Tuesday 23 March 2010

Just checking my teaching schedule and going over my class notes. I'm teaching a Top Down knitting class at the Unwind Yarn House in Newmarket, Ontario on Sunday March 28 2-5pm. We're going to do a teddy bear sized Top Down sweater based on the Baby V booklet. We're going to work several different kinds of increases and add in some tips for making adjustments for Fit, in case the knitters might some day do a top down for someone more discerning than a teddy bear. I love talking about how to make them fit better. There is so much you can do to make the sweater you really want to make.

Then I am teaching at class called  2 at a Time  over 3 Saturdays in April (April 10, 17 & 24) with the Simcoe County Arts and Crafts Associations at the Simcoe County Museum in Midhurst . We are tackling knitting 2 mittlets at the same time. Once we get past the cast on we should fly through these fingerless mitts and get started on some socks. We will also be doing cabling without a cable needle. There is still space available for a variety of classes offered at the Museum, spinning is the one I would love to take sometime.
These are mittens I knit at Christmas which worked really well working both at the same time.

Friday 19 March 2010

Small projects are keeping me busy. I've decided on a baby gift. I'm making a poncho.
It's the poncho out of the Top Down for Toddler book. I'm making it one size smaller than the first size in the book, so I cast on 66 sts (8 sts less than the pattern said) and followed the instructions but worked 2 sts less in each section. I think this is an extremely practical gift for a brand new baby. Mom can pop it over the baby's head to keep warm while it's still wearing sleepers and wrapped up in a blanket. It should still be fine to use again in the fall. I hope A. thinks so too.

My adagio shawl is changing colours beautifully.
I've finished all the blue balls and am now working with the first of the green balls. From now on it changes colour from a bluey-green to a lime-green. It's fun to see it morph.
That's how far the colours have changed so far. A green project is so nice to knit in spring.

Wednesday 17 March 2010

Country Woman Magazine

Sophy and I were trying to figure out why we were having a little run of orders for 3 balls of our Cotton Tweed DK Lemon. Then were were getting orders for various colours of Cotton Tweed DK but all for 3 balls. We were perplexed! 

All was explained by an email from Diane, owner of Georgetown Yarn & Crafts. Diane got her copy of Country Woman Magazine and she recognized the yarn as soon as she saw it (Diane was one of the first stores to carry our yarn so she knows it well). She wondered if we knew our yarn was used in this sweater? Well, we didn't so I zipped out to Chapters and bought a copy. Here's a photo of the very cute sweater (and a very nice magazine it is too).
Country Woman Magazine, April/May 2010 issue. Yarn supplied for the design contest by HandKnitting.com

- Lynda

Tuesday 16 March 2010

Yes, you can size up a Top Down patten quite easily (Samm, from the comments). We get this question quite a lot from knitters wanting to knit a child's sweater a size or two bigger than the 6 year old size in the Top Down for Toddlers book. If you are sticking close to the largest size in the pattern you are using, it's easy.

The first number you have to check is the number of stitches for the back of the neck. If the neck opening for the largest size on your pattern is going to be good for a larger sweater you are good to go.
Work the largest size for the neck and progress down the yoke as instructed. When you reach the bottom of the yoke for the pattern size and you have the total number of stitches the pattern calls for before the Divided for the Body and the Sleeves Row, then stop.
How much bigger do you want the Body of your new sized sweater to be? You will be working the Increase Row (Round) and the Straight Row (Round) several times more for a larger sweater. Every time you work an extra Increase Row (Round) you add 2 sts to the Front and 2 sts to the Back. Depending on your yarn gauge this adds approximately 3/4" to the circumference of your sweater Body. Working another set of these 2 rows adds up to 1 1/2" added to the Body (you are also adding stitches to the sleeves at the same time). You get the picture.
Stop when your Body size is achieved. Now go back to the pattern and work as directed, ignoring the numbers and working with your markers for the sections of the sweater. You may have to work with the numbers a bit if there is a pattern to incorporate somewhere. Fudge away, add a stitch, take away a stitch, it's all good. Ta, da, you've knit a new sweater to your own specifications. You are now stepping away from the pattern. Go for it!

Now come the 'watch out' comments. If you want a very much larger sized sweater you should get a new pattern with those sizes because the further away you go from the smaller sized pattern the more several sections of the sweater are affected. Sooner or later you will need to change the neck opening, cuff size and yoke depth and once you do that you might as well write out a brand new pattern. Children are pretty accomodating about their sweaters but an adult is a little more discerning about the fit. The one place it might matter is the yoke depth.
If you continue to work lots more Increase and Straight Rows (rounds) on your larger sweater, your yoke depth continues to get deeper.
So here is Barbara Walkers advice, I'm paraphrasing here because I couldn't find it exactly in her Knitting From the Top book, 'work the yoke to the depth you want and cast on the rest of the stitches you need for the Body at the underarm.'
And that's good advice when you are adjusting a pattern too.
I hope your head is not hurting too much. I love the techy talk myself and believe it or not, all of this is much easier to do than to explain. Short version: all you need to do is work a couple extra sets of Increase and Straight rows (rounds) at the bottom of the yoke and you have a bigger sweater.

Monday 15 March 2010

All 4 of the sweater patterns are corrected and I have sent them all to Lynda. Yay. I've been through all of the hat, mittlet, scarf and leggings patterns too but they will require some more work depending on where they end up in the book. Lynda is going to start laying out the pages. We use one computer program for getting the patterns written and edited but then Lynda has to use a completely different program to set up the book for the printer. It means that any corrections made now have to be made on Lynda's computer because it's too complicated for my poor computer or me to handle. From now on I deal with paper copies and we seem to have lots of scrap paper around here I can use up. Soon it will look more book-like. Very exciting when that happens.

For now there is a break in the action for me. I can't turn my head to anything new yet but I do need some distraction between bouts of editing. I think I'll work on my Adagio Shawl by Candace Eisner Strick. I've totally lost my place but wouldn't this be lovely for the spring/summer (if it was finished of course)?
And I need something for a baby too. A friend of mine had a lovely new baby boy last week and I had to go to her shower with . . . a store bought blanket! How embarrassing. It's not as if I didn't know it was coming. I'm not very good with baby stuff, I know many knitters just love it. I'd much rather knit something for momma. I've seen the little guy and he is so cute, he certainly deserves some handknits. So I'm thinking summer weight sweater for baby and maybe something lacey for momma. Spring is the time for lace knitting.

Thursday 11 March 2010

Putting a book together is not too blogworthy. I've been working on formatting patterns for several hours, moving print, charts and boxes with stitch patterns in them around on the pages to see what looks and reads best. Then printing them out, looking at them again because somehow they never look quite the same on paper as they do on the screen. I scribble and draw arrows all over them, then back to the computer and, well, you get the picture, no knitting is going on here at present. Nothing to show you now but there will be a new Teen booklet coming out in May and that's really, really, REALLY SOON. Lots to do yet. All the sweaters are finished except for the buttons, sewing in some ends and blocking, the patterns are written but not polished up yet, the photographer is lined up and the printer has scheduled us some time in April. The next couple of weeks are going to be BUSY but it's coming together. We're excited!

Sunday 7 March 2010

The VALENTINE by Elizabeth McCarten. It's a top down and it's ready for you to knit. I've finished mine and I love it. It's just right with a camisole or over a T for your Teen. My daughter is going to love the one I made. And here is Isobel who inspirated this design:

Ya gotta love those cables!

Monday 1 March 2010

More test knitting. This little top was lots of fun to knit up. I'm trying to decide whether to make it sleeveless or with cap sleeves.
I'm doing caps on one armhole and an edging on the other to see which looks better. Gotta get back to it.