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the Denim Saga [part 6] – the Final Rose – After Shrinking Denim Yarn

After waiting for all the yarnie planets to align (and chores and whatnot finished), I’ve taken that Great Leap of Faith and SHRUNK my Cerisara indigo Den-M-Nit cardi…

The result?


in Yarnville today!

I have to admit, even after my great swatch experiment, I was Nervous! Knitting this cardi didn’t take longer and it wasn’t any more difficult than anything I’ve made before but just the thought of all those hours going Down the Drain, so to speak, if it went south at the very end, made me drag my feet.

But this week was not the week to be weak, and into the hot, hot sudsy water she bravely went (with two thick towels for moral support)!

After a nice spin in the dryer, checking every few minutes just like I’d do if I was felting wool, I removed the sweater when it was almost dry. (The body of the sweater was dry to the touch but the sleeves were the tiniest bit damp at the cuffs.)

I patted it out flat on a table and measured and VOILA! It came out as Planned!

Talk about happy dancing like nobody’s watching – well – you had to see it to believe it!

Chic Knits Den-M-Nit Cerisara

The fabric was crisp, textured, and a lovely bright navy hue:

Chic Knits Knitting Blog

Most satisfying of all? My original dream that this design would work well with the indigo yarn came true!

Cerisara Knit Lace Cardigan

All the areas and details performed in a most lovely way: the lace patterning had lovely “polished-to-white” highlights and the reverse Stockinette stitch made a soft textured field of slightly variegated color.

All in all a most happy knit!

And how do we celebrate the HAPPY here at Studio Chic?
Denim Yarn Lace Cardi

How about a Giveaway! I have more of this lovely yarn and am going to cast on another (Gansey-inspired, shhh…) cardi very soon and would love to share a cone with YOU!

How to join in?
Visit this post on Instagram for all the giveaway details

HAPPY KNITTING (and shrinking)!!!

…here’s all the articles I’ve written on knitting with Den-M-Nit indigo denim cotton yarn…

The Denim Saga
[part 1] – About that Yarn
[part 2] – The Sweater Awakens
[part 3] – Knitting with Indigo Denim Yarn
[part 4] – Picking Up Stitches using Denim Yarn
[part 5] – Real-time Shrinkage in Denim Yarn
[part 6] – the Final Rose – After Shrinking Denim Yarn

the Denim Saga [part 5] – Real-time Shrinkage in Denim Yarn

I’ve always been drawn to those knitting techniques that are dangerous.

You know the ones – the ones where you cut the fabric to divide it (Steeking) or treat wool in the way opposite of normal to get a thicker, firmer fabric (like Felting).

Working with this denim yarn was right down that dangerous alley and I am game!

To achieve its optimum characteristic, towards the end of the project, the maker has to just jump off the cliff, jettison all common sense and deliberately torture the work. (All with no guarantees…)

At this point, I’m 1/3 done with the second sleeve of my indigo Cerisara Den-M-Nit cardi. It is looking long and lanky and a little flopsie and untidy. Even though I switched to bamboo needles early on, its fabric just doesn’t have the integrity and cohesive feel you normally would find on something you’re working the correct gauge on.

But just as I was starting to lose faith (which at this point in the project is rather ridiculous because I know I just won’t walk away), I remembered something.

Chic Knits Knit Blog

I had a big swatch I could torture and if successful, go forth to the finish line and “knit on, with confidence and hope, etc…” YAY!

When I switched to bamboo needles and yes, started over from the beginning, the garment was well on its way: the upper Back and Left Front and its Neckband were done. On its longest edges, it was a whooping 18×13 inches of idle loveliness. (For some reason, I could not bear to frog it!)

Now it was just begging for those final denim yarn game steps to prove to myself I could do it, I could master this Indigo Challenge!

So I processed it just like I planned on shrinking the cardi itself. I washed it in my top-loading machine with some old towels and dried it in the dryer.

And what to my wondrous eyes should appear?

Working with Den-M-Nit Yarn

A rousing SUCCESS!

Now, instead of a wiggly, slightly sloppy feeling piece, it had morphed into a firm and symmetric and LOVELY testament that the someone who invented this wonderful stuff Indeed Knew What They were Talking About!

Most fascintating and joyful of all?


Working with Den-M-Nit Yarn

This was the thing I was most skeptical about – I just didn’t believe it was going to look like the promotional shots in all the marketing.

But indeed – it is softer (still dark) and variegated and full of beautiful depth.

Now I’m ready to finish that Last Sleeve with a bang!

…to be continued…

The Denim Saga
[part 1] – About that Yarn
[part 2] – The Sweater Awakens
[part 3] – Knitting with Indigo Denim Yarn
[part 4] – Picking Up Stitches using Denim Yarn
[part 5] – Real-time Shrinkage in Denim Yarn
[part 6] – the Final Rose – After Shrinking Denim Yarn

knitting patterns

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the Denim Saga [part 4] – Picking Up Stitches using Denim Yarn

Like many of the knitters I know, I have a dedicated bag that goes with me almost anytime I leave the house. I LOVE to knit in public.

Newest addition to it? Besides the current indigo WIP, along comes that apron I wrote about in the last post so my clothes stay neat and blue-free. I’ve been taking it all everywhere and getting lots done.

Captain Den-M-Knit approves! (Love love love this label!)

Chic Knits Knit Blog

But why is the Captain sporting that little Mona Lisa grin?

Methinks he agrees that knitting with indigo yarn is FUN but maybe also that knitting in public at a place with dangerous treats is just redonkulous (even with an apron!).

To wit, witness this scene at my local coffee house

Chic Knits Knitting Blog

This is me not being able to resist a fabulous treat at the counter then faced with the messy reality at the table. But, OH, the sacrifices one must make for their knitting!

But I digress…

My Cerisara WIP is finally starting to look like a cardi! After another seven inches of body knitting, I cast off and am now onto the first sleeve.

Chic Knits Knitting Blog

Picking Up Stitches Using Indigo Yarn
Before I could get going with the sleeve knitting, I realized there was going to be a challenging step I had not considered when I started this sweater.

The Cerisara pattern is part of what I call Chic Knits’ the Sweater Organic™ series.

These sweaters all have something in common: they are seamlessly grown while knitting. All begin with an initial piece, then progressive sections are added by picking up stitches on the original section.

[[[You can see Chic Knits The Sweater Organic Bundle here.]]]

For my indigo Cerisara, the next section added, after the Body is finished, is a sleeve and it is started by picking up stitches around the armhole, then working down to the cuff, in-the-round.

However, if you recall, in compensating for the shrinkage factor of the denim yarn, I added extra length to the armhole, which now throws off the pick up ratio given by the pattern (3 sts picked up for every 4 rows worked).

How to adjust? Not too hard actually – the same principles of the initial calculation when I wrote the pattern would work here as well.

How to Determine a Pick-Up Ratio While Adding Stitches to Rows Worked
• Take number of Rows worked
• Determine number of Stitches needed
• Divide Stitches by Rows

In this case, on the first side, the armhole measured in rows to shoulder = 64 rows.

Stitches needed: 41

SO: 41 / 64 = 0.64 which is approximately 0.66 OR 2/3

(You can visually round out the above numbers to 4/6 pretty quickly which gives the same result).

Now, since this doesn’t produce the exact number of stitches the pattern calls for, some adjustment would probably (and was) necessary on the first row worked after the pick-up row.

But this was simple – in most of my Sweater Organic patterns, the first row worked is a purl row (or mostly purls) and it’s easy to p2tog (or add a stitch) as needed to achieve the needed overall beginning count.


Now that I had the proper stitch count, I could get going on those sleeves.

But wait just a minute please. What about all that Sleeve Shaping in the near future?~!

THAT would be the most challenging part of the equation yet…

Coming Up in [part 5]: Real-time Shrinkage in Denim Yarn

…to be continued…

The Denim Saga
[part 1] – About that Yarn
[part 2] – The Sweater Awakens
[part 3] – Knitting with Indigo Denim Yarn
[part 4] – Picking Up Stitches using Denim Yarn
[part 5] – Real-time Shrinkage in Denim Yarn
[part 6] – the Final Rose – After Shrinking Denim Yarn

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