March 18, 2009

Yea! Choco-Java Bean Hoody Done!

OK, I know I said it was done already, but now I can add pictures and details. The pictures because anyone reading this might like to see how it turned out, and details in case I ever want or need to remember what I did. Can you see how the color changes going from hood to hem?

When I dyed the yarn, I didn't have a pot large enough to fit the full kilo of yarn, so I did batches and ended up with 2 or 3 hanks of yarn in each batch. While I did weigh out the amount of each dye I used, I wasn't to concerned with making all the hanks exactly the same. By the way, I purchased this yarn from DeNaturaWools of Uruguay. It is Corridale wool, soft enough for me to wear next to my skin (and I really don't like itchy things), and tough enough for outer wear like a... sweatshirt! Plus, it has a slight luster to it, and I like that.

After dying the yarn, or maybe even before, I knew I wanted to knit it into a hooded sweatshirt. (Wow, sweatshirt... really, that sounds gross, think about it! From now on its just a hoodie.) But it took me a while to decide what pattern I wanted to use. And then the holiday season rolled around and I had other things to knit. Finally, I had time to consider patterns. I looked online, I looked in magazines, I queried my knitting friends. I saw lots of patterns I liked, but none that seemed right for this yarn, which I was deteremined to use. Click here for that discussion. Whew, I almost started repeating my earlier post. Uh-oh, I did repeat myself. Must be time for another picture.

Look! There's my cell phone peaking out of its own special pocket.

Below is a basic outline of how I built my hoody; if you don't care about the nuts and bolts, just scroll down to the next picture.

CO 16 sts using long tail provisional cast-on, there will be 32 sts total when both sides of the caston are knit. Hood and neckline are knit flat and then joined at bottom of placket and body of sweater is knit in the round. Place marked at back end of row. For this hoody, I used moss stitch for the first 4 sts at the face opening. Knit 10 increase row (2 increases at back of hood on rs row, on either side of marker). I think 8 or 9 increase rows would have been fine too.

Time for wrap and turn (w&t) shaping in the hood, this adds ease and fullness around the face when the hood is up, and I think improves the look of how the hood rests across the shoulders when worn down.

Continue knitting in pattern until hood measures approximately 12" from top to needles and start short row shaping on next rs row; knit in pattern for next 16 sts (about 7 or 8") and w&t and purl back in pattern. RS row, knit in pattern for next 13 sts and w&t, leaving 2 unworked sts between w&t and purl back in pattern. Make a total of 4 w&t and on the next rs row knit in pattern to end, picking up and knitting all wrapped stitches as you come to them.

Now its time to do the same w&t for the other side of the hood, except this time its done on the purl side. After the 4th series of w&t, purl in pattern all the way across, picking up and purling the wrapped stitches as you come to them.

rs - knit across in pattern

Now its time for the shoulder/neck bind off. I'm not entirely sure this is neccessary, but I think it might help keep some shaping in the sweater;
ws - work in pattern for 11 sts, bind off next 21 sts knitwise, work next 11 sts in pattern,
rs - work in pattern for 11 sts, pick up and knit next 21 sts across shoulders and neck and work remaining 11 sts in pattern.

Now its time to place markers for the shoulder seams;
ws - work in pattern for 11 sts, pm, p8, pm, p14, pm, p8, pm, work in pattern to end of row.

rs - for this row and following rows until desired sleeve depth is reached, work in pattern until stitchs flanking marker, k1-f/b before and after each marker. I worked until the sleeve portion contained 36 stitches. ws rows are worked in pattern. At some point the neckline is deep enough and the fronts can be joined and knitting can procede in the round. I joined the fronts on a rs row by overlapping the moss stitch portions, 4 sts for each front (right over left in this case) and knitting those sts together 3 needle bind off style, except I didn't do the binding off part. If I'm still working increases (I was), now increases are made every other round. Once the sleeve depth is good, the sleeve stitchs are placed on waste yarn and the body is joined under the arms and continues knitting in the round. I added one backwards loop cast on at each underarm. In hindsight, I probably didn't need those 2 extra stitches.

The body knits along pretty quickly, and when it was nearly as long as I wanted it, I switched to US #10.5 needles, knit one round and then started a k2p1 ribbing (I think I had to adjust the stitch count), worked for about 2" and then cast off purlwise.

Sleeves - starting with a new ball of yarn and #13 needles, pick up and knit the live sts on the waste yarn, place marker at center underarm and backwards loop cast on one stitch at underarm. Join round. Knit one round, next round and every 7th round after, decrease one st at each side of maker. Decrease until 25 sts remain. (I did this one stitch away from marker) Switch to US #10.5 needles and knit one more round, decreasing one more stitch. 24 sts in round. Beginning of next round, *k2, k2tog and repeat from * til end of round. Next round, k2p1 ribbing, I worked this for 2", then put in a one stitch buttonhole to act as a thumb hole, then worked one more inch of ribbing before binding off purlwise. The cuffs are long enough that when I put my thumbs in the buttonholes the cuffs are like fingerless mitts, and also long enough to be turned back out of the way. I did have holes at the underarm area that I closed with yarn, but they weren't so bad.

Sleeve pocket - I kicked around a bunch of different ideas for a cell phone sized pocket on my right sleeve, I'm sure the garment industry has a name for this sort of thing. I wanted something that would hold my phone securely with out flaps or buttons to fuss with. I finally decided on a mostly closed pocket that opened to the side nearest my body. That way if I raised my hands up over my head, like in a victory celebration for instance, the cell phone wouldn't slide out. The next step was to figure out how to knit the pocket on as seamlessly as possible. I got close, 3 sides out of the 4 are knit on. Here's how I did it, as best as I can remember;

I pulled out a length of yarn, a contrasting yarn here in a slightly smaller size, and broke off about 24 inches. The pocket needed to be about 3" wide by 5" tall. With the length of yarn held inside the sleeve, I used a crochet hook to pull a loop of yarn through a stitch, and then another loop of yarn through the space between stitches 12 times, equalling 24 stitches over the 3" row that formed the pocket bottom. With that same length of yarn I now pulled a loop up through a line of stitches, every other stitch until about 5" of lenght was reached. Actually, a little longer than 5".

Since I wasn't sure how this would work out, I went back to the bottom 24 sts with my ball of green yarn and beginning at the edge closest to the body ( I think, I was tired when I stated), I picked up and knit across those 24 sts and knit into the lowest of the vertical loops at the edge. On the purl side I slipped the first st knitwise and then purled across (except I didn't want to turn the work, so I knit it backwards). Next rs row I knit across until last st, then knit that last stitch with the next loop in the line of vertical loops. I must say I thought it was working rather well.

Once I got close to the top of the pocket, I decided to work loops back across the horizontal top, but then realized I didn't think it would work; I wasn't sure how to knit into loops at the top and have it look right. So instead I knit my first backwards st, then slid that st off the needle and over a yarn needle threaded with the 'loop' length of yarn pulled through from the inside of the sleeve and proceded to do the same for each st on the needle until the pocket top was done. I finished the pocket off using a mattress stitch to partially close a portion of the pocket on open side, leaving an opening just over halfway up that my cell phone would fit through.

I wove in the few loose tails, most were woven in durning knitting, closed up the underarm holes, and now I have this wonderful hoodie to wear. I still plan on adding buttons, or something, to the neck placket, but for now I'm just really enjoying wearing this.

Oops, my bathroom mirror must be dirty! I was surprised and I'll admit, pleased, to receive several complements on this hoodie today while I was with Kelie at the Farmers Market in Vista. That was fun too, so many wonderful, nice people, and we met Kathy Lambert there; she sells organic wool, roving, and the yarn she spins from her flock of sheep, goat and llama. I think I'll go back next week. :-)


  1. Your hoodie is awesome! Nice work on the yarn AND the knitting!

  2. That looks really great Shelly! And thanks for sharing your pattern...I'd like to knit that sometime.

  3. YAAAAAY~! It looks great!!!! :) Sorry I missed you on Thursday. I was doing some work or something like that. LOL. oh and playing an IT person. ;) but enough about me, I love it!!!

  4. That is a wonderful project, and the hoodie looks even better in person. I didn't notice the variations in the yarn until you mentioned it and posted the picture.
    I am dyeing (ggg) to make one; now if I can just clear the other UFOs from my needles, table and life.

    It was great to meet you, and fun reading your blog.

    Thanks for the link,