Wednesday, December 20, 2023

could you tell…

the difference? 

I’m always anxious to see the final product - on the Back, I opted to knit the plain lace from the first orange swatch, figuring it would save time over the two-step transfers of the outlined diamonds. Timed myself, 20 minutes for 101 sts wide by one 20-row repeat. Seemed pretty quick, got the Back completed in no time. Hung the cast-on row, knit 18 rows as  MAO instructions for the hand-latched rib and got ‘er done!

Now, you might think I’m spending continuous hours at the machine, but no! I’ve learned to pace myself! Break it up - I do one repeat (20 rows) and take a breather, even if it’s just to get a fresh glass of water, or take a photo or a real break and make a batch of cookie dough or whatever! 

For the Front, went back to the two-step transfers and what do you know, that 20-row repeat took 25 minutes, whoop-de-do! Used the stopwatch timer on the iPod and the Front was done in 2 hrs, 15 min! Was it worth the time-saving for the Back? No, but even if I didn’t tell you, not likely you’d have noticed, and my Christmas company sure won’t and I proved a point in my own mind anyway!

Just a few reminders, Cindy! 

At the top of the sleeve cap, shortrowed of course, after the RTR (remove, turn, rehang), knit a row for that garter stitch ridge and then, measure off 5X the width of the work to have enough yarn to make the loose row for the final cast-off after joining the sleeve.

You may have noticed the shoulder seams-used the outside seaming technique that has become my favourite method - I like the way it defines the shoulder when you have a good-fitting set-in sleeve but here, I also used it to cover up the fact that I forgot to flip the pattern for the second piece, the Front, and have the extra stitch at the left instead of the right, so the pattern doesn’t match at the shoulder…;))  Might be a good idea to read page 64 of HMMK which explains ‘flipping the pattern’!

I’m almost done, just the bottom rib on the Front and the final seaming, planning to wear this for my open house on Christmas Eve - hope I can get someone to take an on-person photo!

PS. What I’ve been watching and liking - in case you need some down time, The Bear, Hijack, Slow Horses, I Know This Much is True…

Wednesday, December 13, 2023


Hey Cindy, I’m glad you asked, I was going to tell you anyway, but it’s good to know you’re on board!

Back to that stitch pattern I mentioned earlier, ‘Outlined Diamonds, horizontal’, page 60 from The Handbook for Manual Machine Knitters - HMMK -  to make that an all-over pattern, you need to delete the last two rows and the 20-row repeat gives you the all-over repeat

Something I never mentioned, the top half of the inside of the diamond on the NP’s sweater was reverse stockinette which, on a flat bed knitting machine is a nightmare!

It means you are reforming every stitch! I changed it to garter stitch ridges so only reform on every other row - much easier and quicker! And I felt it was only needed at the top of the pieces. Sometimes less is better.

The ribbing, go to HMMK, page 95 and read the section on ‘Machine Ribbed Bands’. I chose ‘K2,P1 with rib wise cast off’. The ribbed bands are added to the bottom and knit down. The first cuff, I did on the LK and relatched 50 rows…it can be done if you need to. Key word, need! The second one, I hung on the standard gauge, set it up for K2, P1, and at T10/T10, no tension on the yarn (like you’re hand-feeding the yarn for looser stitches) got the job done! I’m not even going to tell you about that starter-sleeve that, only as I was shortrowing the cap did I notice there were 15 more stitches at the left side!!!

Monday, December 11, 2023

master plan…

 If I’m committing to a new design, what are the steps? I have the stitch pattern but the shape? I go to the cupboard and drag out the pullovers I’ve made recently…and if you’ve been following me, you know, I’m not much for pullovers. As you can see, they are mostly tunics. I try them all on, turning this way and that and I want something different! Virtually everything I’ve made for myself in the last ten years, except for the sleeveless tops have been below the hip - what does that say about my wardrobe? I’m old-school - when wearing leggings or yoga pants, I want the crotch covered! 

I even went downstairs and dug up some of the old mid gauge  stuff - wow! Here’s a tip - if you have a cardigan or even a vee neck and want to see what it looks like as a pullover, put it on backwards!

Another quirk, I haven’t used ribbing on any sweater for eons, so here, out of the blue, I’m going short, not quite cropped but, wide body and hig-hip, a deep ribbed cuff, inspired by the NP’s sweater, a diamond lace hand-transferred stitch with rib at the wide hem and round neck…

Oh, and the yarn, one I’ve used before, Forsell Yarns, Touch of Silk, a DK weight, 90 wool, 10 silk.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

mystery solved…

On the first swatch, at the bottom, I did a plain lace transfer where you simply take the stitch from the needle where you want the hole and move it left or right. Because I was trying for a machine knit transfer, I did it on every other row, like a lace carriage would do

Normally, when I’m doing a hand transferred design on any knitting machine, I try to plan it so there are two plain rows between transfers - easier to remember (when carriage is at the right, time to transfer) and if you only have to stop every second row, it’s faster and that’s what machine knitting is all about, right? 

I based it on a 10 stitch repeat, like ‘Outlined diamonds’ page 60 from my book, The Handbook for Manual Machine Knitters, but instead of the two-step transfer that makes the outline, just picked up the hole stitch and moved it the one space, doing each side of the diamond on every other row so I had a transfer on every row. 

 I knew this wasn’t what was on the blue NP sweater from yesterday, but I needed a reference point. On about the last row, it dawned on me - hah, the actual pattern in that garment was transferring the stitch the wrong way, or what happens when you start a lace carriage pattern with the lace carriage on the wrong side! See top swatch!

Now, what to do? Is this enough to spur me on? I have sock knitting going on on the standard gauge, I have Christmas baking to do, I have company coming to stay over Christmas…

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Hand knit or….

I was out the other day - manfriend had an appointment and asked me to go with - second ears and all that! He’s having his second hip replacement, not a big deal, but I’m happy to be called on to support. We met with a young nurse practitioner, probably in her late thirties/early forties, tall, slim, blonde, casual-like and I’m only telling you this for background. She was wearing this sweater that, during the appointment, I became obsessed with. It was pretty, medium blue, mid-weight yarn, in a simple lace diamond stitch pattern and it looked very nice on her. What really attracted me was the size of the holes of the lace - she had a black cami under it and maybe that made the holes seem larger? and I honestly couldn’t tell if it was a plain, old-school hand-knit with a repeated mistake or if it was a ‘bought’ sweater. I was eyeballing the neckline, the seaming, checking the deep ribbed cuffs, the set-in sleeves, noting the details, looking for clues! 

Halfway through her questions, I caught myself re-designing the stitch pattern, the way I thought it should be! At the end of the meeting, I did ask her if she’d made the sweater. Oh no, she could never do anything like that and she gave me the details of where she bought it. I told her how nice she looked in it and strangely, I could hardly wait to get home to try it out! LK150, here I come!

You can probably tell, I don’t get out much!

Friday, November 10, 2023

lost in translation…

Thanks for the positive remarks!
I wasn’t looking for a new career path - what part of ‘I’m not into investing or learning new stuff! ’ did you not understand? ;). I was merely updating you on the situation here and attempting to reassure you that even though the Knitwords website is gone, this blog will remain - it does not cost me anything and I’m not mad enough to delete it all!

So, back to knitting! 

My sis, Marnie, loved her ‘Kickin’ Around’! When she saw it, she said, oh great! It goes with jeans - I don’t have to get dressed up to wear it! And it’s so soft!

I wanted to tell you what I did in making changes - here’s the link to the original schematic and what I did for the red one: 

And here’s the new schematic for Marnie’s. Basically what I did was widen the hemline to add extra width for the hip area, and made the bust a little narrower,  so turned the side seam into an A-line, and adding short rows to the bottom to make a curve to the hemline so it wouldn’t be pulling up in the centre. It does add a very flattering slight flare to the bottom that is not really noticeable when you’re wearing it.

OMG! I did it! Made a new blogpost with photos and a link! And all on my own! ;))

Sunday, November 5, 2023

end of an era…

You may have noticed the Knitwords website is no longer. Things happen, technology changes and I can’t keep up! And when it’s over, it’s over! After all, it’s been 13 years since we published! We hadn’t  been able to update or make any changes to the website since 2012 - old programs and old systems that became obsolete. I was hoping I would be able to continue blogging here but we will see - my windows7 computer has blu-screened a couple of times - I have a new windows11 computer but all of the old programs I used for photos, charts and even word processing won’t work on the new one and I’m not into investing or learning new stuff! 

Not sure if this is my final goodbye here but I am still at the email of and am happy to help, answer questions and offer my books, magazines and patterns. Still knitting here…

Monday, September 25, 2023

before and after...

I know you’ve been dying  to find out and yes, I had enough to finish up that blue-y Kickin’ Around for my sister – just! It was a good thing I decided to use the swatch for the top of the Back because it wouldn’t really show up as re-knit and after all the very small bands, I was left with very little – probably not enough to make a second hem band if necessary!

Got the seaming done and all the ends darned in and was sort of worried because it felt like it was a whole lot bigger than I really wanted – yep, it was! Laid it out and put my red one on top and yikes! The blue one was huge. Fingers crossed, did an aggressive wash – warm water and some agitation – it worked! Natural fibres, what can I say?

Came out to the perfect size that I had planned, slightly longer, slightly A-line and you know what? I like it better than mine! Maybe I’ll take both and let her choose which one…

Leaving tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

i was getting a little concerned...

Halfway up the Back, yeah, I was! You know that 'running out of yarn anxiety' feeling. Had started out with 7 new balls and the one knitted into the swatch, which I was thinking was my back-up plan – unravel it to do the bands. The Sleeves consumed two and a half balls. Here I was at a crucial point – I did have a second backup plan – had 2 balls of the same yarn in a black colourway and I think, at one point, on the old manfriend design, I’d thought I could put a wide band of black just below the underarm point but I’m getting totally lazy and didn’t want to think that hard now!

I took the sleeves and placed them over my red sweater, hoping it would  make me feel better but my rational brain is telling me those sleeves are going to shrink down – the yarn is all totally natural as opposed to the wool/acrylic of the Kramer Tatamy Tweed that made up the red one so comparing unshrunk sleeves was just looking for a false sense of security! Plus the fact that Marnie’s sweater was a bit bigger – she’s kind of the opposite to me – even though we are the same height, I have a large chest and no butt while she’s smaller on top, so I’m actually making hers A-line and a bit longer than mine.

Bite the bullet and power through, hope for the best? I mean, ripping it out and re-knitting with the black stripe wouldn’t be so bad, would it? Spent half a minute weighing up my options, ripped out the swatch piece and knit the rest of the Back. I’m not convinced that I actually washed that swatch and so what if I did? Life goes on! I still have a week or so...

Wednesday, September 6, 2023


You know that saying, ‘the hurrier I go, the behinder I get’? well, maybe it’s not exactly an old saying but it’s like when I think this is going to be so easy, somehow it isn’t! On the first sleeve, I got almost up to the sleeve cap before noticing I forgot to add in the vertical lines as I was increasing! F-u-d-g-e! Crud! I tried dropping the stitch, but it made a huge bar, compared to the nice line of the needle out of work. Then I thought, oh well, that will all be in the underarm area and no one will notice. Yeah! That works for me!

Then the quandary, fix it on the next one, or make the second one exactly the same? Yes, I’m going with that and if ever anyone points it out, I can say I planned it like that! See, they are both the same!    

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

still kickin'...

Hey, I’m back! It’s cooled off. Fall is my favourite time of year! Sweater weather is much more fun to me and I can get back to knitting! I’m planning a trip out to Vancouver to visit with favourite baby sister, Marnie, and I like to be bearing gifts! I’m taking my own advice and re-knitting ‘Kickin’ Around’.

A few years back, I was planning a pullover for manfriend for Christmas – he actually requested it based on a sweater he saw in a store window – you can read the long version going back to October, 2019 - . See where I sort of left it hanging and then, finally finishing it up for a late Christmas present.

Anyway, the long and short of it was that I ordered some yarn just because it was tweedy and he liked the colour sample on the internet. When I received it, realized it was a big mistake – yarn was way too fancy for manfriend so had put it away and re-ordered. I did swatch it and lucky for me, blogged about it there so when I came across the swatch the other day, I could read exactly what I did! I’m looking for shortcuts here! And Sis won’t know the difference!

The yarn is Providence from Berroco, 65% merino wool, 20% baby alpaca, 15% silk – it really is a lovely yarn and I’d like it for myself except the dark teal is not for me but it’s a good Marnie colour.

Starting with a sleeve, with good intentions, I threw in a stitch pattern – going with ‘butterfly’ because it was a combo of tuck and eyelets, seemed like it would be fairly quick to do and shows up on the purl side which I always like on a tweed fabric. Got 40 rows done, decided it was too difficult to see for making the eyelets on top of the tucked stitch - all that effort was not going to show up in the dark colour.  Dropped it off the machine, rewound the yarn and decided we could be twins – using the same windowpane as in the original! – I’m leaving in 15 days, give me a break!