OK - it's not the most intricate or impressive of jumpers so why am I so chuffed about it? Well, simply put, it's my emancipation proclamation. I have finally taken control of my knitting and feel like I've entered a new phase of the craft.
I've always wanted to knit in-the-round seamless jumpers but frankly I could never quite figure out Elizabeth Zimmermann's formula. You need to understand that anything that has to do with ciphers, calculations, percentages, maths and spacial reckoning makes my eyes glaze over; I get so bewildered that I begin to wonder if Alzheimer's Disease has set-in. Then, luckily for me, Warren told me about the book "The Sweater Workshop" by Jacqueline Fee. A visit to Amazon.com and the book was mine. I couldn't believe how clearly she teaches the EZ method (with permission).
I followed Ms. Fee's directions and knitted a jumper that actually fitted me! It was fun to try it on at various points and to make the necessary adjustments. I never once slavishly followed a pattern but took liberties as I felt were necessary. I chose the type of raglan decrease line, the type of cuffs and the neck style. It was great to get to the end and not have to put all the pieces together and sew them up. Yes, one does have to Kitchener the underarms but that's a piece of cake compared to all the sewing that is ordinarily required. As I worked this method, I could see how I will be able to adapt it to make jumpers with various stitch patterns as well as some alternate styles.
I knitted this in just 15 days, one day more than a fortnight. Now, I'm not a rapid knitter, just a dedicated one. I find that if I knit rapidly, I knit too tightly. I think this went so quickly because I was knitting in the round and always the stockinette stitch (yup, I don't like to purl much). Before I knew it, I was at the neckline. I didn't use DPN's but circulars from start to finish. I used both the Magic Loop and the sock method by Cat Bordhi.
I didn't do the sampler as it was not necessary for me. But, I did read that part of the book and I will use the information in it as a reference guide when doing pockets and some of the other techniques. If one has this book plus a book of knitting stitch patterns, there is no limit to the possibilities. When I look at jumper patterns now, I adapt them in my head to the in-the-round seamless style.
I'm glad I learned to make jumpers out of pieces but I wonder now if I can ever go back to that method now that I've tasted the freedom of working things in one piece in my own way. I highly recommend this book to anyone who (like me) needs some help to understand EZ's "Knitting Without Tears".
And, as usual, my apologies for the crappy photography. You can't see the beautiful oatmeal colour with the black flecks and all those even stockinette stitches.
Now, some credits to MWK colleagues - JPaul for constantly nattering at me to design my own patterns; Warren for telling me about the book, Kenny for his directions on Magic Loop and Simon for his lengthly explanations of seamless knitting. Thanks, mates!