Monday, February 20, 2012

numbers and letters...

My not-so-little-anymore grandson, Nathan, had his eighth birthday a few weeks ago - he’s figured out that N and the number 8 make his name - the kids at school and his Dad call him Nate, so he’s cool with that. He even made a new label for his lunch box.
I wanted to make him a hoodie with the N8 thing on it and as usual, I got carried first idea was just going to be an intarsia logo either on the chest or a sleeve, then I got the bright idea of doing his name like in a crossword or word search grid and I’d put that on the hood, with maybe the logo on the front...of course, I could put the name grid on the pockets too...
I’d been checking out the hoodies he currently owns and they are mostly all black or grey, quite dark, the odd bit of red and maybe a bit of graffiti or something to make them cool - not just plain. The designs are kind of random, not symmetrical. I’ve been working on the stitch pattern, off and on for a while, revising and whatever - so, let’s get down to the reality of knitting.
The word grid is a huge file - I was kind of going for 200 sts X 200 rows and it’s close to that, based on my calculations for the size of the hood. I knit a swatch in fairisle just to see and it’s okay for the hood like that because I could line the hood with a layer of plain stockinette to hide/protect the floats - on the bought hoodies, mostly the hood is heavier or thicker or doubled anyway.
When I decided to have the pockets with the word grid, I swatched again using semi-jacquard (see KW#44, Making a Theme Sweater) - I had every 4th (because every 12th stitch was the vertical line in the grid, every 4th needle seemed a good option) needle working on the rib bed, knitting only every other row - it was a bit more work even though the yarn changer was doing most of it, but the result was stiff and disappointing - while I was doing it, thoughts of making the hood in this manner went out the window! Back to plan B and knit it in fairisle. For the pockets, I latched up the long floats as I was knitting - the blank squares have 11 stitches of background (grey) between the red grid lines so that whole square gets latched. The squares with letters are mostly okay, with two to 3 rows above and below that needed latching - not a big deal and it went pretty quick and is quite suitable for the inside of the pockets. OH, BTW, I’m using the pattern, ‘little scrapper’ from KW#51, making the largest size, using same yarn, Yeoman’s Panama, so the other pieces of the hoodie, I’m working on auto-pilot. On the sleeve, the intarsia logo turned into a band of N8 fairisle - there are no long floats and it was easier than worrying about tension changes for the intarsia. Just have the hood to do now, and of course, find a zipper...
I'm pretty sure N8 will model the finished thing for us, later in the week!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Just got these photos done and the pattern finished - the pdf’s will be sent out to current Pattern-of -the-Month subscribers tomorrow - this is the pattern for February and I’m so pleased with it! You can click on the image and enlarge it for a close-up of the details. There have been oohs and ahhhs from everyone who has see the actual garments so far, whether they are knitters or not!
The pattern has both Silver Reed and Brother, electronic and 24 st punchcard versions with 5 sizes (finished bust of 36, 39, 42.5, 46, 49 in.)

The accompanying article has notes on lace knitting, putting together on machine, manual tuck for the edging and a few notes. If you’d like to purchase the new series, get it at



Friday, February 10, 2012

practise what i preach...

You know, I’m always saying to place yarn marks at the edges of your work as you’re knitting - it will help greatly in the putting together part of things and I’ll admit, I don’t always do what I say (I get to a stage where I figure I’m okay and I can do without them and every time I do that, I wish I hadn’t) - and it’s not a big deal to add them as you go if you’re properly prepared from the start.
Why bring this up now? you say... well, this is my second time knitting this wonderful lace cardigan, and I’m working with a very fine mohair yarn that is almost thread-like - the putting together is key here, for matching up when seaming and it is virtually all done on the machine, so the more help you can get, the easier and better it will be.
Usually I’ll say to hang yarn marks every 10 cm/4 in. - it’s easy to just take your row gauge and for this one, every 40 rows, hang the markers. Reason being, it’s easy to calculate and remember and because I’m usually working with my knit radar, the 10 cm increments are simple to see. Also, if you were blocking and steaming, that 10 cm mark is good for keeping the measurements in line. Another reason if you're not already convinced is the seaming - the 10 cm marks are easy to convert into the stitches from your row gauge for the seam line if need be. But, there are always exceptions to the rule and for this garment, I decided that the pattern repeat (24 rows) was the best place to have those yarn marks - the 10 cm increments are a little long - trust me on this. Putting the facing together to get the lace holes to match up, it is pretty nice having the yarn marks close together.
To get the yarn marks hung quickly, without too much bother, while you’re lace carriage-ing, have a bunch (like, lots) of 4 to 6 inch pieces pre-cut (you’ll need 22 for each piece of knitting basically) and on the 24th row, loop the yarn on the hook of the needle and clip it below with these nice little clippy things (electrical department at the hardware store) - the clip adds enough weight so the yarn mark knits along with the main yarn, doesn’t get tangled and is easy to pull out later. 24 rows later, the clip is just hanging there, waiting to be put on the next yarn mark and it can also be a reminder to move the edge claw weights up.
Happy yarn marking! - MAO

Monday, February 6, 2012


Last week, when I was thinking about knitting lace, I remembered blogging about casting on single bed using the ribber comb but I couldn’t remember exactly what I did. I figured, well, just go to the blog and look it up - I couldn’t recall exactly when it was and it took me a while to find it. (it was back in 2008 under wasted...not!) Then I thought, hummm, there is a spot for me to enter key words or labels or whatever when I’m posting the blog, so if I entered something, I might be able to find things faster - because, I’ll be honest here - this isn’t the first time I’ve spent some time looking for my own tips...
So later that day, I spent a couple of hours entering a bunch of what I thought would be good key words. When I was finished I thought, okay, now what? Then I noticed the search bar at the very top left hand side of the page - there’s the B for Blogger symbol, and a white rectangle with the magnifying glass if you know what I’m going to say and are laughing already, I’m glad, I hope I made your day!
Anyway, I typed in one of the ‘labels’ I’d been adding to the past 3 years of posts and the stuff that came up wasn’t only the labels that I’d added. I realized that it was word searching and well, I guess the outcome is the same. I could have just sat here and not owned up to it or I could have gone back and deleted the labels, but at least I learned how to search for something!! Enjoy! BTW, you can enter one of the labels and see what else comes up - have fun, I did!
Hugs to all, MAO!