my first jumper

Okay, it's not the one I started first, but I was bored after I knit the front and back of my 'real' first. I needed some instant gratification and I've also never joined pieces together before and didn't want to ruin the pieces I'd spent months (off and on) making.

A co-worker suggested I knit something up using size 50 needles, those big red plastic 'speed stix' - my gauge using them is 5 st = 4", so things go quickly. Making this also gave me the chance to use up yarn that I've had for over a year - New Zealand wool, the name's Bulky Lopi I think, I balled it all up and threw out the labels. It's got a nice rustic look, but it's a bit furry and too scratchy for tighter stitches. It took me the weekend (mostly putting it together) plus some finishing Monday night crocheting a neck band. Now I have a few questions, and any advice would be helpful.

1) The shoulder seams are gigantic. While it's nice to look broad-shouldered for once, is there a good way to attach pieces 'end to side' and not create a big seam?

2) How do you weave ends in without it being visible from the right side? This is something I can't find any info on in my (very small) knitting library.

3) Patterns! I need more, for things like men's jumpers, scarfs and hats, that aren't hideous. Book/web site suggestions?


You could graft the seams together and this way it will be flat.

drmel94's picture

1. I assume that you mean the seam at the armhole when you say "end to side". There are a couple of options. One would be to do the sleeve in the round by picking up stitches around the finished armhole and working down - no sewing seams at all! If doing a jumper in pieces (flat or in the round Norwegian-style), though, and working in bulky yarn, you might do well to look for a lighter weight yarn in a matching or near-matching color to do the sewing with.

2. What I typically do is split the yarn into individual plies (even lopi yarns are generally two very loose plies which you can split if you take a bit of care). Then with a darning needle (large eye like a tapestry needle, but with a very sharp point), pull the plies through the backs of a few stitches. I also turn the plies back and sew them into themselves a bit, as I feel it will keep it from working itself out.

3. Finding nice men's patterns is always a challenge. Interweave Knits usually has at least one men's pattern per issue - not always to my taste but nice more often than not. And occasionally there's a decent pattern in Knitty (check their archives). Of course, the obvious best answer is to design your own. If you don't have them in your current collection, you should get as many Elizabeth Zimmermann books as you can, as well as Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' Knitting in the Old Way. EZ's books have some basic patterns, but the focus in her books and in the PG-R book is really on the engineering involved in garment construction, and both really encourage you to construct garments that work for your needs and give you the tools to do just that.

"Hatred does not end by hatred; hatred ends by love. This is the eternal law." - Buddha

My favorite way to do shoulder seams is what I think I've seen referred to as a three-needle bind-off. When you reach the shoulder, don't bind off your stitches. Just leave them on a spare needle, stitch holder or a piece of string. When you're ready to join the front and back, place the stitches from each on a separate needle and hold them in your left hand with the right sides of the fabric together. Insert your right-hand needle through one stitch on the front piece and one stitch on the back, then pull the working yarn through both of them and slide them off their needles. Repeat with the next two stitches, one from the front and one from the back. Now pick up the first stitch from the right-hand needle and pass it over the second stitch and off the needle. Continue like this to the end, pull the yarn through the last stitch and then neatly weave in the ends.