Thursday, 16 November 2017

Change the Angle

T_a asked me what the difference was between the Spring Breeze neckline and the new ideas I have had for shaping the neck.

The Spring Breeze has the shaping system I have used in the Baby V, Button Your Top Down and Hoodies and Pullovers books. It works really well. I love using it.

Once the neckband is knit, the neck shaping is achieved by using short rows. On one side of the front the short rows end with SSK, K1 and Turn. The SSK is a decrease but it also attaches the front to the side of the neckband. The K1 kicks it over a stitch giving the neckband a 45 degree angle.

         SSK, K1
                  SSK, K1
                           SSK, K1
I want to try to push this a bit and see if I can get a deeper neckline while still leaving myself some open stitches at the centre of the neckband to work a stitch panel down the front. What I've done is add extra rows that do not have a K1 at the end of the short row so do not bump the neckband over one stitch. It means that the angle is no longer 45 degrees. The extra rows add a short vertical section to the angle at the side of the neckband. One one side of the front the short rows end like this:
SSK, K1   attaches and adds to V shaping
         SSK,         attaches only, vertical
         SSK, K1,
If I was working a Top Down where the neckband is picked up afterwards, this is the equivalent of working an increase every 4th row. Of course I'm doing this the hard way but ... there you go, it's more fun.
I wonder what it would look like if I used P2tog instead of the SSK? That might work great. OK one more swatch just to see.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

I'm There

I think I've got it. My experiments seem to have come to a successful system I can use.

I have a system where the neckband is worked first and then short rows are worked to lower the front by working more rows across the back of the neck.
I've used this neck shaping system in several books: Button Up Your Top Down, Baby V, Hoodies and Pullovers and any "Kid's" pattern leaflets from these books. It totally works and I have several sweaters that I wear using this system. It's straight forward and easy to work once you get your head around short rows in general. You may have worked with it already.
It looks great along the edge of the neckband.

It makes a lovely dropped front of neck.

I want to take it one step further and lower the front of neck a little further, to a full 3"/7.5cm, and still have stitches left open on the Front to work a stitch pattern.

My first experiment was to work an extra SSK row. It lowered the front sufficiently but is messy.
Next I tried using German Short Rows and took out the SSK decrease which didn't work so well. The short rows turns are worked on every stitch: work short row treatment from last row, work short row turn on next stitch. This leaves slight holes along the neckband.

But I like the general idea of using the short rows. So this time I separated the short row turns by one stitch: work short row treatment from previous row, K1, work short row turn. I used Short Rows with Twin Stitches which are easy to work and look great.
This is working very well. Nice smooth raglan line and the short rows look good against the neckband.
Yahoo. I'm excited. Now to get down to crunching numbers. I really need a new sweater so am anxious to get started on the real thing.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Almost There

I think I'm a little closer to what I have in my head. I want to start with the neckband and then work short rows to build up the back and lower the front. I am looking for a lower front of neck for more comfort. My last try at this works but it's messy.
I think this new trial is closer. It's smoother at the edges of the neckband and it's still nice and deep.
I used German Short Rows. I really like them. If you haven't tried them it's worth doing a little sample and giving them a shot. They are a great substitute for Wrap & Turn Short Rows.
But I'm taking another stab at it since I think this one is almost there.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Must be a better way

I can't stop thinking about the new problem I have set myself. They become an obsession but a good one. I am trying to make a raglan pullover with a lower crewneck than I have been able to acheive before.
I'm using short rows that raise the back of the neck ...
which in turn lowers the front of neck. You can see that the whole time I'm working more rows across the back of neck, I have yet to work across the entire front of neck.
I like the resulting lower front of neck.
Can you hear the BUT? It's messy.
I'm sure there is a better way to do this. I may have a couple of middle of the night revelations. I hope so.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Did not work

It didn't work. I looked at everything I had to finish up in an attempt to convince myself to get one project done before beginning another. Abject failure.

I started a new pullover. I have to tell you, it felt terrific!

I am a little further on my Westward guild project. This shawl is definitely at that blob stage where it's outgrown the needle I have it on and looks like ... a blob.
I'm feeling a little ashamed but also happily knitting on my new sweater.

Thursday, 12 October 2017


I'm taking inventory. I suspect I have way too much on my knitting plate and I want to start something new of course.

For those of you who knit one project at a time, this is how the other half lives. At least I seem to.

I am knitting the Westward shawlette. Sort of. I am taking a tiny step away from this pattern.

In our knitting guild we decided to pick out 2 or 3 colours of fingering weight yarn to knit a shawl this year. The Westward consists of 3 different Tiers where the stitch patterns change. No boredom allowed.

I have 3 colours (150g in total) so each of the Tiers of the Westward are going to be in a different colour. Tier One is a variegated yarn (Queensland Collection, Rainbow Beach). Tier Two is the coral colour (Juniper Moon, Herriot Fine). Tier Three is still up for grabs. I have a navy yarn which I think is going to be too dark. I am knitting each Tier to any size I want depending on the amount of yarn I have. Maybe this is running away with the pattern but the instructions for each Tier are still good to follow no matter what size or stitch count I have.

I have a really good rational for starting this new shawl. It is really, really necessary that I knit along with a shawl class I'm teaching. It's an 8 week class with 6 weeks left so lots of knitting time yet. I think I'm justified on this one. I am working with 100g of one colour (Misti Alpaca) and 50g of second colour (Gems, Louet). I'm curious to see how large it gets. I'm liking the contrast between the two teal colours.

Another knit along with a class I'm teaching on Ergonomic Mittens (Rowan Pure). This week we are knitting thumbs so I have to get that second mitten ready!

Our Cabin Fever Retreat is in a couple of weeks (last weekend in October) and these are the wristers that will be knit as the knitters play with stitch patterns and work colourwork with two hands. I should probably do some mates for them.

OMG, there is still more. I'm writing the pattern for this classic top down cardigan. I'm calling it the Everyday Cardigan (Rowan Pure worsted wool). I've knit a second one which I have worn quite a bit so my own experience is that it is a sweater to grab any time you walk out the door. It needs buttons but the writing is almost done.

Yup, one more. The ever constant socks I always have on my needles (Comfort by Sockenwolle). No deadline on these because I'll just cast on another pair when I'm done.
 Phew, my knitting plate is overflowing. Something has to get finished!!!! I'm not alone here right? Please tell me I'm not,

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Knitting behind the glass

It's fall now. The season is marked off for us by the beginning of the competitive curling tour. Since our daughter has been competing I have knit many, many garments sitting behind the glass. I began again on Labour Day weekend, a couple of weekends back, knitting the first of the many garments I will knit this year at curling rinks watching Team Flaxey play.

My husband is holding up the Top Down Ridges sweater in a new Cotton Tweed colour, Rose. It's very pretty but not tooo, tooo pink.
Just back from a second weekend of curling spectating. I have a sock in Comfort Sockenwoole going.
and started a hat and scarf in Red, White and Black Norspun. Garter Stitch is easiest in a crowd sitting on bleachers.
Go Team Flaxey.