Tuesday, February 23, 2021


 dragging my feet? lollygagging? procrastinating? camping out? Yes, yes and hell yes!

Honestly, I was pretty pumped with my design. I had knit the two plain stockinette sleeves first while thinking and re-thinking the body of this lacy jean jacket. I had it all planned out, sideways knit, making it in one piece, planning out pockets (that’s the lime green ravel cords awaiting further developments), shortrowing some shape and I was all gung-ho! I added more of the lace circles in the stitch pattern, spacing them alternately every 10 stitches, increasing the hands-on work (by the way, there are 8 RTRs in every 36-row repeat!). But, approaching the centre back, I started thinking, ohmigosh what was I thinking? It was going forever! And as the first centre front edge hit the floor, after reminding myself that this was cotton and would/should shrink up a lot, I was re-measuring my swatch, re-calculating the row counts, re-measuring my shape, totally questioning my sanity. Do I cut my loses and quit? Admit defeat? Continue into madness?  
I was really close to losing interest, having an increasingly difficult time motivating myself to continue. I had another project that I’d like to get into but felt that abandoning this mid-stream would mean relegating this precious yarn to UFO status. Not acceptable! P
ersevered, finally on the home stretch of the last half front, pulled out all the stops and got ’er done!

Taking it off the machine, stretching it lengthwise and folding it into the garment shape, saying, what the haich? No worries, this will be fabulous!

Friday, February 12, 2021

jean jacket re-visited...

Don’t know about you but I’ve come to hate that term, ‘hunkered down’! I prefer to think of it as just getting on and doing what needs to be done. So, I’ve been sitting around, wasting time, putting in time, whatever, but I have been knitting!

A while ago (LOL! turns out it was like 4 years ago) I had a plan of knitting a lacy denim jacket https://knitwords.blogspot.com/2017/09/regifting.html

and after a bit too much research, that was abandoned. https://knitwords.blogspot.com/2017/09/missteps.html

Last week, after realizing I was cabled out, I started making a quick list of things to work on. Went through my knitted wardrobe, tried on several things and I remembered that recurring dream of denim and lace in a jean jacket style. Pulled out those old notes and swatches and just by chance, the RTR Lace Cardi was at hand. I really love that fabric which is a sideways knit combination of purl-st ridges and hand-transferred simple lace. My first thought was that I never really get to enjoy that stitch pattern because it is basically in the back of the cardigan and it dawned on me that using it again would give me those vertical lines I was looking for and still satisfy my need for a hands-on approach to knitting in general. Revised my design and it’s a go!

Friday, February 5, 2021

all Aran-ed out...

The red one was fun, a lot of cable variations, and it kept me busy for a bit! Made it, overall, quite a bit longer than the original, more like a tunic length. 

The Sleeves have a combination of 2X2 and 3X2 cables in a chevron pattern and the Back is basically the same but more cabling because of the length. To add a wee tweak to the Front, I ran a 6-stitch (2X2X2, turned alternately every three rows) braided cable up the centre, then the 3X2, turned toward the centre every 8 rows, 2X2 cable every 6 rows, another 3X2 and then the 2X2 again next to the armhole edge. The Back and Front are not identical because the braided cable, but I respaced to make sure things matched over the shoulder. Just wanted to show you the finished product but I’m pretty sure I’m over cables for a while!

Been dreaming up new things! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

new start...

Finally got that tawny pink Take a Turn done. Feel like I was really dragging it out but, in my defense, I was knitting more socks and a couple of earflap hats which I may tell you about one day, and working here and there on the blue Aran-cably thing on the LK150.

Intentions or resolutions? I’m going with intentions! Sounds safer, not so harsh, like there’s room to manoeuvre!

So, back to TAT, I think I did take it up a notch on the pink one and I’m happy with it – sure Janet will love it but now I’m ready to take it to the next level - since this one’s for me, why not?

I’m breaking out a poppy red Forsell’s Pure New 4 ply wool that I’ve been hoarding/saving forever and, after some research and swatching, I’m swapping out the rolled hems for a revision of #20 from 50 Ways to Love Your Knitter. The original, the bottom sample, has a multi-strand ewrap cast-on that I changed to a double-stranded chain cast-on. The transfers on each are the same but the eyelets have been filled in and tuck ribs added on either side of the cables on the new one and I’ve added 2 rows of purl stitches to divide the trim from the next section of knitting.

Here’s the new instructions:

#20-2021.  Chain cast-on, hand-transferred scalloped edge with 2X2 mini cable turned every 4 rows, outlined with tuck rib. This edging is symmetrical – note the 2 stitches at the centre of the triangular shape remain consistent throughout. This means the needle arrangement is identical on either side of 0 and much easier to lay out rather than worrying about an uneven number. 24-stitch repeat. Side away is right side, matches with knit side.

1. Cast on waste yarn and ravel cord.  RC000. CAR. Bring needles out.

2. Measure out main yarn, 4X width of needles in work, plus a couple extra inches and double that. Using larger size latch tool, chain across loosely and put last loop over end needle to anchor.

3. Main Tension plus 1, knit 1 row. MT, K1R.  RC002.

4. Following chart, centring at 0 (or #12-13R), using 7-prong tool, transfer groups of 7, placing 2 sts together as in chart. Fill in empty needles with adjacent heel stitch from stitch that was not moved. Hang yarn marks on #3, 22, 27, 46, 51 ~ each side of 0 (for tuck rib placement). Knit 2 rows.  RC004.

5. Using 6-prong tool, transfer as in chart, fill in empty ns and make 2X2 cables. K2R. RC006.

6. With 5-prong tool, transfer as in chart, fill in empty ns. K2R. RC008.

7. Using 4-prong tool, transfer as in chart, fill in empty ns and make 2X2 cables. K2R. RC0010.                                                           

8. Using 3-prong tool, transfer as in chart, fill in empty ns. K2R. RC012.

9. 2-prong tool, transfer as in chart, fill in empty ns and make 2X2 cables. K2R. RC014.

10. 1-prong tool, transfer as in chart, fill in empty ns. RC016

11. Make 2X2 cables.  Make tuck ribs by dropping stitches indicated in #4, unladder to row 2 and reform 7 tucks (every other row). K1R.

12. Remove, Turn, Rehang (RTR). K2R. RTR. Purl side (wrong side facing again. Continue in desired stitch.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

neckline options...

Back done, check! I had a starting plan. Was going to still make this a vee neck but not quite as deep as the original. While knitting the Back, had a chat with sister and she indicated that a round neck would suit her fine, so she could wear it with or without a shirt under. 

Now that I’m going with a high, round neck, here’s an option – use pins to rough out the new neckline to give a better idea of what will work. After the pins are in place, hold it up to your shoulders and look in the mirror to check how low/high the front neckline will be and adjust if necessary. Here, it’s easy to count back the cables (every 6 rows right) to find your optimum starting row! It will look better if there is at least 2 rows or half the cable before you begin shortrowing/shaping the neckline. Remember, there will be a plain row knit to get rid of the shortrow wraps and maybe another before the actual neckband.

After the agony of fixing that misplaced column of cables, and getting the Back off the machine, I noticed there were only 12 rows before adding in the second columns, and then 18 rows on all the next ones. Duh! I did have it written down – incorrectly, turns out! Fixed that on the Front and did 12 rows on every one, making the chevron nicer – not that anyone will notice! AND, just like I thought, turning the cables to the centre makes no difference – you’d never notice it on the finished garment, provided there were no esses/mistakes!

Safe and happy seasons greetings!

Friday, December 18, 2020

upping my game?...

Last week while I was playing with socks, I was also pondering how to elevate that Take a Turn pattern. After all, I wrote the pattern and called it Advanced Beginner (because of the extra detail and information included) and maybe somewhere I may have offered some changes or alternatives, like making it plain, without the cables, especially if you had not made a MAO pattern before. 

I no longer have the original garment – must have given it away and I plan to make it again for myself but this one is for sister Janet, who is quite a bit shorter than yours truly and a bit smaller across the shoulders. In the original, there were cables across the back, all beginning at the same time for a straight, yoke effect. I’ll be honest, it was easier to write the pattern that way and get you used to the cables and tuck rib without having to write 6 pages…then once you mastered that, staggering the cables for the front was easier to explain. Also, in the original, the cables were all turned the same way, again easier to explain and reduces the chance of error. Bearing in mind I’m giving this away, I don’t want to go whole hog or anything but I think I’m in a good mind space right now to add a little extra so, on the Back, I went with the chevron effect and decided to turn the cables to the centre, so the left side of 0 goes left to right and the right side opposite.

 I don’t think I’ve really shared this in detail before but when making something that has vertical lines, I try to plan it so that I get a full, straight line at the armhole side, after the shaping, where it goes straight up to the shoulder.  Making a size smaller than the first size (the pattern has nine cables across, spaced with seven plain stitches between) and because the shoulder width here was less, I’d end up with half a cable at the edge – not good. I respaced the cables with only five stitches between, counted them out, checked on the machine by pulling out the needles, wrote them down, before even casting on and I was golden! Somehow, in the actual execution, my enthusiasm got in the way of my careful planning and as I was about to add in the fourth cable, I realized that I only had 4 sts between the last two cables. Big swear, big swear! It’s wine time!

Next day, after tossing and turning all night, trying to convince myself to just complete it the way it was, I thought I could try to just undo those stitches - after all it was only 20 rows…Yikes! Nightmare city! Kids, do NOT attempt this at home! There were 6 stitches, but it needed to be moved out one stitch so there were actually 8 sts unravelled!

I was concerned about the underarm section, which in all my cleverness I had shortrowed and was worried about loosing that because I only needed to unravel halfway through that. If you’ve ever tried to unravel cables across the row, you know it is just as hard to un-cable! I should have taken my own good advice and either scrapped the whole thing or at least, dropped it off, unravelled back to the start of the underarm and rehung it. Would have been quicker. No worries! I’m just putting in time anyway, right?


Friday, December 11, 2020


Never! Set aside the ‘tawny pink’ sleeves for Janet’s Take a Turn.
There’s a cably Aran project in that blue alpaca hanging on the LK…
none of it abandoned, just set aside for a minute or so. I realized I needed to do some socks and I know I’ve probably over-sox-talked over the years but here goes me again! I have a very dear friend in Indiana – I’ve mentioned her before https://knitwords.blogspot.com/2008/10/middle-of-nowhere.html.

Anyway, I thought maybe this might give someone some inspiration. She’s (my friend) getting on in years and is on medication that has caused weight gain and very swollen feet. I made these socks for her, using my Warmup Sox pattern – you can still request it  https://knitwords.blogspot.com/2019/10/crazy-legs.html

She’s normally a ladies size 8 regular so what I did was knit the same sock but bumped up the stitch size to make them softer and loose, especially the ribbed cuff so it won’t feel tight on her ankles. The rib is knit at T7/7 and the foot is T8/10. I went with the largest width size (40-0-40 ns) but same rows for length of the rib and the foot. Two pairs, along with a package of digestive cookies that she loves - in the mail!

While I’m at it, making more socks – ankle, knee, reading, whatever you call them,  I love making socks! Christmas is coming! Stay safe!