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knitting the neckband etc on a large cardigan

(20 Posts)
Iam64 Wed 01-Feb-17 08:22:52

I've completed a (huge) cardigan for my husband. I've sewn the two fronts and back together at the shoulder and sewn in the sleeves as instructed. I've started the next instruction, to knit up specific numbers of stitches to the front right, top sleeve, neck and then down the left side.
It seems there is no way I can get the almost 400 stitches onto my needles. I've bought a circular needle in the correct size. Is that the right approach? I have relatively recently returned to knitting after a long gap caused by the arthritis in my hands and wrists. I'm enjoying knitting but it all does seem a bit new.
Any advice would be welcome.

Anniebach Wed 01-Feb-17 08:39:38

Yes you need a circular needle Iam, take care you support the whole garment , heavy for your hands

Grannyknot Wed 01-Feb-17 08:52:39

Gosh Iam that's an ambitious project. I sometimes cheat and crochet an edge to finish, instead of a knitted band. It's so much easier and you can do a plain stitch. I taught myself to crochet via YouTube.

(I love making stuff with my hands, but I tend to stick to small projects. Am just knitting a second pair of lacey wrist warmers for myself).

Alima Wed 01-Feb-17 09:14:25

A possible alternative would be to knit the band in two stages and just join it at the centre back. Give you half as much to man-handle.

Nelliemoser Wed 01-Feb-17 09:32:46

Iam I have used circular needles for ages now.
The best ones are a German make Addi. They come in all standard sizes and you can choose the length of the needle wire.
You can get them with as much as 100cm wire.

The Addi needles are beautifully smooth to handle I would not use anything else now. The long wire stops the needles falling off so easily.
It's one of those things when you realise how much better some tools are than others.

DanniRae Wed 01-Feb-17 09:47:36

What a brilliant idea Alima - I shall remember that! smile

Greyduster Wed 01-Feb-17 09:53:00

I started knitting a cardigan for myself ages ago (I have to rekindle some interest in it soon!) and I am not looking forward to doing the neckband either. I hate picking up stitches and the more there are the more of a pain it is. I have done as Alima suggests in the past and knitted the band in two sections, joining them with a flat seam, but it is better to do it as one piece if you can. Circular needles are good if you can get on with them. Good luck with it.

annodomini Wed 01-Feb-17 09:58:49

When I knit a cardigan (seldom), I don't cast off the back and fronts, but leave them on stitch holders. This means I don't need to pick those stitches up for the neck. What does bug me is having to pick up stitches down the front!

Jalima Wed 01-Feb-17 10:00:47

I just finished two for the DGD that had to be finished like that and I did find it hard going even with just 220+ stitches for the larger one.
You could join at the back of the neck either by grafting (never done it but I have heard of it) or just seaming with mattress stitch but you would need a couple of extra stitches at each neck end for the seam I would think.
Alima may know?

Jalima Wed 01-Feb-17 10:05:21

I use Symfonie Knitpro needles which are lovely. The circular one has interchangeable points in different sizes which screw on but one did keep loosening so I wasn't very happy with it.
Normally Knitpro are fine, it could have been a one-off.

Alima Wed 01-Feb-17 11:40:54

It is lovely of you to ask Jalima but here I have to confess my ignorance. I no longer knit as it makes my shoulders ache, but years ago all the cardigans I knitted had the bands done in two separate lengths, I have never heard of Symfonie Knitpro needles. Have a vivid memory of one of Mum's cardigan patterns (possibly Sirdar) being modelled by Roger Moore, years before Bond and maybe The Saint. It sounds like the craft has moved on since then!

MawBroon Wed 01-Feb-17 11:48:04

I too have found that crocheting gives a nice firm edge and I find picking up and crocheting easier than picking up and knitting!!

Iam64 Wed 01-Feb-17 13:53:36

Thanks everyone. I'll look for the needles you suggest jalima , meanwhile I'll have a go with the version I bought at hobby craft,

Jalima Wed 01-Feb-17 14:26:54

Or perhaps the ones nelliemoser recommends Addi (I haven't heard of those)

Because the Symfonie needle tip on one side worked loose (perhaps I didn't tighten it enough) I did the second cardie on a circular needle I bought in Lidl ages ago. But, of course, they never have the same things for two weeks running.

Jalima Wed 01-Feb-17 14:27:55

but the Symfonie straight needles are lovely to use.

mrsmopp Wed 01-Feb-17 16:09:57

I agree with Alima's suggestion to knit the button band separately and sew it on to the garment. Just do a knit one purl one button band - it will knit up quickly and be a lot easier to handle. You need to make sure they are the same length and they will meet at the middle of the neck at the back.
I still have the Roger Moore patterns Alima, he was very young, wearing a very nice cardigan, and holding a pipe (to make him look more masculine?)

overthehill Sun 26-Feb-17 22:20:45

Yes knit a band marking out the button spacing on your garment, I use safety pins so you can check as you go. You need to stretch the band slightly. I always have an odd number of buttons as you can put one at the bottom and one at the top, one in the middle then space the others out easily.

Also when you have knitted one side of the band, leave it on a stitch holder, do the other side then when they come together cast off together it will look neater.

Jalima Sun 26-Feb-17 22:53:55

The cardi I am knitting at the moment (child's size) has the button band/buttonhole band knitted as one with the welt, then the stitches for the bands are left on stitch holders. I think I have to cast one stitch on each band on the inside before knitting the rest of the bands for when I stitch to the fronts iyswim

Cath9 Mon 27-Feb-17 12:43:18

I am knitting a cardigan for grandchild on the way.
I have got to the neck but cannot understand how one can only pick up 15 stitches before adding the lot on the far side.
So I intend to go to the shop where I bought the wool and ask.

Jalima Mon 27-Feb-17 13:34:27

Are the sleeves set in?
Is it: 15 stitches up the neck, the stitches across the back then 15 stitches down the neck?

I have a baby cardigan pattern in front of me which someone gave me. It says for chest size 18":

slip the 7 stitches of the right front band onto 3.25mm needle, rejoin yarn and knit 2 stitches on safety pin at right front neck (?) k15 sts up right front, k across 21 sts of back neck, pick up and k15 sts down left front, k across 2sts on safety pin at left front neck and rib across 7 sts of left front band
which = 69 sts.
Then rib the neck.

I'm not sure what the 2 lots of 2 stitches are confused as I've never knit that pattern. I think you had to slip two stitches of left and right fronts onto a safety pin before decreasing for the neck but I've never seen that before! So ignore that bit unless your pattern says that.

If it is a raglan pattern you will have the stitches from the top of the raglan sleeves to pick up too.