Thursday, April 3, 2014

Dicey Bonnet Finish!

This was perhaps one of the funnest knits I have undertaken in a long time.  I looked forward to the end in a positive way-just simply wanting to wear it asap.
Given my recent bad luck with some of my knitting that was a true gift.
Pattern is by JenJoyce Designs (blog here) but also available via ravelry.

I am not sure if I stated my yarn choices or not already but there goes:
The gray is Knit Picks Pallet
The orange is an off the cone 100 percent virgin wool from my local yarn store
And the maroon is a merino which came in a skein but the store owner and I were having such a fun time talking about knitting that she forgot to pack the ball band for me after winding it.
Its lightly variegated which I like but I have to say that I think a hat like this would benefit from  a yarn with a stiffer hand.
However, I love love love it! I am going to make a couple more I think. Garry wants one. I think Jasmine will snatch this if I let her so I might as well make one for her.

Jen is a great designer and her pattern was flawless. We discussed the technicalities of one of the stitches which I had a hard time understanding at first because of a slight tendency towards A.D.D. I think but Jen talked me through it. It turned out I was misreading it.

I highly recommend this pattern!

My next project may or may not be a knit. I have ordered a harness loom kit and am anxious to get going on some weaving. I have a rigid heddle collecting dust and am still going back and forth regarding whether to sell it or not. If Jasmine doesn't want it I might just do that. I would hate to but I never liked the actual loom despite really enjoying weaving.

How are your craft journeys going?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Top Down Magic Fit Raglan-sleeves, hems

I believe that I had a moss stitch at the hem the last time I wrote about this project? Well I frogged that back because even though I had a good inch or more of the stitch the hem was rolling up and I knew this meant that I would become obsessed with it forever more. No thanks.  I ended up knitting a loose 2x2  rib along with adding another 2 or so inches  to the length. It was just too too short otherwise.

Next came the sleeves which I didn't photograph for the tutorial- basically, the instructions are clear enough. Lets start with picking up stitches and decreases and move on from that.

If you recall, a number of stitches were put aside for the sleeves while I continued to knit the body. These stitches go back onto needles.
Remember those extra stitches
To be picked up are the five (or whatever number you needed to add on in the underarm area) stitches. Place a marker at the beginning of the row and figure out how much you need to decrease:

 Instructions state simply that  a common method here is to decrease one stitch at the start and one at the end of the row after every inch. This worked fine for me as I wanted a short basic sleeve.

 On page 6 of the official instruction sheet, the formula for figuring out decreases is given as:
gauge x cuff circumference= cuff stitches
 Using my gauge swatch result:
5 x 12= 60 (stitches to remain on needle for the cuff and bind off)

Using a smaller needle, I knit a 1x1 rib so that it would draw tighter and then I bound off when I had the length I wanted. If you are reach the desired amount of stitches before you reach that length, then just keep knitting until you have that length with no more decreases.  Its a tight enough sleeve in my opinion but I have a bit of cushion on my upper arms. I suggest a google search for sleeve techniques for other techniques.

Next is the neckline.
Pick up the stitches and make sure to keep the shoulder area stitches even. I had 11 sleeve stitches originally (now the shoulder) so I made sure that each side had 11 stitches picked up.

I then knit the first row in 2x2 rib to match the bottom hem. I decreased 1 stitch at each side of the sleeve stitches on the next row (giving me 9 stitches in between the raglan seem) and commenced to knit the collar from there. I am not happy with this part at all and am busy trying to think about it. For me, its a question of styling not technique.
Once I decide on this part, it will be time to block the sweater and wear!  This is as far as I am taking the tutorial. I hope this series has helped to make the top down raglan technique clear to readers. It really is an easy knit-suitable for beginners in my opinion. I will always be available to answer questions on this topic but please remember to show me what you have knit if you take this on:)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Top-Down Sleeve: Sleeve Cap, Part 1 of 2

This is not at all to do with my raglan sweater but I wanted to post it here as its well done.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Knit Designer Gods Love Me

After my ordeal with that crazy shawl pattern that I was trying to knit for my ailing sister (she is well again but I am frogging the shawl) I was a little bit gun shy regarding buying more patterns from unknown designers. I still don't entirely fault the shawl designer since I have not actually communicated my dismay to her  but my nerves simply cannot handle another fail like that.

When I came across the Dicey Bonnet by Jen of JenJoyce designs though, I was highly tempted to take a chance! I like all of her work which can be bought via ravelry and on her blog.  She has a ravelry group with threads dedicated to each of the designs. I joined and she friended me-not just a nice gesture but an indication that she is active in her own group and designs.

Since I have been working on the raglan sweater , I put the thoughts aside though I had been wondering about my next project. I really really wanted to knit that bonnet and then there is the Pin Striped sweater that Jen also publishes……..sigh
Well yesterday,  Jen contacted me and offered me a free pattern of my choice! I squealed like a child inside. She simply wanted to extend a welcome and she also offered to help me through any tough spots of the pattern I chose (Dicey Bonnet of course!).

I am floored. Really Jen, if you are reading, I can't tell you how much it means to me.
I am ordering yarn today and I cannot wait to begin this project!
If you are on ravelry, then go check out Jens designs and join her group (JenJoyce Design) and the link to her really cool blog is above.
I will definitely write more once I get going on this!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Where oh where have my knitting needles gone?

I somehow have misplaced an entire set of knitting needles and cannot proceed with the raglan sweater sleeves until I find them.  Its not that I am senile so much as the fact that we are in a construction zone and also have this ongoing Spring cleaning/purge going on. The needle case will turn up….hopefully soon and I will go on with the tutorial at that time.
In the meantime…..not sure what else to do…….

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Magic Top Down Custom Fit Raglan Sweater-body and details

I have finished knitting the body to my desired length. I don't like too long or too short but I believe that I will end up adding more length before all is said and done here. I will see after I try it on.
I have opted to use a moss stitch to finish the bottom-just over an inch of that . Obviously I also chose to knit a cable pattern down the center of the front.

I had 50 stitches to play with when the neck stitches were caste on so I divided that in half and found a cable pattern that would fit down the middle. My cable pattern took up 17 stitches and were not at all affected by the raglan sleeve increase.

I have seen simple all over eyelet lace in this design or a lace panel could work down the center.  One of Jasmines dresses that I knit in this pattern had a purl panel off to the side. Another pullover had a series of ribbing in the middle at the bodice  but stockinette stitch else where.
There are skull lace patterns out there that a teen might love to have in a black sweater for example.  I don't have good luck with lace myself and didn't want to fuss with increases.
Just some ideas.

What next? Either the sleeves or the neckline. I am inclined to get the neckline out of the way while I decide on sleeve style. I am not opposed to a cap sleeve on this model but I don't like full sleeves because I don't like to roll up my sweater sleeves to do dishes. lol.

I am excited that this is nearly finished! Not to get it over with so much as to finally wear it (Oh I hope it fits and that its actually flattering!)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Magic Top Down Custom Fit Raglan Sweater-Knitting, Increases and Sleeve

This is part three of a series on how to knit a raglan sweater.
Part 1, part 2  found at the links.

Alright, so you have done your swatch and gotten perfect measurements then caste on and placed your markers. Having chosen the neckline of your dreams you are either following my instructions of the instructions on the actual pattern. Obviously you are itching to get cracking by this point right?

The raglan sleeve increases pretty steeply from the collarbone to the underarm while increasing the actual sleeve, bust and back stitches for a good fit. T0 achieve this, increases on either side of every marker are necessary. Your knitting sequence would go like this:

Row 1: knit in pattern to marker, increase one, slip marker, increase one (One on each side of the marker) knit to next marker, increase one, slip marker, increase one 
knit to next marker, increase one, slip marker, increase one, Knit to next marker, increase one, slip marker Increase one, knit to end of row.
Row 2: knit in pattern to end.

Note: you could reverse the rows above as well.
Here is what I had going:
The area between the markers is the shoulder and top of sleeve area.  That means that for each side you have 4 increases, totaling 8 per every other row. 
But when do you stop knitting the increases? 

Remember in the first post how you measured the length between the collar and underarm? That is the  number you will stop at. Nothing to figure out outside of inches at this point. 

Once you get to this part, you will caste off all of the sleeve stitches onto a stitch holder or spare yarn, cast on 1" worth of stitches and then continue to knit the body in a tube. Remember your swatch has the number of stitches that you will need to make up 1". 
It should look something like this:
My swatch dictated that 5 stitches equaled 1". You can see them right above that hole . The sleeve stitches are tucked away on a yarn (you may use anything you feel comfortable with, stitch holders, other circular needles but yarn is more flexible and tying it off is a good thing). These stitches are very important to a comfortable fit. They sort of create a bridge at the underarm area  and later on when it comes to knitting the sleeve we pick up stitches from there and add to the sleeve. 

That about covers it for today. 
I want to remind anybody reading that I am working on a boat neck pullover and most of it is in stockinette stitch. I do have a cable panel in there that I will show off soon. 
Once again, the original instructions are to be found here on ravelry.