Yes, I took an unannounced blogging break over the summer. I needed it, and I figured nobody would mind. :)
But I'm back, and I've been debating the best way to jump into things again. I've decided that I'm just going to blog about my current projects, whatever they may be. You can get a glimpse into my thought process and the progression from start to finish. I won't just be posting "finished objects" anymore.
I had a man donate two big garbage bags full of yarn to me over the summer, and another friend gave me a garbage bag full of craft items, too. So I have plenty of materials to work with for awhile. I decided to start working on the yarn by making sweaters to go in the missionary boxes that our church sends out at Christmas time.
I've already made several sweaters, but I'm going to start back in to blogging with the one I started today (which will actually be yesterday by the time you see this).
I'm using the free Fiver pattern by Susan Mills. It's a beautiful cabled child's sweater. I love cables!
Since I don't enjoy seaming very much, I try to make my sweaters as seamlessly as possible. This means I have to convert most of the patterns I use, since the publishers must really enjoy seaming!
The great thing is that it's usually easier than pie. [Yes, I did say easier than pie. Have you ever tried making a pie crust from scratch? It's not exactly what I'd call easy at first.] All you have to do is find a pattern that's worked bottom-up (most are if they're seamed) and cast on the number of stitches for the front and back combined. Sometimes I'll take off four stitches to account for the stitches lost at the side seams when they're seamed, but usually it doesn't make much difference if you forget. From there, follow the pattern pretty much how it's written.
So let's see what this looks like on this pattern. Since I have plenty of yarn, I'm making this in the 8-10-years size. I cast on 190 stitches (95 x 2), placing a marker halfway through. Since it says to work 1x1 ribbing (starting with a purl stitch), I do that until I reach the marker. I end on a purl stitch. Then I slip the marker and start my 1x1 ribbing all over again, beginning with a purl stitch. This gives me two purl stitches at each side seam, one on either side of the marker.
The other important thing to remember when you're converting a pullover to a seamless construction is that all the wrong-side rows (marked WS) are going to have the stitches reversed. So if it says "knit", you're going to purl. If it says "purl", you're going to knit. That might sound confusing at first, but it's not once you get going.
This particular pattern might look intimidating to a beginner but it's simply a repetition of 4 rows, with 3 of those 4 rows being exactly the same.
This is how much I got done today:
(The color is "off" in the second picture because it was taken at night with artificial lighting. The real color is more like the first picture.)
Since I'm working 8-1/2" before splitting for the armholes, I'm a little over halfway there.