Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Gauge, on about it again.

We had a great time at the retreat. Both my Make It Fit classes went very well. Several sweaters that don't fit were checked out. By the end of class I didn't even have to explain what wasn't working. The knitters did it themselves. Guess what the #1 reason for an incorrect fit is? I bet you know.
GAUGE. Argghh. I know, it's a constant companion. Here's an excerpt from the YarnOver SleepOver Retreat booklet. I know knitting teachers do bang on about this!! Maybe this will help explain why it's so important.


Here is a common knitters lament: “I knit it exactly as the pattern said and it still didn’t turn out the right size”. Frustrating indeed. Did you check your gauge? Can I say the “S” word? Did you make a Swatch? A nice big one?

The reason many garments don’t fit when completed is because the knitter’s gauge did not match the pattern gauge. Garments are built on a certain size of stitch. Imagine each stitch as a little box. For example, let’s say your particular pattern calls for a stitch gauge of 20 sts = 4”/10cm. Break it down to 5 stitches = 1 inch.

Below are 5 boxes representing 5 stitches and 1” width, knit at different gauges. If you were knitting a 40” sweater you can see the difference gauge makes.

Do not despair. This can be fixed. I am also a knitter who does not usually knit to gauge. It’s perfectly normal.

Do’s & Don’t’s
Do Not try to change how you knit. Saying you’ll knit tighter or looser will last about 5 minutes!! Then you will be knitting in your normal manner. There is a better way.

Adjust your gauge by adjusting your needles.
· If the pattern calls for the gauge of 5 sts = 1” on a 4.5mm needle and you are getting 5½ sts = 1” then your stitches are a little smaller. You are getting more stitches in every inch. Bump your needle size up to 5.0mm and see if you are closer to the pattern gauge.

· If you are getting 4½ sts = 1” your stitches are a little big (fewer stitches in every inch). Try again with a 4.0mm needle which will make your stitches smaller.

Understanding if you are a tight knitter or a loose knitter helps you get started on adjusting your knitting for better fitting garments.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Style first

Our Yarn Over Sleep Over Retreat is this weekend. I kept thinking it was a little further away but here it is already. I'm teaching two classes. One of which is a Make It Fit class.

We are discussing bust, waist and hip shaping. But before we get to that I'm going to discuss a little bit about style. I have to read up on this topic since I'm not sure I have much, style that is. It's all about what to wear for your figure. Here is the jist of it which I found on a Knitting Daily blog which sums up Amy Herzog's style notes:

Amy Herzog, master of knitting fit, has adapted these guidelines for knitters, spelling out four basic rules for understanding and creating visual balance:
1. Add horizontal elements to widen a body part.
2. Add vertical elements to narrow a body part.
3. Use one color or texture to lengthen a body part.
4. Use multiple colors or textures to shorten a body part.
Balancing your visual is all about making your figure appear more hourglass shaped. You can use your sweater to widen parts that need widening and make some parts narrower.

If you are bottom heavy, you want to make your shoulders look wider. Then the idea is that you look balanced. You want to make the top of your yoke draw the eye across. You can make a wide scoop neckline so that your shoulders draw the eye across. You can use cap sleeves which widen the shoulders. You can wear Icelandic style sweaters with lots of patterning across the top of the yoke.

If you are top heavy, the opposite is true. You can put lots of patterning at the bottom edge of your sweater. Lucky you gets to knit nice deep patterned borders.

The vertical and horizontal elements are pretty easy. A cardigan has a vertical when it's left open and also when it's buttoned up with lots of snazzy buttons. Cables and texture work in panels are a wonderful vertical. Horizontal colour changes across the top or bottom are effective.

Do you check the style of a sweater pattern to see if it would look good on your figure? Do you check out the model to see if she is top or bottom heavy. Forget that, most of them are just thin! Do you have sweaters that you get compliments on? Does it have to do with the style of it?


Thursday, 13 April 2017

taking a Break with Shawlettes

I'm resting my Lightening pullover for the moment and knitting shawlettes. Have you knit many? I'm on #3. I'm following simple shawl rules and seeing how elastic they are. It's the What If I ... school of knitting. I like this one a lot.
Then I added some colour. Not entirely happy with this one but this is still wearable but not good enough to write up.
A short post. Almost on my way down to the Players Grand Slam of curling to watch my daughter
 (the dark one) curl in this event. They came out champs in Scotland a couple of weeks ago.
It's nail biting time which I'm trying to avoid by knitting. Sometimes it works. My shawlette may have a couple of very tight rows in it!!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Progress and some Questions

I'm trying to get ahead of the season and get a summer top knit before summer is here. You know what that's like. It's summer and I wish I had a cotton top to wear. No problem, ever the optimist, I'll start knitting now and guess what?! It's fall already!

So I'm patting myself on the back (hard to do but I'm practicing). I've almost got my Lightening design finished.
I solved my chart issue. I'm learning to just let things go for a couple of days knowing that one morning it will be very clear that I've made a decision. Isn't it incredible that your brain can do this without you even knowing that it's happening?

I'm going to go with chart option#1 since it is the easiest one to read and I can imagine the knitter putting a little tick in every "0" (increase) on the chart as it's worked to keep track. One of the wonderful things about charts is that they are a visual representation of the knitting. In this case it isn't but making it easy to knit is my first priority. I'm happy with the results.

I used the openM1 to work all the increases for my Lightening Bolts. If you haven't tried this increase yet I'd give it a go. It's surprisingly easy.

I also have the pattern written. Pat on the back again (I could get used to this). Now I have to read it over and give some serious thought to making it really easy for the knitter (that's you) to knit up (or down as it were, tee, hee).

There's quite a lot happening around the Great Divide (putting the sleeves on spare yarn and leaving the body on the needles). These are the question I have to ask:
1. Is this, as written, too much to work in one round? Can I make it any clearer?
2. Can I split it up into a couple of rounds and work the Divide in the first round and make the changes to the stitch pattern in the next round?
3. Do I need to put in exact stitch counts or can I use the Marker placements? Use both?

Do you have some thoughts for me? Do you like to work one thing at a time? Do you like one big round with lots going one so that it's done?

I only have the border of one sleeve to finish today. I'm really looking forward to wearing my new top at the Yarn Over Sleep Over retreat in a couple of weeks.