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Archive for February 25th, 2010


Inishturk Sweater Knit-Along: Blocking, Seaming, and Getting Ready to Finish

February 25th, 2010

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The pieces to my Inishturk sweater are looking good with the front and back done and the sleeves still coming along.  Some of you have finished (congrats!) and some have just begun (welcome!), but most of us are still “in progress.”  Many times, when I sew together a sweater, I just lay the pieces out and start sewing if the pieces are close to the correct size.  But before of you do, some of you will want to block the pieces. Why? Some of you have noticed how the cables have pulled in the fabric, as cables like to do! For example, my back is supposed to measure 22″ inches across, but after I knit it, it is only 20″.

Even if your gauge is right on the mark, this happens because of the cables. So, before I sew together a sweater that has a lot of cables, I just gently block it to size with a spray bottle of water.  I simply spritz the front and back of a piece with water so that it is damp, let it set a minute or two, and then just gently pull or shape it to size. Next, I let it dry completely. Since I used the Fisherman’s Wool, the natural fiber just eased up almost by itself!  Here it is at 22″:

My arms are usually a little longer than most patterns call for, so I like to put my front and back together first, work the collar, and then I put the sweater on to see just how long I would like my sleeves.  This pattern is easy to adapt the sleeves – you can just make them shorter or longer without having to worry about any sleeve cap shaping.

Before I can do that, I need to sew those shoulders — but I’ve decided not to sew them at all! This pattern is perfect for working the 3 needle bind-off to join the shoulders.  So I put the stitches of the shoulders back onto needles, worked the 3 needle bind-off, and I couldn’t have sewn a better seam if I tried! See the results below:

Now I just need to pick up stitches for the neck.   I really like this pattern, because it tells me exactly how many stitches to pick up and where to pick them up.  Knitting this collar in the round leaves even less seams to sew!

(As always, photos above with outlines and highlighted techniques are “clickable” for more details and/or information.)

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