Easy eh?

I am working on the Easy A by Kat Riddell, a garter stitch sweater with a KAL (knit along) on ravelry. I love garter stitch and this looked like it would be a perfect spring sweater.

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I had some Heritage by Briggs and Little and one ball of hand dyed by Essence of Autumn in my stash. Well, not exactly in my stash. It was masquerading as a partially knit sweater in the time-out corner. The sweater had severe gauge problems and sitting in the corner did not seem to be solving them so I undid the sweater, steamed the wool and decided to rework it here. I knew I didn’t have enough green so I thought I would add stripes on the body since I had a ball of these two other colours.

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Then as I was thinking about stripes, I just happened to see a women wearing a top where the stripes on each side of the front were different widths. Perfect.

To my mind the stripes started as Maroon and Green, Maroon and Green. Then I started on the pink stripes. My first attempt did not work. Even I could see that the last green stripe did not appear as a stripe.

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Second time lucky. I am quite happy with the results.

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I am seriously running out of the green. Oh, no, was my first reaction but I still had lots of the other  two colours. Working the sleeves in one colour of pink did not look good. I ripped them back and now I’m on a roll with striped sleeves. At least the first one.

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Stayed tuned as I play yarn chicken.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

 

Bust Shaping with Twin Stitches

The best part of writing a book for me, is discovery. There is always something that I learn that makes the book special. It may be a small detail that you, the knitter, might  never notice. It might be one pattern that was especially interesting to develop that is the highlight. It won’t necessarily be the most popular pattern in the book but it will be special to me.

In the Need A Circular Yoke book I had an “aha” moment. We, Elizabeth Fallone and I, discovered that the short row system using Twin Stitches which is usually used to turn the heel of a sock, could be used to raise the back of the neck. That’s not the moment though. I also discovered that it could be used in a different way to shape the bust. Short Rows can be used for bust shaping to make the Front longer to compensate for a larger bust, that’s not new. We didn’t do that. We didn’t use the short rows themselves. We used the Twin Stitches from the short row system to widen the Front so there would be less pull-up on the sweater.

NACY bust dart w arrow

Imagine if you could accurately position the bust shaping. You want to work increases to  widen the Front of your sweater so that the fabric is at its widest just above the widest line across your bust. I work from the Top Down so I am always trying to position the beginning point of the bust dart the correct distance from the underarm of my sweater. Not too high above my bust line and I definitely do not want to start the dart too low and run out of room.

Bust shaping w twin stitches

The twin stitches allow you to work an increase every round. In knitting, we don’t have very many increases that work well when worked every round so this was a find. When you can work an increase every round you can know accurately how much vertical room these increases will need.

Working with worsted weight yarn (because the math is easy) let’s say you want to add 3″/7.5cm to the front of your sweater. That would be about 8 stitches on each side of the Front for a total of 16 sts added to the front. Your row count for worsted weight yarn is 7 rows = 1″/2.5cm so working 8 increases over 8 rounds would take just a smidge over 1″/2.5cm (1.14″/3cm to be exact). Ta, da. Start your twin stitch increases just an inch and a bit above the widest part of your bust.

NACY bust dart

What is a Twin Stitch? It’s a “Knit in the Row Below” stitch where you hold onto the loop you made in the row below and use it as an increase. You do not pull off the original stitch on your left needle (the stitch you knit into the row below of). Wow, that’s really confusing. It’s much clearer on my video. Check it out.

Here’s the link for  Twin Stitches for Bust Shaping on a Top Down Pullover  as used in the Need A Circular Yoke book by Cabin Fever where we made the Front of these pullovers 2″/5cm wider than the back.

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Have you used this system? Did it work for you?

Thanks for reading,

Deb

Cabin Fever patterns on Ravelry

A Mystery

I’m fascinated when I see a traditional garment worked in an entirely different way. How did they come up with this idea? Was there a process the designer has gone through to make this breakthrough? Is it a breakthrough at all? I mean do we need to work this garment in some strange way? Was it just the whim of a designer with too much time on their hands?

I know, they are just there to mess with my head.

This is the beginning of a mitten. “Yeah, right”, you say.

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How does this turn into a mitten?

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It’s a mitten cast on in the oddest place. I have no idea how this came to be. You might have guessed that this is a design by Elizabeth Zimmermann. She called them  Sideways Mystery Mittens .

When you fold this weird garter stitch thing you get a mitten. I was truly amazed the first time I knit these.

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But after knitting several pairs it was “ho, hum, so what”, ha, ha, NOT.  They are still amazing no matter how many pairs I’ve knit.

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Then I modified them of course because I just can’t let well enough alone. I added short rows to the back of the hands, I felted a pair, added stripes to another and then made them in different weights of yarn and sizes. I never figured out how she came up with the idea in the first place. A mystery still.

Share if you enjoyed reading this. Leave a comment if you’ve knit these or would like to. Thanks for reading,

Deb

Vertical Darts Top Down

The holidays are over. Is it time for you now? Are you knitting a sweater for yourself? It’s a long winter. I’ve got a couple started because, as you know, that’s the most exciting part.

If it’s a sweater for yourself how much bust shaping would you like to add to a pattern that doesn’t include any?

Adding a couple of inches to the bust on a Top Down sweater is fairly straight forward. But what if you wanted to add more than 2″ in total across the bustline? Could you start your bust increases in the Yoke while still working the raglan increases and then continue them down into the body? Vertical Darts work from the Bottom Up, why not from the Top Down?

Since I raised this question I decided I had to try it out. I started working the bust shaping increases when I still had 8 rounds left to work in the Yoke. This is the same strategy as the Top Down Easy Bust Darts but this time the bust increases are worked in a vertical line away from the raglan line. The vertical line of increases will allow me to continue to work bust increases until I have reached the largest point of my bust. (This schematic is an approximation – the raglan and bust increases are worked in the same round – dots on the schematic make it look like the bust increases are worked more often, they are not.)

Bust shaping Top Down increases showing high bust

I worked a raglan increase and a bust increase on each side of the Front for the last 4 Increase Rounds before I divided for the underarm. After the Divide I continued to work the bust increases 4 more times for a total of 8 increases on each side of the front giving me 3″ of extra width.

bust shaping in yoke

My main concern was what would show.

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While the increase line is visible it is not so noticeable when I’m wearing the sweater (or when my best girl is wearing it) and the extra room is well worth the effort.

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This was easier to do than I expected. It shows but only as a dart which is acceptable. I got quite a bit more bust room because of it. I’m really happy with the result.

How about you? Could you add this into a Top Down raglan?

Thanks for reading. Cheers,

Deb

More reading on Top Down Bust Shaping:

Do I Need Bust Darts?

7 Reasons to Double Up the Increases for Bust Shaping

How Do You Want Your Sweater to Fit?

Bust Dart, Top Down