b r o o k l y n t w e e d
  The Seamless Hybrid
I know you all are the last people I need to sing praises to about Elizabeth Zimmermann, but will that stop me? You know it won't.

Seamless Hybrid

Pattern: Seamless Hybrid by Elizabeth Zimmermann (not so much a pattern as a recipe)
Source: Knitting Without Tears
Materials: Rowan Yorkshire Tweed DK in 'Revel' (1o Balls); Rowanspun DK in 'Rush' (less than 1 ball) for hem facings.
Needles: US 6 Clover Bamboo Circulars (29" & 16"); US 6 Crystal Palace Bamboo DPN's
Cost: $49.99 (scored a bag of Yorkshire Tweed on Ebay) + Shipping

Start Date: 26 July 2006
Completion: 18 August 2006

Seamless Hybrid

I'll do my best to explain the construction on this one. The (pure) genius lies in the simplicity. Again, I realize I'm preaching to the choir here...

Anatomy: EZ offers up 4 recipes for seamless sweaters in "Kw/oT." With the exception of yoke construction, all 4 sweaters are done in the same way. You knit the body in the round (in my case, a straight tube with no shaping), followed by two sleeves (beginning at the cuff, increasing up to the desired circumference as you approach the armhole). These three pieces are knit seperately until you've reached a preferred length. This part of the sweater was sort of a snooze-fest, but I love me some stockinette in the round, so I enjoyed it. It also goes crazily fast.

When all three pieces are completed, you join each onto one 29"+ circular needle and work one long round to join them all together (having left of 8% body circumference for the underarm on each piece) - this is the longest round you will work. From this point, you choose a yoke treatment and get to the good stuff!

The Seamless Hybrid is a tasty mixture of a standard raglan and a saddle-shoulder pullover. Work the first portion of the yoke with standard raglan decreasing, although, because we're working in the round, we can decrease at a rate of every third row (rather than every second or fourth) which gives the IDEAL raglan slope, and starts securing that wonderful fit. After a certain number of stitches have been decreased, its time to saddle up. From here on out, you will be working just the sleeve stitches back and forth, making a saddle that slowly approaces the center neck, leaving the body stitche s live on the needle. How is it seamless? As you work the saddle, you knit the last stitch of each row TOGETHER WITH ONE LIVE STITCH OF THE BODY. You are seaming up the top of the piece as you build it.(Seriously, I'm excited just explaining it). When you reach the collar - you bind of half of the stitches of the saddle and continue working them across the back. This means the neck hole is merely the front half of the sleeve saddle, in the center of the sweater. When both saddles meet in the middle, you kitchener graft them together and BAM, your sweater is all seamed up. Pop a collar on that bad boy and you're ready-to-wear.

(I realize that this description may be convolluted and confusing (much like the pattern writing!) I had to read and re-read multiple times to envision it correctly. If your having trouble, just make one, it'll all make sense to you then)

Below I have included visuals of the yoke construction (Click on them to see them in greater detail):

Seamless Hybrid Raglan Saddle (Front) Seamless Hybrid Raglan Saddle (Back)
front of yoke :: back of yoke

How do you make it your own? Well, first off - any sweater you make from such a general recipe will be indiviudalized based on your yarn choices: guage, drape, shaping, blah blah blah. Its the same old story. I chose to add a wide (about 2") turned hem at the sleeve and body cuffs. I liked how this added a little weight to the bottom half of the piece. It also gave me an opportunity to add a contrasting color on the hem facings.

Seamless Hybrid Hem Facings
contrasting hem facings

Recognize it? Thats a little leftover Rowanspun DK from this. I like the semi-off-the-wall color combo, and the union of tweeds. (Is there any better union?)

Some of you asked about how I did this, and its a suuuuper simple process: With contrasting yarn (Rowanspun) provisionally cast-on 90% the number of stitches you plan on having at the base of your sleeve. Knit these stitches to desired cuff length (2"). Knit one round with Main Yarn (Yorkshire Tweed), increasing evenly up to 100% of cuff circumference. Purl one round (this is your turning round). Now begin to knit normally with your Main Yarn. When you have knit the equal length with your Main Yarn that you had previously done with your Contrasting Yarn (2"), it is time to join them together: Fold the hem and begin your round, knitting two stitches together on every stitch (one contrasting yarn stitch, and one main yarn stitch). Keeping with the whole "seamless" theme, we are bypassing the insanely annoying step of sewing down hem facings (cringe). *NOTE: you are knitting together 10% more Main Yarn stitches than Contrast Yarn Stitches... you will need to calculate for this and skip a K2tog every once in a while (you'll only knit the Main Color by itself).

EZ suggested finishing with a hemmed collar as well - which was my original plan. However, when I did this it looked rotten. It really didn't fit. So I went with a 1x1 ribbed collar and a tubular (kitchener) bind off (i love how clean that one is). I like the finished product

Seamless Hybrid Collar

So... now that I've written a short thesis, I'll conclude. I hope this was in some way informative and not too confusing. My main goal here is to spread ideas and inspiratin about sweater construction. Thats what keeps me coming back to all this you know.

And for the record, this is my best fitting garment yet - I really like how it feels, and post blocking, my wool-too-scratchy worries were soothed, its definitely wearable! I've been sportin it around in this rainy Chicago weather for 3 days already

and its back to knitting.
Why not indulge you sock knitters out there? I have two pairs on the needles. Sock knitting is alright I guess, I'm not obsessing over it, but its a fun way to bust through the sock yarn in my stash (all of which has been gifted to me in some way or another).

Check these out:

DSC_0015 (3)
K's birthday socks. That masterful dye job is all Sundara.

DSC_0015 (4)
A pair of striped Elann Esprit socks for me.

The Seamless Hybrid is blocking .... I'm getting anxious for it to dry. I think it'll be at least another day or two though.

Oh, and thank you for all the Chi-town Tips. I checked out Loopy yesterday and am going to hit up a few more LYS's tomorrow.
Big apologies for the long silence. I'm on vacation. I had planned on posting before I left, but the week just got too crazy. Anyway, I'm in Chicago* and I'll be here for two weeks.

I plan on doing a whole lot of knitting while here. I brought plenty of yarn to keep me busy.

Vacation Yarn

I've started some lace - its been awhile, but I'm glad to be back in the game. I've finished the Seamless Hybrid, although I need to block it today before I show it to you all. And believe it or not, I've started some socks (just for you, Angela) ... so we'll see how that goes. Look at me getting crazy on vacation.

Here's a little taste of the lace

swallowtail shawl at 10 repeat

There's also a secret project in the works that I'll have to wait to show you for a few weeks at least. Demi is around here somewhere too.

My internet access can best be described as spotty-pirated-wireless, so posting might be off and on, but I can assure you the content will be satisfying!

*Any Chicago knitters, I'd be happy to hear about local fibery recommendations!
  Status Report
I've begun the yoke shaping on the seamless hybrid, it feels great to finally get to the exciting stuff after knitting three long tubes for the last two weeks (body and sleeves). There's nothing like that first long knit row that joins them all together, ahhhh.........

I'm flying home to Seattle this weekend for a wedding (read: many hours on the plane with bamboo needles and yoke shaping). I'd love to come home with a finished project. I'll try.

I didn't want to end the week without showing you something. I haven't been shooting many photos in the last couple of days, but I do have a picture of Demi that I owe you. I figure its about time that I reveal what I'm doing with this thing:

Demi Front Panel
with modified center panel

If you're not familiar with the original design, I took out the center panel (rife with bobbles galore) and subbed in this one. The simple knit-purl ladder motif just shot into my head one day as a harmonious solution - and I really loved the idea. Despite my urge for some complex, sinuous cable pattern, I just wasn't able to come up with anything that I liked better. I liked the simplicity and the geometric contrast - and I still like it. I hope it holds its texture after blocking. Also, I'll be doing a nice and thick cable motif up the center of each sleeve, which I think will balance it out nicely (and satisfy my cabling urges).

Knitting on Demi should resume next week, and maybe I'll have a finished sweater to show you by then also.
  a whole lot of Zimmermann goin' on
The heat doesn't keep me from knitting, but it does keep me from wanting to use my brain. In other words, knitting is not exempt from my tendency towards frequent summer-induced laziness. For this reason, more complex projects have been on hold (despite having Raspy so very close to completion, the finishing requires enough calculation to ignore for the time being.) (Demi? yeah that's on hold too).

I've been knitting exclusively on the EZ sweater (humble beginnings shown here). Its seamless. Its mindless. Its stockinette. Its quick. I love the yarn. And the construction (yoke especially) is clever as hell (I'm just about there)!

Seamless Hybrid Progress 8.10.06

Here's the progress as of yesterday morning. Since then I've got about 3/4 of the second sleeve done. When you're this close to the good part, you can't stop to loiter on sleeve island. If you're not familiar with EZ's seamless sweaters (Knitting w/o Tears), they're worth checking out. The "Seamless Hybrid" is by far the most interesting, construction-wise, and I'll do my best to explain how its all put together after I try it out myself.

And speaking of Knitting Without Tears, I just picked up a great copy that was published back in 1971. To my great surprise, I opened the cover to find this:

EZ's Signature
"Good Knitting -- Elizabeth Zimmermann. 1983"

Good luck grappling with the Monday blues.
  some things speak for themselves

Sundara Yarn Worsted Superwash

Sundara Yarn Pure Silk Lace

Sundara Yarn Silky Merino Aran 1

Sundara Yarn Sock

[click photos for more information]

Back to BT Headquarters
My Book.
Original Designs.
Completed Woolies.
Fresh Thoughts.
10.2005 / 11.2005 / 12.2005 / 01.2006 / 02.2006 / 03.2006 / 04.2006 / 05.2006 / 06.2006 / 07.2006 / 08.2006 / 09.2006 / 10.2006 / 11.2006 / 12.2006 / 01.2007 / 02.2007 / 03.2007 / 04.2007 / 05.2007 / 06.2007 / 07.2007 / 08.2007 / 09.2007 / 10.2007 / 11.2007 / 12.2007 / 01.2008 / 02.2008 / 03.2008 / 04.2008 / 05.2008 / 06.2008 / 07.2008 / 08.2008 / 09.2008 / 10.2008 / 11.2008 / 12.2008 / 01.2009 / 02.2009 / 03.2009 / 04.2009 / 05.2009 / 06.2009 / 07.2009 / 08.2009 / 09.2009 / 10.2009 / 11.2009 / 12.2009 / 01.2010 / 02.2010 / 03.2010 / 04.2010 / 05.2010 /

Search The Tweed.
text and photography copyright © 2005-2009 brooklyntweed
all rights reserved