Monday, September 29, 2014

Knitting a Pente

As promised, here is how I put together my Pente. The sweater has interesting construction and even though the designer rates the sweater as 4 out of 5 difficulty, it really isn't that difficult. The sweater makes use of several techniques that could be tricky:
  • Provisional cast on (I used Judy's Magic Cast on instead)
  • Turned Hem
  • Increase / decrease shaping to get the wings.
  • Stripes
  • Short rows
  • 3-needle bind off.
  • Cast on to cast on edge grafting. (I should have used judy's magic cast on here, since the grafting took patience and precision.
  • The fit. The sleeves are knit horizontally, making for a trickier fit and creating a lot of pieces that flop around.

    Here's how I did it:

    I chose the specified yarn for this sweater as it is very light. This is a big sweater and the lightness of Loft really helps. I think if knit in a standard sock yarn, the front wings could weight the sweater down and pull.
    I cast on using Judy's Magic Cast-on. As you may gather from previous posts, I try to use this where ever a provisional cast on is called for. I have to say, this was my longest one ever, 628 stitches across 2 needles. I like using this cast on because I can establish such a good rhythm and whip out a large number of stitches very fast.
    The pattern starts with knitting the turned hem in the contrast color.
    The inside of the hem is knit in stockinette...
    ...followed by one row of reverse stockinette to encourage the hem to fold.
    The color is switched to the main color and the stockinette continues for the required number of stitches.
    Time to knit the 2 sides of the hem together. Since I used Judy's Magic Cast-on, all I need to do is to start knitting the stitches together: 1 stitch from each needle is knit together. This is similar to the 3-needle bind off, except you are not binding off. The front side of the hem...
    The back side of the hem...
    Completion of the initial main color section.
    Completion of first stripe section.
    Completion of the 2+4 stripe section.
    Completion of the 2+2 stripe body section. The bottom of the sweater is complete and its time to start the arms and shoulders.
    I cast on 70 additional stitches for the sleeve. (I should have figured out how to use Judy's Magic Cast-on, but I thought about it too late.) I continued with the right front and completed the 2+2 stripe section.
    Sleeve shaping is completed next. Short rows are used to shape the sleeve.
    Shoulder shaping follows, again using short rows
    I completed the front left shoulder.
    ...and the back.
    Sweater shoulders are bound off using a 3-needle bind off with the chain edge showing on the outside. The color is added and the main body of knitting is complete.
    The sweater is blocked before I seam the underarms. I soaked the sweater in water; squeezed the water out; wrapped it in a towel to remove any excess water and then laid it out to dry.
    Time for the underarms. I chose to graft them together -- think Kitchener, but flat. The grafted row is in the middle of the picture.
    The results.

    I really need to knit more sweaters. I can fit a sock in my sleep, but sweaters are still a little iffy. Gomoku is my best fitting sweater to date, so I have to keep up the momentum.

    My project can be found on Ravelry at Gomoku.

    Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl. Prairie Willow is an avid knitter and jewelry designer. My jewelry can be found at Prairie Willow Jewelry;

    Photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits. "Pente" pattern copyright by Carol Feller..

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