Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Where does the time go?

This time of year is CRAZY. I don't know where the weeks have gone, into some sort of time warp. We celebrate the big day (you know the one), my shopping is mostly done and I've decided in the midst of all the preparations that I should start a new sweater for myself in Navy. Yes, I said Navy, my favourite colour, the darker the better. I do own 2 store bought sweaters (yes Brenda, the big confession) and guess what colour they are? Do you want a hint? You guessed it.

Imagine this photo about twice as dark as it shows here, in fact almost black, yummy. I'm knitting with Cotton Tweed, Just Navy. If you go to the yarn site you'll have a much better idea of how dark the navy is. I love it.
Top Down of course, a cardigan with a collar and crew neck.
With this 2x2 garter rib down the centre back and down each side of the fronts. The ribbing pulls the collar in at the neck and works very effectively I'm happy to say. This will be nice and relaxing project (even though it's dark) over the holidays.

I hope you are planning on knitting something just for the fun of it over the holidays.
Have a Happy, Happy Holiday. See you in the new year,
Deb & Lyn

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Underarm Baby Vest Solution

After much pondering I think I have a solution to the Vest underarm quandary. With Baby sizes a top down doesn't need any stitches cast on at the underarm so at the Divide Row the Front and Back are being joined up as you work the row. I'd like the join between the Front and Back to be nice and tight and I also have to reduce the stitch numbers so the stitch pattern can continue across the entire body.

On the Divide Row, after casting off the stitches of the first sleeve, pass the last stitch of the Front over the last Cast Off stitch of sleeve. This will join the Front and Back together. It works. I hope the diagram helps to explain it in the pattern. What do you think?

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Bogged Down

Sometimes a design just bogs down. I can't figure out why but I don't want to work on it any more. The design seems fine but I keep putting it off and picking up other projects. Today I realized it was the join at the bottom of the cap sleeve. It works. Sort of. I kept telling myself it was fine. But it's not. There's a gap which bothers me.

At the Great Divide the sleeve sts are cast off. Then on the next row you would purl across the Fronts and Back which joins them up for the Body. But there is a gap and it's messy. On the next row I picked up the loose strands at the underarm and knit them together with the stitches on the needle and that neatened it up. But I can't write that in the pattern because how would you know which stitches to pick up if you've never done this before. A glitch.
Then I decided to cast on 2 sts to join up the Fronts and Back. But that's not satisfactory either. It makes a larger space at the bottom of the armhole.
Now back to the beginning. How to make the join between the Fronts and the Back neat and tidy? It's time to rip it back and try another idea, what fun!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Pie Are Square Shawl

I'm trying to work on a new style of knitting for me - armpit knitting. The theory is that holding one needle stationary means you can knit faster. Faster is not my goal although it would be a great by-product. The exercise for me is to find a style of knitting that's as far from continental knitting as I can find. I think this is it. I need to stop the repetitive action of knitting so many hours in one knitting style.
courtesy of mqdefault.jpg
Now to find a pattern that makes it easy to knit in a new style but produce something interesting. I checked everywhere I could to find something that grabbed my attention. I didn't want to have any stitches that would discourage me, that means no decreases allowed since at the beginning they are a little difficult to work with a needle stuck in my armpit.
Elizabeth Zimmermann to the rescue. I'm knitting The Pie Are Square Shawl out of the Knitting Around book which is one of my favs. This shawl is perfect, all garter stitch worked back and forth, except for some Yarn Overs which are easy to work. Yay.
I'm knitting with some Malabrigo lace weight which will probably produce a kerchief size Pie Shawl. Hopefully all this practice will result in some increase in speed. Fingers crossed, not while I'm knitting though.
- Deb

Friday, 21 November 2014

Girl Stepped Pattern

I'm testknitting the Baby Vest pattern with a stepped stitch pattern. The boy's version is done and now I'm knitting one in a girl colour. 
I've done charts and written instructions. It's so logical to me when I look at the charted version. It's the written instructions that take quite a bit longer to write and check. Charts or written, which works for you?

I'm really pleased that the pattern is showing up so well. Almost to the Great Divide. A vest is so quick to knit. I feel like I'm almost done.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Stepped Stitch Pattern

This is a little baby vest I just finished knitting for a workshop I'm giving this weekend at the Eastern Needlers Retreat in Gananoque, ON. We'll be experimenting with adding stitch patterns to top down garments. This little vest is based on the Basic pattern from the Need A Baby Cardigan book. Working cap sleeves makes it a really quick knit. I added the waffle stitch on the Fronts and Back.

Patterns are a little more of a challenge to introduce from the top down. This pattern is stepped. The stitch pattern is 4 stitches wide. Increases are worked at the Raglan line and when 4 more increases are worked there are 4 more stitches available on the Front to work another repeat of the pattern.  I'm going to write this one up next week so you can try it yourself.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

German Short Rows

I now have another new favourite way of working short rows: German Short Rows.

The first time I tried them I wasn't convinced they were for me. It was a first date after all. But there are so many ruffles in this Ruffled Cowl
that I kept going back to these short rows just because they're different. Eventually I fell in love with them. Now I want to do another short row project just so I can use them.

On the knit row, knit to the turning point, turn to purl side and WITH YARN IN FRONT, slip 1 stitch, pull the working yarn tight to pull the stitch up so you see 2 bars like this, called a double stitch. Take the yarn over the Right needle to the back, bring under the Right needle to the front again and purl stitches back.

On the purl side, purl to turning point, turn to the knit side and WITH YARN IN FRONT, slip 1 stitch, pull working yarn up tight to produce a double stitch (it's twisted and should look like that). Take the yarn over Right needle to the back and knit stitches back as directed.

When you need to work past the last time you turned, work the 2 bars of the double stitch together by working a K2tog or a P2tog. It really works great.

You can substitute them for the standard Wrap & Turn but you need to make a small adjustment. If your W&T directions say to K8, Wrap & Turn, then for German Short Rows, K9 (one extra stitch), Turn and with yarn in front slip the first stitch and pull tight to make a double stitch. The double stitch stands in place of the Wrapped stitch and is done after the Turn. This video explains it quite well  German Short Rows for the Wrap & Turn.

Fun with Short Rows,

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

I've fallen off the Writer's Challenge wagon. But for a very good reason, teaching.

It's amazing to watch knitters finish their very first sweater. It's an experience never to be repeated so that first one is special. The knitters at the Ramara Community Centre finished not one but several little sweaters over our 5 weeks of classes.

On the road last weekend, where Bea of The Match Factory in New Liskeard, ON hosted me to teach many kinds of Short Rows. It even snowed for half and hour twice during the day. We were glad to be inside knitting.
A great group of knitters there.
Then on Sunday I was at Stix and Stones in North Bay. . .
where many knitters came out for tea and a talk about our Cabin Fever books. They're all ready for Halloween there.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Day 10: Boredom is Good

How can being bored be a good thing? It can make you a better knitter, that how.

  • Learn a New Method:  I have been working on a Short Row cowl which is taking rather a long time to knit. Because I was bored I started looking on the internet for at all the ways there are to knit short rows. I can now work 6 types of short rows and did just that in my project. Not bored anymore.
  • Decorate the Sides:  If you have miles and miles of stockinette stitch to work in the Body of your sweater, consider working a stitch pattern in a panel at each of the sides. Not bored any more. Side Pattern Vest
  • Better Borders:  If you're working down your Top Down sweater and need something to keep you going, look through your stitch dictionary and find a really fantastic stitch pattern for the Bottom Border and the Cuffs. Worked a Slip Stitch pattern for a ShirtTail bottom border (from the Need A Circular Yoke book). Not bored any more.
  • Knit Theme Socks:  Knit socks a lot? Looking for a cool stitch pattern to put in your next pair? Look through your Stitch Dictionary with someone or something in mind. What stitch pattern reminds me of my grandson? Or which stitch pattern represents Marriage, Life, Winter Fun, the Beach to me. These remind me of Fall, Pine Cone Socks.
Get bored and see what happens,

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Day 7: Is there a Wrong Way to Knit?

How many ways do you know how to knit?

Sometimes I have someone in my class that knits in the combination continental method (wraps her purls from underneath and knits into the back of her knit sts). This means that her K2tog is our SSK and vice versa. As I try to explain the reversal of these stitches, the question of the correct way to knit comes up. Is there a correct way?

There is definitely a way of knitting which makes it easier to follow North American patterns. There are ways of knitting which make it easier for other knitters to help you when you run into problems. But a right and wrong way to knit? As long as the fabric looks good and has no crossed stitches on the stockinette fabric, I don't think there's any wrong way.

There are advantages to knowing other ways to knit. I get tendinitis in my right elbow quite often. The cure is rest. Yay, right, no knitting, like that's going to happen!! On my way home after hearing this terrible news, I thought "what if I changed how I knit, that might work". So I knit for 2 weeks working the Portuguese method and the elbow pain went away. Wow, just like that.

Mix it up. Try a new style of knitting. Work across the knit row with one style and the purl row in another style. Work one project with your main knitting style and a second project in a different style. It can't hurt.

P.S. Thanks Jill, Sharon and Liz for your comments. I'm glad to hear you're knitting everywhere you go. I take my sock project with me when I buy a new purse because the project has to fit or I can't buy the purse no matter how much I might like it.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Day 5: Where are all the knitters?

Over the last couple of days I was in 4 airports. I saw exactly 2 other knitters. Where are all the knitters?

In North American there are 54 million knitters ( a stat I saw in a magazine). They aren't at the airport. Admittedly there are many more men in airports than women. What I see are people focused on their devices: phones, computers, ipads. I know that makes waiting easier but so does knitting.

Do you knit in public? We need to show the public that knitters don't all sit in rocking chairs. We are a varied and interesting group of people making things for people we love.

Join me and Knit in Public somewhere this week.

Day 6: 3 Ways to be a Creative Knitter

You have knit one or many sweaters. Now its time for you to put all those hours of knitting into action and use your knowledge to make a new design by adding a little something of your own to a pattern you bought. Start small and see how it works. Then go to town. Use the written pattern as a jumping off point to create sweaters unique to you.

1.  Add a new element to the pattern. Add a stripe or work the borders in a different colour. Add a stitch pattern down the centre of the sleeve or down the sides of the Body. Work one of your favourite stitch patterns under the bust or vertically down the centre Front and Back.

2.  Turn something on it's side. Instead of working the Shirttail bottom border at the Front and Back of your sweater, work it at the sides of your Body to make the sides longer. Work a 3-button raglan opening in the Yoke at one of the Raglan lines for a diagonal button placket. Make the bottom of the sweater asymmetric in some way. Exaggerate the waist and hip shaping for a different look.

3.  Combine an element from 2 different patterns you've bought. Work the yoke from one and adjust the stitches to work the Body of a different pattern. Work your top down as a cardigan for the yoke with buttons, join it up and work the body as a pullover. Make your sweater into a capelet or shrug. Use the border patterns from another pattern. Work a collar onto a pattern that isn't written with one.

Have some fun,

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Day 4: Why write a blog?

If I were a super hero, I would have an "I" emblazed on my chest. Not an I, as in me, me, me. But an "I" for Introvert. What would my super powers be? Not to leap high buildings. Not to save damsels in distress (although possibly to save knitters in distress). My introvert super powers would be somewhat understated and might be the power to generate design ideas in solitude.

But even an "I" super hero cannot live entirely without other people and certainly not without other knitters. We need to engage in the big wide world, while sitting at home of course (where else would we be).

Blogging means I am not alone with my obsession with sticks and yarn. Blogging means I can hear what you think. Blogging means I can be the Introvert I am, connect to you and other knitters and still sit in my house, surrounded by my favourite thing, knitting.

The question might be why not blog?

Friday, 10 October 2014

Day 3: Your Voice

I'm supposed to write in my own voice. I find this hard to do. I would like to write like I talk. That's our voice. But I can't gesture and wave my hands around while writing. It just doesn't work.

So here I am today in Hartford, CT at Sts East. I left this morning at 8am and arrived at 4:30pm. Does this seem like a long time to go 600km (I got that off my airline site)? How our expectations of travel have changed. I could have driven in the same amount of time but I do love to fly. That moment when the plane leaves the ground does something for me. Here we go!

I have never flown in such a tiny plane, except in a bush plane. When I booked with Air Canada I anticipated something a little bigger. It was a full flight, 18 people, 18 seats! Can you believe it?

The woman across from me was knitting. How great is that. She wasn't going to the knitting show, but back home. She sort of apologized for being a beginner. I envied her. She's starting on a great adventure. So much to learn, so many garments to knit, so much fun ahead. It would be so exciting to be at the beginning with all of that ahead.

Tomorrow morning I begin my class on designing a Top Down Raglan for yourself. I expect a very interesting day.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Day 2: Focus

Knitting is a very big subject, a passion of mine and I'm assuming, yours. Today in the 21-day writer challenge, we were urged to define our focus.
My Focus is the Knitting Design Process. I love the whole process: working on an idea, ripping back, redoing it, writing it out on the back of an envelope, ripping it out again, writing it up, test knitting it and publishing the finished garment. I know it may not seem like fun but it really is exciting.

 I also want to help you, the knitter, get into this process too so you can add design elements to the patterns you buy and knit a garment that you can call your own creation. Even small additions to the pattern make it yours.

This has been a long journey. I started writing patterns for sale in the usual manner, one design at a time, working my way through different ideas I had and expecting them to be followed to the letter. Why else would anyone buy a pattern?

But I continued to be facinated by what some knitters did with our patterns or more often, wanted to do with them. Could I write a pattern that had a cable down the front, a lace pattern, with a collar or hood? I love these requests. Keep them coming. They tell me what you want to do and what you might be bumping up against in trying to get there yourself.

Today I am developing a toe-up sock pattern for our Cabin Fever Retreat on November 14-16. I want to put a design on the top of the foot where the knitters will be able to add a stitch pattern to my basic pattern.
Each knitter will work the toe and then add a 4-stitch pattern to the design which fits between the lines. Maybe a nice little 2x2 cable or a twist stitch, or a small lace pattern perhaps?

The basic concept is worked out, great. But now I have to think of my knitters. The toe is done and I want to give them some fun by adding in a stitch pattern of their choice but this design has 2 different increases and 2 different decreases working in the same round. I find I have to double check myself which increase to use when I knit this and I made it up! Too much to keep track of.

Simplify, simplify. This Does Not mean dummy it down. It means make a simpler version which can then be made more complex for those knitters who wish to take on the challenge. 
I'm going to take it back and have one line going across the top of the foot, from right to left for a wider zigzag pattern. Yes, I think I like that. What do you think?

P.S.  t_a thanks for reminding me: the yarn is Riverside Studio in Wakefield, Quebec.
P.P.S.  Yes Sharon (from the EZ post), I agree. Any system, including the EZ Percent System, is only a basic guideline. It gives you a starting point to work out your own particular adjustments for your own figure. Sounds like you did just that.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Day 1: A Bigger Life

Day 1:  Tell an inspiring story that invites us to live a life that is bigger than the one we're living now.

I am still in awe of the wonderful work Elizabeth Zimmermann did (Schoolhouse Press). I always think of a bigger life as a life spent out there, in the big world, not in a small town living in an old schoolhouse. From this schoolhouse she influenced many knitters to take a "look" at their knitting, take a chance, add a little something of your own to their knitting and knit without seams! Yes, I got hooked right there.

All her books, the Wool Gathering newsletters and especially the original Spun Out series have wordy instructions and percentages instead of line-by-line instructions, although she does include them in her books under the title of "blind follower" instructions. That always makes me laugh. I learned to knit using her books and many designers, including myself, still follow her percentage system to this day. If you want to begin designing your own sweaters there is no better place to start than the EZ Percent System.

Any time you step the littlest bit away from the line-by-line instructions we're all so used to now, something happens, the garment becomes yours. Go for it, change the ribbing, add a stitch pattern, add on a collar. You are now a co-designer. I invite you to proudly proclaim this title.

Do you have an inspirational story to tell?
Have you knit an EZ pattern? Have you used the EZ Percent System?

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

21-Day Writer Challenge

I'm in.

Jeff Goins has issued a 21-Day Writer Challenge to blog writers. I'm in. I'm going to write on my blog for 21 days beginning on Wednesday, October 8. This is to help me and all the other participants of course, but mostly me (c'mon you know it's totally personal, ha, ha) become a better blogger and writer.

He is going to send prompts. I don't know if these are "go team go" or "write about your most embarrassing moment". I hope it's not the second one but suspect it probably is. I'm more than a little nervous. There will be knitting content because how can I ignore such a large part of my life.

Are you a blogger? Would you be my writing buddy? If you send me the link to your blog, I'll post the link at the end of my posts, if you will do the same for me. It would be cool to have a group of bloggers reading about each other so we'll all know our community better by the end.

If you want to take the challenge by writing privately without a blog, sign up on the Goins site and write a comment on this blog so I can hear how you found the writing of each topic. We can encourage each other to write every day. Resolutions are so hard to keep. I think I'm going to need the encouragement after about Day 5.

Are you in?

Sign up on the Goins site and email me with your blog link: deb.cabinfever@gmail.com
Add me, Cabin Fever Sisters Knit, to your list of 21-Day Writing Challenge writers http://cabinfeverknittingdesigns.blogspot.ca/

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Child's Ribbed Sleeve pullover and Short Row heels

This week has got away from me. I've been busy workin on my boy sweater. But as usual the sleeves seem to take as much time as the body does. How come? This does not compute!
Sharon (from the comments) was concerned about the neckband being small. I've written in the instructions to cast on with the body-size needle and then work the neckband ribbing on a needle 2 sizes smaller to pull it in. I can get this 4 year old size onto my head so with a nice loose cast on, it will be fine. I know any child who gets their ears ripped off when pulling off a sweater is not going to put it on again!

I've also been revisiting short rows in preparation for teaching Toe Up Socks with short row heels at our Cabin Fever Retreat, November 14-16. I want to present a couple different short row heel options. I have my reliable double wrap short row heel (below) which I love but I'm going to explore some other methods. Maybe I'll find a new favourite. Do you have a favourite heel that works for toe up socks?

Thursday, 25 September 2014

I sent out a Newsletter asking for suggestions for new designs for 2014-15 season. The overwhelming response was for patterns for boys. I am also interested in adding in patterns to top down garments so here is my first one out of the gate.
A relatively simple pullover in Cotton Tweed (Rust) with ribbed sleeves, sizes 2-8 years old. I thought this would be easy to work but working multiple sizes with a stitch pattern is pretty interesting (that means my eraser got a huge work out and my calculator was smokin'). Getting the stitches to come out at the bottom of the yoke close to the size so that the underarm cast on stitches would work out for the sleeve & body is a trick. It took several erasing and as usual I didn't quite have it worked out until I actually put yarn to needles and knit. It's always easier for me to think while I'm knitting.
I added ribbing down the sides. I like that it really breaks up all the stockinette stitch needed for the body.
I got quite a bit more done at our Knitting Guild meeting last night. A very portable knit once the Great Divide is finished and the side ribbing is set up.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Steek Cutting

I'm ready to get cut my steek. I've altered my capelet. Altered, meaning frogged a whole lot of it since I discovered I'm not a capelet person. Who knew. I've taken it back so I can make it a sweater since I know for sure I'm a sweater person. But I'm going to cut it now to show you my method of cutting a steek.

My sewing machine is set up for a short stitch with a loose tension. I sewed 2 lines up stitch#2 and stitch#4.
I turn it inside out so I can see the sewing lines.
Cut right down the centre being very careful not to cut any of the machine stitching.
As easy as that.
The steek wants to roll to the back on each side. Next step would be to pick up stitches for the buttonbands. Steeks are easy to do and so effective. I'm not very good with my sewing machine and I find this quite fun to do.
Just one more tool for your knitting toolbox. You might start to look at pullovers differently from now on knowing that they can be converted to a cardigan with just a little bit of sewing and a pair of scissors.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Steek Set-Up for cutting

I've been asked about converting the pullovers in the Need A Circular Yoke book into cardigans. If you're considering working colourwork for a caridgan, steeks, in my humble opinion, are the way to go. I knit a capelet with a steek so it can be cut open down the centre Front and a buttonband picked up and worked.
I'm going to sew the steek over the weekend. This is the plan. Here is my 5 stitch steek worked in a checkerboard pattern with the 2 colours.
I'm going to sew along the pink lines. There will be two lines of sewing close together up stitch#2 and stitch#4.
And then I will cut along the turquoise line, down the centre of stitch#3.

I will pick up for my buttonbands along the black lines, along the outside of stitch#1 and far side of stitch#5. Right now I'm just contemplating since the capelet is drying after blocking. On Sunday I cut! Woo hoo.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

KnitTrade, we're almost ready.

There is a large knitting industry trade show called TNNA, held in Columbus Ohio in June every year. It's where big and small companies show their new lines of yarn, patterns and books. If you're in teh U.S. your local store probably has been there to see what's new. Lyn & I have gone to this show as vendors selling our patterns and books to yarn store owners for many years. Every year we would say to ourselves "we should have something like this in Canada".  But alas there wasn't anything here. So 5 years ago we decided it was time to start a trade show ourselves. And now this is year 5, amazing. 
We were looking for a venue and then it came to me - a curling rink. It's a big barn with a cement floor and off season there is no ice. Perfect.
Most of our vendors are small to medium sized knitting companies selling specialty items. It's exciting for store owners to talk to the company owner, and often the manufacturer, of the goods they buy.
We've been very busy over the summer and especially this week, getting set up and now this is it. 
Our 5th annual KnitTrade show is on Sunday. 
We're almost ready!
Deb & Lyn

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Magazine Shelf Space

I've taken the step of purchasing the download of a magazine, first time ever. I usually like to buy it as a print version. In my town the knitting magazine I like is not longer available in any store, boo, hoo. Last year I went the subscription route, mailed to my house. It was great to get the magazine but because I'm in Canada I seemed to get the magazine about 3 weeks late. I've seen photos and read about the magazine on the internet for several weeks before I receive it. I missed the excitement of seeing it for the first time in my hands. Now I have the downloaded version, the excitement of looking at it for the first time is back.

My pile of old magazines is getting very high. I used to browse through them all once a year. I found that an article or pattern that I passed over last year would be more relevant now and worth the time to read it through. An overlooked technique might inspire a new idea for a pattern. But now the pile has become so overwhelming that I'm finding I don't do this any more. How can I justify the shelf space? Maybe I could randomly pull an old magazine out once a week and take a look at it. Is it possible that a plan is emerging?

How do you justify shelf space for your old magazines? Do you revisit them? Are they a source of inspiration?

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

One Step Further Away From the Pattern

I've decided that I wanted to add a little more lace work to my latest Circular Yoke. It's turning out to be lots of fun.
I'm adding lace down the sides. I cast on 16 sts at the Divide Round for the underarm cast on. Perfect for adding 2 x 8st lace pattern I used in the yoke. If you cast on more or less than 16 sts you can still work out where to put 2 repeats of the pattern in. It certainly adds quite a bit of interest to the knitting of the body. I think a twist or knit and purl pattern would work just as well.
I knit every round until I was below my bra since I don't always wear a beige coloured bra and didn't want it to show through the lace. One less decision to make when I get dressed is a good thing, ha, ha.
Thanks Karen, Liz & t_a for your thoughtful remarks. It's great to know I'm not alone in the two steps forward, one step back approach but always moving forward. It's a journey as well as an adventure!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Can We Learn and Be Comfortable

We all know that learning can be uncomfortable. I don't remember school being all that comfortable lots of the time. If you are working at something you're really interested in it can be stimulating, intense, frustrating and confusing. But learning is still exciting and worthwhile. Frustration teaches us to put it down, pick it up the next day and try again, perseverance is necessary. How many projects have you gotten bogged down in, thrown in the time-out chair, only to pick them up and say this is not going to get me down. Who ever said that knitting is only for old ladies in rocking chairs didn't know what they were talking about. Those chair rockers know a thing or two! This is my mantra "I am the boss of my knitting. I am more able to handle life because I knit". YAY.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Think Inside the Box

Do you like that phrase "think outside the box"? I must admit that I don't. I once heard someone say that outside the box is a lonely place. It's the place for geniuses. Geniuses think up weird and wonderful stuff and then wait for the rest of us to catch up. Sometimes we do and often we don't.

On the other hand, the centre of the box is a very safe place. It's where lots and lots of people are and never venture away from. Safe if great lots of the time. But sometimes we can get stale there. It's fantastic knitting when you love what you're seeing in the photo or you're stressed in other areas of your life and need something to turn out right. I do it myself from time to time.

But what if we ventured closer to the outside edge of the box? That's where interesting things can happen. You might add in a stitch pattern you made up yourself. I bet it would look great. Or exaggerate some feature of the sweater, like the shaping. How about a really, really wide A-line? Or take a chance and pinch in that waist one more inch. How about an assymetrical bottom border just for the fun of it. It might surprise you how good it can look. Not quite knowing the outcome is a little scary but it certainly adds a little spice to your knitting and possibly a new "look" to your sweater wardrobe.

I'm hoping that the Need A Circular Yoke book takes you closer to the outside of the box. All the numbers are there but the decisions are yours. If you're taking on the challenge of putting together your own sweater I applaud you. I'm glad you're coming on the ride. Join us at Need A Circular Yoke KAL for some company along the journey, advice and answers to any questions.

Add some spice,
P.S. Thanks Sharon & t_a. I truely appreciate your encouragement.

Friday, 1 August 2014

NEW Need A Circular Yoke is ready.

It's official, the NEW Need A Circular Yoke book is ready. We're very excited.
The pdf ebook is available on Patternfish
and a printed copy can be ordered by email: info@cabinfever.ca
My thought behind this book was to give you all the information you would need to be a small "d" designer yourself.  Really, I know you can all do it. All the stitch numbers are worked out. It's my  particular pleasure to do this for you.
Do you remember those mix and match children's books where you can have the head of a rooster and the body of a camel with the feet of a duck? This book works sort of like that (your sweater will not end up to be a strange animal, I promise). One step at a time will make a unique sweater that is your alone. Which neckband would I like? Will I knit the yoke with lace or textured (knit & purl) sts? What length of sleeve this time? How about a shirttail bottom border? You can wait and decide as you knit along. That's the fun part. I've made 4 sweaters now and have 2 more on the needles. They are all different. Maybe I'll make just one more and this time . . .

Friday, 25 July 2014

Two Yokes going at the same time

I'm knitting two circular yokes and am in exactly the same spot on both of them.
Bust shaping (bust dart) is finished on both.
 On the purple one I'm knitting straight to the waist and then I'm going to do the hip shaping I need.

I'm a little short of yarn for the orange one so I'm trying to decide what to do with a shorty top. It may only come to my waist. Not my usual length at all. Got any suggestions?
P.S. t_a This is Hempton, a cotton, hemp, modal blend. Very nice to knit with. I think it will be lovely to wear. The purple is Cotton Tweed as you had spotted.