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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Home Run Jersey

Another round of great patterns for the young folks has been released by Petite Purls! So, head on over there and check out the Spring 2010 issue! :)

My "Home Run" jersey design (shown in size 6)
Pattern is written for sizes 2T, 4, 6, 8 and 10

The theme for this issue was "Going Green", meaning the designs should focus on organic, other natural yarns and recycled materials.

I learned a lot on my journey to picking a "green" yarn and you can read all about my yarn choice for this issue's "Home Run Jersey" in the article: Picking a Green Yarn. I've also included links to resources and other interesting tidbits.

Since the yarn I picked was a bit stiffer I decided to go for a top layer garment that could take some abuse from an active boy. The idea for a baseball vest and later a baseball jersey (input from Allegra and Brandy at Petite Purls) was born.

Stranded color work was out with this sturdy yarn so that I turned my focus on playing with texture. Perhaps a gansey style pattern would work? After playing around with lots and lots of knit and purl stitch combinations, I settled on a jersey design that sports a Stockinette stitch body and a patterned upper part.

The jersey is knit in the round bottom up until you reach the armhole shaping. Then you work the front and back separately in the flat. Once you close the shoulder seams, you pick up stitches around the armhole and knit the 3/4 sleeve top-down in the round. A single crochet row around the neckline gives it a finished edge and some structure. It's nearly seamless and a really quick knit.

The body bottom starts with a seed stitch band and continues with just straight Stockinette stitch. Then two natural colored garter st lines define the main design panel: Stockinette stitch diamonds on a garter and pearl stitch background. The shoulder and top sleeve sections are worked in a box stitch (2x2 knit/purl stitch combination) and the sleeves end with the same seed stitch band as the body bottom.

Then it came time to pick a number... there are so many great baseball players to choose from! But then, who can beat the legendary baseball player Babe Ruth and his famous #3? Perhaps some of his talent will rub off on my boy too? :)

I picked a natural colored waste yarn (Patons Classic Wool) I had in my stash to duplicate stitch the numbers on the jersey. In baseball, the front number is typically a little bit smaller and offset to the left bottom side where as the number on the back is large and centered.

The jersey was ready for a test run - it passed with flying colors!


Anonymous said...

Hi Danielle, I just love this pattern and am keen to give it a try ... I can't get the Red Heart yarn and was thinking of a worsted weight cotton substitute - I just can't seem to get the tension right ... is it definately a 4mm needle to get the 18.5 st to 10cm??

I can't wait to try and my son has asked for a letter 'F' instead of the number so that should be an exciting little challenge!

Nikki's Studio said...

I've noticed that the worsted weight Red Heart Eco-Cotton Blend yarn is indeed a tad thinner than e.g. the worsted weight Lily's Sugar'n Cream cotton yarn. That might explain your difficulty in getting gauge.

I've also used a smaller needle size to achieve a denser fabric as cotton likes to "grow" when worn and doesn't spring back like wool.

I suggest you should experiment with your yarn substitution and needle sizes to achieve the right feel of the fabric first. Not too loose and not too tight. And then tackle a little bit of straight forward math.

The new stitch count for the body is:

finished chest size in inches/cm x stitch count per inch/cm.

Subtract ~10% of the body stitches for the band stitch count. Make it an even number so that the seed stitch pattern for the band works out.

Body stitch count = 130 sts.
10% = 13 sts.
Band stitch count = 116 sts (adjusted to be even).

In the increase round, increase evenly to get to your body stitch count. And off your are knitting in the round.

Your new gauge will definitely impact the diamond band.

The diamond pattern repeat is 12 stitches so that you should be able to figure out how many repeats and "left over" stitches fit into your specific chest stitch count.

The other impact of your different gauge is the height of the diamond band. It will be most likely taller.

In that case you might not want to work as many rows in the box stitch pattern at the top, or you decide to leave it and go with a taller/larger armhole and therefore a wider sleeve top.

I hope I was able to give you enough information to get you started. Let me know if you need more help along the way.


Linnie Dimmitt said...

He looks handsome in his home run jersey, and he looks comfortable wearing it! It's important for a sport uniform to be comfortable to enough for a better performance. I can't believe you just knit it yourself; you are so talented, Nikki!
Linnie Dimmitt @UniformsExpress.com