Monday, April 09, 2007

Origami baby cardigan

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I have been working on a very simple, but quite complicated, baby cardigan these last few days. Simple, because there is no shaping, and the whole thing is knit in garter stitch. Complicated, because I set out to knit without any seams - not quite in one piece as I have had to cut the yarn and rejoin in another place, and I slightly cheated by grafting the shoulder seams - invisibly again - BUT there are no seams to be seen anywhere on this cute litte sweater now.

origami in process
The picture above shows the work in progress. The body was knit in one piece, then split into three sections - front left and front left sleeve, back and back sleeves, and right front and right front sleeve. This is the order I worked around the sweater.
At the splitting point, I continued working just on the left front and the left arm - an invisible cast-on was used to ensure I had live stitches to pick up for the other half of the sleeve. I knit until the arm and front was finished, then parked the live stitches.
The back was worked in the same way: I picked up the live stitches from the cast-on of the sleeve, knit across the back and then cast-on for the second sleeve using the invisible cast on method. The image shows the work almost finished on the back section and back sleeves. The Cast On can be seen providing live stitches for the right front sleeve.

graftinggraftingI decided to free up some needles and sew the first shoulder seam there and then, rather than at the end. The secret to invisible grafting is simple: 'knit, purl - purl, knit' - this is how you would normally sew into the stitches when doing kitchener stitch (aka grafting). has a great video tutorial for those not yet in the know!
However, with this garter stitch jacket, I needed the grafting stitch to look like a knit on the bottom row, and a purl on the top, in order to completely hide the seam. So, ensuring that two different edges are facing here (i.e. one looking like a purl edge, the other looking like a knit edge), the mantra becomes 'knit, purl - knit, purl'. This results in a perfect match for the grafting.

picking up stitchesPicking up the stitches and making sure your pieces are facing the right way can be quite strange - it is easiest when the cardigan is folded back at the 'split' line, then it becomes very obvious. For the last section to be completed, the right front and front sleeve, I picked up the live stitches from the CO, then knit across the front and continued this section of the cardigan. Soon enough, the piece was finished and the second shoulder seam was grafted in the same way as the first.

And here we are: one cute, easy but complex, origami baby sweater!

Origami Baby Cardigan

finished origami
Colorado yarn, 100% cotton, 85m/50g approx.
4.5mm needles
waste yarn for invisible cast ons

19st x 28r = 10x10cm (4x4in)


Using your standard cast-on method, CO 92 stitches. Knit in garter stitch (knit every row) for 50 rows. On the next RS row, k1, *k2tog, yo* repeat to last but one stitch, k1. In the return row, knit all stitches, making sure you knit the yarn overs untwisted, so they form holes. This is where a tie will be threaded through at the end.

The work now splits. Continue with the front left section, ignoring the other stitches (if you are using a flexible needle - like you would for knitting in the round - you can leave the stitches on the same needle - otherwise move them to waste yarn or another needle).
k23, then using the waste yarn and provisional cast-on method, CO 24 stitches. turn work, and knit all 47 stitches. Continue back and forth until you have knit 26 rows from the split, ending on a WS row. cut yarn, leaving a long tail, enough to BO 56 stitches (around the neck) later on.
Park all live stitches.

Next, work the back section.
Pick up and knit across 24 stitches from the provisional cast on on the bottom of the left sleeve, k46 for the back, then using waste yarn again, CO 24 stitches for the right arm. Knit every row back and forth until you have knit 26 rows from the split, ending on a WS row. Please note that you should not knit the last 33 stitches - this is to ensure that the front and back section of the left sleeve will face each other with a purl and a knit edge when it comes to grafting. Cut yarn, leaving a tail long enough to graft the shoulder seam (about 3x the length of the shoulder).

Next, work the front right section.
Pick up and knit 24 stitches from the provisional cast-on on the bottom of the right sleeve, k23 across the front. Work back and forth until you have knit 26 rows from the split, ending on a WS row. Note that you should not knit the last 33 stitches, to ensure the correct edges will be facing for grafting the right shoulder seam. Cut yarn and leave tail long enough to sew shoulder seam.

Place 33 stitches for each arm section onto a straight pair of knitting needles. This will make grafting easier.
(Ignore 14 stitches on both fronts, and 28 stitches in the middle back section - these will be BO at the end for the neck)
Start with a purl on the front needles, and a purl on the first stitch back needle. Now, sew to the following: knit (slip) purl on the front needle, knit (slip) purl on the back needle. Repeat until you reach the end. Sew the last two stitches in pattern, i.e. knit (slip) in front, then knit (slip) on the back needle. Sew in end.
Repeat for the other shoulder seam.

Place remaining live stitches on needle(s) and BO in one go, starting with the neck stitches for front left, then back, then front right.

Sew in all ends.

For the tie, crochet a chain, or use ribbon of choice. thread through holes and you are done!

Hope you enjoyed this cardigan.


TheYarnKnotzi said...

That sweater looks FABULOUS!! It reminds me very much of the "Bog Jacket" in EZ's Knitting in the Round. I've made a couple of those for small ones, and it's always fun!!

Anonymous said...

I love your little sweaters!!
I also love the yarn you use.
Would you mind telling me what
yarn you used for the green variegated???

Thanks in advance.


Svea said...

HI Chris,

it's a cheap yarn I got from our local LIDL store. 300g for £3.99, it's called Colorado 100% cotton.

The orange varigated and the green varigated are the same type of yarn - it's all in the dye.

Sorry I cannot be more specific.

amanda said...

Adorable cardigan! Thanks for sharing the pattern.

Allena said...

that is wonderful!

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