I had the weekend to myself. I thought I would clean up my knitting office, make some cookies, make some stew, go through my suitcase of knitted samples and sort them, edit my pattern, go to the gym. It was an ambitious agenda.
I knit. The whole weekend. That was it. It was wonderful.
As I watched a season of Vera (I’m hooked on BBC mysteries) I ripped out the ribbed neckband, cuffs and bottom border of my fingering weight sweater and redid them all in garter stitch. I had been thinking of doing this for some time and just never got around to it. This was the weekend to do it.
I decided to finish up one of the pink sweaters with long sleeves since I didn’t have one like that. Two sleeves finished.
I also had some fun experimenting on a shawl for a class I’m running. We’re knitting this basic side-to-side shawl pattern
with a repeating stitch pattern. (The yarn is Rainbow Autumn by Estelle and it’s doing all the colour gradient work, cotton/wool blend.)
Then we’re going to play with different stitch patterns to substitute in for the one in the pattern. Some of these stitch pattern experiments are working quite well.
These are newer knitters and I don’t know if any of them will try this but … I want to show them that patterns aren’t written in stone and no one is checking that they worked it exactly as written. It might be a hard sell.
I am heavily into procrastination this week. Argh, I don’t like this aspect of designing at all. I have the Adult version of the Any Gauge Raglan Pullover pattern almost ready to put out so I am editing but then I’m editing and editing again, and not in a good way but as a way of putting off publishing. Sometimes I don’t want to let my baby go.
Instead of continuing brow beat myself I decided to make it work for me. So I said to myself, “Self, just work on another project for a little while first”. Ha, it was more than a little while. Does this sound familiar? But guess what, I’m getting that other one finished. I think this is a win, sort of. Let’s not waffle, I’m calling it a win.
I’m working on a plainish shawl and wanted to tart it up at the bottom edge. That’s what really shows after all. With a new colour I am borrowing the Lace Border from the Jane Austen Shawl (a quick thicker yarn shawl).
I love double yarn over holes and this edging has them. It’s working out really well.
I used the Shawl Trick to loosening the top edge of the shawl which will let me stretch out the garter edge nicely when I block it. Look how much stretch it has when it’s dry! It’s going to stretch even more when I wet block it.
I also am using 2 different needles to work the perpendicular edging. It’s a small thing but having two different needles (one metal and one plastic) in two different colours is really helping me to keep the rows straight. Sometimes it’s these little things that make the knitting go so much smoother.
Done. I won and just in time too. I was playing yarn chicken at the end.
Finishing up. Do you love it or hate it? The sewing in of the ends, the picking up of the neckband, washing and blocking, all of it.
I procrastinate. The time between finishing the actually knitting and finishing it up is usually a long time. I started this sweater in September, blush. But look at me now, I am finishing it up.
This was one of the early prototypes for the Any Gauge Raglan Adult and the drop at the shoulders was not as deep as I might like it. I lengthened it on the next sweater but right now I certainly don’t want the shoulder drop to be any shorter than it is.
The pattern calls for me to use a smaller sized needle, pick up for the neckband and then, since the neck opening is quite wide, to work an even decrease around the entire neckband, taking the whole thing in.
Who is in charge of this neckband? ME. That’s right, I’m the boss here. So, smaller needle, check. Pick up and knit stitches, check. Decrease Round, hmmm.
The neckband does need to be smaller so I decided that I need to decrease across the Front and Back only and leave the shoulder stitches as they are. Across the Front and Back I decreased 20% of the stitches and knit across the shoulders.
Yes, that brought my neckband in for a smaller neck opening and left my shoulder drop as long as I could. Finish knitting the ribbing and I’m done.
The boss was right. I’m counting this as a success!!
The Any Gauge Raglans begin with the cast on of a large neck opening. It will seem really big. For the Baby sizes it’s 18″ around. For the Kid’s sizes it’s 24″ and for the Adult sizes the neck opening is 30″ around. The Neckband is knit last. There are a couple of good reasons for this. At least I think they’re good reasons.
You can use ANY YARN for these Any Gauge Raglans. You can cast on with your best guess at gauge. Use the gauge indicated on the ball band if you know you’re usually close to gauge, close is good enough to get started. This large neck opening gives you lots of space to be a little tight or a little loose. No swatch, No problem. The adjustment for the final neck size is done later.
The Neckband is worked with a much smaller needle. The smaller needle will make the neck opening about 2″ smaller right away. Then, depending on how much smaller you need the opening to be, you can work a decrease round to pull the Neckband in an extra 5%, 10% or 20%. You can make the Neckband the size you desire.
BONUS – You can delay having to decide which stitch pattern you’re going to use to finish your sweater Neckband, Bottom Border and Cuffs. You may have a solid idea of what you want your final sweater to look like when you begin but when you see the Body finished you may have a new idea. Delaying the decision also gives you something to look forward to which I especially like. No need to decide everything all at once at the beginning.
I had a bag of chunky yarn, only 2 balls of each colour. No problem. I can work out something as I go so let’s cast on right now. As I progressed down the yoke I made decisions for when to start the second colour. This is a 6 year old size using 300g of yarn.
The Any Gauge Raglan Kid’s pattern is now available on ravelry. Do you have someone between the ages of 4 and 12 who could use a pullover? Dive into your stash now.