Sleeve Angst

I’m on the sleeves of my latest pullover. This is Not my favourite part of the sweater but I want sleeves so here I am, slightly irritated but determined to get these done.

I’m working with stash wool which is hand dyed and has some colour variation between the skeins (it’s been in my stash quite a long time). I knit the entire body of the pullover working 2 rounds with one ball and 2 rounds with a second ball. That evened out the colour really well.


I started working my sleeves in the round but …

Continue reading “Sleeve Angst”

Dyeing with Tea (Sweater Dunking)

My first prototype for the Any Gauge Raglan is finished. I’ve been knitting this pullover for several weeks and calling it the Pepto Bismol sweater.


It’s a bright pink colour which I would never wear or even knit with usually but it was in my stash, and is now discontinued, so was perfect for my first experimental sweater. There was the real possibility that it might not work out at all and then nothing is lost except my time. It’s not that I don’t like pink but I favour a very pale pink colour with lots of white in it and this is not that.

So what should I do when the sweater actually worked out? Once I had the yoke done I figured I should just finish it up since everything was going so well. The whole time I knew I couldn’t wear it. Continuing to call it the Pepto Bismol sweater was probably a clue.

This is where the tea comes in. I had been reading up on home dyeing (without chemical dyes) and the idea of tea was kind of interesting. I put a piece of pink yarn in my tea cup, which I was actually drinking at the time, just to see what would happen. I liked it.

I’m at my camp where I don’t have a proper kitchen but I can handle making tea. I steeped 3 pots of tea with 10 tea bags in each time and poured it into lots of cold water in a rubbermaid bucket. I wet the sweater with the hose and then I dumped it in.


Yup, the whole thing, in it went. I left it outside on the deck for 24 hours. I don’t think it changed colour after about 3 hours but I left it in anyway. Next morning I had to work to get the sweater tea-free but after several dunkings in cold water I thought the water was coming up pretty clear.

The tea took the brightness off. It’s more of a rose colour now I guess. Still pink but not so bright (it’s a little bit more orangey than this photo shows).


I’m happy with the results. I’m really glad I took the chance and did it. This sweater has a story now.

Do you have a sweater that you can’t wear because of the colour?

Share this with your knitting friends. They might have a sweater that could use a tea bath. Thanks for reading,


FOLLOW ME and I’ll send you a Gauge Free hat pattern. It’s a great stash buster.

Cabin Fever patterns on ravelry

Raglan Sleeve Freedom

Have you ever checked the measurement of your arms? Does the sleeve of every sweater you knit come out correctly for you? Is that stopping you from knitting for yourself?20180809_112733

We use the bust measurement to choose a sweater size to knit but does that mean that the corresponding sleeve is going to fit also? As I age I find I need larger sleeves than many patterns will give me, especially if the pattern is written by someone younger and smaller. If you are busty you may find that you need a narrower sleeve than the pattern is going to give you. If you are plus sized you definitely need to check your arm size against the schematic to check the fit.

Continue reading “Raglan Sleeve Freedom”

Any Gauge pattern in progress

I’m working on an Any Gauge Raglan Top Down Pullover. Yes, that’s quite a mouthful. I’ve been thinking about this for some time. What if you had a couple of patterns that you could cast on with any yarn? You could gleefully dig into your stash or go for a nice stroll through your favourite yarn store and pick any yarn you want, any colour, any weight. What freedom!

I’ve worked out sweaters with stitch numbers for many gauges in my Cabin Fever multi-gauge books. Any book with the title Need A … has all the stitch numbers you need for many, many gauges of yarn.

This time I wanted to write a recipe style where you do some of the math. I know, I know, you hate math. But it’s pretty simple with a calculator and a little bit of direction. More on that later. Phew, let’s put off the discussion of number crunching until much, much  later.

I thought this would be easy to do. A raglan sweater with any gauge for any size, how hard could it be? The first hang up was how to get all the sizes started correctly with as little math as possible. (Oops I said that nasty word again.) I think I have that worked out. This pullover will have a rectangular neck opening. The neckband will be picked up later and finished with a smaller needle. Not my usual way of working a Top Down Raglan (since I usually start with the neckband itself) but compromises must be made to avoid too much math bother at the beginning.

One beat up camp chair as a manniquin.

I have now thought up 4 more neckband options to make it look different. So far I’ve knit this pullover with a ribbed neckband and 2 sets of short rows to raise the back of neck and keep the front of the neck low. I like the squarish neck. What do you think?


You might have noticed that I worked the neckband before finishing the sleeves. I wanted to see how it would look. Now that I know I like it i can finish.

Thanks for reading. Follow Me and I’ll send you a gauge free hat pattern. Get started on your Christmas and charity knitting now.


Cabin Fever books and pattern on Ravelry




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