Salt and Pepper Crewneck

This Any Gauge Family Crew Neck was a fairly quick knit. Nice big needles and an interesting wool for a plain pullover. Now that I have a basic sweater done I can get down to finishing my pattern. No more procrastinating. I’m taking on the challenge of making this pattern for all sizes. This is new for me and something of a formatting nightmare. How do I put in all the information for all the sizes and not overwhelm the knitter who is only knitting one size? Hmm, lots to learn here.

I used Briggs and Little Heritage, Threaded G+W. I knit it at a slightly looser tension (15 sts = 4″/10cm as opposed to the recommended 17 sts = 4″/10cm) for a nice drape. I’m very happy with it.

One more Family Crew Neck pattern prototype is done. I’m going to deliver it this week and will have some photos next week. Now to cast on the next one.

Right now I’m taking a moment to feel the satisfaction of a sweater finished. Don’t you love that feeling?

Cheers and hope your knitting is going well too. Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Dividing yarn for body and sleeve stripes

Working a sweater with big stripes is a great look. If you have tons of yarn available it’s not a problem to get equal sized stripes on the body and the sleeves. I made sure I bought enough. Knitting this prototype for the Any Gauge Family Crew Neck Raglan sweater for my SNL was really fun.

Then I decided to knit a mini-me sweater for my grandson with all the odd balls I had left over. Now I have a limited amount of yarn to work the body and sleeve stripes.

How do you divide your yarn so you’re sure to have enough for the sleeve stripes while you’re working the body? I didn’t want to knit the body sweating about the sleeve stripes. I wanted a nice relaxing knit.

If you have a scale to weigh your yarn and you have decided on the finished size of the sweater, you can follow along. Here is how I did it for my sweater sized for a 1 year old:

Formula: weight of yarn available = body circumference + sleeve circumference + second sleeve circumference.

Now the calculator comes out: Divide the grams of yarn by the total circumference of body and sleeves. This will give you the number of grams of yarn needed to knit once around the body and two sleeves.

Here are the numbers I used with my left-over balls of yarn:

35g of rust colour = 22″ body + 9″ sleeve + 9″ sleeve (1 year size)

35g = 40″ circumference

Divide as follows: 35 divided by 40 = number of grams to knit one round of the body and two sleeves

0.875g of yarn needed for every round of stripes knit

Separate Yarn to use for body and sleeve stripes : OK, now that I have this weird number from the formula I can divide my yarn into enough for the body stripe and 2 equal sized balls for each sleeve stripe:

22″ body x 0.875g = 19.25g of yarn for a body stripe

9″ sleeve x 0.875g = 7.87g of yarn for each sleeve stripe

Weigh out your yarn. Give yourself a safety margin. I wound a ball weighing 18g for the Body stripe. Now I’m sure to have more than enough left for the sleeve stripes.

Once I knew I would have enough for the sleeves I could make a decision on the actual size of the rust stripe, knowing I could mimic it in the sleeves. I didn’t need all 18g for the body stripe I wanted so I ended up with a little left over. Then I knit the sleeve stripes, counting rows so they were the same as the body stripe. This worked out perfectly. At least I think it did.

I am so pleased with the results.

I hope this is helpful, Cheers, Deb

Family Crew Neck

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free knitting patterns by Deb

Crewneck Pullover short rows

The new pattern I’m working on for a Family Crew Neck Pullover begins by knitting the neckband in the round. This is not the usual way to start a raglan pullover.

Usually you would cast on for the shoulder, back of neck and second shoulder and work back and forth to form the crewneck. You would work your usual raglan increases along with an increase at the beginning and end of the row to form the crewneck angle on the Front. Then cast on some centre front stitches and work your yoke in the round. Pick up the neckband afterwards.

Have you made a pullover that begins like this?

But of course, I am not doing this pullover like that. As my husband would say, “Have you met me?”.

I am starting with the neckband already knit in the round and to form the crewneck front, I’m going to work short rows. Why? Because I love short rows and they work.

Look at that. To me it’s a thing of beauty. I know, it’s a weird designer thing. But I do love looking at this stage in my pullover. The Back is raised. The Front is lowered. And now we’re working in the round for the rest of the yoke.

Now I have a question for you. Here it is with a colour change.

Is the angled edge of the Front with the short rows too messy?

Here’s a close up of both sides. Messy?

I don’t mind it at all but …

Would you like one round of grey knit before starting the short rows? Yes or No?

Thanks. I appreciate your opinion. Cheers, Deb

Family Crew Neck

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Crewneck Pullover Beginnings

I’m working on one more pullover pattern (Family Crew Neck) before shawl knitting takes over. Summer seems to be more suited to shawls and I understand, snow withstanding, that summer is really on its way.

I have devised several construction systems over my years designing Cabin Fever patterns. These were based on formulas which were then decorated with stitch patterns.

Now I want to present them to you as basic patterns so that you can do the decorating part. I know you can do this. You’ve been knitting for some time so you know a couple stitch patterns that you love. These basic patterns are an ideal place to let them loose on the front, back or sleeves.

The Family Crew Neck Raglan is my next project. I’ve done two prototypes so far. The recipients are very happy with them.

I’ve started on one more so that I can add in all the little bits of advice on keeping track. I have two more on the go so lots to show you coming up.

It’s still cool here so perfect for sweater knitting outside. I hope you are enjoying spring.

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Mid-sweater Block

I’m knitting a sweater for my son-in-law (Family Crew Neck) at his request. I was so very pleased to be asked. I have measurements and am ready to go. But this has turned out to be a challenge.

I’m trying out a new-to-me yarn and to be a good little knitter, I knit a swatch. I changed needle sizes twice and now have gauge. I even washed it. Pat on the back, I am being very, very good! I cast on.

Part way through I started to panic. It’s small. I did all the math again and then three more times and as far as I could tell the body is around 2″ smaller than it should be. I kept measuring it over and over, hoping it would be a little bigger each time. Ha, ha, I bet you’ve never done this.

Then the light bulb went on. I have a swatch. I find them somewhat unreliable at the best of times but this time I had one to blame. I measured my gauge on it and then on my sweater and … I had tightened up. This never happens to me. I am a really loose knitter. I was working with needles 2 sizes smaller than recommended to get gauge on my swatch and now I was telling myself that that was a mistake.

Hmmm, I washed my swatch just like I’m supposed to. Ah, ha. Another light bulb moment.

I dumped the whole sweater in the sink, needles attached and all, spun it out in my washing machine and laid it out (nice and neatly, not like this photo) and let it dry.

Voila, it relaxed and although it’s still 1/2″ smaller than I would like, it’s going to be fine. Phew.

I’m on the sleeves right now. I took out 1 round of knitting and started with new yarn. Here’s the difference in gauge. You can see that already the new section of the sleeve has a tighter gauge. I’m trying not to look at it.

Ignore the marker. That was for counting rounds so the sleeve stripe will be the same length as the body stripe.

I’m hoping to get this done this week. I don’t know if that’s possible but I’m giving it my best shot. Audio books, short walks and lots of knitting.

Cheers, Deb

Family Crew Neck raglan pullover

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Gradient done 2×2

My gradient vest is coming along. Not famously but, well, you can see for yourself.

I think it’s an improvement on the original (below on the right).

I’ve tried to make the lines between the colours less distinct. I think I failed. There are still lots of horizonal lines going on.

This is my range of colours. Starting with yellow through red, multi-coloured, purple and into blue and then green (if I get that far).

I’m using two colours all the time. Two rounds in one colour and two rounds in a second colour.

Each colour is worked with a second colour for approximately half a ball.

It goes like this:

Yellow & Red

Red & Multi-coloured

Multi-coloured & Purple

Purple & Blue

It hasn’t turned out as I expected. That’s not new. I’m carrying on anyway just to see how it turns out.

Cheers, Deb

Gauge-Free and Any Gauge patterns by Deb

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I’m Stalled. Solution? Take something apart.

Here is a vest that I don’t wear. It fits great. I like the wool and the style. There’s just one little thing that bugs me.

That yellow band across my bust. I know, I know, it’s stupid to be self-conscious but … I am and I can’t talk myself out of it. So there it sits on the shelf, unworn, through no fault of its own.

The rainbow of colours that Dragonstrings dyed for me are terrific. So what’s a knitter to do?! Give it a tug, of course and … recycle it.

Now to figure out how to graduate the colours. Once gradient sweaters are knit the whole system seems so straight forward but I find it rather daunting. I scrounged around my stash and added one more skein to the mix of colours because more has to be better, right? The bottom multi-coloured skein is the addition and hopefully will work to help me graduate the colours.

The original vest sequence was: starting at the top, Red, Yellow, Green, Blue and into the Purple at the bottom.

This time, I’m going to reverse the circle direction.

New sequence: Yellow at the top, Red, multi-coloured, purple, blue, green.

OK, decision made. It’s in writing and I just told you all about it so here goes.

Have you done a gradient? Did it turn out like you thought it would?

Cheers, Deb

Gauge-Free and Any Gauge patterns by Deb

Deb on instagram

Two Sleeves on 2 circs

I ran across an idea, from Socks Soar on Two Circulars by Cat Bordhi, where she knits a sock on two circular needles instead of many double pointed needles. If you can knit one sock, why not two socks? So I tried it. I found it easier than I thought it might be and better for me than using the Magic Loop technique.

I put a photo up on instagram and my friend Nancy mentioned that she knits 2 sleeves at the same time. I was knitting away on my newest top down sweater and thinking, two sleeves at the same time, two sleeves at the same time. Wait one friggin’ minute. Could I knit 2 sleeves at the same time on a Top Down sweater? I just happen to have one with 2 sleeves to knit so …

… there they are. Two sleeves being knit at the same time, on 2 circular needles with 2 balls of wool. It took some fiddling to get them going. OK, it took more than a little bit of fiddling but there they are. I’m amazed. It’s not that hard. Really it wasn’t that bad.

They work a little bit differently than the socks did because there is a whole knitted sweater body there too. I had to move the beginning of the round to the middle so the body didn’t get too munched. The orange marker in the fabric of the left sleeve is there to indicate the beginning of the round for both the sleeves. It only matters for the decrease round.

I’m finding this quite satisfying to do. Here’s my progress so far.

You’ll see at the bottom there, that they are still on the two circs. When I’m working on the sleeves I use a safety pin to hold the sleeves close to each other but I wanted to see how they were looking. Not bad, eh?

Do you know that auto-correct does not like the word circ. It wants to make it all kinds of other things. Isn’t circ a word? It is to me.

Stay safe and keep on keeping on, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Deb on instagram because you know there has to be more knitting going on.

Cable pullover done

It’s done. Phew. My newest Any Gauge Raglan Pullover was made by taking apart a sweater I wasn’t wearing and turning it into this one. I put it on the day I finished, and the next day, and the one after that. I think I like it. Here’s the requisite bathroom photo.

I don’t know if you can see but I ran out of wool. Yup. I knit this pullover with a much smaller needle than the original sweater. Ouch, just one ball short. So into the stash I went.

I found one ball of orange (on the left) and yes, it doesn’t quite match but … what can you do?!

I got the bottom of the sleeves and the neckband out of it. It’s not perfect but I’m really happy with it. I keep wearing it. That’s the real test. It passed.

Now a pause. I find there is always a very uncomfortable pause after finishing a big project. Do you find that?

I started doodling, otherwise known as charting. And then it got out of hand.

Time to do a clean up I guess.

That’s better but I still have a lot on my mind.

How about you?

Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Deb on instagram because you know there’s more knitting going on.

Bust Darts, Top Down

Why are the fronts of women’s sweaters the same width as the back? Aren’t there two very good reasons why there should be a little more room on the front? You could work two different sizes to fix this but it needs quite a bit of fiddling to get it right. There is an easier way.

You need the extra room exactly where you need it, right? You know where. Not in the upper chest and neckline which could happen if you work two different sizes. Not below the bust either.

Here’s one of my solutions. I used on my latest Any Gauge Raglan Pullover. When working Top Down you can add an extra set of stitches to the Front of the Body starting just under the arm, after the Great Divide.

Can you see a faint line coming out of my underarm at an angle? Here, let me highlight it.

It’s not very visible. The increases are worked on every round. Each increase is worked beside the last one, working from the underarm toward the centre of the front. I added 6 extra bust stitches on each side of the Front, worked the rounds straight down past the largest part of my bust and then began working decreases at the sides of the Front every 4 rounds to get rid of some of these stitches (not all of them because, with Covid, the belly is a little larger than before!!).

I used Twin Stitches. They are the stitches used in the Shadow Short Row system which, if you don’t get rid of the double stitches (the twin stitches) as you would when working short rows, these twin stitches can become increases. It’s magic.

Here’s my video to show you how: Bust Dart for Top Down Pullover using TWK

This is how you work a Twin Stitch. If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you’ve seen this before. I discovered this while working on the Need A Circular Yoke book. Have you tried this?

Stay safe and keep on keeping on, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Deb on instagram, because you know there’s more knitting going on.