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

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

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!

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...