Aftermarket Neckband

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.

DSC_0330

  1.  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.
  2.  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.

DSC_0341

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.

DSC_0377
Any Gauge Raglan Kid’s, size 6 years

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.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

Deb Gemmell patterns

Cabin Fever Patterns

Place Sleeves for Any Gauge Raglans

When you knit a Top Down sweater, you choose the size using your bust measurement. Do the sleeves always fit? They quite often don’t for me.

I think I have solved this problem in the Any Gauge Raglan sweater series. I’m very excited to present the first one. This is a recipe style pattern where you do some math and work according to your own gauge. Tight knitter, loose knitter, it doesn’t matter. Your particular gauge matters.

I’ve started the Any Gauge Raglan series with a baby sizes, Newborn to 4 year old size:  Any Gauge Raglan Baby

What prompted this idea? As a designer, I would usually choose a set of sizes for the Body and Sleeves for each pattern. I would look at the set of sizes and work out the number of stitches needed for the Front, Back and Sleeves at the Bottom of the Yoke. Then I would work backwards up to the neckline to decide on the number of stitches for the neckline for all the sizes. The finished sleeve size dictates how wide the top of the shoulder is at the neckline.

But what if I want a particular shape of neckline? In this case I wanted a rectangular neck opening with a wide shoulder.

DSC_0337

DSC_0330

The size of the shoulders on these neck openings is wide so that there is a drop down the front and back of the neck. After working all the yoke increases the sleeve may not be the proper size for the sleeve you need.  Oh, no, what to do?

What if … we used the Raglan lines as a guide only? What if … your actual sleeve needed could be wider or narrower than the Raglan Markers indicate? I mean, really, are the Raglan Markers set in stone?

I made a video to explain:  Place Sleeves on Any Gauge Raglans

This takes a particular set up which I am working on in the Any Gauge Raglan sweater series. I’m very excited to present the Any Gauge Raglan Baby/Toddler Pullover.

Use ANY YARN you want. Go ahead, dive into your stash and pick the perfect colour in any weight of yarn you have. Cast On and knit any size up to 4 years old.

What do you think of this idea? All comments, questions and photos are welcome. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

Deb Gemmell patterns on ravelry

Cabin Fever patterns and books on ravelry

Star Toe Up Socks

Have you tried Toe Up Socks? They are my go-to method. But maybe getting started has you hesitating. The popular way to get started is with Judy’s Magic Cast On, by Judy Becker, which mimics the Cuff Down grafting of the toe, in reverse. I find it challenging to work well. If you have it down terrific. If not, I have an alternative that is easy and totally works.

It’s called the Star Toe (I did a video, have a look) which begins with a cast on of 8 stitches, in your usual cast on method, Phew. Divide the stitches onto 2 double pointed needles or the 2 tips of your circular needle for Magic Loop and start increasing.

star toe 2 needle start

Double point users: I only divide my 8 sts onto two double points for the first round because putting 2 sts on each of 4 double pointed needles leads to much dropping of needles and cursing. As soon as I have enough stitches I add in more double pointed needles.

The toe is divided into 4 sections. Right now there are 2 sts in each of the 4 sections and 2 sections are on each of the needles. As soon as you start the Increase Rounds below the 4 sections become obvious.

star toe 4 sections

The star toe works by increasing into the first stitch of each section. I use the Kfb increase (knit into the front and back of same stitch).

Round 1:  *Kfb, K1; repeat from * to end of round. – increase of 4 sts (12 sts on needles)

Now you have enough stitches to add in more double pointed needles. Magic Loopers just continue as set up.

Round 2:  *Kfb, K2; repeat from * to end of round.

Round 3:  *Kfb, K3; repeat from * to end of round.

You get the general idea here. Continue to work increases into the first stitch of each of the 4 sections until you have approximately 1/2 your total sock stitches.

 

DSC_0299

Now introduce a Knit Round, alternating a knit round and an increase round.

Next Round:  Knit.

Increase Round:  *Kfb, knit to end of section; repeat from * 3 more times.

Repeat these last 2 rounds until the Star Toe is the correct size.

How do you know it’s the correct size? Measure across the width of the toe OR stick your toes into it. Note: the sock toe is slightly bigger than it appears! That’s because it’s stuck on straight needles so stop increasing when it’s a little tight and it will be correct.

I just finished a sock for my husband. I don’t worry about the exact number of stitches when I start, I just work the toe until it’s the correct width across (4 1/2″) for a 9″ circumference sock for his foot. Then I knit and knit and knit for his size 11 foot.

DSC_0295

It turned out perfectly. Onto sock number two.

DSC_0302

And the toe fits!!

DSC_0308

Hope that encourages you to get started on a Toe Up sock. Thanks for reading,

Deb

Cabin Fever patterns on ravelry.

Deb Gemmell patterns

Relax with YO

Holes or no holes, that is the Raglan Pullover question. Why does it matter what increase I use anyway? Why is knitting a Top Down Pullover different than knitting a Top Down Cardigan?

Well, of course a pullover is different than a cardigan in lots of ways. But there are specific reasons for choosing your raglan increase very carefully when knitting a Top Down Pullover.

A pullover is worked in the usual manner, with an Increase Round where one increase is worked before and another increase worked after each of the 4 Raglan Markers. For a Pullover this is followed by a Knit Round. Work these two rounds over and over.

That’s fairly straight forward until … the phone rings, there is a ping indicating you have  a new message, someone asks you a question or …

You pick up your knitting again and … oops, which round am I working? Is this an Increase Round or a Knit Round? Your increase itself has that answer.

As you knit toward each Raglan Marker you look to see whether you need to work a set of increases (Increase Round) or knit on through (Knit Round).

If you are using a YO (Yarn Over) increase this is easy to do. If you see this … YO with arrowsa YO sitting on the needle before the Marker and another YO after the Marker you are going to knit on through (Knit Round).

If you see this …  No YO with arrowsno YO before or after the Marker. You need to make a YO before the Marker and another YO after the Marker according to your Increase Round instructions.

Holes can make knitting your Pullover a much more relaxing knit.  Now do you want holes or no holes?

Thanks for reading,

Deb

Deb Gemmell patterns

Cabin Fever Books and Patterns

Any Gauge Freedom – getting started with kid’s size

Do you have stash yarn with no specific pattern to go with it? Would you love to dive in, find some beloved yarn and get started on a sweater for a special little someone in your life? I’m working on an Any Gauge Kid’s Pullover right now in a baby size.

I’m using Cotton Tweed , a DK weight yarn from Cabin Fever, in gender-neutral Lime. I don’t have anyone in mind for this so I’m playing it safe. This gender-neutral thing gets a little old, don’t you think?

DSC_0223

Since this pattern is for Any Yarn that means EVERY GAUGE can work. To get started I need to figure out the number of stitches I’m getting in 1″ (G) for the yarn I’ve chosen. I could knit a gauge swatch but I must admit that swatches lie for me so I’m going to take a leap (not really a very big leap since I knit with this yarn a lot) and go by the gauge on the ball band to cast on for the neck opening. The Neckband will be picked up later and can be adjusted for size.

DSC_0226

Ball Band reads 22 sts in 4″  ÷ 4   =  5.5 sts in 1″ =  

Once I’ve cast on for my neck opening and knit a couple of inches on my pullover I can get a much more accurate gauge. Sometimes, after knitting for a bit your gauge can change. You might relax as you get into the knitting. I will measure the stitches over 4″ again and divide by 4 as a double check on my G  (keeping all fractions of stitches).

DSC_0231

I’m still right on gauge. Yay.

I need the accurate gauge to figure out the number of stitches I need for the Bottom of the Yoke for the size of Body I want to make. That’s where the sweater needs to fit. I’m not even close to that yet. Knitting On for several more inches.

Catch you at the Bottom of the Yoke where I will be doing something strange with the sleeves,

Deb

Cabin Fever has multi-gauge books on Ravelry.

Deb Gemmell patterns on ravelry.

Podcasts and Blogs

Are you looking for stories about knitting adventures and especially, misadventures? We  all like to know we’re not the only ones, right? Do you want to hear or read interviews with your favourite knitting celebrities? Do you love watching knitting tutorials? Maybe you just want to while away an hour knitting and listening to some knitting talk.

This list is a very small sample of some of the blogs and podcasts our Knitting Guild members read and watch (thanks to Kaila who is a huge podcast watcher). This is a real mix. Several were new to me and I’m looking forward to seeing what they are all about.

Can you add to this list? I know there are many more podcasts and blogs out there. I’d love to hear about some new ones. Please post a favourite or two in the comments.

Blogs to read:

Yarn Harlot, by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee  yarnharlot.ca  If you follow blogs at all you probably already know about this one. She’s been blogging for 15 years with stories about knitting and her life. Great reading.

Arnall-Culliford Knitwear by Jen Arnall   A-C Knitwear Blog  If you want to learn different techniques this is a blog for you. She has lots of video tutorials which she links to in her posts. This year Jen is working on a new techniques book so there will more information about the new techniques coming soon.

Knits from the Woodlot  by Gayle who writes about knitting and other things that interest her, like cooking. Look for her new designs with a special interest in reversible knitting.

The Knitting Needle and the Damage Done   A look at new magazines and books when they come out. She comments on each of the different designs. If you enjoy a candid review of new magazines this is a fun read.

Knitting and So On  I like this blog because of the unusual constructions she uses and explains. It’s translated from German so also brings an international view to my world. She has links to her own tutorials and others so you can enjoy some new people you haven’t discovered yet.

Podcasts:

Fruity Knitting  A couple living in Germany who podcast every couple of weeks.  I especially enjoy the interviews with knitters from around the world. It’s a small peek into their motivation, inspiration and their approach to knitting design.

Arne and Carlos  Two men coming to you from Norway, who are really into both knitting and crochet.  They tackle lots of topics and techniques and quite often work and finish a whole project in their podcast while you watch.

Kammebornia  A podcast from Sweden with subtitles in english for those of us who do not understand swedish, although you may know a few more knitting words after watching this than you did before. I just had a short look and there is beautiful photography and lovely colourwork projects.

Espace Tricot  is a knitting store in Montreal, Quebec. The two owners show you lots of projects which they have knit and been given by yarn companies. A view from the other side of the counter.

Four Boys and a NL Girl   This one is new to me. A down home look at knitting and embroidery stitching coming to you from Newfoundland.

Nice and Knit   Two friends who, in their 4th podcast, are talking about going to the Vogue Knitting show. If you want to know what it’s like to be a vendor you get an inside look.

player.fm/series/knitfm   Knitfm is an audio podcast by Hannah Fettig and Pam Allen which was discontinued 4 years ago but is still available for a listen. Both of these women are fantastic designers and I am going to get my knitting out and listen to all 15 episodes.

So what do you listen to? Which blogs do you read?  I’m sure there is terrific knitting information and entertainment out there that I don’t know about yet. Please add to this list. 

Thanks,

Deb

Deb Gemmell of Cabin Fever:   patterns on Ravelry

 

Knitting Friends

I am always glad I’m a knitter but never so much as this weekend when I contemplate the wonderful people I have met through the clicking of needles.

This weekend I sat and knit in a hospice where a knitting friend is living out her last days. I have been to 11 knitting retreats that Sharon and her friends ran and she has been to 4 or 5 of the retreats that I run. Double the retreat fun. We are retreating buddies.

At the Sudbury retreat Sharon baked a cake every year as a treat after the Friday evening entertainment. It was always the first thing I wanted to check out when I arrived.

001One particular year we wondered if she had lost her baking mojo since the cake was decidedly lopsided. Not her usual perfection. She told us it took her three cakes to get it to look like that.

 

Sharon had become obsessed with the moebius or more like moebii (is this the plural?) because from her Mary Poppins carpet bag she pulled out moebius, after moebius, after moebius, after moebius.

This is the moebius cowl I knit in her class the year before.

dsc_0184

In profile it looks like this. Thus the lop-sided cake. (If you want to bake one, the secret is to put something under one side of the cake pan as you bake it to get the correct shape. I’m sure you’re running off to do that right now!)

dsc_0185

A moebius cowl would have been called a dickie in earlier times. As Sharon was baking these cakes she kept reciting “moebius dickie, moebius dickie, moebius dickie”. Which became … a lopsided cake with blue icing and whale cookies circling the outside. I’m sure you’ve caught the reference.

My rendition since I don’t have a photo.

dsc_0187

Have a piece of cake and toast your knitting friends with me. Yum.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

My patterns on Ravelry