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1  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / How to hand-sew closures/embellishments onto your knitting? on: December 19, 2006 12:46:34 PM
An urgent question for all of you: I'm making a cardigan for my grandma. Just in case it matters, I'm using bulky yarn and size 10.5s, but the resulting fabric is still very drapey and not stiff. Soon I will need to sew on Scandinavian-style pewter hook-and-eye closures to finish it.

How does one sew embellishments onto one's knitting? Should I be trying to loop the thread around the yarn in the knitted fabric, or through the yarn itself? Am I dead in the water if I don't reinforce the cardigan edges with a length of sturdy ribbon on each side? Advice, please!
2  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Recs for cotton-blend worsted-weight yarn? on: October 20, 2006 02:17:17 PM
Hey all, I'd like to make a Ribby Cardi out of a cotton or cotton-blend yarn, but can't find one with both a fiber content and a color selection I like. I've looked in all my usual places (KnitPicks, Elann, even Yarndex wasn't too helpful) but to no avail--either the fiber looks likely to pill or the colors available aren't quite right.

Obviously it's time to expand my search, but I'm not familiar with most other brands and their selections. So what are your personal favorites? Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
3  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Fair-Isle cardigan with set-in sleeves? on: August 14, 2006 11:39:59 AM
Help me, oh wise craftsters. I'm making a Fair Isle sweater for my grandmother for Christmas. I had planned to use the Fairly Easy Fair Isle pattern from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation, but my mother mentioned that Grandma has gotten quite stoop-shouldered since I last saw her, and Mom specifically requested that I stay away from a raglan sweater pattern as it would emphasize the roundness of her shoulders (which she has been trying to hide by wearing lots and lots of shoulder pads).

I'm stumped. I want to make Grandma a sweater that will be flattering on her, one she'll love and wear a lot, but I'm having a hard time reconciling a FI design (which I know she loves) and a non-raglan pattern. I've never done colorwork before, and FEFI seemed like a good way to ease into it. The only non-raglan stranded knitting patterns I've seen have been the lovely (and extremely challenging) ones from Dale of Norway (which I would LOVE to make, but need to work up to first). So here's a question for you: Can you recommend a pattern for a sweater that

1) Is a cardigan
2) Features stranded colorwork
3) Has set-in sleeves?

Many thanks!
4  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Homemade yarn swift! on: July 12, 2006 01:35:10 PM
Hey all, this isn't a knitted object but it is knitting-related. After I told him about some of the homemade yarn swifts I'd seen here on Craftster, my lovely boyfriend was inspired to make me one himself for my birthday last month.

This involved three trips to the hardware store, about eight hours of work, and many loud curses at our two cats, who liked to knock over round, rolling dowels just as soon as he had finished staining them and set them someplace to dry. But the finished product was definitely worth the heroic effort that went into it.  Smiley

As soon as the swift was done and my boyfriend gave me the ball winder he'd bought for me, I spent the next hour winding ten hanks of off-white chunky KnitPicks' Sierra (someday destined to become the Starsky cardigan from Knitty) into balls. Fast, easy, and highly entertaining! So for those who'd like to try their hand at a homemade swift, I say go for it.
5  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Samus from Knitty on: April 11, 2006 11:20:46 AM
Just in time for spring, I have finally finished a heavy wool sweater!  Grin

Well, almost finished that is--I still need to add a zipper or some hooks and eyes, but I wasn't going to let that stand in the way of wearing it today. After knitting one sweater, twelve scarves, and five hats as Christmas gifts for other people, I've waited a long damn time for a sweater of my very own. I have to get in at least a couple of wearings before the summer heat wave begins!

The pattern is Samus from the Fall 2005 issue of Knitty. Thanks to unexpected interruptions from out-of-town guests and overwhelming work deadlines, it took me about two months to make. I used the recommended size 8 needles and the recommended yarn, Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted in the color Orchid Thistle. At first I wanted something more in the periwinkle range, but my LYS didn't have it in stock the night I was ready to cast on, so I went for the pink instead. I admit to suffering a slight attack of buyer's remorse the first time I saw it the yarn in broad daylight--it was a bit brighter than I'd expected--but I'm glad I bit the bullet and soldiered onward anyway. I've gotten used to it over the last two months, and now think it's exactly what my wardrobe needed. The yarn itself is a little scratchy on my forearms, but otherwise fine. It also sheds a bit at first, but I've used it before and expected it.

I followed the pattern almost exactly. The only modification I made was to add some waist shaping--just simple paired decreases and increases at the sides (ssk/k2tog every four rows a total of three times, followed six rows later by paired m1 increases in the same pattern). I'm glad I did this--although they looked a bit wonky at first (as did the seaming), they looked fine after blocking. And it kept the sweater from being too boxy, which was my only complaint with the original.

I love the celtic braid cable along the hem and cuffs. It's already gotten plenty of compliments. The pattern writer mentioned that it was from Nicky Epstein's Knitting on the Edge, which I just might pick up. Other knitters will probably be able to pick out the spot where I made a mistake, but since I mirrored that mistake at the opposite end of the cabled band, I managed to make it look like I did it on purpose. Now it's a "design feature."  Smiley
6  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Seaming something with stripes? on: December 06, 2005 09:17:07 AM
I'm almost done with the second sleeve of my Manly Sweater from S 'n B. It's my first sweater, and it looks like it will actually be done in time for me to give it to my boyfriend for Christmas, so let there be much rejoicing in the hiz-ouse.

But now it's time to embark into new territory, the world of seaming and finishing. I have two questions:

1) Should I seam the body and sleeves according to the stripe pattern? I knit it in the suggested color scheme (a gray body with a wide red stripe across the middle bordered by two small black stripes).I could see using the gray yarn to seam the gray and even the black portions of the sweater. But what about the big red stripe in the middle? Should I tie off the gray securely and switch to red for that part?

2) Should I seam before or after blocking the sweater? What works best in your experience? I guess I swatched rather haphazardly and knit too tightly, so I'm hoping to stretch out the final product a bit. Would that make a difference in your answer?

I can't believe I made it this far. And now I'm almost done! Please share your wisdom with me, so that my final product doesn't end up looking too amateurish. I'd really like to impress my boyfriend (and about 20 of his Danish relatives, whom I've never met before) when he opens that box on Christmas morning...

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