Steeks, Here We Go

I’m a little shaky as I write this because I just did it. I have sleeve openings!!

Yahoo. My steek is cut. I’m so happy to be able to put this sweater on.

It looked like this before I started this morning.

Here are the 5 steek stitches for my sleeve opening. Now it’s time to open that steek.

I was going to machine stitch the steek before cutting but the thought of getting my machine out, finding a place to set it up and getting it ready was daunting. I decided to try the crochet method. There are lots of videos available.

I grabbed a small crochet hook and some lace weight yarn and got started. I worked a slip stitch through both legs of stitch #2 and stitch #4 of the 5 steek stitches.

I found that folding the fabric to make a ridge of stitches made it easier to crochet into.

There they are. Two rows of slip stitches with a nice clear path in the centre to cut.

A big breath in and snip.

Ta, da, a sleeve opening. Isn’t that amazing?

Both sides of the steek roll to the inside of the sweater. Steeks really are wonderful. I’m just going to sneak over and admire mine again.

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

On instagram: Deb.Gemmell

Two steps forward and one step back

I’m glad I celebrated finishing the lace section of my Corbis sweater because, you guessed it, the one step back part is coming up.

I finished the sides, working the German Short Rows. I was very pleased with it. Then I measured the width and maybe you guessed it, too small. At least it would have fit pre-covid but not now. I’ve bumped up a size and well …

I spent an afternoon outside on my rocking chair ripping both sides out. Sigh.

Now I am redoing both side panels with a larger needle. One side is done and the second side will be finished shortly. Yay. This is a big win!

That’s the quick story of this sweater. I’m still looking forward to finishing. It’s going to be terrific.

Since I don’t work on only one project I’ll give you a quick update on my top down slope-shoulder sweater. I finished the sleeve steek knitting.

If you haven’t done a steek before, this is my method, working from the top down or the bottom up. At the beginning of the sleeve opening cast on 5 steek sts. Knit round and round to the finished length of the sleeve opening. Then cast off the 5 steek stitches.

I find this makes the machine stitching of the steek much easier. That’s coming up soon but for now I’m going to continue working the body round and round.

I hope you’re having as much fun as I am, ha, ha. Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free knitting patterns by Deb

Celebrate as you go

It has occurred to me lately that working on two pullovers at the same time is not the best idea I have ever had. It seems like very little progress is made on either one. I am missing that satisfying feeling of getting something done. So today I am celebrating getting the lace section of the Corbis Sweater by Natasja Hornby DONE.

The left side is on waste yarn. The right side is ready to work. Short rows here I come. I’m excited.

My other project, the slope-shoulder pullover, is also coming along slowly. I decided to take MP’s advice to keep knitting and see how I felt about continuing or if it was time rip it out. It felt good so I’m carrying on.

I solved the problem of the centre front join by working a 6 stitch cable. That divides what was the beginning and the end of the rows when I was working the top of the yoke flat. The beginning of the round is still in the centre front, which is a little weird, but this is working.

Next is the long section for the sleeve openings. Usually you would work the front and back flat for the length of the sleeve opening. I had a car trip coming up (navigator and passenger only, of course) so I decided to continue to work in the round. It’s easier to be looking at the right side all the time. Not so much attention needed. This requires a steek. Eeek, a steek!

Yes, I’m going to cut the fabric to make the sleeve openings. To get started I cast on 5 sts at the end of each of the shoulders. These 5 sts are my steek stitches and the hole makes the machine sewing easier to work. Then I will cut. I can’t wait. I love this technique.

Lots of excitement to come. I’m looking forward to feeling like I’m getting somewhere on these two projects.

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Deb.Gemmell on instagram

Decisions, decisions

My fascination with slope-shouldered sweaters is not new. I have been checking them out for several years – at least I’m pretty sure I have – since I found the beginnings of one in a bag I haven’t looked in for quite a while.

There it was, all the instructions written up in a little book too. Obviously a more than normally organized time in my life.

This is done in the contiguous manner: increase 2 stitches on each shoulder on every row. I used a Kf/b (knit into front and back of the same stitch) and Pb/f (purl into back and then front of the same stitch) as my increases for the right side and the wrong side rows.

This first sweater has several problems.

  1. When you join it up in the round to work the body wider, will working the Kf/b on every round look the same as the previous increases?

2. The broken rib pattern begins at the front edge when worked in rows. That makes the beginning of the round in the centre front when I joined it up. Oops. The pattern won’t match exactly on either side of the centre front. Argh.

3. I’m not sure working the I-cord for the neck edging was so smart. Again joining in the centre to work in the round is problematic.

OK, that’s enough trashing of my poor prototype sweater.

Now, onto what to do with it.

  1. I could continue to work it to my size, knowing it has several problems. Hmm, why not? No one knows but me, oh and all of you, of course.
  2. I could rip it back to the width of my shoulders and make it a vest. It could have a scoop neckline then instead of the V. It still has problems but …
  3. I could, of course, rip it all out. Ouch.

Do you have any thoughts? Right now I’m just taking it out of it’s bag and looking at it. Maybe it has some thoughts?!

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Deb.Gemmell on instagram

Sloped shoulder sweaters. Are you a fan?

I’ve been checking out the sloped shoulder sweaters for a while now. There are many variations.

Have you done one of these? What did you think of it?

I am knitting the Centerpopover which is this one. We’ll call it #1.

Would you call this a batwing or a dolman style pullover? The shoulder line is extended out past the body. The long sleeve would extend straight out from the extension. When blocked, I think the long sleeves would slope down slightly.

I blocked mine and stretched the shoulder line. I wanted the sleeves to come down my arms to form short sleeves.

Here is #2. This one has some shaping. The shoulder line is again extended past the body line but then decreases are worked along the sleeve opening. The sleeves would definitely extend the shoulder slope.

Would this one also give you a batwing/dolman look? You could definitely work decreases in the body below the sleeves to get that effect.

Then we have a simpler style with a straight body line. #3

The sleeve would angle down a bit when worn. At least I hope it would.

And for #4.

A straight body line again. Short rows are worked at the top of the long sleeves so that they match the shoulder slope.

I’m finding all of this most interesting. Have you knit one of these? Did it work for you?

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

CenterPointPopover

Happy long weekend. I hope you are enjoying some knitting. I have been busy knitting the vest version of the Centerpointpopover by mamasteddybear. I’m going to show you my progress. My vest doesn’t look nearly as neat and tidy as the pattern photo below but that’s life as a knitter.

I’m very interested in these sloped shoulder top down knits that I keep seeing. So I thought I would start with a small project just to see how it looked on me. This one was terrific fun to knit. It starts with the Front which looks like this:

Then the Back begins:

Here the back of neck is the correct width and the stitches are put on spare yarn. Now the front and back get attached at the shoulders and the shoulder shaping begins. From here it looks like a knitting blob and is not worth photographing. You know how that goes, right? You just have to keep the faith that it will turn into something.

Body shaping is done and one sleeve worked and it’s clear that it is a garment.

This is the true colour of the popover. I don’t know why my phone insists that it might be blue.

Now I have the other sleeve done and a short bit for the body length.

I haven’t bound off the bottom edge yet because I would like it to be longer. I washed and blocked it with 2 circular needles still holding the bottom edge open.

I gained 3″ in length from the blocking. Yay. Just what I wanted. It’s drying now. I have to finish the neck edge and cast off the bottom and then we’ll see. I’m going to go do something else now. Standing and watching it dry does not seem to be moving things along any faster.

I really enjoyed knitting the Centerpointpopover. This is a very inventive construction and you know how I like that. I would recommend it.

Cheers and here’s hoping you are knitting something fun too. Deb

Any gauge and Gauge-Free knitting patterns by Deb

Looking back from the Finish Line

I finished my last Saddle Up pullover. I started with this design idea as a pullover for my son. It has a complicated 32 row centre cable pattern that I thought reflected his passion for skateboarding.

My son likes it.

Caught him at work to get some photos. I think it fits very well.

I had to do some ripping after the first fitting. The back was flapping around his hips. This seems to be a problem with oversized pullovers for men. So I took out the garter border at the back, worked 3 sets of short rows, went down a needle size and knit the border again. Now it’s narrower and voila …

I think that fixed it. Yay.

Now onto something new I think. Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Near the finish line

I thought the sleeves on this Saddle Up were quite long already and only needed a 3″ cuff to finish them off.

After I had my son try it on I was proved wrong. I need to add 2 more inches to the sleeve length and then do the 3″ cuff. Phew, good thing I checked.

One cuff is done in sideways garter stitch.

The second one is really close to finished.

The best way I know of to get one project to the finish line is to start looking around for a new project. Unfortunately that’s as far as I’ve gotten, just looking. I can’t seem to settle solidly on anything. I’ve been scrolling through my library on ravelry.com to see if something would catch my eye but nothing yet. I started this striped cardigan but I’m not feeling the love right now.

So I’m knitting toe-up socks. There is always someone who could use another pair of socks, right?

I do want to make the striped cardigan. The pattern is mostly written but now doesn’t seem to be the moment. Its time will come I’m sure.

I hope your knitting is bringing you some comfort. Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Sleeve Length for Drop Shoulder

I need to finish the last Saddle Up pullover. I’m so close but I now know that I’m missing some important information. How long should the sleeves be? I have his sleeve measurement for a raglan but a drop shoulder length is different.

Using my best guess, I knit the sleeves to just above the cuff. They look too long to me. I need to do a fitting before I work the cuffs. Yesterday I dumped the pullover in the sink and laid it out to dry. The cables have relaxed nicely.

What I should have done at the beginning was measure him from the centre back of neck to his wrist. That’s a really good way to get the sleeve measurement for a drop shoulder.

These are the measurements I have for average adults for centre back of neck to wrist.

Women: centre back of neck to wrist

Petite; Regular; Tall
29”/74cm; 30”/76cm; 31”/79cm


Men: centre back of neck to wrist

Short; Regular; Tall
30”/76cm; 31.5”/80cm; 32.5”/83cm

After blocking I measured his sweater from the centre back of neck to the end of the sleeve (sans cuff) and I get 29″/74cm. I think he’s a regular size so I may be in the ball park after all. A 3″/8cm cuff may just finish it off nicely. Fingers crossed.

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Behind the design

When I was designing this Saddle Up

… I had a vague picture in my head, of another sweater. I knew it was an Elizabeth Zimmermann design and every once in a while I would wonder where I had seen it. I didn’t look for it, I just kept it there in my head. Yesterday I rooted around in my book library and I found it here.

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/knitting-workshop-updated-edition

It was the Gaffer’s Gansey.

Now that I’m looking at this sweater, I’m chuckling to myself as I see that it doesn’t really resemble my finished pattern. But the starting point was there. It was the sideways garter stitch saddle that caught my attention years ago and recently popped into my head again. The saddle idea would not go away. It needed to be knit.

The gansey above is knit bottom up with the saddles worked last. My Saddle Up is turned on its head. It’s worked mostly top down, for any gauge of yarn, and for any size. The saddle is worked first, from one shoulder to the other. The width of the saddle is used to determine the final size of the pullover. Then stitches are picked up off of the edges of the saddle and the rest of the pullover is knit down.

It’s curious how the mind works. I started with a very vague idea about that garter stitch saddle and then wondered how I could make it Gauge-Free and for any size. There we have it, two sweaters with similar saddles but each worked with a different style of construction.

I hope you are also enjoying your knitting through this cold winter. Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

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