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1  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / needle anatomy and gauge on: April 28, 2005 02:34:05 PM
I thought I'd share an experience I just had swatching for my next project, because it is kind of counter-intuitive and interesting.

I'm getting ready to knit Jade Starmore's "Beadwork" cardigan. The pattern is from a back issue of IK. The yarn I'm using is Frangipani, which I have on good faith is an appropriate sub for the yarn called for in the pattern.

After swatching on smaller and smaller needles, I was getting frustrated. I know that the gauge for Starmore sweaters is dense (this one is 31sts per 4"), but my stitches were so tight they were distorting. Plus I had gone down 4 needle sizes and I still wasn't getting gauge. A friend suggested that I switch from Addis to Inox needles, which have much sharper, more tapered points. The smallest inox I had was 2.25mm, where my most recent attempt was on 2mm Addis. I was skeptical, but I thought it was worth a try. I had only done a couple of inches in pattern when I could see the difference: The fabric knitted on the pointier needles was more even, the stitch pattern really stands out and the gauge is dead on.

In short, I got more sts per inch on the Inox 2.25mm than on the Addi 2mm needle!
2  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / slip-stitch tie on: February 07, 2005 01:50:36 PM
Another brown project (see this poncho).

My husband wanted me to knit him a tie to go with the great vintage corduroy jacket he had just found. It happened that Interweave Knits had just published a bunch of tie patterns. We picked the Slip Stitch Tie from the free PDF.

He picked two colurs from the new Celestial Yarns hand-dyed sock yarns, which knitted up at a slightly larger gauge, but made little difference in the tie's width since there were so few stitches involved.

The pattern was very nice. You have to be open to picking up stitches, though, because the last thing you do is pick up stitches along both edges and knit the contrasting border. It gives the tie a really nice finish and prevents it from curling.

Here's the result:

And here's a picture of the tie in action: http://www.zunior.com/freedownload/zuniorlive_dec22_2004_4.jpg
3  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / another poncho joins the throng - Now with pattern on: February 07, 2005 07:11:07 AM
My good friend Andrea suggested a trade: I'd knit her a poncho in exchange for great stuff from her textiles line, Pink Wagon.  She wanted it to be brown and non-lacy. To make the knitting interesting and the garment unique, I suggested a menswear-like herringbone stitch and custom-dyed Blue Faced Leicester from the Fleece Artist. I also suggested a two-rectangle style of construction so that one day, if she didn't really to wear it as a poncho any more, I could reconfigure it as a shawl or a stole.

The neck has a facing, in dark brown, but I left it unhemmed so that it would be drapey.

Here's the pattern. I apolgize in advance for the nitpicky finishing instructions.


This poncho is made up of two 20"x31" rectangles

Yarn: Fleece Artist Bluefaced Leicester DK, 2 x 225g skeins (with little to spare).
Properties of this yarn (bear in mind when substituting): Soft and drapey with a slight halo but clear stitch definition at given gauge after washing.

For optional neck facing: small amount of slightly finer yarn in coordinating colour.

Other tools: 4mm circular needle, 32 inches long; two safety pins; scrap yarn for holding stitches; yarn needle

Gauge: The stitches per inch are difficult to measure in this pattern, because they are angled. I based my gauge measurement on the width of the pattern repeats. 4 repeats (28 stitches)=6" on 4mm needles after blocking, so very close to 4.5 stitches per inch.

Important Notes:
Work the increase as follows: insert the tip of your right needle downwards through the purl bump at the back of the stitch below the next stitch on the needle and knit it, then knit the next stitch on the on the needle (above it).

Edge stitches are worked to create a chain stitch selvedge.

The finishing technique I describe is optional. You can also simply bind off and seam using whichever method you choose. However, my method will produce very nice, symmetrical results.

Cast on 94 stitches.
First and every odd-numbered row: slip 1 knitwise, purl to end
Row 2: slip 1 purlwise, *k2tog, k2, increase in next stitch, k2* repeat to last two stitches, k1, p1
Row 4: slip 1 purlwise, k1 *k2, increase in next stitch, k2, k2tog* repeat to last stitch, p1

Continue in pattern until work measures 32". Do not bind off. Leave stitches on waste yarn.

Work a second, identical rectangle.

Block rectangles to specified dimensions.

Lay rectangles out side by side and right side up, with the live stitch ends pointing in the same direction.  Measuring from the cast-on edge, place a safety pin 20 inches up the right hand side of each rectangle.

Keeping the right side facing, rotate one rectangle 180 degrees, so that the live stitches point in the opposite direction. The marked edges of the rectangles will be facing each other.

You are going to graft the live stitch heads of one rectangle to the marked-off rows on the other. In order to do this nicely, you will need to determine the ratio of your stitches-per-inch to rows-per-inch.

We already know that your stitch gauge measured over 4 inches is 18 (4.5 x 4).
Now measure your row gauge over 4 inches. For the purposes of this demonstration, let's say it's 24.
Now express this relationship as a ratio of stitches to rows - 18:24
Now reduce the ratio to the smallest whole numbers as possible by finding the largest number by which both figures can be divided.
18 and 24 can both be evenly divided by 6, giving a ratio of 3:4. This means that you will seam 3 stitches to 4 rows.

Seam as follows (a combination of grafting and mattress stitch):
Arrange the rectangles so they are at right angles, with the stitch heads aligned with the edge to which you're going to seam them. Thread a length of yarn onto a blunt needle.
1. Bring the needle through the first stitch head from behind
2. *run the needle behind the corresponding horizontal "bar" between the first (selvedge) and second stitch on the other rectangle. Bring the needle back into the stitch head from the front and through the next stitch head from behind. Repeat from* twice more. (3 stitches grafted to 3 rows).
3. Run the needle behind 2 horizontal "bars" before passing it back into the stitch head from the front and through the next stitch head from behind. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to end of seam. Weave in ends.

Repeat with second seam.

Optional neck facing:
Pick up and knit stitches along one half of neck hole. Knit in stocking stitch for about one inch, then graft stitches to wrong side of poncho fabric. Stitch side edges of facing to wrong side of fabric - one edge will be flush with the seam. Repeat along other edge of neck hole. Pat lightly with iron on steam setting.

(c)M. Fautley, 2005.
4  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Knee warmers in Valentine colours on: January 28, 2005 02:35:11 PM
I thought I'd show you these funny things:

They're knee warmers for my mum, who's been suffering with achy knees through a brutal winter. I knitted them from Sarah Peasley's adaptation of a Victorian pattern. Sarah's pattern is here (link starts a pdf download; her free patterns page is here).

It involves short rows, and I think it would be a great introductory project for anyone who'd like to learn how they work in a project.

I should note that I think there's a mistake in the written instructions for the pattern (the chart is correct, though). The corrections are to rows 64 and 65, which I'm pretty sure should read as follows:
Row 64 (WS): P2 (K2, P2) four times, K2, wrap and turn
Row 65 (RS): P2 *K2, P2; repeat from * to end of round

I'm also adding my gauge and yarn amounts, since the pattern doesn't include them:
I used 2 1/4 oz/65g of Sirdar Country Style DK (45% Acrylic, 40% nylon, 15% wool)
Gauge 6.5 sts per inch in 2x2 rib on 3mm needles ( I wanted a fairly dense fabric).
The circumference is about 14, lightly stretched.
5  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Bob from Spring 03 Knitty on: September 30, 2004 05:29:30 PM

This is Bob, from the Spring 03 Knitty.

It was supposed to be a knitalong with a friend, but she was busy with other things and I needed some quick-knit therapy to recover my dignity after making it to the upper shoulders of another sweater before I discovered that it was far too small.  I still haven't had the heart rip it out.

This one, on the other hand, worked out pretty well.  I rarely knit from patterns.  In this case, not only did I follow a pattern, I used the specified yarn, too! (Rowan All Seasons Cotton - I was having trouble finding a sub and it was on sale an an LYS).

Changes I made to the pattern:
I had to cook the numbers a bit, so that I ended up with one size smaller than the smallest in the pattern.    This made it necessary to eliminate the final raglan decreases.

What I would do next time:
I wouldn't knit the sleeves separately from the body.  The chunky cotton yarn is a pain to seam.  I would eliminate the selvedge stitches from the sleeves and body; just knit the sleeves up to the underarms on dpns; leave the underarm stitches live on holders on both the sleeves and the body; put the rest of the sleeve and body stitches on one 24" circ; mark the decrease points, and knit in the round to the neck edge, decreaseing on the way.

Good pattern, though. And I like the yarn more than I thought I would.  It's much loftier than regular dk or worsted cotton.
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / drat you fusible interfacing on: June 28, 2004 12:57:20 PM
I just washed a newly-completed shirtdress and the results were absolutely heartbreaking.

The fabric is 100% cotton, which I pre-washed and dried.  I washed the finished dress in cold water and did not put it in the dryer.

I used light weight fusible interfacing in the placket facings and collar.  It seems as though the interfacing has shrunk.  The interfaced areas are puckered and bubbled.  I've been steaming the crap out of it, with some results, but I don't think I can undo the damage entirely. 

Why did this happen?
7  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / pot leaf chart on: May 18, 2004 01:20:07 PM
does anyone know where I can find a chart of a pot leaf? 
Don't ask.
8  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / daisies shawl on: May 18, 2004 12:45:49 PM
I just finished this shawl for my mum.  She picked the yarn - handpainted dk weight silk and kid mix from the Fleece Artist.  After struggling for a while trying to design a pattern of my own, I settled on the free "daisies shawl" pattern from Heirloom Knitting.

the pattern is available here:

I'm thinking of doing the "birds eye" shawl pattern for myself in burnt orange Kidsilk Haze. My mum rejected that pattern in favour of the daisies one, but I prefer it.
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / mohair bunny on: April 05, 2004 10:36:49 AM

I made this bunny from the free pattern available at the Heartstrings Fiber Arts site:

My bunny isn't as photogenic as the one on the website.  And its ears are kind of ridiculously long (I did them in stocking stitch because I wanted them to curl in one direction).  I haven't added a tail. Can't decide whether it needs one.  The pattern suggests pulling out a tuft of stuffing, but I'm not sure about that.  What do you think?

It's a really simple pattern, suitable for a beginner.  The rabbit is made from a square (good use of a gauge swatch!), and the ears are knitted separately, then sewn on.
10  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / freestyle boatneck sweater on: April 03, 2004 09:05:27 AM

I finished this boatneck sweater this week. I had a clear idea of what I wanted, but I just made up the pattern as I went along. The yarn is Lana Gatto's Sestriere, a blend of wool, alpaca and mohair.  It is very soft and light and just a little fuzzy.  

It is knit in the round, but I added a few short rows at the back.

I picked up the sleeve stitches at the armhole and knit the sleeves down, which I'd never tried before.  It's SO much easier than figuring out how to shape the sleeve cap.

The neck, hem and cuffs are faced with blue and olive stripes.  This is what the neck looks like up close:

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