How much Ease?

That’s what I’m asking myself as I knit the Top Down yoke of my 3×3 cardigan. How much ease do I want to add to this one? I’m working on an Any Gauge Raglan Cardigan where I get to make the decision for how much ease to add to the body of my sweater. All my decision. When I work the Divide Row I’m going to add the ease (extra stitches added at the underarm to make the sweater several inches bigger than my actual body at the bust). But how much?

Have you ever measured all your sweaters to see what size you really love to wear? Try this. Get out your measuring tape and measure around your bust, then around the chest of different garments. Look at the difference in the measurements. I bet you regularly wear garments with a wide range of ease: positive ease ( garment is larger than your actual bust measurement) and negative ease (smaller than your bust measurement).

There are charts for this. Here is one from the Craft Yarn Council.

Standard Ease

I usually knit to the Classic Fit with 3″ of ease. But … I’m starting to rethink this.

Here are some sweaters with various amounts of positive ease. Sweaters worn by me and my daughter who is several sizes smaller. Here we go.

A wool sweater from the Need A Cicular Yoke book by Cabin Fever, in Tuffy wool by Briggs and Little. It’s an Aran weight (Heavy Worsted) knit at a gauge of 16 sts = 4″.

Left: My sweater with +3″ of ease.  Right:  Morgan with +7.5″ of ease. I love this sweater and wear it all the time. Morgan liked the fit of this one, really comfortable. The waist shaping really makes this sweater work for both of us. On Morgan the sleeves are too big and it is 2-3″ too short but we would both happily wear this.

Now let’s go to a heavier weight of yarn. Any Gauge Raglan Pullover in Rowan Chunky Tweed knit to a gauge of 12 sts = 4″. 

Left: Me with +5″ of ease. Right: Morgan with +9.5″ of ease. I find this sweater really comfy and could even have gone with more hip ease but Morgan said it was too sloppy for her. If I was knitting this for her I would fill in the neck to make it smaller which would make it look and feel like a better fit. This one is long enough, with nice long sleeves.

Three more to go. Any Gauge Raglan Pullover for a vest in Worsted Weight wool by Dragon Strings, knit at a gauge of 20 sts = 4″.

Left: Me with +1″ of positive ease. Left: Morgan +5.5″ positive ease. I have always found this vest slightly uncomfortable and now I know why. One inch of ease feels a little tight, especially over a top. I can block it slightly bigger so I will wear it more often. Morgan thought this fit nicely on both of us.

My favourite. Any Gauge Raglan Pullover in Solid Sock by Mineville Wool Project. knit at a gauge of 24 sts = 4″.

Left: Me with +1″ of ease. Right: Morgan with +5.5″ of ease. I think this one works for both of us. I might block mine slightly bigger for comfort. Because it’s a light weight sweater with A-line shaping and a tunic length it works for two different sizes and figures.

Last One. Any Gauge Cardigan in various canadian wools knit at 18 sts = 4″.

Left: Me with +5″ of ease. Right: Morgan with +9.5″ of ease. This is a really comfortable  amount of ease for me but is huge on Morgan. It’s a stiffish fabric that doesn’t mold to a smaller frame.

My conclusions are:

  1. For a firm knits with heavier yarns 3-6″ of ease seems to work really well. The sweater is going to hold it’s own shape. I would make sure there is waist and hip shaping to give the sweater a curvy look.
  2. For a sweater knit in medium weights of yarn producing a nice soft fabric, the Classic Fit of 2-4″ of ease works really well. More ease coupled with a longer length would also work.
  3. A finer fingering (sock) weight sweater can look great with any amount of ease from 1″ to as much as 7″ or maybe more. A sweater with a nice drape and A-line shaping in a longer tunic length can be knit with lots of ease and still not look over-sized.

What has your experience of ease been? Do you have a favourite amount of ease that works for you? Were you astonished by the range of ease in the garments you regularly wear?

I can’t wait to hear from you,

Deb

Any Gauge patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever Books and Patterns

Choosing 3 colours, Help!

Do you have trouble picking colours? I do. Right now I’m trying to choose 3 colours for one more 3×3 cardigan testknit. Why do three colours always seem so much more difficult to pick than two? There is help out there and lots of it.

Variegated yarns. That’s the help. Hand dyed or commercially dyed, people who do dyeing know more about putting colours together than I do. So I’m going lean on their expertise.

Do you have another way of choosing colours? I’d love to hear about it (leave me a comment).

I have a bag of dark brown wool and I thought it was time to use some of it. But what to put with it? Brown is out of my normal colour range, which is blue, and I love orange too, if you haven’t noticed yet. But what goes with brown? Wait, don’t I have something in my stash that has brown in it? Of course I do.20191109_114418

Brown and several other colours too. Lots of choice there. I’m stash diving to see what else I might have to go with the brown. I found 3 balls of purple. Yay. Can’t go wrong with purple. Now one more colour. I wish I had the blue in this weight but I don’t seem to so I am going with black.20191108_102439

I think this combo might work out OK. This photo below is closer to the correct colours. 

I keep thinking I must have some blue somewhere. I’m off to search …

Ah, ha, here’s some. 

What do you think?  Do I go with Brown/Purple/Black  OR  Brown/Purple/Blue????

HELP!!

Deb

Any Gauge Patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever Books and Patterns

Any Gauge Raglan class at Eastern Needlers Retreat

There is always something new to learn in knitting. I passed on my knowledge in two Any Gauge classes and took a class myself to learn something new to me.

Last weekend at the Eastern Needlers Retreat I taught my Any Gauge Raglan as a cardigan. The classes were amazing. Everyone hung in to the last, using their own measurements to knit a little vest or sweater at 1/5 scale.20191104_091250

Nancy finished hers by the next day. Fantastic.IMG_20191103_120847

 

It’s not possible to do all the knitting needed for the real sweater although several students wished we could. Me too.

I started this one as a sample.20191104_091058

 

We did all the tips and tricks I could manage in the time: double buttonholes, extra bust width, sleeve placement, amount of ease and raising the back of neck. Phew, yes it was intense.

On Sunday I got to take a class myself. A real treat for me. Mairi introduced us to Twining. Wow. It’s a Swedish knitting technique that twists the stitches between every stitch. It’s not as hard as it sounds. It can also make colour patterns. Look at my wrister. Cool, eh?20191103_113201

 

And you know how I love weird and wonderful charts!! And these are different, v-e-r-y interesting.

A wonderful weekend. Thanks again to Debbie Wilson of Sheeps Ahoy for inviting me.

Hope you had a terrific weekend of knitting too,

Deb

Any Gauge patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever Books and patterns