Tunisian Crochet

I ordered wool and now I’m waiting and checking every day for it’s arrival. I don’t want to start a new project but I’m waiting … so of course I did. But not a knitting project because that would really throw my project schedule off and we can’t have that.

I’m working the Escalera Wrap (ravelry link) by Aklori Designs (ravelry link) or check her out on instagram @akloridesigns.

It’s Tunisian Crochet which is amazing because it seems to me to be a hybrid between knitting and crochet.

Doesn’t this look somewhat familiar? Stitches on a needle or ahem, a hook?

I dove into my odd ball box and pulled out all the fingering weight bits of yarn. I found I could divide some of it into coloured and darker shades. I don’t think this is enough to finish but it’s enough to get started.

This wrap is a parallelogram which is intriguing and using a hook has been challenging. I found I had to loosen up a lot to work comfortably. That’s a good thing. I started with the larger balls just to get myself situated and familiar with the instructions. I can’t wait until the colour changes start. This is going to take a while. But I have a while since I’m still waiting …

Have you tried tunisian crochet? I am really enjoying this.

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free knitting patterns by Deb

3-Act Play, Triangle 3

The 3-Act Play scarf begins with 3 Triangles joined-as-you-go. Why make a point of talking about any one Triangle over the other two? It’s because Triangle 3 has some differences the other two triangle don’t have. It can be knit in garter stitch but here I knit it with eyelets and colour stripes. Yes, it was an adventure.

This was the second 3-Act Play scarf I knit. I decided to add Triangle 3 to the centre colour section by knitting it in two colours, plus the eyelets just to keep the eyelet thing going over all three triangles. I wanted to see how that would play out.

I really like how it looks but it is tricky. This is the 4-Row Eyelet pattern in the Mods pages: 2 rows for the eyelets and 2 rows in garter stitch. The colour of the garter stitch rows are the most obvious when it’s done. That’s a bit of a shame since the eyelets are more decorative but that’s the way it is.

It’s tricky because the beginning of the right side rows, where each new stripe is going to begin, is in the centre at the join between Triangle 2 and Triangle 3. I did a video.

3-Act Play scarf: Triangle 3 with stripes

Moving foward, I’ve ordered wool to make a couple more sweaters. I wish it was here already because I want to knit 2 more sweaters before the summer comes. Wait here, I’ll just go look on the porch to see if it’s come, nope, not today.

In the meantime I’m knitting my little grandson a mini-me sweater. It’s a great way to use up all the left-over odd balls and a testknit for my pattern. Daddy’s sweater and little Max’s sweater.

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

3-Act Play Scarf is published, gulp.

I did it. I pressed the Publish button on the 3-Act Play Scarf. This is hard to do while my fingers are crossed as well as my toes. Pressing that button is … boy it’s hard to explain, it’s pushing something out into the world and letting it sink or swim, all on it’s own. It’s like taking your child to school on the first day. They know their name and their address, they can count to ten and are hopefully, fairly well behaved. Then you have to watch them walk in that door, turn your back and walk back home.

I have to confess that once this vague and unformed idea for a scarf became a little more concrete, I got totally carried away. The scarf and I started running off in all directions and it was hard to harness it into something I could write down clearly.

The main pattern is worked in garter stitch and is 6 pages long. That includes photos and a title page and all that you expect in a written pattern. The actual instructions are 3 pages.

Then there is a separate download that has lots of modifications (variations) that you can work on this scarf. That document is 7 pages long and that’s the cut down version. Ha, ha, ha, I know, I know, crazy, eh? There are instructions for stripes, 3 eyelet patterns, 4 slip stitch patterns and 3 lace patterns. It is certainly an adventure and not for the weak of heart, as my testknitters found out.

I am making videos for the first 3 Triangles. It’s amateur hour but here is a video about Triangle I to make sure you end it at the right point. 3-Act Play scarf: Triangle 1 This is my little sample.

If you want to follow along with me, I am going to blog about one Triangle a week as I make more videos. I just wrote this down. Now that it’s in writing, I must do it. You can keep me accountable on this.

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Mid-sweater Block

I’m knitting a sweater for my son-in-law at his request. I was so very pleased to be asked. I have measurements and am ready to go. But this has turned out to be a challenge.

I’m trying out a new-to-me yarn and to be a good little knitter, I knit a swatch. I changed needle sizes twice and now have gauge. I even washed it. Pat on the back, I am being very, very good! I cast on.

Part way through I started to panic. It’s small. I did all the math again and then three more times and as far as I could tell the body is around 2″ smaller than it should be. I kept measuring it over and over, hoping it would be a little bigger each time. Ha, ha, I bet you’ve never done this.

Then the light bulb went on. I have a swatch. I find them somewhat unreliable at the best of times but this time I had one to blame. I measured my gauge on it and then on my sweater and … I had tightened up. This never happens to me. I am a really loose knitter. I was working with needles 2 sizes smaller than recommended to get gauge on my swatch and now I was telling myself that that was a mistake.

Hmmm, I washed my swatch just like I’m supposed to. Ah, ha. Another light bulb moment.

I dumped the whole sweater in the sink, needles attached and all, spun it out in my washing machine and laid it out (nice and neatly, not like this photo) and let it dry.

Voila, it relaxed and although it’s still 1/2″ smaller than I would like, it’s going to be fine. Phew.

I’m on the sleeves right now. I took out 1 round of knitting and started with new yarn. Here’s the difference in gauge. You can see that already the new section of the sleeve has a tighter gauge. I’m trying not to look at it.

Ignore the marker. That was for counting rounds so the sleeve stripe will be the same length as the body stripe.

I’m hoping to get this done this week. I don’t know if that’s possible but I’m giving it my best shot. Audio books, short walks and lots of knitting.

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Prototypes tend to be messy

This is a quick post because I’m in the messy middle of developing a new sweater. It’s got my brain a little scrambled. Some things have worked, some not so much. Ideas I thought were fully formed, were not.

This Top Down V-Neck worked out really, really well in my head but … the details aren’t behaving exactly right. Here are two of my prototypes.

It’s time to evaluate.

Construction: I can’t seem to get a really nice join at the bottom of the V. This is a problem area for V-necks. More work needed. Otherwise the top down V shaping is good. Maybe it’s not meant to be a pullover at all?! Cardigan?

Colourways: The gradient worked out fairly well. I think I will wear this vest. I like the way it runs from light to dark. I like the narrow red and navy stripes in the Yoke of the second pullover but not the larger stripes in the body. It might have looked better with a solid red or navy body. What do you think?

Neckbands: I don’t like the garter stitch neckband on the striped pullover, although I really like the garter stitch cuffs and bottom band. On the vest I tried a ribbed Neckband and I think it turned out quite well.

Bust Shaping: I added extra stitches on the fronts of both pullovers. On the striped version I decreased the extra front stitches at the sides. I think I did it too quickly so now it’s a bit rounded there. For the vest I placed markers about 1/4 in from both sides and did my decreases there. It worked out better but with the colour mishmash it’s hard to see. You’ll have to take my word for it, it’s better. I would do this again.

They both fit and are wearable. A great tribute to a prototype. The details matter so I have to give this pullover some further thought before I start another one.

Hope you’re having as much fun with your knitting,

Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Gradient done 2×2

My gradient vest is coming along. Not famously but, well, you can see for yourself.

I think it’s an improvement on the original (below on the right).

I’ve tried to make the lines between the colours less distinct. I think I failed. There are still lots of horizonal lines going on.

This is my range of colours. Starting with yellow through red, multi-coloured, purple and into blue and then green (if I get that far).

I’m using two colours all the time. Two rounds in one colour and two rounds in a second colour.

Each colour is worked with a second colour for approximately half a ball.

It goes like this:

Yellow & Red

Red & Multi-coloured

Multi-coloured & Purple

Purple & Blue

It hasn’t turned out as I expected. That’s not new. I’m carrying on anyway just to see how it turns out.

Cheers, Deb

Gauge-Free and Any Gauge patterns by Deb

Deb on instagram

I’m Stalled. Solution? Take something apart.

Here is a vest that I don’t wear. It fits great. I like the wool and the style. There’s just one little thing that bugs me.

That yellow band across my bust. I know, I know, it’s stupid to be self-conscious but … I am and I can’t talk myself out of it. So there it sits on the shelf, unworn, through no fault of its own.

The rainbow of colours that Dragonstrings dyed for me are terrific. So what’s a knitter to do?! Give it a tug, of course and … recycle it.

Now to figure out how to graduate the colours. Once gradient sweaters are knit the whole system seems so straight forward but I find it rather daunting. I scrounged around my stash and added one more skein to the mix of colours because more has to be better, right? The bottom multi-coloured skein is the addition and hopefully will work to help me graduate the colours.

The original vest sequence was: starting at the top, Red, Yellow, Green, Blue and into the Purple at the bottom.

This time, I’m going to reverse the circle direction.

New sequence: Yellow at the top, Red, multi-coloured, purple, blue, green.

OK, decision made. It’s in writing and I just told you all about it so here goes.

Have you done a gradient? Did it turn out like you thought it would?

Cheers, Deb

Gauge-Free and Any Gauge patterns by Deb

Deb on instagram

Two Sleeves on 2 circs

I ran across an idea, from Socks Soar on Two Circulars by Cat Bordhi, where she knits a sock on two circular needles instead of many double pointed needles. If you can knit one sock, why not two socks? So I tried it. I found it easier than I thought it might be and better for me than using the Magic Loop technique.

I put a photo up on instagram and my friend Nancy mentioned that she knits 2 sleeves at the same time. I was knitting away on my newest top down sweater and thinking, two sleeves at the same time, two sleeves at the same time. Wait one friggin’ minute. Could I knit 2 sleeves at the same time on a Top Down sweater? I just happen to have one with 2 sleeves to knit so …

… there they are. Two sleeves being knit at the same time, on 2 circular needles with 2 balls of wool. It took some fiddling to get them going. OK, it took more than a little bit of fiddling but there they are. I’m amazed. It’s not that hard. Really it wasn’t that bad.

They work a little bit differently than the socks did because there is a whole knitted sweater body there too. I had to move the beginning of the round to the middle so the body didn’t get too munched. The orange marker in the fabric of the left sleeve is there to indicate the beginning of the round for both the sleeves. It only matters for the decrease round.

I’m finding this quite satisfying to do. Here’s my progress so far.

You’ll see at the bottom there, that they are still on the two circs. When I’m working on the sleeves I use a safety pin to hold the sleeves close to each other but I wanted to see how they were looking. Not bad, eh?

Do you know that auto-correct does not like the word circ. It wants to make it all kinds of other things. Isn’t circ a word? It is to me.

Stay safe and keep on keeping on, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Deb on instagram because you know there has to be more knitting going on.

Cable pullover done

It’s done. Phew. My newest Any Gauge Raglan Pullover was made by taking apart a sweater I wasn’t wearing and turning it into this one. I put it on the day I finished, and the next day, and the one after that. I think I like it. Here’s the requisite bathroom photo.

I don’t know if you can see but I ran out of wool. Yup. I knit this pullover with a much smaller needle than the original sweater. Ouch, just one ball short. So into the stash I went.

I found one ball of orange (on the left) and yes, it doesn’t quite match but … what can you do?!

I got the bottom of the sleeves and the neckband out of it. It’s not perfect but I’m really happy with it. I keep wearing it. That’s the real test. It passed.

Now a pause. I find there is always a very uncomfortable pause after finishing a big project. Do you find that?

I started doodling, otherwise known as charting. And then it got out of hand.

Time to do a clean up I guess.

That’s better but I still have a lot on my mind.

How about you?

Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Deb on instagram because you know there’s more knitting going on.

Bust Darts, Top Down

Why are the fronts of women’s sweaters the same width as the back? Aren’t there two very good reasons why there should be a little more room on the front? You could work two different sizes to fix this but it needs quite a bit of fiddling to get it right. There is an easier way.

You need the extra room exactly where you need it, right? You know where. Not in the upper chest and neckline which could happen if you work two different sizes. Not below the bust either.

Here’s one of my solutions. I used on my latest Any Gauge Raglan Pullover. When working Top Down you can add an extra set of stitches to the Front of the Body starting just under the arm, after the Great Divide.

Can you see a faint line coming out of my underarm at an angle? Here, let me highlight it.

It’s not very visible. The increases are worked on every round. Each increase is worked beside the last one, working from the underarm toward the centre of the front. I added 6 extra bust stitches on each side of the Front, worked the rounds straight down past the largest part of my bust and then began working decreases at the sides of the Front every 4 rounds to get rid of some of these stitches (not all of them because, with Covid, the belly is a little larger than before!!).

I used Twin Stitches. They are the stitches used in the Shadow Short Row system which, if you don’t get rid of the double stitches (the twin stitches) as you would when working short rows, these twin stitches can become increases. It’s magic.

Here’s my video to show you how: Bust Dart for Top Down Pullover using TWK

This is how you work a Twin Stitch. If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you’ve seen this before. I discovered this while working on the Need A Circular Yoke book. Have you tried this?

Stay safe and keep on keeping on, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Deb on instagram, because you know there’s more knitting going on.