Near the finish line

I thought the sleeves on this Saddle Up were quite long already and only needed a 3″ cuff to finish them off.

After I had my son try it on I was proved wrong. I need to add 2 more inches to the sleeve length and then do the 3″ cuff. Phew, good thing I checked.

One cuff is done in sideways garter stitch.

The second one is really close to finished.

The best way I know of to get one project to the finish line is to start looking around for a new project. Unfortunately that’s as far as I’ve gotten, just looking. I can’t seem to settle solidly on anything. I’ve been scrolling through my library on ravelry.com to see if something would catch my eye but nothing yet. I started this striped cardigan but I’m not feeling the love right now.

So I’m knitting toe-up socks. There is always someone who could use another pair of socks, right?

I do want to make the striped cardigan. The pattern is mostly written but now doesn’t seem to be the moment. Its time will come I’m sure.

I hope your knitting is bringing you some comfort. Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Sleeve Length for Drop Shoulder

I need to finish the last Saddle Up pullover. I’m so close but I now know that I’m missing some important information. How long should the sleeves be? I have his sleeve measurement for a raglan but a drop shoulder length is different.

Using my best guess, I knit the sleeves to just above the cuff. They look too long to me. I need to do a fitting before I work the cuffs. Yesterday I dumped the pullover in the sink and laid it out to dry. The cables have relaxed nicely.

What I should have done at the beginning was measure him from the centre back of neck to his wrist. That’s a really good way to get the sleeve measurement for a drop shoulder.

These are the measurements I have for average adults for centre back of neck to wrist.

Women: centre back of neck to wrist

Petite; Regular; Tall
29”/74cm; 30”/76cm; 31”/79cm


Men: centre back of neck to wrist

Short; Regular; Tall
30”/76cm; 31.5”/80cm; 32.5”/83cm

After blocking I measured his sweater from the centre back of neck to the end of the sleeve (sans cuff) and I get 29″/74cm. I think he’s a regular size so I may be in the ball park after all. A 3″/8cm cuff may just finish it off nicely. Fingers crossed.

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Behind the design

When I was designing this Saddle Up

… I had a vague picture in my head, of another sweater. I knew it was an Elizabeth Zimmermann design and every once in a while I would wonder where I had seen it. I didn’t look for it, I just kept it there in my head. Yesterday I rooted around in my book library and I found it here.

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/knitting-workshop-updated-edition

It was the Gaffer’s Gansey.

Now that I’m looking at this sweater, I’m chuckling to myself as I see that it doesn’t really resemble my finished pattern. But the starting point was there. It was the sideways garter stitch saddle that caught my attention years ago and recently popped into my head again. The saddle idea would not go away. It needed to be knit.

The gansey above is knit bottom up with the saddles worked last. My Saddle Up is turned on its head. It’s worked mostly top down, for any gauge of yarn, and for any size. The saddle is worked first, from one shoulder to the other. The width of the saddle is used to determine the final size of the pullover. Then stitches are picked up off of the edges of the saddle and the rest of the pullover is knit down.

It’s curious how the mind works. I started with a very vague idea about that garter stitch saddle and then wondered how I could make it Gauge-Free and for any size. There we have it, two sweaters with similar saddles but each worked with a different style of construction.

I hope you are also enjoying your knitting through this cold winter. Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Second Sleeve

I’m enjoying some good timing. My internet is back, yay. The month without it was very weird. We got into reading which was great but because we don’t have cable, we usually stream our tv watching, very little knitting got done.

Now the Scotties (the women’s curling national championship) is on and I’m on my second Saddle Up sleeve. Is that perfect or what?! https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/saddle-up

I am working these sleeves slightly differently just to try something new. I’m working the sleeve decreases in the stockinette section on the underside of the sleeve instead of decreasing in the garter stitch panel on the top, as I did in the first two Saddle Up pullovers.

I worked some short rows in the garter stitch section to compensate for the different row gauge. I’m not sure I like it as much as decreasing the garter stitch panel.

The game is back on, so I have to go.

Bye, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-free patterns https://www.ravelry.com/stores/debgemmellmods

Purl Back Backwards

As I was knitting down the body of my last Saddle Up pullover, I was thinking about the Bottom Edge. I find they are always a bit tricky. I don’t want this Bottom Border to pull in. It’s for my son and he likes his garments loose, like an over-sized hoodie.

I could work it in garter stitch, round and round, which is what I did in the pattern but, well, I just did that, so what else could I do? I could work it in ribbing to match the ribbed neckband but I had a lot of time to think about it, and this is what I came up with: garter stitch worked back and forth with an SSK to attach to the open stitches at the bottom of the pullover.

I really like how it looks and it’s not pulling in.

As you know, garter stitch is worked back and forth and can be a real pain if you have to turn a garment over and over again to work the right and wrong side rows. Knitting back backwards to the rescue. No turning. The right side of the fabric is facing you all the time. Have you ever done this? It takes some practice for sure.

Knit the right side rows as usual. For the wrong side row you need to work purl stitches on the right side of the fabric. Here we go. With the right side facing and the yarn at the front …

… insert left needle into the next stitch, from back to front.

The left needle is sitting in front now. Wrap the yarn around the left needle counter-clockwise. Take the yarn under the left needle to the back, over the needle to the front again. I’m a continental knitter so the yarn is coming from my left hand but this can also be done with the yarn in your right hand.

Now, to finish I flip the part of the stitch on my right needle forward over the tip of the left needle. If you have the yarn in your right hand, you might push the left needle back through the stitch to finish up.

Ta, da, one purl stitch made.

I have to pay attention to do this but it is getting easier and easier as I work around the bottom of this Saddle Up pullover.

Here’s to learning something new. Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free knitting patterns by Deb

Cables almost done

I’m on my last Saddle Up. I’ve made some progress on this one and am almost to the bottom border. Don’t sweaters look oddly proportioned at this point? I did a fitting with my son and he’s happy with it.

I think the big centre pattern is very impressive. It’s Cable #119 in the Knitted Cable Sourcebook by Norah Gaughan. It’s as complicated as it looks, but so rewarding to knit. My son is a skate- and snowboarder. I think this pattern reflects that – at least it does for me.

Next I’m going to do the neckband and then on to the sleeves, which will take a little while. As I do that I’ll be thinking about my next project.

Hmm, should I do a shawl or finish the striped V-neck cardigan? I’m leaning towards the cardigan, since shawls feel like a spring project to me.

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

It’s a new year

I am coming to you from my local library since our internet at home went out before Christmas and now won’t be up for another couple weeks. We’ve been reading lots of books. Not a bad thing but it’s somewhat unsettling to be without the world wide web.

But look, I finished my Saddle Up pullover. Yahoo.

I would have liked to make the neckband deeper but I ran out of wool. I bought it in Scotland about 30 years ago so … there is no more. Yes, it was a deep dive into my stash but I’m so glad to finally have a sweater out of it. Ha, ha, about time, wouldn’t you say!

Did you make a knitting New Years resolution?

This is my New Years resolution for 2022: knit only from my stash. I’ve unfollowed all wool dryers from my Instagram account so I won’t be tempted. Ugh, that was really hard to do. How about you? Do you have knitting plans for the new year?

It’s a new year. All the best to you and yours in 2022. Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb: https://www.ravelry.com/stores/debgemmellmods

Sleeve Island

What is this phrase? Do you know where it came from? I have no idea. That’s where I am though, on sleeve island.

I started the sleeve for my own Saddle Up, even though the body isn’t finished. I have one ball of wool attached to the sleeve and another ball still attached to the body.

It makes it look more like a real sweater, don’t you think? That’s what the sleeves can do, I guess.

I think the other sleeve will need work before I go back to cabling the body. Then I’ll be more than ready to get it finished. I do find getting to the finish line a little bit difficult.

But look – I did finish a Saddle Up sweater for my favourite little guy. Yahoo.

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Cable Overload

It’s quite possible that knitting three cable sweaters at the same time was not the most brilliant idea I have ever had. Ya think?!

I’ve taken a couple of days off from the Saddle Up pullover. I am knitting a sock, in the basic cuff-down traditional style …

… and some of Cat Bordhi’s Family of Fingerless Mitts, worked in garter stitch. This is not mindless garter stitch – Cat Bordhi didn’t do mindless – but they did take my brain somewhere else. It helped to settle me down.

This is a photo from her book Family of Fingerless Mitts. I have already given the pair I knit away.

Now I’m up for more cabling.

I’ve joined this Saddle Up in the round. It’s for my son and I should probably try this on him. I may have to work some decreases for his hips. Definitely not what I have to do for my own pullover, sigh.

This is my pullover, also joined in the round now. You may notice that it is not as far along as my other two. What’s that all about?!

There is also nothing wrong with knitting this Saddle Up sweater flat. This is a little 2 year size. Knitting the sleeves means the finish line is close. All the edges are in garter stitch so it will be easy to sew up the sides.

I’m afraid there is no Christmas knitting going on here. How about you? What are you up to?

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Cables, worked flat to in-the-round

A drop shoulder pullover can be knit in a combination of knit-in-the-round and knit flat, whether it’s knit from the top down or the bottom up. If you add cables to the pattern, like in the Saddle Up pullover, well, it gets a little trickier.

Cable patterns are almost always written to be worked flat, with a right side and a wrong side. The cable crossings are worked on the right side rows. This simplifies things a little bit. You know those right side rows are the ones to watch out for.

At some point, you may need to work in-the-round. Then, you have the right side facing you all the time. Figuring out when to cross cables can be a little more difficult.

Here is a 4-stitch cable, where two stitches are crossed over two stitches, every 4 rows. The lines in the photo indicate the outside stitch of this Left Cross. See that hole just to the left of the crossing stitches? That’s caused by the crossing. (On a right cross cable, the hole would be on the right of the cable.)

When this cable is worked flat, there is a Right Side Row where you worked the cable cross, followed by a wrong side row, right side row and one more wrong side row. On the next Right Side row you would work a new cable cross.

When you work in-the-round you only have the Right Side facing you. Then you have Round 1 where you cross the cable, followed by Rounds 2, 3 & 4. Then cross again.

If you put something straight into the hole created by the crossing and run it under the horizontal bars to the needle, you should see the 4 bars. I used a sewing up needle but your cable needle may be handy and it would work great.

When you can count 4 bars, you are ready to cross again on the next round. If you have a 6 stitch cable, crossing every 8 rows/rounds, you would work until you can count 8 bars from the hole created by the last crossing. It works.

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

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