Thursday 29 January 2015

One Too Many Rip Backs

I'm taking a good look at my blue, and I want to do one more rip back. It's official, this is the rip back sweater.
I don't like the side ribbing, it puckers just above the ribbing and I can see it when I wear it.
I like the ribbing on the back but I'd like it to be at the upper back not the small of the back.
And I think I'd like the stitch pattern to make A-line shape starting below the ribbing which means it might be a longer sweater than I thought I wanted at the beginning.
Sometimes a sweater is sooo perfect in your head but doesn't quite come out right on the needles. Time to start over with a much firmer idea of what I want.

Thursday 22 January 2015

Swirl designs

I've been fascinated by making my knitting swirl. You can make a pattern rotate around a hat, socks, wristers, a bag or anything knit in the round. This is how it works.

1. There's a decrease with a matching increase so that the stitch numbers stay the same.
2.  The swirl goes to the right or left or depending on where you put the decreases and which way they lean.

A decrease ("/") which leans to the right (K2tog) with an increase ("-") worked after a knit stitch (like a Kf&b: knit into front and back of same stitch) which moves the knit stitch ("V") to the Right looks just like this on your needle:
           -V  /
         -V  /
       -V  /
Now you have a design moving to the right. In this hat the Swirl Round was worked every second round with a knit round in between to facilitate working the garter stitch pattern. The angle of swirl is a little more vertical.

Swirling in the other direction?
Make an increase before the knit stitch and it moves the knit stitch to the left (although once again a Kf&b seems to work fine). The corresponding decrease should lean to the Left (SSK) as well.
  \ V-
   \ V-
    \ V-    
A new design swirling to the left. This sock has the Swirl Round worked every round which makes the angle of the swirl more pronounced. The increases and decreases pull the fabric in so about 10% more stitches are needed before beginning the swirl.
-Round and Round sock in Saucon Fingering cotton/acrylic sock yarn
How do you get started? Divide your stitches into sections (as many as you like) and place markers so that each section has the same number of stitches in it. The same sequence is worked in each section.

How to Set-Up the Markers? The Right swirling pattern is easier to work with the Kf/b increase and a K2tog.  I would set it up visually between Markers as: 
* / ......  -V *           (it looks like this on your needle)
written as:  *Kf&b, knit to last 2 sts, K2tog; repeat in every section.

The pattern may not seem as obvious when you set it up with the Markers. Having the K2tog at the end of a section means the decreases will gobble up the stitches to the right where you have lots sitting there. The pattern becomes clearer as you work. The swirl itself is underlined here and straddles the Marker.  
* /  .....  -V * /  .....  -V * /  .....  -V *

Where can you fit in a stitch pattern? Making your stitch pattern dance in a circle is lots of fun.
*/ .....  -V, stitch pattern*
written as : * work stitch pattern, Kf&b, knit to last 2 sts, K2tog; repeat in each section.
- 4 sections with DK weight yarn and garter stitch pattern.
- 6 sections in Chunky weight wool
For the crown, continue to work stitch pattern and decreases only (no more increases).

OR how about putting the stitch pattern here?
*/ stitch pattern, -V*   
The swirl decreases cut across the stitch pattern. This was really interesting to work. You have to incorporate the increases into the stitch pattern as you work but the affect is really great.
-New Pattern: ribbed Swirl Infinity Scarf and Hat
 shown in Heavy Worsted weight yarn from my stash
You can work the Swirl Infinity Scarf and Hat  in any weight of yarn from worsted to chunky weight.
I included a free SWIRL DIY Hat Recipe in our latest Cabin Fever Newsletter. Email: if you want a copy sent to you. Have fun swirling.
- Deb

 Cabin Fever Ravelry Group

Wednesday 21 January 2015

Ribbing for waist shaping

I'm not a shopper but I do venture out occasionally for an afternoon with my friend to wander and see if anything catches our eye. We can hit the expensive stores then and shuffle through the racks looking at garment shapes and style, under the eye of suspicious sales persons, without any thought of buying. On one of our excursions we found a beautiful sweater with the look of a frock coat. It comes in at the upper back above the waist and then fans out again. It was a long sweater which I don't intend to make but when we were looking at this sweater with the centre back panel we thought that pinching it in just above the waist by working straight ribbing might give a similar affect. 
- Cotton Tweed Just Navy
This ribbing is just above my waist, although even to me, it doesn't look like it in the photo. I put ribbing in at the sides too but the jury is out on that. It may be coming out. Not sure yet.
Now I have several more inches to work until I'll know if this is going to work. Patience, I hear it's a virtue. I read a quote which if I can remember correctly goes like this: It is not necessary to have Patience it is only necessary to wait. So I'm waiting and knitting.
- Deb

Thursday 15 January 2015

Successful correction to design

It's amazing how fixing something that is a constant niggle at the back of your mind actually makes the project fun to knit again. Sometimes it's a good idea to look at all those UFO's and figure out why they are sitting in the time-out chair.

I also learned something I probably should have known before. Trying to get the garter stitch pattern started in order to work it back up was difficult until I discovered how to recognize the last stitch of the fabric on the right. If the last stitch in the fabric is a knit stitch the yarn is coming out of the back of the work (top of photo, bottom arrow) and if the last stitch is a purl it's coming out of the front of the fabric (top arrow). This was an "ah, ha" moment and a smack myself on the forehead "DUH" moment at the same time. But once I had that, I could motor along no problem!
I'm with Liz, this is a morning job, sitting in front of a window with the sun pouring in. I got it done quite quickly once I got started. Much further ahead now and once again enjoying every moment.

Friday 9 January 2015


I've been avoiding working on my navy sweater. Not because of the colour, in fact, I didn't know why until a couple of days ago. I'd been denying that there was a detail I had to correct. I was avoiding this:
It's a small detail and could be ignored. I really tried to do that. But these details bug the you know what out of me. The design on the Fronts and Back don't have the same number of stocking stitches between the design and the raglan lines. It was telling me that it needed to be corrected. So today is the day. I'm fixing it. My students wonder why I am so good at fixing mistakes. Here is evidence of my diligent and ongoing practice of fixing. Wish me luck or more correctly, wish me patience.