Easy eh?

I am working on the Easy A by Kat Riddell, a garter stitch sweater with a KAL (knit along) on ravelry. I love garter stitch and this looked like it would be a perfect spring sweater.

IMG_Easy_A_medium2

I had some Heritage by Briggs and Little and one ball of hand dyed by Essence of Autumn in my stash. Well, not exactly in my stash. It was masquerading as a partially knit sweater in the time-out corner. The sweater had severe gauge problems and sitting in the corner did not seem to be solving them so I undid the sweater, steamed the wool and decided to rework it here. I knew I didn’t have enough green so I thought I would add stripes on the body since I had a ball of these two other colours.

005

Then as I was thinking about stripes, I just happened to see a women wearing a top where the stripes on each side of the front were different widths. Perfect.

To my mind the stripes started as Maroon and Green, Maroon and Green. Then I started on the pink stripes. My first attempt did not work. Even I could see that the last green stripe did not appear as a stripe.

20180116_115414

 

Second time lucky. I am quite happy with the results.

IMG_5700

IMG_5691

I am seriously running out of the green. Oh, no, was my first reaction but I still had lots of the other  two colours. Working the sleeves in one colour of pink did not look good. I ripped them back and now I’m on a roll with striped sleeves. At least the first one.

IMG_5701

Stayed tuned as I play yarn chicken.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

 

Bust Shaping with Twin Stitches

The best part of writing a book for me, is discovery. There is always something that I learn that makes the book special. It may be a small detail that you, the knitter, might  never notice. It might be one pattern that was especially interesting to develop that is the highlight. It won’t necessarily be the most popular pattern in the book but it will be special to me.

In the Need A Circular Yoke book I had an “aha” moment. We, Elizabeth Fallone and I, discovered that the short row system using Twin Stitches which is usually used to turn the heel of a sock, could be used to raise the back of the neck. That’s not the moment though. I also discovered that it could be used in a different way to shape the bust. Short Rows can be used for bust shaping to make the Front longer to compensate for a larger bust, that’s not new. We didn’t do that. We didn’t use the short rows themselves. We used the Twin Stitches from the short row system to widen the Front so there would be less pull-up on the sweater.

NACY bust dart w arrow

Imagine if you could accurately position the bust shaping. You want to work increases to  widen the Front of your sweater so that the fabric is at its widest just above the widest line across your bust. I work from the Top Down so I am always trying to position the beginning point of the bust dart the correct distance from the underarm of my sweater. Not too high above my bust line and I definitely do not want to start the dart too low and run out of room.

Bust shaping w twin stitches

The twin stitches allow you to work an increase every round. In knitting, we don’t have very many increases that work well when worked every round so this was a find. When you can work an increase every round you can know accurately how much vertical room these increases will need.

Working with worsted weight yarn (because the math is easy) let’s say you want to add 3″/7.5cm to the front of your sweater. That would be about 8 stitches on each side of the Front for a total of 16 sts added to the front. Your row count for worsted weight yarn is 7 rows = 1″/2.5cm so working 8 increases over 8 rounds would take just a smidge over 1″/2.5cm (1.14″/3cm to be exact). Ta, da. Start your twin stitch increases just an inch and a bit above the widest part of your bust.

NACY bust dart

What is a Twin Stitch? It’s a “Knit in the Row Below” stitch where you hold onto the loop you made in the row below and use it as an increase. You do not pull off the original stitch on your left needle (the stitch you knit into the row below of). Wow, that’s really confusing. It’s much clearer on my video. Check it out.

Here’s the link for  Twin Stitches for Bust Shaping on a Top Down Pullover  as used in the Need A Circular Yoke book by Cabin Fever where we made the Front of these pullovers 2″/5cm wider than the back.

NACY cover

Have you used this system? Did it work for you?

Thanks for reading,

Deb

Cabin Fever patterns on Ravelry

A Mystery

I’m fascinated when I see a traditional garment worked in an entirely different way. How did they come up with this idea? Was there a process the designer has gone through to make this breakthrough? Is it a breakthrough at all? I mean do we need to work this garment in some strange way? Was it just the whim of a designer with too much time on their hands?

I know, they are just there to mess with my head.

This is the beginning of a mitten. “Yeah, right”, you say.

IMG_5670

How does this turn into a mitten?

IMG_5671

It’s a mitten cast on in the oddest place. I have no idea how this came to be. You might have guessed that this is a design by Elizabeth Zimmermann. She called them  Sideways Mystery Mittens .

When you fold this weird garter stitch thing you get a mitten. I was truly amazed the first time I knit these.

IMG_5674

But after knitting several pairs it was “ho, hum, so what”, ha, ha, NOT.  They are still amazing no matter how many pairs I’ve knit.

IMG_5675

Then I modified them of course because I just can’t let well enough alone. I added short rows to the back of the hands, I felted a pair, added stripes to another and then made them in different weights of yarn and sizes. I never figured out how she came up with the idea in the first place. A mystery still.

Share if you enjoyed reading this. Leave a comment if you’ve knit these or would like to. Thanks for reading,

Deb

Vertical Darts Top Down

The holidays are over. Is it time for you now? Are you knitting a sweater for yourself? It’s a long winter. I’ve got a couple started because, as you know, that’s the most exciting part.

If it’s a sweater for yourself how much bust shaping would you like to add to a pattern that doesn’t include any?

Adding a couple of inches to the bust on a Top Down sweater is fairly straight forward. But what if you wanted to add more than 2″ in total across the bustline? Could you start your bust increases in the Yoke while still working the raglan increases and then continue them down into the body? Vertical Darts work from the Bottom Up, why not from the Top Down?

Since I raised this question I decided I had to try it out. I started working the bust shaping increases when I still had 8 rounds left to work in the Yoke. This is the same strategy as the Top Down Easy Bust Darts but this time the bust increases are worked in a vertical line away from the raglan line. The vertical line of increases will allow me to continue to work bust increases until I have reached the largest point of my bust. (This schematic is an approximation – the raglan and bust increases are worked in the same round – dots on the schematic make it look like the bust increases are worked more often, they are not.)

Bust shaping Top Down increases showing high bust

I worked a raglan increase and a bust increase on each side of the Front for the last 4 Increase Rounds before I divided for the underarm. After the Divide I continued to work the bust increases 4 more times for a total of 8 increases on each side of the front giving me 3″ of extra width.

bust shaping in yoke

My main concern was what would show.

019

While the increase line is visible it is not so noticeable when I’m wearing the sweater (or when my best girl is wearing it) and the extra room is well worth the effort.

021

This was easier to do than I expected. It shows but only as a dart which is acceptable. I got quite a bit more bust room because of it. I’m really happy with the result.

How about you? Could you add this into a Top Down raglan?

Thanks for reading. Cheers,

Deb

More reading on Top Down Bust Shaping:

Do I Need Bust Darts?

7 Reasons to Double Up the Increases for Bust Shaping

How Do You Want Your Sweater to Fit?

Bust Dart, Top Down

Plain Sock, Striped Sock, New Heel

Christmas is coming soon and I can’t do much else now but work on finishing up the projects that I planned to make. This year it’s socks. I wanted to make 4 pair. I started quite a while ago, I’m not crazy enough to think I could get these done quickly because that would take all the fun out of them and I intended to have some fun. Why not?!

In September I made my first pair in my regular sock way: Toe Up with a Star Toe and a short row heel. That’s my standard, no-thinking sock method.

20171201_083838

Next, I had a second ball of the same self-striping wool and thought to add in another colour and work stripes-on-stripes to see what would happen. What could go wrong? They would still be wearable socks, right?

I worked Spiral stripes (check out the link for my other diary-type blog where you’ll see I knit Spiral Striped socks for Christmas 2015 using 3 colours). This time I worked them with two colours and picked one spot at the side of the foot to change colour every round. The trick here is not to twist the yarn but to pick up the new colour from the round below and continue to knit the next round without twisted the colours around each other.

20171201_083945

These two socks are worked using the same Toe-Up knitting method and the same main colour self-striping yarn but the second pair has a navy contrast colour added (different size for a different person).

I’m so pleased with how these striped socks turned out. I have several 50g balls of sock yarn to use up and this works wonderfully well.

Next pair, same stripes because now I’m smitten. Cuff down this time just to mix it up.

20171214_101728

Confession time, I’m getting a little bored. Time to try a new-to-me heel.

This V at the back of the heel takes the place of a gusset. Work increases on either side of the centre two back of leg stitches every other round until you have doubled the number of back of leg stitches minus 4 sts.  Work the increases into a stitch pattern if you wish just like I did. I learned of this method from the Vanilla is the new Black pattern.

20171214_101926

Now work the regular V-heel turning. Knit to the centre of back of leg stitches, K2, SSK, K1, Turn. Slip first stitch, P5, P2tog, P1, turn. If you are a sock knitter you can take it from here and finish your heel turning when you have reached the original number of stitches.

This gives you a deeper heel turning which I think is a real advantage.

20171214_104050

I’m in love. I think I can have some more fun with this heel. Maybe cables or twisted stitches on the back of the heel worked in with the increases or … maybe work the increases radiating out in a V instead of on either side of those centre sts.  Or maybe …

Stop, stop, stop! I have to finish these socks first. Now I have the carrot of trying something else dangling in front of my needles. Good incentive to finish.

If you are knitting for Christmas, good luck. May the knitting fairies favour your efforts.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and thanks for reading,

Deb

https://www.ravelry.com/stores/cabin-fever-patterns

http://cabinfeverknittingdesigns.blogspot.ca

 

 

Gauge Free Playing

I am in the middle of must-get-finished Christmas knitting. In spite of this schedule, I’m taking some time to play with a Gauge-Free triangle. I have no one in mind for this, maybe it’s for me?!

That’s not really it. The real reason I’m taking a break is because we are in Ottawa watching our daughter play in the Roar of the Rings (curling playdowns to decide who gets to be Team Canada at the Olympics) which is a roller coaster of emotions and not so good for my knitting. As you may imagine it’s a little tight in places, ha, ha.

This triangle will become an asymmetric shawl. I dived into my stash and found a ball of Noro Silk Garden Sock which is colourful and will make a lovely summer wrap. It’s only 300m, not enough, so I also found a ball of Louett Linen which should go well with it.

So here goes. I started with the Silk Garden, working an increase at the beginning of one row and knitting back. That’s it. The yarn is doing all the work.

20171203_123111

Then I started working stripes with the Linen.

20171204_100254.jpg

 

The problem is carrying the yarn you’re not using for those two rows. I have decided to knit the last stitch of the second knit row with both colours. It makes that edge a little thicker but I don’t have any yarn looping on this edge.

20171204_100254-copy.jpg

Now I’m adding in a purl row. I really like the look of this. It makes one colour the background which is effective.

20171204_100202

With the Linen I’m working one knit row and a purl row then 2 knit rows of Silk Garden. This should take me through today’s game. Then I think some “K2tog, YO” yeylets are in my shawl’s future.

There is nothing I can do wrong here. This shawl let’s you play with stitch patterns and colour. It’s freeing. Maybe this is for you too.

Thanks for reading.

Knit to Fit: Bust Dart, Top Down

Let’s get back to my first love, Top Down knitting. One of the things I like best about knitting from the top is that everything does not have to be planned ahead of time. I will decide that I am going to add bust shaping to widen the front of my sweater. As I approach the bottom of the Yoke I can think about how I might do the bust shaping since it can be done in several different ways.

One method to use is Easy Bust Shaping , working the bust shaping into the last couple of inches of the Yoke, above the underarm.

Here is a second method, a Bust Dart. The bust shaping occurs just where you need it, in the couple of inches between the underarm and the largest part of your bust.

NAPC Bust shaping (559x640)

I introduced this method in the Need A Plus Cardigan book where the Front of the cardigans are set up to be 3″ wider than the back. Two inches were added through the bust darts and the third inch in the buttonbands. The extra width is incorporated into the final sizing of all the cardigans.

NAPC Cover

Set up a Bust Marker on each side of the Front and work increases every other round.

Bust shaping Top Down increases showing

bust shaping

Could you add more than 1″ worth of stitches? It depends on how much vertical room you have between the underarm and the largest part of your bust.

Bust shaping Top Down vertical

Your bra matters here! Put on your best figure enhancing bra and measure. Since you are working an increase every other row you need to check the number of rows you can fit into this vertical distance. You may be able to sneak in a couple more increases. I usually do.

DSC00875
Me, wearing a Lace Panel cardigan from Need A Plus Cardigan book.

Could this method work for you?

Thanks for reading,

Deb

Cabin Fever books and patterns