s method again (which was my preferred method all along), it might not flare.  I went down 2 needle sizes and finished the cast off once again.  Still flared!  Ripped yet again!  There was a lot of debating and analyzing in my head at this point debating whether to consider going back to Techknitter’s method and I think I just took a break from the project for a bit.  Finally I went down another needle size using Anna’s method.  It still flared a bit as you can see in the picture but it’d have to do.  This was a very good learning lesson.  I will remember to use smaller needles in the future and try making the hem deeper (more rows).

The final modification was the Attached I-cord collar and my favorite.   Looked up Attached I-cord at different sources online and went with this one.  I thought it came out beautifully and was a cinch to learn, no ripping.

I learned so much from knitting this project and was happy with how it turned out.  Both my husband and my son approved the look as well.  Yippee!


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Pattern: Mary Jane from Berroco

Needle: size 8 and 7 (for neck border)

Yarn: Knit Pick Wool of the Andes, Carrot

Modifications: adjusted the numbers for the neck, sleeves, and length. 

I didn’t keep track of the total amount of time I spent on this pullover but it felt like a long time.  I am so happy it’s done.  Overall, I like the  fit and the yarn feels very comfortable for 100% wool.  I think I will actually wear it.  In the past,  I had only knitted for other people. 

Some lessons learned with this project: 

Seaming takes me a very long time even with experience.  For future projects I will try to stick with knitting in the round or any other ways to reduce sewing seams.

Don’t mix yarns by different manufacturers no matter how similar you think they look and feel for a fairly traditional classic style pattern project.  This is pretty intuitive except  I was being cheap and just had to use my stash Lion Brand Wool Ease for the stripes.  The subtle differences show up in the way the fabric folds and stretches when you move around.  That can bug you every time you wear the garment.  Also you can probably tell in the pic especially around the upper arms that the Lion Brand Wool Ease came out wider and looser.  

Careful calculation of the stitch numbers to fit your gauge and your measurements (if you can’t  or don’t want to obtain the original pattern gauge) pays off.  I followed the instructions written in “Set-in Sleeves – a love affair” by Pam Allen in Interweave Knit Winter 2007, to a tee, and I thought the sleeve caps just fit perfectly.

In the end, it is a sweater I will wear often because of comfort and fit with some style.

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