Friday 30 September 2011

East Coast Road Trip

Deb and I set out on Monday to begin the drive to New Brunswick for the KnitEast show. Monday was Ontario, Tuesday was Quebec, Wednesday was New Brunswick. By Friday, we feel like we’ve been living in the car for weeks although it’s only been a few days. But you know we couldn’t resist visiting yarn shops on our way. Our first stop? Yarns on York in Fredericton, NB.

Trish’s shop is in a lovely old part of the city with tall ceilings and great window displays.

Then off for a wonderful lunch up the street and back into the car and on to visit the two John’s at the Briggs & Little Mill.Check out these two handsome men who work with wool all day long – how could you resist them?

Deb and I have been knitting with this traditional Canadian wool for years (our first patterns – back in 1998 I think - were all in Briggs & Little yarns), but we’d never been to see the mill till now. It was extremely interesting to see the mill in action and the processing of the fleece from it’s arrival in the mill through to the finished product.

John & John’s newest product 
is Soft Spun, beautifully hand-painted by the Fleece Artist (Kathryn) another Maritimer.

But must run - more tomorrow!

Wednesday 28 September 2011

I got an answer to Julie's (from the comments) question. I thought I knew the answer but then I started wondering if maybe it would work in stocking stitch. I wanted to knit it up to see. And what I see is that bubble thing which isn't going to work.
Why did I need to use Garter Stitch for the 'back of neck square' I was trying to fill in?
Garter Stitch works because the gauge of the ridges is the same as the stitch gauge. As I worked this square in stocking stitch, I knit down from the shoulder, worked the increases at the raglan line which turned the stitches 90 degrees, work horizontally across the centre back, work increases at raglan line and then work up to the top of the shoulder where I join the stitches to the neckband and turned.
The stitches, as I approach the shoulder, are running perpendicular to the neckband so I'm attaching rows to stitches. Since garter stitch knits to 3.5 sts = 1" and 3.5 Ridges = 1" I can attach ridges to the stitches of the neckband with little distortion.
Now I need to make it look a little prettier.

Sunday 25 September 2011

On the Road Again, you can sing along if you like. We're off to New Brunswick to the Knit East show. Should be a fun trip. I've got sweaters to work on and socks to knit. Lots to keep me busy when I'm not driving. Lots to think about even when I am.
My new sweater, which I thought would work out fine, did not. But I have a solution which I'm happy with and it almost works. Almost meaning some very slight adjustments are still needed and then we're good.
The front is the square I had envisioned. And now the back is a filled in square.

It's going to sit really well on the shoulders with this filled in back. The numbers work only with garter stitch so it's staying this way. I'm going to knit the full sweater on the trip. Hmm, now to decide what colour?

Thursday 22 September 2011

Division of Labour and a BIG THANK YOU

When there's only two of you in the entire company, division of labour is both essential and encouraged. Deb is off working away on our newest book and also working on the course program for our Knitting Retreat on November 18th (if you've not gotten the info and wish to have it, click here.

I'm still unpacking and filling orders from back to back shows (the Knitter's Fair and our own trade show KnitTrade) but I need to step that up as I'm supposed to start packing up for our trip out to KnitEast as we'll leave for the show early next week.

Here's how we looked minutes before Knitters Fair opened:
And here's what it looked like about 3 minutes later!
You can't do a show of that size without serious help. Here's our team - they were tireless and cheery and we couldn't do a show without them!
Barbara, Zelda, Dana and Carolyn
Al and Paul were a huge help last weekend at KnitTrade (sorry, didn't manage to take pictures of our guys lugging tables and boxes about) and that may have been the only time they saw us all weekend! We also had terrific help from Dylan (Deb's son), our sister Heather & husband Mark, Sandy (intrepid guild member), Glenda our book keeper, Dana, Carolyn and Barbara (yes, those three were hard at work two weekends in a row). Barbara was actually at both shows to represent her company Denise Interchangeable Needles but she volunteered to help and was pressed into hauling boxes, setting up displays and packing, unpacking and packing again both weekends. Oh, and Brenda! from Grey Heron (one of our stores) came and helped me out in the Cabin Fever booth! 

So, although I started this blog saying it was just Deb and I? Well, it really isn't. We have amazing help and support from our friends and families (and yes, both guys are helping me pack orders and our trailer over the next couple of days).


Friday 16 September 2011

I told you it wouldn't be impressive but there it is. A rectangle of knitting is the answer.
I want to make a sweater like this with a square neck on the Front and Back. But everyone who tried on the larger size hunched it up at the back.
So I'm going to fill in the rectangle at the back of neck with a rectangle of knitting.
The Front will be square and the back will have a square filled in so it will be up against the back of neck. This is the square worked first, break the yarn and then with new yarn cast on the Front, shoulder, pick up around the square and cast on the other side the same. At a designer get-together I was asking for advice and Fiona Ellis asked if it was possible to have the 3 sides of the rectangle be open stitches so you wouldn't have to picked up. Yes, it is possible.
So although I totally screwed up the numbers at the beginning (it is not an assymetrical front), this is it starting with the neckband, work the rectangle at the back and then work all the way around. Still some way to go but I'm getting there.

Thursday 15 September 2011

If you try a sweater on 3 people and they all hunch it up at the back of the neck so that the sweater points at the back then you, or that would be I, have a design problem. That's where I was earlier in the week (and I sewed all the buttons on and everything!). I went to my monthly designer get-together with my problem. We stood in the coffee shop with 2 different people trying the sweater on and discussing the problem, with much hand gesturing to the delight of fellow coffee shop patrons. No apparent solution came up but some good suggestions were made which made me think. I think on the 1 1/2 hour GO train ride home, I think all day yesterday, I think last night, and today while I was driving on another errand altogether, I thought of a solution. I almost drove off the highway! I pulled over and got the pattern out, because who leaves home without their work in progress in their purse, and still I think I have the answer. I can't tell you how excited I am. I know it won't seem so stupendous to you but this is what I live for. Now I just have to give it a shot and see. There are a couple of hours of the evening left. I'll keep you posted.

Monday 12 September 2011

To answer tc's question:
The buttonholes are worked the same on both buttonbands. You sew the buttons over the holes on the appropriate buttonband (the left buttonband for women) and close the hole as you sew the button on. That ensures that the buttons and the buttonholes always line up. Is that terrific or what?

This sweater has a raised back of neck using short rows. They do a good job and are really easy to work in Garter Stitch.

But I had an idea for a short row adjustment as we were discussing the sweater so the neckband may be coming off, snip, snip. I'm happy with the fit though.
Let me introduce Barbara from Denise Needles who is very kindly modelling this sweater (even with only one sleeve completed).
This is their new product of which I am a proud owner.
These are going to be perfect for top down knitting. When I need a longer circular needle I just add on another length of wire. The wires can be used to hold the sleeve stitches too.
I think I'm almost there with this one. One more idea to try out and that should be it.

Saturday 10 September 2011

I redid the bottom and added . . . wait a minute, what are those discs up the front? They couldn't be BUTTONS on a cardigan that is not even finished! I appear to have undergone a personality change because this is a first for me. I doubt it's permanent.
Adding on the extra button seems to have made a big difference. About 5" to go on the sleeve and then I'm in search of a model. Is this why people cross the street when they see me coming with that glint in my eye?

Friday 9 September 2011

in the a.m.
I'm almost finished 2 versions of a new sweater. I'm working on the final pattern check and trying to finish up the Plus size sweater.
I've added bust shaping to this plus size version. Starting at the underarm I have added in extra fabric for the bust by working increases on the Fronts ONLY at the side seam. It's easy to do and makes the sweater fit better because the Back is slightly narrower than the Front. Also the full bust measurement is not reached at the underarm but an inch or two below where the largest part of your bust is.

in the p.m.
Minor glitch.
(Beware of walking into our shop when I need a model. Thanks B.) The sleeve is good. The yoke depth is just as I wanted. The total length of the sweater - not good ! I've ripped back 2"  and tonight I'm going to knit it longer and add one more buttonhole and then knit the Bottom Border again. I hope it's sunny tomorrow morning so I can get a photo.

Thursday 1 September 2011

It's the Labour Day weekend so I'll be labouring over my new sweater, not a hardship at all of course. Today it is raining like crazy and dark, dark, dark so I'm afraid there is no photo of my progress although there has been some. After the weekend there will be more!

Have a great weekend. Hope your weather is stupendous and you enjoy some knitting and relaxing.