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Yoke Sweater Sleeves

The top down yoke sweater, my first ever yoke sweater, is almost finished.  Nothing like going from 80 degree weather to 17 degree and having no coat to give you the push you need to finish knitting a sweater.  Yes, I plan to wear it home.

What have I learned?

First, that Amy Herzog was right.  My body type can wear this style.

Yokes are fun because you can do some fancy stuff there and then keep it simple and non-chunky around your my chunky body.

The armcye.  Well, that’s the place I am still experimenting.  I took my basic design from a general plain pattern.  I knit one size for the back based on my shoulder measurements and a size larger for the front.  The yoke was short rowed for the front in order to cover the girls like I wanted while keeping the shoulder seams equal.  This means the front of the armscye is a bit longer than the back.

Well tailored jackets do not create fronts and backs the same as do most knit patterns.  That is because—I’m preaching here—fronts and backs are the same size only on prepubescent children.

I am doing top down sleeves starting with picking up around the armscye and short rowing for a cap, etc.

I think this first sleeve used too many short rows.  After all the cap part of this sleeve is very small because much of the over shoulder onto the arm is done by the yoke.  Also picked up a few more stitches on the front than the back.  It seems to buckled a bit, just a bit, there.  Remember that I’m making these judgments about an unblocked sweater.

Looking at it again, I think that the short rows should start wider than I did.  I just used the same ratio I always use and that was the error.  I think!

Second sleeve will differ from the first in to correct these things.  No!  I will not frog the first sleeve.  I’ll wear it and remember what I learned.

Do you keep a knitting journal?  You know, with pictures of your projects, the data about needles and yarn and gauge.  If you do, good on ya.  We all should.  Another thing you should add to this journal is a reflection on what you learned from the project, what you wish you had done differently, what you will try next time.  You think you will remember and you won’t.

You could add that to your ravelry notes.  Then the rest of us could learn from you.

More later—

Home in a week.

Walkabout Lace

Don’t you love the name?

Even though Prudence’s scrumbling class did not do anything like this, I still have to credit her with the “push” that led me to this idea.  I’m sure it isn’t new; nothing in fiber art is.  However it is new to me and I had a blast making this scarf.

The yarn is what was left over from my Daybreak Gold Adaptation shawl.  I used a size B crochet hook.  I chained a length that seemed good for a scarf and began.  Actually I just began because I had no finished project in mind when I started.  I just wanted to see how the yarn reacted crocheted on a size B hook.  I was simply scrumbling.

It grew.  There is no repetition or pattern in here.  I just crocheted side to side and tried to keep each row different while keeping the width about the same.  Sometimes I failed.  I discovered how easy it is to just rejoin the yarn and do some filet or double crochet shell like things along the side to correct the width.

Partway through I thought about front post double crochet (treble for the rest of the world).  I did a few motifs with that which were actually planned.  Then I began to plan a little for where I would create solid bits.  You only have to plan that one row ahead and you can change your mind (or forget to do it).

If you make one of the holes too big, you can go back later and fix it.  This is no pressure.  Just make stitches and later you can adjust if you need to.  Heck, you don’t even need to keep the selvedges straight.  Looks more “artistic” if you don’t.

Win-win project.  If you have leftover lace weight, give it a go.  Works up fast and you look like an expert.  Never, ever tell how easy this is.

Walkabout is exemplary of the best of my trip to Australia.  It represents how creative and free I have felt here.  I have pages of items to make or explore.  None of them are designed for a class or a pattern to sell or a project to submit.  They are just things I’d like to try to make and there will be no penalty if they don’t work out.  I wish this joy for all of you.

My Handmade Dress

Here it is.  Yes, the same fabric I used for the bag demo earlier.  Everyone here wears maxi dresses.  Even the escalators have signs reminding you to lift the hem of your maxi dress.  Honest.  Most of them are halters; all are sleeveless.  I decided to make one.

These are my sewing tools.  Straightening the fabric was not easy, nor was working on a 15″ high coffee table, but “making do” is my motto.  I’m proudest of this–the armhole.  I used the same procedure I use for fitting sweaters and started with the shoulders.  Then I cut and shaped the armhole.  I have an article about armholes in the next Knitcircus, so I knew I had better get this right.

I copied the curve of a favorite Tshirt for the neckline and added some beads just because I had them.  The black fabric is a gauze I found in a remnant pile.  I don’t know how this will launder, but right now I don’t care.  I’m just looking for a bit of detail.

Steve took the pictures.I asked him to take a bunch so I could find some I wasn’t ashamed to post.  He did.  He took about 15 and it wasn’t until I looked at them that I realized neither of us had noticed I was still wearing my MP3 player.  Meghan says men have tunnel vision;  I think she’s right.

This one is for Vicki who asked me to smile more.

I really have a lot to smile about.  The project manager has asked Steve to stay.  He told them he could and would work the project from Charlotte, so they are looking into setting that up.  I just love it here, but it isn’t home.

I wish everyone could have a few months to live somewhere new and different.  Kate and I talked about how when you move to a new place you can reinvent yourself.  I feel I’ve done some of that.  What I’m interested to see now is who I’ll be when I return.  I hope I’ll keep the serenity I feel here.  I know that is what is fueling so much creativity.  Maybe I need to just create and not worry about marketing it.

Charlotte friends, please email me privately your holiday plans so I will know how soon I can catch up with you when I return.  I’m sure I’ll be a jet lagged basket case for a few days after the 20th, but that could be fun for you.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

More later—

Knitcircus Special Gifts Issue

The folks at Knitcircus will publish their gift issue Wednesday, 9/15/2010.  You don’t want to miss it.  This will be there:

I designed these for worsted weight yarn.  They knit up fast and will be great as house socks or boot socks or just socks for that pair of shoes that is a bit too big.

The editor of Knitcircus is experimenting with this issue as to pattern purchases.  In this issue you have the choice of buying  just one or two patterns or the whole collection.  Patterns are only $3.50 for one download at this time.  Most will go up in price as soon as the winter issue goes live, so get them now.

Oh, heck, just get a subscription.  It’s easier.


August 4th.  Next Wednesday.  Knitcircus magazine, Issue 11,  goes live with one of my patterns in it.  Yeah, I’m excited.

Some time ago I wrote about this magazine.  Some very talented women from Madison, Wisconsin created this magazine, and it has such a great spirit.  I wrote a fan letter.  I had to.    Like Charlotte Yarn, this was first about community and then about business.

Knitcircus was successful as a slick paper, booklet size magazine.  You can still get some of the back issues in that format.  By becoming an ezine, publishing costs can be spent more creatively and the audience is growing and growing.  It is exciting to be a small part of that.

So what’s my pattern?  Socks.  They have a pretty eyelet rib for the cuff, and an amazing heel.  Wait until you see the photos they took.  These are my distortion of their photos because I’m not allowed to show anything until after the big unveiling.

But there is so much more—

This issue is the “biggest and best ever–24 patterns, interviews with

Soulemama, Adrienne Martini and Cat Bordhi and a new column by Wendy

Johnson of Wendy Knits.”

Jaala, the driving force and nurturing editor, has announced Giveaways!  She calls it a  “giveaway-palooza we’re organizing as part of our Fall kickoff. We’ve got lots of free patterns and subscriptions to give away to blog readers, plus knitting and sewing books and hand-dyed yarns.”

Stay tuned for more info on this, and check out turtlegirl76’s blog.  Cristi loves a giveaway.  Surely you already read her.  Tabby Tuesday is like a comic strip only better–and I’m a dog person.  And then there’s the knitting stuff.

You know, I have resisted submitting patterns to anyone because of the delay between creation and sharing.  Now that I’ve been blessed with friends who want to test knit for me, maybe . . . . .

Anyway, please join me next Wednesday to read the articles and check out all the patterns.  Wait.  Go on over and check out the summer issue.  Just click on the Knitcircus graphic in the sidebar.  You might see something interesting if you check out Jaala’s blog.

Dooley–A new hat pattern

Dooley $6.00

Why Dooley?  My undergraduate degree is from Emory University.  Emory has no football.  No major NCAA sports.  This is part of the requirements of our endowment from the Candler family.  Candler equals Coke as in Coca-Cola.  Yep.  Every time I drink one, Emory gets money.  You don’t mess with that kind of endowment.  So when I was there all we had was a soccer team–Emory Eagles–and in that day, no one had ever heard of soccer.

Pink Granite

So Emory needed a better mascot—and we had one.  Dooley was a mythical student who took the form of a skeleton and haunted the campus especially during the special days in spring.  Georgia Tech students kidnapped him at least once which gave us some street cred.  Anyway, he was fun (he dismissed classes at will) and we loved him.  Emory also is built of granite and pink marble–Georgia minerals–at least the original buildings.  I have a piece from an old construction site on my mantle.  When I saw the yarn used to design this hat was named Pink Granite, I got all weepy and named the hat Dooley.

Not a great story but it’s mine.  The hat is great.  It’s a slouch that can also work as a sit on top of the head model.  Vicki likes it best that way.

Dooley Upright

Debbie Carlson and Donna Richardson did the test knitting, so the pattern is perfect.

I used two ball of Rowan Purelife Revive in Pink Granite and 32 inch circs in sizes 6 and 4.  The Magic Loop technique I used is great for easy visibility and fitting.  All you need to do to try it on in process is just slide all the stitches to the cable.  Tidy.  And it has a great, complex looking stitch that is dead easy to knit.

Pattern is $6.00 and available at Charlotte Yarn in hardcopy, and here and at Ravelry as a download.

Pastry Chef–New Pattern

Pastry Chef

First up is an apron.  Yep, a non-cook designed an apron.  It was the hand drying application that interested me.  Am I the only one who can’t find the dish cloth when I need it?  Lots of nice compliments on it at the shop yesterday.  Susan asked if clothes were optional.  Let your conscience be your guide.  And maybe your age.

I used two balls of Knit One Crochet Too Ty-Dy Cotton and a size 8 needle. Pattern is $6.00.

Thanks to Jean Russell for test knitting this and finding some not so clear places in the instructions.  Hope no one else does.  This is available in hardcopy at Charlotte Yarn and for download on Ravelry.  It’s easy and has an interesting construction which uses picked up sts and knitting off in another direction.

Here’s some pics of design underway.

Apron Sash

Stitch Detail

Bottom border

No Bib Version

Tomorrow Dooley—my best pattern ever!

Yarn Review: Rowan Revive

I discovered this yarn while shelf scanning at Charlotte Yarn.  My first look didn’t excite me.  Then I realized that this was part of the “Green  Yarn” explosion currently underway.  You know, the label includes things like “organic,” “recycled,” “all natural.”   Steve loves food ads that say the product is made from all natural ingredients.  The scientist in him points out that everything on this planet is natural, from nature, even the man made products which will outlive the cockroaches.  Oops, back to the topic.

Anyway, I picked it up and read the label.  Oh, my favorite fibers.  Revive is made from 36% recycled silk, 36% recycled cotton, and 28% recycled viscose (Rayon, my favorite man-made fiber).  It isn’t that I don’t care about the planet, I do.  It’s that I care more that the yarn I knit and wear feels great.  Bingo.  This one does.

The only negatives I can find are that it isn’t machine washable and dryable—-and what great yarn is?  It also doesn’t have memory;  when stretched, it doesn’t fully recover like wool does.  Well, Jane, you say, it isn’t wool, so get over it.  And I did.

It feels luscious in my hands as I knit.  Like raw silk.  A bit of texture, but never rough.  The plies, all 5 of them, are solidly twisted for a drapeable, yet sturdy yarn.  This yarn wants to go outside on a cool fall day.  It does.  It told me so.  The colors are all tweedy.  I can even see an occasional dot of bright silk.  There are so many natural colors in the plies, that it makes it very versatile for using with neutral solids.

I have made a hat out of it using some eyelet (yarn0ver) stitches.  It seemed to need to be a slouch hat because it wanted to show off its drape.  I used some textured stitch patterns to enhance the look inherent in the yarn. (Pattern available soon.)

This yarn sells for $10.98 a 50 gr. skein which has 137 yds.  Rowan recommends a gauge of 5.5 sts per inch on a US 6, which is what I got when I designed the hat.  They say to hand wash it in cool water.  This is Pink Granite, color number 00463.  This and other colors are available at Charlotte Yarn.

I need to go back and get some of the purple.

More later–

Sad sock story; otn

I am trying to have my own Sock of the Month club this year as suggested by Yarn Harlot.  I cheated and bought yarn—six balls of Sockotta from Discontinued Brand Name Yarns for only about $5 each, but one just makes a new resolution and moves on.  My grandmother always said God would get me for my sins, so check out above.  Steve’s new sock doesn’t fit.

Remember that I knit both on different needles at the same time.  The second one doesn’t fit either.

By now you would expect I could fit him.  I’ve only knitted him a bezillion socks.  The third one I cast on didn’t work either, so I decided to rethink.

I love the Sockotta yarn.  It’s the only Plymouth yarn besides their Galway that I have ever liked.   It’s 45% cotton, 40% wool, and 15% nylon.  The cotton is cooler for summer; the wool is long wearing; and the nylon is strong and softens things.  It comes in 100 gram balls (414 yds) and Webs has it for only $10.99.  It washes in the machine and wears very well.  I knit my first pair of lace socks out of it 100 years ago.

I finally decided that the problem was using my Like Jazz pattern with the cotton blend needed more stitches so the twisted stitch pattern could be accommodated.  Cotton doesn’t stretch the same way all wool yarn does.  I added stitches and cast on again.  Still too small.   I can hear Cristi saying, but didn’t you swatch it to check the size?  No, I thought I was so perfect that I didn’t need to.

Tore out the third one and he is getting a k2,p2 cuff with the occasional twist st.  I may burn this yarn before May is out.  And it’s all my own stubborn fault.  I still like the yarn.

One other error—same socks— dealt with the needle size.  In the US, we fudge a bit on needle sizes.  A size one needle may be a 2.25 mm needle or a 2.5 mm.  I like that Knitpicks sells both in my favorite needle.  I am a loose knitter, so I always buy the 2.25.  But—-the first sock I cast on for Steve was on my lovely Addi lace needle, size 1.  The initial try-on fit Steve quite well.  Just the first few inches of the cuff.  The second sock was knit on the Knitpicks needle.  Yeah!  The Addi is a 2.5.  Another opportunity to screw up was taken.  It’s like these socks aren’t meant to be.  Or maybe it’s the “Keep the Knit Queen humble” work of God.  Anyway, watch out for needle size US1.

I am still knitting on my green skirt.  But only a bit and only when I remember.  It is on track for an August finish when I plan to teach a class is designing and knitting a custom fit A-line skirt.

More later–

Gold!!! And a winner!

The Olympic challenge has been met.  I have a new gansey sweater in my favorite Cotton Fleece from Brown Sheep and I was able to test my raglan/set in hybrid sleeve theory.  Does life get better?

I’m very pleased with the fit, except I still have some extra fabric at the underarms.  I think I have figured that out.  I think the problem is the angle of the seam.  Raglans increase every other row.  I began that way and then changed to every 4th.  Next time out, I will use some measurements from this sweater and try the every 4th row from the beginning and then curve the set in sleeve more.

The various ribbings are doing their jobs with the shaping.  The section under the arm are 1 X 1 ribbing.  Next to that is some 5 X 2 which is just next to that.  The bottom is 2 X 2.

This shows my main symbols.  The maple leaf at the top; the arrow-ish band to represent mogul skiing; and then my giant slalom run.  I didn’t include curling in any way and I regret that.  Circles are hard to knit and I was on a schedule.

Confession:  I really like the neckline which was a total mistake.  I was so excited to get started that I forgot to shape the front neck.  The Knitting Goddess was smiling on me and it worked out quite well.  Just have a little faith.  This stuff stretches.

Next I’ll try the armscye theory on another Cotton Fleece sweater.  I have more in the stash so I’ll use it.  I love how this yarn feels on my body.  It’s soft, lighter weight than 100% cotton and so warm.  Charlotte Yarn has lots of colors and Remi is great about ordering anything you want.

Speaking of new patterns—

Now that the Olympics are past, I can cast on for the Bebop scarf from Knitcircus Issue #9.  BJ from Charlotte won the free pattern instructions and also chose that as her favorite from the issue.  The link is in your email box.  Thanks to everyone for entering and, again, thanks to Jaala for allowing me to do this.

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