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Math4Knitters, Crafty Living: Show 78

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Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
If your finishing is neat, this baby sweater is reversible.

Math4Knitters, Crafty Living: Show 78

Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
The stripes on the sleeves are made in certain widths, then the body is worked in what is left of that yarn until it runs out.
Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
Smocking worked all over the yoke adds extra texture and shapes the top of the sweater.
Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
I could have prevented purl bumps in the color changes, but I like the way they look.
Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
Adding the button starts with a smaller, simple button on the back of the work. I always like to sew buttons to each other through the fabric of the knitting. It seems like it is more stable that way.
Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
I start with a knot in the sewing thread, then bring the thread through the smaller button and loop it under the knot. When I sew the buttons together, I put the part with the knot facing the knit fabric, away from the inside of the sweater. It makes for one less thread to snag a finger or irritate skin.
Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
The larger button, after it has been sewn on with the smaller button as a backing.
Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
I'm not an adept crocheter, but I used a hook to make a loop slightly smaller than the larger button.
Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
I then attached the loop to the sweater, and darned in the loose ends.
Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
If you used two buttons of the same size (and you would probably want them to be flat and smooth), you could make the sweater completely reversible. This is inside-out, but I think the little button wouldn't keep the sweater closed very well.

I got to chat with Micah for this show. This week's free knitting pattern is a smocked baby sweater, designed to bust your stash.

Smocked Baby Sweater

This is one of my more ambitious designs. It's still just one size, but it includes smocking, a different sort of yoke design, and what can only really be called an afterthought button system.

The techniques needed for this sweater range a bit, but it's really not that hard. Basically, the sleeves and body are worked from the bottom up, then they are joined together, underarm stitches are left on holders, and the yoke is worked straight up with no decreasing until the very top, where severe decreases finish the neck edge.

After the knitting is done, the underarm stitches are picked up and grafted together and smocking is applied to the yoke to shrink it down. Finally, a button and button loop are added for closure.

I didn't want the pattern to be 25 pages long, so the knitting, button and button loop are all covered in detail. Grafting in stockinette stitch and smocking are not covered in detail. I have links within the pattern's pdf and at the bottom of this page to a photo gallery I made last year about grafting and the Smocked Wash/Dish/Anycloth pattern that was published as part of show 74. If you have any questions or problems, please let me know.

How is it a stashbuster?

The sleeves and body are made from the bottom up, sleeves first, to allow the stashbusting to occur. Colors are changed after the cuffs and every 10 rounds on the sleeves. Then, the rest of that ball of yarn could be used to work on the body until the yarn runs out. That way, the sleeves match each other and the body has stripes in the same order, but in different widths. I love the way it looks and it could be applied to a wide range of sweater styles.

Chat

Micah was so much fun to talk to. We went off on a few tangents. Mostly about fishing. But also about not messing up yarn shops when you go for help.

Links

Smocked Wash/Dish/Anycloth Pattern (with very detailed instructions on working smocking)

Directions for grafting in stockinette stitch

Fibre Space

Martha's Vineyard

Ernest Hemingway

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