Alison Hansel in Charmed Knits
Elizabeth Zimmermann in Knitting Without Tears
It started with a gift. One, simple gift, from my friend Blaire for Christmas. It wasn’t much, but the fact was, she had gone through the effort of making me a bag of granola, and I hadn’t done squat for her. So I picked up my copy of Charmed Knits, and proceeded to make her a mini-sweater.
Three hours later, I had finished, and I was very frustrated with all of the seaming, all the ends I had to weave in, and all the little pieces and complicated joining. I knew that, if I could make these little sweaters in a seamless fashion, they would be so much more fun. So I picked up my copy of Knitting Without Tears, had it open alongside Charmed Knits on my desk, and began to merge Elizabeth Zimmermann’s brilliant seamless sweater recipes with the proportions from Alison Hansel’s little sweaters. And I couldn’t stop making them for a week.
Be warned: while these sweaters take out the seaming aspects, they make the knitting itself much more complicated (there’s a bit of short rows and quite creative grafting involved). If you would rather keep the knitting itself plain and simple, and seam quite a bit, go with Alison Hansel’s pattern. But if you want to try your hand at some Elizabeth Zimmermann brilliance, dive right in. But beware! They’re highly addictive!
Needles: Whatever you use to knit on the round, US5/3.75mm if you’re using DK or worsted, US3/3.25mm if you’re using sport or fingering, or whatever size you’re comfortable with for your yarn.
Yarn: 25yd/m, 10g of whatever you have lying around :), 1yd/m of contrasting color for letter
Gauge: Does it really matter? They’re mini-sweaters.
Notions: Waste yarn, scissors, tapestry needle, stitch markers (locking or split ring if making hybrid)
Abbreviations: I use Knitty’s List of Standard Abbreviations
For all variations:
CO 28sts. Join in a round, being careful not to twist.
K 14 rounds.
Put on waste yarn.
Sleeves (make 2)
Work 2x2 rib for 4 rounds.
K 10 rounds.
Put on waste yarn.
Starting at the beginning of the round for the body, K the first 12 sts of the body on to the needle. Put the next 2 sts on a short length of waste yarn. K 10 sts from one sleeve on to the needle. Place the last 2 sts on waste yarn. K the next 12sts from the body onto the needle; put the last 2 body sts on waste yarn. Put the first two sts of the second sleeve on waste yarn. K the last 10 sleeve sts on to the needle. 44 sts total.
Work desired shoulder choice (Yoke, Raglan, Saddle, Hybrid; see below)
K 3 rounds.
Graft together underarms (this is going to take a little fudging – use your instincts!).
Hybrid only: Graft together shirt yoke on the back.
Weave in ends.
Bottom and neck edges should curl. Sleeve cuffs should be folded over.
Duplicate stitch letter. I fit all my letters in to a 5st wide by 7st tall rectangle.
K 4 rounds.
Round 5: *K3, K2tog* five times, K4, *K3, K2tog* three times
Round 6: *K2, K2tog* five times, K4, *K2, K2tog* three times
Round 7: *K1, K2tog* five times, K4, *K1, K2tog* three times
Neck Shaping: K15, w&t, P5, w&t, K6, w&t, P6, w&t, K11
Round 1: *K12, PM, K10, PM* twice
Round 2: *K to 2 sts before marker, SSK, SM, K2tog* four times
Repeat rounds 2 & 3 once more, then repeat round 2. After you finish the last round, w&t, P14, w&t, K14. K1 round, picking up and knitting the wraps as you go.
Round 1: K
Round 2: K 11, K2tog, K8, SSK, K10, K2tog, K8, SSK (the last SSK is going to include the first st of the next round)
Round 3: *K10, SSK, K6, K2tog* twice
Round 4: *K10, SSK, K4, K2tog* twice
Round 5: *K10, SSK, K2, K2tog* twice
Round 6: *K10, SSK, K2tog* twice
First Saddle: K11, SSK, turn, P1, P2tog, turn
Second Saddle: K13, SSK, turn, P1, P2tog, turn, K2
Neck-back: K17, SSK, turn, P6, P2tog, turn, K to end of round.
Round 1: K
Round 2: K10, S2KP (placing marker in this st), *K8, S2KP (placing marker in st)* three times (last S2KP will use first st of next round)
Round 4: *K to within 1 st of marked st, S2KP* four times (last S2Kp will use first st of next round)
First Saddle: K to second marked st, SSK, turn, sl1, P to marked st, P2tog, turn
Shirt yoke: BO4,
Second Saddle: K to second marked st, SSK, turn, sl1, P to marked st, P2tog, turn, BO4, K4
Neck Set-up: K4, pick up 4 sts where first saddle is bound off, pick up 6 sts along neck yoke, K4 on second saddle.