Sunday, December 30, 2018

recap of 2018...

Along with a record-breaking 70 blogposts, I machine-knitted innumerable swatches, 10 cardigans, 1 dress, 1 afghan, 4 ponchos, 18 pairs of socks, 3 earflap hats, a crochet-look skullcap and a couple of DNFs that I never mentioned.
The year got off to a rocky start, airing my dirty laundry
and admitting I was in a knitting funk with no direction and a lack of inspiration. Over the months, I whined quite a bit, threw in some nostalgia here and there for dramatic effect and yes, I probably over-shared!
By March, I hit my stride and began my quest for not only the ultimate long cardigan, but the perfect pocket to go with. I knitted and blogged my way through lace, stripes, striped lace, ribber techniques, and pockets of all sorts.
This past month, I kept off the keyboard, busy with some sewing and making Christmas socks and gifts, without sharing, because I had nothing new to add.

I think my crowning achievement for the year was the shortrowed decrease hack
for the slant edge on patch pockets – used it several times since and I love it – yesterday, finished up another TBHoodie on the LK and an added outside pouch pocket, using the decrease hack – so much faster and proving it works great on mid gauge too!

Wishing you and your family all the best for health, happiness and good fortune for 2019! May all your machine knitting efforts have positive and happy results!

Monday, December 3, 2018


The way I see it, there are three options here.
1.  Throw the whole thing out (not likely, too expensive and I do like to prove a point).
2. Unravel the Back and Front and reknit (only if all else fails).
3. Attempt to fix the mistake (here’s what separates the men from the boys -yeah, I know that’s old-fashioned and sexist but look at those swears in the last post!).
Do not unravel the last row and then expect to be able to rehang the stitches. Did I mention this is black, quite fine yarn and very small stitches?
rehang and undo st by st
Here’s what I’d do (this ain’t my first rodeo!). Wait till you are calm, cool and collected, fresh, all alcohol has left your system, with good light. Note, with WCD or any natural fibre yarn, I always steam/press each piece and examine it before getting to this stage, so, the final rows are set and unlikely to unravel quickly unless severely provoked.

separate the 2 pieces
So, sitting at the machine, carefully, one stitch at a time, from the left (because I chained off right to left so the final stitch is at the left) unravel the last row, rehanging the one chained stitch. Pulling the correct yarn tail, unravel that stitch. There are two sts on the needle. Pick up the two sts, move them to the needle at the right which will allow you to grab the front stitch and move it back to the needle at the left. Repeat across the row until you now have the row of where you knit the one set through the other to make the seam.
Now is the tricky part. Pull the needles and the work out slightly. Put your left hand between the two layers from the left, separating them and lifting slightly up on the front piece. With the one-prong tool, from the right, guide that back stitch (it is in front, below the hook of the needle, knitting the two together) up and back into the hook of the needle. Complete across till you have two sts on every needle, separated.
remove front piece on garter bar
This next part should be relatively easy. Bring the needles fully out, both sets behind the latches. Take the small piece of the garter bar and pull off the front piece onto the bar and set aside. You’re left with the Back shoulder, hanging with the knit side facing. Find the other/correct Front and hang it, yadda, yadda, yadda. If you don’t have a garter bar, I suppose you could resort to a fine handknitting needle….

Whadya know? the piece on the garter bar is the correct way to just rehang onto the needles after hanging the other back shoulder, knit side facing! Life is good!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

details, details...

The remaining pieces of my black lace project were rather uneventful after the swatch debacle. I just quietly knit each piece between doing other little LK150 things. The shape for the body is that A-line shape that I like but with the back hemline curved down in the back, but straight across in front. I didn’t give you a blow-by-blow  - wouldn’t want to seem like I was bragging to shortrow that hemline. The beauty of plain lace on the Silver Reed is, it’s just like knitting stockinette without holding position, once you have all the kinks worked out! If you need a little refresher on shortrows with the ravel cord and lace carriage, click here:
While working on the body pieces, I was tossing around the variables for the shawl collar. Plenty of options – the vertically-knit, ribbed one from Uptown – that’s sort of the look I’m going for but maybe not quite so wide. The vertically knit, single bed, self-facing  one from Gossamer
but just stockinette, no lace – it will likely boil down to how far my shiny rayon yarn will go – there’s not a lot of it, less than 100g, but I do have a bigger cone of the same thing in an olive green that I can experiment with – I could just go with the same thing as was on GWC/Elvis, but I do prefer a buttoned front to an open front.
Came back from the border – no sock yarn! checked my email and instead of the two day shipping, I got 4 to 7 day shipping. Figured I may as well put some time in on Becca. Did all the little added bands and feeling quite righteous, began the putting together.
Reminder, knitting with black… the first shoulder is joined. Hung the second back shoulder and went to put the front one on. It’s late afternoon and hard to tell the knit side from the purl side. Gosh, darn! I realize that I’ve put the wrong front shoulder on the first back shoulder – the armhole of the front is on the neck side! Fudge, crud, blessed frickin’ bloody hell! It’s wine time!

Friday, November 30, 2018

goin' postal...

It’s getting to be that time of year and I’ve already had a few people ask me if I’m giving socks again this year - they wanted to ensure they were on my gift list! Talk about pressure! I thought I was prepared but, in checking my stockpile of sock yarns, it is almost non-existent! Sure, I have a few balls of that cotton/wool yarn left and it makes nice, summer-ish, socks, but they aren’t the ones I pull out to put on for the winter.

You know it! I went on-line to my fav, of course, looking for deals and nice stuff. Concentrating on 80 wool/20 whatever nylon, 100g balls, before I knew it, my cart said I had enough to qualify for free shipping to Canada! And that was only 10 balls/10 pair minimum! OMG! I live in Thunder Bay and although not a border town, we are only 40 km from the US crossing at Pigeon River. What I usually do is order stuff from America, get it shipped to Rydens in Grand Portage, Minnesota, just on the other side and drive down to pick up, whilst mailing out US and overseas orders because it’s much cheaper from America. Well, when I saw that it said I would get free shipping right to my door here in Canada, it went to my head and I clicked through, placing the order. The next day, on the news it said that Canada Post workers are going on strike! oh, for crying out loud! I thought that was settled and was no longer an issue! Darney, darn, darn! They (the news guys) made it sound like no one was getting any Christmas purchases, so I went back on-line, back to loveknitting, found a bunch more deals, mostly demin-y-looking stuff which is the most popular (though, I’ve never had a recipient go ‘aw, these are sucky!’) to my giftees and had them shipped to Ryden’s. Am I in over my head? I’ve already got 6 pairs done from the bare remains of my stash, not counting the LKsox! I haven’t made my list yet but promised myself to knit at least a pair a day ‘til Christmas – it gets me in the spirit! I have other parcels waiting at Rydens…guess where I’m going tomorrow?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

sock options...

finished pair and more yarn!
Here’s my newest version of a simple ankle sock done on the LK150 – a quick and easy, advanced-beginner pattern, makes a great hostess gift – tis the season! -  because size doesn’t matter!

fix hole at edge of shortrowed heel

finished knitting, before seaming

toe is same as heel, same side

The yarn is Fixation from Cascade Yarns and I’ve put a couple of photos here to help you out! The link to the pdf file for the instructions is:

Friday, November 23, 2018


original HK hat
Start the parade, blow the trumpet, where’s the confetti?
MAO finally figured out how to add a PDF file to a blogpost!
I have been working on a few, little-gifty-thing patterns and kind of having fun playing around, knitting and updating a couple of old patterns, taking photos and I finally got it done – check this out! Back in 2013 I did some kiddo earflap hats, for minions.
pseudo garter st ear
Down at the bottom of the page there, you’ll find the link to the pdf – you can download it, print it out and try it out!
attach ear to hat
The other day I needed a quickie gift for a  year-old baby girl so I redid the Hello Kitty  hat and I added a few extra details to the pattern, like knitting the ear, attaching it on the machine and knitting the bow. Have fun!
2018 remake

cast off ear sts on inside of hat

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

the power of advertising...

Around 9 a.m. this morning, my phone rang. I went to look, fully expecting a wrong number or one of those dumb sales calls. The call display showed a 705 area code, Northern Ontario, east of here. Picked up, said hello.
‘Is this Mary Anne Oger?’
A timid yes was my reply.
‘Do you still write books for machine knitting?’
‘Oh good. I’d like to order your simple edges book.’
O-kay, do you have a title on that?
‘Yes, it says here, Fifty Ways to Love Your Knitter, a collection of bands, edges, trims and I’d like your other one, Casual Classics.’
Wow, I haven’t heard anyone mention that pattern booklet in quite some time. Turns out she’s looking in Canada’s fashion machine from 1995. We get into a little chat about the state of machine knitting, how she’s been trying to get a group together locally, has seven machine, really loves it and even tried to have a class at the local college to get people interested. She asks if I put on seminars - I quickly say no but I am happy to come and teach. I ask if she reads my blog and she says no, she’s not much into the computer but she’s sure her husband could find it for her (she’s never heard of Knitwords). Can she send me a cheque and is my mailing address the same? I give her my new one (for the past 8 years only) and, because I feel like this is almost an out-of-body experience, I fail to mention the likelihood of Canada Post being on strike. She's probably not in a hurry...

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

thought I was invincible...

There I was, like Icarus, flying too close to the sun! Notice my swatch - it was royal blue WCD at T4 - looked lovely, knit like a dream. Full of myself, I confidently threaded up the black and began a sleeve. By row 4 it had already dropped a few stitches. Undaunted, I was able to fix them and continued on. By row 40, I had to admit something was wrong. Decided it was the black yarn and the stitch size - notorious for causing grief because the dyeing process is quite harsh and usually black yarn and most darker colours can end up slightly thicker that shades of the same yarn. I turned the first sleeve into a new swatch at T6 and regrouped. Armed with yarn spray ( ) and determination, I did get two pretty perfect sleeves done, while thinking of Plan B, C and D! At the very least, I'll have a plain black cardigan with beautiful lace sleeves!
When I am knitting something such as this that has a degree of trepidation or requires a certain level of concentration, I like to have a diversion so am alternating pieces here with a project on the LK150  - I’ve already finished a second TBponcho in antique gold and have the bands knit, ready for another in forest green for my niece – it makes me feel a bit better making something for someone else, instead of the usual me, me, me!

Friday, November 9, 2018

earth to MAO...

After knitting all those different lace patterns, most of them being fashion lace (multiple transfer rows between the actual knitted rows) it dawned on me – who am I kidding? the plan is to knit BLACK (hard to see at the best of times), wool crepe deluxe (drop a stitch and it runs like a bullet!)  and I’m going to add 12 to 16 rows of transfers to the equation? Get real, MA! Back to reality! at least I used up all that orange (VBG)! Remember before we had emojis?
I’ve looked at virtually every lace garment I’ve ever knit and paged through the old Knitwords, looking for something and I found one! Lace Luxe from No 38, Autumn 2006 – I loved this stitch pattern but had forgotten it because the garment was knit in Wagtail Yarns mohair,  lilac – not exactly a colour at the top of my most-frequently worn list. Mostly I did keep the garments that were in the magazine but that one I gave to the Wagtail people because it was the first garment they had that was machine-knit! No wonder I forgot it!
Programmed in the stitch pattern and it knit up beautifully in Trenzi. Switched to a leftover WCD and knit an adequate amount to examine it – I’ve used WCD in lace enough to know that my optimum stitch size is T4 – I’m on a roll – swatch knit with a suitable trim added on, all washed and dried – looks great! Now to work on the shape!

Thursday, November 8, 2018


Saw a picture of Becca the bachelorette wearing what I thought was a knitted lace cardigan with satin shawl collar and I loved it. Now that I have all this experience with searching the web, I thought, this will be a piece of cake. It wasn’t really, because it was just an ad on TV, not a show but I did finally manage to track it down – this wasn’t the photo I saw, no rose and she was turned sideways -  and it turned out to be a lace fabric, not an actual knit but that is totally irrelevant, I going with what I thought. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a bachelorette watcher – our cable TV comes from Minnesota and I believe Becca is from there, so it was a promo feature!
I have a semi-dress-up occasion for around New Year’s Eve and figure this would be perfect and could be used for so much more (I'm doing a seminar in Pigeon Forge, TN, March 22, 23/19 and another one in Waynesboro, PA April 12, 13/19 and even though I haven’t been to either of those places, you know how I like to have something brand new for each show).  I’m planning Wool Crepe Deluxe, black, of course and I even have a part cone of a shiny black rayon for the collar!

Have you ever had stuff for so long you forgot what stuff you have? In searching for the ultimate lace pattern for my ’Becca’, I pulled out every stitch book I had, looking for a lace pattern that was more holes than stockinette. One book in particular had several good-looking prospects. I spent the better part of an hour pencilling one design on the mylar sheet, feeding it into my Silver Reed SK580, reading it into the PE1 several times and checking for the usual mistakes. Finally got it in and knit – not what I wanted! Began to fill in another mylar and had a little tingle…suddenly I recalled that there were preprogrammed memory cards that came with this book  (they do not have a battery that would expire - )  – where the heck are they? A little searching and sure enough, I had them in hand – so much easier. Quickly tried several more samples - you might notice I'm using that gawdawful orange TAMM Trenzi that's been my waste yarn for the past two years or so. For experimenting, no use wasting WCD and as I know that T6 is the optimum stitch size for lace with Trenzi, that eliminates a lot of the usual issues when experimenting with lace. Only after narrowing down on the actual stitch I want to use will I attempt a swatch with the actual garment yarn!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

it was like a puzzle...

that I had to figure out.
Did you ever put something in the dryer and then forget about it? I almost did that but fortunately, I know I get distracted easily so I have a habit of setting the timer for ten minutes to bring me back to zero.
I was almost sick as I dashed for the dryer imagining a mini-elvis! I got there in time and it was good!
After getting the second front done, I seamed that dart/vee neck shaping,  grafted the two longer pieces together to form the back neck of the shawl collar, folded the facing in and stitched the two layers into the back neck. Did the rest of the seaming and finishing and eucalaned it
then steamed it. It is a little on the big side, but I’ll blame that on my half swatches. Not that I really mind – I think it is supposed to be a little loose and slouchy, something to wear when you’re sort of lounging around with company. Would I make it again? Yes, for someone else but I’d use a nice wool that is a little more predictable than Elvis was because it would turn out much better - I did like the way the collar turned out and I had fun experimenting!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

just a prototype?...

Well, I think that worked. There doesn't appear to be a line of any sort, tension-wise or weight-wise where I dropped the ribber and changed to the knit arm. New front is done!
Looks okay but who knows until you get it all
 together. The fact that this is going to shrink up considerably – pretty hard to judge until it’s laundered, after the putting together. I did pin the one side and shoulder together to the back and it looks like it will work so am proceeding with the other front!
My brother is coming to visit – I’ll wear it and we’ll have a glass of wine and a heart-to-heart…

Sunday, October 28, 2018

trust the expert...

And READ the instructions!
Got Elvis (back and sleeves) all knit and now I’m ready for the fronts. I examined all my 1X1 look swatches and kept going back to the first one that was supposed to be like I used on Granville and thought, gee, maybe that would be okay if only the main bed tension were lower to make those stitches smaller, tighter and more defined. I dug out the Granville pattern and what do you know? MAO did use a tighter tension on the main bed stitches! Ha! Made one more swatch to be sure, following directions this time and it works!
Looked at the video at Shopbop a few more times and I’m convinced the hemline of the front is sloped with shortrows after the rib hem. I’m going with 10 cm over the width of the front as well as adding 4 longstitches at the centre side – Vince probably didn’t do this but it’s what I want and even though it won’t actually show – it’s on the inside of the fold – I figure it will at least lay flat and not roll which could create a weird ridge showing on the front!
I could lie and say my first attempt was beautiful, perfectly thought out and worked a charm, but who would believe me? ha! Knitting away, I did the armhole shaping and my plan at that point was to knit up to the shoulder and then continue knitting on the remaining edge, making it long enough to take it up and around the back of the neck to finish the shawl collar. As I approached the point where there should be front neckline shaping if it was a regular neckline, it dawned on me this would be a mess. Way too much fabric for the collar!
I stopped, had dinner and pondered the situation.
revised front schematic
I figured there should be some compensation/shaping, more like a vee neck, to bring the collar portion over to the shoulder line. Is that what they meant about the open placket??? I was going to rip out about 40 rows, back to the end of the underarm shaping, just throw in the vee shaping but I decided to wait until the morning. I tossed and turned half the night and thought about cutting a prototype from fabric. By morning, I decided that I’d miscalculated the width of the shawl collar portion and the entire piece was unusable, but the hem, the shortrowed angle and the longstitch facing was all good.
I’ll rewind that piece later if I need the yarn, but with a fresh start, I quickly got to the beginning of the vee neck. Decisions, decisions! Basically, I am knitting stockinette on the double bed – the ribber is up and there are only 4 sts on the rib bed, knitting only every other row for the longstitch. This is on the side that I would be putting in hold, to come back to later after shaping the neckline with vertical decreases. If I put that part in hold, the carriage will be passing over it for another 100 rows or so and I don’t want to damage the yarn. I could draw it back to A position on ravel cord and just be real careful. A light comes on and I realize the longstitch edge from this point is no longer necessary because that edge will be stitched into the vee neckline. I can transfer those few sts up to the main bed, place the collar part all in hold (or not – I decided to take it off on waste and rehang it later) and continue on the right side of 0, abandon the ribber altogether, and finish up using the knit arm. Do I take the chance? Will there be a difference in the stitch size of that next row?

Friday, October 26, 2018

every trick in the book...

I swatched and then I swatched some more! My stockinette tension/stitch size is T10 and I did get the same stitch and row gauge with both yarns.
Just Ribbin'
The back of GW is pretty simple. For that wide, deep rib, I chose 3X3 rib in the 3X2 needle arrangement – see Just Ribbin’ KW# 50 at a fairly high stitch size –  T8/8 because I don’t want it snugging in – want it to be as wide as the stockinette and the reason I went with the 3X2 needle arrangement means there are more stitches in the ribbing (when transferred up to the main  bed, there will be 2 sts on every 3rd needle but it doesn’t really show) than the stockinette to help maintain the same width. If you are reading me regularly, you might notice that I didn’t say that I made the sleeves first – I made the back first because I’m not really sure how far these yarns will go and how much there is – I did the back using Elvis because the label did have a yardage on it so it will help me judge how far this will go. It took 136g, leaving 264g, and I’m certain I can get both sleeves from the rest of him. Also, no disrespect, but Elvis has some thick and thin, like the spinning was not as smooth and consistent as the Bob Carver cone which I knew had to be for the fronts and will likely take considerably more than the back because of the extended lapels for the shawl collar.
The big unknown with this design is that 1X1 rib on the hem of the front – it looks like 1X1 but it’s as wide as the stockinette and just plain 1X1 wouldn’t be. So, I swatched full needle rib – too wide and too thick. I did the ‘1X1 on main bed with all working on the rib bed’ like on Granville
– still looks too wide. Tried 1X1 rib at T10/10 double stranded – that didn’t work! I was also working on the idea of an automatic longstitch facing for the centre side of the front – there is no finishing band apparent. I am assuming there is maybe a narrow longstitch, so I put 4 sts on RB, knitting every other row to finish that side. In a couple of the shots from the Shopbob website it  sort of looks like the front is angled up slightly – that may be from the longstitch facing pulling up the centre side somewhat or because they have actually shortrowed an angle to the front after the rib and the nice garter-stitch ridge after the rib is hiding the shortrows…lots to think about as I work on the sleeves. Maybe I’m over-thinking again! Just as I fell asleep last night I thought, what about tuck rib?

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


You’re not going to believe this, but I’m actually planning on making this Good Wife Cardi with two different yarns. Kids, don’t try this at home! Alicia’s cardigan is specialty fibre and I have something close but know I’ll definitely need two cones. The first one I have is something I’ve been saving for at least 20 years. Anyone remember a business called Carver Textiles in Calgary, Alberta? Here’s an excerpt from my editorial blurb from Knitwords No. 2 Autumn of 1997:
Back in June, when planning this issue, I needed some yarn to make a tunic that was drapey, a bouclĂ© would be best, and I needed it in a hurry. I was imagining a rayon, slubby yarn in one of those non-colours. What was I going to do? I suddenly remembered a visit to Bob Carver’s in Calgary a few years ago. Bob’s place was a warehouse of shelves and racks full of industrial yarns, mill ends and full line yarns, almost everything imaginable – the machine knitter’s dream palace! So, I called Bob, explained my problem and he said he’d send me some stuff, what colours did I like and, I could send back what I didn’t want! Who could ask for more? I told him earth tones and to put it on the bus as that was the cheapest, quickest way in western Canada (Thunder Bay is 2000 km from Calgary). Sure enough, 36 hours later, there I was struggling with this huge box. There must have been 30 cones of yarn in there! I wanted all of it! It was great - lovely taupes, jute, creams, ivory, olives and only one blue one! There go the profits! Of course, two days later when the invoice arrived in the mail, I knew I needed to get a grip on reality. I did send back about half the shipment. But, thank God and Greyhound and Bob Carver! Wasn’t there a song like that?
And then, the kicker, that particular tunic didn’t make the ‘cut’ for this issue – you’ll have to wait for the next issue to see it!
That’s the background on the first cone, it’s cashmere and angora in a lovely oatmeal shade, about 500g total. And why have I been saving it? Likely because I couldn’t use it for a pattern without being able to give a good substitute and I’m pretty sure Bob is no where to be found, never mind the yarn! Full disclosure, I only have two more cones (not the same stuff) from that original shipment! ;-) 
The second cone was gifted to me a few years ago by my friend Vickie, who loves teal and jewel tones, and I’m sure I got this one only because it was oatmeal in colour – it is 100% alpaca from 4-B Llamas in Rose Prairie, BC. The label identifies it as 2 ply/1600 yds/lb, 425 g, and the colour is handwritten in as ‘Elvis’! I’m thinking that’s the llama’s name – I love stories like this!
Anyway, these, side by side, at a quick glance, appear to be the same – close enough for me to think I can use one cone for the back and sleeves and the other for the fronts. It’s not like the finished garment is going out in an international trunk show! If you’re reading this, that means I did it, whether it really worked remains to be seen! Later!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

surfin' the net....

Been looking for something to catch my attention and give me a reason to knit and I came across and old 'to-knit' list, headed up  by the 'good wife cardi' - got me digging and looking. Reread my old blogposts from April 2014.
and dug out the old swatches.
Even went on Netflix trying to find it, skimming Season 4, and then, while I was having a coffee break, casually googled ‘the good wife cardigan’.  OMG, they have everything on there! I found it with a notation that the sweater was worn by Juliana Margolis in Season 5, episode 19!

Now I have a mission! Can’t really remember why I abandon this project but I think it was yarn issues. I was so wrong before! It is all basically stockinette – the back has the deep wider rib at the bottom, but the front is all stockinette except for what looks like 1X1 rib on the hemline. There is no shaping at the sides, it’s just an open-front cardigan with the shawl collar formed by folding the extra width at the front under and back to make it look thicker and more complicated than it really is! At (they even have a short video with the model turning full circle!), it was $450, no longer available of course and made of wool, yak, alpaca and cashmere, how exotic!  Their description:
         A draped shawl collar frames the open placket of a cozy Vince sweater, which is finished
         with a ribbed hem and cuffs.
Frames the open placket? What the hell does that mean? Watch this space!

Monday, October 22, 2018

she loves it....

Washed and dried and perfect! I called her and said we’d better get together so she could collect her TB Poncho before I was tempted to wear it! She laughed and said she'd be right over. It looks great, she was thrilled and eager to wear it! I cleared two whole cones off my shelves. It was a win-win!



Friday, October 19, 2018

finishing details...

Attach the band to hood: bring out the needles, same number as the ribbed band (100 stitches). The hood edge has 120 sts so decrease 20 sts (100 divided by 20 is 5) which means you want to double up on every 5th needle as you are hanging. What I do to make it easy is go across the needle bed and bring every 5th needle slightly forward (start this on the 3rd needle from the right edge so you don’t have doubled sts at either end) and then using the 3-prong tool, hang 3 sts.
Pick up the next 3 sts and double up on the needle at right that already has one stitch. Pick up next 3 sts and hang on new needles. Continue across the row, doubling on every second pick up and it will work out perfectly! Remove the waste yarn, take the ribbed band, turn it and hang it stitch for stitch. Pull the band sts through the hood edge, manually knit loose row and chain off. Graft the back seam and try it on. Should be good to go.
Seam all the rest of the poncho and then pin the hood in place and try it on again just to be sure – the hood has to be deep enough from the top of the head to the neckline so it doesn’t hold the garment up off the shoulders and the front opening should be big enough for your face and most
important, the neck opening has to be large enough for the head to fit through! If any of these are compromised, you need to make another hood, fixing the issues but I’m good to go!  
You could stitch this in by hand but who’s kidding who? I’m doing it on the LK! Because it is a circle, start at one end and do it in sections.  There are no open stitches, it’s all closed edge on both pieces. I want the seam to be on the inside, so am putting right sides together, hanging the body first, right side facing me and then the hood piece, wrong facing. I leave it all pinned together from the try-on and just un-pin the section I’m working on.
To keep track that each side will be the same, start off figuring out how many needles for the entire neckline, so hold the centre back at 0, pull the centre front to the right – I got 55 needles for half the neckline. It’s my experience that the back-neck area of any garment should be pulled in slightly and the width of the back neck was 20 sts half plus the 3 cm/1 inch drop and I want to reduce that width slightly,
so I hang it over 20-0-20 needles. Put the shoulder seam at #21 right and then stretch out the front neck to the centre of the garment and hang the edge, half the outside edge stitch. This will likely be a bit less than the original 55, mine was at #50. Now, hang the hood section, from the centre front to the first shoulder.
Manually knit fairly loose sts – not quite all the way back to ‘B’ but close (just doing a single row to join and cast-off all in one – no need for the extra bulk of a joining row and casting off!) - to the shoulder and then chain those off except the last one. Hang the back neck, over to the opposite shoulder (#20 left), and then the hood. On this section, for the 16-0-16 section, the loose stitch for the chain cast-off is a little smaller to further draw in the back neck. Finish off the other side. Throw it over your head to make sure all is still good and breathe a huge sigh of relief!
Got ‘er done with still plenty of wearing days left for this season!
Hope this all makes sense!

Friday, October 12, 2018

rib recap...

1X1 rib, E4N std gauge
I’m making the cuffs for the poncho (1X1 rib made on the standard gauge ribber). If I hold the edge for the cuff up to the LK150, it appears that 20-0-20 stitches are needed. To set this up on the standard gauge, I am using 40-0-40 needles, selecting every 4th needle on the main bed and then the alternate 4th needles on the rib bed. The cuff
row of stockinette after rib

ribbing should be tighter than what is on the hem band so am doing it at T8/8 for 20 rows. Again, transfer up to the main bed and it is every other needle for a row of stockinette before waste yarn. TIP, before cutting, measure off the main yarn, 4 times the width of needles in work to have enough for the cast-off row on the LK! Two less ends to darn in! Ditto for the face band and for the grafted seam at the back of the hood.
sleeve edge on LK

To attach, hang the sleeve edge of the poncho on the LK150, knit/right side facing you. Turn the band and hang stitches in the hooks of the needles.
hang cuff
Put the garment part behind the latches, with the stitches still in the hooks. Close the latches and push back on needle butts to pull that row through the closed edge to join the pieces. Knit loose row and chain off!
loose row for cast-off

finished cuff with std gauge selector

For the hood, I’m using the same schematic as the Oxymoron Cardi which was almost the same as Milky Way (but a little deeper and I had grafted the back seam because it laid flatter and neater)  which was from Lacy in Red, KW#40, Love the hood on Oxy (I know I didn’t show you, but I will soon, promise!), fits just right and really looks nice up or down and I think it will be just right for the poncho.
mylar  - follow red line
This hood is knit from the face edge (in one piece), back to the back of the head and the side edges are shaped with decreases to fit to the neckline. The stitch gauge tells me to have 60-0-60 sts (120 total) for the full width of the hood and I want to have a ribbed edge on the front of the hood. To do it in one piece on the standard gauge ribber, I can only get 100 sts total which is fine because I used a few less stitches for the front band on the Oxy hood and it works great, snugs the open edge of the hood in nicely, especially when it is laying over your back. 
hood before
Here, I made the hood band first, T10/10, 10 rows, but I will knit the hood on the LK150 starting with waste yarn. The band will be attached later because it will be easier to rehang the hood edge, gathering in the extra stitches evenly spaced rather than trying to hang the ribbed band and increasing across for the extra stitches! Attach the front face band before grafting the back of the hood or it won't open up enough to stretch across for the band. Just sayin'...