Monday, February 23, 2015

Pembroke & Triangle Shawl Construction

I've been getting some great questions lately about my bulky shawl patterns, so I've decided to share some extra info here on the blog. 

First up, let's talk about Pembroke and standard top-down, center-out triangle shawl construction. I'll be talking about Pembroke specifically, so you'll probably get more out of this if you have the Pembroke pattern to refer to, but a lot of this information also applies to triangle shawls in general.

I designed Pembroke as an instant-gratification project for knitters who may be new to lace or new to triangle shawls or both. This construction is used a lot - if you see a triangular shawl that has a center spine with holes on either side of that center stitch, it was probably constructed this way. This is especially likely if it has a garter stitch top edge.

When I first encountered this construction in a pattern, I was completely baffled. Instead of following the pattern and learning something new, I assumed the designer must be crazy, so I threw the pattern away and made up something that made more sense to me. Looking back, I'm sad that I missed out on a great learning opportunity and wish I had just asked a more experienced knitter friend to explain it to me because this construction is really cool! It's one of the things in knitting (like Kitchener stitch, turning a heel, and mattress stitch seams) that's just magical! 

It was years after that first experience that I finally figured this construction out, and I don't want that to happen to you! 

The diagram above shows how the construction works and I'm going to explain all the steps below.

First, you'll cast on a small number of stitches, probably 3 or 4. Pembroke calls for 3. You may use a provisional cast-on, but not always. I recommend a provisional cast-on for Pembroke and any other very bulky shawls and I'll explain why as we go along. Then you knit the "tab," which is often 6 rows of garter stitch. (Knit every row.) The number of rows can vary depending on the pattern, but 6 is common.

After knitting your 6 rows, don't turn the work, but rather pick up 3 stitches along the vertical edge of the "tab." You can pick up between the ridges, or you can pick up into the "knots" at the edge of each garter ridge. This is the method that Stephen West recommends in his Craftsy shawl class, and, while I used to pick up between ridges, I like his method better as it avoids a ridge on the wrong side of the work. (So thanks, Stephen!)

So now you have 3 stitches from the original cast-on number plus 3 that you picked up along the vertical side for a total of 6. Again, don't turn you work, but instead either pick up 3 along the cast-on edge or remove your provisional cast-on and knit into those 3 live stitches. 

If you pick up the stitches instead of removing a provisional cast-on, you'll end up with a ridge on the wrong side of your work. With light-weight yarns, it's pretty imperceptible, but with bulky yarns, that ridge can be huge and noticeable. With a provisional cast-on you won't have any ridge!

Now you have 9 stitches total on the needle and your garter tab is complete. This is the center top of your shawl (shown in gray and labeled, "Garter Tab" on the diagram above) and you'll be working outward and down toward the point from now on.

Stitch markers divide the sections of the shawl and will help guide you as you work from the charts, so it's important that you place them during your next row of work. 

Here's a close-up diagram of the Garter tab after all the stitches have been picked up. Each "m" shows where you'll place a marker.

The marker should be placed:

1. After the first three stitches (this is going to be one side of the top garter edge of your shawl)
2 and 3. On either side of the center stitch (your "spine" stitch), and 
4. Before the last three stitches (the other side of your top garter edge.)

When working your yarn-overs, be sure not to shift your markers away from these spots - always keep them after the first three, on either side of the center stitch, and before the last three.

First, a word about reading charts:
Each box on the chart represents a stitch - the Key will tell you what each symbol means. Be sure to read the Key carefully as stitches are worked differently on right and wrong side rows. Always read the charts from right to left on right side rows and from left to right on wrong side rows. 

The charts in Pembroke look like upside-down triangles, and you may wonder, "What's with all the blank space?" The blank space is there to allow the chart to grow - because this is a triangle shawl, it grows as you work by adding increases at the sides and the center. You’ll just work the stitches shown in the boxes and then skip to the next box over, regardless of the blank spaces in between. 

So Rows 1 and 2 go like this: 
Row 1: Knit 3, (marker), yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, (marker), knit 1, (marker), yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, (marker), knit 3. 
Row 2: Knit 3, (marker) purl 3, (marker), purl 1, (marker), purl 3, (marker), knit 3

You'll continue working in this way until you've finished the Setup Chart. 

The Leaf Lace Chart has an added element - red boxes labeled, "8-stitch Repeat."  Whenever you have a "repeat," you'll need to work the stitches inside the box more than once. In the case of the Leaf Lace Chart, you'll work those eight stitches three times. It works like this:

Work according to the chart until you come to the red box. Work the 8 stitches in the box, then work those same 8 stitches twice more. Then work the center stitches until you come to the next red box. Work the stitches in the red box a total of 3 times, then work to the end of the row. Work in this way through the rest of the Leaf Lace Chart.

The Arrowhead Scalloped Edge Chart works the same way, except that the repeated stitches need to be worked five times instead of three.

There's a little two-row edge treatment, and then the bind-off! The first time I knit this shawl it took me about three hours, so I hope it's quick for you too!

If you're curious to see more Pembroke shawls, check out the projects on Ravelry (there are over 500 of them!)

Post a comment below or join the Pembroke KAL in my Ravelry group. 

I'd love to see your FO's so please share them in my Ravelry group or link to them in your comment!

I'll also be starting a new KAL soon. You can knit any of my indie patterns and I'm offering a discount on patterns for participants. Join us!

Get the Pembroke Kit from Craftsy or download the pattern from Craftsy, Ravelry, my website, or Patternfish. (If you want to knit a larger version of the shawl, be sure to buy the pattern from Ravelry or my website to get the extended charts.) 

If you're an LYS, you can get the pattern in print through Stitch Sprouts or via the Ravelry in-store pattern sales program.

Next time I'll talk about doing the math to make Sentiment larger.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Luxa Indie

Photos © Kathy Cadigan 2013; Model Credits: Dianna Walla & Jessie Kwak
It's always cause for a little celebration here when pattern rights revert to me, so I'm excited to announce that Luxa is now available as an indie download via Ravelry, my website, Craftsy, and Patternfish. So however you like to get and keep your digital patterns, I've got you covered. 


Finished Measurements
Bust Circumference: 32 (36.5, 40, 44.5, 48, 52.5, 56, 60.5) in/81.5 (92.5, 101.5, 113, 122, 133.5, 142, 153.5) cm

670 (800, 890, 1015, 1110, 1230, 1335, 1440) yd/ 
615 (730, 815, 930, 1015, 1125, 1220, 1315) m light fingering weight yarn

Shown in Knitting Boutique Susquehanna Fingering (85% Organic Polwarth, 15% Silk; 360 yd/4 oz skein) 
Color: Smoky Quartz; 2 (3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4) skeins

Blocked Gauge 
Gauge measurement should be taken after blocking. 
26 sts/36 rows = 4 in/10 cm in Stockinette stitch using larger needle 
28 sts/42 rows = 4 in/10 cm in Lacy Rib pattern using smaller needle

Needles & Notions 
Needle Sizes are recommendations only. Always use needle size necessary to obtain gauge.

US #5/3.75 mm needle 
US #2/2.75 mm needle 
US #2/2.75 mm double pointed needles

removable stitch markers 
tapestry needle 
blocking pins

working lace from charted and/or written instructions, waist shaping, short row shaping, applied I-cord, I-cord bind off, short row shaping, picking up stitches

Photos by Kathy Cadigan 
Model Credit: Dianna Walla and Jessie Kwak

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Beehive Wool Trunk Show

My trunk show has been traveling around the US since the fall and I'm thrilled that the first Canadian stop is at my local yarn shop, Beehive Wool Shop! The trunk show includes 17 samples of my most popular designs and will be at Beehive through January 26. 

If you're local to Victoria or plan to be in the area this weekend, please come by the shop on Saturday, January 17 between noon and 3:30 - I'd love to meet you and answer all your questions about my designs. 

See you there!

Beehive Wool Shop
1700 Douglas Street 
Victoria, BC V8W 2G7

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Birthday Sale 2015!

I don't have sales very often, but this one is a tradition! Get 32% off all independently-published Andrea Rangel Knits patterns all day today, January 3, 2015.

This sale only works on Ravelry, but you don't need a Ravelry account. The sale will run from midnight to 11:59pm (Pacific time.)

Use the code BIRTHDAY2015 at checkout to get the discount on as many patterns as you'd like. Be sure to stock up because this is the best deal you'll get all year!

Get the patterns on Ravelry

Thanks so much to all of you for your support. I'm grateful to you every day!

A quick note to EU knitters: It looks like the promotion isn't currently working for you all due to complications from the new VAT rules. I integrated all of my indie designs with LoveKnitting to be sure I could continue to sell to you, but I've discovered that promotions aren't supported with them yet. I'll work on a fix today and update this space with more info if I have it. You can also check this thread on my Ravelry group. I'm sorry. You all are important to me and hopefully I can figure out a work-around!

UPDATE: There's nothing that Ravelry or LoveKnitting can do today, but here's my solution: 
EU Knitters, send me an email (andrea@andreaknits.com) if you want to participate in the sale letting me know which pattern(s) you'd like. I'll invoice you for the amount and once I have payment, I'll gift you the pattern(s) on Ravelry. Sorry it's so complicated! 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Maurits in Brooklyn Tweed Wool People 8

Photo © Copyright Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood
Maurits is a new cowl design that's part of Brooklyn Tweed's latest collection, Wool People 8. It's worked in Loft, a yarn I know well and completely adore. Another recent color work pattern, Dutch, also employs this stunning stuff, and looking at both patterns together, I can really see that I was designing and knitting them at around the same time. 

Photo © Copyright Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood
The Brooklyn Tweed team encouraged me to work the cowl up in two lengths with two very different color combinations. The longer version shown in green and white (Button Jar and Fossil) is beautifully high-contrast, showing off the color work in crisp, clear stitches. This look is bold and makes a statement with color, which is right up my alley - I want to show off my impressive knits!

I'm so glad they asked me to work up another version in more subtle autumn hues, though. The shorter cowl in Pumpernickel and Homemade Jam reminds me of Turkish rugs. The effect is a softer feel that invites a closer look. 

Photo © Copyright Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood
Both cowls are made up of three equal sections, separated by clean stripes. I'd love to see a project that maintains a background color while working a gradation of contrast colors, a different one for each of the three sections. 

Photo © Copyright Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood
Because the cowl is worked entirely in the round (no wrong side!) and the stitch pattern is made up of fairly small repeats, this could be a good choice for knitters just dipping their toes into the color work world. Aside from color work, the only other special skills you'll need are working a provisional cast on and grafting using Kitchener stitch. Instructions for both are included in the pattern. 

You can get the pattern on the Brooklyn Tweed website and on Ravlery. Check out the Look Book to see the rest of the designs in Wool People 8!

Pattern Specs:

Fingering weight wool yarn in the following approximate amounts: 
545 (655) yards of Color 1 (C1) 
440 (575) yards of Color 2 (C2)

Brooklyn Tweed Loft (100% American Targhee-Columbia wool; 275 yards/50g): 
2 (3) skeins each of C1 & C2

Version I: 
Photographed in colors Homemade Jam (C1) & Pumpernickel (C2)

Version II: 
Photographed in colors Fossil (C1) & Button Jar (C2)

23 stitches & 36 rounds = 4” in stockinette stitch with Size A needle, after blocking 
23 stitches & 26 rounds = 4” in charted colorwork pattern with Size B needle, after blocking

Size A (for Striped Sections): 
One 16” circular needle in size needed to obtain gauge listed 
Suggested Size: US 3¾ mm (US 5)

Size B (for Charted Colorwork Sections): 
One 16” circular needle two sizes larger than Size A needle 
Suggested Size: 4½ mm (US 7)

17½” wide; Version I: 45¼” long, Version II: 59” long

Measurements taken from relaxed fabric after blocking


3 of 5

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Knit Fit! & Stash Roundup

Photos Copyright Kathy Cadigan, 2014

As you can see from the pictures above, Knit Fit! 2014 was full of woolly goodness and knitterly education. I presented a new class this year, The Fine Art of Yarn Substitution, and it was a really fun class to teach. I got to talk about yarn and fibre for hours! And there was math! Yes, I was in dorky knitter's heaven.  Thanks so much to all of you who signed up for my classes. I'm already looking forward to next year! Props to the organizers at Knit Fit! for making this year's event better than ever.

(And special thanks to photographer Kathy Cadigan for taking the Yarn class and capturing it in these great photos!)

I also got to hang out in the Hazel Knits booth on Sunday morning and, as always, I adored their saturated colors and beautiful presentation, not to mention some exciting and unusual things like giant wheels of DK Lively!

Heading south to Portland, I got to attend the third annual TRIFECTA small business retreat with freelance writer Jessie Kwak (also, my copy editor and product copy writer) and artist Nalisha Rangel. It seems like every year the retreat is more productive and I always get filled up with creativity and motivation. (If you're curious about TRIFECTA, you can read more about it here.) This year we rode our bikes around Portland, I learned to sew, and Nalisha re-branded her company! 

To finish up a fantastic trip, I traveled to Stash Local in Corvallis for a trunk show and a lace class using Flow, a crescent-shaped shawl with a lace edging. It was my first time in the shop and I loved their selection and bright aesthetic. The trunk show will be in the shop for several more weeks, so if you missed my visit, you can still go pet and try on the samples.

Fall is such a great time to be a knitter and I hope you're all enjoying it wherever you are!

PS. You may have seen my new design out in Brooklyn Tweed Wool People 8 today! More on that soon, but for now you can get it and the rest of the collection on the Brooklyn Tweed website and on Ravelry.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Traveling South

It's becoming a tradition for me to go south to Seattle every November for Knit Fit! I'm really looking forward to it and I hope to see you there! (PS. If you come to the event by bicycle, come find me and I'll give you a coupon for a free pattern download because #bikelove!)

This year is extra special though, because I'll also be heading even further south to Portland and Corvallis. First I get to attend my annual Trifecta Business Retreat and then I'll be bringing my current trunk show to Stash Local in Corvallis and teaching a lace class using my very popular shawl, Flow. Spots for the class are limited, so be sure to sign up soon!

Happy fall and happy knitting, everyone!


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