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Crazy for Ewe

Vlinder


Chris pulled this little confection out of her bag while she was here and we all fell in love.  It's a wrap, it's a cardigan, it's a shrug - no, it's a Vlinder. Dutch for butterfly, Vlinder is a lovely and completely reversible garment that you'll enjoy knitting as much as you'll enjoy wearing.  It has cables and bobbles and dropped stitches - it has wonderful drape and incredible versatility.

You can button it along the long sides and wear it as a shrug, or you can button it down the front and wear it like a cardigan.






You can button the short sides and wear it as an elegant wrap.  And you can stuff it in your bag and it folds up to almost nothing.  How cool is that!

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Mirasol Hacho on sale

In the newsletter you may have read the sad news that Hacho is being discontinued in the United States.  I am sorry because this really was one of my favorite yarns in the Mirasol line.  I always liked the rich colorways and the tight twist - plus it's machine washable, and a really reasonable price.  Honestly, how can you not love this yarn.  Oh well, it's your gain, as I'm offering Hacho to you at 40% off while supplies last.  We have plenty in both shops, but you can be sure it won't be there long.  If you've never worked with Hacho, pick up a little bit and try these free patterns from Jane Ellison.  You can do both the hat and the scarf with just 5 skeins.  What an excellent present - and no one needs to know you got it at such a great price! 

Click on pattern below to enlarge or print
Pattern courtesy of Diamond Yarns, Mirasol distributor, Canada
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Sizing Brigitta

I got an email from my dear friend Lynda about sizing Brigitta.  Let’s look first at the pattern’s size range. There are four sizes: 33, 36.5, 40, and 43.5.  The designer recommends that you choose the size that will give you between zero and 2 inches of ease.  So, when you’re deciding which size to make, measure around the fullest point of your bust and see which of the sizes is either the same or two inches larger.  For example, if your bust measures 38, knit the 40.   If your  bust is 36, knit the 36.5.  And let me just say, Ladies, the size of your bust is NOT your bra band.  Have someone measure you across your back and over your bust and don‘t squash the girls when you measure.   

What if your full bust measurement is 45 or 47, or more?  Does that mean you can’t knit this sweater?  No! I’ve looked at the pattern and you can easily add inches without compromising the design.  This gauge is about 2 stitches to the inch, so 8 stitches will take you up almost 4 inches.  16 stitches will take you up almost 8 inches.  You’ll add these stitches in the stockinette sections with no impact to the shaping in the pleats.  If you need to make Brigitta even larger, you’ll probably want to add some of the increases inside the pleats, which will require that you make additional decreases in the pleats.  Please don’t panic.  It will all be perfectly clear once the stitches are on your needle.   If you’re looking to make these modifications,  mention it when you come in for the yarn, and we’ll help you make the changes. 

You can also lengthen  Brigitta if you like; simply work extra rounds before the armhole shaping.  Be sure to take any extra length you need into account when you purchase your yarn.  I am making the size 36.5, and one skein of Sundae has gotten me  3 ½ inches in length.  Brigitta is much narrower after the shaping so one skein will probably get you more than 3 inches, but figure on an extra skein for every three inches in length. 

Tomorrow I’ll post about adding skeins when you’re knitting all in one piece, like with Brigitta.

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Short Row Heel Sock Pattern

Courtesy of the one and only Tanya who's teaching to a packed house this Saturday!

Yarn – You can use pretty much any yarn that strikes your fancy, depending on how thick you want your socks. Fingering or sport weight yarns are a traditional weight to use. I like DK and light worsted, especially for winter boot socks.

Needles – This is another area of flexibility. A general rule of thumb is to use needles 2 sizes smaller than recommended on the label. You want to use needles that will provide a sturdy, dense fabric.

Gauge – This will vary. You’ll need to know your stitch and row gauge with your particular yarn and needles.

Here’s a chart with some general yarn weights, common needle sizes for knitting socks with that weight yarn, and general gauge number. These numbers are general guides – yours may be quite different.

Yarn Weight

Needle Size

Gauge

Fingering

0 or 1 ( US)

8 – 10 stitches/inch

Sport

2 (US)

7 – 9 stitches/inch

DK

3 (US)

6 – 8 stitches/inch

Worsted

4 (US)

6 – 7 stitches/inch

Now, you might want to know how much yarn you’ll need. That will depend on the yarn type, the needle size you select, the leg length of the sock, and the size of the foot you’ll be knitting for. General yardages are listed in the table below:

Yarn Weight

Child

Woman

Man

Fingering

300

450

550

Sport

250

375

450

DK

200

350

400

Worsted

175

325

375


So it’s time to measure your foot! You’ll need a few different measurements, so be prepared to write them down.

1. Length of foot from toe to heel: inches

2. Circumference of foot (right before the toes): inches

3. Circumference of shin (about midway up): inches

4. Desired height of sock (floor to mid-shin or so): inches

Now for your gauge numbers:

Stitches per inch: Rows per inch:

There’s a little bit of math involved, but nothing too bad. Because this is a customizable pattern, you’ll need to fill in the numbers that apply to your situation based on the materials you’re using and the measurements you’ve taken.

1. Multiply your number of stitches per inch by the circumference of the foot.

X =

This is the number of stitches you’ll need to cast on. If you’re planning to do a ribbed cuff, you’ll need to make sure this is a multiple of 2 (for 1x1 ribbing) or 4 (for 2x2 ribbing).

2. Loosely cast on stitches. Use a needle one size larger if needed. Distribute the stitches among the needles you’re working with:

One long circular

5 double point

4 double point

½ of the stitches on each side of the “magic loop”

¼ of the stitches on each needle

¼ of the stitches on needle 1

½ of the stitches on needle 2

¼ of the stitches on needle 3

3. Make sure your stitches are nice and flat, and join the round. Begin your ribbed cuff, or plain stockinette (if you prefer). (Ribbing generally helps the sock to stay up on your leg.) Continue knitting for 1½ or so, the amount of cuff is up to you.

4. Begin knitting in stockinette stitch. Continue knitting until your sock is 1 ¾” shorter than your desired sock height (measurement #4 above).

5. You’ve got a choice of how to work your short row heel: garter stitch heel with wrapped short rows, or stockinette stitch heel with unwrapped short rows. Either technique looks and works well; it just depends on your preference.

6. You’ll be working the heel on half the number of total stitches: If you’re working with 5 double pointed needles, transfer ¼ of the stitches from your next needle to its neighbor, so that you have ½ the total stitches on one needle.

7. The number of stitches you’ll work in your heel flap will be different, depending on the type of heel you choose and the type of yarn you’re using.

Garter stitch heel:

- Fingering or sport: 8 center stitches

- DK or light worsted: 6 center stitches

Stockinette stitch heel:

- Any weight yarn: ½ the total number of heel stitches


Now you know the number of stitches that you’ll have in the center of your heel. You’ll be working those consistently, while working one less on each side as you start the short rows.

Garter stitch heel

1. Row 1: Knit to last stitch, wrap and turn.

2. Row 2: Knit to last stitch, wrap and turn.

3. Row 3: Knit to last unwrapped stitch, wrap and turn.

4. Repeat row 3 until you have unwrapped stitches (number from above).

5. Row 4: Knit to first wrapped stitch, wrap and turn. Yep, you’ve now double wrapped that stitch.

6. Row 5: Knit to first wrapped stitch, wrap and turn. (See above).

7. Row 6: Knit to double wrapped stitch, knit the double wrapped stitch allowing the wraps to remain, wrap and turn.

8. Repeat row 6 until one double wrapped stitch remains on each side of the heel.

9. Knit across heel stitches and resume knitting your instep stitches.

Stockinette stitch heel

There are a few numbers to write down; based on how many stitches you’re working with. Your number of rows will vary as well.

Divide the number of heel stitches you’ll be working by 4:

1. Row 1: Knit ____ stitches, turn (1 less than total heel stitches, leave 1 stitch unworked).

2. Row 2: Slip 1, purl _____ stitches, turn (leave 1 stitch unworked).

3. Row 3: Slip 1, knit _____ stitches, turn (leave 2 stitches unworked at the end).

4. Row 4: Slip 1, purl _____ stitches, turn (leave 2 stitches unworked at the end).

5. Repeat rows 3 and 4, leaving one more stitch unworked each row, until you have stitches (number from above, heel stitches divided by 4) on each side. The last row of this pattern is: Slip 1, purl _____ stitches (half the total heel stitches minus 1), turn.

Ready to work the short rows? Good!

1. Row 1: Slip 1, knit _____ stitches (2 less than your purl number from above – half the heel stitches minus 3), KCGS, turn.

2. Row 2: Slip 1, purl _____ stitches (same number as row 1), PCGS, turn.

3. Row 3: Slip 1, knit _____ stitches (1 more than row 2), KCGS, turn.

4. Row 4: Slip 1, purl _____ stitches (1 more than row 3), PCGS, turn.

5. Repeat rows 3 and 4, adding one more stitch each row.

6. The last row for this section (completing the heel) is: Slip 1, knit _____ stitches (4 less than the total number of heel stitches), KCGS, knit 1, turn.

7. Begin working in the round again by knitting your instep stitches.

8. If you’re using 5 double pointed needles, you can redistribute your heel stitches between 2 needles at this point. Here’s the stitch distribution chart from above:

One long circular

5 double point

4 double point

½ of the stitches on each side of the “magic loop”

¼ of the stitches on each needle

¼ of the stitches on needle 1

½ of the stitches on needle 2

¼ of the stitches on needle 3

14. Back to the math… Remember your foot length measurement from way back when? This is when you need it. Take your foot measurement and subtract 2 inches – which is about how long you’ll need for your toe decreases. If your toes are significantly longer or shorter, feel free to substitute your personal measurement.

Foot measurement ( ) – 2 inches = inches


15. Continue knitting plain until you have a sock foot that measures inches (from above) from heel to needles.

16. Now you’re ready for the toe decreases! You’ll need to start your toe decreases at the beginning of your instep stitches, so continue knitting until you’re there. The directions for all needles are essentially the same, but the stitch distribution is different so there are directions for each type below. You will now be starting your rounds at the beginning of your instep stitches, and the needles will be renumbered preparing to begin with needle 1.

1 circular

Round 1 – first side: K1, SSK, knit until 3 stitches before end, K2tog, K1

second side: K1, SSK, knit until 3 stitches before end, K2tog, K1

Round 2 (all): knit to end

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until 20 stitches remain.

Repeat round 1 only until 16 stitches remain.

5 double point

Round 1 – needle 1: K1, SSK, knit to end

needle 2: Knit until 3 stitches before end, K2tog, K1

needle 3: K1, SSK, knit to end

needle 4: Knit until 3 stitches before end, K2tog, K1

Round 2 (all): Knit to end

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until 20 stitches remain.

Repeat round 1 only until 16 stitches remain.

Combine your stitches so that all your instep stitches are on needle 1, and all your sole stitches are on needle 3 (8 stitches on each needle).

4 double point

Round 1 – needle 1: K1, SSK, knit until 3 stitches before end, K2tog, K1

needle 2: K1, SSK, knit to end

needle 3: Knit until 3 stitches before end, K2tog, K1

Round 2 (all): Knit to end

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until 20 stitches remain.

Repeat round 1 only until 16 stitches remain.

Combine your stitches so that all the sole stitches are on needle 2. This will give you 8 stitches each on needles 1 and 2.

17. You’re ready to graft the toe – almost done now!

Slip each of the 4 end stitches over it’s inner neighbor – this will help prevent the pointy “donkey ears” so common to grafting. You’ll be left with six stitches on each needle.

Using a tapestry needle you’ll graft the toe closed with the Kitchener stitch. There are a couple of useful rules for working the Kitchener stitch

– Make sure your grafted stitches are loose. You can tighten up the stitches after you’re done, but it’s much harder to loosen them.

– Keep the working yarn below your knitting needles.

Step 1: Make sure the working yarn is coming off the back right side of your 2 needles of stitches. Cut your working yarn, leaving about a 16” tail. Thread the tail through your tapestry needle.

Step 2: Insert the tapestry needle into the first stitch on the front needle as if to purl and pull the yarn through, leaving the stitch on the front needle.

Step 3: Insert the tapestry needle through the first stitch on the back needle as if to knit. Pull the yarn through, leaving the stitch on the back needle.

Step 4: Insert the tapestry needle into the first stitch on the front needle as if to knit. As you pull the yarn through the stitch, remove this stitch from the front needle. Insert the tapestry needle into the next stitch on the front needle (the one that is now the first stitch on the front needle) as if to purl. Pull the yarn through the stitch, leaving the stitch on the front needle.

Step 5: Insert the tapestry needle into the first stitch on the back needle as if to purl. As you pull the yarn through the stitch, remove this stitch from the back needle. Insert the tapestry needle into the next stitch as if to knit. Pull the yarn through the stitch, leaving the stitch on the back needle.

Step 6: Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all stitches are grafted.


I have a trick for remembering grafting:

Front needle: Knit off, purl

Back needle: Purl off, knit

Techniques:

1. KCGS: Slip next stitch knitwise. Insert right needle purlwise in the right leg of the stitch on row below slipped stitch on the left needle. Insert left needle point in front of first two stitches on right needle and k2tog.

2. PCGS: Slip next stitch purlwise, insert right needle from top to bottom in purl bump on row below the slipped stitch on the left needle. Insert left needle point in back of first two stitches on right needle and p2tog.

3. Wrap & turn: With working yarn in back, slip next stitch purlwise. Move working yarn to front and move slipped stitch back to left needle. Turn work.

Resources used in preparing this pattern:

www.socknitters.com

www.knitaddicted.com

Sensational Knitted Socks, by Charlene Schurch

Other resources:

www.knittinghelp.com

www.knitty.com

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Dragged through the muck

I've been knitting my mistake rib cowl from the knit-along in a splendid shade shade of pink and ivory. The buttery softness of silk and wool gleaming and and smooth - aaah. So the other day I'm dragging stuff in from the car, my little plastic knitting bag on top of the green washtub of coffee mugs from the shop. I set down the tub and realize that the ball of yarn is still in the bag, but the cowl is not. I see yarn hanging. With the irrepressible urge of a kitten, I pull the yarn. And again. finally I realize that the lovely silk and wool cowl I thought was just in the laundry room had actually fallen out IN THE GARAGE. So by pulling the yarn I had effectively mopped up the dusty garage floor with my silk and wool cowl. What an idiot. I could have just walked my lame butt out there and picked it up, but NOOOO.

I've picked out most of the guinea pig shavings and dusted it off, but it still looks kind of grimy.
So, now we'll have a test on SOAK to see how well it cleans garage dirt and from ribbed silk and wool. Will let you know.

Here's a copy of the pattern in case you want to make your own. Based on a simple mistake rib pattern from Vogue Knitting Stitchionary #1, it's small enough to just fit over your head and still stand up like a large turtleneck. Finished circumference is 24", but you can make it any size you want. Just be sure to use an even number of stitches.

Like the gauntlets, this pattern is perfect for a luxury yarn like cashmere or silk and wool, because it doesn't take much yarn and it lives right up next to your face where you can enjoy the fabulous color and texture.

Two skeins Alchemy Synchronicity
Size 7 needle

Cast on 120 stitches. Join into a round, taking care that stitches are not twisted.
Work one round knitting every stitch.
Next round, knit one, purl one.

Repeat these two rounds until piece measures 8" from cast on row, or until it's as long as you like, or you run out of yarn. It doesn't get much easier than that.

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The Nellie Scarf

Here's the pattern for the lovely scarves designed by our own Nellie.

Worked with a single strand each of Ultra Alpaca and laceweight kid mohair and silk they are amazingly soft to the touch. The subtle variations in color between the two yarns and within the variegated mohair silk make them absolutely luminous. The green is a variation on a moss stitch, which is very fitting for the color, I think. The brown scarf is a 1x1 mistake rib.

Green Nellie Scarf

Finished size: 5" x 64"

Materials: 1 skein Berroco Ultra Alpaca, (color 6246)
1 skein Colinette Parisienne (color 114)
Size 11 needles

Cast on 23 stitches (any odd number of stitches will work), and work every row as follows
*Knit 2, purl 2* Repeat between *s to last stitch, purl 1


Brown Nellie Scarf

Finished size: 6 1/2" x 53"

Materials: 1 skein Berroco Ultra Alpaca, (color 6204)
1 skein Colinette Parisienne (color 128)
Size 11 needles

Cast on 23 stitches (any odd number of stitches will work)
Row 1: Knit all stitches
Row 2: *Knit 1, purl 1* Repeat between *s to end of row.

And here's a peek at her latest color combination


These patterns will eventually live on the shop website too.

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Finally Faith


So, black silk found, here is the Faith Jacket. I love this jacket. In fact, I think it's my favorite garment of the year. Like so many of Sally Melville's designs, it's so easy to wear, and universally flattering.

And speaking of Sally Melville, don't forget that she's coming here to little old Leonardtown this spring. I learn something new every time I knit one of her designs, and I can't wait to bask in her presence for two days. We'll begin registration for those classes in November, so watch your newsletter and this blog for more details.

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Not a Celebrity Scarf

But it should be...
This is a free pattern from Skacel yarns for a beautiful short row scarf. The It's much easier than it looks. This scarf looks absolutely fabulous in hand-painted yarns from Ellyn Cooper, Artyarns, and Colinette. So, here it is:

On a size 10 1/2 needles, your scarf will be approximately 5" wide and 54" long.
Gauge is about 3 stitches to the inch.
You'll need about 200 yards of yarn.

Beginning Triangle:
Cast on 1 stitch
Row 1: Increase 1 in this stitch by knitting in the front and back of the stitch (2 stitches)
Row 2: Increase in first stitch; knit to end (3 stitches)
Repeat Row 2 until one side edge triangle measures 5"
Begin short row section:

Short Row Section:
Row 1: Increase 1 in the first stitch, Knit 2 together (k2tog), turn work around
Row 2 and all even numbered rows: Knit
Row 3: Increase 1 in the first stitch, knit 1, k2tog, turn.
Row 5: Increase 1 in the first stitch, knit 2, k2tog, turn.
Row 7: Increase 1 in the first stitch, knit 3, k2tog, turn.

Continue the short row section as established, increasing the number of stitches knit between the increase and k2tog by 1 stitch in every odd-numbered. You will soon find that you don't need to count, as k2tog is done on the two stitches on either side of the gap in order to close the space. Work until the last two stitches of the row have been knit together. Turn. You should now have all the stitches on the needle in your left hand.

Repeat the short row section until you have about 8 yards of yarn remaining.

Finishing the Corner:
Count the number of stitches on your needle before you begin this section. Work short rows as established until half of the stitches have been worked. (round the number up to the next whole number if needed). Then, knit2tog at the beginning of each odd-numbered row. Work until 2 stitches remain. Knit them together and fasten off.

I'll try to post a photo of this completed shortly. It's just lovely.

If you like this pattern, you should definitely check out Iris Schreier's Artyarns site. Iris is an amazing designer who's taken this whole modular thing to the next level and beyond. She offers a great free multi-step tutorial that will open up a whole new world of modular knitting for you.

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Lace class follow-on

Lots of you have asked for the pattern that Lynn was using to make the goreous stole at the lace knitting class. It's a fairly simple pattern, based on the feather and fan, but made reversible with the addition of garter ridges. Here's the e-mail she sent with the pattern:

SHAWL INSTRUCTIONS:
Please read through the ENTIRE set of instructions before you begin.

You'll need something in the neighborhood of 800 to 900 yards of yarn. Anything from laceweight to worsted can look lovely—though the heavier yarns make a snugglier wrap. I worked 17 repeats of the 17-row vertical pattern (instructions A through D, below), and did not add fringe.

The following instructions will produce the shawl I knit. If you want your wrap to be narrower, or wider, or shorter, or longer, you can change the number of 9-stitch horizontal stitch-pattern repeats, and/or the number of 17-row vertical repeats. Feel free to add fringe if you like it. You may need more or less yarn than I did if you make any of these changes.

Cast on 81 stitches. I like the cable cast-on, but use your favorite. Just be sure NOT to cast on TIGHTLY. A LOOSE cast-on is ESPECIALLY crucial for anything lacy that you're going to block. 

Work 6 rows of garter stitch (knit all stitches, all rows).
As you're working the sixth row of garter stitch, place a marker every 9 stitches. (Of course, you can put in the stitch markers any time you want. Put them in while you're casting on, if you like. That would help you keep track of how many stitches you'd cast on, without having to count and recount.)

[A]
Row 7 (Pattern Row. This is a right-side row.):
*Knit 2 together, knit 2, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, knit 2, slip-slip-knit,** repeat from * to ** across the row (9 stitch repeat, 9 times).

[B]
Row 8:
Purl all stitches.

[C]
Work Rows 7 and 8 four more times, then work Row 7 once more (You've worked Row 7 a total of 6 times at this point.)

[D]
Work 6 rows of garter stitch.

Instructions A through D = 17 rows.

Repeat instructions A through D 16 more times.

Bind off loosely, weave in ends, and block as desired.


This shawl would be lovely in any of the new tonals we have in for fall.

Wouldn't it be a lovely baby blanket!

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How cute is this!

 

Isn't this little scarf from Knitty just adorable! 150 yards each in two colors of Rowan Wool Cotton (or any sport or dk weight yarn you like), and one ball Kidsilk Haze. I love the pink, but you could do it in whatever colors you like. Great gift too.

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