Contrast colour angst

Are you a good colourist? I find choosing a contrast colour difficult. I’m learning, I hope, but not without lots of confusion, doubt and in the end, much ripping back and starting over.

I chose this Scheepjes Our Tribe sock wool (Cypress Textiles colour) to knit a pair of socks. It’s a blue/green in a light shade and I though a stitch pattern would show well. After getting my socks started I decided that, although it says it’s superwash, it was not spun tight enough to stand up to my rigorous wearing and washing.cypress textiles wool

When I knit socks I have fun with the colours. I knit orange socks, yellow socks, purple socks, green socks and many muli-coloured socks. But this colour, although fine for socks, would not have been my usual colour choice for any other garment.

This then was a learning challenge. My new scarf starts with triangles which, this time, I’m working in different Eyelet patterns. The first two triangles are made with this wool. You can see the slow colour change happening.(It’s greener than this photo shows.)20200628_203305

Now I need to choose a contrast colour. How do I bring the green out? It’s rather pale so any strong colour didn’t look right. Any of the blue yarn I tried didn’t look right either. I tried a taupe colour since there is some in the shading of this yarn.20200627_114135

The overall result is very dark and on this gloomy day I just couldn’t take it. 20200627_110255 - Copy (2)

It didn’t last long. Rip, rip, rip. Back to my stash and more head scratching. When stumped, go the other extreme. I chose the creamiest winter white I had. It lightens the scarf and at this point it seems like the best I can do since my needles are itching to continue.20200627_133338

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Better? It’s not gloomy anyway. This may or may not turn out as I expected, probably not, but …  I won’t know unless I carry on.

Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

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New to me Socks

Socks are made so many different ways now that it’s hard to keep up. I’ve decided to give some of my summer knitting over to non-traditional sock making.

To get started I looked through my stack of knitting books to find a book I bought but never got around to using: Cat Bordhi’s New Pathways for Sock Knitters, Book One. Whoa, I’m really late to this party. This was published in 2007!!

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I can attest to it being weird and wonderful. I have completed a pair of Coriolis socks (top left on the cover). Toe-Up with a heel flap. I have always found it difficult to get the length from toe to heel flap correct in this style of sock. The instructions were excellent and these are the correct length. YAY.

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I love the swirling line which breaks up the stripes of the Heritage Paints wool. I worked these from the Master Pattern for any gauge of yarn because my yarn didn’t fit any of the line-by-line patterns. I think there is an option for more swirl lines and I would like to try that next time. Because there will be a next time.

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Next I thought I would try out a cuff down sock. I chose the Bartholomew’s Tantalizing Socks and followed the pattern, as closely as I ever get to following exactly. I love the slip stitches and what they do to the variegated yarn. (Same Heritage Paints yarn because I love it and at one time bought a whole bag.)

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Don’t you love the stitch pattern? Here’s a close up. K1, with yarn in front Slip 1. A little bit of manipulating, bringing the wool back and forth but totally worth it.

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Of course it was a little more confusing when it got to the heel with the standard Heel Stitch: K1, with yarn in Back Slip 1. There was a bit of “ooops, rip back and start again with yarn in Back this time”. I expect to experience the same fun now that the heel is finished and I start working the original pattern on the foot. Yarn in front, yarn in front, yarn in front.

I have never tried working the reinforced Heel Stitch on the bottom of the heel. Have you? Some of my knitting guild friends highly recommend it. I guess I will see if I like it when these are worn. Something to look forward to when it’s not 28 degrees (celsius) outside.

Hope knitting is keeping you happy and sane,

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

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Someone New

We have a brand new, bright light in our life. Max is 8 days old today and after isolating for the last 3 weeks we are so happy to be part of his household. I’m in Nana heaven.20200617_103813 - Copy

I don’t think he knows yet but this little guy has a big job ahead of him. He’s going to keep his parents and his grandparents going over the months to come.20200616_155853 - Copy

If you’ve guessed by seeing the headscarf, you’re right, my daughter Morgan has breast cancer. She found out in early April (yeah, just 2 weeks after the lockdown started) in her 7th month. She started chemo treatments while pregnant, had this little guy and then started treatments again yesterday and will continue into the fall and beyond.

This has been our pandemic, too far away to visit but hey, we’re here now and loving every minute of it.

Have I been knitting like a crazy person? I finished the first prototype of this new scarf and a matching shawl, 3 baby sweaters and a baby wrap with letters, a pair of socks and a sweater for my daughter which she can’t wear until the fall but I just really needed to knit her something. I started a summer sweater, ripped it out and started again. I cut large chunks off 2 more sweaters (a destructive phase, short but felt good) and … I’m sure I’ve missed something because there was more.20200616_122301 - Copy

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Knitting has helped me through these last months and I hope your knitting is helping you too. Cheers and hope you are all doing well and enjoying the sunshine,

Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-free patterns by Deb

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A Letter Wrap

My mantra at the moment is Modifications R Us. Although I have been reading and paying attention to world events, I have also been busy knitting. I don’t know what I would do without yarn and needles in my hands.

My project is a wrap, a modification of this All You Need scarf pattern by Heidi Kirrmaier which, by the way, I would highly recommend.

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I began with a provisional cast on for the letter L because I never intended to knit a scarf. The letters are the really fun part after all. The letters are modular, join-as-you-go. Ms. Kirrmaier suggests that when working the O, in garter stitch in-the-round, to join up the L and V that you might want to go down a needle size. Excellent advice for loose purlers but I’m an excellent purler so of course paid no attention. OK you guessed it, I had to rip back because, hello, she was totally right.Love wrap

My idea was to make a wrap with a decorative edging. I usually don’t do much in the way of fancy stitches, a deep rut that I need to crawl out of, but this was a project that needed a little something. The stitch pattern I chose is from a pair of socks I designed called Pine Cone Sock. It seemed best to start with a pattern I am a little familiar with. 

I changed it from a 9 row pattern to a 10 row pattern and I think it looks pretty good as a border. The pattern is based on Twist Right and Twist Left stitches which are favourites of mine.Love wrap (3)

The wrap is 17″/43cm deep and 48″/127cm long. I might block it one more time for a tiny bit more length. Now back to sock knitting while I think about what’s next on my modifications list.

Cheers, hope you are well and happily knitting,

Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns by Deb & Lyn

Re-working Knits Works

All that knitting and there it sits, a sweater I never wear. After looking at it and putting it on it seemed obvious that with some changes it just might become a sweater I would enjoy wearing. Why not try it? I’m not wearing it anyway so …

This is the one of my Gauge-Free Raglan Pullover samples. I wanted to show it in a heavy wool with a big cable down the centre front and back. It also has a smaller cable down the centre sleeves. So all in all it’s a good design which I never wore.

I made a plan: shorten this pullover and add some more height to the neckband.

gauge-free raglan (3) Mods

Getting started required a bit of cursing. This is mandatory before going into the kitchen to get the scissors. I sewed the tail end in at the bottom of this sweater too well!! Ha, that will teach me. One little snip and a big rip back, around 4 1/2″, with my fingers crossed. It worked. It feels much lighter. I hope it looks cute and jaunty now instead of a big heavy pullover.

gauge-free raglan (4)

Next the neckband. Because it was picked up around the neck opening and worked up, I think this will be a fairly easy fix. I undid the cast off, put the stitches on a smaller needle and worked 3 sets of short rows to raise the back of neck. Because I was only doing a few short rows with big chunky wool, I worked the short row Turns on the Front itself starting just past the Front raglan line. Usually I might start the short row turns at the centre sleeve and work them towards the Front and down into it a little way. But, hey, I’m taking risks anyway so why not up the ante. (That big cable you can see on the right is the centre front.) Thick wool really makes the short rows do their work quickly.

short row gauge-free raglan

Ta, da, here it is. I’m so happy with it now. I had it on yesterday and it feels light and fun.

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Now I’m rummaging around my pile of knits to see what other magic I can work. How about you?

Cheers, Deb

Gauge-Free and Any Gauge Patterns by Deb

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Why don’t I wear this sweater?

Spring has sprung and it’s time to wash and then put away the heavy woollies. As I take out sweater after sweater, I wonder why certain ones never got worn. I liked it when I knit it. I like everything while I’m knitting. I thought at the time I would wear it.  Why didn’t I? Maybe it’s time to find out and do something about it.

Here is one of my Gauge-Free Raglan Pullovers. This was one of the last ones I knit as a sample for the pattern and I took a couple of short cuts or at lease didn’t give it the time and consideration I could have. I pick it up and put it down a lot. I even get as far as putting it on and then take it off. Hmm, I wonder why? It’s time to find out.gauge-free raglan (2)

I like the woolly feel of it. I like the big cable down the front and back and the little cable down the sleeves. It was fun to knit. The fit is fine. It’s totally worth the time and effort to get right. Time to investigate. I put it on one more time. What’s bothering me?IMG_3898

  1. I think it would be more attractive if it was shorter. It feels heavy when it’s on so making it shorter would make it feel lighter.
  2. I think the neck opening looks too wide for me. I would like to fill it in more.
  3. I wish the neckband was raised at the back of neck. I can feel the edge of it lower down on the back of my neck than I would like. Making the neckband wider will help but I think I’ll do some short rows to raise the back of the neck this time.

 

I’m feeling better already. I have a plan. It starts with ripping. I know ripping can be painful but this is in a good cause and seems right.gauge-free raglan (3) Mods

  1.  Rip back to a shorter length. This is knit top down so all I have to do is snip one stitch of the cast off and start ripping until the length seems best and then re-knit the bottom ribbed edge.
  2. Rip out the neckband. Since it was picked up around the neck opening and cast off at the top edge of the neckband, I have another easy rip back.
  3. Use the yarn I took off the bottom of the sweater to reknit the neckband to deeper length with short rows to raise the back of the neck.

Now I’m getting excited. This is sooo going to work.

Do you have some sweaters you need to rework? Have you done this before?

Cheers, Deb

Gauge-Free and Any Gauge patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Symmetry vs Asymmetry

How attached are you to symmetry? When I try to work asymmetry into my own designs they seem to work hard to revert to something symmetrical. I’m trying to work against this tendency. Sometimes it works.

The other factor in favour of asymmetry is that my mind and maybe yours, is restless and easily distracted. The thought of working too much of the same thing is not appealing right now.

So I’m working on a scarf or shawl in 3 sections where I, and eventually you, will be able to change it up.

It starts with triangles that begin small and get larger and larger, worked join-as-you-go to your desired depth of scarf, in this case about 8″/20cm deep.20200517_091914

Then there is a straight centre section worked on the bias. This is a simple 2 row repeat so you will be able to play. I tried 3 different stitch patterns: stripes, eyelets and the daisy stitch. Do you have some other favourite stitch patterns that could work?

I didn’t do this for long as you can see. I made the first section very long. I was afraid if I kept going I would have to wind this scarf around my neck several times as if I was a giraffe. But hey, if that’s a good look for you, go for it. I took the scissors to my prototype, snip, snip, first two triangles are gone and now it’s a much better shape for me.

Then for the final section I worked a scalloped edge which can go on forever, OK not forever but certainly until you run out of yarn, stitches or patience.20200517_092104

 After surgery, my scarf is 66″/168cm long and weighs 125g.20200517_110131

What do you think? Would you like the option to make both ends match? Where do you stand on the symmetry/asymmetry question?

Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

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Why is THIS project sticky?

As a diet leads to binging, so does the reverse happen: knitting startitis leads to dumping projects in the UFO pile. Back where I started with two projects after starting 5 and a larger pile of whatever-made-me-start-that. Do you have this pile too?

Why do you keep going on certain projects and not on others? What makes a project stick?

I’m trying to stay with my design projects but it’s harder than usual to concentrate. Two, no three, ideas are running around my head and I’m trying not to jump in without thinking them through first.

It makes for a lot of work to start a half-baked idea. It goes like this: try this, nope no good huh really thought that would work, frustrated walk, walk, walk, *try a variation, optimistic, got it this time, knit way too far along with denial denial denial working overtime, not working, frustrated walk, walk, walk; repeat from * as many times as I can stand.

One scarf/shawl project is in the middle of this spiral and since I’ve started might as well keep going. I like the triangles but it’s not getting large enough, fast enough so I need to redo it from the beginning but … I have a different idea for the other end so I’m carrying on to try that out. If nothing else I will have a nicely coloured piece of knitting to throw around my neck. I can’t really lose here but it’s still not quite right so … walking, walking, walking.20200508_095757

Two other sweater projects are spinning around. One is based on this idea. I’m still looking for a boxy sweater.20200414_154655

I’m going to try something different. After this one prototype I’m going to think, think, think before I begin another one. Novel idea which might work, you never know.

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns

 

 

How Many Projects is TOOO Many?

The jittery knitter has landed with not one, not two but 4 new projects. This seems to be working for me, sort of. Are you a monogamous knitter? Why? What does that do for you? I truly have no idea how that works.

As I look around me I see:

A shawl I am re-purposing into a new shawl. I loved knitting the first shawl last summer but I just don’t wear it (probably because I never sewed the ends in, duh) so I decided since I really like the colours, to knit a second shawl. More triangles because I am obsessed.20200426_102540

I was knitting a plain toe-up sock and saw a photo on instagram of the Coriolis sock by Cat Bordhi. I have the New Pathways for Sock Knitters book so that’s what I’m going to knit. I just happened to be at the exact spot to jump right in. A good sign? I love the swirling pattern it’s going to make.20200426_102650

I’ve started my All You Need scarf pattern by Heidi Kirrmaier which I’m going to make into a blanket. Three letters done, almost. They are fun to see form up. I don’t know whether to make two sets of letters or just one for a blanket.What do you think?20200426_102929

I knit half a sleeve of the Nurtured pattern and … not working for me. The pattern is lovely but the wool I’m using is too thick and the slip stitch pattern ends up very stiff. It would be lovely in a thinner worsted yarn. For another time perhaps. The wool I have is the perfect colour, dark emerald green, so after looking around I decided to knit the Carbeth by Kate Davies. Oh my, the wool is loving this. It’s soft and easy and I just love knitting round and round.20200426_102831

The second Build a Bigger V is unfortunately stalled right at the finish line. All these new projects have pushed it to be back of the queue (which may be one of the reasons this startitis is going on). I’m feeling very guilty so that’s on my schedule for next week. Get it done (not my best thing, LOL). All I have to do is sew in ends, work the neckband and then find some buttons and sew them on with as little bloodshed as possible. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.

How about you? One project or many? Where are you on the spectrum?

Deb

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The Knitting Jitters

There has been lots of knitting going on but I’ve also had a major bout of startitis. I’d decide this is THE perfect next project, cast on, knit two rows, put it aside, oh wait, this is the one, cast on, put aside, again and again. Am I the only one with the knitting jitters? Are you solid on your knitting? How do you do that?

My second Build a Bigger V sides have been attached and my sleeves are sewn up. I found out, to my surprise, I like garter stitch seaming, it’s rhythmic and somehow satisfying.

I decided on 3/4 sleeves for a summer sweater. Not as much knitting which might have been the clincher. Next a very shallow neckband and then, dive into the button jar.

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But now I’m thinking I need a break from designing so I’m going to knit someone else’s design. I’m leaning towards Nurture by Andrea Mowry for my daughter. I have some dark green wool she would like.

Short and sweet, don’t you think? Has anyone knit this?

And because it’s always good to have a garter stitch project on hand, and I’m sure that I can convert the All You Need scarf by Heidi Kirrmaier into a baby blanket/wrap for the little guy coming in the summer, I’m winding wool today. Whoo, commitment. I have those colours, it’s modular, my favorite, and I’ve been looking at the pattern for months and months. It’s time!

Or maybe … oh, no, STOP ME.

How are you doing? How is your knitting going?

I hope you and yours are all well,

Deb

Any Gauge & Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

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