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Saturday Morning Hoodie Knit-Along, Part 3: The Fronts – Left, Right, Forward and Reverse

February 10th, 2011

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With the back of my Saturday Morning Hoodie finished, it’s now on to the fronts!  It certainly is not too late for any of you to join in,  because with a stitch gauge of 2 1/2 stitches to the inch,  this hoodie “grows” very quickly. I really like working the back of a sweater (especially a cardigan) first for a few reasons.  Usually, they are symmetrically shaped and for a cardigan, you can just work the fronts to correspond the back when it comes to the underarm and side raglan shaping.

A great addition to this hoodie pattern (since it became our Winter KAL) are the detailed instructions for the right front as well as the left.  Many times, knitting patterns with a left and right front won’t include full instructions for the second front, but rather tell you to just “reverse” the shaping directions of the first side. Sometimes this isn’t a problem, but this hoodie has the pocket facings (the fronts of the pockets) made simultaneously with the rest of the front, so it can be nice to have them spelled out for you.

The instructions start with the left front, and I thought I would take some pictures along the way to show how that front along with the pocket facing progresses.  Sometimes a picture (or two, or three) makes the instructions much easier to comprehend.

OK, so I worked the ribbing for my left front then after a couple rows of stockinette stitch, I placed the side stitches called for on a holder.  The ones on the needle are for the pocket facing (which is the outside, or front of the pocket).  Then I knit on just those stitches for 9″. (To enlarge any of these photos, simply click on them.)

Then, the facing stitches were placed on another holder, and I did a “switcheroo” by placing those originally held stitches back onto the needle.  Then I cast on stitches to this needle that will be the part of the left front – behind the pocket.

The front stitches are knit up for 9″, and then the stitches I had just cast on are bound off. (This creates the back of the pocket.)  On the next row the stitches on hold for the pocket facing are joined with the rest of the stitches.  This makes a nice, seamless join–and as long as I am careful sewing the inside of front to the facing–it will look great.   (I’ll do that a little later.)

Then, after working a few more inches of stockinette stitch, I followed the instructions for the raglan shaping when the front measured the same as the back to the armhole.  Of course, I will only shape on the armhole side.  The pattern calls for shaping at the neck about 2″ less than the back.  I found I still had to do about 3 more decreases at the raglan edge as well before it was all finished.  When I had 2 stitches left, I just worked them together and fastened off.

The right side is worked just like the left, only that the pocket facing is on the right side as you can see below.  The instructions give all the numbers – so it is much easier!   Both of the fronts curled quite a bit, so I again just lightly blocked them with a spray bottle and let them dry.

Later, I will be picking up along the pocket edges and lightly sewing those pockets on the inside.  Since this is a raglan, I’m really not able to do any seaming yet as I need to make those raglan sleeves to join the fronts and the back.    The sleeves are both the same, so no reverse shaping will be necessary this upcoming week.  Forward, knit!

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  • Dutchgirl

    Thanks for the clear explanation and photos! Looking forward to continue with my pockets. I’m making this hoodie with fun fur. Needless to say it looks very different from the original, but I just wanted to try this since I have so much fun fur!

    • Edna Dippre

      Curious… How many strands of the fun fur are you holding together? Or are you using 4 ply and fun fur together? I’ve found it to be difficult to work with just alone.

      • Dutchgirl

        Hi Edna,

        Just one strand of fun fur. I have to admit it is a very loose knit but hoping to wear it as a light cover up. We’ll see how it turns out!

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  • fireyicevamp

    I completely agree with Dutchgirl: These pictures really help me understand the pattern. This morning I got the pocket facing made for the left front and began the part for behind the pocket; definitely thought I was completely messing up the pattern, but it looks the same so far! Hopefully I’ll get a ways during my lunch break and this weekend…Maybe I should sit and wait for my car to get worked so I can knit instead of going on errands…

    • fireyicevamp

      I’ve gotten past the pocket area and am beginning the Raglan and Neck shaping portion…I think I made the neck on the back a bit too long (approx an inch too long); should I continue with the decreases until I’m at the proper length and see where it gets me, or should I do one or two rows of St St w/ no decreases? Any suggestion would be appreciated.

  • Edna Dippre

    Pictures really do speak a thousand words! Thanks for providing them!
    On another note:
    My yarn just arrived yesterday!!! I’m “a bit” behind… lol. Had a ball here to make swatch while waiting for it. My gauge was 3-1/2 on size 13 with one strand of Jiffy yarn. Tried size 15 but still too small & I am a loose knitter.
    My husband didn’t like the loose stitches with the 15s, as he wants it for outdoor use over his clothes, so I made a swatch with 2 strands together on size 13 & it’s a perfect 4 x 4 now. He likes it much better that way so it’s a win, win… It isn’t heavy at all so shouldn’t droop. I had ordered enough yarn to make one for both of us so I will have more than enough to do his with 2 strands. I’ll just get more later to do mine.
    Not sure why the gauge was so far off since Jiffy is a catagory 5 bulky weight yarn too. Any idea why?

    • SimplyForties

      Hi Edna, I don’t have the answer to your question but I also used Jiffy and my gauge was spot-on with the 13′s.

      • Edna Dippre

        With just one strand?? I am a loose tension knitter so I thought mine would be too big rather than too small. Are you using the regular Jiffy or the Thick & Quick??

    • Traci

      Edna, I am using Jiffy also. I agree with you. it is a little looser than I would like. I which I would have used 2 strands. Good luck with that. Anxious to hear what you think of it when it is done.

      • Edna Dippre

        Traci, One strand would have been nice for an indoor sweater you wear “as” the garment but it was just much too stretchy as a jacket “over” clothes. Even the 2 strands are stretchy but very stable.
        I’m anxious to see what I think of it when it’s done too! LOL! I think it may be too small for my skinny husband but he hasn’t been home long enough for me to double check the size on him so I can’t continue until I’m sure if I have to rip out & start over bigger.
        I just started to work on it last night since I didn’t get my yarn until Thursday. I got almost to the armhole area on the back, which is already too much to want to rip it out & start over again but what choice do I have? Have to fit it to him before I can continue. He needs to just hold still a minute!!! LOL!

  • Christine

    I agree, the more pictures the better of complex moves! Let’s you know yours is not a complete disaster!

  • White5415

    Thanks for the great pictures. Just got my yarn today, wool ease chunky. I had to go to a size 15 needle to get my guage. Do I go up to a 13 needle to do my ribbing, or do I still use 11 needles? Ruby

    • Wyoming Girl

      When you adjust one needle size (up or down) you need to adjust all needle sizes accordingly. In this case you should use the size13 for the ribbing.

      • White54152

        Thanks for your help.

  • Katluverb

    I’m using Jiffy, too and had the same problem with getting the guage. I ended up with 15 needles and Jiffy plus a strand of worsted. It is working out beautifully – so far.
    I have 2 questions:
    On the back, the decrease for the raglan worked well except that in the part where the decreases were in every row the right side has a column of stitches where the decrease was that are somewhat deformed looking. I think they will be ok as they will be at the seam but I want to know for the future if this is normal or should I have done something differently.
    Secondly, my yarn choice was made as this was the yarn in local stores that I could get enough skeins and could match dye lot numbers. I noticed some sites warn they can’t guarantee dye lots will match. Will dye lots be guaranteed when ordering from Lion Brand?

    • Anonymous

      HI Katluverb, to answer your questions: (1) without seeing your decreases, it’s hard to know if there was a problem, but keep in mind that when you wash and block a piece, it usually evens out the stitches. (2) Yes, dye lots are always guaranteed on LionBrand.com.

      • Katluverb

        Thank you. I’m blocking now. This knit along is great – the posts from the moderator have been both extremely helpful and encouraging for newbies like me. I love the input from the other participants. Their ideas are great and it’s nice to know other people have similar thoughts/ideas/problems.

        • Edna Dippre

          Hi Katluverb,
          I’m wondering if you have to block your pieces with the Jiffy yarn. I’m using it & I have never blocked any of my work unless it’s wool & not machine washable. This is 100% Acrylic & machine washable. I’ve always found that Acrylic yarns block themselves in the washer & dryer. Do your pieces look like they need to be blocked? Edna

          • Katluverb

            There was a little curling at the edges but it wasn’t too bad. The main reason I blocked was my dimensions were off a little and I wanted to shape to close to the described measurements. The snow has been nice in that, since we couldn’t get out, I could put a folded sheet on the hood of the car and have a nice flat surface to do my blocking!

    • Wyoming Girl

      Again, without seeing it, it’s hard to tell for sure, but I think I know what you are talking about. Especially with thicker yarn, you end up with stair step looking edges where your decreases are. One way to decrease this effect a bit is to work one stitch before you work the decrease. I’ve noticed this tends to smooth out the edges a bit. But when you block it and sew it, those little “steps” will disappear.

  • Linda Lacy

    The pictures are fantastic and I can’t wait til I get caught up!
    I got started a bit late, but, am now halfway through the back. Unfortunatly I could not find any Woolease Chunky in my local stores so I decided to go with the Homespun and since this is my first time using it I have a question. The gage worked perfectly for me on the 13s but, the ribbing seems a bit too stretchy and loose. I’m not going to do a tearout on this piece but wonder if there is something different I can do on the fronts., Thanks for any feedback :)

    • Marissa

      Did you go down a needle size for the ribbing? A size 11 needle maybe.

      • Linda

        Hi Marissa,
        Yes, I used an 11. It’s just that this yarn seems very “stretchy” and does not bounce back like the woolease does.

        • Marissa

          You know you could pull your tension a little tighter on the ribbing part to help ease some the stretchiness. I did that on another project while it still stretched some it was noticeably less “airy” I guess you could say.

  • Mabel

    I love this!! I’ve never done a knit along before, but find the comments and the moderator’s comments invaluable! The pictures are wonderful!! I would like to know where you got your blocking board as I just use my ironing board and that’s a bit difficult! I am woarking on both fronts at the same time….it’s a little tricky but I am almost to the raglan decreases and it is working very well. Am looking forward to the next segment of coments….:-)

    • Barbara

      Just last weekend, I ordered a blocking board through my local, independent yarn store.

  • Mabel

    I love this!! I’ve never done a knit along before, but find the comments and the moderator’s comments invaluable! The pictures are wonderful!! I would like to know where you got your blocking board as I just use my ironing board and that’s a bit difficult! I am woarking on both fronts at the same time….it’s a little tricky but I am almost to the raglan decreases and it is working very well. Am looking forward to the next segment of coments….:-)

  • gordie

    Hi Heather,
    I’ve gotten a late start, and am working on the back. I’m a little confused about the directions for decreasing for the Raglan shaping…..when you say decrease 1 stitch every row 6 times and every other row 13 times…..does this mean the right side is decreased 6 times and the wrong side decreased 13 times???? Thank you for your help and for this great pattern.

  • Note4helen

    This is my first knit along and it is great. The pictures are a real help and I’m now working the sleeves. I like to do them at the same time just to get my measurements even. I’m working with the baby yarn and I love the effect.

  • Thejohnsonclan

    I’m done!!! It only took me 7 days! Wow – this chunky yarn works up quick. I am usually a loose knitter so I was surprised that my gauge was spot-on. It blocked to the exact sizes on the pattern. I surprised my husband with it and it came out really cozy & nice. I wish I’d made it a bit longer (he is tall) but it’s okay.

    As I said, my gauge and finished size came out exact. I made the 2nd men’s size which called for 9 skeins but IT ONLY TOOK ME 6 SKEINS! I had to order online to get the yarn. When I finished the sweater, I was going to return the extra but it was going to cost me $6 to mail $13 worth of yarn. I think I’ll get a 2nd color and make a striped one for my 14-year old son who wants one.

    For Gordie’s question — “decrease each row” would mean on the knit row and then also on the purl row. For “every other row”, I did all of the decreases on every right side row. This worked out well.

    There was one mistake in the pattern where you do a decrease or something and then it says “purl to end” but it was actually a knit row. Follow your gut and knit instead – stay in stockinette! :-)

    One other thing – I think the moderator was saying this but I’m not sure. I knit the pocket facings then cast on the stitches and knit the front. Then, I used kindof a “3 needle technique” to join the facing to the front with knit instead of having to go back later & sew it to the wrong side. It came out really smoothly. Also, when picking up stitches for around the entire edge (at the very end), I just picked up stitches through both the front and the facing instead of sewing the facing down and then picking up stitches.

    Happy knitting!
    Sue

    • gordie

      Wow, congratulations on finishing your sweater! That gives me something to look forward to! I also want to thank you so much, Sue, for clarifying the raglan shaping for me. It’s my first time making a sweater like this, and it is so reassuring to know that friends like you are there to help.

    • Jlorir

      Wow on fiishing so fast. I too am finding that I may not need as much yarn as was required. When I was knitting up the fronts I was trying to figure out how to knit in the facings with the fronts, but couldn’t figure it out. Good tip on picking up the stitches for both the front and the facing when doing the front ribbing – that means less sewing later (which is the part I hate to do).

  • Carriebutler

    I have finished the left front side of the sweater and now I am working on the right side. I am so glad the directions were provided in the reverse, this is my first sweater and I would have been totally lost. I do have a question on working on the front right side. I am at the Raglan and Neck Shaping. The first line says “Next Row (WS): Bind off 5 stitches for raglan edge, k to end of row. Are you supposed to bind off 5 stitches and purl to the end of the row? I wanted to check before I go on.

    • Madeline

      no, bind off 5 stitches and then knit to the end of the row. I think this was written for a RS (right side facing you) row. That’s what I did at least and my finished piece ended up looking right. ^_^ Best of luck!

    • Madeline

      Please ignore my first reply! I’m sorry, I’m so embarassed x.x If this is for the other side I think that you’re right, you would bind of on a purl row, and I would guess that the “k to end of row” is a mis-print and they meant to instruct you to purl! I haven’t gotten to the raglan shaping on the right front side, so I’m glad you posted this, I’ll know to look out for that when I get there!

  • Madeline

    This photo’s were so helpful when I got to the pockets! I’m still catching up myself, working on the second front piece at the moment. I’m using two strands of worsted weight wool for mine, and the gauge matched up perfectly! I’m so excited to finish this, I’m definitely going to be doing more knit alongs in the future, it’s so nice to be able to read others comments and concerns.

  • Kathy2200

    I am working on the back & starting to decrease. What method are we supposed to use? I started with 2tog on each end , then went to the slip stitch method. I can..’t get the two armholes to look alike. Need some help here.

    • Wyoming Girl

      Very often you will find that when you are decreasing across a row, you will use two different decreases. Typically a K2tog is done on the left hand side of a knit a row and the SSK is done on the right hand side. This is done so that the stitches look the same but reversed on opposite sides of the piece. When the decrease is not specified, you may use what ever you know. Try alternating methods as stated above and you should notice that they will look the same. Good Luck!

  • IMLilie

    Finally got my yarn in last thursday — I have finished the back and am working on the lft front. The pictures here are very helpful!!

  • Cpenrosa

    I also am behind, not having much time for my knitting and not getting supplies right away. I too, am usually a loose knitter and had to go up to size 15 needles to get the gauge with the Jiffy yarn. The pictures are wonderful. I am not that far yet but will be soon!

  • Pingback: Saturday Morning Hoodie Knit-Along, Part 4: The Nature of a Raglan | Lion Brand Notebook

  • Jessica

    Hi All!
    I started late as well. But this pattern is so easy. I now have my back, fronts and sleeves done. I fell behind on blocking so I still need to block a sleeve. Can’t wait to get to the sewing part. I did use a knit 1 at the beginning and end of each raglan. I am hoping my seams will look as good as yours.

    Thanks for the hints.

  • Jessica

    Hi All!
    I started late as well. But this pattern is so easy. I now have my back, fronts and sleeves done. I fell behind on blocking so I still need to block a sleeve. Can’t wait to get to the sewing part. I did use a knit 1 at the beginning and end of each raglan. I am hoping my seams will look as good as yours.

    Thanks for the hints.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VIOXBX7YNBSZJVYVXDY7E6ETSA Patricia

    About 3 weeks ago I discovered the Saturday Morning Hoodie pattern and decided to make it in man’s size L for my adult son’s birthday. I ordered the Lion Brand Wool-Ease chunky in the Walnut and it is knitting up very quickly. Then today, while googling the pattern name I discovered this KAL!! How wonderful. I have completed the back and half of the first front piece. This is the first time I have done pockets so it was a challenge but after looking at your photos, I am pleased to see I did it correctly. I did not know about the updated pattern so am happy to have that. When we get to the finishing, I am hoping there will be some ideas about various ways one might do the hood (So it is not too oversized) and other options for buttons besides the loops. Seeing various photos of the completed sweater on various internet sights makes me know too enthralled with the loops.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VIOXBX7YNBSZJVYVXDY7E6ETSA Patricia

    I downloaded the updated pattern, but I see they also made some changes to the numbers of the back raglan shaping. So I guess I should go with the old numbers since my back is finished already.

  • Doris

    I was waiting for my yarn to be delivered and due to the big blizzard it just came in late last week. Over the weekend I completed the back and am now on the left front – and I totally agree – the pictures will be a great help. I have never made a sweater for an adult so this is a first for me. I can’t wait to get the left side done so I can see how the pocket worked. I am really enjoying this knit along.

  • Koutnik Susan

    This is the first time I have used “tweed stripe” and I really want the two fronts to have matched striping. Same with the sleeves when I get to that point. I am going to ‘attempt’ to do both fronts at the same time starting with fresh skeins for each front. I am hoping this will help the yarn’s ‘self-striping’ to match up. Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

    • Koutnik Susan

      Well that won’t work. I just pulled yards and yards from two fresh skeins to compare the rate of color change. They don’t change at the same rate. At this point I don’t think I can get the color changes to happen at the same time with the two fronts so I guess I just don’t worry about it. I am rather compulsive so I am probably the only one that this will bother.

      • Anonymous

        Hi Susan, yes, I believe Tweed Stripes is a random-striping yarn that doesn’t have a set pattern, so it will be harder to match up. One tip: you may have some luck pulling from the other end of one of the balls to see if the stripes change more similarly in one direction than the other. Hope that helps!

      • Edna Dippre

        Hi Susan,
        I think it would bother me too. With things like sweaters, if I want a striped look I just use two colors & do striped sections in the same place (same rows) for each piece. The more “varegated” look is good for other things though. But I’ll bet you that you won’t find anyone out there that sees you wearing it will think twice about if the stripes match or not. Like me, it only bothers me for me. Just go with it. I’m sure it will look great!
        One other thought for next time you make something with a self-striping yarn: You can cast on all the stitches needed for the left front, then back, then right front & work them all at the same time in one smooth piece to the armhole division… Now sewing side seams either! It works great!
        Have fun with it!
        Edna

        • Koutnik Susan

          Now that I have finished the fronts and am working on the sleeves I really don’t mind too much that the striping doesn’t match exactly. there is enough similarity across the front that it is working out fine. I did find out after I had the fronts finished, that my back was too long. I had not included the ribbing in my final measurement of the back. The easiest thing for me to do was frog the back down to the beginning of where the raglan should have begun and fix it. Thankfully it was the back that was off and not the fronts. I tried to do both sleeves at the same time but my needles are too short to hold both sleeves with all the increases and I dont have the right size circular yet. So one at a time with the sleeves.

  • Pingback: Saturday Morning Hoodie Knit-Along, Part 5: Now the Hoodie has a Hood! | Lion Brand Notebook

  • Edna Dippre

    Somehow I missed Part 4 last week. I looked for it on my Lion Brand newsletter where I usually find it but it wasn’t there. So I just got Part 5 today. My sleeves are almost done so I hope I’m not too far behind!
    Had to stop working on it for 4 days due to tendonitis on my left hand & wrist! Part of why I usually crochet now rather than knit. But it’s almost done! On to find Part 4 now.

    • Sharyn

      I am having problems with my arthritis so my fingers, wrists and forearms are too painful to work on the sweater right now, is crocheting really easier on the joints? I taught myself to knit a couple years ago but haven’t tried crochet, I’d have to learn that on my own too and for some reason it looks harder even though I do knit lacework and love it.

      • Anonymous

        Hi Sharyn, the effect of knitting and crochet on arthritis is different with every individual, since everyone tensions the yarn differently, holds the tools slightly differently, etc. One tool that we sometimes recommend to people with joint pains is a knitting loom, which holds your individual knit stitches on separate pegs and also sits on a table. Because of these qualities, it uses less wrist and arm motion. Here’s a link to a very popular rake-style knitting loom on LionBrand.com and here’s a link to its companion book.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Edna, while we try to include the knit-along blog posts in the newsletter, they won’t always be in there due to space constraints. You can always find new knit-along blog posts here on the Lion Brand Notebook (http://blog.lionbrand.com) on Thursdays, and we recommend that you bookmark the blog so you can find it easily. Hope that helps!

  • Eli Lashley

    I’ve knitted the 2 fronts at the same time and also the sleeves at the same time to combat the problem of measuring. On the “Hoodie” I’ve decided to make button holes for a more finished look. If you do decide to knit a sweater from the bottom up, in one piece, it’s wise to decrease the stitches by one at the front sides and 1 stitch each side of the back or the sleeves might not fit in to the armhole. (no side seam). I’ve enjoyed this project and hope to do more with everyones help.
    Eli

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