Thursday, July 12, 2007

Super Chunky Extra Funky Stash Busting Sweater

Otterwise Super Funky Extra Chunky Stash Busting Sweater.

This sweater is all about warmth. I designed it with the intention of making sweaters for donation to Warm Woolies.

EDITED TO ADD: Warm Woolies is no longer in operation.

if you are n Ravelry, and equivalent group is here:


Having grown up in a pretty cold part of the world, in an old house with heating that didn't reach all the way upstairs, I know the value of a thick cushy sweater you can pull on over other clothes, with a high collar you can pull up around your ears or fold down out of the way, with long sleeves you can pull over your hands for extra warmth. Warm Woolies donates wool clothing to orphanages in many less well-funded parts of the world, places that sometimes have no heat in winter.

Gather your excess yarn, those skeins and partial bits left over from projects, or that ended up not being as useful as you thought, or that you no longer like.

Divide them into weights: fingering, sport, worsted and bulky. I used about 16 ounces total of yarn, I think. Overestimate the amount needed, and you'll have plenty of colors to choose from.

How you combine the colors is up to you, but keep in mind the concept that 5 colors must be combined with care, 25 colors will always go together. My example here is made from mostly neutral, muted tones, and it turned out almost classy. :-} My next one will be bright, eye popping colors of many shades. The use of several strands together brings harmony.

I used size 13 circular needles. You may also wish to have size 13 DPNS, but it can be done all on circulars. If you wish a looser fabric and a larger sweater, you could follow this pattern with size 15 needles instead.

Gauge on size 13 needles: appx 10 stitches/13 rows per 4 inches

You will be knitting with several strands together. For example, I used 3 strands of fingering weight with 2 strands of worsted. As I ran out of one yarn, I replaced it with a yarn of the same weight OR a yarn one step larger or smaller in weight. Because this is such a chunky knit, as long as the cumulative group of strands is about the same, the sweater works out just fine.

To join in a new yarn, take the last 8 -12 inches of one yarn and cross it over the first 8-12 inches of the new yarn. Pull the end of the old yarn back up toward the needle and grasp it with the main group of strands. Let the 8-12 inches of the new yarn dangle down, so that when the old yarn is finished, the loop of the new yarn will feed right into the main group of strands. I usually snip off any ends that have worked their way out at the end of the project even with the worked fabric, but you could pull enough out to weave an end in by needle if you wish.

This pattern makes an oversized sweater in child's medium-large.

Cast on 68 stitches on size 13 circular needles. Join, being careful not to twist. Mark beginning of row.

Work k2, p2 around for 6 rows.

Work straight stitch for 40 rows or until you reach the length desired from mid-chest to hem. I made mine rather long-geared, for warmth.

K across 34 stitches, place remaining 34 stitches on holder or waste yarn for back.

sl1, P across first 34 stitches, and continue in stockinette for an additional 14 rows. slipping first stitch of each row. You will end with a purled row.

Begin front left (as worn) shoulder

Sl 1, k 8 stitches. place remaining 25 stitches on holder or waste yarn.
sl 1, purl across
sl 1. k8
sl 1, p8.

Place 9 shoulder (left shoulder as worn) stitches on holder or waste yarn. leave length of yarn for weaving in, and cut.

Begin front right (as worn) shoulder.

place 1st 9 stitches from holder on the other side of the front, onto needle, with needle pointing toward outer edge of sweater.
join yarn, and purl across.
sl 1, k across
sl 1, p across
sl 1, k across.

Place 9 shoulder (right shoulder as worn) stitches on holder or waste yarn. Leave length of yarn for weaving in and cut.

Begin Back
Place held "Back" stitches on holder and join yarn, from knit side.
knit 16 rows in stockinette, ending on a purl row.

Begin back right (as worn) shoulder.
Sl 1, k 8 stitches. place remaining 23 stitches on holder or waste yarn.
sl 1, p across
sl 1. k 8
sl 1, p 8.

Place 9 shoulder (left shoulder as worn) stitches on holder or waste yarn. leave length of yarn for weaving in, and cut.

Begin back left(as worn) shoulder
place 1st 9 stitches from holder on the other side of the front, onto needle, with needle pointing toward outer edge of sweater.
join yarn, and purl across.
sl 1, k across
sl 1, p across
sl 1, k across.

Join front shoulder stitches to back shoulder stitches, using preferred method (3-needle bind off, grafting, etc) By using a 3-needle bind off I was able to go directly from the last shoulder seam to picking up stitches around the neck.

Begin Collar
You may switch to DPNs if more comfortable.

Beginning at left front (as worn) shoulder seam for Collar
pick up & k 4 st
knit 16 st from holder
Pick up & k 8 st to back held stitches
k 16 st from holder
Pick up & k 4 st .
total 48 st.

You may have fewer or more stitches, as long as the number is divisible by 4.

place marker for beg of rnd.
Work in rib stitch for 8-10 rnds.

Use more rounds if you are making this for a large child. The collar will fold down when not needed for extra warmth. Bind off loosely.

For the sleeves you can use either circular needles or DPNs, whichever you are more comfortable with.

Pick up stitches around arm hole with circular needle or DPNs. Use 2 stitches per slipped stitch if you want the sleeves extra wide for a larger child. Make certain the picked up stitch total is divisible by 4.

If you wish to work the sleeves flat, Pick up onto your circular needles beginning at lowest point under the arm, but do not join into a round, just work back and forth in stockinette. Seam the sleeve when finished.

If working in the round, Mark beginning of row.

HINT: If you knit through the back loop during the very first round/row after picking up stitches, it makes each of the pick up stitches much tighter, reducing any holes.

If you picked up extra stitches or if you want a smaller sleeve circumference at wrist, decrease stitches evenly around the sleeve after the first 10 rows, over several rounds, to circumference desired. Make certain final number is divisible by 4.

Work for a total of 35 rows (45 if for a larger child), then begin k2, p2 ribbing. Work k2/p2 ribbing for 6 rounds, bind off loosely. These sleeves are longer than you might expect. Feel free to knit fewer rows if you want a more tailored look.

HINT: I don't own a needle with a large enough eye for all those yarns together. Rather than weave in the yarn ends individually (which of course you may do) I used a crochet hook to weave them all in securely at once.

IMPORTANT: Make note of any decreases (what row and how many) you do on the first sleeve, so it is easy to match the second sleeve :-}

In my example here, I picked up 36 stitches around the armhole (more near the bottom where ease is welcome) and decided to do 8 total decreases (k2, k2tog around to last 4 stitches, then K last 4 stitches) all on row number 32. I liked the huggable balloon-shaped sleeve that resulted.

Copyright Otterwise Designs


Ysabeau said...

Some lucky child is going to really feel good in that pretty sweater! I love to see what you are making, won't you post more pictures? This sweater looks soooo cozy, and I remember waiting for my school bus in the icy Oregon rain, in an acrylic summer weight sweater several sizes too small... great charity!



Lynx said...

I'm warm just looking at the photo of the sweater! Almost makes me wish it were cold out so I could snuggle in a quilt with a murder mystery and cup of cocoa. ALMOST!!!! Will stick with enjoying the iced tea with my murder mysteries, in the lawn chair under the bower in my little green haven... Gives me time to buy circular needles, since I usually use the straights (not even the dpn)... Or make some, I have enough plastic to recycle...