Under the Bust Shaping

Is it too early to think about knitting garments? Too late, I’ve already started but I don’t want to repeat this …

The cardigan is finished. I’m so excited as a stand in front of the wall of buttons at the Fabricland store trying to choose the perfect buttons. These ones, no maybe these ones. I’ve decided on the blue ones (ha, almost always). I’m rushing home to sew them on. Oh, it looks gorgeous. I’m patting myself on the back as I put it on and stand in front of the mirror.

I tug it a little, tug a little more and get that horrible feeling as my heart drops down to my toes.

I have that horrible buttonband gaping. Can I wear it without buttoning it up? Maybe, I guess I could but I really like 3 or 4 buttons done up.

That was several years ago before I realized that I had to have some extra width right here.

Body schematic bust shaping Top DownNow as a confirmed cardigan buttoner I add extra Front stitches for Bust Shaping to every cardigan. Then I have extra width just where you need it.Bust shaping Yoke increases Body schematic direction of knittingBut now what? What do you do with those extra stitches below the bust?

This is my current cardigan. I decided to knit this Top Down to my regular Finished size, including the ease, and then add even more additional width above my bust. I don’t want that unsightly buttonband gap that seems to show up in so many magazine photos. Negative ease on a cardigan across the bust is a mistake.

 

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Now I’m cruising down the body with the extra width across the bust. Decision time, do I want these extra stitches to remain on the front for the entire body? Sometimes the answer is yes and sometimes no.

This time it’s no. I’m going to decrease those extra bust stitches away so that my two Fronts and the Back are in their original proportion: 2 Front sts added together = Back sts.

Techy Talk:

I worked straight until I had knit just past the largest part of my bust. For me that’s 4″ measured down from the underarm cast on.

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This time I decided to decrease the extra bust stitches or most of them anyway, worked along with some waist shaping. So here goes.

On a Right Side row I’m going to decrease on the front side of the imaginary side seam on both Fronts (that will decrease an extra bust stitch on each Front). Then work a couple of rows and decrease on both the Front and Back sides of the side seams (waist shaping). Knit a couple of rows and repeat.

Underbust decreases bust and waist

underbust decreases with 3x3 sweater

I worked this repeat quite quickly with only a couple rows in between the sets of decreases. I’m very short and I needed to start the A-line shaping for my hips pretty sharpish to get the width I needed there. If you are tall, first of all I’m envious, and second you can space these sets of decreases further apart so that you work them down to your waist. It will look terrific.

Cruising to the bottom edge now. Yay. Sleeves here I come.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

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Shawl Wedges Improved

The shawl Wedges won’t leave me alone. I’m dreaming about them. It’s the first thing I want to do in the morning, not before my coffee of course, that would just be silliness, but before my breakfast which had to wait an hour while I started a new shawl.

I want to see if I can refine a process to get longer tails. I’ve started with a standard Isosceles Triangle Shawl shape. I find these shawls difficult to wear because the tails aren’t long enough to hang down the front and keep it anchored in place. This will be the true test of the Wedges for Longer Tails idea.

triangle shawl

I started with a garter stitch tab in the usual manner and worked in garter stitch until I was ready to do the first wedge. This time I’m working the Shawl Tip so that when I block it I will be able to stretch the top edge nicely.

Then I got a little a lot ahead of myself and thought I would add a mosaic pattern to the wedge. I was feeling very smug. I knew exactly what I was doing. The first wedge with mosaic patterning went really well.

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Although I tried and tried, I couldn’t get the second wedge on the other side to work well. Out it all came. Time for a break.

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Note to Self:  Remember K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid!).

Keeping my own advice in mind I worked garter stitch wedges. Ahh, much better. Whew, I’m getting somewhere.

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Can I feel smug now? I’m trying not to.

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Writing out the pattern and moving on to my next wedge. Thanks for reading,

Deb

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Shawl wedges

In my search for a better fitting shawl I have found that I like long tails. The triangle shawl I like then is no longer a true triangle. With long tails I can wrap it around my neck and have two long tails hanging down. This gives me styling options which if you knew me you would be laughing right now, style, ha!! Ahem, to continue, I could leave the tails hanging (I’m sure this vertical makes me look taller, at least 5’1″). I could also tie the tails under my chin to keep my neck nice and snug.

So long tails … here the standard triangle shawl which starts at the top and has a spine down the centre with increases.

triangle shawl

You can make the tails longer by working increases every row along the top edge. That’s the shawl I was knitting as a sample for our Cabin Fever Retreat in October where we are diving into 3 different shawl shapes, the triangle being one of these.

long tail triangle shawl

Then, just as I was getting into it, I had a thought (this is not always good). Here is my thought. What if I put short row wedges in the shawl. Wouldn’t that make it wider than it is tall and produce longer tails?

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I think this is what is going to happen to the shawl I’m knitting.

triangle with wedges

Here is the first wedge knit in purple. The wedge is only 2 rows deep near the spine of increases and 4 rows deep at the outside. It seems to be rounding the top edge already.

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So I tried a couple more.

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The second wedge was shorted rows over 6 rows and the third was over 8 rows. Obviously more rows would make more of a difference.

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I think there is something I could do with this idea. More wedges or just wider wedges? What do you think? Wider wedges would allow space for some patterning which would be cool don’t you think?

I was also definitely sorry I didn’t work the Shawl Tip. Next time.

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It works. I knit it in 100g of worsted weight wool by Twist and Shout Fiber Arts and 75g of Patons Classic Wool.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

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Carry Yarn for stripes

Stripes, don’t you love them? They can be spontaneous and playful. There is no need to plan too far ahead. In fact they are an excellent vehicle for adding variety to a longer project. Use up some of those bits in your stash, bonus.

It is usually necessary to carry the yarn not in use along one edge for stripes. This can cause a tightness along the carry edge. We want to avoid this in a shawl which will be blocked and stretched slightly. I used a really simple method of carrying the yarn along the top edge in this Magic Symmetry Shawl.

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On the Right Side Row I knit the first stitch with both colours, in this case the grey and the navy.

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Then I picked out the colour I needed to work the row (just drop the other colour) and worked across. On the next row, I worked to the last stitch and knit the two colours together as one stitch. It’s simple. It works. It gives you little blips of colour at the top edge. You can safely carry several colours along an edge this way.

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I like the ease of execution.

I found myself still excited to knit one more Magic Symmetry Shawl (#3). Because I felt I was nearing the end of this particular obsession I dug into my stash for something a little thicker. I spent a lovely hour looking at all the possibilities. Decisions, decisions. I chose 2 100g balls of Estelle Worsted. The turquoise was a project that wasn’t working which I took apart. The navy was an single skein. I have no idea what I bought it for but I’m sure it was a good idea at the time. The small ball of grey was left over from some work socks. I thought it might come in handy.

magic shawl

I worked the Ditch Magic Rows.

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I was not scientific about when to add in the stripes. I just felt like changing it up so I did. Who’s the boss of this shawl anyway? Me, me, me.

I worked 2 row stripes and ditches at the same time. It turned out that one ditch was grey and the next ditch was one of the blues. That was unexpected. I’m going to pretend that it was intentional and that I totally planned to do that the whole time, really I did, aren’t I clever, ha, ha?!

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This Magic Symmetry Shawl is going to keep me warm while reading in the evening all winter.

Are you shawl knitting? Aren’t they the perfect summer knitting project? They must be because I just cast on another one with a new idea.

Deb

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Double increase with YO

Where do your “oops” happen? When I make mistakes it’s almost always at the end of the row. The longer the row, the more chance there is that I will completely loose the plot. I spend a lot of time unpicking stitches at the ends of rows to redo what I should have done as I approached the end, frustrating.

That is the explanation for the increase I used on the Magic Symmetry Shawl pattern. I thought it best to do a 2-stitch increase right at the beginning when it’s fresh, instead of a single increase at the beginning and end of the row. Then you can work all those knit stitches with no worries, letting your mind drift to wherever it wants to go.

Double Increase with YO: work [K1, YO, K1] all in the same stitch – increase of 2 stitches. Here is an excellent video by Suzanne Bryan on How to work KYOK.

It makes little consistent holes along the edge.

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This is my favourite of the three Magic Symmetry Shawls I knit.

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I dove into my stash and collected these bits. The greeny-blue ball on the left was left-over from a cowl. The middle and right balls are small balls of sock yarn (I have small feet so have lots of these little balls). They together weighed 117g. Perfect for a scarf.

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Greeny-blue background with Striped Magic Rows in the darker colourful wool.

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When I ran out of the one greeny-blue I just started with the next one. You might be able to catch where the change is.

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Then I thought it could be a little longer so dove into my odd ball stash again and found a tiny sock ball with a little of that same green in it along with those little black and white blips. You know the kind of sock yarn I mean? The blips add a certain something to the outside edge. I ran out of greeny-blue so finished up with the last of the variegated and had only a couple feet of yarn left, that’s all. Whoohoo.

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Thanks for reading. Hope you’re having fun shawl-knitting,

Deb

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Stashbust a Shawl

Every conversation I have with knitters seems to include the word Stashbusting. You, too? Maybe it’s you who gets that conversation started. It usually comes up around opportunities for buying more yarn. Who can resist? But what can you do with some of the stash you already have?

I’m on the same mission. All those odd 50g balls, single 100g skeins, left-over sock bits need to become something wearable.

I had 2 partial skeins of Durasport by Briggs and Little in natural. This one I dyed with food colouring and the other one with tea.

dye guild (2)

Then onto the needles to knit a shawl with both colours. But not just any shawl, I have specific criteria for shawls.

  1. I like my triangular shawls to be wider than they are deep.
  2. I like my shawls to have long tails (equal or close in length) so they are easy to wrap around my neck and stay in place. I’m trying to stifle the urge to staple shawls to my clothes.
  3. I need it to be easy to knit so I can carry it around. Garter stitch is perfect for knitting a stitch or two wherever I am.

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The Magic Symmetry Shawl starts at one point and works like many shawls do by adding one stitch to the shawl every 2 rows. Nothing new there. To get the tails to be of similar length so you don’t need a shawl pin (or staples), takes some magic.

To make it easy to know when to knit these Magic Rows they need to be different than the other rows. So I made the Magic Rows in the second colour.

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I knit most of the rows in the beige tea wool with the Magic rows in turquoise until the beige ball got small then I switched it up using the turquoise as the main and stripes in beige until I ran out of yarn.

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Any gauge will work for this new pattern Magic Symmetry Shawl. This is the first one I knit. I have a couple more shawls to show you since how can you knit just one?

Cheers and happy summer knitting,

Deb

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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

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