Tutorial: Top Down Set in Sleeves, Part 2

Hope I didn’t let you hang on that cliff for too long, fellow knitting yogis, searching for deeper sleeve experience… This is a quick tutorial sharing the real MAGIC about this technique – so welcome, get comfy in you lotus position and let’s get started!!! Voila:image Please forgive give me this wonky shot of the magic, but it was kinda shot on the run. I picked up 24 sts on the rows between front and back panel (2 sts per 3 rows). These are the stitches for the sleeve head! Have a look at the beautiful cast on row here|: image Here you see me increasing 1 sts each side of the sleeve head by making one st (inside the two markers) every 2nd row. You will also notice in the previous photo that I had to enlist just about every circular needle in the house!!! Few of us have 4 of the same size lying around (let alone of the size we currently are using!!!) – so I enlisted anything long enough and in similar size to get the job done… Another gauge fudge… And then, after a few more rows of back and forth, knit and purl, I reached the point where the front neckline was done and I cast on the remaining 24 sts in one hit and now I am just going round in circles, not worrying about a thing until I come to the bottom of the armhole…image Once a few rows of the sleeve head had been knitted, I was able to retire the sundry needles and carry on on the ONE long circular one (I happen to have a 120cm in the correct size, yeeeha!) Don’t you think this is worth the initial fiddle? Once you are at this stage – do fit the jumper! Just change it if it’s not quiet right, it’s quick enough! Everything that follows from here on is a walk in the park!image

Tutorial: Top Down Set in Sleeves Part 1

I hope this post will be for some lone knitting googlers the answer to their knitting prayers – an explanation and tutorial on those magic set in/ fitted sleeves that are being knitted from the top to the cuff! Disclaimer : I am entirely self taught by reading Barbara Walker’s “Knitting from the Top” and by working my way through a number of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s top down jumpers (but they did’ have the fitted sleeve).

So here I am starting: casting on 24 sts with invisible cast on for the first shoulder, then knitting 6 rows with short rows for the shoulder slant. See how I am increasing at the neck 2 sts to shape the back neck? image

At the end of the final row, I cast on 40 sts, the remaining neck sts.image

And then I cast on 24 sts for the other shoulder… image

After I have finished the slanted bit for the shoulder, I join the piece to the first one by knitting over the entire new neck stitches and the other shoulder. I knit another 16 rows of stocking stitch, without decreases or increases.image

Then I pick up the 24 sts from the first shoulder for the first shoulder front. Here, too I knit the shoulder slant with short rows. I also add some increases for the rounded deep neckline. I knit a total of 22 rows, just like on the back.image

And then I do the same on the other shoulder.image

Any questions so far?

In the next tutorial I will cover the magic bit – picking up the stitches for the sleeve head! BTW – I am using 3.75 mm needles and am knitting with Bendigo Woollen Mills ‘Classic’ wool. It’s going to be a jumper for my nephew Dominic, size 40″ chest… I would not be surprised if I had to re- work the thing more than once… That seems how it goes… But I never regret the frogging/ ripping… If that means the piece is going to worn and treasured, that’s ok…



Proudly presenting the Nameless Jumper

Well, after the good moan last night I did realise that I have something beautiful to share with you! This jumper has been finished for some time, and needless to say that I took at least 3 goes to knit the yoke! This is how it is done: I cast on 40 or so stitches for each sleeve and ONE stitch for the front and ONE for the back. Then I happily increased for sleeves and front/ back… Needless to say at different rates. I also increased at CB and CF 2 sets every 10 rows. I am very proud of how the shoulder has been shaped: a few short rows, just to get a bit of a curve happening. The body is fairly fitted and I lost a number of stitches to shape the waist. I wanted the jumper to be short, so it’s a nice little thing to wear with black jeans or a plain skirt.

The yarn? It’s a Sue Special, gratefully received in a huge bag of donations about a year ago…

So sorry, but I couldn’t bear the thought of anybody photographing me today, I feel about 100 and probably look it…🙀image

I just don’t know how people come up with these clever names for their creations… This is simply the Nameless Jumper, may be it will be renamed in the future and turn into sleeve -yoke # 1? I think I would like to explore this yoke type a bit further at some stage.

Before I log off I would like to show you something I finished this morning, a lovely lace panel, knitted in the round. It’s for the poncho I showed you a few posts ago… So the rest of it is going to be just plain charcoal stocking stitch.

imageHave a lovely weekend!

Multitasking SUCKS

Warning – First World Worry Post. This one comes from the heart: multitasking just sucks! Just about EVERYTHING I do I love, honestly. I love my family (husband, kids, dogs, extended family and friends), my jobs (1, 2 & 3), my house (in need of Reno – type), my hobbies (knitting, sewing, walking in the bush, sailing, reading, thinking up stuff). BUT – it is soooo hard to keep jumping from one thing to the next, then to another one and YET another one… An oooon and oooon it goes, mercilessly forever and endlessly… How easy (and likely very boooooring) would it be to go on doing the one thing, not switching back and forth between email addresses, outfits, locations, identities and the like?? (Sigh) It is Friday evening, pls take this into consideration, TGF… It’s been a one rich, surprising, kinda productive week in weird and wonderful ways… But If I could only manage to stick to one… Or two major themes in my life – it would be sooo much easier (and “boriger”?). So there were a few milestones achieved in teaching textiles: I designed a whole new (more fun and practical?) OHS worksheet for the class and I will trial this interactive beast on my students next week. May I say I was moved when one of the girls said on Tuesday that textiles should be on the curriculum heaps more than once a week? It is a very enriching experience to go into the classroom and be led by what those kids really want to do, (dare I say, some of them have severe challenges that stand between them and life far more than you or I can imagine…) engage them and somehow tick the boxes of educational requirements. And a milestone with the conference organisation! The websites are about to go live and today, just prior to my sign off meeting, my work computer died. I was unable to take any printouts of emails (with really handy feedback) to my meeting with the wonderful IT nerds – only myself, my brain and my pen! And voila  – I did ok!!!! And wait – there was (at least!) one more challenge for today. I met a colleague about this consent paper… I will not go into the details, but it was a meeting that had been in the offing for some time and was about the kNitty gritty stuff about major changes of direction – totally ok on a good day – but after the computer dying, major meetings of an entirely different kind, instructing the computer genius to fix the mess etc… Yes- it did feel challenging… To a point that I forgot to have the (especially baked) chocolate cake with my lovely colleague!!! And wait – more first world worries… A beautiful (local) concert to attend to tomorrow night AND an amazing theatre show on Sunday. Oh Pooh! How will I possibly manage??? Well. I think I will try to get 3 concession tickets for the kids to the theatre show… Enjoying the show together and and afterwards a HUGE Lebanese meal at Abduhl’s in Elizabeth Street… That might just be the solution to my worries! AND a knit fix with Sue prior to the theatre show… That should fix me up. KNITTING – YES, I am still at it! I failed to take pics of the new (well, old by now…) pink Japanese style jumper and that lovely (what’s the word???) throw/ shawl/ poncho… And yarns arrived in the ,ail to start Dominic’s jumper (that one’s got to be called “Daaah Di Dom”…). What blessing it is to be a wife, mother, daughter in law, Aunty… Just ignore all I just said… And have a great weekend!

My kind of weekend!

It’s been a great start of the school year, especially for Esther, who is now a fully independent high school kid! She seems to know all the bus routes and has gathered all sorts of relevant intelligence pertaining to her new life in no time at all…
Patrick is about to change jobs, it was a serendipity type of situation and he grabbed it – we will not know whether it really is a good move until he moves, but a change was sort of waiting to happen and this came along and he grabbed it! (What seemed to have persuaded him was that it is a ‘nice ride along the river to Paramatta’, let me translate to you without the local knowledge: it’s 1 1/2 hours by bicycle – and Patrick simply likes to stay fit!).
I have slipped into my new role as TAFE teacher, academic and event manager fairly seamlessly… so I am co- authoring a paper on consent in context of innovative surgery (job 1), organise the 2015 AAP conference in July (5 days and 12 streams, FYI a that means 12 philosophers talking simultaneously, but THANK GOD in different rooms!) (job 2) and teaching textiles (JOB 3).

Despite having taken heaps of reading home on Friday for job 1, I barely got any done. UHhh quelle surprise… I enjoyed plenty of culture this weekend… It all started with watching ‘Still Alice‘ on Friday with a bunch of girlfriends and afterwards enjoying a hot Thai meal, washed down with a fair amount of cold beer.

Then yesterday we went to the museum of Contemporary Art at Circular Quay (enjoying the classic Sydney vista!) to check out the Chuck Close exhibition. It was really wonderful!

In the evening Patrick and I went to the Theater, we saw Radiance at the Belvoir. Moving, beautiful, authentic… A story about the unraveling of ‘the given, the assumed’, a tragic revelation of the real. We happened to sit in the front row and saw every tear, flinch, emotion of the 3 actresses (FYI a Leah Purcell was one of them, one of the most celebrated Aboriginal actresses of our time).

Today… well… action man had to cycle many km at Akuna Bay before sunrise (nah, was probably later, but just felt like it…) with fellow action man Craig, whilst I walked puppies in the wild and then had lot’s of coffee and (ripped and re-) knitted amazing poncho.

cashmere poncho

When middle child awoke (and I thus gained access to textileshed) I made lot’s of relevant samples for job 3.

How to insert a zipper into a bag (I tried to illustrate 3 stages).image

How to make a classic pocket (again, 3 relevant stages).image

Some embellishment with bias and straight (home made) tape.image

Explaining bias and straight grain.image

Inverted and (what’s the word… ) other type of non-straight edges and how to treat them.image

Different types of seams a and two types of binding.image

When I got too hot (hours later…), I then dipped into the cool water of our pool and felt like a Hollywood movie star :).

After lunch, I also gave both dogs haircuts, which took forever, but seems to have knocked ‘years off them’. Just compare the old and the new hair style on Jasper…


… and after…image

It’s just because of the tics around here… they can kill dogs. So with short hair we can spot them easier, but they are less likely to stick in the first place…

Fortunately, we also managed to visit David, which was very good…image and Jasper did show off his new haircut!

And (YIKES….) I have got an iPad!!!! Patrick just got me one… So I think I am now truly in the 21st century… I am a bit technologically challenged, so it’s a learning curve… But that’s ok… I am looking forward to taking so many more photos! I also downloaded a yoga app… Uhhh…. So exiting!!!

So – somehow it’s after 8pm and we had to recruit some children to cook some veg and bbq some meat… where has the time gone??? Hope you had a good weekend, I feel well rested and energized for the next week.