Wednesday 31 July 2013

Beginnings are sooo much fun. I've cast on for my first circular yoke in . . . can't remember. But I've already made a decision for a change of yarn since this navy is hard to photograph.
I thought I would start with a basic garter stitch yoke which buttons up the front. You can see that I worked short rows just below the neckband (you can see them on the left side of neckband in photo). Elizabeth from Eliza's Buttons and Yarns is writing this book with me and pointed out that it might be fun to have the buttons going on an angle instead of down the middle of the front. Good thought.  
To give knitters the choice I'm going to put the short rows at the bottom of the yoke instead of right under the neckband. Then the knitter doesn't have to choose where they want the button opening to be until part way down the yoke. They will be able to try it on and play with the yoke to see what they like. Can't wait to see how it works.

Friday 26 July 2013

How can we accommodate the "girls"? A little bit of extra fabric across the front of our sweaters, in the appropriate place, would make for a better fit, wouldn't it?

If I measure myself, I am 2" wider on the Front than the Back. One way of adjusting for this is to add a line of increases on each side of the Front only. In this case I added 1 1/2" worth of stitches to each side of the Front. That makes the Front 3" wider than the Back. Since there is a pattern with ribbing down the Front I thought the extra inch would be a good idea, which it was.
 But I also discovered that increasing the 1 1/2" worth of stitches to the Front using this line of increases may not be so great if you are younger and perkier than I am. The line could extend past the largest part of the bust (it doesn't in my case but maybe someone else will knit this).

Some adjustment is needed. The other place to add a bit of extra width to the Fronts is to double up the raglan increases on the Front only for the last 6 rows of the Yoke. This would add 1 extra inch to the Front before the Divide Round. Then adding 1" worth of stitches to each side of the Front below the underarm is fine. This will definitely work well.
P.S. Hi t_a, the machine knit tunic took me about 3 afternoons to do. I did do several bits of it twice since I'm still learning. I'm interested to see how long a second one would take.

Monday 22 July 2013

Last week I was at machine knitting camp and I made this. . .
on a knitting machine.

My friend Monika, a machine knitting instructor extraordinaire, aka Mss Rainbows, pointed out to me that I could try out ideas I have about construction and design on the knitting machine in a fraction of the time and then apply them to my handknitting. So that's why I was at her class last week at the Haliburton School of the Arts in Haliburton, ON.

It's facinating to look at knitting from a different angle. The machine rules. Don't fight the machine! Use it for what it does well. On the machine I have to think in pieces again. It's been a long time since I have done so, another shift in my view. The machine dictates how I can do this but I am learning techniques that get me that much closer to using the machine to my advantage so I can make the conversion to handknitting in the round.

I'm experimenting with circular yokes. A new direction for me so lots of experimentation is required.
Starting with what I know, can I make a raglan look like a circular yoke?
I worked a huge gather at the base of the neckband and worked short rows in the neckband, the gathering gives it a circular look when it's on. The raglan lines are not so prominent. Interesting.
More experimentation needed. Stay tuned.

Thursday 11 July 2013

Back to the summer top. It's still summer so it's not too late.
One sleeve done. Yay. I've almost got the pattern written except for the sleeves. That's tomorrow's task, to write the sleeve while I knit the second one. Almost there.
P.S. Brenda, I can't remember not having a belly either. Ha, ha.

Friday 5 July 2013

Need An Accessory?

As you've seen ,we've been knitting lots of small accessories. And now, ta da, the Need An Accessory? book is ready. YAY!! It's available as a pdf download on the patternfish site: Need An Accessory?. The mobile version will be up soon and as we speak, the printer is busy printing hard copies.
Each of these accessories is knit "in the round" can be knit in any gauge from sock weight to chunky weight yarn. Use something in your stash or go to your local yarn store and pick your favourite colour and get knitting. Knit a mittlet, mitten, cowl, infinity scarf, hat, bag or capelet. Make a set of several garments by transferring one of the 10 Stitch Patterns onto the garment pattern page you want to make. Small projects are great to knit in the summer.
P.S. Rust tops the votes on the 3 new colours. And the denim gets a vote too. I think they are both keepers. Thanks for your comments.

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Shape it for your figure

I finished my waist shaping and am happy with the results. I worked the increases so that the hip is a bit wider than the Bust. Also more increases on the hip were worked on the Back than the Front which works for my figure on a closer fitting top.
As you might imagine, waist and hip shaping can be endlessly adjusted. On this top I've made the Front 3" wider than the Back to accommodate the bust. The Front is on the right and you can see that it's slightly wider.
With a Belly:  I worked decreases to bring the waist in. I did the same number of decreases on the Front as I did for the Back. At the waist the Front is still 3" wider than the Back. This fits my figure.

No Belly:  If you don't have a belly then you might want to work more decreases on the Front to get to a place where the Front and Back have the same stitch count. You could start working decreases on the Front as soon as you knit past the largest part of the bust. You can work these decreases every 2, 3 or 4 rounds. When the Front and Back have the same stitch count the top will be 3" smaller than it was at the Bust. That might be enough shaping. But if you can, still work the waist shaping on the Front & Back as usual too.

Hips:  At the waist begin to work increases until the hips are the same width as the bust. Then you can work a couple more sets of increases if desired, to give you more hip room, as I did. I also, as mentioned, worked more increases on the Back than I did on the Front, to accommodate my back end. That gets me closer to the same number of stitches on the Front and Back.

No Hips:  You can work the increases to the width you need around your hips. Make sure you give yourself a couple of inches of ease so that the top doesn't bind at the hip.

Every sweater can teach you how to get closer to a good fit. What has worked for you?