Urge to Splurge

I’m on a 4-day stretch working at Eliza’s Buttons and Yarns in Barrie, ON. I generally work one day a week and then cover whenever Elizabeth is away. As you might expect being here for several days in a row does bring out the urge to splurge.

You might think that one day a week in a yarn store would mean I would blow every paycheque. Yes, I’d love that and that and that. The paycheque did disappear and I was happy, happy, happy. But after some time I started thinking “if it’s still there next week I’ll get it”. Then one week became another week and another week.

Longer stretches in the store are different. They make me want to buy what I want because I want it. You know what that’s like. I’ll find a great project for it later. I just really need to have it. This is pinky/red with black, happiness in a ball.

Ella Rae Lace Merino fingering weight

The more I know about yarn though, the more discerning I am about what I buy. Is this the best yarn for this project? Since I knit adult-sized sweaters this is not an idle thought. Any larger project needs more thought. You’re going to be working with this yarn for quite some time.

Mineville DK

Here’s a blog by Jillian Moreno about how the number of plies in your yarn affect your project. I was amazed. Even more information to take into consideration when you walk into the yarn store.

The Why of Ply by Jillian Moreno on the Mason-Dixon Knitting blog. One of my next projects is a cabled shawl so I need a 3-ply. Hmm, now to the shop.

Thanks for reading,


Gauge Free Two Triangle Hat pattern

Cabin Fever Patterns on Ravelry


Work in between sizes for Top Down sweater

Last Wednesday I gave a “Make It Fit” workshop and talk at the Beacock Library in London, Ontario. The morning was spent working on specific techniques. In the afternoon we discussed why and where you might need these techniques. Because we all come in different shapes and sizes …

Female-Body-Shapes Workshop (2)… the person who has to make your sweater fit is you. I know that puts a lot of knitters off knitting sweaters and I’m hoping that my talk convinced a couple more knitters to knit a sweater for themselves.

One of the questions asked was how to get a size in between the specified sizes on the pattern.  This is quite easy to do for a Top Down raglan sweater.

Continue reading “Work in between sizes for Top Down sweater”

What If … Diamonds

On your next raglan which you don’t want to be a raglan, you could try this:


Yes, you could.

I’ve written a new pattern based on this idea called Kid’s Diamond Pullover where I moved the markers from the standard raglan set up to new positions. I still worked the same number of increases every other round. Moving the markers changes the shape of the neckline and this set up will give you a slight V in the front and back of the neckline with no trouble at all.

Here is the standard raglan set up with 4 markers for the raglan lines and increases worked on either side of these markers. The 4 markers are set between the sections of this sweater: Front, marker, sleeve, marker, Back, marker, sleeve, marker, second Front.

skew 20180408_091840

So what would happen if we just placed the 4 markers equidistant from each other in a pullover? There are still the same 4 markers where you will work a pair of increases every other round. The stitch numbers will work out the same. It’s actually not too much of a leap is it?

Continue reading “What If … Diamonds”

Modifications, let me count the ways

If you have a basic pattern that you’ve knit and really liked you can begin to make changes that will make it a totally unique sweater. A basic pattern you can trust is a great place to begin your designing journey. We’ve finished our KAL with the Take It From The Top on ravelry. We started with a good basic Top Down raglan pullover, the Take It From The Top, then we made several changes. I have a history of doing that with this particular pattern. This is my fourth rendition.

take it from the top 4

Continue reading “Modifications, let me count the ways”

What if … Skew stumbling

Sometimes an idea comes into your head fully formed and all that is needed is execution. It could be a variation on a recipe, a knitting pattern, a paint colour scheme, a new way to wear an outfit, an idea for your garden or something totally other. And sometimes upon execution, as hiccups develop, comes the realization that the idea was not as fully formed as you thought. Do you give up? Do you persevere?

This is happening with my Skew design and I am persevering because I am still excited about the original idea.

I started with the idea of moving one of the raglan increases over and working a stitch pattern into the space.

skew 20180408_091905

My first little sweater had some problems. The ribbed stitch pattern was causing the front to pull against the buttonband. It would have to be buttoned up all the time to keep the front edges lined up.


So I changed the ribbing to a broken rib (garter stitches between the twisted cables). Then I realized that the cable pattern had to be more prominent to stand up against the garter stitches. So that got changed too. A couple of hitches fixed up to my satisfaction.


I’m happy with the original idea of the skew which is showing nicely at the bottom of the front.


Almost there. This sweater needs a lighter colour to show the pattern well for photography so the next sweater will be light blue, pink, cream, oatmeal?? That’s my project this week.

I hope all your hiccups are minor and easily solved. Happy knitting this week,


What if … continues

We had terrible freezing rain alerts at the end of last weekend. Maybe you were hit with this too. Oh, no, I am marooned at a knitting retreat. We all had to stay an extra night. The power went out. We didn’t have any water pumping in. And you know what? Spending time in the dark watching the fire in a wood stove with a bunch of knitters is all right!

We continued working on our “What If …” projects where I challenged them to come up with as many different ways to move from the neckband down to the bottom of the yoke.

You might look at the Yoke of a Top Down as a black box where some magic happens.

Scatter black box schematic

Continue reading “What if … continues”