Showing posts with label #weddingsweater. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #weddingsweater. Show all posts

24 July 2018

Pattern: Mariage Soeurs

Mariage Soeurs $8 on Ravelry (no account necessary)

Through 7/29 get $2 off the purchase of Mariage Soeurs. No coupon necessary. Discount reflected once pattern is in cart.

Originally designed for my sister’s wedding, this delicate cardigan combines Marriage Lines lace with the bobble-rich Nosegay pattern to create a feminine sweater suitable for any occasion. Waist shaping, ¾ sleeves, and lacy raglan lines highlight its femininity and make it suitable for year-round wear.

What you'll love about Mariage Soeurs
  • Delicate stitch patterns with lots of texture (lace, twisted stitches, bobbles!)
  • Thoughtful waist shaping increases and decreases the fabric right where you want your curves for a very flattering sweater
  • Lacy decreases for the raglan lines add an extra, pretty element to this feminine cardigan
  • Worked from the bottom up with the body in one piece, the sleeves are also worked flat (and seamed up at the end - that way the body and sleeve gauge match), then sleeves and body are joined on one long, circular needle before stitches are decreased away to create the raglan yoke
  • Stitch patterns are provided in both written and charted formats
  • Button bands knitted as you go mean there is very little finishing work: weave together the underarms, seam the sleeves, and sew buttons over the buttonholes (yes, you make buttonholes on both bands, so you will know exactly where those buttons belong) on your preferred side

Finished Sizes
28 (32, 36, 40, 44, 48, 52) inches/71 (81.25, 91.5, 101.5, 111.75, 122, 132) cm finished bust circumference, buttoned, shown in size 32 inches (81.25 cm) with 2 inches (5 cm) of positive ease

  • Madeline Tosh Tosh Merino Light (fingering weight, 420 yds/384 m per 4 oz/110 g skein), colorway: Fragrant, 2 (3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5) skeins or approx. 725 (850, 1025, 1200, 1375, 1575, 1775) yds/663 (777, 937, 1097, 1257, 1440, 1623) m fingering weight yarn
  • US4/3.5 mm 40-inch/100 cm circular needle or size needed to achieve gauge
  • Stitch markers, removable stitch markers, cable needle, waste yarn, tapestry needle, 8 (8, 8, 9, 9, 10, 10) ½-inch/13 mm buttons

24 sts x 32 rows = 4 inches/10 cm in Stockinette Stitch

Photography: Gale Zucker Photography
Test knitting: minimoebius, SarahinHouston, myexpressions8, gmb3tcd
Technical editing: Amy Gunderson

Mariage Soeurs $8 on Ravelry (no account necessary)
Click on any of the photos to visit the pattern page on Ravelry. Click the button to purchase your copy of the pattern PDF.

24 August 2015

Wedding sweater: Wedding day

This is the moment we've all been waiting for, right?

The wedding was lovely! Bride and groom were (and are) so happy. The guests were international and polyglot. Everything went off without a hitch :)

Here are a few snapshots of the beautiful bride in her very own sweater...

Buttoned-up bride

Back with eyelet raglan lines

Side details

Beautiful bride


Glowing bride showing the sweater

The happy couple by the bride-made brownie tower with sparklers
that served as the most delicious wedding cake

I'm sure there is much to say on the subject of the sweater, but jetlag is getting the best of me, and I am just so happy that my sister is happy. I'll share more details next week.

Previous steps: 1. Yarn choice. 2. Sketching. 3. Swatches 4. Math(s) 5. WIP 6. Yoke 7. Buttons 8. Sleeve Seams 9. Weaving underarm stitches 10. Buttons, part deux

Next week: Final thoughts

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

17 August 2015

Wedding sweater: buttons, part deux

What do you do when your needle won't fit through your delicate button's holes? Ugh, this happens to me more often than I would like. Sometimes I search through my tapestry and sewing needles to see if I can find one that will sneak through, but then I start to worry that I won't be able to thread the yarn onto said needle. And I do worry that using sewing thread might cut through the knitted fabric. Call it paranoia.

oh, tapestry needle, why you so big?
Not too long ago, though, I realized that I could make use of my ridiculously tiny crochet hook, used to add beads to my Emily 2 shawl to snag (carefully) the yarn and pull it through the small holes on the buttons in question.

check it: 1.0mm crochet hook
Of course, this means I can't do my usual button attachment technique, which involves a long piece of yarn and weaving my way up the back of the button band to attach the buttons at regular intervals. But that's OK.

snagging that loop o' yarn and pulling it through
As you can see above, I pull a loop of yarn through the button's hole to get things started. Here's my method for each button:
  1. cut piece of yarn 10-12 inches long
  2. fold yarn in half
  3. put hook through button's hole
  4. snag folded end of yarn and pull loop through button's hole approximately one inch
  5. thread loop onto tapestry needle and pull through button band to back above the button hole to be closed, then remove tapestry needle and hold loop with a free finger
  6. thread tails onto tapestry needle and pull through button band to back, which also serves to close up the button hole in band
  7. pull tails on tapestry needle through yarn loop
  8. pull ends snug up to button to tighten loop
  9. weave one tail through stitches above button anchor location on back of button band
  10. weave second tail through stitches below button anchor location on back of button band

uh-oh, where's that last button?!
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my panic about a missing button. Luckily, after turning my various project bags upside-down and inside-out, I found the little, precious thing. At the bottom of the project bag that holds the other project bags. But, yikes!

Finally, all the ends are woven in, buttons attached! All we need is a wedding...

Previous steps: 1. Yarn choice. 2. Sketching. 3. Swatches 4. Math(s) 5. WIP 6. Yoke 7. Buttons 8. Sleeve Seams 9. Weaving underarm stitches

Next step: Wedding day!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

10 August 2015

Wedding Sweater: Weaving underarm stitches

Oh, Kitchener Stitch. For some, you are the epitome of agony. 

After countless seamless sweaters, I feel that I have finally gotten this underarm-weaving stuff down. Sometimes people refer to it as grafting, as well. That said, it still takes me a while to do it, and I did such a good job avoiding finishing work this summer that I ended up with three sweaters in need of all this work!

Here's the thing about Kitchener Stitch, though: it's really cool! With a tapestry needle and some extra yarn, you almost magically weave together two pieces of fabric so that you can't tell where one ended and the other began. If you want a really in-depth look at Kitchenering, be sure to visit TechKnitter's site.

Here's how I did it on my sister's sweater:

To begin, you slip your held underarm stitches to two knitting needles (or both ends of a circular needle, as shown below). Think of them as the front and back needle. If you are grafting the front/knit side of Stockinette together, you should have the front side facing you. Thread a length of yarn onto a tapestry needle. Don't be stingy with the length of yarn! I like to leave at least a six-inch tail at the beginning and then use that to tidy up the "corner".

stitches ready to be grafted together + tapestry needle ready to do the job

Basically, we are going to lead the yarn in and out of each stitch twice to create an additional row of stitches that bonds both fabrics together. There are two basic moves (through a stitch as if to knit and through a stitch as if to purl), plus taking a stitch off the needle, and two rows to work on (front and back), which tends to mean a bajillion ways to get confused.

People tend to get flustered at this point, finding it difficult to remember the ins and outs of the stitches as we move from front to back. Truly, it is simpler than you think. This is not to say it isn't confusing - it definitely can be.

The way I remember it is that I always begin the sequence by pulling the tapestry needle through the front stitch as if to purl. With this move we never take the stitch off the front needle.

through the front as if to purl

Then we go to the back needle and pull the tapestry needle through the back stitch as if to knit. And, again, if we are knitting the back stitch, it does NOT come off the needle.

through the back as if to knit

Now, we go back to the front needle and put the yarn through as if to knit, which means it is time to take a stitch off the needle (yay!). That only happens when you are knitting a front stitch, though. And having done that we have to turn our attention to the next stitch on the front needle and bring the yarn through as if to purl (just like our very first move).

through the front as if to knit and about to jump off the needle

Then we go to the back needle and put the yarn through as if to purl, which means it is time to take the stitch off that needle (yippee!). This also means we then turn our attention to the next stitch and bring the yarn through as if to knit (our very second move).

Here it is in pithy format:

  1. yarn through stitch on front needle as if to purl
  2. yarn through stitch on back needle as if to knit
Some people like to think of the above as the preparatory steps to Kitchenering, but I think of them as just part of the whole thing, since we constantly toggle back and forth between those moves and the moves that get the stitches off our needles. 

Having done 1 and 2 above, proceed thusly:
  1. yarn through stitch on front needle as if to knit and off needle
  2. yarn through stitch on front needle as if to purl (#1 above)
  3. yarn through stitch on back needle as if to purl and off needle
  4. yarn through stitch on back needle as if to knit (#2 above)

After each stitch, be sure to gently pull the yarn snug. Not tight, just snug. If you're worried, you can leave it loose and go back and tighten up the stitches at the end to match the gauge of your fabric. Be sure to keep your working yarn to the right side of your needles. None of this works going over top of the needles.

grafted underarm stitches before a little tugging to match gauge

When you have grafted all the stitches together, you can adjust the stitches to match your knitting tension. Then use the tails to tidy up the corners (I have yet to get really scientific about this part and still feel like I "wing it" every time.

A helpful notion: stitches are only ready to come off the needle if they are being worked as they would be in regular stockinette fabric. That is: stitches on the front needle would be knitted, if we were to continue working them in our imaginations. And stitches on the back needle, if you look closely, are at the top of purled fabric, right? Also, remember that stitches must have the working yarn weave through them twice.

see how smooth the graft is? haven't finished up the seam on this sleeve yet

So, how do you feel about Kitchener Stitch now? Clear as mud or a little better? Like lots of knitting things, I find that it's a matter of "getting" the trick. Remember learning the Long-Tail Cast-On? I still can't truthfully say I understand it on a deep level, but my fingers know how to do it, and it works out perfectly. I think that now I know how grafting works, weaving in and out of the stitches, but for quite a while there I just followed the steps and it worked. Like magic! Like knitting :)

Happily, we are in the home stretch on this wedding sweater adventure (whew!), and next week I'll show you the trick I use when working with teeny buttons.

Previous steps: 1. Yarn choice. 2. Sketching. 3. Swatches 4. Math(s) 5. WIP 6. Yoke 7. Buttons 8. Sleeve Seams

Next step: Buttons, part II.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

03 August 2015

Wedding Sweater: Sleeve seams

Oh, we are getting to the home stretch now! First, two sleeves to seam up. Why work the sleeves flat and seam? I'm just being extra-finicky here and knit the sleeves flat to make sure there was no difference in gauge between the sleeves and the body. If this weren't a very special sweater, I might have worked the sleeves in the round. Then again, I might have done it the same way, since my speed knitting vs. purling is very similar. Now, whether that's because I'm a thrower/English knitter or because I learned to purl right away after learning to knit, I don't know. It is my understanding that pickers/Continental knitters tend to work the knit stitch more quickly. And then there are knitters who learn the knit stitch first and perfect that before they learn to purl, which leads to purling being more awkward for them.

mattress stitch seams for the sleeves

When I am sewing up seams, I use mattress stitch. It works so well for connecting the sides of things. As you can see above, I take the tapestry needle under two stitch bars on one side. And then (not pictured), I pull the tapestry needle through the corresponding bars on the other side. This is also the reason why I work sleeve increases a couple of stitches in from the edges of the work: it is more difficult to pick up the bars in the increase column of stitches (at least it is for me).

What a pretty seam!
And here is how the sleeve looks part-way through seaming. So tidy, and you can hardly tell where the join is.

Previous steps: 1. Yarn choice. 2. Sketching. 3. Swatches 4. Math(s) 5. WIP 6. Yoke 7. Buttons

Next step: The "dreaded" Kitchener stitch.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

27 July 2015

Wedding Sweater: #buttonhunt in my own button jar

I am happy to report that we are getting close to the end of my sister's wedding sweater adventure!

My goal all along has been to have it complete far(ish) in advance of the big day (22 August), in case of any problems. Luckily, everything seems to be going swimmingly (touch wood), and the knitting is complete. It's all finishing work from here on out.

Even better, I discovered the perfect buttons right in my own stash (actually, they were buttons Penelope had chosen for a sweater I am making for her, but we looked through the button jar and decided that some others I have are better for hers - and the correct quantity - so, we have buttons for two sweaters).

To my eyes the sweater looks on the tiny side, but I can tell that the yarn will relax, especially around the nosegays, when she has a bath. Sometimes I like to do all the finishing work before blocking the sweater, but with this one, I feel like the blocked stockinette stitch will be easier to seam.

Left to do:

  • block
  • sleeve seams
  • Kitchener stitch the underarms
  • sew on buttons
  • darn in the ends
So, how goes your summer knitting? I'm already knitting another sweater (this one for Isobel), since the weather over the weekend was so dreary that we spent a fair bit of time inside watching movies. Happily, the weather has turned. Let me know what you're up to in the comments below.

Previous steps: 1. Yarn choice. 2. Sketching. 3. Swatches 4. Math(s) 5. WIP 6. Yoke

Next step: All that finishing work.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

16 July 2015

Wedding sweater: Getting to the yoke

Do you know how much I love you? I'm blogging from the beach, that's how much.  Of course, it's pretty sweet to knit to the sound of crashing waves and the sight of pine tree-encrusted islands. That's right, pine trees. We are in Maine now, so if you follow me on Instagram (link in sidebar), your feed will contain ferns, lobster, sandy and rocky beaches, ice cream, and all the wool I can find. But for the next few days I have to focus on this beauty:

Right there you have a body and two sleeves ready for joining (I neglected to bring waste yarn to the beach, so this is where I'm stopping me for the morning - it's a challenge to hold underarm stitches without holders or waste yarn). Then I'll get to do my favorite part of sweater construction: the yoke. How cool is it that working various decreases in certain spots will turn three tubes into a well-fitting sweater?

And just to show my darling sister how much I love her, here is sleeve #2 yesterday when we arrived at the beach:

I may have knit like a crazy lady. Don't worry! I still managed to jump around in the Atlantic. 

What about you? How is mid-July going and what are you knitting? Tell me all about your summer knitting adventures in the comments below. 

Previous steps: 1. Yarn choice. 2. Sketching. 3. Swatches 4. Math(s) 5. WIP

Next step: Going on a button hunt... #buttonhunt

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

13 July 2015

Wedding sweater: WIP

After a gauge issue (argh), we are on our way! One sleeve is complete and hanging out on a spare needle while I work on the body. 

A few little detail things popped up right away, like the stitch patterns beginning on a wrong side row. I called the preceding right side row "row zero", knit all the stitches along that row, and worked my first buttonhole there, which means subsequent buttonholes happen on row 20 (pretty easy to remember). 

I also decided to alternate the start point of the Marriage Lines pattern. It zigs one way for ten rows and the other way for the next ten rows. By starting one side on row one and the other side of the Nosegay pattern on row eleven, the patterns frame that show-stopper in the middle. 

So far I'm really enjoying this design. The elements all work together nicely (Nosegay is ten rows, Marriage Lines twenty, as are the buttonholes, so everything is in synch). There's plenty of stockinette to speed me along. And the yarn is so pretty (Neighborhood Yarn Studio Sock in Fells Point). 

Now it's just a matter of racing against the wedding clock. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Previous steps:
 1. Yarn choice. 2. Sketching. 3. Swatches 4. Math(s)

Next step: Knitting and more knitting. I plan to work the body up to the underarms, then the second sleeve, then join them all together for the best part: the yoke!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

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!

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!

22 June 2015

Wedding sweater: sketch

So, what should a wedding sweater look like? Whatever the bride wants! :)

My sister browsed Ravelry and noted a bunch of sweaters she like. With that information elements started to coalesce into something of an idea:
  • a high neckline that, when left unbuttoned, would fold down gracefully into those little triangles
  • a fitted waist courtesy of ribbing at the hem (the dress is A-line, so this will work nicely)
  • 3/4 sleeves with matching ribbing, of course
  • delicate eyelets along the raglan lines of the yoke
  • a little something running up the sleeve (more eyelets seem the best choice to keep things coherent)
  • something special on the fronts
  • lots of little buttons to enhance the delicacy and bridal feel
And here is my first scribble!

Top: buttoned up
Bottom: collar falling open gracefully

After looking over a wide variety of pretty stitch patterns, my sister fell for the Nosegay Pattern from Barbara Walker's indispensable A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. Isn't it lovely? I think it will be particularly feminine and delicate worked in fingering weight yarn.

Nosegay Pattern is perfect for a bride!

We have decided to leave the back plain, which will make the knitting go a little faster for me (the wedding is on 22 August) and keep the focus up front where it belongs (on the bride!).

I'm looking at Marriage Lines, also from Walker's Treasury, to flank the Nosegays and travel up the sleeves. Seems appropriate for a wedding sweater, doesn't it? Ooh, and I just saw that the Nosegay Pattern is worked over 10 rows, while Marriage Lines takes up 20 - this kind of thing makes working the patterns so much easier, though I would have happily suffered through the "hard way" for my sister. I love when elements come together to tell a story in a sweater, especially if they fit together neatly!

Previous steps: 1. Yarn choice.

Next step: Swatching. I have some ideas for the ribbing, so the swatch will give me a chance to explore my options, as well as determine how best to handle the buttonband. I have become exceedingly fond of integrated buttonbands (you can find them in my Bloc Party Cardi, Kellynch Cardigan, and Pomegranate Cardi patterns).

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

15 June 2015

Wedding sweater: yarn

As you may know, my dear sister is getting married this August. Yay! At some point this Spring, she mentioned something about knitting a sweater to wear at the reception. Of course, I loved the idea! I started snapping pictures of every green yarn I came across.

Did she want wool or cotton or linen or silk? Berlin's weather is highly unpredictable in summer, and it will be an evening ceremony and reception. I encouraged wool, which would also give her plenty of opportunities to wear it after the wedding.

If she went with wool, I could find a hand-dye, which in my mind makes a garment more unique and personal: not only did someone knit the item by hand, but the yarn itself was dyed by hand. (And if you're a spinner, you know that the ultimate personalized knitted item is crafted from hand spun, but I'm holding off on learning to spin. For now.)

In the end I found a couple of gorgeous skeins of Neighborhood Yarns sock yarn in Fells Point at Knitty City, and I will be knitting a sweater for my sister as a wedding gift. I plan to document the process of designing and crafting this cardigan for her here, and hope you will enjoy following along.

This yarn is SO my sister!

Yummy cakes ready for swatching

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!