I'm a Knitter. The capital K means every day, everywhere.
I'm co-owner of Cabin Fever with my sister Lyn. We have published over 100 patterns and 11 books. I'm also working on a new set of patterns for Gauge Free knitting. This blog is all about modifications you can use to knit garments the correct size and fit.
I’m on holiday at my cabin in Northern Ontario, or at least as much as a holiday as I can allow myself. That means that I am, of course, still working, even though I tell myself I can take a couple of weeks off. Before I go on holiday, I seem to need to settle every single thing in my life. Clear everything up and nail it down. Unfortunately I didn’t get the two sweater patterns I’m working on finished up so they are nagging at me. Until I get them finished, I cannot completely relax. In an effort to take some time off, I am only working a couple of hours a day. Today I am going to work on writing up the Diamond Grown Up and then talk my sister into modeling the sweater. Oops, that sounds like more than a couple of hours already.
Since my job and my hobby are the same, and I am technically on holiday, I will still be knitting, but I’m going to spend the afternoon knitting on a project I didn’t design. It’s relaxing. I chose The Shift …
because I think the shape of it is really interesting. It’s worked in mosaic, which is a technique that I like.
The other fun part of this project is picking 3 variegated colours of wool and seeing how they go together. It’s hard to imagine and quite a surprise, at least to me, as I work along. I have used three colours of Mineville Sock which I am enamoured with at present. I’ve only ripped out one section that I didn’t like so far. Now that I know which colour becomes the background and which becomes the mosaic blips, I can make some adjustments to the pattern. Always fun. I have chosen to use the two darker colours as the backgrounds throughout and the light colour is only used as blips. It’s easy to switch the two colours, background vs blips, used in any section so that it will come out as you wish. I want a dark coloured cowl without a light coloured stripe. I really like the darker colours.
This is my plan: pattern writing in the morning, knit my holiday project in the afternoon as I listen to an audio book, and work a jigsaw in the evening. Read as many books as possible and fit in a bike ride when it’s not raining, as it has been for two days so far. Is that starting to sound more like a holiday?
Designing on the needle is actually quite easy, writing a pattern out in many sizes is the hard work that designers do for you. Every pattern seems to have its little challenges, ha, ha, sometimes not so little, and this one is no exception. In this Top Down Diamond pullover the stitches in the Yoke form a V. That’s wonderful and makes the design special. But if the stitches are forming a V then how can we figure out how many stitches are needed to get a certain size across the chest?
I’m on a 4-day stretch working at Eliza’s Buttons and Yarns in Barrie, ON. I generally work one day a week and then cover whenever Elizabeth is away. As you might expect being here for several days in a row does bring out the urge to splurge.
You might think that one day a week in a yarn store would mean I would blow every paycheque. Yes, I’d love that and that and that. The paycheque did disappear and I was happy, happy, happy. But after some time I started thinking “if it’s still there next week I’ll get it”. Then one week became another week and another week.
Longer stretches in the store are different. They make me want to buy what I want because I want it. You know what that’s like. I’ll find a great project for it later. I just really need to have it. This is pinky/red with black, happiness in a ball.
The more I know about yarn though, the more discerning I am about what I buy. Is this the best yarn for this project? Since I knit adult-sized sweaters this is not an idle thought. Any larger project needs more thought. You’re going to be working with this yarn for quite some time.
Here’s a blog by Jillian Moreno about how the number of plies in your yarn affect your project. I was amazed. Even more information to take into consideration when you walk into the yarn store.
The Why of Ply by Jillian Moreno on the Mason-Dixon Knitting blog. One of my next projects is a cabled shawl so I need a 3-ply. Hmm, now to the shop.
Last Wednesday I gave a “Make It Fit” workshop and talk at the Beacock Library in London, Ontario. The morning was spent working on specific techniques. In the afternoon we discussed why and where you might need these techniques. Because we all come in different shapes and sizes …
… the person who has to make your sweater fit is you. I know that puts a lot of knitters off knitting sweaters and I’m hoping that my talk convinced a couple more knitters to knit a sweater for themselves.
One of the questions asked was how to get a size in between the specified sizes on the pattern. This is quite easy to do for a Top Down raglan sweater.
The What If … Diamonds has grown up. I’m now knitting the Kid’s Diamond Pullover for big kids like you and me. The Diamond neckline is formed by moving the standard raglan markers to be equidistant which forms a V in the front and back. Is this the easiest way to make a V-neck or what?
On your next raglan which you don’t want to be a raglan, you could try this:
Yes, you could.
I’ve written a new pattern based on this idea called Kid’s Diamond Pullover where I moved the markers from the standard raglan set up to new positions. I still worked the same number of increases every other round. Moving the markers changes the shape of the neckline and this set up will give you a slight V in the front and back of the neckline with no trouble at all.
Here is the standard raglan set up with 4 markers for the raglan lines and increases worked on either side of these markers. The 4 markers are set between the sections of this sweater: Front, marker, sleeve, marker, Back, marker, sleeve, marker, second Front.
So what would happen if we just placed the 4 markers equidistant from each other in a pullover? There are still the same 4 markers where you will work a pair of increases every other round. The stitch numbers will work out the same. It’s actually not too much of a leap is it?