Sleeves that fit

I’ve asked a lot of knitters “why don’t you knit sweaters for yourself?” Quite often the answer was that the sleeves don’t fit.

It’s easy enough to work out which size to knit according to your bust measurement but it is another thing to also have the correct sleeve size you need, in the same pattern. So …

My “Any Gauge” sweater patterns have a correction for this common problem: the raglan lines are used as a guide only. They indicate the general placement of the sleeves but do not necessarily give the exact width of the sleeve.

In my latest Family Crew Neck, the sleeve size I want, indicated by the orange markers, is a little wider than the raglan lines.

The pattern is set up to do this. Just before The Great Divide, you place the removable markers (orange) on the circular needle at the exact width you need for your sleeves. They can be inside the raglan lines for a narrower sleeve than the raglan lines indicate, exactly at the raglan lines in the usual way, or outside the raglan lines, like this pullover. The stitches between the orange markers are now the sleeve. Here’s a close-up.

I’m not stealing stitches from the body. The body will still be exactly what I need it to be. The pattern is written in a way to allow for all this variation, to fit both your bust and your arms. It’s working for all the pullovers I’ve knit so far, so I’m quite confident it will also work for you.

One more bit of weird knitting just for you. Enjoy.

Deb

Family Crew Neck pullover

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Salt and Pepper Crewneck

This Any Gauge Family Crew Neck was a fairly quick knit. Nice big needles and an interesting wool for a plain pullover. Now that I have a basic sweater done I can get down to finishing my pattern. No more procrastinating. I’m taking on the challenge of making this pattern for all sizes. This is new for me and something of a formatting nightmare. How do I put in all the information for all the sizes and not overwhelm the knitter who is only knitting one size? Hmm, lots to learn here.

I used Briggs and Little Heritage, Threaded G+W. I knit it at a slightly looser tension (15 sts = 4″/10cm as opposed to the recommended 17 sts = 4″/10cm) for a nice drape. I’m very happy with it.

One more Family Crew Neck pattern prototype is done. I’m going to deliver it this week and will have some photos next week. Now to cast on the next one.

Right now I’m taking a moment to feel the satisfaction of a sweater finished. Don’t you love that feeling?

Cheers and hope your knitting is going well too. Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Mid-sweater Block

I’m knitting a sweater for my son-in-law (Family Crew Neck) at his request. I was so very pleased to be asked. I have measurements and am ready to go. But this has turned out to be a challenge.

I’m trying out a new-to-me yarn and to be a good little knitter, I knit a swatch. I changed needle sizes twice and now have gauge. I even washed it. Pat on the back, I am being very, very good! I cast on.

Part way through I started to panic. It’s small. I did all the math again and then three more times and as far as I could tell the body is around 2″ smaller than it should be. I kept measuring it over and over, hoping it would be a little bigger each time. Ha, ha, I bet you’ve never done this.

Then the light bulb went on. I have a swatch. I find them somewhat unreliable at the best of times but this time I had one to blame. I measured my gauge on it and then on my sweater and … I had tightened up. This never happens to me. I am a really loose knitter. I was working with needles 2 sizes smaller than recommended to get gauge on my swatch and now I was telling myself that that was a mistake.

Hmmm, I washed my swatch just like I’m supposed to. Ah, ha. Another light bulb moment.

I dumped the whole sweater in the sink, needles attached and all, spun it out in my washing machine and laid it out (nice and neatly, not like this photo) and let it dry.

Voila, it relaxed and although it’s still 1/2″ smaller than I would like, it’s going to be fine. Phew.

I’m on the sleeves right now. I took out 1 round of knitting and started with new yarn. Here’s the difference in gauge. You can see that already the new section of the sleeve has a tighter gauge. I’m trying not to look at it.

Ignore the marker. That was for counting rounds so the sleeve stripe will be the same length as the body stripe.

I’m hoping to get this done this week. I don’t know if that’s possible but I’m giving it my best shot. Audio books, short walks and lots of knitting.

Cheers, Deb

Family Crew Neck raglan pullover

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb