This post was really supposed to be called "The Fny Method: Needlebinding a sweater without using a pattern" but that was just ridiculously long! Anyways... This is not a needlebinding PATTERN for a sweater, but rather a TUTORIAL or an explanation of how to do it in more general terms. In other words there will be no counting of stitches. Why? It's simple, I just really don't like counting! But what this post will tell you is how to put together a sweater just by using your own body as a sort of template, in which order to do things and what to look out for.
1. Create a long line of loops to start with. Check the length against your own body size – this is the circumference at the bottom of the sweater, down below your tummy. Make sure that not only does it reach around your bottom/tummy (depending on how long you want it to be!), it is also long enough to slip your entire upper body through without it stretching too much.
2. When you are happy with the circumference close the first round. Make sure the line of loops hasn’t twisted!
3. Continue needlebinding, decreasing just a few stitches per round.
4.Carry on needlebinding, checking it regularly against your own body to see how much to decrease to make it fit well. For my bodytype I felt it best to decrease the circumference at the waist, but if you want the sweater to hang completely straight then feel free not to do so!
5.Once you reach just below the armpit (once again, try it on!) you should do a loop of unfastened stitches to go around the arm. Fasten it with just a few stitches at first (or use a safety pin!) so that you can try it and feel how tight it is around the arm. Make sure it's wide enough to let you lift your arm!
6. Once you are happy with the width of the arm-to-be then go ahead around to the other side, making a loop of the same width there.
7. Continue needlebinding around and around, slightly decreasing with a few stitches each row. I find it best to do the decreasing just above the point where the arm loop starts.
8. When you reach the shoulder it is time to drastically decrease the amount of stitches, decreasing one for each stitch you sew.
9. Try it on and figure out exactly where you want your neckline, making sure it's not too tight to get on or off!
10. When you've finished the neckline it's time to start with the arms.With a new piece of string, start right at the point where you previously began doing the unfastened stitches, at the back. Move around the arm-opening, decreasing one or two stitches at each side.
11. Once more, try it on! Depending on how thin your arms are and how tight you want it, you will want to decrease more or less. I chose to decrease very little, and not change the circumference after the first 2 or 3 rounds.
12. Continue with the stitches until the arms are as long as you like, making sure you do the left and right as identical as possible.
13. Now you are almost done! You just need to fasten the end pieces of yarn, tucking them in and
smoothening out the edge as much as you can.
14. You know what? You've just finished your sweater!
I hope these instructions aren't too messy! The most important thing to remember is to keep checking the sweater against your own body and make the appropriate adjustments to make it fit. If you have any questions (if, for example, my instructions aren't clear enough...) I'll be more than happy to clarify it for you! I have never actually seen anyone else needlebind sweaters, which I think is a bit sad. It's not difficult! You don't need complicated counting or measuring, you just need to do it. And it really doesn't take THAT much time either!
If you have ever seen or made a similar sweater I'd love to hear about it, and perhaps we could compare notes? Anyways, I hope my instructions are helpful!