Tuesday 24 June 2014

Simple Circular Yoke

Lyn, Elizabeth and I did a big edit on the new Circular Yoke book today. Lots of "I think we need to move this a little bit to the right" and "could we spread this across the top of the page" and "this is important so we need to emphasize it". It's looking really, really good. Lyn has to do a lot of work on the photos yet. But it's coming along. This end stage takes quite a bit of time but I know the book is better for the time taken. Books, they take a lot of time!

I'm knitting one more Circular Yoke. Yes, another one. This one is the "Simple" version with a Scoop Neck and Garter Stitch Neckband . . .
and Short Rows to lengthen the Back and drop the Front.
How come there always seems to be one more to do?!

Friday 20 June 2014

Ease, how much?

We all know we have to consider Ease when we pick a sweater size to knit. There's a certain kind of fit we're looking for. The only measurement we use in the knitting world is the Bust measurement as if one measurement dictates the shape of your whole figure, but that's a rant for another time.

Ease is the difference between the finished measurement of the sweater and the actual measurement of your bust. A sweater that is smaller than your body would have negative ease. A sweater that is larger, has positive ease.
Somewhere between a sweater that fits like this (negative ease)
and this (lots and lots of positive ease)
is the fit you might be looking for.

If you don't know the exact measurement of your bust try it now. Take a measuring tape and measure around your bust at the largest point(s). This is your bust measurement for sweater purposes and has nothing to do with your bra size.

A lot of us have in our heads a certain amount of ease we should be adding (or subtracting) for The Perfect Sweater. I think my ideal is 3". I like my sweaters a little on the looser side, with positive ease. But I do have store-bought sweaters with negative ease, go figure.

I think we can all tolerate a much wider range of ease in our garments than we suppose. I've measured the sweaters I currently have on hand. These are all sweaters I wear consistently over the spring/summer/fall seasons. Two of them are sweaters on the needles now. The rest of my sweaters are put away until September but would fall into this range.

+ 6" of ease: Take It From the Top sweater in Aran weight. Great for cool evenings. Fits over anything I'm wearing.
+ 5" of ease: Basic Cardigan from Need A Plus Cardigan book in DK weight.  My go-to sweater. (My friend Dana is wearing it in the photo.)
+ 4" of ease: On the needles, orange pullover from Need A Circular Yoke book in DK weight in hemp/cotton.
+ 4" of ease: Lakeside Raglan Cardigan from Button Up Your Top Down in DK weight. Old Blue, old reliable comfy cardigan.
+ 2" of ease: Lace Cardigan from Need A Plus Cardigan book in DK weight. My dress-up sweater.
+ 2" of ease: On the needles, red sweater from Need A Circular Yoke book in Aran weight.

All of these sweaters have a different fit but they do all fit. If the neck and sleeves look correct then the range of fit across the bust can be varied from sweater to sweater, style to style, yarn to yarn.

What kind of range do your sweaters fall into?

P.S. Seeing the sweaters like that, I have a very definite 'blue' thing happening! Gotta knit with some new colours.

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Windward scarf

I just finished knitting the Windward scarf, just because the schematic looked interesting. It was. The concept for this scarf is terrific. The final scarf has lots of triangles and one parallelogram in it with no pick up & knits involved.
Phew, it's also a lot of knitting on a 3.25mm needle. I used mini maiden in beautiful blues and greens.
This is the first couple of sections, beginning at the tip of the garter stitch section. Fairly straight forward with decreases worked to make the garter stitch triangle and increases to make the next stocking stitch triangle.
The middle of the scarf is the really interesting part. You work 5 sections at the same time, working increases and decreases at the borders of each of the triangle sections and there is one parallelogram on the right there, to make the shapes you can see.
The arrow indicates the stitches on the needle that you knit on each row. Interesting, eh? Have you knit anything with interesting construction lately? I'm always interested in something new.
Lovely to be knitting outside on the porch again.

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Fingering to Chunky weight Scarf

After finishing the Chevron Mesh Scarf (last post) I had wool left over so decided to put my knitting needles where my mouth is (not literally) and knit a scarf design in chunky weight wool. I mentioned in the Cabin Fever Newsletter that I was fascinated by these garments, chunky weight neck shawls.
So now I've made one.

I found knitting lace in chunky weight wool very, very rewarding. It's fast and big and the stitch patterns are impressive when so large. I would have made it one row of motifs bigger but ran out of wool (I was using up the end of the ball). It was a really interesting experiment to take a fingering weight scarf and knit it in chunky weight wool.

I used  Mary's Scarf/Shawl by Mary K. Hobbs, done originally in fingering weight wool. This pattern lends itself to this experiment because it begins at the bottom point. You can stop knitting it at any point for the finished size you want, perfect.
And now here it is in chunky weight Ecological Wool by Cascade on 9mm/U.S.13 needle.
The motifs in the pattern are amazing.
This is lace knitting with patterning on both sides. There are those tricky little devils "purl through the back loop" stitches which I must say are much easier to work in chunky weight wool. I think it could also be great in DK or worsted weight on big needles, very wearable indeed as a neck scarf or shawl.

Need a quick and very interesting knit? Have you made any of these chunky neck scarves? What did you think of them.

Friday 6 June 2014

Chevron Mesh Scarf

I finished the Chevron Mesh scarf (from KnitWear magazine, spring 2014 - see last post). I really enjoyed knitting this. I admit it's much more stunning in two colours but I still like it in one.
The chevron shows but is subtle.
This is worked in garter stitch. Each row begins with "Slip 1 stitch purlwise with yarn in front". This gives a lovely edge to pick up from. The first time I picked up & knit into the entire slipped stitch.
Not happy with that. So from then on I picked up & knit into one of the legs of each slipped stitch. The one I chose was the leg on the far side. This gives me a ridge that looks similar to a garter stitch ridge. Much happier with that.
A lovely knit that only another knitter might appreciate.
- Deb

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Startitis bug has struck

I don't want to count the number of projects I have that need finishing. I seem to have been struck with the Startitis bug. The number of UFO's might be why. I've dug out yarn from my stash and am having a lovely time knitting little treats I have bought at different times and not worked on. I'm trying to contain my urges to two projects. Several others are calling my name but I'm trying to ignore them.

I need some practice with colourwork. A little hat worked in lace weight cashmere/possum Zealana Air.

And second, the Chevron Mesh Scarf from the latest Knit Scene magazine

A scarf, done modularly (is that a word?)
I'm on square #3. I'm doing it very boringly in one colour with Ecological Wool by Cascade (the wool is lovely) and enjoying it all the same.
I'm interested in techniques for joining up as you go and not following the pattern since it wants you to break yarn after each block, No Way. Should be a fun knit.
- Deb