December 30, 2006

Stash Buster Striped Blankets

I got a copy of Sally Melville's Styles, and thought I would take her advice about sorting by colour... 14 large buckets later (and I don't think we found all the bags of wool around), I made the decision to create a pattern for something that would use a LOT of stash up, quickly. Really quickly. I mean--really! So, using some of the ideas from Styles, mostly about picking 3 adjacent colours on the colour wheel, and the handy knitting machine, I came up with a basic knitted blanket.

Knitted Blanket
On the knitting machine, I use a setting of 10 (gauge roughly 4 sts to the inch), cast on 60 sts, and knit 400 rows. Change colours every 10 rows; this can be done as blocks of colour with 4 dark and 4 light strips in each block. Knit 6 strips, sew them or slip stitch crochet them together. Block. Decide that you need an edging. Start drinking Reisling (or Rickard's red, or other beveredge) while you think about what edging you should use...garter stitch, not more than 10 sts wide, preferably something that will be easy to change colours on a regular basis.


The first blanket is red, purple and blue. I sewed it together with mattress stitch. By strip 3, I was definitely thinging that there must be a better (faster, easier) way to do this--maybe slip stitch crochet. I didn't know how to knit in the ends, so it will take approximately 17 years to sew in all the ends. They stick between your toes in your sleep, and drive me bananas. I may just decide to line it with fleece, so that Nicole doesn't whine for years.

Blanket 2 for daugher two, Patricia, was made with blues and greens and purples. I figured out how to knit in the ends as you go--much better, although some of the backs slipped to the front, and created a speckled edge along one side. This one has a crochet edging, which I don't think is the best choice, but I love the colours, and I love the pattern. .

Blanket 3 is all wool, and only 4 strips wide. I changed the pattern so that there are blocks of colour: 4 dark and 4 light strips of each 'colour way' to 400 rows (5 blocks of colour). Slip stitch crochet together, and this one will have a garter stitch edging. 3 strips sewn together so far; this one only has 4 strips, as it is for the sofa.

The plan is:
pinks, purples, whites (one for each of the twins, and one for my goddaughter)
green, blue, grey, and purples (2 youngest nephews)
red, purple, blues (oldest nephew, and godson)
whites, greys, yellows and greens (husband, our bed)
amish (read this as as loud as possible, rainbow colours (one sister)
romantic colours (pinks, reds and blues) (Mother, youngest sister)

Knitting for Christmas, and beyond

This is another hats post (I really do love the hats pattern--it is so flexible, and easy).

This one is done with two strands of worsted weight yarn, on 8mm needles. Cast on 30 sts. Create wedges by knitting to 22 sts, then turning around and knitting back; knit to 23 sts, and knit back, and so on until all the sts are used up. Continue until 5 wedges have been made--and then check your size. You may need another full wedge, you may not. If you don't, then cast off and sew together.

My niece walked in while my nephew was trying one on, and said: Awesome hat--where did you get it, and can I have one? (all in one breath, no pause!).

These are fast, and easy, and really good stash reducers.

December 29, 2006

Baby Surprise, Preemie Sized

This is a collection my ramblings on trying to create a preemie sized baby sweater based on the Baby Surprise Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmerman. The original was published in Knitter's Magazine (first in issue 14, then reprinted in issue 41, both of which I own), as well as in Knitters Workshop, and The Opinionated Knitter. This is an origami type of knitting pattern--knit all in one piece, with only the shoulder seams to sew.

I played with the proportions using the desired guage, desired size, and the adult version, published in The Opinionated Knitter, to get a preemie size sweater that would be easy to knit and not have any seams in any uncomfortable places. The magic is in the folding; to discover how to fold it, please purchase one of the patterns. An inexpensive reprint of the original is available from Schoolhouse Press; or, you can go the more fun way and purchase The Opinionated Knitter that contains both the adult and baby versions, along with a lot more interesting stuff that is worth owning. (Both Knitters magazines are out of print, sad to say.) I can say that, without the pattern, I could not figure out how to fold it! Really, please respect the copyright issues and purchase a copy of the original. You won't regret it!

A note: this was developed as a charity knitting pattern, and cannot be sold for profit; the original copyright for the concept belongs to Schoolhouse Press, and Elizabeth Zimmerman; this pattern is copyrighted to me. If you do use my pattern variation, your 'cost' of use is a sweater knit for charity.

Baby Surprise, Preemie size

guage 6sts, 6 ridges to 1 inch (although, as EZ says, babies come smaller and larger, so play with it) using baby sport weight/sport weight wool and 3.5 mm needles. This makes roughly a 3-5 lb preemie sized sweater, about 11" in circumference.

The sweater is knit first from cuffs to elbows in two pieces, and then joined by the cast on that runs across the top of the shoulder. Markers are placed at each point; these become the decrease points, that run from elbow to the underarm along the back of the sleeve, and then the increase points that run from underarm to about belly button across the front. Length is added by knitting back and forth along this center section, and then the entire outer edge is knit up with a garter st border. In keeping with EZ's original idea, button holes are placed on both outside edges. This sweater is more fun when you change colours with abandon, and is a good way to use up your stash.

Sleeves: (make 2) Cast on 22 sts. Knit 3 ridges (6 rows).
Increase row: k3, *m1, k4 * end m1 k3
Knit until there are 8 ridges, in total.
Join: knit across first sleeve (rs), pm, cast on 55 sts, pm, knit across second sleeve.
next row (and all wrong side rows) knit.
Decreases:
(rs) Knit, decrease 1 st on each side of marker, knit, decrease 1 st on each side of marker, knit. (In the original, this is an sk2, which I found harder to keep in a straight line).
Next row, (and all ws rows): knit.
Repeat for 11 decreases. There should be 33 sts between markers, which is roughly the width of the back.
Increases:
(rs): knit to marker, m1, sm, k1, m1, knit to second marker and m1, sm, k1, m1, knit to end.
next row (ws): knit across.
Repeat increase rows until 9 ridges have been worked.
Note: EZ added increases about the 3rd ridge down across the back to provide fullness for the diaper, about every 7th sts.

Neck: Next two rows, while maintaining the increases on the public side, bind off 4 sts at each neck edge.
Next 4 rows, while maintaining increases on the public side, bind off 2 sts at each neck edge.
Work until there are 64 sts between markers.
To lengthen the sweater, work on the center 64 sts only until 8 ridges have been worked.
Border: (rs), work across center 64 sts, pm, pick up 8 sts along the lengthened edge (1 between each ridge), work sts placed on hold (center front).
Next row: (ws): work back, sm, work across center 64 sts, pm, pick up 8 sts along lengthened edge (1 between each ridge), work sts placed on hold for center front.
Work for 2 ridges total.
(ws): K3, *yo, k2tog, k5*, end yo, k2 tog, k3, m1, sm, k1, m1, knit to marker, m1, sm, k1, m1, k3, *k2 tog, yo, k5*, end k2 tog, yo, k3.
K2 more ridges. Bind off.
Fold and sew shoulder seams with a flat seam. (This is most amazing form of knitting orgami I have seen!). Sew buttons on left for a girl, or buttons on right for a boy.



Variations:
Any texture that has a 'square' ratio for knitting will work for this pattern. I have used a variation of two colour knitting, varying garter, seed st. and double seed st. in the stripes, with colour changes on both the public and private sides. As long as you maintain the decreases in the correct placement, and end the final edges with garter st, it looks very cool.

Enjoy, and knit a couple for a preemie near you!

June 21, 2006

Hats, again

Just like Dad's favourite, I thought it would be fun to make a little watch cap style preemie hat. This is just like the k2 p2 wonders, only scaled down a lot. The ribbing lets it fit a lot of different babies, and it is fun and easy to make.
Enjoy.

Size: small (fits an orange) medium (fits a large apple), newborn
3.5 mm needles (double points or one long circular), small amount of sports weight wool.

Cast on 36 (40, 48) sts. Join, k2 p2 around row. Continue until hat is 5 1/2 (6, 6 1/2) inches in length, to decreases.
Decrease round 1: k2, p2 tog, around round.
Continue K2, p1 for 4 rounds.
K1, p2 tog around round.
K1 p1 for two rounds.
K2 tog around rounds until 10 sts remain. Cut yarn and sew through remaining sts, pulling the hole tight. Sew in ends. Fold up cuff.

This one is fun to use up lots of stash wool, since stripes are so much fun!

April 5, 2006

Hats, hats, hats


Garter Stitch Hats

I have been experimenting with a variation of a garter stitch hat, similar to the cloche in Knitting for Babies, and the garter stitch hat in Knitty Magazine (made for a man, in 8 sections with colour changes each row) . I wanted something thatwas very easy, and could be knit by my students at our elementary school in Knitting club. What I came up with is a short-rowed garter stitch hat. The hat is worked sideways, and seamed at the back. A lot of patterns like this use 7 or 8 wedges; I liked 6 wedges better.

The number of rows knit determines the circumference of the hat. The number of rows in the wedge corresponds to the number of sts left unworked at the beginning of the wedge: fewer stitches (rows) means a smaller hat. The straight knitting portion turns into the body and turn up of the hat. The garter stitch does not need to be wrapped, so it is an easy way to start short row shaping. And, the bonus, the kids at school all like the hat, and it is actually flattering without being really tight on the head. My oldest, who hates hats, loves this one.

The big version:
Hat: Child's small (2-4); medium (6-8); teen; adult.
Worsted Weight wool; 5 mm needles. Guage roughly 5 sts to the inch.
The pale blue hat shown in the picture is the teen size.

Cast on 40 (40; 40; 45) sts. Knit to end of row.
Wedge one:Knit 32 (30; 28; 31) sts, leaving 8 (10; 12; 14) sts unworked.
Turn;knit back.
Next row: Knit 33 (31; 29; 32) sts, leaving 7 (9; 11; 13) sts unworked.
Turn and work to end of row.
Next row: Knit 34 (32; 30; 33) sts, leaving 6 (8; 10; 12) sts unworked.
Turn and knit to end of row.

Continue pattern, knitting one more stitch in the short row section every time before turning, until all stitches are worked. This completes one wedge of the hat. Continue working wedge pattern until 6 wedges have been worked in total. Hat should have 48 (60; 72; 86) ridges. Bind off all stitches. Sew up seam, gathering up the top stitches and sewing through them.

You can change colours in each section by knitting the first complete row (from crown to outer edge) with the new colour.

The Preemie version:
3.5 mm needles, sports weight or baby sports weight wool
makes approx. a 2lb (4-5 lb, 6-8 lb) baby size hat. Guage is 6 sts to the inch, and 6 rows to the inch, using baby sport. The 2 lb and 5 lb size are shown in the picture.

This hat is made with six wedge sections, knit sideways in garter st.

Cast on 30 (33, 36) sts.
First wedge section:
Knit 22 (23, 24) sts, leaving 8 (10, 12) unworked on needle. Turn, and knit back.
Knit 23 (24, 25) sts, leaving 7 (9, 11) sts unworked on needle. Turn and knit back.
Continue working wedge, by knitting one st beyond sts already worked until all sts are used.
You can change colours by knitting the last row of the wedge in the new colour.
Work until 6 wedges have been completed (48, 60, 72 ridges in all). Bind off all sts. Sew with a flat seam.

March 17, 2006

Oh, the things we will do when avoiding .....



marking
house cleaning
work
sewing
mending
laundry
.....




It started, of course, with a KAL. March's second KAL for the dishclothknitting group. The cloth was one I recognized, although I had never knit it. Round, doily-ish, and just plain fun. After two days, being the impatient soul I am, I raced ahead (despite the disaproval of the teenage daughter) and knit the whole thing. Lovely.

Then, feeling guilty, I started a second one--and finished it, because it was way too fun. Of course, I had to go to the store and pick up a second ball of the yarn because one ball was 5 yards too short to finish the cloth. Then I started a third one, which is still on day two's KAL...

The pattern for the round cloth is here:
http://www.knittingknonsense.com/lacyround.html

Then, I got to thinking...
What if I played with the lace? What if I tried to knit a tea towel for the stove with the same/kind of the same lace edging? What if I didn't want it so gatherered? What about something like a cool hand towel for the bath room? Wouldn't it be neat to make something pretty.

Kitchen Tea set.
This set includes a Button top hand towel, a square dish cloth, and a larger hand towel. The round cloth is copyrighted to the link mentioned above.

These are all made of worsted weight cotton yarn, on size 6 (4 mm) needles, although you can use size 7 (4.5 mm) needles.


I used two 85 g balls of Lily peaches and cream to make the 3 pieces.








Button top kitchen towel:
There are two choices of edging on this hand towel, a ruffled edge, and a straight edging. The length of the edging on this towel creates the width of the towel. The body of the towel is then picked up across the top of the edging and knit to the desired depth before the button band and tab.





Ruffled Edging:
Cast on 15 sts.
row 1: k2, * yo, k2 tog * twice, yo, k to end.
row 2: sl 1, knit to end
row 3: k2, *yo, k2 tog * twice, yo, k to end
row 4: sl 1, knit to end
row 5: k2, *yo, k2 tog * 3 times, yo, k7, turn
row 6: knit to end
row 7: k2, *yo k2 tog * 3 times, yo, k7, turn
row 8: knit to end
row 9: bind off 4 sts, knit to end
row 10: sl1, knit to end.
Repeat these 10 rows for 12 points, or desired width of tea towel, measured along straight edge. Bind off all sts except the last one. Pick up 3 sts for each repeat (total of 38 sts across).

Straight Edging:
Cast on 12 sts.
row 1: k2, * yo, k2 tog * twice, yo, k to end.
row 2, and all wrong side rows: sl 1, knit to end
row 3: k2, *yo, k2 tog * twice, yo, k to end
row 5: k2, *yo, k2 tog * 3 times, yo, k7, turn
row 7: k2, *yo k2 tog * 3 times, yo, k7, turn
row 9: bind off 4 sts, knit to end
row 11: k2, *yo, k2 tog * twice, knit to end
Repeat these 12 rows for 8 points, or desired width of tea towel, and then bind off all sts except the last one. Pick up 5 sts for each repeat, total of 40 sts across. Decrease to 38 sts in first knit row of eyelet row.

Eyelet edging: This is optional, but it makes the cloth look pretty, and you can thread a ribbon through it for a totally lacy look.
row 1: knit across
row 2: knit across (right side)
row 3: knit across
row 4: k3, *yo, k2 tog * across row to last 3 sts, k3
row 5: knit across
row 6: knit across
row 7: knit across

Body of towel:
row 1: (right side) knit
row 2: (wrong side), k3, purl to last 3 sts, k3.
repeat rows 1 and 2 for 6 inches above the border, or until desired depth has been reached, ending with a right side row.
Repeat eyelets pattern if desired.

Top of kitchen towel (button band)
row 1: (right side) k3, *k2 tog * to last 3 sts, k3
row 2: knit
row 3, 4, 5, and 6: knit across
row 7: k3, * k2 tog * to last 3 sts, k3
row 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12: knit
row 13: k 2, * k2 tog* to last 2 sts, k2
row 14: knit
row 15: k2, k2 tog, k2, k2 tog, k2 (8 sts total).
row 16: knit
Continue knitting on these 8 sts for 17 ridges (34 rows total) or desired length to button hole.
For Button hole:
row 1: k2, k2 tog, wrap yarn around needle twice, k2 tog, k2
row 2: k 3, knit into each wrap of the needle once (creates 2 sts), k 3
row 3: knit across
row 4: knit acros
row 5: k 2, k2 tog, k2, k2 tog, k2
row 6: knit across
row 7: k2, * k2 tog * twice, k2
row 8: knit across
row 9: k1, * k2 tog * twice, k1
row 10: knit across
row 11: bind off all sts.
Sew on button just above the last gather before the tap.




Face cloth, or tea towel.
The edging is knit on either side of this flat cloth. For a wash cloth, cast on 36 sts. For a medium tea towel, cast on 80 sts. For a larger cloth, cast on 100 sts.








row 1 and 2: k2, * yo, k2 tog * twice, yo, knit to end
row 3 and 4: k2, * yo, k2 tog * twice, yo, knit to end
row 5 and 6: k2, * yo, k2 tog * three times, yo, knit to end
row 7 and 8: k2, * yo, k2 tog * three times, yo, knit to end
row 9 and 10: bind off 4 sts, knit to end.
row 11 and 12: k2, *yo, k2 tog * twice, knit to end
Repeat these 12 rows until towel is desired width. Bind off.

My face cloth was 6 repeats.

March 10, 2006

Oh there's no place like home for the holidays...

Oh there is no place like home for the holidays,
Particularly since it is March break.
I haven't cleaned anything in at least a month,
and my husband invited fourteen people for lunch...
tomorrow!

But I did actually get all my report cards done,
edited and given to the boss (oh yeah!)
Could be considered that this was a real miracle,
since I spent Febuary riding the Olympics Knitting horse!

March 4, 2006

The Olympic Gold


Isn't this just way too cool?


Winning gold is just way too fun.

Thanks so much to Stephanie, the idea master of the Olympic Knitting Event, and all the other organizers who made it happen.

Wow!

What to do with all that lovely leftover Decor wool...





I was very generous when I purchased the wool for my olympic challenge--fearing, I suppose freezing rain or another act of God combined with 'running out of wool' --horrified gasp--would mean that I would not finish my challenge. By the time I finished the Maple Leaf Forever, I had used two balls of red, but only 4 1/2 balls of the cream. What to do with the other almost 6 balls of cream wool, and the various balls that were from the first two frogged attempts.

Wishing for the cottage and wanting something totally comfortable but easy, I cast on 88 sts on my 4.5 mm needles, and began a variation of my grandmother's favourite sweater. My grandmother has knit MILLIONS of these sweaters--all in exactly the same size. I think this is what drove me to learn to knit things that have a hope of fitting ME--not the 6'2" 34" chest model my grandmother believed she (and I) were. I am not knocking grandma's knitting, in any way, but at just over 5' and for most of my life a generous 37" chest, I wasn't so comfortable in grandma's sweater.



Dreaming of the Cottage, baby, sweater




Neckband:
Cast on 88 sts using 4.5 mm needles and magic loop method. Join in round, being careful not to twist sts. K2 P2 ribbing for 5" or desired depth of neckband.
Switch to body pattern , establishing markers for shoulder increases as follows: PM (place marker) K3 (for mock cable) p2 K3 (for second mock cable), PM, K36 (front) placing marker after st 18 for center front, PM, K3 (for mock cable) p2, K3, K36 for back.
body pattern:
round 1 K3, p1 around
round 2: K around round

Short rows for neck:

Note: if you don't want to bother with this, you don't have to, but it makes a more comfortable sweater.

Maintaining body pattern, knit to within 12 sts of center front marker, increasing on either side of cable sts with a p marker st. This translates to knit to within 2 sts of round marker, K front and back, p1, SlM (slip marker), K3, Kfront and back of next 2 sts, K3, SlM, p1, Kfront and back of next st, knit to within 12 sts of center front marker, Sl, Sl, yarn to the front, turn. Wrap first st, purl around row to within 12 sts of center front marker, maintaining all sts as set (purl the mock cable sts from the back; knit the purl sts that set them apart by the markers), sl2, turn, wrap one st.

Repeat short row to within 9 sts of cf marker, remembering to increase on either side of cable, leaving a p st as a divider, and to pick up and knit or purl the wrap with the st it wraps as you come to it, sl2, turn, wrap 1, purl around to within 9 sts of cf marker, sl2, turn, wrap 1. Short row to within 6 sts of cf marker, sl2, turn, wrap 1, purl back to within 6 sts of cf marker, sl2, turn, wrap, continue around, picking up wraps and knitting them with the st, and increasing 1 st on either side of every marker to the marker for the beginning of round. Check sleeve counts: both sleeves should have the same number of sts between markers; both fronts should have same number of sts between markers. If not, on this round only, increase on either side of the markers on the one sleeve so they both match. Otherwise, you will have one sleeve smaller than the other. (Ask me how I know).

Continuing to increase every other row (I like to match the increases and the cables with the pattern round that has the purl sts), on every 6th row when you come to the mock cable, knit the mock cable by knitting the 3rd st from the needle without removing the st, then the second st from the needle without removing the st, then the first st from the needle, and then sliding them all off together.

Maintaining the body and cable pattern, increase on either side of the cable, every other round, until the depth from the base of the neck is 9", or desired length to underarm divide.

Divide for the underarms:
Knit across sleeve sts, place on st holder, knit across front sts, maintaining pattern, knit across sleeve sts, place sleeve sts on holder, knit across back sts maintaining pattern. Cast on 12 sts, or enough sts to complete pattern across body (up to 12 sts). Knit across front body; cast on 12 sts, or enough sts to complete pattern repeat (up to 12 sts). Knit across back sts, maintaining pattern. PM. My sweater had 200 sts total, including the underarm sts, which was 25 repeats of the 4 st pattern in front, and 25 repeats of the 4 st pattern in back.

Knit continuing to maintain pattern for 4 inches, or until you want to start the mock cable pattern for the body.

Place markers at center underarm 'cable'. The cable pattern starts every other cable, every 6th round. In other words, for your first cable set, knit to one cable past the center underarm cable, mock cable these three sts, maintain pattern to one 'cable' before underarm cable, mock cable these three sts, knit underarm cable plain, mock cable next cable, knit across to last cable before underarm cable at beginning of row, mock cable these three sts. Continue with body pattern for 5 more rows. Next cable round, underarm rib set plain, mock cable previous cable, next rib set plain, mock cable next rib set, knit to within 2 rib sets of previous cable, mock cable rib set, one rib set plain, mock cable previously cabled rib set, underarm rib set plain, cable previously cabled rib set, next rib set plain, cable next rib set, continue across to 2 rib sets before previous cabled rib, mock cable rib set, one rib set plain, mock cable rib set (previously cabled rib), next plain rib set should be the underarm and the plain rib.

I am sure there is an easy way to write this, but essentially, you are adding a mock cable to the pattern on each side every sixth row, to create the center front diagonal rib. Knit continuing pattern established to 13" or desired body length before ribbing. Change to k2 p2 ribbing, and rib to 15" from underarm cast on, or desired body length.

to be continued

to be continued

February 25, 2006

Maple Leaf Forever Sweater Pattern

My Olympic Sweater Technical Notes:

Knit with Patons Decor, 5 balls Winter White (main colour) and 2 balls Barn Red (contrast colour)
4.5 mm circular needle
I used the Single circular needle technique for whole sweater, including neckband and sleeves.

Guage:
Ladder Ribbing: 12 sts and 14 rows equals 2" on 4.5 mm needles, slightly stretched.
Stockinette: 10 sts and 13 rows equals 2" on 4.5 mm needles.

Sts:
Ladder Ribbing multiple of 6 sts.
row 1: K3 P3
row 2: K1 P1 across row.
This pattern is totally reversible, and is knit exactly the same when in the round, or on two needles.

Neckband:
Cast on 90 sts, with white, join round being careful that sts are not twisted. Start Ladder ribbing (multiple of 6 sts)row 1: K3, P3 across roundrow 2: K1, P1 across round.
Knit 11 rows, ending with row 1. Change to main colour.
Dividing round:
PM (place marker), K5, PM, k20, PM for center front, k20, PM, k5, k40.

Short Row portion:
Remembering to increase at either side of the markers on the public side of the sweater (I did this by knitting in the sts front and back, but a variety of sts will work, including M1), knit to within 15 sts of the center front marker, sl, sl, turn, yarn in front, wrap the first stitch loosely, yarn behind.
Purl around sweater to within 10 sts of the center front marker, sl, sl, turn, wrap the first stitch loosely. Knit to within 10 sts of center front marker, remembering to increase on either side of the markers placed for the sleeve increases, and picking up the wrap and knitting it with the slipped stitch when you come to it, sl, sl, turn.
Wrap first st, purl around to within 7 sts of center front marker (remembering to pick up and purl slipped stitch when you come to it), sl, sl, turn.
Wrap first st, knit around to within 5 sts of center marker, sl, sl, turn.
Wrap fist st, purl around to within 5 sts of center marker, sl, sl, turn.
Wrap first st, knit around, picking up any wrapped sts as you come to them, and increasing on either side of the markers as before.
Knit one row plain, checking that your sleeves have the same number of sts between marker. If they don't, then increase on this row only to make them match. (This was the only problem I had with the short rows.)

Yoke:
Continue alternating plain rows with increase rows until the sweater is 9" from the bottom of the neck band (or desired depth). You should be knitting one row plain, and then one row with increases on either side of markers.
Knit 3 rows plain before the divide for the sleeves.

Sleeve Dividing row:
Knit across first sleeve; place sleeve sts on holder, knit across body, and second sleeve, place sleeve on st. holder, knit across body sts. Break yarn.

Join for Body:
Attach contrast yarn, cast on 21 sts with invisible cast on, attach main colour, knit across body sts, drop and attach second ball of contrast yarn, cast on 21 sts with invisible cast on, attach second ball of wool for body, knit across sts, end yarn over, turn.
Purl back across body sts, wrap at colour change, p1 k1 across underarm panel, ending p1, wrap at colour change, purl across body sts, wrap at colour change, p1 k1 across underarm panel, ending, sl 1, p1 in yarn over, psso, yo, turn.
(Public row) Contrast portion: K3, place marker, p3, continue k3 p3 across panel, ending k3, wrap yarns at colour change, knit across body sts, wrap yarns at colour change, contrast panel k3 p3 across underarm panel ending k3, wrap yarns at colour change, knit across body sts, ending sl 1 k1 into yarn over, pss0, yo. Turn.
Continue in this manner until desired body length to ribbing. Mine is 13" long, with 2 1/2 " for ribbing, in pattern.

If desired, introduce the intarsia motif after the first two rounds of the body. The motif can also be duplicate stitched on afterwards if you are not feeling confident about the intarsia in the round technique.

Ribbing: At 13" or desired length before ribbing, change to contrast colour and Fireman rib pattern. Decrease 15 sts around body, or as many are needed to be decreased to have a multiple of 6 sts for ribbing, starting with K3 P3 row. Complete 10 repeats of pattern, ending with K1 P1 row . Change to main colour. K3 P3 around row. Bind off all sts purlwise.

Sleeves.
With contrast colour, pick up and knit all sleeve sts on holder, then pick up 21 sts along invisible cast on for the contrast colour panel. Join round. Continue sleeve, maintaining pattern for contrast panel at underarm, for 3" before beginning decreases. Decrease 1 st either side of the underarm pattern panel, every 6 rows, until 48 sts remain or desired sleeve length to ribbing has been reached. My sleeves are 15" long from the underarm pick up, before the ribbing. If there are more than 48 sts, decrease to 48 sts, ending the sleeve on a K1 P1 row of the panel. Change to Fireman rib pattern, knitting 14 repeats of pattern (28 rows, or 3") ending with a K1 P1 row. Change to main colour, and complete a K3 P3 round. Cast off purlwise.

Sew in all loose ends and block sweater.

Comments, after the fact:
I found the neckband was large, and could have been reduced 1-2 repeats of ribbing for comfort. This would also solve the very large sweater body issue, as it was 46" chest measurement. If I was making it for a man, I would make the sleeves larger by 3 sts between the increase rounds and at least 3 inches longer both in the body and the arms, for my darling husband. This would mean casting on 6 more sts to start. Still, it is a lovely, loose comfortable sweater for me.

Gold Medal Finish!


Kaffe: Well, Deborah, I think that this sweater has qualified for the Gold, don't you?

Deborah: Absolutely. The neck has a lovely back raise, and the short rows are barely visible. The underarm panels are lovely, and I particularly like the red sleeve detail. Shades of the Canadian flag.

The intarsia portion is impressive, particularly since this is the designer's first attempt at intarsia, let alone intarsia done in the round. Straight panel intarsia under the arms with ribbing detail adds to the interest of the sweater.

Gold Medal Sweater.


This picture is from Tuesday evening, just before the Flu hit our house in full force.

Wednesday: Mom, and both lovely daughters were home sick. Thursday: Mom still home, seeing double, and wavering while standing. Teaching--what is that?

Of course, anyone can knit while prone on couch between seeing double and running for the bathroom, right!?!

February 16, 2006

Olympics Commentary


Kaffe Fasset: Well, Deborah, after two disheartening false starts, Beth seems to be picking up steam on her Olympic Knitting event. She has passed the sleeve divide, and is working at significant speed for the intarsia front portion of her Olympic challenge.

Deborah Newton: Yes, Kaffe. Beth is competing in the very challenging 'Design your own' category, for the Canadian Knitting Team. Her project is a top-down sweater, in her team colours, using Paton's winter white and deep red. Her sweater includes some very challenging elements, a definite step up in complexity for this long time knitting designer.

Kaffe: Tell us a little more about these elements, Deborah.

Deborah: Beth's sweater incorporates a significant self designed, center front intarsia portion, the maple leaf, as well as intarsia insets along the body and under the arms . She is using the 'intarsia in the round technique', a new personal challenge. She also significantly stepped up the complexity of the design by incorporating a totally reversible ribbing pattern known as Fireman's rib, or Ladder Ribbing. The neck also includes a short-row portion to raise the back of the sweater for comfort.


Technical Notes:

Patons Decor, Winter White and Deep Red for contrast.
4.5 mm needles
Single circular needle technique for whole sweater.

Neckband:
Cast on 90 sts, with white. Start Ladder ribbing (multiple of 6 sts)
row 1: K3, P3 across round
row 2: K1, P1 across round
Knit 11 rows, ending with row 1. Change to main colour.
Dividing round: PM (place marker), K5, PM, k20, PM for center front, k20, PM, k5, k40.

Technical notes to be continued...

Freeezing Rain Frustrations...

So, Southern Ontario is covered in snow, freezing rain, and rain. The universities in this area are closed--the last time this happened, I was in Teacher's college and the world stopped for three days. A great day to knit--only....

My knitting bag is sitting in my room at school which is CLOSED due to freezing rain! Ack!

I can't believe that I did that!

So, here I am starting on challenge number two: Lace and garter stitch Maple leaf dishcloth, coming up.

February 9, 2006

Just joined the Knitting Olympic Team Canada

So, it is official. I now have to get yarn, and start swatching in earnest! One new sweater, and a dishcloth coming up...