Wednesday 28 October 2015

Step or Graduate a stitch pattern

This week we've been working on our project for the Cabin Fever Retreat. There are only two more sleeps until we get started. Yay.

This weekend we are tackling those confusing words "incorporate the increases into your stitch pattern". Don't you just love to read that?

You can incorporate increases by stepping the pattern:
Work the increases until you have increased enough stitches on one side of your stitch pattern (at the raglan line) so that you can work one more full repeat of the stitch pattern.

This weekend we're going to work on gradually working some of the stitch pattern as each increase is added:

For a cowl with shoulder shaping:
It will be fun. Wish you were there,

Thursday 22 October 2015

Where is your waist?

I taught a "Get Fit" class last weekend and a question I always ask is "where is your waist?" Are you laughing yet?

We all know where our natural waist is. It's where you bend if you bend yourself to the side. You can also easily put your hand on your waist at your lower back. 

BUT... is that where your torso is narrowest when you look in the mirror? If your narrow part is at your natural waist, congrats. If not, you can still create a waist in your sweater.

There is no point in your sweater coming in at your natural waist if your body no longer goes in there. You are not alone here. I'm right with you. I am narrowest a couple of inches above my natural waist. You may be narrowest just below your bust. That's OK too. 

We're going to call this narrow spot in your torso your "sweater waist". That's where you can work some shaping into your sweater.

You can work decreases at the side seam (imaginary side seam if you're working in the round), one decrease on each side of the Front and one decrease on each side of the Back. That decreases your sweater body by 4 sts, approximately 3/4" in the medium gauges of yarn. I think working two sets of these decreases makes a very nice indent for your sweater waist. How far apart you work the 2 sets of decreases depends on how much room you have to work with. If you are putting your waist right under your bust you can work rows/rounds for 1/2" and do the second set of decreases. If you have more room on your torso to work you can work 1" of rows/rounds or more between decreases.

Work straight for 1" to 2" and then work the increases in the same manner back to the original number of stitches. You've created a lovely curve to your sweater.

The GOOD NEWS is that you can create a waist in your garment even if you don't have one. Your sweater is fairly stiffish fabric when finished and it will hold a curve for you. Yay.

If you don't have a waist in the front, you can work a waist on the Back only because all of us have a dip at the small of our back. This also makes a nice curve in your sweater.

If you need more room in the body Front, you know who you are, you can work the increases on the Front only, to accommodate a round belly. This also creates a curve and a better fit for your sweater.

A curvy sweater is better looking on everyone than a boxy sweater. If the pattern doesn't have some shaping built in then I would put some in. Create a curve. Even a small curve will make you look sensational in your sweater.

Do you add shaping? Tell me about it.

Happy shaping,

P.S. t_a So glad to hear from you. I'm glad to know you're lurking.

Thursday 15 October 2015

Semi-Solid Big Wool

I got a little parcel from Lyn.
Doesn't that wool look scrumptious? Lyn dyed the wool just like the Cabin Fever Retreaters are going to. I have it to work up some cowl samples so they can see what can be done with the stitch patterns and other information we're going to work on over the Retreat weekend.

I've worked up one of the cowls with the Big wool from Shelridge Yarns in a solid colour. It's a bulky that knits to 12 sts = 4" on an 8mm needle, so it is Big. I think the cowls will look really great with the semi-precious, semi-solid wool. Can't wait to see how they look with the different stitch patterns we're including in the class notes.
It's not very many sleeps now until the Halloween weekend and our Retreat.

Thursday 8 October 2015

Double knitting, double your pleasure.

It's been a hurry, hurry, busy, busy week after a totally awesome, relaxing weekend at a knitting retreat. The Sticks, String and Stewardship retreat in Sudbury, ON is one I am not involved in organizing. I set up a display of Cabin Fever books and yarn then commence to enjoy knitting and chatting. I leave a book on the table where people write down what they take away and we settle up on Sunday. So civilized. But these women are dedicated charity knitters so if you can't trust them, who can you trust?

I took two classes. One on Double Knitting in a way I haven't done before. You carry both colours of yarn with you from the front to the back as you knit and purl. It makes a really cushy fabric and is totally reversible. You could have seen that the other side is blue with yellow grid lines, if I had been bright enough to turn it over and photograph it. I'm blaming yarn fumes.
The second class was working a zigzag strip where you join-as-you-go. I love the joining part especially. You guessed it, no sewing up. Yay.

I like an ambling sort of tempo to my week. But this was the first week of a couple of classes which will run for the next 2 months so was not that sort of week. Beginning is always filled with anticipation because I really like to teach and anxiety because I don't know quite what I'm walking into. I've started a Top Down night at Eliza's Buttons and Yarns in Barrie, ON, where I work part-time. So far I have two knitters working on two totally different top down projects. I'm hoping for a couple more knitters then these nights will really keep me on my toes.

I'm also teaching a beginner series of classes at the Ramara Community Centre, this year we're knitting mittens, then a Mosaic hat. I'm thinking of suggesting a cabled scarf for after Christmas just to round out their winter projects. I have a brand new knitter in this class. It's so wonderful to see someone pick up needles for the first time and actually knit some fabric, on double pointed needles no less, talk about jumping in at the deep end. She did wonderfully well.

Now back to regularly scheduled testknitting. I'll have some more done by next week.

Thursday 1 October 2015

Testknit sweaters

Testknitting for the 4-14 year olds Pullover book is moving ahead. Here's a Henley Top Down Pullover in the largest 40" size knit by Elizabeth (co-author) for her nephew.
Having the option to knit the sleeves a different colour was the reason behind this design. We're really having fun thinking up colourways for this. My next one will be a child's sweater with a rhubarb red body and denim blue sleeves. Can't wait to see how it turns out. Then Elizabeth and I both want to make one for ourselves.

I finished a Shawl Collar Top Down in teal Cotton Tweed for a 7 year old. The button is a Popsicle, ha, ha.

And there is one more, a Tuck Stitch Hoodie with stripes. This looks like lots of fun to wear.

The pile of sweaters is getting higher and higher every week.