Tuesday 31 May 2011

Laurie (from the comments) brought up the topic of short rows to shape the bust. The reason to work short rows is to put more length on the Front of your garment so that it doesn't pull up at the waist. If your bust has taken up enough of the vertical length you will be left a couple inches short at the bottom.

It works by making a wedge of fabric just under your bust and really works wonders for the fit of your sweater. This wedge can be added into most patterns you're working on. This is the best tutorial I found on the subject Bust Short Rows by Knotions. She works it from the bottom up starting with long short rows which get smaller and smaller. I would differ on how to do them from the Top Down.

From the Top Down it could work like this:  Work your sweater down to the underarm. Work straight to past the largest part of your bust. Working from the side seam, knit across the first breast to the second breast point + 1", Wrap & Turn. You can imagine this by looking down at your chest and reading this at the same time to get the idea. With the wrong side facing, purl back across to 1" past the other breast point, W&T. Now continue to work the short rows, working the wrap and stitch together when you come to it and knitting 1 or 2 sts past, W&T at the end of each row. You are working closer and closer to the side seam and the short rows are getting longer and longer. When you have enough rows of fabric you would resume working the sweater as before.
I'm no artist but I hope that gives you some idea of how it works. How much fabric do you need? In the tutorial Knitting Notions measures from the shoulder down to the waist Beside your bust. And then takes the same measurement Over the bust. The difference is how much extra fabric you need. I thought that was a very good way to work it out. How much fabric you need, worked out to the number of rows needed, will tell you where you have to start and stop. If you need 3" of material worked in short rows then working from the bottom up you need to start them at least 4" below your bust points. Working from the top you would start 1" below where you measure the largest.

I know Laurie has tried this and although she didn't get them in exactly the right spot they did make a terrific difference to the fit of her sweater. So even if they're not perfect they do work. Interesting, eh?

Monday 30 May 2011

I've made some progress on the Liesl and tried to take a photo of myself.
How do people do this? They probably have longer arms and pay more attention to the T-shirt they were wearing underneath. But there I am.
I switched to a size larger needle for the last 3" since I thought I might need the room. It's a very nice knit and right now I'm trying to decide if I want to do the sleeves or just cast them off here. I can only find 3 of the double-pointed needles I need for the sleeves, that's part of the deliberation.

Thursday 26 May 2011

I have been giving a lot of thought to fitting the raglan to the plus sized figure. I measured several of the women at our knitting guild meeting last night. Why can't there be a standard body for each size ?!!! OK, I'm over it.

I've been talking to different people for the last 2 years, gathering information and peeves about plus size sweaters. One pet peeve was right on the money. Why do plus size sweaters make the front and back of the sweater the same width? Most of us carry more weight on the front than the back. I'm not discounting the back carriage but that's further down the sweater so I don't have to consider it yet. It makes sense, the Front of a plus size garment could be wider than the back.

I am currently knitting some top downs by other people and making this change when I separate for my sleeves, making the Front wider than the Back. I did this on the Liesl by working across the number of stitches for the Front, one size up from my size, put the sleeves on spare yarn, worked the number of stitches for the Back, one size smaller than mine, put the second sleeve on spare yarn, and worked the Front, again one size bigger. It worked out perfectly. (I did check all the numbers first on my calculator to make sure it worked with the number of stitches I had on my needle.)
It's really difficult, for me anyway, to anticipate everything that might ensue from one decision until I act on it. Problems which I didn't think of crop up. You may have worked this out already but making the Front bigger means that the fabric above my bust line is also wider. I don't need extra material across my upper chest. In this pattern it won't matter because the lace will compensate but it's definitely a consideration. We need the extra material at the beginning of our bust and below, not above.

Food for thought. Any ideas?
I have a solution which I have been working on. It should work, I think, maybe.

Sunday 22 May 2011

I don't know where the week has gone. On reflection I did spend quite a lot of time editing the baby book. Several hours with Bernice on Tuesday and then again on Thursday with Mary, our tech editor. With all three of us going over the pages with different colours of ink I can see that we all catch different things. Three sets of eyes should catch everything. Lynda and I had spent an afternoon last Friday rewriting some awkward bits so that they say exactly what we want them to. Next Thursday we do another day and then I think we're pretty close to what we want. The colour photos still have to be sorted out. Lots of work yet I'm afraid.

I have been working on another project. An upsize of Morgan's Cardigan from the Teens & Tweens book.

I've resized it already to adult sizes A-Line cardigan #624 .

Now I have had a request to make it in Plus sizes. This is terrific because I am going to start working on a plus-sized book next. I'm very excited about this project. A book will give me a chance to incorporate all the techniques I've worked on and read about, to make the 'fit' correct. Upsizing this pattern will get me started. I went out today and bought Knitting-Plus and is it packed with info! Wonderful stuff. I have also had an email chat with Julie from Knitting At Large blog who is an amazing resource on sizing for ample women. She gave me some excellent advice which I will follow to the T. At the moment writing the pattern involves my calculator, pencil and a BIG eraser. I even had to go and buy a new calculator, I'm a happy camper.

Tuesday 17 May 2011

I'm back to multiplicity again and loving it.
I'm done the body of the Top Down 3-Button Jacket and about to tackle the sleeves. It seems like it's flown by and now is almost done, except for those pesky buttons that have to be sew on. I can only blame myself since the pattern had 3 buttons on it (obviously) and I wanted it to button to the bottom. But once you have the sewing needle and thread out, what's a couple more. It's getting it out in the first place that's the problem.

You know you've been working on one project too long when you're looking forward to knitting a second sock. This is the second waffle patterned sock out of the Need A Sock book. I still really like working this pattern stitch but it's a problem with the Portuguese method of knitting, all those double pointed needles seem to be in the wrong place. I feel like a beginner again and tend to quickly switch to my best knitting method, continental knitting.

And just to fill up my knitting bag because there was still a tiny bit of room in it, I've started the Liesl pattern by Ysolda. I'm experimenting with doubling up the Cotton Tweed in Just Navy. Two strands worked together become a chunky weight yarn worked on a 6.5mm. This is a nice pattern to try it out on.

I've worked out how to make the YO in the Portugese Style of knitting. It's working out really well. The little thingy the yarn goes through on your chest (see last post) just needs to be a hook of some sort. So I took a large hook & eye fastener I had for a coat and pined the hook side to my shirt. It's not particularly pretty but it works.

Tonight I have all these projects to choose from. I'm happy, happy, happy.

Friday 13 May 2011

Just back from the chiropractor, you know what's coming right? Yes, I'm supposed to rest my arm, HA, HA, HA, like that's going to happen. Apparently my iron grip on the needles is causing me problems. Then I remembered a conversation with a victim of carpel tunnel who couldn't knit for a year. She said she now knits in two different styles, continental on the knit side and english throwing style on the purl side. The change of action is helping her continue knitting. On my walk back home I thought I could benefit from this advice. I would just change how I knit, easy.

Now for something completely different. Look at me, I'm knitting Portuguese style. It's working and it's lots of fun.
I'm not knitting so fast it's blurring the photo! My husband took this. In this style the tension is not maintained by my hand so my grip on the needles is looser. So far, so good. I learned by watching this video. It didn't take long at all. Wouldn't you count this as sort of resting? It works for me.
We're almost there. This is the last baby sweater I knit.
It's been fun. Tomorrow Bernice and I are going up to Huntsville to work on the very, very last one. Phew. I think we have a lot of baby sweaters. I've lost count. I think I'm going to be very surprised when we get the stack of sweaters back.

Time to do something nice and adult-sized.
This is the 3 - Button Jacket from Classic Elite's Curvy Knits series of books. I'm exploring plus-size Top Down sweaters to see what other designers are doing with them. I worked the neckband and then the short rows, ripped it back and redid the short rows in my own way, worked down to the bottom of the yoke then ripped it back a couple of inches and did my own finish to the yoke to get the number of stitches required for the size. So although I started with this pattern and tried what they did I usually ended up doing it a slightly different way in the end. But I learned a couple of things along the way and that was the point.

Thursday 5 May 2011

A Snug Shrug!

Now that I'm back from the NENA (New England Needle Work Trade Show) in Sturbridge, MA, and Deb's back from doing the Knitters Frolic in Toronto, I thought I'd better get caught up on posting Deb's new pattern!
It's called #626 The Snug Shrug and it's a super cute little shrug just perfect for the evening over a summer dress or top or to cover up in cool air conditioning. You can download it from Patternfish and we also have it available on our site as a pattern or kit. There are two versions:
The version on the left is worked with two strands of superwash yarn. One strand is a hand-dyed fingering weight yarn in light and dark blues and the 2nd strand is Sterling (63% superwash, 20% silk, 15% merino & 2% silver) in a solid black (the silver adds a lovely, subtle, sparkle!). Kits are available in blue with black as shown and a lovely, rich, brown with black. 
The version on the right in white is a soft, fluffy merino superwash boucle which is worked on a larger needle than the ball band calls for to make it very soft and light (this kit is available in winter white as shown, grape heather & blue heather).  


Tuesday 3 May 2011

I went to the Knitters Frolic on Saturday. A great day and good work by the Downtown Knit Collective. The Frolic is a show put on by one of the Toronto knitting guilds. It has a market on Saturday and lots of classes which run for two days. It's a real accomplishment and run expertly by Joan. Thanks Joan.

I had help, yay! Brenda and Dana both came to help out in the booth. Thanks to both. It is so much fun to have company. I could write a blog about it but Brenda wrote an excellent one with pictures too. Go Brenda.