Monday, November 30, 2020

hind sight...

Do you ever have one of those days when you know you’re doing something wrong, but you continue doing it anyway? I have admitted in the past to having a bit of dyslexia – can’t remember which is left and which is right and even though I continually try to talk myself through it, because of that RTR (remove, turn, rehang) I over-think it and make the mistake!

Here’s me, trying to convince myself that I don’t really need a button right up at my neck at the top of the band…didn’t work. I did continue to finish the band so I could at least assure myself that I had the right number of stitches and that it was looking good.

Why didn’t I check out my own blog?

Made a new button band, following my own advice and OMG! This is so nice! I wish you could see it on me! Fits perfect! Love, love, love it! And, it does look great with the Aran poncho!

Oh yeah, I keep forgetting to say – had many of you ask if you could use the ribber for the tuck ribs (on both projects) and I did say yes, you can. But you need to consider the value of being able to better see what’s going on without the ribber blocking your view.  And I don’t really feel that it takes all that long to do the tuck ribs. If all the cables were the same across the row, go for using the ribber but with this variety in the mix, it’s probably better to have the view!

Monday, November 23, 2020

the full Monty...

What’s an ‘ess’ or two between friends? Yeah, I made a few wee errors, doesn’t bother me because overall, it’s pretty impressive and I’m happy! I’ll wear it with pride!

Got the fronts done for Driftwood, pockets and bottom bands done. Just need the hood and front bands – I’ve almost convinced myself to do a button front instead of the zipper. Because I lengthened it, don’t have a zipper in stock to use and I would want a 2-way that opens up from the bottom. If I button it, don’t have to worry about that, can just leave a button or two undone at the bottom…

I really like the idea of two projects going at once, one on the mid gauge LK150 and one on the standard gauge.

Since I have a few standard gauge projects in the queue (a couple of Take a Turn s), I wanted to get another one started on the LK. You might think this strange but I do not have much in the way of mid gauge yarns – I was never a collector of hand knitting yarns, unlike some people I know (no names!) but when I found that gold Aran project, I did uncover a stash of worsted weight alpaca  in a hydrangea blue, very pretty but not exactly in my colour wheel house. I got it back when I was contributing to KnitStyle. A yarn company has sent it to me for a project but when I checked with the editor, she told me I couldn’t use it because they hadn’t paid their advertising bill and she didn’t want me promoting them.

I had even made a swatch but couldn’t find the notes to go with, so, unravelled it and made a new one and I’m all set to do more Aran knitting! Hiking sister Janet will like this, I’m sure! Thinking how I can revamp one of my hems for a different look…

Thursday, November 5, 2020


Here’s me, wasting time, no, not really! Getting through the day with a sense of accomplishment is a better way of putting it, I think. Keeping the mind and hands occupied works for me, even better if there are measurable results afterwards. 
Forgot to say, if you wanted a standard gauge cable/beginner project, there is a free download at on the welcome page, a pdf of one of my patterns
from KNITWORDS #36 (which I call the cable issue because there were 5 cabled garments/projects for different machines and levels) Take a Turn is a beginner V-neck pattern with a little bit of cabling to get you started. I actually printed it out myself and it’s on my to-knit-for-xmas list, have a couple of sisters who live in more exciting places that I may get to visit when things calm down a bit, no names! 
Thought I’d give you a bit of a rundown on my Driftwood Hoodie – driftwood is the colour name of the 4-ply wool here – I’m still planning on using this as ‘wear-under-gold-Aran-poncho’! Haven’t planned it all out, working things out as I go, hence, making the sleeves first. 
In case I never said, that #47, Ribbed Diamond Band, isn’t exactly a cakewalk – it does require perseverance and patience but totally worth the extra effort. It was concerning me a bit that it was a ribbed trim. Usually I want to start with ribbed trims, which I did for the sleeves but, I was contemplating the pockets on the front. In my original pattern, the pocket is knit, beginning and ending with waste yarn. The Front is then knit to the same row as the top of the pocket and then removed. The top of the pocket is hung on the appropriate needles (notice my pockets are on the small garter bar, which works fine) and the Front is rehung and continued. The bottom hem joins the bottom of the pocket with the bottom of the front so, here, the hem will be knit, transferred to the main bed and removed, joined later to the rest…more on that later! 

The body is a little longer (actually a lot longer, about 15 cm more) than my Girlfriend Hoodie. I’ve shaped the side seams, wider at hem, decreased in to the waist and then back out for bust width. For the Back, because of the shaped waist, I’ve added 10 rows/8cm shortrowing to centre bottom, just above the hem. 
You might get the idea that although I have a recurring theme of that diamond, nothing is the same. My theory is no need to burn myself out cabling the whole thing. Besides, I never get to see the back so why bother and if there’s a hood it covers a lot of the back so why bother. I came up with this neat little diamond motif positioned in the middle of the Back. I’m happy (and kind of busy!). 
Now for the Front. Made the pockets with the diamond running up the inside edge. I’m planning to add more cabling as I work up the Front, similar to the steps of my LK tunic, almost finished...

Thursday, October 29, 2020

the opposite of TMI...

 NEI, not enough information! A few weeks ago, I had a nice email from Rebecca asking for some help on one of my trims from 50 Ways to Love Your Knitter, #47.

I have a question on #47 Ribbed Diamond Band... #5 Transfer to every 3rd needle in work on knit bed and all needles in work on rib bed... And then #7 and #8 are confusing to me too.  Part of the problem is I see the back side instead of the front side and it’s confusing. I can’t seem to wrap my mind around this.

I answered her rather vaguely (my apologies) at the time, saying

are you just reading or actually trying to knit? Not sure what to add to #5 except to go across on main bed and keep every third stitch. Transfer the rest to the rib bed. Counting only the needles in work in #7, one goes one way (right, the next one goes left, the beginning of the diamond pattern...

Since then, I’ve had that trim in the back of my mind, trying to come up with some reason to knit it. I think it will complement my diamond Aran-look stitch pattern.After knitting it and realizing I short-changed everyone (sad face!) who has this book, here’s what it should say:

47.  Ribbed diamond band: Embossed diamond formed on main bed, on purl stitch background from rib bed, side away is right side (matches with stockinette)

1.  2X2 (2X1) rib, Swing H.  Manual wrapped rib cast-on (see #30).

2.  RC000. T5/5, knit 1 row.

3.  T6/6, knit 1 row.

4.  T7/7, Knit 2 rows. RC004.

5.  Switch to Swing P. Bring all ns to work on Rib Bed. Begin at centre, transfer to every 3rd needle in work on knit bed (by moving #1 right and every 3rd n to RB and) all needles in work on RB. Always put empty ns out of work. Switch back to H. RC000.

    . . l . . . l . . . l . . . l . .

   l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l

6.  T6/9, knit 1 row.

7.  On knit bed, transfer every 2nd in-work stitch to the right, one needle.

8.  Transfer the alternate ones, one space left, knit 1 row.

   . . l l . . . . l l . . . . l l . .

  l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l

9.  After knitting row where stitches are side by side, cable the two stitches, putting the ones travelling to the left, down first. Knit 1 row.

10. Move 2nd stitch in group of 2 to right and the other stitch to the left, ending with needle arrangement in #5. Knit 1 row.

11. Continue forming the diamond on knit bed to RC012. Make the 1X1 mini cable again

12. K1R. RC013. Switch to P4. Transfer all stitches to knit bed. Continue in desired stitch.

Thank heaven I found a great, machine-knitting proofreader shortly after that!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

hidden pocket...

We had our first snowfall and it looks like it may be a stay-on-the-ground event.

Way too early and I’m still hoping it will melt but who knows? This is 2020! Anyway, I did wear my Aran poncho the other day while I ran a few errands and it was kind of fun. Had a couple of ladies shout out, where’d you get that? And got thumbs ups! I did see others wearing the blanket-style plaid ones but nothing like mine. Decided it needed a pocket (I hate carrying a purse) and maybe a cardigan/hoodie to wear under to extend the wear-ability. Back at home, I made a pocket, so simple, just a 5X5 inch stockinette patch and hand-stitched it to the inside front point, attaching it between some convenient tuck ribs, above the purl ridge of the hem, leaving the top open. Does the trick, holds a couple of bucks, credit card, mask, keys…

Now, a jacket/hoodie to go under/with! I need a standard gauge project to offset the mid gauge transfers!

Friday, October 23, 2020

going whole hog...

 Working on the second size from my KnS pattern, making a few adjustments to my schematic, mainly making it longer to reflect the tunic length I now wanted (changed side seam length to 50 cm/20 in), adding another inch to ‘1/4 hem width’ because of the change in length and adding a curved/shortrowed 1.25 inches to the centre.

Made the hem for the Back – my new schematic indicates 64-0-64 ns for the width, but my hem stitch pattern is a 12-st repeat, so I’m going with 66-0-67 ns, the closest 12-st repeat and of course redrafting the side seam decreases.

While working on the hem, I was pondering life. I had meant to knit this thing as the original, in stockinette, with the Aran-look yoke but I thought, what the hay? I’m here, working at wasting time and getting through the day, trying to feel like I’m accomplishing something…let’s stretch this out!’

After the hem, I figured I may as well start with that nice diamond thing up the centre back. By the time I got the first repeat done, at RC024, I was itching to expand. I added the 2X2X2 braided cable on either side – oh yeah, turning all those between sts to purl stitches was too much for me and I liked the separating tuck ribs that I used on the poncho better so left 3 plain sts between each new vertical cable with a tuck rib on either side.  After another 24 rows, began the 3X2 cable turned every 6 rows; then at RC072, started a 2X2 turned every 4 rows; at RC096, a 2X1, turned every 4 rows.

Some tips for Aran knitting:

1. Choose yarn and stitch size so the knitting is not too tight – you’ll be fighting with small stitches the whole time and not enjoy the experience. The yarn I used (DK Wool) for this tunic, I would knit at T5 stockinette but for this worked T6 to make sure there was enough give to manoeuvre the cables.

2. Make a cheat sheet noting the row numbers for each operation.

3. The stitches put down first are the ones that show on the public side of the fabric – talk to yourself as you’re transferring to remember what to do.

4. Be sure to read the Cables section in ‘The Handbook for Manual Machine Knitters’ for lots more!

5. Making the Back first allows you to sort things out before working the Front – they do not have to be the same but the front neckline is the most important part of any garment and here you want to make sure you have the best pattern row to stop on. That diamond will look best if completed or stop at the halfway.

6. Mark the needle butts to help keep track of things – I mark the tuck ribs and then you see what fits between them.

I had a lot of fun experimenting with the centre of that diamond!

P.S. sorry for the confusion about inches and centimetres. I always work in cm and give the inch conversion for the U.S. as a courtesy, but sadly KnitStyle wanted only inches so that pattern has only inches in the schematic – I was working on them to change!

P.P.S. I did make a swatch in stockinette only and used that reading for my calculations.


Thursday, October 22, 2020

cables, cables, cables...

Carrying on with the cable/Aran theme from that poncho, I thought, why not do a pullover/tunic? Actually the last thing I submitted to KnitStyle, back in 2014, was a cabled project that was never published but I do have a finished pdf of the pattern if anyone wants…email me at and put ‘cabled LK150’ in the subject line. My description of it: Slight A-line shape, round crew neck pullover, set-in sleeve with accents of a variety of cabling techniques to create an Aran-style look on deep wide cuffs and forming a yoke-look at top of body. Garter stitch rows for bottom hems.

I thought I could make something like that – when doing for them, I had to submit the garment in a finished-34, so although I did get the garment back, no way was it fitting ‘moi’, even if the colour was anything other than one of my least favourites! I have almost two full cones of DK Wool in ivory that should be enough to make that into a tunic. I’ll start with that new hem from the Aran poncho and see what happens!