Sentimental Yarn

I’m back on my regularly scheduled project, the3×3 Cardigan, now that the holidays are over. I hope yours were joyful and have helped you prepare to face and conquer another winter.

Now that I’m back knitting this cardigan I’m looking at the wool I chose. Thanks everyone for helping me choose 3 colours.DSC_0047 (2)

Two of the colours are discontinued wool from my stash. The blue though, well that has a history.DSC_0059 (2)

I have had it in my stash for more than twenty+ years. Yes, a long time. It’s roughish rustic wool  and I believe was hand dyed. Many years ago we were driving along an isolated road in Scotland and came across a croft with a yarn sign outside. In the middle of no where (at least it seemed so to us).

croft bothy

Stop!! There was wool, local wool, from the sheep we had been looking at out of the window. I bought it because the croft was so amazing, the view beautiful and as a treat for myself. But it sat in my stash for all this time. There wasn’t enough for a sweater and it’s too rough for a hat.

I feel like I failed this wool. I’m sure it didn’t want to sit in the dark in my closet for all this time. I’m sure it wanted to be … something special. It wasn’t telling me what though. So now it’s going to be something, a cardigan. A big, cozy cardigan that I will associate with Scotland and an isolated croft in the middle of a purple field of heather.

I’m sure it’s sighing and asking what took me so long. Am I the only sentimental yarn collector?

Deb

 

3×3 Cardigan and Mittens coming along

I have been working on my Any Gauge 3×3 Cardigan. Thanks for all your help. If you didn’t read the post last week, I needed some help in choosing colours. I’m really happy with the Blue/Brown/Purple combo.DSC_0571

I’m at the Great Divide and am taking a moment to admire how the colours have come out. There are many garter ridges along with the stockinette rows which give it quite a bit of texture. It also means there is more knitting than purling, Bonus!DSC_0566

Next is to place the sleeves (video). They will sit inside the Raglan Lines which you can see are very wide apart at the shoulders. I would like to do something to extend the lines down the body. Hmm. Still thinking.

Once the Divide is done it will really look like a sweater. I can’t wait.

Meanwhile I have been working on a new pattern: Any Gauge Mittens. It’s based on a workshop I have given several times. This is actually a Gauge-Free mitten. Gauge does not come into it at all. We don’t measure it, we don’t even think about it. It doesn’t matter. So you’ll be able to dive into your stash and cast on with whatever wool and needles you like. Whoopee.

To do this you have to begin the mittens in a different place, the top, and work the mittens down to the cuff. These are my new pair for this winter (knit in Northern Lights chunky weight wool by Cabin Fever).DSC_0559

These are the very worn out pair that needed replacing. They have served me well.dsc_0563.jpg

Converting from a workshop where I am there to guide the knitters, to a pattern where the knitter has to read it and work it on their own, has been a challenge. I am finding I can’t write in everything I would tell you if you were in my class. So this week I’m working on some videos so that you’ll be able to take me home with you. I don’t eat too much, I’m happy to talk knitting any time and I’ll even sleep in your wool room where the yarn fumes will lull me to sleep!

Deb

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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

Any Gauge patterns by Deb

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A New Knit for Little People

Want to try something new, maybe experiment a little (otherwise known as designing)? Why not try it on a little person sweater first. They’re quick and little people are generally not too fussy as long as you choose the right colour.

Karen asked me about adding a stitch pattern to the raglan lines since she wanted to try it herself. I dug around in my UFO pile of experiments and found something I had started. I don’t even know when. Not finished, imagine that!

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And now it is. It’s in two colours because I didn’t have any more of the original colour dye lot (shh, don’t tell).

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Railroad Top Down on ravelry

The garter stitch raglan lines go down the sides of the Body on the Front …

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and the Back.

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With all this extra patterning, the body knit up in a flash. I’ve added it to the Cabin Fever ravelry store.

Enjoy and Happy Canada Day,

Deb

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Adding a Pattern to Raglan Lines

K. asked if it was possible to add a pattern in the raglan lines just as I did with the underarm stitches in What to Do with All That Stockinette. She had knit a sweater with patterned raglan lines but didn’t feel she could do it on her own.

Of course you could. Start with something simple and not too wide. I dug around my UFO projects and found one I had started.

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Here’s how. Cast On at the top according to the pattern. Stop at the Marker Round (in the round where you are going to place the raglan markers). Do Not knit this round yet. Count across the stitches on your needle and with removable markers, place the markers as the pattern specifies. In the original pattern the marker for the raglan line would have been set up to be worked like this:

raglan line

The set up would be to have one knit stitch before the marker and one knit stitch after the marker. The increases would be worked on either side of these 2 knit stitches. The Increase Row would read: Knit to 1 stitch before Raglan Marker, YO, K1, slip Raglan Marker, K1, YO.

Now get 4 more markers and move the markers so there will be more stitches at the raglan lines. I like to keep these knit stitches, YO, K1, marker, … extra sts…, marker, K1, YO in place since it makes reading the pattern easier to follow.

Decide how wide you want the new raglan lines to be. My Raglan Markers are 5 sts apart.

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Now the Increase Row at each raglan line will read as:  Knit to 1 stitch before first Raglan Marker, YO, K1, slip marker, Knit 5 stitches, slip Second Raglan Marker, K1, YO. The increase set up is still the same. The only change is now there are several stitches between the 2 increase stitches at each raglan line.

You can put any number of stitches here depending on how many stitches you have in the Front, sleeve, Back sleeve and Front.

DSC_0543

This is a really simple example and I’m sure you can improve on it.

Here is an excellent example of another simple idea where just making the raglan lines wider and staying with stockinette stitch still makes the Sunshine Coast pullover by Heidi Kirrmaier look fantastic.

 

Top Down Sunshine Coast Heidi Kirrmaier

Are you going to give this a try?

Deb

Any Gauge patterns by Deb Gemmell Mods

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What to do with All That Stockinette Stitch

“All that stockinette stitch!” Yes I’m afraid so. Knitting Top Down can involve a lot of stockinette stitch once the excitement of the Yoke is done. What do you do to amuse yourself while you get all that knitting done?

Here is what I’m doing right now. I’m working a stitch pattern down the sides of the body across the underarm cast on stitches.

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These are Right Twist stitches which are 2 stitch cables worked without a cable needle.  Every 4th round I’m working: P1, work [P1, Twist Right] repeating to last 2 sts, P2. (Twist Right: K2tog and then without taking the stitches off the needle, knit into the first stitch, remove stitches.) This is keeping me engaged as I work down the body.

You could add anything here. Whatever it takes to give you something to keep track of and look forward to knitting. Knit, knit, knit, oh boy it’s the pattern, knit, knit, knit. Yeah, OK, it’s a little hokey but it does make all that body knitting move along quickly.

I realized, as I looked through my Cabin Fever designs, that I have been doing this for some time. The Side Pattern Vest (top down) was the first. There is a lovely lace panel down each side. That will keep you on your toes.

Side Panel Vest V-neck (2) - Copy

You could add a 2×2 rib down the sides. That works for this Child’s Ribbed Sleeve pullover.

Child's Ribbed Sleeve

I put one of my favourite stitch patterns in the Squiggle Lace Top . The Squiggle Lace pattern is based on a 2×2 rib where every other round you alternate between [P2tog, YO] and [YO, P2tog] worked in the P2 section of the rib. I’ve used variations of this pattern several times. Here I worked it over the underarm cast on stitches and even worked all the A-line shaping increases into the stitch pattern. Now that definitely gives you something to concentrate on.

Squiggle Lace Top

squiggle lace side

You are the boss of your knitting. Make it fun.

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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