Can’t put it down

Sometimes a project catches you and you just can’t put it down. The V Plus Cardigan has a hold on me. Not just because I need a couple of new cardigans but because I’m back to sweater knitting, my first love. I can’t wait to get this published so you can get started too.

I finished the body of my first prototype. You might catch that the body wool is left over from the Salt & Pepper version of the Family Crew Neck pattern. I added the green stripes in the yoke to make the wool go a little farther since I didn’t have quite enough for a second sweater. (Briggs and Little, Heritage)

I’ve wet blocked the body just to make sure it’s all that it should be. Do you ever block part way through?

Before I embark on the last sprint, the sleeves, I wanted to be sure.

I’m so enamored with this cardigan that I started a second one. (Patons Classic Wool worsted) It’s interfering with the sleeve knitting but it doesn’t take much to do that.

Two, two, two cardigans on the needles. I am welcoming winter. Come and get me, I’ll be ready!

Cheers,

Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Crescent FAN Shawl update

Designs sometimes have a forward/backward two-step dance to them. First step forward was knitting the blue and then gold bands for the shawl. When I realized that this crescent shawl shape was too curly, I ripped back. Yes, a large step backwards. Moving forward, I fixed it and I really like the overall shape.

Once I had it this far along, I decided that the V shapes where too small. I wanted to knit more texture stitches across the rows.

So I ripped the gold out one more time. Yes, one more time stepping back. I made the texture stitch shapes larger at the base. Now, after knitting this section again, I finally have it just like I want it. The shapes are like FANs so I changed the name of the pattern. Why not? Nothing is written in stone yet.

The gold yarn is 80/20 fingering by Shelridge.com and stood up really well to three knits. Yay.

I’m knitting the last band of colour as you read this. There is no stopping me now!

The pattern is off to the testknitters and I’m contemplating knitting another one. Hmm, what to choose this time? DK weight? Yeah, that would work.

Cheers, Deb

Gauge-Free and Any Gauge patterns by Deb

Sometimes frogging has to be done

I didn’t block my shawl, I just put it on a really long cable and … it’s definitely too curvy.

So here we go. Rip, rip, rip. Turn away if this is too painful!

While I was merrily ripping away, I decided to take the stripes out too. More ripping but now it’s done.

I thought about the adjustment and here we go again. It’s so difficult to knit with your fingers crossed!

I’m liking the sharp colour change and I’m happy with the curve now. Totally worth the frogging. But … I would like wider wedges. I’d like more texture knitting and a little less garter stitch. So back to ripping again. Let’s see if this yarn can take it. Onward.

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Little Socks

I have gone overboard once again. To increase my concentration, which has mostly deserted me, I am trying to work on projects that require attention. But now that’s all I have to work on. What am I going to do when my mind clouds over and I’m done with this concentration business?

I am working on 2 lace projects. One is the Tail End of my 3-Act Play scarf.

The concentration needed to follow my own pattern exactly is hard. I’m not very good at following directions (which is why I write patterns instead of following them) so this is a struggle.

Secondly I’m trying to imagine I’m a newish intermediate knitter trying this pattern out. How can I make this as easy to follow as possible? This takes some mind altering as I try to convince myself that I don’t know what this pattern is about when it was me that thought the whole thing up in the first place. You can see that this is a form of mind gymnastics that cannot be maintained for long.

So I’m knitting socks for my new grandson. Tiny socks that make me smile just to look at them.

I recently recommended our Need A Sock book by Brenda Harris and Cabin Fever (Cabin Fever is me and my sister Lyn) to a new sock knitter so I thought I should take a look through it again and knit my socks from there. I’m still extremely happy with how it takes a knitter through the process, one step at a time, using double pointed needles, my favourite method. Good job, Brenda.

I think I will knit little Max some ribbed socks next. The first socks used 19g of fingering wool so now I know what to do with all those little balls of yarn I have in my stash.

Cheers and hoping your stash is still holding up, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns by Deb & Lyn

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Test knitting the 3-Act Play

I don’t know how many times I need to knit this scarf to get the pattern written but I’m now on scarf #3. I am calling it the 3-Act PLAY. I have included different stitch patterns so I hope knitters will have some fun playing with them. I have had lots of fun with them.

It starts with Act I and 3 triangles. Act II is the central straight bias section and Act III is the scalloped tail end.

3-Act Play scarf schematic Aug.9

It’s going to be written as a simple garter stitch scarf. Ok, not exactly simple but there will be lots of garter stitch knitting. I unraveled another shawl and knit right off of it, changing colours as I came to them in the shawl. The knitting is a little kinky (not that way!!) but I like it anyway.

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I’m test knitting now and getting more of the details into the pattern. I am working the first 3 triangles, each in different Eyelet pattern and in one colour.

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Here’s a close up. Right Side: knit. Wrong Side: [YO, P2tog]. I love how different these eyelets look.

20200808_100613

Next up … eyelets worked knitwise in the usual manner just to see how they differ. So far so good. Cheers, Deb

Gauge-Free and Any Gauge patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns by Deb & Lyn

Contrast colour angst

Are you a good colourist? I find choosing a contrast colour difficult. I’m learning, I hope, but not without lots of confusion, doubt and in the end, much ripping back and starting over.

I chose this Scheepjes Our Tribe sock wool (Cypress Textiles colour) to knit a pair of socks. It’s a blue/green in a light shade and I though a stitch pattern would show well. After getting my socks started I decided that, although it says it’s superwash, it was not spun tight enough to stand up to my rigorous wearing and washing.cypress textiles wool

When I knit socks I have fun with the colours. I knit orange socks, yellow socks, purple socks, green socks and many muli-coloured socks. But this colour, although fine for socks, would not have been my usual colour choice for any other garment.

This then was a learning challenge. My new scarf starts with triangles which, this time, I’m working in different Eyelet patterns. The first two triangles are made with this wool. You can see the slow colour change happening.(It’s greener than this photo shows.)20200628_203305

Now I need to choose a contrast colour. How do I bring the green out? It’s rather pale so any strong colour didn’t look right. Any of the blue yarn I tried didn’t look right either. I tried a taupe colour since there is some in the shading of this yarn.20200627_114135

The overall result is very dark and on this gloomy day I just couldn’t take it. 20200627_110255 - Copy (2)

It didn’t last long. Rip, rip, rip. Back to my stash and more head scratching. When stumped, go the other extreme. I chose the creamiest winter white I had. It lightens the scarf and at this point it seems like the best I can do since my needles are itching to continue.20200627_133338

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Better? It’s not gloomy anyway. This may or may not turn out as I expected, probably not, but …  I won’t know unless I carry on.

Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns by Deb & Lyn

 

Symmetry vs Asymmetry

How attached are you to symmetry? When I try to work asymmetry into my own designs they seem to work hard to revert to something symmetrical. I’m trying to work against this tendency. Sometimes it works.

The other factor in favour of asymmetry is that my mind and maybe yours, is restless and easily distracted. The thought of working too much of the same thing is not appealing right now.

So I’m working on a scarf or shawl in 3 sections where I, and eventually you, will be able to change it up.

It starts with triangles that begin small and get larger and larger, worked join-as-you-go to your desired depth of scarf, in this case about 8″/20cm deep.20200517_091914

Then there is a straight centre section worked on the bias. This is a simple 2 row repeat so you will be able to play. I tried 3 different stitch patterns: stripes, eyelets and the daisy stitch. Do you have some other favourite stitch patterns that could work?

I didn’t do this for long as you can see. I made the first section very long. I was afraid if I kept going I would have to wind this scarf around my neck several times as if I was a giraffe. But hey, if that’s a good look for you, go for it. I took the scissors to my prototype, snip, snip, first two triangles are gone and now it’s a much better shape for me.

Then for the final section I worked a scalloped edge which can go on forever, OK not forever but certainly until you run out of yarn, stitches or patience.20200517_092104

 After surgery, my scarf is 66″/168cm long and weighs 125g.20200517_110131

What do you think? Would you like the option to make both ends match? Where do you stand on the symmetry/asymmetry question?

Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sewpatterns

Build a Bigger V

I have been staying at home and working hard, OK not really working hard since how hard can knitting a whole lot be, but my Build a Bigger V is finished, buttons and all. I love it.

build a bigger V (10)
Knit with Hempwol by Hemp For Knitting

I hit the publish button. It’s official, it’s a done deal, the Build a Bigger V is out there. Always a big moment. Now I need to take a walk because hitting that button always gives me the jitters.

If you’re looking for an adventure during these precarious times this cardigan might fill the bill. It starts with stash diving for yarn and needles. Remember that garter stitch takes 1/4 to 1/3 more yarn. Then work the Back and 2 Fronts separately. There is lots of garter stitch knitting which is comforting but not tooooo comforting because you have to work some increases and decreases and work the I-cord edging. Just enough to keep you on your toes.build a bigger V

Pick up and knit along the sides of the Back and one Front. Knit, knit, knit. Separate for the sleeves and knit down to the wrist. Fold it over to see half of your cardigan done.build a bigger V (8)

As I was knitting I kept thinking of different things I might do with this pattern. I couldn’t knit them all but maybe you can. I’ve added Hacker Pages with more options to add to the cardigan. I added the Boxy style where you would add much more ease to the cardigan so that the width of the body reaches your elbow.Build a Bigger V regular width

Build a Bigger V Boxy

How about A-line shaping? I’m knitting this one right now. The Back and Fronts gradually widen toward the bottom.20200222_125900 - Copy

You can also knit it as a Pullover. I love this. Thanks LK. She also worked the Boxy Sloped Shoulder option of working body and sleeve decreases along the top of the sleeve instead of along the underarm seamline. It gives you a sloped shoulder line and really works here.build a bigger V pullover (2)

Build a Bigger V slopped shoulder
Boxy style with shoulder slope

I haven’t included stripes as another option for the Build a Bigger V or 3/4 sleeves which could also be done (my orange version might get these) or colour blocking the different sections or … well, I’ll leave that to your imagination.

I’m really excited about this cardigan (can you tell?) and I hope you enjoy it.

Stay well, Deb

Any Gauge and GAUGE-FREE patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns

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A Boxy sweater detour

Do you always know what you’re really knitting as you’re knitting it? Somewhere in whatever you’re knitting there is probably a place where you can wander away from the instructions if you are so inclined. It doesn’t have to be a very big wander, but it is still a deviation from what’s written.

While I was knitting the Build a Bigger V I had the thought that since the body is knit towards the sleeve I could make the body any width I wanted. The pattern is written for a regular width of 4″- 8″ or even 10″ of ease (10-20cm or even 25cm of ease) added to your actual bust measurement. But I could make it a Boxy style, 10″- 20″ of ease (25-51cm of ease) added. I have never knit this style of sweater before and am sort of intrigued. So I knit one side of the body my regular width and the other side a Boxy style width.build a bigger V (3)Then I put it to my knitting guild members (via email), which one? Boxy width or Regular width?

The Regular width won. So I went with it because I was leaning that way myself. The Boxy style thought is still sitting somewhere at the back of my mind.

Have you knit a Boxy style sweater? Do you like it? Would you change anything if you  knit another one?

Stay well, Deb

Build a Bigger V pattern

Any Gauge and GAUGE-FREE patterns by Deb

Cabin FeverNo-Sew patterns

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Gauge-Free FREE beginner scarf

Does this idea of Gauge-Free really seem weird to you? What do you mean you can just pick out some yarn and start with no stitch counts and no idea of a gauge you need to get? How can you knit the correct size? Any yarn at all? Any needle I think is reasonable? How can that be?!

If you are knitting at home more than usual during this time and want a stash diving  project, give this a try: Gauge-Free Triangles Scarf/Shawl. This is one of the workshops I teach and I’m offering it Free here for the duration. Knit GAUGE-FREE or, as I call it, knitting without a safety net!

The trick to knitting Gauge-Free is getting started in the right spot. You need to start where you can get to the size you need, regardless of your gauge, and measure it with a ruler (tape measure).triangle workshop height measurement

 

Here’s a beginner project, the GAUGE-FREE TRIANGLES SCARF/Shawl that totally works because it starts at the corner of the first triangle.

gauge-free triangle scarf workshop

It’s a modular, join-as-you-go project. You can use any yarn with any needle you think is reasonable. You can knit a scarf with all your odd balls or have a more thought-out plan of two colours. You can knit every triangle a different colour or knit stripes (as soon as you work stripes you have a right side and wrong side, keep that in mind). You can knit this as a large rectangular shawl (or is it called a stole?) if you make ‘Triangle I’ about 12″-14″/30-36cm deep or even deeper and then go on from there for as long as you need it to be. Add a stitch pattern or two?

If you make many scarves you can sew them together into a blanket.triangle scarf blanket

The options are endless.

Enjoy,

Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns

 

 

 

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