I’d like to answer publicly to a few queries and comments about The Knitter’s Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters. Let me know if you have other questions!
No Male Models
The reason that there are no sweaters photographed on men is because both men’s sweaters were included in the chapter on modified-drop shoulder styles that was ultimately cut from the print version (it is available in the eBook download). I even knitted one of the sweaters out of my own handspun yarn (Weekend Retreat) to demonstrate how well the instructions work when you don’t have a “standard” size of yarn. And it looked great on the guy who modeled it!
Saddles Worked in the Wrong Direction
The saddles for the saddle-shoulder instructions are knitted from the neck outward to the shoulder edge, then the stitches are incorporated into the sleeves so that a cable or other pattern can be continuous from neck to cuff. Veronik Avery chose to knit the saddles in her Zigs & Zags in the opposite direction, aligning them with the stitches of the front and back instead. Because she knitted them in a contrasting color and stitch pattern, they are quite visible and many readers have assumed that all of the saddles are worked Veronik’s way.
One of the reviewers on Amazon.com mentioned that she found an error but she did not identify what or where it was. If you find a mistake, please, please notify me. I want to correct it!
Adjusting for Sleeveless Styles
To adjust the patterns for sleeveless styles, you’ll need to adjust the shoulder widths to allow for an edging to be added around the armholes. You may also want to work deeper back neck shaping–work the back much like the front in two sections to the base of the neck shaping.
If you want to convert the seamless yoke or raglan styles into sleeveless sweaters, you’d need to stop increasing for the sleeves and bind off the sleeve stitches before you finish all of the yoke shaping. Fortunately, you can try on the yoke as you go and determine when to do this. Then you’ll need to work the back and front(s) back in forth in rows until you reach the desired armhole depth.
To make the set-in sleeve style sleeveless, you’ll want to cast on fewer stitches for the back to allow for narrower shoulders and the desired amount of edging to be added at each armhole.
To make the saddle-shoulder style sleeveless, you’d knit the saddles to the desired shoulder width, allowing for the desired amount of edging to be added at each armhole.