Fifteen Days to Freedom

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 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!

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 


Bill's picture

It's beautiful! ... . .....guess I have to get the Fee book... LOL Bill

JPaul's picture

BRAVO! What a great accomplishment, Jesse.   I love reading entries like this.  You sound chuffed, and with good reason.  (Chuffed, by the way, is my new favorite word).

Well done. 

Jesse, I'm just blown away. That is incredible.  Your gauge is impeccible.  You have every right to be very proud.  P'raps we should do a gansey together for moral support when we get to the steek bit! Aaaarrrrrgggghhhhhh ! !  You *may* have just given me the gumption to get out the 17" DPN weapons and start one.   

The collar looks like a perfect fit.  Did you have to put gussets in the armpit area?  It doesn't look like it but everything else looks so good they could be hidden. :^D  Bravo, Indeed! 

~Der Gefährliche Schal-Stricker

victor's picture

Hi Jesse,  That's a great result and in only 15 days. I am managing about two hours a night knitting at present, at that rate it would take about a month for me. I tried doing a seamless sweater using EZ's techniques some years ago with a very disappointing outcome and finished up undoing it!! Am now inspired to give it another go when I have finished my current project and the clogs which are lined for the next. BTW I find when doing stst in the round the knitted fabric tends 'corkscrew',any one have that problem???

Here's a trick that you might want to try:
When knitting socks that have color changes from a set of rounds to another set of rounds one encounters that corkscrewing problem.  It's easily dispatched and will
help with solid colored garments too, however, by simply picking up the stitch from the previous round directly UNDER what will be your first stitch
of your next round and knitting it along with your first stitch of your new round.
Oh, sure - *you'll* be able to tell if you're as anal as I am, but The Great Unwashed will never know from the back of a galloping horse.  ASCII ART:


Knit your first stitch of your new round (top Big X) whilst picking up the stitch directly below that new stitch (lower Big X).
It's a subtle visual illusion but it *does* help.  

~Mike in Tampa

~Der Gefährliche Schal-Stricker

Aaronknits's picture

Excellent job Jesse!!!  I'm finally working on the sleeves for Michael's sweater, and I'm not looking forward to having to sew them all together.  The next pattern I will be working on is a sweater done completely in the round.  I might just pick up that book too, before I start. 

KenInMaine's picture

Wow, what a great looking sweater!  Congrats!  I have "The Sweater Workshop" and have done the sampler, which was a great learning experience.  Now I just have to find some yarn I really like and get started on a whole sweater.  Fall will be here before we know it, I better get cracking!

charmingbilly's picture

a great jumper!!! i've seen warren's post about the book by Fee and now you've shown some proof in the pudding so it's moved to the top of the must haves!  i especially like how you've done the shoulders/arms.

Jesse, It lokks great.. I went to look and found the book at my local Barnes and Noble. Now I am going to try it, because to sew seams.

Excellent sweater jesseI I posted a similar threat in Warrens blog. I bought Fee's book  a few months ago but not really looked through it properly yet but seeing your's and Warrens acomplishments I will now be reading it from cover to cover. Ive had the wool for a while and Ive got the needles and now the inspiration. All I need now is a bit of time.

Warren's picture

Jesse, I've been wondering for several days now how you were liking the book, then you post this.  What an AWESOME sweater!  I am so glad the book has worked out for you.  I can hardly wait to get started on my first sweater in the round. 

Jesse it's fabulous. I just bought the book so will be be knitting soon after the clog pattern arrives & all the other projects I have going. I hope that in my 5 weeks off I can finish a few projects & be free to start a new set! 

Knit away, knit away

"They say best men are moulded out of faults; and, for the most, become much more the better for being a little bad." William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

Jeff1201PA's picture

That is so beautiful.  Another excellent example, Jesse!

Longtime faggot, first time knitter.

Longtime faggot, first time knitter.