Knitting at Lake Lauzon

Just home last night from a lovely northern retreat at Lake Lauzon Resort in Algoma Mills, ON (close to Blind River). Sharon Provencher, owner and wonderful host, fed us amazing lunches and fantastic baked snacks.

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We couldn’t have asked for better weather. We walked along the lakefront and had longer walks along the highway loop over to Lake Huron.

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There was lots and lots of knitting. Here is our merry crew. Wonderful knitters who took on starting an Any Gauge Raglan with gusto.

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They made beautiful sweaters adding in their own creative variations. The red one was getting finished up from a previous Any Gauge class where J added stripes to her raglan pullover. R got started on a child’s cardigan with a seed stitch collar which provided space for a quick tutorial on how to get a good fold on your flipped-over collar. The blue variegated cardigan (top of photo) is a first sweater for herself by M where she worked her borders in seed stitch instead of garter stitch. It’s going to fit her beautifully. And missing from the photo, already packed away, is a pullover for S who is also knitting her first, very own sweater. My burnt orange version also gained several inches.

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Next year I hope to see them being worn. Wouldn’t that be fantastic! I can’t wait.

Same time next year. It’s a date.

Deb

Deb Gemmell Any Gauge patterns on ravelry

Cabin Fever patterns on ravelry

I had a great idea and then …

You are knitting along and everything seems to be fine but … there is this nagging little feeling that something is not quite as it should be. You were excited to cast on and for a while, in fact, quite a while, your project was moving along quite well, except for the little voice. The little voice that becomes a louder voice and finally can’t be ignored.

I thought this cardigan would be great. There is nothing wrong with the pattern, the yarn is fun but something is nagging at me. This isn’t quite IT.

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Then … I had a great idea. This yarn would be great, just fantastic, for a terrific sweater that I could see in my mind’s eye in all it’s glory. There it was. The perfect project for this yarn. And then it was gone.  I can’t remember what this great idea was. It’s gone. Will it come back? I sure hope so because I was excited and SO SURE.

In the meantime, while I was knitting the cardigan, a burnt orange V-neck pullover kept popping into my head. Obviously that’s the sweater I need to knit. So I am.

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Thanks for reading,

Deb

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Casting On, Yippee

Today I’m starting a couple new projects. YES.  I love the excitement of casting on, don’t you?

I’m working on the Any Gauge Cardigan since it seems like the next step in my any gauge project. I’m also experimenting again with working gradients with several colours of yarn.

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This is Fairy Wrap Worsted by Dragon Strings. I have 2 skeins of the colour on the left, 2 skeins of the centre colour and only 1 skein of the purple on the right. I think I will need one more skein. I need to bridge between the 2 colours on the right.

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I’m working with 2 colours at the same time, 2 rows in the first colour and 2 rows in the second colour. Because they are both speckled and have a good amount of white in them you can’t really see any stripes. Early days since I’ve just done a couple of inches.

 

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Then I have to figure out how to work into the second set of skeins since they both have more colour. The transition is the really interesting part. I have a dim idea of how to do this. It gives me something to contemplate in the middle of the night. Maybe tomorrow morning I will wake up with the problem solved.

My second project is a new shawl in Saucon Fingering by Cabin Fever (a cotton/acrylic blend). I will have it ready for its first outing at the Knitter’s Frolic in Toronto next Saturday.

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It starts at one side and is done in the asymmetric style but it will, hopefully, be symmetrical (both tails being the same length) when it’s done. So far so good. This triangle will be wider than it is tall which is, in my humble opinion, the best shape for wearing. Spring is here and it’s the perfect time to wear a shawl for that little bit of extra warmth around your neck since the winter coat and scarf have been stowed away. Yay, that’s a happy moment isn’t it.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

Deb Gemmell Any Gauge patterns on ravelry

Cabin Fever patterns on ravelry

 

Retreat with knitters

The Yarn Over Sleep Over knitting retreat is over for another year. I am still so jazzed I can hardly sit still. Spending time with so many enthusiastic knitters is energizing and so inspiring.

After this weekend there will be several more Any Gauge sweaters in the world. My students were the first to go through the instructions for an Any Gauge Cardigan worked from the Top Down.  They worked on a 1/5 scale model using their personal measurements. I will be teaching this again next week for Knit Night group. Now I have to get a couple sweaters knit myself so that I can put it out there so you can knit one too.

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In Sunday’s class we tackled a big topic. We took the Nimbus pattern by Berroco Design Team, a bottom-up pattern worked in 6 pieces to be sewn together, and worked out how to knit it without any seams.

Nimbus

We went through the process of knitting it from the Top Down with a Simultaneous Set-In Sleeve, based on Barbara G. Walker’s book Knitting from the Top Down.

Barbara Walker Knitting from the Top Down

The Set-In Sleeve is worked as part of the Yoke. No seams. Here’s the Top Down version of the Nimbus that I knit as a sample.

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I still have some fine tuning to do on this idea but the Set-In Sleeve worked really, really  well. I am very excited about this whole idea. I will never, ever, sew in a set-in sleeve again. It was a terrific class and my students hung in there with me to the end. This was a very new and challenging concept to take in over a 2 1/2 hour class.

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Now I have a couple more ideas for my classes next year. I can hardly wait.

But first, I get to teach at a couple more retreats. If you are a Northern knitter I am running a retreat in Algoma Mills, half way between Sudbury and  Sault Ste. Marie, ON on May 3-5, 2019. At “Knitting at Lake Lauzon” we are going to knit a sweater for ourselves using our very own measurements. After two full days of knitting we will all have a sweater starting at the Top and worked down past the underarms and will be on our way to a great fitting sweater.

On the last weekend in October, 2019 at the Cabin Fever Retreat we will be working on shawls. We will be presenting the basic concepts for 3 different shapes: the triangle shawl, the crescent-shaped shawl and the asymmetric shawl. Each student will pick one shape and get started. We will be tackling that mysterious sentence “incorporate the increases into your stitch pattern”. The students will go home with a firm understanding and some practice adding stitch patterns to their shawls. We’re going DEEP.

Lots of exciting classes coming up.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

DebGemmellMods Any Gauge patterns on ravelry

Cabin Fever patterns on ravelry

Ease, get the fit you want

I did a talk at a knitting guild last month based on the Any Gauge Raglan. I took them through the entire process from diving into their stash and casting on to figuring out how to get the Bottom of the Yoke to fit their unique body.

In the knitting industry we use the actual measurement of your bust (using a tape measure) + Ease to determine the final size of your sweater. One measurement. I know, it seems crazy. Obviously this one measurement cannot tell the whole story of your figure.

So I had everyone measure their Bust and their Arms. Almost no one had ever measured their arms. It’s important for your sleeves to fit as well as your body. I find that I need a slightly bigger sleeve than most patterns are allowing me for my bust size. I know from talking to many plus sized women that if they are busty the sleeves are often too big for them. Maybe you have found you can’t get both the bust and the sleeves to fit perfectly.

Body Measurement Workshop schematic

I have a solution. In the Any Gauge Raglan the raglan increases in the Yoke are worked until you reach the exact number of stitches needed to go around the Actual measurement of your Bust and both your Arms. At the Bottom of the Yoke it has to fit YOU because they are your measurements.

Any Gauge bottom of Yoke schematic

At this point the sweater would fit you like a second skin. If that’s the size of sweater you want you have it right there.

For a more relaxed fit some Ease (the amount your sweater is bigger than your actual body and arms) is added as you work the Divide Round as Underarm Cast On stitches. Again you get to decide how much ease you would like. Do you want a close fit or looser fit?

Close Fit:  Ease = 5% of Actual Bust measurement

Relaxed Fit:  Ease = 10% of Actual Bust measurement

Comfy Fit:  Ease = 15% of Actual Bust measurement

Loose Fit:  Ease = 20% of Actual Bust measurement

As you work the Divide Round half the Ease stitches are cast on at one underarm and the other half of the Ease stitches are cast on at the other underarm. That way the Total Ease you calculated above is added to the Body of your sweater. Ta, da, as simple as that.

The Any Gauge Raglan Yoke is worked to your personal measurements. Then you get to add the amount of Ease you wish for the fit you want.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

Any Gauge Patterns by Deb Gemmell

Cabin Fever patterns on Ravelry

Any Gauge Raglan, it’s done

Maybe you wake up one morning and decide today is the day you’re going to cast on for a pullover for yourself. It’s time. You go to your stash and pick out some yarn that has been calling to you. You check through your library of patterns at home or on ravelry to see if you have one that matches the pullover you want to make. Time passes, more time passes and you haven’t cast on yet.

What if you could get right to it. Cast on now. That’s what this Any Gauge Raglan pattern is all about.

Any Gauge Raglan Adult front page

I am a problem solving designer. One of my problems and maybe yours too, is that I don’t get gauge with the recommended needle size. I’m a loose knitter so usually go down one needle size to get close to gauge. With this pattern I am going to get to use the unique gauge I get with this particular yarn. One problem solved.

You can Cast On using the gauge information on the ball band if you usually get close to gauge with this yarn (I get close enough with the needle change) or you could do a swatch. Figure out the number of stitches you get in 1″ and you’re ready to Cast On for the neck opening.

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Yes, there is some math, more properly called Arithmetic. Nothing more than taking measurements in inches and multiplying by your Gauge (number of stitches in 1″). You can do this.

I’m really excited to present the Any Gauge Raglan Adult.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

Deb Gemmell Mods Any Gauge patterns on ravelry

Cabin Fever patterns on ravelry

A weekend of knitting

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.

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I decided to finish up one of the pink sweaters with long sleeves since I didn’t have one like that. Two sleeves finished.

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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

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Estelle, Rainbow Autumn Triangle Shawl

with a repeating stitch pattern. (The yarn is Rainbow Autumn by Estelle and it’s doing all the colour gradient work, cotton/wool blend.)

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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.

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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.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

Deb Gemmell patterns on ravelry

Cabin Fever patterns