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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

OMG! Things have been beyond crazy here for a few days; so much going on on so many fronts that my head spins! BOING!

But I thought I’d take a minute to share something I whipped up recently.

Norma writes: “Please explain “simple loop CO” instructions and instructions thru “pick up & knit every loop lying at top of first needle”. I’ve done alot of knitting but this has me stumped. Love the pattern.”

So I took quick pix to illustrate what the instructions call for. I had the camera set at ISO 800 (!) and Macro and used some really big wooden needles that were in my pen holder on my desk. The pictures are a little grainy but the only way this could’ve been more fun is if I would’ve used my cell phone camera!

The Simple Cast On (also know as Backward-Loop Cast On):

Flip & Pick Up:

The Finished Look:

Now I, being all thumbs, haven’t been able to master some of the other low bulk-type cast ons out there. There are a few that are beautiful and work really well, usually found in the Toe-Up Sock world: the Figure 8 and the Magic Cast On come to mind.

So as always, follow your Muse…

…and if you’d like to try out the WestSide Cap, for the next 48 hours get 1.00 off the purchase price of the pattern using the code “Springtime” in the shopping cart…

Friday, April 17, 2009

more finishing…

Last on the agenda for the Sea & Sky cardi is POCKETS!


I like to use a lap table of sorts in the form of a cutting board (dedicated to stitching only) to do my pinning and sometimes, sewing. It keeps the surface of the piece being worked smooth and stable so I can Go Real Fast without having to constantly adjust the material. Here I am using my favorites, Corsage Pins, to anchor the pocket in place.

The pocket itself has been lightly steamed on the wrong side using an iron. You can see on the right that I left a long tail when I attached the working yarn to initially knit the pocket which is going to now come in handy as I’m going to use it to sew the pocket to the body of the sweater. In fact, if I’m not short on the yarn front, I generally leave these longish tails anywhere cast ons, join-ins or reattachments are happening, because then they can be used for seaming or reinforcing or tightening up little holes, or just weaving in, because it is a PAIN to weave in short pieces — like that one below the other tail on the right. ;p



After I smooth the top of the pocket and align it to the body of the sweater, I use its leftover cast-on tail to anchor its top to the body (bonus: also weaving in an end) by making a few duplicate stitches along the body on the right side of the pocket. Repeat on the left side.

Then, I use the long tail from above to whip stitch (in aqua above) the edge of the pocket to the body. For invisibility, I use one edge loop from a knit stitch in a rib column and one from the pocket itself. If that isn’t possible, I use the purl bumps between knit stitches on the body to sew into, always using aligned vertical stitches, or on the bottom of the pocket, aligned horizontal stitches across.

Purl bumps are cool things; they hide many a tail.


Yum. Little pockets all done waiting for a nice warm bath to seal the deal…

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

If I had to pick a prevailing fascination in my projects, ribbing would probably be my defining detail, one I come back to over and over.

Ribbing? you say? That plain ubiquitous border; that ever present first chapter of most any sweater and you are thrilled with it?


chicoutchicintEven in one of my first (published) designs, the 3XChic, I was busy playing with rib, but uncommon rib. This pullover had columns in a 7×2 ratio and as I worked it, something became apparent that had not occurred in the visualizing stage. Sometimes, you just don’t know how it’s going to *look* until you actually are making it and it presents itself to you.

One version (and the way it was offered) had wide columns of knitting, punctuated by narrow lines of purl. The other, had fields of purl stitches, bisected by narrow columns of knit stitches and this was only in my musings as I never made one, but looked at the other from the inside out, fascinated.

Such is Sandrine. I am knitting the first sleeve of the sweater now and have regressed into one of my favorite ploys to get it done fast. Since I think (but have never really timed myself) that I am faster knitting than purling and the stitch pattern has more knit sts on the wrong side of the work, I’m going to knit it from the Wrong Side. (Quick! Call the Knitting Police!)

To begin, I’ve picked up all the sleeve stitches as the pattern indicates, then I flip the garment inside out. The working yarn is in an awkward place, a few stitches from the underarm marker. However, this is NOT a big deal. The gauge of most sweaters is small enough to stand an extra row worked in there somewhere; you see it all the time in shoulders, underarms, necklines and you’ve probably done it yourself if you’ve knit a sweater. Anywhere there are mirrored segments, most likely one will have an extra row lurking and I’ll bet you’ve never noticed it in the final product.

Here I’ll work the few stitches once to have the working yarn going in the right direction at the real beginning of the round. To avoid a little hole, I will wrap the last sleeve cap stitch with one of the new underam sleeve stitches. Then I just work away as usual, remembering to transpose the decrease type as necessary.

But back to the uncommon rib…


Here is my sleeve (and my Sandrine) shown wrong side facing, as I’m ready to start the sleeve. I really like the way it looks from the wrong side! The wider columns of ribbing are a completely different take on the effect of the stitch pattern, here presenting almost as Stockinette Stitch, but gracefully broken up by the narrow columns. You can see it in contrast here in the original sample sweater, with the right side to the Left of the picture, and the wrong side to the Right-Middle of the picture:


And on a larger scale, here in the sweater I’m working on, shown from the WS:


One of these days, I’m going to make one, wrong-side out, maybe out of denim yarn, with the wide rib pattern going all the way to the hem.

>>>>>> Read all posts in this category: Cotton Sandrine.

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