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.
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
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




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.

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.

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:


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.

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

Get the pattern

Friday, July 10, 2015

ARBRE - Brooklyn Tweed Wool People 9

Photo © Jared Flood/Brooklyn Tweed, 2015

Brooklyn Tweed is one of my favorite yarn companies and all of their collections are worth waiting for. I’m particularly excited about the latest one, Wool People 9, which includes a new pi shawl, Arbre. 

The pi shawl form is fascinating to me because the a formula can be used in an infinite variety of ways. You may remember my last pi shawl, also for Brooklyn Tweed (from Wool People 6) called Tree Rings. In that design I played around with texture and emphasized the round shape of the shawl using concentric rings of welting paired with directional sideways chevrons.

Photos © Jared Flood/Brooklyn Tweed, 2015
This time I wanted to explore the traditional lace pi shawl, so I chose just a few simple lace patterns to repeat for dramatic impact. The every-row lace pattern edging is just a 6-row pattern, so the scalloping of the edge is particularly lacy, adding to the overall heirloom feel of the shawl.

If you’re curious about how pi shawls work and want a little guidance getting started with your Arbre, please join me for a pi shawl workshop on Saturday, July 18 from 1-5pm at Tolt Yarn & Wool in Carnation, WA. Tolt has a wonderful selection of Brooklyn Tweed yarns and is an incredible destination yarn shop.

Space is limited, so call Tolt at (425) 333-4066 to reserve your spot!

Photos © Jared Flood/Brooklyn Tweed, 2015

Wool People 9 is an inspiring collection all around, and I'm particularly excited by Gyre, Element, and Grille. The Brooklyn Tweed blog is featuring short interviews with Wool People 9 designers, so you can read more about this design and lots more! The look book is also definitely worth browsing. Enjoy!

See Arbre:

Monday, May 18, 2015

#RangelKAL Wrap Up

It's not quite over yet, but I want to share some of the amazing projects knitters have created for the Rangel Knit Along. There were lots of lovely Pembroke Wraps:

From Top Left Clockwise: Pembroke Wraps knit by Ravelers
 bravesealpupsandragon72SweetBeej, and vjbeck

And some incredible garments! All of the projects below were made by the talented and prolific Raveler, kparise. I adore her color sense!

From Left Clockwise: Katie Summer Dress, Luxa, and Escalier Cardigan knit by Raveler kparise 

Knitters also worked up a bunch of lovely accessories. The shawl on the bottom right was made using Raveler MaryBear's handspun!

From Top Left Clockwise: Tolt Hat knit by Raveler shantiknits, Sentiment knit by Raveler fabfemme, Fietser Mitts knit by Raveler sushipie, Resin knit by Raveler iownapaint, Wendee knit by Raveler SweetBeej, and Sunlight on the Forest Floor spun & knit by Raveler MaryBear 

This KAL was a bit impromptu to begin with, but so many knitters participated and the finished objects are just beautiful! 

You've still got until the end of the day on Wednesday, May 20 to post your FO photo to the Ravelry thread to be eligible to win one of our fantastic prizes! 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

New Pattern - Melisseus

Photo © Craftsy 2015
I love when a stitch pattern looks great on both sides, particularly if I plan to use it for a scarf or cowl. That way I can just throw it on without thinking if the "good" side is showing, which makes it a more practical accessory. For my latest design, Melisseus, I chose a fun honeycomb stitch pattern that's easy to work, and creates a cuddly bubble texture on the other side.

To visually divide up the pattern, I used a welting technique that creates these great clean ridges on the fabric. Instructions for how to do it are given in the pattern, and it's a handy skill to add to your repertoire. The whole cowl is worked in the round as a loop, so finishing is minimal.

Photo © Craftsy 2015
This pattern is now available as a kit from Craftsy, and you can also get it as part of Craftsy's Exclusive Spring Wraps Bundle, which includes designs from the brilliant Romi Hill and Melanie Blerg. 

Pattern Specs:

Rowan Pure Wool Worsted (100% Wool; 219 yd/200 m per 100 g skein) Color: Damson; 3 skeins

12.25 in/32 cm deep, 44 in/112 cm circumference

19 stitches and 38 rows = 4 inches in Dimple Stitch Pattern after blocking

US #8/5 mm 40 in/100 cm circular needle

On a quick note of business, we have just about a week left to go in my Knit Along! Head over to my Ravelry group to post Finished Object photos for your chance to win one of a bunch a fantastic prizes.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

#RangelKAL Prize Announcement 5

Can you guess what the next KAL prize is? If you're familiar with Fringe Association, you knew as soon as you saw that picture! If you don't know about Fringe, you're in for a treat. Style genius and maker/blogger Karen Templer also curates the perfect little shop for knitters and other creative folks. The bags shown above are handmade by another favorite (and Canadian!), Bookhou. The shop also carries wonderful notions like buttons made of horn and bone, the incredibly useful Fashionary notebook, and lots of other beautiful and well-made goods.

Karen has generously agreed to give a $25 gift certificate to one lucky knitter. To be eligible to win this and lots more amazing prizes, you just have to join our Knit Along currently in progress, post a Ravelry project, and post photos of your finished project in the forum thread by May 20, 2015. 

This could be the perfect motivation to start working on that sweater you've been pining after (Luxa is a springtime favorite). Or, if you're short on time, check out my Quick Knits Pinterest board for ideas on projects that provide a little bit more instant gratification. (Have you knit a Pembroke yet? It's a lace triangle in super bulky yarn, so you'll finish it up in no time!)

A few knitters have already finished their projects, so you can scroll through the forum thread for a little inspirations. It's not too late to join and I'd love to have you!

#RangelKAL Ravelry Forum Thread

Fringe Association
Knitter's Pride Needle Set Prize
Knit Crate Ume Kit Prize
Knitting Boutique Passages Prize
Tolt Hat and Mitts Prize

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