hey halifax craftsters, I just wanted to make sure that you all know about our new knitting and needlework store on Barrington St, across from Loomis & Toles and just up the block from Junk & Foibles (a lot of &s in that neighbourhood!).
We're partnered with the Mud Room, and we've created a space where you can hang out and knit, learn new techniques and pick up some great yarn and supplies. We opened on Tuesday and so far the response has been really great. Drop in and say hi and let us know what you think!
First of all, your hat looks great. I agree with wokeupafraud - your brother will love it and probably won't even notice.
In answer to your question, there are a couple of ways you can minimize the tightening effect of fair isle. First of all, when you're doing your initial gauge swatch, try comparing your gauge both over the plain knitting and the fair isle portions of your pattern. Then try to get them to match by using a different sized needle for the stranded section.
People tend to knit more tightly in fair isle. Also, different colours of the same yarn can vary slightly in gauge.
Probably the easiest way to make the FI portion more stretchy is to leave longer floats. Some people find that knitting inside-out helps: just work on your dpns or circular with the right-side facing inward and the working needles on the far side of the tube.
Skacel - the maker of addi turbo needles - has a new product called the "Addi Express". It's a hand-cranked knitting mill that will make tubes or flat pieces. It fastens to a table and you turn a crank on the right side of it to create a knitted fabric. You can see a picture of it here on their "new products" page (click the + to get a better view): http://www.skacelknitting.com/body_needles.html
I haven't seen it anywhere but on the Skacel site, but you could probably order one through any store that carries Addi products.
1.Where do you live? Nova Scotia, Canada 2.What style do you prefer? English
3.Who taught you how to knit? My Nan and Grandad, who are English.
4. Have you tried, successfully or not, to change styles throughout your knitting life? If yes, why? Yes, I have tried. I can actually knit quite successfully in the Continental style, although it does affect my gauge. It's the purling I have trouble with. And in fair isle, I have no trouble knitting two-handed.
EDIT: A couple of days ago, I finally cracked my continental purl problem. I immediately could rib as quickly coninentally as I could English. I think the difficulty lay in convincing my brain to move the needle around the yarn, instead of moving the yarn around the needle.
You can also try going up a needle size or two. But since it is supposed to be bulky weight, you will likely have to use double strands of it or just resize it by adding more stitches and having more rows too.
The thing about double-stranding is that it takes way more yarn.
First of all, I think you should knit another gauge swatch. It should be larger than 4 inches square. When you've finished it, steam it or wash it gently and let it dry. Then mark off 4 inches of stitches across a row and count the number of stitches. You'll get a more accurate measurement than when you measure the swatch edge to edge.
When you're subbing yarns of a different gauge, you want to be very precise about these things.
Then you can follow the instructions for a larger size, but you will probably have to do some fiddling with the frequency of decreases/increases if there's any of that kind of shaping.
The needle number isn't the important part, the number of stitches per inch is.
In order for the pattern to work as written, you will need to use whatever needles allow you to get 5 stitches per inch (20 stitches per 4 inches).
Katia Austral's gauge is estimated at 6 stitches per inch on 3.75mm needles, so you'll probably need to use a larger needle to get 5 stitches per inch. Try a 4.5mm/#7 needle. If you get too many stitches per inch, use an even larger needle. If you get too few, try a 4mm needle.
If you don't like the way the Austral looks knitted on larger needles (the fabric will be looser) or you can't get the right gauge, use whatever needle that makes the fabric look good.
Multiply the number of stitches per inch by the chest measurement you want the sweater to have. (for example: 5.5 stitches per inch x 38 inches = 209 stitches) Look at the "number of stitches" listed below (I copied it from the pattern) and pick the number closest to yours. Knit that size. (in my example, 212 is the closest number, so I'd knit the XL)
size: S[M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL] number of stitches: 180[192, 200, 212, 220, 232]