Wedges Shawl

It all began because I had an idea. I like shawls with long tails. A perfectly triangular shawl does not give me enough of a tail drape down in front of me to hold the shawl in place. I want to get the stapler out so that it doesn’t shift around.

I thought that adding wedges to a standard triangular shawl would do the trick.

Take a triangle shawl …triangle shawl

and add wedges to elongate the tails.triangle with wedges

Even after the first attempt I could see that it would work. So the Wedges Shawl soon became an obsession.DSC_0547

I moved the wedges closer to the centre line but otherwise the original concept was kept intact.20190801_094302Here is the worsted weight version. I used 100g of worsted weight wool by Twishandshoutfiberarts and 100g of Paton’s Classic Wool (purple).

 

I worked all of the Wedge Shawl Variations: (left to right on the photo below) Garter Wedge, Stockinette Wedge, Garter Ridges Wedge and Eyelet Wedge. It certainly made things interesting.20190806_152607.jpg

Then I progressed to double check with Fingering weight yarn out of my stash. The purple is Estelle Alpaca Merino Fine and the variegated is by Richard Devries. I worked the Garter Wedge, Garter Ridges, Garter Wedge again, Stockinette Wedge, Garter Wedge once more and Eyelet Wedge. I was running out of yarn by the end and my Eyelet Wedge was only 4 rows deep, sigh.DSC_0549

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Next I needed to work out the Eyelet Wedges to my satisfaction since they were not matchy, matchy ( Symmetrical or Not). This one is Eyelets all the way. I love it and not only because of the orange in all the wedges (although it is a factor).20190824_141054 - Copy

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And look at those tails … nice and long.

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So now you can give it a try:  Wedges Shawl is now on ravelry. I hope you enjoy knitting them. I sure did.

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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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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Retreat with knitters

The Yarn Over Sleep Over knitting retreat is over for another year. I am still so jazzed I can hardly sit still. Spending time with so many enthusiastic knitters is energizing and so inspiring.

After this weekend there will be several more Any Gauge sweaters in the world. My students were the first to go through the instructions for an Any Gauge Cardigan worked from the Top Down.  They worked on a 1/5 scale model using their personal measurements. I will be teaching this again next week for Knit Night group. Now I have to get a couple sweaters knit myself so that I can put it out there so you can knit one too.

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In Sunday’s class we tackled a big topic. We took the Nimbus pattern by Berroco Design Team, a bottom-up pattern worked in 6 pieces to be sewn together, and worked out how to knit it without any seams.

Nimbus

We went through the process of knitting it from the Top Down with a Simultaneous Set-In Sleeve, based on Barbara G. Walker’s book Knitting from the Top Down.

Barbara Walker Knitting from the Top Down

The Set-In Sleeve is worked as part of the Yoke. No seams. Here’s the Top Down version of the Nimbus that I knit as a sample.

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I still have some fine tuning to do on this idea but the Set-In Sleeve worked really, really  well. I am very excited about this whole idea. I will never, ever, sew in a set-in sleeve again. It was a terrific class and my students hung in there with me to the end. This was a very new and challenging concept to take in over a 2 1/2 hour class.

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Now I have a couple more ideas for my classes next year. I can hardly wait.

But first, I get to teach at a couple more retreats. If you are a Northern knitter I am running a retreat in Algoma Mills, half way between Sudbury and  Sault Ste. Marie, ON on May 3-5, 2019. At “Knitting at Lake Lauzon” we are going to knit a sweater for ourselves using our very own measurements. After two full days of knitting we will all have a sweater starting at the Top and worked down past the underarms and will be on our way to a great fitting sweater.

On the last weekend in October, 2019 at the Cabin Fever Retreat we will be working on shawls. We will be presenting the basic concepts for 3 different shapes: the triangle shawl, the crescent-shaped shawl and the asymmetric shawl. Each student will pick one shape and get started. We will be tackling that mysterious sentence “incorporate the increases into your stitch pattern”. The students will go home with a firm understanding and some practice adding stitch patterns to their shawls. We’re going DEEP.

Lots of exciting classes coming up.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

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Ease, get the fit you want

I did a talk at a knitting guild last month based on the Any Gauge Raglan. I took them through the entire process from diving into their stash and casting on to figuring out how to get the Bottom of the Yoke to fit their unique body.

In the knitting industry we use the actual measurement of your bust (using a tape measure) + Ease to determine the final size of your sweater. One measurement. I know, it seems crazy. Obviously this one measurement cannot tell the whole story of your figure.

So I had everyone measure their Bust and their Arms. Almost no one had ever measured their arms. It’s important for your sleeves to fit as well as your body. I find that I need a slightly bigger sleeve than most patterns are allowing me for my bust size. I know from talking to many plus sized women that if they are busty the sleeves are often too big for them. Maybe you have found you can’t get both the bust and the sleeves to fit perfectly.

Body Measurement Workshop schematic

I have a solution. In the Any Gauge Raglan the raglan increases in the Yoke are worked until you reach the exact number of stitches needed to go around the Actual measurement of your Bust and both your Arms. At the Bottom of the Yoke it has to fit YOU because they are your measurements.

Any Gauge bottom of Yoke schematic

At this point the sweater would fit you like a second skin. If that’s the size of sweater you want you have it right there.

For a more relaxed fit some Ease (the amount your sweater is bigger than your actual body and arms) is added as you work the Divide Round as Underarm Cast On stitches. Again you get to decide how much ease you would like. Do you want a close fit or looser fit?

Close Fit:  Ease = 5% of Actual Bust measurement

Relaxed Fit:  Ease = 10% of Actual Bust measurement

Comfy Fit:  Ease = 15% of Actual Bust measurement

Loose Fit:  Ease = 20% of Actual Bust measurement

As you work the Divide Round half the Ease stitches are cast on at one underarm and the other half of the Ease stitches are cast on at the other underarm. That way the Total Ease you calculated above is added to the Body of your sweater. Ta, da, as simple as that.

The Any Gauge Raglan Yoke is worked to your personal measurements. Then you get to add the amount of Ease you wish for the fit you want.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

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Any Gauge Raglan, it’s done

Maybe you wake up one morning and decide today is the day you’re going to cast on for a pullover for yourself. It’s time. You go to your stash and pick out some yarn that has been calling to you. You check through your library of patterns at home or on ravelry to see if you have one that matches the pullover you want to make. Time passes, more time passes and you haven’t cast on yet.

What if you could get right to it. Cast on now. That’s what this Any Gauge Raglan pattern is all about.

Any Gauge Raglan Adult front page

I am a problem solving designer. One of my problems and maybe yours too, is that I don’t get gauge with the recommended needle size. I’m a loose knitter so usually go down one needle size to get close to gauge. With this pattern I am going to get to use the unique gauge I get with this particular yarn. One problem solved.

You can Cast On using the gauge information on the ball band if you usually get close to gauge with this yarn (I get close enough with the needle change) or you could do a swatch. Figure out the number of stitches you get in 1″ and you’re ready to Cast On for the neck opening.

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Yes, there is some math, more properly called Arithmetic. Nothing more than taking measurements in inches and multiplying by your Gauge (number of stitches in 1″). You can do this.

I’m really excited to present the Any Gauge Raglan Adult.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

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