(Technical knitting post follows- feel free to skip)
Remember the farm playmat and the forest floor that were knit of 100% wool because they were felted? I had a lot of leftovers from that project, so I decided to knit a Russian orphan's sweater. They are required to be all-wool (or a high, like 75% content) themselves. There was a pattern in Knitting for Peace, but I didn't like it- it had the cobbled together look of bad charity knitting. "Here, I whipped this up in the fastest way possible- sorry it looks like I knit it in five minutes and it doesn't fit very well."
I like to do work-prayer, knitting for other's intentions, so it's important to do a good job.
So, I was using the pullover sweater pattern from Basic Knitting Patterns, which looks much better and lends itself to lots of variation, but still needs its seams sewed. And sewed. And sewed.
Then, I remembered a child's raglan pullover I made for Brother when he was two, that was knit from the top down and decided to see if I could find a similar pattern on the net.
I did- and am almost finished with the first one. Getting the neck started was a little tricky. The directions have you knit flat, adding stitches at the front neck edges until you've reached the number for the right and left front neck sides, then you cast on the remaining front stitches and join them all in the round. But then, you just knit around, increasing every other row until the raglan is done. Then you can just keep working in the round until the body is done. And the sleeves can be worked in the round as well.
So- no seams! Except for joining the top of the body to the bottom of the sleeves, a distance of about an inch.
(This time I did knit the raglan section flat, below the neck join, because it's a nuisance to keep track of the increase and rest rows in the round. So I'll have to sew one raglan seam- not a big deal. And I bought a stitch minder, so I can work in the round all the way on the next one.)
I think my gauge may have been off a trifle- the body seems rather wide, but not freakishly so. I think there may be a way to calculate the raglan increases to fix that.
I could get done even faster if I used larger needles, but I want a nice firm fabric, so 7's or 8's are it, tops.
So I now have a good-looking, super-fast, servicable sweater pattern.
Of course, the leftover browns and greens looked a little drab, so I had to buy a skein of rust and a skein of corn to jazz things up for those sweaters. And an 18" #8 circular needle. And some other stuff...
I can see I'm in big trouble with this sweater business...