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The Sweater Sequence


It was recently pointed out to me that I knit my (top down) sweaters in what is apparently not the usual sequence! The usual one, I suppose, being: yoke, bodice, sleeves, collar? In that case, true enough. I knit the yoke. Then the sleeves, one at a time. Then, if the design calls for picking up the collar, I knit the collar. And only then do I finish the bodice and hem. 

To be honest, I don't really think there is a correct vs an incorrect sequence to knitting a sweater, as long as you get all of it done in the end! Nevertheless, if my way of doing it seems weird I can explain the reason behind the madness: I am usually designing/improvising the sweater as I am knitting it. And when design-knitting the bodice, decisions about shaping and length need to be made. To make those decisions the sweater needs to hang properly off the shoulders - which it can't do without the sleeves present. Before the sleeves are attached, the empty armholes curl and the yoke puckers up a bit, changing the fit of the garment compared to how it will be when the weight of the sleeves pulls at both sides, if that makes sense.  So that's why I need the sleeves, you see, to get the rest of it just right.

Also? With the rest of the sweater done, I know exactly how much yarn I have left as I approach the hem, and whether I have the option of turning the sweater into a tunic or dress at the end. 

Of course, if you are working from a pattern and your knitting does not involve this type of decision-making, it might be handier to knit the whole thing top-down, and then add the sleeves. Although who is to say? One knitter I know prefers to do both sleeves in tandem with the bodice - work a few inches on the bodice, then a few inches on sleeve 1, then on sleeve 2, and so on round and round. Otherwise she gets bored with the monotony of doing an entire sleeve, or bodice, in one go.

In the end, it's to each their own. If we knit long enough, we all develop our own little methods that, whether or not they appear logical to others, make sense to us! 

That being said: What's your sweater sequence?