3×3 Cardigan Prototype Done

It’s time to get the cardigans out, at least in my neck of the woods it is. It’s also past time to finish a cardigan that I started in the spring. How about you? Are any of your sweaters begging for some attention?

My design process is really slow. I knit a prototype, this cardigan, and then I write the pattern. Now from my written pattern I knit another sample. That’s where I am now, so this is going to be a quick post because I need to get cracking on my second cardigan.

Ta, da, I pretty proud of myself for finally finishing my first 3×3 colour cardigan. I even sewed the buttons on yesterday. That usually takes me months to get around to. Oh, wait, it did take me months!!20191016_101606

The last bit of knitting I had to do was to raise the back of the neck. To get a lower front on this Top Down I made the shoulders quite wide when I cast on. That means the back of neck was low too. Whoo, that really is quite a dip in the back!20190723_145811

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I needed to fill in some of the back of neck dip for the cardigan to be comfortable. I picked up a stitch for every cast on stitch and worked short rows, making the first turn in the centre of the far shoulder, turned and work to the centre of the other shoulder and turned again. I worked 2 stitches further toward the front with each short row and turned again. The back of neck is over an inch deep now and the front is less than 1/2″.20191016_101746

Finished. I did it all in garter stitch using German Short Rows which I think work really, really well with garter stitch. You only have to learn how to do the short rows knitwise, bonus. Here’s a side view of the neck shaping. It’s all happening over the shoulder stitches.20191016_101812

Today I’m casting on another 3×3 colour cardigan in DK weight Cotton Tweed this time. My pencil is poised over my written instructions. Ready, set, go.20191018_102350

Thanks for reading,

Deb

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Colour Blocking a shawl

Intarsia knitting? Are you on board with it? I usually don’t work with blocks of colour where you drop a colour, pick up a new one twisting the colours around each other and then continue on with the new colour. It doesn’t lend itself to knitting in the round but knitting flat, well that’s a whole different story. And shawls are knit flat right? Hmm, yes, there’s an idea.

I have a couple of odd balls, ha, ha. OK, I have lots and lots of odd balls. Not enough to knit anything large with but 100g of this and 100g of that. They are perfect for stripes but also, it finally occurred to me, for blocks of colour.

I can use the centre increase line of the shawl to change colours for blocks of colour on the different sides of the shawl. That’s pretty straight forward and as you can see that  only lasted a couple of rows. Then I thought, why not add stripes? I wound a small ball of purple from the outside of the purple ball I was already using, and started using the gold and small ball for the stripes on the one side and the large ball of purple for the other side.20190922_143834

I can’t stop picking it up. This will be another sample for my Triangle Shawl class at the Cabin Fever Retreat in October.

I’m going for a big pop of colour to wear against my mostly navy wardrobe. Do you think this will do it?!

What are you doing with your odd balls?

Deb

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Knit Stripes 3×3

I think 3×3 is the best way to stripe a cardigan or any piece of flat knitting. You may not consider a Top Down Cardigan flat knitting but it is done working back and forth with Right and Wrong Side rows which is where this works. Check it out.

Three colours, 3 rows each. Here are three reasons why you might want to give it a try:

  1. You use all the colours equally throughout.
  2. You carry the yarn up both front edges of the cardigan (or edge of your flat knitting). Both front edges will then be equal in length. If carrying yarn up only one front edge, it may be pulled tighter and then be shorter than the other front edge.
  3. The colour you need for the next stripe is exactly in the right place when you need it.

Reason Number 2 is how I started using the 3×3 stripes on a cardigan. Method Number 3 is why I love to work it. This cardigan which will become a New Any Gauge Top Down pattern some day. It’s early days yet.

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The 3×3 Stripes work like this:

Work 3 rows in Gold, drop that yarn and work 3 rows in Blue, drop yarn and work another 3 rows in Purple, drop yarn.

3x3 stripe start

Now you want to work the next Gold stripe. The Gold yarn is hanging right there on the front edge you just finished working the Purple on. Pick up the Gold and work 3 more rows finishing on the other Front edge.

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Hello, there is the Blue yarn hanging out there ready to work the next Blue stripe. Pick up the Blue and work 3 more rows finishing on the other Front edge …

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where the Purple is waiting. Pick up the Purple and work another stripe. Then pick up the Gold and continue on working 3 row stripes with a big smile on your face.

3x3 stripes continue

Is this a perfect set up or what?!

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Not ready to jump in? Try a little person cardigan: Neapolitan (named after the ice cream) where I’ve written out all the rows for you, line by line. Knit in DK weight in Cotton Tweed by Cabin Fever.

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I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

Any Gauge patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns on ravelry

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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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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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

Any Gauge patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever patterns and Books

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.

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Then I started working stripes with the Linen.

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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.

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

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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.