In Progress: Cerulean Cardigan

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I’ve expressed on more than one occasion here on this blog that I dislike seaming in the knitting process — with passion!evil But I always thought it was one of those things that I cannot avoid and I just have to live with the torture … until I discovered a miracle called the top-down knitting method!  Who knew that there was a way to knit a garment from the top down, in one piece!  Thank you, Wendy Bernard, creator of one of my favorite knitting blogs, Knit and Tonic, and author of the book, Custom Knits, for introducing me to this amazing alternative!

I spent many hours reading the instruction for the method in her book.  Just like her blog, Wendy’s instruction is very well written, but for some reason, I just couldn’t decipher how garments were constructed. Everything was so new that I just couldn’t wrap my head around it.  Determined to crack the code, I purchased her DVD tutorial and after watching it, like five times, I finally saw the light.  Once I had the “a-ha” moment, everything started to make sense, and I was finally ready to tackle a project – and I selected Cerulean Cardigan that accompanied the DVD.

I am not done with the cardigan yet, but I decided to post some of the photos that show the cardigan construction.  I found some of the Raverly posts with in-progress photos extremely helpful and I wanted to share mine as well, in case some confused souls stumbled upon this blog.

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The Back: The first picture is what the piece looks like when both the back and two fronts (right and left fronts) are knitted. As you can see from this photo here, the initial cast-on row is now on top. The piece makes more sense when it’s draped on a form.  (There’s a yellow yarn on the cast-on row because I used Provisional cast-on with waste yarn.)

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The Shoulder:  Because you pick up stitches from the Provisional cast-on, there’s no need to sew the back and the fronts together. I love it — there are no seams!

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The Body:  This is what the front of the cardigan looks like. It looks like a sexy bikini at this stage!lol

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Armholes:  The extra stitches that you casted on on both the back and the front allow these pieces to come together in the middle.

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Knitting Together:  Here’s what it looks like when you knit the right and left fronts with the back panel together.  Although a circular needle is used to knit these pieces together, you don’t knit all these pieces in the round because this is a cardigan with opened front, unlike a sweater.

Okay, off to knit some more! Now that the more confusing parts of the construction are over, I hope the rest of the knitting will go, well, seamlessly.lol

Update (1/9/13):

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Making progress. OMG, NO SIDE SEAMS! I’m doing a happy dance right now!

Update (1/13/13):

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Front and Back / Ribbing: I finished the front and back, as well as side ribbing. I like how it came out, but the caveat here is that I used two circular needles in a different size (size 7 and 8) and the rib sizes came out inconsistent! eek Once side is definitely smaller than the other! Oh well, I hope it’s not too noticeable when I wear it.

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Eeek, my arm pain came back while knitting this cardigan.cry Could this be from being pregnant? It’s not atypical for me to knit for hours and hours but I never had this kind of pain until I conceived. I know that carpal tunnel syndrome is common for prego ladies, but I’m not certain it this is it, or just Tennis Elbow for knitting too much (and a bit too tight). Whatever the cause, I spent two horrible days and nights with frozen fruit bags wrapped around my arm, battling this incredibly uncomfortable dull pain on now my right arm. I know it’s my body’s way of telling me to take it easy on the repetitive motion of knitting so I will probably take a few days of sabbatical from this garment. It’s probably also the Universe’s way of telling me to get off the couch and clean the apartment!

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2 thoughts on “In Progress: Cerulean Cardigan

  1. Hello
    I just wanted to say thank you for explaining the top-down method. I hadn’t heard of it until 5 minutes ago when I received an email of knitting book recommendations. I then googled ‘What is the top-down method?’ & clicked onto you. I am really interested to learn this method but don’t know where to begin. Is there a simple pattern that I could begin with please?

  2. Hi Gina! Thanks for finding me and leaving a comment.

    I think the best place to start is from Wendy Bernard’s book, Custom Knits. All the patterns in the book use the top-down method and she explains the entire process in great detail. I also purchased her video tutorial from InterWeave, which helped me understand the process tremendously.

    Here’s the link to the tutorial. It’s not cheap but I’m glad I bought it. It comes with two pattens, including the Cerulean Cardigan you see here.

    http://www.interweavestore.com/Knitting/DVDs-Videos/Knitting-Daily-Workshops/Knitting-from-the-top-down-Download.html

    There are also lots of tutorials on YouTube that you can check out!

    Good luck and let me know how it turns out! 🙂

    Hirono

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