December 23, 2010cember 9October 25, 2010
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Finally set this up right!

This space used to be called my BLOG. But I have finally taken the time to register on blogspot.com to create a real blog. Please go to

sallymelvilleknits.blogspot.com

I will repeat my favourite posts plus add new ones there.

So what is here instead are adaptations to patterns (my patterns or the work of others) with ramblings about them (more than you'll see on the PATTERNS page).

The Gray Cardigan in Worsted Weight

I have knit many versions of The Gray Cardigan from MOTHER-DAUGHTER KNITS. But oddly often, most of these new versions have been worked in worsted weight (at 17 stitches). After re-gauging this pattern many times, I've thought perhaps you who are like-minded would appreciate this information.

Everything that is not re-written below should be assumed to be the same as the written pattern—sizes, measurements, schematics, the pattern itself. What follows are just the changes needed to adapt to a gauge of 17 stitches.

Materials
You will use a heavy, rather than a light, worsted, and you might use 10% less yardage. But better to buy extra than to run out.

Needles
Size US 7 (4.5mm) needle(s) or size needed to obtain gauge
Size US 5 (3.75mm) needle(s)

Gauge 17 stitches and 25 rows = 4Ó (10cm) in stockinette, over larger needles

NoteWhen instructions that follow say "work" they mean "work as written in the original."


Back
Edging

With larger needles, cable cast on 78 (86, 98, 106, 114) stitches.
Work to
SHAPE ARMHOLE.
Bind off 3 (4, 6, 8, 10) stitches at the beginning of the next 2 rows—72 (78, 86, 90, 94) stitches.
Work for 2 lines.
Repeat the last 2 rows 2 (5, 9, 11, 13) times more–66 stitches.
Work to
SHAPE RIGHT SHOULDER AND BACK NECK.
Bind off 5 stitches at the beginning of the next RS row, work to 15 stitches on right needle. Place remaining 46 stitches on holder. Turn.
*Bind off 1 stitch at the next 2 neck edges and 4 stitches at the next 2 armhole edges.
Bind off 5 stitches at the final armhole edge.
SHAPE LEFT SHOULDER AND BACK NECK
Return to remaining 46 stitches, RS facing. Place first 26 stitches on holder. Knit 1 row over 20 stitches.
Bind off 5 stitches at armhole edge.
Work as Shape Right Shoulder and Back Neck from * to end.

Left Front
Edging

With larger needles, cable cast on 40 (44, 52, 56, 60) stitches.
Work to Row 2
Row 2
P3, k2, increase 1 in each of the next 3 stitches, k2, *p2, k2; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, p2—43 (47, 55, 59, 63) stitches.
Work to
INSERT CABLE, then replace the following.
Second
Next row P3, k2, p6, k2, p5, increase 1 in each of the next 5 stitches, purl to end—48 (52, 61, 64, 68) stitches.
Work Row 1, move cable (RS)
then work the next rows as written but with the following changes.
Rows 2 and 4
become Rows 2, 4 and 6.
Row 3
becomes Rows 3 and 5.
Repeat the last 6 rows (moving the cable every 6 rows rather than every 4
) until the piece measures the same as Back to armhole. End after working a WS row.
SHAPE ARMHOLE
Continue to work the last 6 rows, moving the cable every 6th row, while shaping armhole as follows.
Bind off 3 (4, 6, 8, 10) stitches at the beginning of the next RS row—45 (48, 55, 56, 58) stitches.
Work 3 lines.
Repeat the last 2 rows 2 (5, 12, 13, 15) times more–42 stitches.
Work to bottom line, left column.
Next row (WS)
P3, k2, [p2tog] 3 times, k2, work all remaining stitches as established—39 stitches.
SHAPE NECK
Continue moving cable every 6th row while shaping neck as follows.
Work neck shaping without changes
—21 stitches.
Work to 2nd last line of this section, then replace number of stitches—
18 stitches.
SHAPE SHOULDER
Bind off 5 stitches at the next armhole edge, 4 stitches at the next 2 armhole edges, then 5 stitches at the final armhole edge.

Right Front
Edging

With larger needles, cable cast on 40 (44, 52, 56, 60) stitches.
Work to Row 2
Row 2
P2, *k2, p2; repeat from * to last 10 stitches, k2, increase 1 in each of the next 3 stitches, k2, p3—43 (47, 55, 59, 63) stitches.
Work to
INSERT CABLE, then replace the following.
Second
Next row Purl to last 23 stitches, increase 1 in each of the next 5 stitches, p5, k2, p6, k2, p3—48 (52, 61, 64, 68) stitches.
Work Row 1, move cable (RS)
, then work the next rows as written but with the following changes.
Rows 2 and 4
become Rows 2, 4 and 6.
Row 3
becomes Rows 3 and 5.
Repeat the last 6 rows (moving the cable every 6 rows rather than every 4
) until the piece measures the same as Back to armhole. End after working a RS row.
SHAPE ARMHOLE
Continue to work the last 6 rows, moving the cable every 6th row, while shaping armhole as follows.
Bind off 3 (4, 6, 8, 10) stitches at the beginning of the next WS row—45 (48, 55, 56, 58) stitches.
Work 3 lines.
Repeat the last 2 rows 2 (5, 12, 13, 15) times more–42 stitches.
Work as written to last instruction of this column.
Next row (WS)
Work all stitches as established to last 13 stitches, k2, [p2tog] 3 times, k2, p3—39 stitches.
Work 1 RS row.
SHAPE NECK
Continue moving cable every 6th row while shaping neck as follows.
Work neck shaping without changes
—21 stitches.
Work to 2nd last line of this section, then replace number of stitches—
18 stitches.
Work to end.

Sleeves
Edging

With larger needle, cable cast on 38 (38, 42, 46, 50) stitches.
Work to Body
, then replace number of stitches in 3rd line—56 (60, 66, 72, 78) stitches.
Work to
SHAPE SLEEVE CAP.
Bind off 3 (4, 6, 8, 10) stitches at the beginning of the next 2 rows—50 (52, 54, 56, 58) stitches.
Work 3 lines.
Repeat the last 2 rows 10 (11, 12, 13, 14) times more–28 stitches.

Work to end.

Neck edging
Work as written, then replace number of stitches
—10 stitches at edges, 74 stitches between—94 stitches in total.
Work to end.

Nothing else about the pattern's finishing changes! Isn't i wonderful when we express bands by proportions rather than numbers of stitches! Makes re-gauging, among other things, so much easier!

Looking below, I see another Gray Cardigan  adaptation. Perhaps you can combine these two--for a Gray Cardigan Vest in worsted weight!

The Gray Cardigan as a Vest

I love the pattern for The Gray Cardigan, and I love vests, so this was a no-brainer adaptation.

You will use at least 200 fewer yards of yarn for the vest.

 
page 108, left column
Work rib to 7" (18cm) rather than 8" (20.5cm), then work stockinette to 4" (10cm) past rib, as written.
(Length to armhole becomes 11" (28cm) rather than 12" (30.5cm), because you need a deeper armhole for a vest.)
Bind off 3 more stitches at each armhole bind off than pattern suggests.
Decrease at armhole to 74 stitches (rather than 78).
(You need to make a narrower shoulder to accommdate the armhole edging.)
Bind off 5 stitches (rather than 6) at the first armhole edge.

page 108, right column
Bind off 5 stitches (rather than 6) at the final armhole edge.

page 109, left column
Bind off 3 more stitches at each armhole bind off than pattern suggests.
Decrease at armhole to 46 stitches (rather than 48).

page 109, right column
Bind off 5 stitches for shoulders at each armhole edge.

page 110, left column
Bind off 3 more stitches at each armhole bind off than pattern suggests.
Decrease at armhole to 46 stitches (rather than 48).

Do not work sleeves.
After sewing shoulder seams, work around entire armhole edge as follows.
With smaller needles, pick up and knit 1 stitch for every bound-off stitch (at underarms) and 3 stitches for every 4 rows (around remainder of armhole edge).
Count stitches after you've picked up and knit: you need a multiple of 4 + 2 stitches.
Decrease evenly across the next row if needed.
Next 2 WS rows P2, *k2, p2; repeat from * to end.
Next RS row K2, *p2, k2; repeat from * to end.
Next RS row Bind off in rib.
Sew side and armhole edging seams.


For this vest, I used Cascade 220.

A-line Variation to Groovy Pullover

I saw my son wearing the Groovy Pullover (from WARM KNITS, COOL GIFTS) and thought “I want one!” But I also knew that the A-line is universally attractive on the female form, so I worked out that if I just knit pie-shaped side panels, in the straight ridge stitch pattern, I’d get the shape I wanted. BUT I also realized that I didn’t have to do all the work required at the beginning of the Front, Back, and Sleeves, to get rid of the scalloped edge. So this made the pattern even easier.

I don’t tell you the yarn I used in the accompanying photo, because I don’t even know what it is! I bought it, on sale and off a cone, many years ago. What I can tell you is that I have since made this garment with CASCADE 220 sport weight, and it was fabulous! It got the same gauge as the pattern, and I didn’t use any more yarn than the pattern. I knit the size small as written except for the following variations.

 

Skill level, Sizes, Materials, Gauge, Stitch patterns, Pattern Notes

As Groovy Pullover

Back / Front
Cast on 127 (139, 151, 163, 175) stitches.
Begin with WAVY RIDGE BODY (left column, page 81).
Work to end as written.

Please see the note in the ERRATA on my website.

Sleeves

Cast on 49 (53, 57, 61, 65) stitches. (You can certainly cast on fewer stitches for your cuff: wrap the Front cast-on edge around your fist to determine how many stitches best allow your hand to pass through.)
Begin with WAVY RIDGE BODY, right column, page 82.
Work to end as written. (If you cast on fewer stitches, you might need to increase more often to reach the Sleeves full width before the end of the Sleeve.)

Sew Sleeves to body before working Side Panels.

Side Panels (all sizes)

Count number of double ridges between cast-on of Front and Back and where Sleeve attaches: each ridge = 4 rows. Add 3, but round down if needed to make this an odd number.
Cast on number of stitches calculated above.
Work straight ridge pattern for 4 rows.
Decrease row K1, skp (or ssk), knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1.
Work 7 rows even.

Repeat these last 8 rows until 3 stitches remain.
Bind off on next row.

Finishing

Continue with any Finishing not complete (like the neck edge).
Sew Sleeve seams.
Seam Side Panels to sides of garment. (They should disappear right before the underarm seam.) If necessary, sew any remaining rows of Front and Back together to underarm.

Citron Scarf

I saw the Citron scarf (a free pattern on knitty.com) at The Constant Knitter in Dublin and fell in love with it. So I bought Manos lace weight to knit one on the trip. It was finished before we dis-embarked and much admired.  But I did make changes to the pattern, and I offer them here. (The reason for the change is that Rosemary--the yarn shop owner--made her m1's the same way plus expressed that her ruched areas were not as full in the lace weight version as they were in heavier yarns: so I added more stitches to my ruched areas.)
  • For all m1's, do not twist: just lift the thread between the stitches and knit it. (This will give you nice little ooined-up holes.)
  • For all rows 1, instead of kf&b, work (k1, yo, k1).
  • Do not count stitches for rows 2-6: you will have close to 50% more.
  • For all rows 7, instead of k2tog, work s2kp.
  • Your stitch counts for rows 8-20 will be correct.
  • I did not change (by adding to) the number of stitches for the final frilly edge: it seemed frilly enough, and already had a huge number of stitches!
Oddly, even though I had close to 50% more stitches for some of the rows, I still only used 1 skein of the Manos lace weight. I can't explain this because (according to the pattern) I should have required a second skein. (I used 3.25mm needles, but I am not a tight knitter!)

Here she is! I love her and look forward to knitting another one!


Cross-over Top

Since doing the work on MOTHER-DAUGHTER KNITS (the KNIT TO FLATTER AND FIT  chapter), teaching the KNIT TO FLATTER AND FIT class, and just paying more attention to what looks good on me, I've become a fan of garments with a little more shape--with a little 'nip' at the waist. And so here is a second adaptation to a pattern from THE PURL STITCH--to the CROSS-OVER TOP, one of my favourite pieces. (I already own 4 of them and am knitting a 5th.)

This adaptation requires two more buttons and very little extra yarn. (I only show a photo of the back. This version was recently knit from CASCADE 220, which got gauge beautifully.)

  • Work the garment as written, including all finishing.
  • Make a 'pleat' at each side of the back. (The fold lines of mine are about 3" from the side seams, and the overlap is about 2".)
  • Along the fold lines, and extending from the bottom edge upwards, pick up and knit as for the button band--picking up and knitting 3 stitches for every 4 rows--for about 3", making one button loop right in the middle of this little piece of band--as written in the button band directions. (This is a little more difficult to understand, because it doesn't have an 'end point.' I think my little pleat edging had about 18 stitches. And for this edging you will pick up and knit through the stitch at the fold line. Perhaps the photo can help.)
  • Sew down the edging.
  • Sew on the button, and sew the overlapped bottom bands together.

My Olympic project: a coat for Mrs Obama

Some years ago--well, four, to be precise--Stephanie Pearl-McPhee introduced the concept of knitting an Olympic project--something started and completed during the days of the Olympics. So here's mine. But first, its introduction.

In MOTHER-DAUGHTER KNITS, I have a coat called The Camelot Coat, so named because it reminded me of the iconic style of Jackie Kennedy. Every time I showed it--in classes or at book signings--I would hear "You should make one for Michelle Obama!" After a podcast, in which this story was repeated, I received a phone call from someone who agreed that this should be given to the First Lady. This phone call did not come from her office, but it did come from a knitter who was "connected" enough to assure me she could deliver the coat to Mrs O. 

So, I made it my Olympic project to knit this coat--knit in a spring green that we chose together, and made to be delivered in time for a Washington spring. Below is a photo of it--knit in the same yarn as the book's version (CASCADE Eco+) and with arm-warmers designed by my daughter (which will appear in our next book), knit in yarn from MOUNTAIN COLORS (that they made specially to go with the coat).

I did send a cover letter with the coat, and I have included a portion of it here.  (The rest of the letter speaks to the coat itself plus includes a few words from my daughter.) It would be our dream to see the First Lady wearing a hand-knit item . . . perhaps on a spring trip to Canada?!

Dear First Lady, Michelle Obama,

It is my honour to offer you this hand-knit coat on behalf of knitters everywere.

You may not be aware of the resurgence in knitting's popularity in the United States (and Canada), but it is no longer an activity of             predominantly older women. Young women join aging women—and yes, a number of very intelligent men—to discover the joys and         rewards of knitting.

  • It puts us into our right brain—the place which accepts new ideas, sponsors creativity, supports healing, encourages optimism, and says "yes" to the universe.
  • It offers a refreshing alternative to hours in front of a computer screen.
  • It is the basis for countless social networks, connecting families, friends, cultures, and traditions.
  • It is an antidote to boredom, providing hours of low-cost entertainment.
  • It teaches us to set goals and work patiently towards their conclusion.
  • It honours the "maker" in each of us, counteracting the acquisition of quick, cheap, overseas goods.
Knitting is introduced to every 6-year-old in Waldorf Schools because founding educator and leading philosopher Rudolf Steiner             thought it the perfect human activity. Millions around the world are discovering his wisdom.

I offer this package to you—representing all that knitting means to me and many, with optimism for you and your family, with respect for     all you do, and with the hope that I have expressed this adequately on behalf of knitters everywhere.

And here's a photo of the coat itself! I hope you approve!




Substituting a solid with a variegated

Here are photos of garments (shown in Mother-Daughter Knits in solid yarns) re-knit in variegated: the Gray Cardigan and the Inside-Out Panel Skirt. (The former is shown here in Queensland Collection Rustic Tweed, color 909; the latter is shown here in Mountain colors Weavers Wool, color 'crazy woman,' with River Twist, color 'stillwater river' as the edging.)

It's another challenge to our basic assumption, isn't it? We see something knit in a solid yarn, and we assume it must be knit in a solid yarn! (Check out the Two-Tone Pullover, from The Purl Stitch, shown below in a slightly different shape and a variegated yarn.)

I now see re-knitting in a variegated yarn as an essential part of my work!






 

Shaped Two-Tone Pullover

One of the reasons I haven't posted here is that I've been doing so much teaching. And my favourite class to teach is my new one, KNIT TO FLATTER AND FIT.  It's so much fun to see the bells go off as people see what they can wear . . . and what they can't . . . and why

So one of the things we've been discovering is that everyone looks good with some degree of waist shaping on a sweater that lands on the hip. I decided I needed a very simple garment with this shape. (If what I am saying doesn't make much sense to you, check out my introduction to this material in the BOOKS page of this website, and then go to the Knit to Flatter and Fit chapter of MOTHER-DAUGHTER KNITS for a full discussion. And I will speak a little more about it in tomorrow's post.) 

I already had hand-dyed yarn on hand--two shades of Grandma's Blessing from Briar Rose Fibers (www.brierrosefibers.net). With it I had planned to simply knit the Two-Tone Pullover from THE PURL STITCH. (I did not care that this yarn was sport wt--6 stitches / inch--because I knew the sweater was simple enough to re-gauge: go to the COLOR book to see how to do this yourself. It's very easy!) But that original sweater wasn't shaped. How to translate this new information about shaping and length into an old pattern?

It was simpler than you'd think, and here's what you can do with that pattern from PURL.

1. Cast on the number of stitches demanded in the pattern + 10%.
2. Work the pattern as written to the distance between where you want the garment to fall on the hip and your waist (approx 5-6"?).
3. Change to 2 sizes smaller needles, and work 3" in 2x2 rib as follows (over a multiple of 4 + 2 stitches--so you might have to do a little increasing or decreasing across the first rib row): *k2, p2; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, k2.4. End after working a WS row.
4. Change back to larger needles, and work the first row as follows: *k9, k2tog, repeat from * to end.
You now have the right number of stitches for the pattern and can finish it exactly as written.


I know the rib at the waist is a little difficult to see, but please believe that it makes all  the difference in how the garment hangs. I get many compliments and requests for the pattern when I wear it!




 

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