Friday 25 July 2014

Two Yokes going at the same time

I'm knitting two circular yokes and am in exactly the same spot on both of them.
Bust shaping (bust dart) is finished on both.
 On the purple one I'm knitting straight to the waist and then I'm going to do the hip shaping I need.

I'm a little short of yarn for the orange one so I'm trying to decide what to do with a shorty top. It may only come to my waist. Not my usual length at all. Got any suggestions?
P.S. t_a This is Hempton, a cotton, hemp, modal blend. Very nice to knit with. I think it will be lovely to wear. The purple is Cotton Tweed as you had spotted.

Saturday 19 July 2014

Make It Fit Friday - Moving Markers to widen Front

What do you do if you need more Bust room at the Front. For a Pullover, could we move the Markers to provide a little extra room? This pullover, from the Need A Circular Yoke, has the Front and Back of the Yoke the same width and then below the Divide we will add 2" to the Bust. I'd like just a little more bust room.

At the bottom of the Yoke I set up the Markers (removable ones) in the correct places as written, for the Front & Back to be the same width (same number of stitches). Then I removed and replaced the Markers for each of the sleeves toward the Back by 3 sts. Now the Back is 6 sts narrower and the Front is 6 sts wider than before.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
It's not a huge amount I agree. But every little bit counts. The Bust Shaping which is worked after the Divide Round will add some more fabric to the Front. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday 15 July 2014

Do Over x 2

I took everyone's advice. Liz suggested that I take a break which I did. Today I made my decision to start again just like Laurie and Sharon recommended. I know it would have been one of those sweaters that sits in my drawer and doesn't get worn often. One of the "when I loose 20 pounds, I'll wear this" kind of sweater.

Now I've started again with a needle two sizes smaller. I'm very happy with the new tighter fabric. I used a different lace pattern this time and am contemplating doing a second Band of Pattern in another lace pattern. I don't have to decide yet. One decision at a time. But I must admit I haven't knit a top on such a small needle before. The 3.25mm (U.S.3) needle seems pretty tiny. Could be a journey.
I'm so into this starting over thing, that I started the purple sweater over too. This one I'm writing up as a "Simple" version leaflet, based on the circular yokes from the new Need A Circular Yoke book. It will still include Bust Shaping which may not entirely qualify under the Simple title but I think it greatly improves the fit.
By the way, the Circular Yoke book went to the printers today, yay, yay, yay, happy dance. They'll have it for 14 days or so, as they print the covers and lots of books for us. I'ts very exciting to be on the eve of a newly published book.
P.S. Brenda, I'll be doing my usual best at modeling these when they're done! Tee, hee.

Friday 11 July 2014

No Swatch Needed - Any Gauge

I know, and in your heart you know, that we should all be swatching for every project but sometimes it's great to jump into a project without this first step. Choosing the right project will ensure a good outcome.

Several years ago I gave a talk at a local spinning guild and the comment was made several times that spinners are not always able to make yarn in commercial gauges. So knitting up their homespun becomes a challenge. To respond to this, I went home and wrote up The Gaugeless Hat. (Check out these patterns on our Cabin Fever site if it's easier than the links I've included.)
It starts by casting on for the I-Cord tail at the top. As you work the stripes, the hat gets bigger and bigger. When it's long enough you then check your gauge, measure the head of the wearer, do a simple multiplication to find the number of stitches needed for the body of the hat and work the number of increases needed to get the correct number of stitches for the size of hat you want. It works with any yarn. It's fun and easy and we've been sent some wild looking hats made from this pattern. Fun yarns definitely figure largely in these spectacular hats.

So a hat, knit from the top down works great.

Also bags work. They don't have to fit anyone! They are large hats with handles, aren't they? They're fun and fast to knit. You can felt them, use any weight of wool you like, put patterns in or knit them plain. I use the Felted Satchel every week. It holds my bank deposit books very nicely.
Our favourite two bags are the Sheepstring Big Bag
 and the Fairisle Tote which is fantastic size for knitting projects.
Our newest bags are in the Need An Accessory book. I'm really happy with the straps on these bags. They don't stretch, yay. This is the latest one I've knit. I have several more in my future. I think they make great gifts.
You can knit swatchless without feeling guilty!
Happy Swatchless knitting,
For printed copies of any of these patterns email us:

Tuesday 8 July 2014

When to rip

Do you have a project you pick up and put down, pick up and put down, again and again, and again?This is mine.
I really like the colour. I like how the top of the circular yoke sits on my shoulders. I do find the fabric a little too drapey for me. I like my clothes to have body. Is this enough reason to rip back? At what point do you make the decide to rip it back or live with how it is?

It's time to take an inventory of everything that bothers me about this project. The armhole is too deep. It should be about an inch shorter.
Might it be just a tad too big? You think?! Oh, oh, time to check my gauge.
There it is. I did keep checking the gauge as I was knitting along, honestly, but denial is a wonderful thing. So friggin' wonderful!!!

So now I have another decision to make.
1. I could rip back to above the Divide Round and check what the yoke stitch numbers are for my size in the gauge I am really knitting at (not what I believed I was knitting to). And continue with instructions for my new gauge.
2. Or I could rip back to the yoke stitch numbers for a smaller size and work the Great Divide again.
Either option 1 or 2 would take care of the armhole depth and the general size.
3. Or do I rip right back and start again with a smaller needle to get the gauge I wanted in the first place which matches the ball band.

All of these options would work. Help! Agonizing decision.

Friday 4 July 2014

Bust vs Upper Bust measurement to determine finished size

Which measurement do you use to determine the size to knit?

Do you work according to the actual measurement of your bust? The size of your bust then affects the entire sweater. The neckband, sleeves and bottom edge will all be calculated to match your bust. Also, in most patterns, the Front and Back will be the same width, half of your total bust measurement plus ease. Most of the time I think this works for lots and lots of knitters. But those of you who are busty have probably run into problems since your Back is much narrower than your Front.

Or do you take a tape measurement of your upper bust (measure your chest at your underarm level) and base the sweater size on that measurement with some ease added in? Would this work for you? This makes the neck opening smaller, the shoulders narrower and the underbust smaller. If you make no adjustment at your bust, you have a sweater with negative ease (snug across the bust) which might be great for you (especially if you have a smaller bust). Otherwise you must be ready to work some accomodation for your bust since it hasn't come into the equation for size at all.

The concept behind the Need A Plus Cardigan book sizing was a compromise since I don't know your exact measurements. What if you worked the sweater one size smaller at the top of the chest? That would give you an upper chest about 3" smaller. Then add 3" of fabric across the Front Only exactly where you need it.
On the sweater I'm working on now, I was very generous with the amount of fabric I added across the Bust. So now I'm taking away some of that extra fabric as I begin my waist shaping (which I have to start immediately below my bust, have I mentioned that I'm really short?!). I worked 2 sets of extra decreases on the Fronts Only in between my usual waist shaping decreases. This should give me a shapely Front!
Continuing to try out different shaping options. Any thoughts?
P.S. t_a, I'd love it if you could play the fiddle on my new decking. Wouldn't that be great.
lpm, yes, knitting and swinging a hammer in Northern Ontario, on the shore of Lake Huron.

Tuesday 1 July 2014

Happy Canada Day

It's the long weekend here in Northern Ontario. Happy Canada Day to fellow Canadians. For the weekend I traded in my knitting needles for a chain saw and a hammer. We've started on our sleep bunky behind the cabin. Stage one, the deck. I cut down quite a few small trees to clear out a space but finally we have some sunshine coming in and a sort of level (ha, ha, that's a stretch) spot to begin.
I did sneak in a day of knitting on the "Simple" version of the Circular Yoke. I'm past the Great Divide and the Bust Shaping. Now straight knitting for a bit before I begin my waist shaping. Just perfect for sitting on the deck and watching the waves roll in.
I still have about 6 more small trees to take down but today it's blowy and unfortunately, in the wrong direction. Too bad, so sad, I might have to knit instead!!

Have a great day,