Hello, KALers! Hopefully you have successfully bound off and completed the body portion of your Agnes Sweater. Now it’s time to work on the sleeves and do the pockets. Before you know it, you’ll be wearing your amazing Agnes Sweater!
Place your held sleeve stitches on to DPNs or two circular needles, whichever method you prefer. Follow the pattern specifics for your size, picking up stitches at the underarm and placing a beginning of round (BOR) marker in the middle of those underarm stitches.
To pick up stitches, insert your needle into the center of the “V” of the 6 stitches you cast on when you separated the sleeves from the body. The beginning of round marker goes in the center of these 6 stitches.
Follow pattern instructions, knitting in stockinette (all knit rows) and following the decrease directions for your size sweater. All sizes are knit to an 18 1⁄2 “ sleeve. This can be adjusted for your personal size and taste. Using DPNs is the pattern suggestion but you can also use two circular needles or the “magic loop” method for completing sleeves.
I have found it faster and more “productive” for me if I knit both sleeves at the same time. I put the first sleeve’s held stitches on DPNs and knit the first inch and did the first set of decreases. After that, I put the stitches on two different circular needles (both size US 11). I then went to the other sleeve and put the held stitches on the DPNs and completed the same inch and decrease on that side. I then added those sleeve stitches to the circular needles and finished both sleeves at the same time. I, of course, had two different balls of yarn (one for each sleeve). Some people find the two balls of yarn and “flipping” the project as you finish the one side of both sleeves cumbersome but it works for me.
I think the pockets are a “fun” feature of this sweater. Having that little pop of color on the pockets is an easy way to add a little extra to this comfy, wearable sweater. The yarn used is Quince Osprey, another beautiful Quince yarn that is slightly lighter than Puffin and has a twist, rather than being single ply. I have chosen a light neutral color, Audouin, for my pockets.
Using your smaller DPNs (pattern suggests size 9), pick up and knit 18 stitches up the back side of the pocket. Then, pick up and knit 18 more down the front edge of the right pocket. I picked up a stitch in the top and bottom “ditch” between the front and back of the sweater as I picked up the 18 from the back of the pocket. I used 4 of the DPNs to pick up the stitches.
Then follow the pattern to knit the pocket. There is a garter row to start and decrease rows as you continue. Keep in mind that you are knitting the pocket inside out. It will be on the outside of the garment until you finish and you will then tuck it inside the sweater. I found it easier to work at a table or counter and keep the sweater flat with the pocket opening up, knitting in the circle and spinning the sweater around as I knit.
Following the pattern, knit the pocket until you have a total of 22 stitches. Place these stitches (11 each) on two DPNs and use a Three-Needle Bind-Off to close the end.
Here is a great link for the Three-Needle Bind-Off
The left pocket is completed the same as the right – you will start by picking up stitches up the front edge of the pocket and then back down the back edge and follow pattern instructions as you did for the first pocket.
To keep the pockets from peaking out the bottom edge of your sweater, tack the upper edge to the inside of your sweater. This can be done with the MC of the sweater, stitching it through a stitch in the pocket and woven back into the back side of the sweater. Or you could use some thread or finer yarn of the same color, whichever works best for you and your sweater.
- Fill your basin or sink with lukewarm water and Soak Wool Wash.
- Gently wet your sweater. I do this by submerging my knitting and pressing out the bubbles. You don’t want to agitate your knitting too much. Leave it for 15 minutes to get it good and soaked. Some fibers such as alpaca take longer to become saturated with water.
- Take your sweater out of the water and press out as much excess as you can. Do not wring your garment, this can put it out of shape permanently.
- Roll your sweater in a towel and stomp on it, this removes excess water. Because this is a bulky sweater, you may need to use two or three towels in a row, as the knit will have soaked up a lot of water.
- Lay your sweater out on your blocking mat and using your hands push it into shape. If your finished sweater turned out a little too short, or too skinny for your liking, you can also block ‘for length’ or ‘for width’, stretching the piece more aggressively in one or the other dimension to coax it into a better fit! This won’t work a miracle, but knit fabric (especially wool) is quite flexible.
- Let dry. You can put a fan on your sweater to speed up the drying process.
ENJOY your sweater! Hopefully it will be as much fun to wear as it was to knit! Be sure to post your completed sweaters on Instagram using our hashtags – #ccyagnes & #firstsweater.
We loved having all of you join us in the Agnes KAL and look forward to more at Cream City Yarn in the future!