A New Knit for Little People

Want to try something new, maybe experiment a little (otherwise known as designing)? Why not try it on a little person sweater first. They’re quick and little people are generally not too fussy as long as you choose the right colour.

Karen asked me about adding a stitch pattern to the raglan lines since she wanted to try it herself. I dug around in my UFO pile of experiments and found something I had started. I don’t even know when. Not finished, imagine that!

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And now it is. It’s in two colours because I didn’t have any more of the original colour dye lot (shh, don’t tell).

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Railroad Top Down on ravelry

The garter stitch raglan lines go down the sides of the Body on the Front …

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and the Back.

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With all this extra patterning, the body knit up in a flash. I’ve added it to the Cabin Fever ravelry store.

Enjoy and Happy Canada Day,

Deb

Deb Gemmell Any Gauge patterns

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Where to Widen Raglan Lines

So I took a chance and decided to Add A Pattern to the Raglan Lines. It looks amazing. The pattern on the raglan lines are perfect. I’m at the bottom of the yoke. After this row it’s really going to look like a sweater and I’m excited. Then it happens, as I put my sleeve stitches on spare yarn I realize my lovely raglan line pattern is half on the sleeve and half on the body and not what I intended. My raglan line pattern is ruined!

Yes, it’s happened to me too. The first time it’s hard to envision the entire process. A little time thinking ahead would have saved me some grief.

Don’t get surprised when you do the Great Divide (separating the Sleeves and Body). Look ahead to the bottom of the Yoke. Where do you want the pattern you’ve added to the raglan lines to end up? Maybe you do want half of it on the Body and half of it on the sleeve. Or do you want the pattern to continue down the sides of the Body?

That’s what I decided to do this time. I wanted to widen the raglan lines so that when I reached the bottom of the yoke and put my sleeve stitches on spare yarn, I would have the raglan patterned stitches on the Fronts and Back.

To do this, at the top of the yoke arrange the raglan lines placing a new raglan marker the number of stitches for the pattern away from the stitches for the sleeve, towards the Front and Back of the yoke.

move raglan lines

The dark lines are where the original Raglan Markers are. Then place a second marker at each raglan line towards the Front and Back, in this case moved over by 5 stitches.

When I place my sleeve stitches on spare yarn at the bottom of the yoke my raglan patterned stitches will remain with the Body.

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Now I can continue down the Body with a nice little pattern down the sides. This is a child-sized sweater so there are no underarm cast on stitches to consider.

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If this was an adult size there would be underarm stitches separating the two sets of  garter stitch patterns. More thinking might be required. I’ll leave that to you. Now I need to get going to finish the Body.

Cheers,

Deb

Any Gauge Patterns by Deb Gemmell

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Tunisian, something new to me

In the summer there is lots of time for learning new things so I started with something I’ve been thinking about for some time, Tunisian Crochet. Julia, one of the YarnOverSleepOver retreat teachers, is so enthusiastic about Tunisian crochet that I had to give it a try. She does beautiful tunisian colour work but I jumped in with lace work right away. Do you do this too, jump right in that is?

I started with a complicated shawl pattern which was frustrating and didn’t work the 5 times I tried to get it started. OK, enough of that. Back to the internet to find something simpler that I could actually do. This project was the one that caught my eye. The Chevron Cowl by Sheryl Thies from the Free Tunisian Crochet patterns by Interweave. An excellent first project and ta, da, here it is done in Noro from my stash and a 6.0mm hook  (tunisian crochet hooks are crochet hooks with a very long handle).

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tunisian crochet hook

I learned the Tunisian YO and a double decrease working 3 sts together. It’s fairly straight forward once I looked up a couple of videos. There are several out there.

Now on to the Lace. I’m working the Pax shawlette by Aoibhe Ni in fingering weight wool. You can check out her videos too.

Pax tunisian crochet

It starts with a long strip with short rows. Another technique learned. Working the strip is really good practice.

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Now I’m working the lace edge which runs along the bottom. It’s really interesting with YO’s and decreases and short rows.

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These are the charts. Aren’t they fascinating?

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I know, weird eh? That’s what really got me hooked (pun intended). I love charts and these are most intriguing. I’m not sure I’m doing it exactly right since my lace does not look exactly like the photo but I’m close. Maybe once I block it the holes will be more prominent. It’s a very long strip of lace to work but very, very interesting.

Have you learned something new lately? What is it? Leave me a comment.

Deb

Adding a Pattern to Raglan Lines

K. asked if it was possible to add a pattern in the raglan lines just as I did with the underarm stitches in What to Do with All That Stockinette. She had knit a sweater with patterned raglan lines but didn’t feel she could do it on her own.

Of course you could. Start with something simple and not too wide. I dug around my UFO projects and found one I had started.

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Here’s how. Cast On at the top according to the pattern. Stop at the Marker Round (in the round where you are going to place the raglan markers). Do Not knit this round yet. Count across the stitches on your needle and with removable markers, place the markers as the pattern specifies. In the original pattern the marker for the raglan line would have been set up to be worked like this:

raglan line

The set up would be to have one knit stitch before the marker and one knit stitch after the marker. The increases would be worked on either side of these 2 knit stitches. The Increase Row would read: Knit to 1 stitch before Raglan Marker, YO, K1, slip Raglan Marker, K1, YO.

Now get 4 more markers and move the markers so there will be more stitches at the raglan lines. I like to keep these knit stitches, YO, K1, marker, … extra sts…, marker, K1, YO in place since it makes reading the pattern easier to follow.

Decide how wide you want the new raglan lines to be. My Raglan Markers are 5 sts apart.

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Now the Increase Row at each raglan line will read as:  Knit to 1 stitch before first Raglan Marker, YO, K1, slip marker, Knit 5 stitches, slip Second Raglan Marker, K1, YO. The increase set up is still the same. The only change is now there are several stitches between the 2 increase stitches at each raglan line.

You can put any number of stitches here depending on how many stitches you have in the Front, sleeve, Back sleeve and Front.

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This is a really simple example and I’m sure you can improve on it.

Here is an excellent example of another simple idea where just making the raglan lines wider and staying with stockinette stitch still makes the Sunshine Coast pullover by Heidi Kirrmaier look fantastic.

 

Top Down Sunshine Coast Heidi Kirrmaier

Are you going to give this a try?

Deb

Any Gauge patterns by Deb Gemmell Mods

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Rejuvenate

Does washing sweaters make you antsy? It does that to me. Apparently hovering over the top of a sweater laid out to dry doesn’t help. I’m trying it right now and so far, it’s not any drier than it was 5 minutes ago.

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That’s one project mostly done (ends to sew in so not quite finished). What I’m really trying to do is distract myself from the let down I feel once a big project is over. Does finishing a sweater give you this feeling? For me the drying sweater isn’t it, that’s just one sweater in a long line of sweaters and I’m probably going to cast on a new one soon.

The big project I set myself over the last winter was to teach more classes than I ever have before. Sometimes that was 4 knitting classes a week. I’m almost done for the season now, only one more day of teaching to go and I’m almost out of gas.

Teaching is my passion. I love to see knitters try a new technique or knit a sweater that fits but it also takes a lot of energy and I found that quite often there was no time in between to fill up the tank. That’s something I have to take a good look at for next year. I’m taking some time now to fill up by reading (and hovering over a wet sweater) so very little knitting got done this week. I want to be in good shape for my last day of classes on Saturday at Kawartha Yarn and Fibre Festival. There will be a Cabin Fever booth there too.

Since knitting is my job, I turn to reading. I gave myself the luxury of a week of reading and over the weekend I sat in the sun and read all day. Five mystery books, a romance novel and a couple of non-fiction books seem to have done the trick.

Is knitting your go-to to relax and rejuvenate? What kind of projects work the best?

I hope your knitting is filling you up with lots of wonderful energy to tackle the week. Happy knitting and reading,

Deb

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Neckband Fix

Yes, the neck openings for the Any Gauge Raglans are BIG. That was the answer for my internet friend who has started on her raglan pullover and was just checking in to make sure she was doing OK. Thanks for the question. You’re on the right track. Later, the neckband is going to make the opening much smaller.

If you cast on loosely, like I do, the neck opening is going to seem very wide. It might even stretch wider as you knit down the yoke. I made the neck opening large so that if you are winging it with your gauge it’s still going to work out. If your gauge is a little tighter than you thought or if you cast on tightly that’s no problem because the neck opening will still be a good size. If you knit loosely or cast on loosely, working the neckband with a decrease round is going to give you the neckband size you want.

Here is my current prototype for a V-neck Raglan with a very large neck opening. With my loose cast on the back of neck causes it to sit way past my bra straps but I proceeded with the yoke knitting anyway.

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I suggested to my friend that she knit a couple of inches on the yoke and then with another ball of yarn pick up the stitches around the neck opening with a needle around 2 sizes smaller than the body-sized needle and work a decrease round as needed. So that’s what I did here even though I’m not finished knitting my sleeves.

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Ahh, I think that’s a big improvement don’t you? It needs blocking but the neckband is good, around 7″ across the back of neck.

This is what I did.

I picked up a stitch for every cast on stitch all the way around the neck with a 3.25mm/US3 circular needle (body-size needle is 4.0mm/US6). Oops you might notice that the pick up needle is 3 needle sizes smaller. I knew I had to bring it in a lot. For this V-neck I worked a 1×1 rib up the front edge, worked a 20% decrease from the centre of one shoulder, across the back of neck to the centre of the other shoulder [K2tog, P1, K1, P1] repeat, and then worked the ribbing as usual to the end of the row. Work the ribbing as set for the desired depth of neckband and Cast Off, Done.

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I’m excited to get this finished now I have the neckband done. It makes it seem so much closer to being finished even though I still have more sleeve knitting to do.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

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A Cautionary Tale

The May long weekend is here. Does it take you away from knitting and guide your thinking toward your home and surrounds? Maybe the weekend urges you to do a little outside work in the garden or to look at long neglected tasks that could be done now that it’s spring.

I decided to paint my front door. It’s time. Off we went to the paint store to choose colours. That’s lots of fun right there. All those paint chips. How about this colour? Or wait, what about that one?

I got right to it, sanded the door and put on the first coat. Then rewarded myself with some knitting because, hey, I deserved it. And what did I find? It seems that I didn’t leave my knitting behind even when thinking about painting.

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Have I mentioned that I love this burnt orange colour of Mineville DK? Just love, love, love it. And I’m going to love my new door colour once it’s got a couple more coats of paint on it.

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Learn from my story. Check what you are knitting before you choose colours for your home!!

Do you have a story too? Put it in the comments. I’d love to know I’m not the only one.

Deb

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