Tuesday, October 31, 2017

you know what time of year this is getting to be....

Yeah, we had snow. Already! Enough to hang around for a few days! I was in line at the post office the other day and the girl (anyone  looking more than 10 years younger than me now falls in that category!) in front of me was wearing a cute knitted headband. I struck up a conversation with her to pass the time and she had hand knit it herself and in fact, was mailing a package to a friend with another one she had knit. It was garter stitch in a heavier-looking, earth-tones yarn that I figured to be alpaca – she did tell me the yarn and that it was quite expensive but it went over my head. It was about 4-5 inches wide and it had what I thought was ruching at the front. Turned out to be a simple cable twist and it got me thinking, I could make something like that on the LK. Of course I ruled out the garter stitch, as it was knitted widthwise (stitches were the width, rows the length) – she did tell me she knit 9 inches, made the twist – she didn’t even realize it was a cable until I mentioned that word – and knit another 9 inches. I then said oh and you grafted it at the back? She looked at me like I was from outer space and said no,  just seamed it – I couldn’t tell because she had a high pony tail that covered the back seam. 
Back at home, I did a tuck stitch swatch, trying to come up with the texture of the garter stitch but it didn't go what I wanted - I tried a 3X3 cable, it was difficult to do and looked ugly anyway. Then, I remembered the supercable from 'Knit Big or Go Home' from KW#36. Actually, this spring a new-ish machine knitter contacted me about that pattern - she had tried it out and was having a problem - I checked it over and there was an error! I was devastated! Obviously no one else tried this or even worse, they tried, it didn't work and they never asked! The really sad thing is, I did make this sweater a few times and I never caught the mistake! yikes!

Anyway, here is the correction:
Supercable: 16 stitch shortrowed cable, positioned at 8-0-8 ns. CAR. RC000. Set to hold. Bring left of 0 to hold. K1R.
Remove/turn off row counter. Bring all right of 0, except 1-8 to HP.
Put a claw weight under the 8 working sts.
K6R on these sts only, ending CAL. There are 7 rows on right side of cable.
Put all to HP. Break yarn, leaving 3 inch tail at centre – this will end up on left side of cable later.
Place CAR. Bring 8-1 left of 0 to UWP. With new yarn, K6R, ending CAR.
Do not break yarn, but remove from feeder (it will be easier to move cable).
Pick up the 8 sts at left and the 8 sts at right.
Put the right hand side down to left first and then place the left side to the right of 0.
Bring ns out to D. Return all cable sts and left side to UWP.
Put yarn in feeder and knit row. This completes the row at the left side so there are the same number of rows on the garment piece on either side of the cable.
Replace row counter, cancel hold. K19R. RC020. Repeat these 20 rows for pattern.
There will be two ends of yarn at either side of cable. Use these ends to close up gap at sides of cable while darning them in.
YARN: Plymouth Yarns Baby Alpaca Grande, finished weight, 60g/2.1 oz.
11-0-11 ns to work. Cast on waste yarn, knit several rows. Ravel cord, K1R. CAR. RC000.  MC, T9, K2R. At each side, drop 2nd st from edge and reform to purl st. Drop 3rd st, reform. Do this every time CAR to make garter stitch border – no need to do on outside edge stitch.
Knit to RC010. *Make Supercable as above. K20R.* Repeat 5X in all and end with 10 rows stockinette. Remove on waste yarn. Graft ends to join or as desired.
It makes a great neck warmer if you don’t want it on your head!


Monday, October 23, 2017


I was out visiting little sis, Marnie – we were celebrating her 20th year cancer survivor (see KW#44, 'making a theme sweater' and 'Dog-On' - she has since had two stem cell transplants!) and this was the first time in several years that I’ve been out there when she hasn’t been sick, so it was really nice (and the dogs are fine!). She was also getting a 25-year service award for her job and we had an invitation to an evening at Government House in Victoria, BC – that’s where they entertained the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their last visit to Canada and is the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. La-di-dah!
Marnie had an extra ticket, her friends were fighting over it and I won because a sister has dibs on things like that! She had received an invitation that outlined what was happening, when and where and a note of what to wear – it said, ‘wear your best, time to show off!’ Now, this has different meanings – she just wanted to be comfortable and her idea of dressing up is clean jeans and maybe a better pair of sneakers and I was kind of worrying about what she would pull out. When I was packing in Thunder Bay, I had resigned myself to wearing pants – no point in me dressing to the nines if she wasn’t, so I figured my red lace ‘Canada. Eh?’ would be fine with black underneath and just to be on the safe side, I packed the Church Pullover just in case she might wear it. I didn’t want to be too big-sister bossy, but I wanted to be prepared. Anyway, when we were in the hotel in Victoria getting ready, she put her outfit on, I pulled rank and made her put on the pullover. It looked great and she didn’t even fuss! Her co-workers (also getting awards) were amazed and impressed. We all were comfortable and had a fun time!
Why am I’m telling you? I wanted to show off my design and tell you the pattern is ready! And, my sis and I are basically opposite shapes – I’m always saying that I like the A-line shape because it balances off my top-heavy figure and hides the fact that I have no hips. The ‘Church Pullover’ is quite A-line and it was perfect for Marnie too, where she needs the extra volume in the hip/tummy area. And wouldn’t you know, they had a Canada 150 frame for us to stand behind for our photo!
If you missed it (or forgot), find the stories behind the 'Church Cardi', put 'church cardi' in the search box at the top of the blog page!
So, in case you hadn’t noticed, the ‘Church Cardi and Pullover’ pattern is now for sale. It is done on the mid gauge machine (I used the LK150), no ribber required and there is a fair amount of hand-transferred lace patterning.

High-hip length, open front cardigan, long, set-in sleeve, roll collar, knit in hand transferred lace with purl stitch ridges. Back lace inset is A-line shaped. The front is combined with side panel, wider at hem and shaped at back side to add to the A-line. The Pullover version, a little more A-line, with a wider hip measurement, is made with a back and front panel of lace with underarm/side panels in stockinette with the lace border at the hemline. The sleeve can be knit in stockinette or lace, your choice and either fits either the cardigan or the pullover. Knit in Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima cotton.
FINISHED SIZES, Width, underarm at bust,
84 (96, 120, 144) cm/33 (38, 47, 57) in.
Back Length, 61 (62.5, 65, 67) cm/24 (24.5, 25.5, 26.5) in.

Circumference at hem: 124 (136, 160, 184) cm/48 (53, 73, 72) in.

The PDF comes with written pattern for both cardigan and pullover, with schematics, stitch charts and written instructions for all the lace patterning. Cost is $12 – see the button at top right of this blog – and I will email the files to you! Thanks for your support and interest!

Monday, October 2, 2017

multiple choice...

OMG! You spot a mistake in your lace transfers 6 or 8 rows below! What to do, what to do?
A. Thank the knitting gods you spotted it so soon!
B. Quit and drink wine!
C. Try to rip back only that section.
D. Rip back all 8 rows.
E. All of the above.
I went with E but not in that exact order. After spotting the mistake, I did try unravelling just the stitches of that portion for 8 rows but by then, you’ve got strings all over the place and you’re not quite sure what’s what, especially on this particular pattern because it’s a 24-stitch repeat. The hard part about ripping back lace knitting, whether it is hand transferred or lace carriage, is that you need to untransfer/put the stitches back to the row before, rip out 2 rows, untransfer, rip out 2 rows and keep track of what row you’re going to be on when you finish ripping…
For this project, I actually have 3 row counters, two on the machine and one on my KR11, which is connected to one of the row counters. Sounds complicated but I’ve got a problem with my row counters. Now, bear in mind they are getting quite old, at least 20 years on one anyway. One of them doesn't recognize the cable going to the KR11 but it counts reliably. The other one addresses the KR11 properly but it advances weirdly starting at row 19. Instead of clicking up to 20, it goes to 29 and then 39 and then randomly and if you're not aware of it, you'll never be able to figure out what row you're on! I have taken them apart to see if I could spot the problem but couldn't....I'll be ordering a couple of new ones! Anyway, when I'm ripping out, after pulling out one row, I pull out a needle at the end of the needlebed. Rip one row, pull out another needle...count the needles at the end and turn back the row counter.
Long story even longer, just to be safe, I did rip back all 8 rows, fix the mistake, reset all the row counters and continue!
P.S. If you have a question for me that you would like an answer to, please email me privately – I do not answer comments. ;-)