06 July 2015

Wedding sweater: math(s)

Oh, mathematics. Where would a knitwear designer be without you? While it may not be the most fun for those of us who just want to knit, swatches, measurements, and calculations are vital elements to creating a sweater that fits the way we want. And if you like the fit, then you will love the sweater and wear it all the time. That's what we all want out of our craft, isn't it?

So, math(s). I found that my swatch on US4 needles gives me 6spi and 8rpi or 24 sts x 32 rows = 4", which is pretty much what I was aiming for (yay!). I'm going to create a sweater with a 38" bust, giving me 1" positive ease, which means I should cast on 228 sts (38 * 6 = 228). Since I also plan to work an integrated button band, I'm going to add six more stitches to account for the button band overlap, giving us a grand total of 234 stitches. 

It may be all banged up, but my gauge tool is one of my best friends

The original plan was for a deep, ribbed hem, with the ribbing contracting the fabric nicely to provide waist-shaping without a lot of extra work - see how the ribbing at the bottom of the swatch draws it in? (I like waist shaping, but sometimes you just want to knit a tube/rectangle without keeping track of things beyond length to underarm.) However, since the original sketch, my sister and I have mulled things over and decided to have a more standard body to the sweater, so I'm going to work a garter stitch hem. I think this will make for a sweater that is easier to wear unbuttoned. A deep ribbed hem would look cute buttoned up but may not hit exactly right with the dress, so we've decided to make that change. 

With our bust/hip number, what Elizabeth Zimmermann called "K" or the key number, we can calculate the other numbers needed for our raglan yoke. The numbers we will need include:
  • cast-on for sleeves - approx. 1/4 of stitches, though we are working 3/4 sleeves, so will start with a slightly larger number, since our cuff will begin at a wider part of the arm
  • stitches needed for upper arm circumference - approx. 1/3
  • how many stitches to be held for the underarms - 8%
  • and our neckband goal stitches or how many stitches will remain after the raglan shaping of the yoke - approx. 40%, since we have decided to make a reasonably high yoke that will then fall open nicely when buttoned up most of the way

The other important thing to determine is the buttonhole rate. We have approximately eight rows per inch on the swatch. Since I do not yet have buttons, I am not constrained in how many buttonholes I can have, but something like every two inches seems about right. To get an exact number, I do have to figure out the approximate length of the sweater from hem to neck before I begin - something that can be ignored if you knit on your button bands after knitting the sweater. ... spreadsheets ... math ... double-check ... hold measuring tape up to self and be grateful my sister and I have similar measurements ... Looks like I will be able to do ten tiny buttons up the front of the sweater - I'd better go on a button hunt before we head up to Maine!

Previous steps: 1. Yarn choice. 2. Sketching. 3. Swatches

Next step: Knit knit knit. With all the numbers in my spreadsheet, I should be able to happily knit away on this. Cross your fingers for me that I can knit like the wind. with wool. in July. Luckily, it's fingering weight, so I don't have three pounds of wool in my lap. Hopefully I will have lots of progress to show you next week.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo,


03 July 2015

quick + purly: 5 gloves

Now that Summer is firmly upon us in the Northern Hemisphere, the notion of knitting something that would fill your lap is, um, repugnant, isn't it? Unless you're safely tucked away in the AC, you'll want something small (or something in linen). How about some gloves? Sure, they may be a little fiddly with all those fingers, but don't your lovely, clever hands deserve something special? This week I found five glove patterns that each have some element that makes them truly spectacular. Take your pick!



  1. Opus 300 by Linda OCarroll and Mel Browne £3 GBP (~ $4.80 USD) 
    Such a clever use of beads! Be sure to note the ring on the pointer finger.
  2. Snapdragon Gloves by The Rainey Sisters $6 USD 
    Wouldn't you want a pair with colorful flowers AND a pair all in one yarn?
  3. FINLAY by Alexandra Brinck £2.50 GBP (~ $4 USD)
    You wanted to figure out what to do with that awesome stripey yarn you fell for, right?
  4. Texel Gloves by Dagmar Mora $4 USD 
    Such a clever use of color and stitch pattern - there's a ribbed option for the cuff, too!
  5. Lady Wannabe (Den dama) by Tara Frøseth Design kr.35.00 NOK (~$4.53 USD) 
    A chance to paw through your button jar...
All images from patterns' Ravelry pages. No copyright infringement intended. I just want to share the love!

Special note: The über-talented Julia Mueller has, sadly, stopped designing gloves. Lucky for you, she has decided to make all her existing designs free (to avoid the VAT mess). There are so many lovelies to choose from that you should just go and pick your favorite(s) and then come back and tell me about them.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo,

01 July 2015

Did you miss me?

We went to Greece last week, and it was amazing! I didn't even knit every day - that's how amazing it was. If you don't follow me on social media (InstagramFlickrTwitterTumblr), you weren't inundated with pictures last week like the one below, but you can follow those links and enjoy them now ;)

Sunset on Santorini - wearing some handknits


The sweater I'm wearing will go into testing soon - it's in laceweight so was perfect for the cool nights in the Cyclades, and the scarf was my linen laceweight travel knitting, which will also need a write-up and test soon.

I'll do a more thorough post about Greece down the line, but for now it's time to get back to the grindstone (and get over my jetlag). I missed you all and hope your weeks were lovely.

This month there will be more pattern upgrades, as well as some re-releases of magazine-published patterns. In case you missed them, here are the patterns that have been upgraded so far:
As always, thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, 

30 June 2015

Pattern: An Aran for Anne

After An Aran for Frederick flew off to Jane Austen Knits for his photo shoot, I found myself staring at a bag of steely-grey/lavender worsted-spun wool that kept telling me it wanted to be something shapely. Having had so much fun with the construction for Frederick, I decided to see what I could do with the hybrid yoke style for a woman.

An Aran for Anne $7 on Ravelry (no account necessary)

She was looking remarkably well; her very regular, very pretty features, having the bloom and freshness of youth restored by the fine wind which had been blowing on her complexion, and by the animation of eye which it had also produced. ... [Captain Wentworth] gave her a momentary glance,—a glance of brightness, which seemed to say, "That man is struck with you,—and even I, at this moment, see something like Anne Elliot again."
—Jane Austen, Persuasion  



The elegant little woman Miss Anne Elliot merits her own pretty pullover, with waist shaping and a variety of twisted stitch patterns. Elegant Ribbing accentuates the waist shaping, while budding (bobbling) vines wind their way up front, back, and sleeves. And the easy-to-remember Inverted Gull Stitch pattern nods to Anne’s beloved, Captain Frederick Wentworth, much at sea.

Like An Aran for Frederick, An Aran for Anne is worked in the round from the bottom up. The yoke is a saddle-shouldered hybrid style. Waist-shaping and a wider, almost boat-style neck ensure that shapely Anne won’t be mistaken for manly Frederick!

What you'll love about knitting An Aran for Anne

  • Gorgeous cable patterns that use a variety of knitting techniques
  • Worked in the round from the bottom up, so you are always looking at the right side of those cables
  • Hybrid construction brings all the cable elements together in the yoke in a way that is fun to knit and all but eliminates finishing work
What you'll love about wearing An Aran for Anne
  • Shaping hidden in the purl fabric of the central cable plus the Elegant Ribbing at the sides forms a sweater that hugs your curves in all the right places
  • Neckline shows off your lovely collar bones
  • Feminine, nature-inspired cables make this one seriously pretty sweater


Size/Finished Measurements
Women’s XS (S, M, L, 1X, 2X, 3X) (shown in size M with one inch negative ease)
Bust circumference: 29¼ (32¾, 37½, 40½, 45¼, 48¼, 53) inches


Materials 
  • Louet Gems Worsted (100% superwash Merino; 175 yds [160 m]/100g): Steel Grey, 5 (6, 7, 7, 8, 9, 10) skeins
  • Size 6 (4 mm): 16- and 29-inch circular (cir) and double-pointed (dpn) needles (ndl)
  • Markers (m), including one different marker for end-of-round
  • Cable needle (cn)
  • Waste yarn or stitch holders
  • Tapestry needle



Skills needed
  • Casting on
  • Binding off
  • Knitting
  • Purling
  • Increasing
  • Decreasing
  • Working in the round
  • Working stitches out of order (cabling)
  • Working from charted instructions

Thanks!
Previously published in Jane Austen Knits, Summer 2012
Photography: Nicholas Dames

Gauge
19 sts and 26 rnds = 4 inches in Rev St st


Everything you need to create your very own An Aran for Anne has its place in this professionally formatted (by me!) pattern. Cables are provided in chart form only.

Lovely knitters who purchased this pattern when it was originally released should have received a message from Ravelry that the updated version is now in their libraries. Don't miss the special customer coupon code!

And don't forget that An Aran for Anne is part of my Jane Austen Knits bundle. Use code jakbundle to purchase An Aran for Anne, An Aran for Frederick, and Sotherton for $15 ($21 value). Previous purchases from my Ravelry store will be credited towards the bundle price at checkout.



Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo,

29 June 2015

Wedding sweater: swatches

Ooh, swatching! I know, I know, some of us find swatching to be such a burden. We just want to get knitting. I hear you! And as the designer, I'm lucky enough to be the one to set the gauge - all I have to worry about is creating a fabric I like, while you have to match my gauge or do math to adjust the pattern to your gauge. We knitters are mathematicians, aren't we?

But swatching gives you an opportunity to get to know your yarn, which is a good thing, and it also familiarizes you with the chosen stitch pattern. Since I will be working the cardigan back and forth (no steeking for me on this), I worked my swatches back and forth, too.
Swatch on US6 with garter edges on left and seed stitch edges on right
Hmm, the patterns look OK here with the US6 needle, but I feel like the fabric is too loose. I'm also not loving the Seed Stitch edge.

Swatch on US4 with garter stitch edges all around
This is more like it! The US4 tightens up the fabric, so everything looks tidy. I know Clara Parkes would want me to go down even smaller, but this is a cardigan that will be worn in August, so it doesn't need to be windproof :) The bobbles look crisper, too. And I am very happy with the garter stitch edges - they give a nice contrast to the smooth stockinette and highlight the hand-dyed color.

Previous steps: 1. Yarn choice. 2. Sketching.

Next step: Actual knitting! I'll be working my way up the body first, though I might do one sleeve first as a second gauge swatch (and to make the visit to sleeve island shorter because the yoke is always my favorite part).

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo,


26 June 2015

FO-tastic: An Aran for Anne

One of the lovely things about putting all my patterns into the same format is that I get to revisit them all, double-check that I've seen everyone's FOs, and marvel at the skills and creativity of my fellow knitters. Today I want to share a handful of major beauties that came out of An Aran for Anne, the companion pattern to my all-spiffed-up An Aran for Frederick.

Knitwitted knit hers before embarking on a trip to the British Isles. Here she is on the shores of Loch Ness! Extra length on the sleees and body gave her the fit she was looking for. Remember: You are the boss of your own knitting. Modify so you'll love and wear it after all your hard work?

Lea67000 chose a beautiful color for hers and added a hem after the fact.

aaafan achieved a gorgeous fit on hers. Knowing your measurements can make all the difference when choosing which size to knit. And don't be afraid of a touch of negative ease!

How charming is the photo shoot WildBerryKnits staged for her sweater?! Reading Persuasion by the fire, hair caught up in a lace ribbon... Love it!
One more lovely version, this one from ktrautlein.

All images from the projects' Ravelry pages. No copyright infringement intended. I just want to share the love!

In case you want to check out all the other fantastic An Aran for Anne projects:



Thanks for stopping by and happy knitting!
xoxo,

24 June 2015

Pattern: An Aran for Frederick

Next up in the pattern parade: An Aran for Frederick

My first pattern published in a print magazine (Turn of the Glass had been published in Knitty in January 2011) and a perennial favorite, An Aran for Frederick was my first opportunity to explore the way cable patterns and the hybrid yoke construction of Elizabeth Zimmermann could come together to embody a character.

An Aran for Frederick $7 on Ravelry (no account necessary)

“A well-looking man,” said Sir Walter, “a very well-looking man.”
“A very fine young man indeed!” said Lady Dalrymple. “More air than one often sees in Bath. Irish, I dare say.”
“No. I just know his name. A bowing acquaintance. Wentworth—Captain Wentworth of the navy.” 
—Jane Austen, Persuasion
Though Captain Frederick Wentworth may not be Irish, this handsome captain, who stole Anne Elliot’s heart before the beginning of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, is certainly worthy of his own Aran sweater. This cabled pullover is worked in the round, with a “hybrid” yoke to highlight the Celtic Flourish cable running up the center back and front, flanked by OXO and Superimposed Double Wave cables, and Ensign’s Braids (Ensigns were junior officers in the infantry and navy at the time, which Frederick would have been when he first met Anne) running up the sleeves and along the shoulder saddles. This yoke style makes a flattering pullover for any man (or woman). To modernize, body and sleeves begin the cable patterns immediately, and it is finished with a simple rolled neck so as not to distract from this cable tour de force.



What you'll love about knitting An Aran for Frederick
  • Gorgeous cable patterns keep your attention
  • Worked in the round from the bottom up means you can always see where you are in your cable patterns
  • Exciting-to-knit hybrid yoke: all those beautiful cable patterns + clever decreases that shape the sweater to the wearer's shoulders = super-fun knitting


What you'll love about wearing An Aran for Frederick
  • Cables that tell Captain Wentworth's story
  • Modern styling that dives right into the cables and finishes with a simple rollneck
  • Hybrid yoke that gives the wearer strong shoulders


Size/Finished Measurements
Unisex XS (S, M, L, XL) (shown in size S with 5½" ease)
Chest circumference: 37¼ (43½, 49, 53¼, 59½)"




Materials
  • Brooklyn Tweed Shelter (100% wool; 140 yd (128 m)/50 g): #16 nest, 8 (10, 12, 14, 15) skeins.
  • Size 6 (4 mm): 16" and 29" circular (cir) and set of doublepointed (dpn). 
  • Markers (m)
  • Cable needle (cn) (optional—try cabling without a cable needle; it's brilliant!)
  • Removable markers
  • Stitch holders or waste yarn
  • Tapestry needle

Gauge
15 stitches x 27 rows = 4" in Seed Stitch

Skills needed
  • Casting on
  • Binding off
  • Knitting
  • Purling
  • Increasing
  • Decreasing
  • Working in the round
  • Working stitches out of order (cabling)
  • Working from charted instructions

Thanks!
Originally published in Jane Austen Knits, 2011.
Photography: Nicholas Dames



Everything you need to create your very own An Aran for Frederick has its place in this professionally formatted (by me!) pattern. Cables are provided in chart form only.

Lovely knitters who purchased this pattern when it was originally released should have received a message from Ravelry that the updated version is now in their libraries. Don't miss the special customer coupon code!

And don't forget that An Aran for Frederick is part of my Jane Austen Knits bundle. Use code jakbundle to purchase An Aran for Anne, An Aran for Frederick, and Sotherton for $15 ($21 value). Previous purchases from my Ravelry store will be credited towards the bundle price at checkout.



Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo,