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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Rugged Knits Pattern Highlight: Hazy Cloud



When I envisioned Rugged Knits as a collection, I wanted to create a cohesive group of designs that would be classic and beautiful while also having an outdoorsy, active vibe. 

Over the next few months I'm going to highlight the designs in my book Rugged Knits, looking deeply at each one to give you a good view of the details I designed in, what to consider when making your own, and what makes it work for the long term. 

First up I'm going to take on Hazy Cloud, the cover sweater. I describe this one as the ultimate sweatshirt because the fit is relaxed and comfortable and the yarn I chose, Fibre Company Road to China Light, is unbelievably soft with gorgeous drape. The overall effect is a luxury version of your favorite lounge wear.




CONSTRUCTION
- Seamless (never work color pattern on the wrong side)
- Bottom-up
- Neckline is created with steek stitches that are reinforced and then cut. Because the yarn is a bit slippery, more steek stitches are used than is standard. The neck band is then picked up and worked double, then sewn down so that the cut stitches are entirely enclosed.
- Underarms are finished with 3-needle bind-off.
- Yoke shaping is carefully calculated so that armhole and body shaping are accomplished at different rates. This creates elegant, flattering raglan/saddle shoulder lines. 
- Gentle waist shaping gives a feminine silhouette.

FIT
- Intended to be worn with a relaxed fit (4-6 inches/10-15 cm of positive ease)
- To get the comfy sweatshirt look, go up a size when in doubt. If you like a more fitted silhouette, you could also try it with less ease. Check the measurements of a sweater you love and compare them to the schematic if you're having trouble deciding.

YARN
I chose Fibre Company Road to China Light (65% baby alpaca, 15% silk, 10% camel, 10% cashmere; 159 yd [145 m]/50 g) for a bunch of characteristics:
- softness
- elegant drape
- slight shine
- subtly heathered colors
- warmth

Fibres like alpaca and silk have a strong tendency to grow out of shape, but the checked color pattern worked at a snug gauge creates a fabric that is dense but flowing. That all-over color work gives a great level of resilience to the fabric that makes a long-lasting garment.

Tips for Substituting
- You're likely to have a stiffer sweater with wool. If you choose a yarn that's 100% wool, you may want to work with a fingering weight instead of a sport in order to get pattern gauge while maintaining some of the drape given by RTCL. 
- To get a sweater more like the sample, choose a yarn that includes some of the fibres in RTCL like alpaca and silk.
- Work at least one large swatch in the round (and be sure to block your swatch!) in order to help you decide on which yarn you'd like to use. This is of course also necessary for checking your gauge.
- I'd love to see this sweater worked with Spincycle Yarns Dyed in the Wool as the Contrast color. I haven't swatched it, but I have a feeling that it would look incredible with the long color changes paired with a solid.

MY FAVORITE DETAIL
The wide but shallow V-neckline is just the perfect shape, and the encased neckband gives a pro finish.

GENERAL TIPS
Be sure to hold the same color dominant throughout this project as the fabric will show it pretty clearly if you switch dominance while you work. The easiest way to do this is to hold the yarns with one color in each hand and pick with your left hand while throwing with your right - hold the dominant color in your left hand and and the non-dominant one in your right. I love this article by Dianna Walla about color dominance in knitting.

Be sure to use the hashtags #RuggedKnits #HazyCloudSweater, and #AndreaRangelKnits when you post pics of your Hazy Cloud projects!

PATTERN DETAILS
Finished Size 
33 (36.75, 40.75, 44.5, 48.5, 52.25)” (84 93.5, 103.5, 113, 123, 132.5 cm) bust circumference and 26 (26.75, 27.75, 28.25, 29, 29.25)” (66 68, 70.5, 72.5, 73.5, 74.5 cm) long.

Intended to be worn with 4–6” (10–15 cm) of positive ease. 
Shown in size 36.75” (93.5 cm).

Yarn 
Sportweight (#2 Fine) yarn in 2 colors: 
Main Color (MC): 734 (823, 924, 1013, 1,114, 1203) yd (671 752, 845, 926, 1018, 1100 m). 
Contrast Color (CC): 651 (730, 820, 898, 988, 1087) yd (595 667, 750, 821, 903, 994 m).

Shown here: The Fibre Company Road to China Light (65% baby alpaca, 15% silk, 10% camel, 10% cashmere; 159 yd 145 m/50 g): colors Lapis (MC), 5 (6, 6, 7, 7, 8) skeins; Riverstone (CC), 5 (5, 6, 6, 7, 7) skeins.

Needles 
Size U.S. 2 (2.75 mm) 24” and 32” (60 and 80 cm) circular (cir) and set of 4 or 5 double- pointed (dpn). 
Size U.S. 5 (3.75 mm) 32” (80 cm) circular (cir) and set of 4 or 5 double-pointed (dpn). 
Adjust needle sizes if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

Notions 
Markers (m); stitch holders or waste yarn; tapestry needle; small amount of fingering- weight yarn in coordinating color for steek reinforcing; size C-2 (2.25 mm) crochet hook for steek reinforcing.

Gauge 
31 sts and 28 rnds = 4” (10 cm) over Checked Color patt using larger needles.





       Get Rugged Knits from Interweave

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sounds of Life Cardigan


Let me introduce Sounds of Life, a new cardigan pattern with a great relaxed fit, generous pockets, and a standup collar. I chose a very special yarn for this one and I'd love to share my discovery with you!

I discovered Cestari Traditional 2 Ply while I was visiting Tolt last year. It was a yarn I’d never noticed before, though it isn’t new. When I picked it up I was immediately intrigued by its unique feel - soft and buttery, but very woolly and rustic at the same time. I could feel and smell the lanolin still in it and once I cast on, I was delighted to discover the occasional bit of straw as I worked. It wasn’t constant or anything, but each little speck was a sweet reminder of the life the sheep who had grown that wool might have lived. In researching Cestari further, I found a delightful sentiment on their website about this very experience. Company owner, Francis Chester was quoted as saying, “If you put his yarn to your ears, you can almost hear the sounds of life within it.” I couldn’t resist naming the sweater Sounds of Life after that wonderful quote.



I had been throwing around the idea of a good, solid workhorse of a cardigan, something versatile and wearable with a stand-up collar and functional pockets - the perfect PNW sweater, in other words - and when I discovered this yarn, the idea solidified.

I was originally a bit skeptical about the marled colors, even though I was also really drawn to them. I worried that the finished fabric would end up muddy or ugly. I was so wrong about that, though. The fabric is tweedy and interesting and beautiful in all the best ways. Several of my testers used Cestari for their sweaters too, a couple of them in the black/white marled colorway, and I’m now a complete convert to marled yarn. I even got myself another sweater’s worth of the marled black/light gray the last time I was at Tolt - stay tuned for more on that!

I've worn the sample quite a lot - it was hard for me to put it in the mail and let the folks at Tolt borrow it! At first glance, this sweater might seem somewhat plain, but here are a few of the special details that I really love:

Rolled edgings bordering the ribbing gives a relaxed exposed-seams look while staying nice and neat

Subtle waist shaping, carefully-designed set-in sleeves, and short row shoulder shaping makes a great fit. The intended fit is generous enough to wear over your wool base layer or plaid button-up, while keeping a flattering look. I made mine (the 34 in/86.5 cm size) with three inches of positive ease, and I recommend choosing a size that’s about 2-4 in/ 5-10 cm larger than your bust circumference.

The pockets! The openings are angled to make them particularly useful, both for hand-warming and keeping things in, and the size is generous. These pockets are definitely not just for decoration!

The stand-up collar adds extra versatility - if you need a bit of extra warmth, button it up all the way, or fold it down if you’re warming up a bit. Working the cardigan in a fairly stiff yarn like the Cestari Traditional 2-ply in the sample or Istex Lettelopi is most likely to give you that stand-up collar look. A softer yarn can be a wonderful choice, but be aware that your collar might lay a bit more flatly on your neck if you pick something with more drape.

Construction: Get the best of both the seamed and seamless worlds! The body is worked in one piece seamlessly with the shoulders joined with 3-needle bind-off, and the sleeves are worked in the round to the sleeve caps. Then the caps are worked back and forth in rows and then they’re sewn in using Mattress stitch. The beauty of this construction is that it minimizes seams where they’re less necessary for resisting stretching - along the sides of the body and insides of the sleeves - and puts seams where they’re most helpful for keeping your sweater in shape for years to come - at the armholes and shoulders.

The gauge - I worked this sweater at 16 sts/ 24 rows = 4 in/10 cm, making the whole thing a really quick knit



If you haven’t tried Cestari and you’re into rustic wools, I really recommend giving it a shot. It’s really affordable too - just nine or ten dollars for a 170 yd skein! But just in case you can’t get your hands on Cestari or want to go stash diving, some other yarns I recommend are:


Because the gauge is 16 sts = 4 in/10 cm, be sure to get a yarn that’s a heavy worsted or aran weight. Lighter worsted weight yarns like Brooklyn Tweed Shelter could work, but are more likely to pill and stretch at such a loose gauge. Be sure to swatch with your desired yarn choice (and block your swatch!) to check that you’re happy with the fabric you get at that gauge.

The sample is in the mail winging its way to Tolt Yarn and Wool right now, so you'll be able to see it and try it on there soon, and Tolt carries Cestari, so you can pick up yarn for your project while you're there. You'll also be able to get the printed pattern at Tolt soon, or ask your local yarn shop to order it from my distributor, Stitch Sprouts. You can also buy it as a pdf download on Ravelry and on my website

If you like my designs and enjoy getting pretty knitting pictures in your inbox, subscribe to my weekly email newsletter! Happy knitting!



PATTERN SPECS
Sizes and Finished Measurements 
Bust Circumference: 34 (38, 42, 46, 50, 54, 58) in/86.5 (96.5, 106.5, 117, 127, 137, 147.5) cm

Intended to be worn with +2-4 in/5-10 cm of ease at bust for standard fit; shown in size 34 in/86.5 cm with +3 in/7.5 cm of ease on model.

Yarn 
970 (1096, 1214, 1333, 1451, 1570, 1688) yd/887 (1002, 1110, 1219, 1327, 1436, 1544) m heavy worsted weight yarn

Shown in Cestari Traditional Wool 2 Ply 
Color: Light Gray/Medium Gray Marled; 6 (7, 8, 8, 9, 10, 10) skeins

Blocked Gauge 
Gauge measurement should be taken after blocking. 
16 sts/24 rows = 4 in/10 cm in Stockinette stitch using Needle B or Needle D (suggested size US #8/5 mm)

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

32 in/80 cm circular needles: 
Needle A: US #6/4 mm 
Needle B: US #8/5 mm 

Set double pointed needles, long circular for magic loop method, or two circular needles (preferred small-circumference circular knitting method) 
Needle C: US #6/4 mm needle 
Needle D: US #8/5 mm needle

stitch markers 
tapestry needle 
five .75 in/2 cm buttons 
needle and thread

Skills 

working in the round, increasing and decreasing, picking up stitches, seaming, including setting in sleeve caps

Sounds of Life pattern pdf download 
$8


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Knitscene Spring 2016

Knitscene Spring 2016 is here and I'm particularly excited for this issue because I've got four new patterns in it! 

Photo Credit: Knitscene/Goodfolk Photography

I'm delighted to be this season's featured designer and I used the opportunity to create a collection of patterns focused on the theme of movement. You can read about my design concept in the lovely profile that Karen Templer wrote after interviewing me. 

THE DESIGNS

Siula Grande sweater is my perfect spring sweater. It's soft, light, draping, and has a relaxed, feminine fit. I worked it up in Malabrigo Lace, so it's almost featherweight. The sweater is mostly worked in ribbing, but I added some sweet little lace details at the hem, cuffs, and along the lines of the raglan shaping. The wide scoop neckline is finished with a clean and simple rolled hem. 

Photo Credit: Knitscene/Goodfolk Photography

Mismi Shawl uses contrasting colors of soft gray to create a bold and versatile piece. It's an asymmetrical triangle worked from the wide side to a point. It involves a little Intarsia to join those two colors, but if you haven't done it before, this would be a great introduction. There's really nothing to it - just twist the yarns around each other and go on your way. The lace is clean and geometric and I can't get over the incredible stitch definition I got from the Quince & Co. Tern I used in my sample. 

Photo Credit: Knitscene/Goodfolk Photography
The Chachani Hat uses the same little lace pattern I employed in the Siula Grande sweater, but it's doubled to keep your ears warm. The spiral twisted stitch pattern moves gracefully around the body of the hat and meets up at the crown in a lovely, organic way. I knit mine up in Swans Island Natural Colors Merino Fingering, which is a fairly light fingering weight yarn. I love the soft, supple fabric it gives, and there's something special about working with indigo dyed yarn. (It turned my hands blue, but I kind of love that!)

Photo Credit: Knitscene/Goodfolk Photography
And the Salcantay Cowl uses the simplicity of a big garter chevron and stripes to make a graphic but understated accessory. I know this will be a go-to piece in my wardrobe when I get the sample back. (Yes, I've been wearing my samples! Once they've done the rounds, I can't seem to let them sit in storage because I want to wear them too much!) Hikoo Rylie is an alpaca/silk/linen blend and it makes such a great fabric! It has a gorgeous drape, as would be expected, and it's soft with a tiny bit of halo and a tiny bit of crunchiness from the linen. 

Photo Credit: Knitscene/Goodfolk Photography
I hope you like the collection! You can get the digital edition now from Interweave, and the print magazine will be in your LYS and local newsstand soon. You can also learn more about the other patterns in the issue on the Knitscene blog.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Moon & the Mountain Giveaway


Not only am I announcing a new pattern today, The Moon & the Mountain, but it was designed with a brand new yarn and I've partnered with Craftsy to do a giveaway of the pattern kit too! (Scroll to the bottom of the page if you just want to get to the giveaway.)

UPDATED DEC. 8, 2015
We have a winner! The giveaway is now closed. Thank you for entering!

You probably know that I love designing with giant, chunky yarns. The outsized stitches are so fun and bold, and make a project quick to knit as well! I made the Moon & the Mountain using a draping, soft, chunky Merino yarn - Cloudborn Superwash Merino Bulky. It's great for the chilly weather we've been having here, and would make a perfect gift knit too!




It's worked from the top-down, so the rows just get quicker the more you knit! And the geometric striping pattern is done using the Intarsia method - just twist your colors around each other when you switch. (It's surprisingly simple to do, and this is a great first-Intarsia project.)

SEE IT ON RAVELRY

PATTERN SPECS
Finished Measurements 
Wingspan: 56 in/142 cm
Depth at Point: 31 in/78.5 cm

Yarn
Super bulky yarn in two colors:
Main Color: 295 yd/270 m
Contrast Color: 100 yd/92 m

Shown in Cloudborn Superwash Merino Bulky (100% Superwash Merino; 109 yd/100 m per 100g skein)
Main Color: Grey Heather; 3 skeins
Contrast Color: Ocean; 1 skein

Blocked Gauge
Gauge measurement should be taken after blocking.
9 sts/16 rows = 4 in/10 cm in Stockinette st

Needles & Notions
Needle sizes are recommendations only; always use needle size necessary to achieve given gauge.

US #13/9 mm needle

tapestry needle
row counter (optional)

Skills
Intarsia, shaping using decreases

Get 10% off the pattern using coupon code THEMOON for two days only! Sale ends Dec. 10.

Price $7 








AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Royal We: Dude Patterns for Everyone

©Kathy Cadigan 2015

One of my most popular patterns (as well as being my first!) has always been The Dude, a knock-off pattern of the sweater worn by Jeff Bridges in the movie, The Big Lebowski. For years I've had it in the back of my head that I would create a version of this pattern that included baby and kid sizes, and a unisex adult one that would be a pleasure to knit since my original Dude is a bit finicky with the construction and details.

So I'm thrilled to finally announce the launch of these new patterns! To allow for different proportions, the adult and baby/kid versions are separate patterns, but if you want to dress up the whole family in Dude sweaters, you can get a discount by buying The Royal We: Dude Patterns for Everyone, an ebook that includes both versions.

I expect knitters might have some questions about this new version, so I put together this FAQ to help.



What’s different about the new Knitter’s Dude and Little Dude patterns compared to your original Dude pattern?


  •  My original Dude pattern was designed to be as close to the movie sweater as I could make it and that similarity was my main priority. As a result, it poses some challenges to the knitter in construction method. It’s worked entirely in 1x1 rib with stranded color work sections. It’s also worked flat in pieces so that the stranded color work has to be worked in ribbing on the wrong side. While these elements make the sweater look like the movie sweater, they make the process somewhat difficult. The Knitter’s Dude and Little Dude are designed with the knitter’s enjoyment and appreciation in mind with the movie sweater as a rough inspiration rather than a strict guide. Here's what's new:

    • It’s worked in Stockinette stitch instead of ribbing.
    • It's worked entirely in the round so that the stranded color work never has to be worked on the wrong side. A steek is cut to open the cardigan front after knitting is complete.
    • The fit and style have been updated too - a relaxed, but flattering look with raglan yoke shaping, a generous collar, and beautiful tubular cast-on and bound-off edges.
    • Button closures give a classic cardigan feel and make finishing easier -- no zipper installation necessary!

White Russian, anyone?
Photo ©Kathy Cadigan 2015

What sizes are available?

  • The Little Dude is written for newborns to age 12 (though ages are guidelines only since kids vary so much, so pay attention to the schematic when choosing a size!) 
  • The Knitter’s Dude is in sizes 33-61 in/84-155 cm. Recommended ease is about +1-4 in/2.5-10 cm. To get the more classic, oversized movie-Dude look, I recommend aiming for about 4 in/10 cm of ease.


Is the adult pattern completely unisex or are there any modifications to make the pattern more appropriate for men or women?

  • Though the sample is shown on a woman, there are instructions for modifying the pattern to be more appropriate for men’s/tall sizes. It’s a whole family of Dudes!

Little Lebowski Urban Achiever
©Kathy Cadigan 2015



Do I have to work color patterns on the purl side?

  • No, the sweater is worked entirely in the round and then a steek is cut to open the cardigan front.


How should I deal with the long floats in the pattern? 



What details make this sweater special?

  • Tubular cast-on and bound-off edges are particularly clean and beautiful.
  • Compound Raglan yoke shaping is carefully calculated for a flattering fit.
  • The generous shawl collar is shaped using short rows.
  • One-row buttonholes are firm, neat, and easy to work.


What’s a steek?

  • A steek is a small group of extra stitches added to a piece of knitting (in this case, the center front of a cardigan) that allows you to work entirely in the round without purling at all. After the knitting is complete, you'll reinforce your steek on either side, then cut down the center to open your cardigan. 
  • It's best to work in a "sticky" wooly yarn so that the stitches stay in place after cutting, so avoid slippery yarns like Superwash wool, alpaca, silk, or any plant fibers. Woolen spun yarns like Brooklyn Tweed Shelter are ideal.


©Kathy Cadigan 2015

Isn’t cutting your knitting terrifying?

  • It can feel that way, but it's a very empowering technique. The only thing that I still feel nervous about using steeks is that once you've cut, you can't frog your work if you see a mistake. Unlike most knitted items, things that have been cut are final, so always check over everything carefully before cutting.


The Dude abides.
©Kathy Cadigan 2015


All the photos for this pattern were taken by Kathy Cadigan and I want to thank my models, Tif Fussel (Dottie Angel) and little Jameson!

Pattern Specs
The Knitter's Dude
Sizes and Finished Measurements 
Chest Circumference: 33 (37.25, 41.25, 45.25, 49, 53, 57, 61) in/ 
84 (94.5, 105, 115, 124.5, 134.5, 145, 155) cm 
Cardigan is designed to be worn with +1-4 in/2.5-10 cm of positive ease; shown in Size 33 with zero ease.
Yarn 
Worsted weight yarn in three colors (yarn amounts are approximate): 
Main Color: 960 (1085, 1202, 1319, 1436, 1554, 1671, 1788) yd/878 (992, 1099, 1206, 1313, 1421, 1528, 1635) m 
Contrast Color 1: 130 (147, 163, 179, 195, 210, 226, 242) yd/119 (134, 149, 164, 178, 192, 207, 221) m 
Contrast Color 2: 151 (170, 189, 208, 226, 244, 262, 281) yd/56 (61, 64, 67, 101, 117, 181, 226) m
Shown in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter (100% Wool; 140 yd/128 m per 50g skein) 
Main Color: Fossil; 7 (8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 12, 13) skeins 
Contrast Color 1: Nest; 1 (2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2) skeins 
Contrast Color 2: Cast Iron; 2 (2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3) skeins
Blocked Gauge 
Gauge measurement should be taken after blocking. 
20 sts/31 rounds = 4 in/10 cm in Stockinette Stitch Pattern with Size B Needles
20 sts/27 rounds = 4 in/10 cm in Color Work Stockinette Stitch Pattern with Size C Needles
Needles & Notions 
Needle Sizes are recommendations only. Always use needle size necessary to obtain gauge.
Size A (Ribbing): Size US #5/3.75 mm 16 in/40 cm circular needle, two 40 in/100 cm circular needles, and set dpns or needle(s) for preferred small-circumference circular knitting method
Size B (Plain Stockinette Stitch): Size US #6/4 mm 16 in/40 cm circular needle and set dpns or needle(s) for preferred small-circumference circular knitting method
Size C (Color Work Stockinette Stitch): Size US #7/4.5 mm 16 in/40 cm circular needle and set dpns or needle(s) for preferred small-circumference circular knitting method
stitch markers, removable stitch markers, tapestry needle, waste yarn, coordinating color light fingering weight yarn for reinforcing steek, Size C/2.75 mm crochet hook, 5 1 in/2.5 cm buttons
The Little Dude
Sizes and Finished Measurements 
Sized for 0-6 mo (6-12 mo, 1-2, 2-4, 4-6, 6-8, 8-10, 10-12); shown in size 1-2 
Chest Circumference: 20 (22, 23, 24, 25.5, 27, 28.5, 30) in/51 (56, 58.5, 61, 65, 68.5, 72.5, 76) cm
Yarn 
Worsted weight yarn in 3 colors - (yarn quantities are approximate) 
Main Color: 250 (275, 310, 360, 475, 585, 680, 745) yd/230 (250, 285, 330, 435, 535, 620, 680) m 
Contrast Color 1: 35 (35, 40, 42, 57, 64, 89, 104) yd/32 (32, 37, 38, 52, 58, 81, 95) m 
Contrast Color 2: 61 (67, 70, 73, 111, 128, 198, 248) yd/56 (61, 64, 67, 101, 117, 181, 226) m
Shown in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter (100% Wool; 140 yd/128 m per 50g skein) 
Main Color: Fossil; 2 (3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5) skeins 
Contrast Color 1: Nest; 1 skein 
Contrast Color 2: Cast Iron; 1 (1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2) skeins
Blocked Gauge 
Gauge measurement should be taken after blocking. 
20 sts/31 rounds = 4 in/10 cm in Stockinette Stitch Pattern with Size B Needles
20 sts/27 rounds = 4 in/10 cm in Color Work Stockinette Stitch Pattern with Size C Needles
Needles & Notions 
Needle Sizes are recommendations only. Always use needle size necessary to obtain gauge.
Size A (Ribbing): Size US #5/3.75 mm 16 in/40 cm circular needle, two 40 in/100 cm circular needles (for tubular BO), and set dpns or needle(s) for preferred small-circumference circular knitting method
Size B (Plain Stockinette Stitch): Size US #6/4 mm 16 in/40 cm circular needle and set dpns or needle(s) for preferred small-circumference circular knitting method
Size C (Color Work Stockinette Stitch): Size US #7/4.5 mm 16 in/40 cm circular needle and set dpns or needle(s) for preferred small-circumference circular knitting method
stitch markersremovable stitch markers, tapestry needle, waste yarn, coordinating color light fingering weight yarn for reinforcing steek, Size C/2.75 mm crochet hook, 3 (3, 3, 3, 5, 5, 5, 5) 1 in/2.5 cm buttons

BUY THE ROYAL WE EBOOK

BUY THE KNITTER'S DUDE

BUY THE LITTLE DUDE

And yes, I knit the sample in my size so I could keep it and wear it forever. In the pictures above, the sweater is shown with zero ease on Tif. On me, it's got about 2 in/5 cm of positive ease.

©Kathy Cadigan 2015




Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fringe and Friends KAL 2015 FO



I hope you've been following along this year's Fringe and Friends Knit Along! The theme is a Cowichan-inspired super bulky vest and I've really enjoyed being a panelist.

You can check out the whole series here - there's lots of great content on the Cowichan knitting tradition, Japanese knitting patterns, how to knit the pattern, and interesting pattern mods.  (If clicked a link from Fringe, thanks for coming and welcome!)

I recently finished my vest and you can read all about my yarn choice, process, and modifications over on Fringe Association in the Meet the Panel blog post. (My interview about my finished vest will be up on Fringe tomorrow, so I'll update with a link when it goes live.) By far the biggest change I made to the pattern was obviously the color patterns. I chose a classic Greek Key motif for the smaller sections and improvised a large starburst pattern for my main motif. 

I've been asked a few times if I would share my charts, so here they are! Feel free to download the images and use the charts as you wish. I'd love to see what you end up making, so tag on me on Instagram (@andrearknits) or send me a Rav message with your creations!


 

I've also created some videos showing my method for catching floats every other stitch, which will also be helpful if you're knitting Tokul. (Videos 1, 2, 3, and 4.)

In related news, for those of you who love color work, I've got a very exciting announcement coming up soon. Sign up for my email newsletter to be the first to hear (and I may even offer a flash sale coupon just to subscribers!)

And just in case you missed it, I'm teaching a class on my Tokul vest at Tolt Yarn and Wool on November 8. (That's the same weekend as their anniversary celebration!) I'd love to see you there, so call the shop to sign up. (425) 333-4066

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

How to Knit a Larger Sentiment Shawl

Photo © Kathy Cadigan, 2013

Even though it's still summer here in the northern hemisphere, this bulky shawl, Sentiment, has been my best seller this month! The super chunky stitches are surprising and impressive, and make for a rewarding and quick knit. 

The wingspan is as it's written is 48 in/122, and lots of knitters have asked how to make a larger shawl. It isn't complicated and just takes a little bit of math. I wrote an easy formula below, along with a step-by-step explanation of how to use it.


WORK THE LACE
The lace pattern repeat that starts off the shawl is 14 stitches (+1 edge stitch), if you want to increase the size of the shawl, you’ll need to add multiples of 14 to the cast-on number. You can then work the lace section of the shawl using the written or charted instructions given on page 3 of the pattern. When you finish that section, you’ll have worked some shaping, so you’ll end up with 12 fewer stitches than you cast on.

SHORT ROW SECTION
For the short row shaping section, you’ll want to have 7 center stitches that are not worked during short row shaping. Here’s the math for figuring out how many stitches to work in Row 1 of the Short Row Shaping:

----

FORMULA
Total Number of Stitches - 7 (center stitches) = A
A ÷  2 = B (the number of stitches on either side of the 7 center stitches)
B (first set of stitches) + 7 (center stitches) = C (number of stitches to work in Short Row 1)

----

So Short Row 1 would read, “KC (instead of 54), w&t.”  Then you could just work the remainder of the pattern as written, though with different stitch counts.

EXAMPLE SHAWL
At the gauge given in the pattern, each lace repeat gives you about 6 inches of finished width. In order to make a shawl that’s a foot wider than given in the pattern (60 inches instead of 48), I’m going to start with 2 extra lace repeats. 

Pattern Cast-On Number: 113
Stitches in 1 Lace Repeat: 14

113 (CO #) + 28 (2 extra Lace Repeats) = 141

Cast-On Section
I need to cast on 141.

Lace Section
In the Lace Section, 12 stitches are decreased.
141 (cast-on number) - 12 (decreased in shaping) = 129

Short Row Section
129 (Total Stitches) - 7 (center stitches) = 122
122 ÷ 2 = 61 (number of stitches on either side of the center 7 stitches)
61 (first set of stitches) + 7 (center stitches) = 68

Short Row 1 would read, “K68 (instead of 54), w&t.” 

Then continue working the pattern to the end as directed, being aware that you’ll have different stitch counts than are given in the pattern.

If you do choose to make a larger shawl, you’ll need more yarn than called for in the pattern. Since I haven’t knit it larger, I can’t be sure how much more, and it can vary a lot, particularly if you’re using a different yarn than called for in the pattern. 

Please share your projects on Ravelry! I’d love to see some XXL Sentiments this fall!


Photo © Kathy Cadigan, 2013

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