Thursday, June 2, 2011

Crazy Aunt Purl's Sweater - Top Down Knitting

Progress up to last night.
I remember the first time that I knit a top-down garment. It was the February Lady Sweater which is actually a cardigan. I was living in Haiti and had very little access to patterns or anything knitting related. I had just discovered Ravelry and felt that I had gone to Knitters’ Heaven! I picked the pattern because I liked it. But when I read the instructions, I was so confused!
I had been knitting for over 35 years and had always knit a sweater or cardigan in its separate pieces and then sewn together (with lots of sighs because I do not like sewing knitted fabric by hand - though I love “actual” sewing with a machine). Often, I would finish knitting a garment just to have the pieces laying around for weeks or even months before I would sit down and sew the pieces together. Isn't it weird how we get stuck in the way we do things for years?! 
However, with these instructions, it told you to start at the YOKE! “The Yoke?! Has the pattern designer been drinking?!” I asked myself. 
Then I read through the pattern and started to get the picture about how a top-down garment like this was constructed. But, I was still not convinced that this would actually work. So, I decided that I would participate in the top-down knitting adventure and that I would just go along with the instructions as they went on. I figured that if I approached this project one-row-at-a-time and not question the logic, I might make it through the pattern.
I just went ahead and started and it come out lovely! This cardigan, the February Lady Sweater is to this day my favorite cardyigan (I still have it and wear it)! I was converted to top-down knitting! I read everything on the internet about top-down knitting and started a list of books and/or patterns that I had to purchase next time I was in the U.S. like the book by Barbara Walker, Knitting from the Top.
Eventually, I started designing top-down…. 
There is a thread that I started a few days ago where I show photos of how the sweater is growing step-by-step, but here are some more photos from where I stopped last night:

I have finished writing up the pattern and doing all the calculations, but now I need to find the time to type up the pattern.  So, do I knit and finish this sweater that I am now totally addicted to? Or do I write up the pattern now?  Though, I really need the finished garment before I can post the finished pattern, right?

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