Monday, March 14, 2011

Let's talk knit-along.

I've been plugging away at the Goober's sweater (mostly unraveling the sleeve, at this point), and thinking about how I could get a major series of blog posts out of it. So of course my brain took it one step further and thought, hey, we could do a knit-along as I wrote the blog posts. Which is usually fun. Here's what I have in mind:

In terms of writing style, this new knit-along would run somewhat along the lines of the Steek-Along, in that I'll start from scratch with the gauge swatch. I'll record my thoughts on each step as I do them, and then everyone is free to follow along, or modify at will. For instance, for the gauge swatch I'll get into all the gory details of how I knit and measure, but everyone can do it their own way, or skip it altogether.

However, since the project itself caused some brain-melt last time, I thought we'd go with something really super-simple: A percentage system raglan pullover, as discussed and laid out in this article. (I wrote the article, and I officially give myself permission to use it.)

We'll take, what, a month, six weeks to plan and budget so we can buy the yarn, before we cast on. Sound about right? (I hate knit-alongs that give me no time to prep. I don't have a huge stash, and I don't have the cash in the budget regularly to just go buy a sweater's worth of wool.)

DETAILS:

-Size: Your own, or the size of a loved one you'd like to knit a sweater for. Because of the disproportionate head-to-body ratio on babies and small toddlers, this system doesn't work well for them without tweaking. But for anyone else, it's fine. In fact, I guess we'll do measuring for what size we want, as our first step. I'll talk about that a few weeks before the cast-on.

-Yarn: Whatever you want. We won't be steeking, so even slippery yarns are fine. Use whatever you like, whatever gauge you like. I will probably be knitting Cascade 220 if that matters to anyone, but you don't need to do the same. Medium to large size needles are a good idea, only so you can keep up with the rest of us. As for how much yarn you need, find a pattern for a stockinette pullover in the yarn you want to use, and use it as a guide.

-Skills: cast on, cast off, knitting, purling, a very few short rows you can skip if you want (back of neck shaping), grafting (underarms), k2tog, ssk. If you don't know how to do any of these things, you can relax, because I'll probably be doing detailed directions for all of them. I'm already planning to do video of my weird cast-on method that I've never seen anywhere else except "The Principles of Knitting". And like I said before, if you don't like my way and want to do it your way, simple enough: it's your knitting, do it your way.

EDITED TO ADD:  I've already had some questions about different necks and sleeve treatment. So sure, we'll discuss alternatives as we get to each specific bit of the pattern. It'll be educational! (Which is the whole idea, so thanks for giving me the idea.)

Beltaine (May 1) is a good day to start a new project, don't you think? Shall we make it a date? Who is with me?

20 comments:

Carol said...

I would love to knit along with you. I have never seen Cascade 220 in person so I might want to use that. The other yarn that I love it Shelter by Brooklyn Tweed. Only thing is that it is quite expensive.

Would we be able to make the neck a V neck? I am top heavy so a V neck is more flattering.

This sounds fun. Yeah!

Raychill Canuck said...

I'm thinking about dong one for my 4 year old nephew. Does he still fall into the weird head size ratio. (To my eye he looks like a small child, not a toddler.)

Julie said...

If they look like a miniature adult, rather than a toddler or baby, they should be fine for this sizing method. :)

Barbara said...

I'll be in if I can get my first Fair Isle sweater front and the plain sleeves done by May 1. I should maybe get on it, because I have 31 (little) skeins of nice golden yellow wool to make a plain sweater. V-neck sounds like a good idea, Carol. Put me down for a V-neck.

Louiz said...

Sounds cool, I'm up for that:) An excuse to actually knit something other than zombie knitting.

Jen said...

I'd totally up for that. I even have some yarn in the stash I could think about using, though there is also a sale at my LYS that I should totally take advantage of. I think I might knit mine as a short-sleeved version though, just so I can wear it in the summer.

Alicyn said...

I would love to do this! Also, I love your blogs and have been reading for awhile. I even started reading the blog from the beginning (but I don't think I caught up to myself) during my funemployment.

Nicole T. said...

The Beltaine start date sounds fantastic. Just in time for summer (and waaaaaay more free time for me) to start.

To be ambitious... It is a very loosely knit linen pullover for me.

Ruby Louise said...

Sounds great to me!!

Susan said...

I am in. I have the perfect cotton blend in the stash. Which justifies me casting on and May 1st is excellent timing for me!

AnnaT said...

oo oo me me!

I'm going to be a bit of a masochist and knit in DK. I just got about 1400yds of a silk/wool (at a bargain price - 50% off). I'm going to need some prep time to dye it - currently it's white/cream.
I was also hoping to do a cowl/funnel neck,and maybe some patterning somewhere - cowl, cuffs and hem I think - sort of lacy
Looking forward to this!

Donna Lee said...

I'm in. I have a sweater's worth of sport/worsted weight yarn in a color I love (which I bought for a sweater kal that I fell OUT of love with).

Roxie said...

Have a ball, guys! I'll stand back and cheer!

G. K. Green said...

Sounds like a plan! (So glad you're not going to begin until a fortnight after the income-tax deadline ... 8^)

Allison said...

Great idea. In!

Emily said...

I'm probably slower than anybody else, since my knitting time is unpredictable, but if I've finished the project I'm about to tackle by May, I'm in.

Sarah said...

I'm thinking yes, this would be awesome!

tallgirl said...

I'm in too, having just bought a husband-sized sweater's worth of wool very cheap. Not sure I can keep up, but a knit-along sounds cool!

I was thinking of a zip neck, haven't thought about how to do it though.

Jill said...

Sounds like a lot of fun; I may not knit as much when the weather gets hotter, but I love the long lead time so I can drool over yarns to my heart's content. And next winter I can sure use another warm sweater in a nice heathery cat-and-dog-hair color, of which Cascade 220 has many!

Thanks for another great idea.

Bells said...

i may well play along! I'm sufficiently recovered from the steek along now.