Not Martha

my third sweater: seaming and swearing

the pattern: Central Park Hoodie
the yarn: Dark Horse Fantasy in Charcoal (#13)
the previous entries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

The CPH pattern calls for you to knit the hood before setting in the sleeves but I wanted to get that part over with so that when I get to the point where I’m finally finishing the button band I don’t have any more work to do, because I think that would just about kill me.

I had been reading a lot about the sleeves and the armholes on the CPH being out of proportion to each other for a lot of people and I was no exception:

What do to? Rip back and lengthen the tops of the sleeves? (Less work than shortening the armholes on the back and both sides.) Or maybe take the time to baste them together and see if we can ease armhole around the sleeve? I did that, because it meant the possibility of not having to rip anything back, and it worked! I didn’t get any puckering (something else I’d read about):

I would like to think some of my previous work (the kind that makes you swear) sewing set-in sleeves in a see-through chiffon dress helped me have enough zen to get all the way through this. I took a two step approach, first I used lots of these itty hair clips to position the sleee all the way around so I know there isn’t going to be a huge gap somewhere:

I read about using hair clips like these somewhere recently, it was a blog or maybe Ravelry… but anyhow, thank you mystery knitter for the suggestion, it worked perfectly! I’m going to use these for all my seaming in the future.

Then I roughly basted the sleeve into place using contrasty scrap yarn, taking out the clips only as I got to them. Then I seamed, pulling out the basting as I went along. A lot of prep, but it saved me potential disaster.

My sleeves came out a little bit long (I knew they would since I knit too far and decided not to rip back). I seamed them from the top down towards the cuff, and stopped seaming just before I got to the ribbing. Then, when I had the sleeves set into the body, I finished seaming, leaving holes positioned for my thumb to poke out:

I got this idea from Lawral’s CPH (link to picture on Flickr) over at Ravelry. I figure it will help with typing on cold winter days, which is the sort of weather I suspect it will be by the time I finish this sweater.

One last note, after seaming the armhole and shoulder I totally get why people go through the trouble of doing short rows instead of binding off at the start of rows when doing shaping — the edge you need to seem is much tidier that way and would make it easier to poition and work. So, next time I’ll be learning how to turn and wrap.

Next I’m getting ready to knit the hood. Question for those who have knit this already — the pattern calls for leaving a row of live stitches along the top of the back of the sweater (the back of the neck hole). When you add the hood you just keep working these but I’m wondering if I these live stitches will stretch the back of the sweater out of shape while it’s being worn. Should I go ahead and bind off these stitches to create reenforcement now? Or is the stretchiness back there part of the comfort of the sweater? (I know I can go back and crochet a reinforcing chain stitch later on if I feel like I need it, but I’m less likely to do the extra work later on.)

· comments [12] · 04-29-2008 · categories:knitting ·

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 caro // Apr 29, 2008 at 7:00 am

    If I could redo that part of my CPH I would totally bind off those neck stitches. The neck needs the reinforcement for the weight of the hood. The nice part is that you can pick them up again on a one to one ratio. It doesn’t affect the comfort of the sweater at all.

  • 2 Alison // Apr 29, 2008 at 7:21 am

    I agree with caro. Even for sweaters without hoods, when I haven’t bound off neck stitches, I have regretted it. The shoulders want to keep moving outwards…

  • 3 Chelsea // Apr 29, 2008 at 8:12 am

    I used hair clips like those when seeming my ribby. I don’t remember where I got that idea either. I think I am going to claim it was my idea, and I am brilliant Though I doubt I shared my brilliance.

    Again, I am glad you are doing all the thinking on a sweater I will probably make relatively soon.

  • 4 Nell // Apr 29, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Thumb holes??? Genius!

  • 5 Mary // Apr 29, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Another way to baste your armsceye is to use a circular needle. Just weave it through both layers and it holds everything together snugly while you seam it. I think it’s a little less fiddly than the clips.

    I’m planning to make this in the fall, yours looks so pretty.

  • 6 Bertha // Apr 29, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Oh! Thumb-holes! Such a great idea! I am totally doing this when I knit my CPH!

  • 7 maria // Apr 29, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Ah, I did NOT bind off the stitches, but I think that’s because I did some stuff with the cables going up the center back. If I were making another version, I would bind off the stitches and not worry about the cable at the top back.

  • 8 megan // Apr 29, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Ok everybody, thanks for the advice, I appreciate it! I have bound off the center back and picked up the stitches, it actually looks quite tidy. I’m not planning on carrying the cabling up the back of the hood so that wasn’t something I had to consider.

  • 9 Min // Apr 29, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    once you learn to knit shortrows, you’ll wonder why you didn’t learn sooner! It’s a snap.

  • 10 Laura // Apr 29, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    I have an O’Neill hooded zippy sweatshirt with built in thumb-holes and I LOVE them. They’re so cozy! Thumb-holes rule!

  • 11 Eliza // May 2, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Nice use of small depth of field!

  • 12 ToadyJoe // May 3, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    I saw somewhere where someone wore their CPH to a Yarn Harlot meeting-thing, and the YH told her how to fix the droopy hood / shoulder problem – after it’s all knit up. Just go back across that seamed area with a crochet hook and crochet in all the purl bumps. Makes it all sturdy & strong, and doesn’t look funny. Or that’s the rumor, anyway… I’m still making my CPH.

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