Thursday, October 29, 2020

the opposite of TMI...

 NEI, not enough information! A few weeks ago, I had a nice email from Rebecca asking for some help on one of my trims from 50 Ways to Love Your Knitter, #47.

I have a question on #47 Ribbed Diamond Band... #5 Transfer to every 3rd needle in work on knit bed and all needles in work on rib bed... And then #7 and #8 are confusing to me too.  Part of the problem is I see the back side instead of the front side and it’s confusing. I can’t seem to wrap my mind around this.

I answered her rather vaguely (my apologies) at the time, saying

are you just reading or actually trying to knit? Not sure what to add to #5 except to go across on main bed and keep every third stitch. Transfer the rest to the rib bed. Counting only the needles in work in #7, one goes one way (right, the next one goes left, the beginning of the diamond pattern...

Since then, I’ve had that trim in the back of my mind, trying to come up with some reason to knit it. I think it will complement my diamond Aran-look stitch pattern.After knitting it and realizing I short-changed everyone (sad face!) who has this book, here’s what it should say:

47.  Ribbed diamond band: Embossed diamond formed on main bed, on purl stitch background from rib bed, side away is right side (matches with stockinette)

1.  2X2 (2X1) rib, Swing H.  Manual wrapped rib cast-on (see #30).

2.  RC000. T5/5, knit 1 row.

3.  T6/6, knit 1 row.

4.  T7/7, Knit 2 rows. RC004.

5.  Switch to Swing P. Bring all ns to work on Rib Bed. Begin at centre, transfer to every 3rd needle in work on knit bed (by moving #1 right and every 3rd n to RB and) all needles in work on RB. Always put empty ns out of work. Switch back to H. RC000.

    . . l . . . l . . . l . . . l . .

   l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l

6.  T6/9, knit 1 row.

7.  On knit bed, transfer every 2nd in-work stitch to the right, one needle.

8.  Transfer the alternate ones, one space left, knit 1 row.

   . . l l . . . . l l . . . . l l . .

  l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l

9.  After knitting row where stitches are side by side, cable the two stitches, putting the ones travelling to the left, down first. Knit 1 row.

10. Move 2nd stitch in group of 2 to right and the other stitch to the left, ending with needle arrangement in #5. Knit 1 row.

11. Continue forming the diamond on knit bed to RC012. Make the 1X1 mini cable again

12. K1R. RC013. Switch to P4. Transfer all stitches to knit bed. Continue in desired stitch.

Thank heaven I found a great, machine-knitting proofreader shortly after that!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

hidden pocket...

We had our first snowfall and it looks like it may be a stay-on-the-ground event.

Way too early and I’m still hoping it will melt but who knows? This is 2020! Anyway, I did wear my Aran poncho the other day while I ran a few errands and it was kind of fun. Had a couple of ladies shout out, where’d you get that? And got thumbs ups! I did see others wearing the blanket-style plaid ones but nothing like mine. Decided it needed a pocket (I hate carrying a purse) and maybe a cardigan/hoodie to wear under to extend the wear-ability. Back at home, I made a pocket, so simple, just a 5X5 inch stockinette patch and hand-stitched it to the inside front point, attaching it between some convenient tuck ribs, above the purl ridge of the hem, leaving the top open. Does the trick, holds a couple of bucks, credit card, mask, keys…

Now, a jacket/hoodie to go under/with! I need a standard gauge project to offset the mid gauge transfers!

Friday, October 23, 2020

going whole hog...

 Working on the second size from my KnS pattern, making a few adjustments to my schematic, mainly making it longer to reflect the tunic length I now wanted (changed side seam length to 50 cm/20 in), adding another inch to ‘1/4 hem width’ because of the change in length and adding a curved/shortrowed 1.25 inches to the centre.

Made the hem for the Back – my new schematic indicates 64-0-64 ns for the width, but my hem stitch pattern is a 12-st repeat, so I’m going with 66-0-67 ns, the closest 12-st repeat and of course redrafting the side seam decreases.

While working on the hem, I was pondering life. I had meant to knit this thing as the original, in stockinette, with the Aran-look yoke but I thought, what the hay? I’m here, working at wasting time and getting through the day, trying to feel like I’m accomplishing something…let’s stretch this out!’

After the hem, I figured I may as well start with that nice diamond thing up the centre back. By the time I got the first repeat done, at RC024, I was itching to expand. I added the 2X2X2 braided cable on either side – oh yeah, turning all those between sts to purl stitches was too much for me and I liked the separating tuck ribs that I used on the poncho better so left 3 plain sts between each new vertical cable with a tuck rib on either side.  After another 24 rows, began the 3X2 cable turned every 6 rows; then at RC072, started a 2X2 turned every 4 rows; at RC096, a 2X1, turned every 4 rows.

Some tips for Aran knitting:

1. Choose yarn and stitch size so the knitting is not too tight – you’ll be fighting with small stitches the whole time and not enjoy the experience. The yarn I used (DK Wool) for this tunic, I would knit at T5 stockinette but for this worked T6 to make sure there was enough give to manoeuvre the cables.

2. Make a cheat sheet noting the row numbers for each operation.

3. The stitches put down first are the ones that show on the public side of the fabric – talk to yourself as you’re transferring to remember what to do.

4. Be sure to read the Cables section in ‘The Handbook for Manual Machine Knitters’ for lots more!

5. Making the Back first allows you to sort things out before working the Front – they do not have to be the same but the front neckline is the most important part of any garment and here you want to make sure you have the best pattern row to stop on. That diamond will look best if completed or stop at the halfway.

6. Mark the needle butts to help keep track of things – I mark the tuck ribs and then you see what fits between them.

I had a lot of fun experimenting with the centre of that diamond!

P.S. sorry for the confusion about inches and centimetres. I always work in cm and give the inch conversion for the U.S. as a courtesy, but sadly KnitStyle wanted only inches so that pattern has only inches in the schematic – I was working on them to change!

P.P.S. I did make a swatch in stockinette only and used that reading for my calculations.


Thursday, October 22, 2020

cables, cables, cables...

Carrying on with the cable/Aran theme from that poncho, I thought, why not do a pullover/tunic? Actually the last thing I submitted to KnitStyle, back in 2014, was a cabled project that was never published but I do have a finished pdf of the pattern if anyone wants…email me at and put ‘cabled LK150’ in the subject line. My description of it: Slight A-line shape, round crew neck pullover, set-in sleeve with accents of a variety of cabling techniques to create an Aran-style look on deep wide cuffs and forming a yoke-look at top of body. Garter stitch rows for bottom hems.

I thought I could make something like that – when doing for them, I had to submit the garment in a finished-34, so although I did get the garment back, no way was it fitting ‘moi’, even if the colour was anything other than one of my least favourites! I have almost two full cones of DK Wool in ivory that should be enough to make that into a tunic. I’ll start with that new hem from the Aran poncho and see what happens!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

handy work...

Back to this LK Aran piece that I rediscovered, I was originally going to make a long strip, with diminishing patterning – hence the plain section on one side - and seam it for a simple poncho but as I got into it, the hand transfers were so much fun and so engaging, I changed to making the two-piece poncho. Using an old trick (cutting the desired shape from knit fabric to figure out what size needed), I took the first piece off the machine at 200 rows – it measured 20 inches wide by 28 inches long – and I folded up a piece of knit fabric to that size and pinned the two together to see how it fit. That was the point when I cleaned up and put it away. Getting it out again, I thought I should add about another 8 inches to the length so the new size of each piece would be 20 X 36 inches. After making the hem of the second piece, I decided I should flip the patterning and have the cables beginning from the opposite side – maybe not the best choice but I’ll live with it (if doing again I wouldn’t do that – no real reason, just because…) I had made a cheat sheet with the layout of the cables and what rows they were turned so sort of reversed that on the needle bed and changed it up slightly – a few experiments and a few mistakes here and there but who’s counting? Just having fun, me and Clint Black, killing time! The cabling actually goes pretty quick – it’s those tuck ribs that take

up the time – I found that knitting 30 rows, doing the cables as I went then stopping and doing all the tuck ribs after 30 rows and then taking a break, was the best way to get it done. Got the two sections joined – I
found a diagram in an old Knitwords magazine (#30, Autumn 2004) to help with that. The neck opening is a little large for Autumn in the north, so I made another hem piece to add to it to close it up a bit. This was so much fun, doing all the cabling and not having to follow too many rules to make things matchy-match, I’ll be thinking up another LK hand job!

Friday, October 2, 2020


I was tidying up and sort of looking over things in my workroom and surprise, surprise, I came across this abandoned project! Wow! Does not happen often! It was from two years ago and I think what happened, I was cleaning up for company coming, just put this into a covered bin, and you know, out of sight out of mind.

My inspiration, back at the time, was from my Ireland hiking trip and the beautiful Aran knits found in some shops there. Unfortunately, the majority of them are industrial machine-made versions of the hand knits of yester year, but inspiring nonetheless. I had taken some photos to remind myself and one that stuck most in my mind was this poncho. I liked the simplicity, two rectangles joined in a way to make a triangular cover-up and the neckline could be filled in with another straight strip if needed. I was on it!

I had made this first piece, based on some of the Aran stitch patterns in my ‘Handbook for Manual Machine Knitters’ (available on, spreading various cables over 48-0-49 sets on the LK150. Looking at it now, I realize I had a brand-new hem technique to share as well as the rest of the stuff!

#152 Aran Poncho Hem. Chain cast-on, hand transferred scallop made by multiple transfers, eyelets eliminated and 2X1 mini cable with tuck rib. 12 stitch repeat, side away is right side.

1. Cast-on waste yarn, ravel cord. Mark every 12th needle, starting with #1 right. RC000. CAR. Measure out MC 4X width of ns in work, plus 8-10 inches. Double it over on itself to have 2 strands together. This will make a long-enough double strand for the chain cast-on. Bring ns to D/E. 

2.    With next size-up latch tool, chain loosely from left to right.  Anchor last loop on end needle. Close latches. Single strand, MT+1, knit 2 rows.

3.   Using 5-prong tool, transfer as in chart for row 3, starting with #1 right as the centre with 3 stitches together. Fill in empty needles with heel stitch from adjacent stitch. Knit 2 rows.  RC004.

4.    Using 4-prong tool, transfer as in chart for row 5. Fill in empty needles with heel stitch from adjacent stitch. Knit 2 rows.  RC006.

5.     Continue as in chart, make mini cables after row 7 and row 11. Continue as in chart to RC012.

6.     Leave the tuck rib business until this row – because the stitch drops down and is reformed on every other row, it can be done in one operation, instead of every other row!

7.     Remove. Turn. Rehang. K2R. RTR. (This makes a two-row purl border.) RC014. Wrong side facing again, ready for next step!


P.S. thanks for all your encouragement! I still have lots to say and share. Cross your fingers! I’m going to give Blogger another shot…