Monthly Archives: June 2010

Design a Sweater, Lesson 3: Shaping the Torso

Hi there! As you’ll see in this week’s video, my sweater is coming
along swimmingly! Now that I am deep in the process of working the waist
shaping, I am remembering why my row counter is my best friend!

This week, we’ll be discussing how to calculate the increases
and decreases that will shape the torso of your sweater to the finished
dimensions you desire. It may be helpful for you to look over and print
out this week’s handout so that you can follow along with the video
lesson, in which I’ll be walking you through all the math required in
this step. I promise, it’s not terribly hard 🙂 Click the link below to
get the handout:

Lesson 3 – Shaping the Torso

And check out the videos below!

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Design A Sweater, Lesson 1: Swatching and Measuring

Ok, are we all ready to start swatching? Last week we discussed yarn
choices and design dreaming, and this week we are going to solidify our
yarn choices (if you haven’t already!) and find the right needle to get
the fabric that your design requires! I’ve done some extensive
swatching (the results of which I share in the videos below) and have
settled on knitting my Swish Worsted on US 6 Zephyr needles.

Swatching can seem boring when you’re itching to cast on a
project, but it is one of the most essential parts of the design
process, so it deserves a lot of time and attention! In this lesson,
I’ll be giving tips on how to swatch for the fabric your design needs,
and then covering the measuring of gauge from your swatch, and the
measurements needed for a succesful knit. All this information ins
contained in the pdf linked below, which also has diagrams and blanks
for you to fill in with your personal gauge and measurments. Don’t
worry if you’re math-phobic; I’ve done my nest to keep it simple and to
walk you through all the claculations step-by-step!

Lesson 1: Swatching and Measuring

Read on for more info and Videos…

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Lace for All Seasons

I love lace projects, for several reasons.

1. Lace can be big and dramatic and ornate in a way that is hard to pull of in regular garments.

2. Lace accessories can be colorful without overwhelming the wearer.

3. You can wear the same lace scarf every day for a whole season without your coworkers wondering why you never do laundry.

4. Lace shawls make great gifts and you don’t need to know a person’s exact measurements to make them one.

5. Lace is super fun and engaging to knit!

6. Lace yarn is delicate and beautiful and you get a whole lotta yards in just one little ball.

of these are reasons I love lace, and all of these reasons inspired
these two new lace kits, which I spent almost a year thinking about
before actually writing the pattern! The Seasons Shawls, one for Spring and Summer and one for Fall and Winter:

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Crochet? Surprise!

I’m hooked! Yes, pun intended!

Over the last few months, we have had dozens of enticing crochet books arriving from a variety of publishers. At first I absolutely refused to learn to crochet. I already had a huge queue of knitting projects! And, spinning!! But, the onslaught of inspiration just kept coming.


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Tropical Breeze Shawl

Hi, I’m Georgianna. I have worked in customer service here for the last 9 1/2 years so I may have spoken to many of you when you call in.  I taught myself to crochet more than 30 years ago because I wanted to make blankets for my daughters and then other things.  I really enjoyed learning to do thread crochet.  I have been having fun learning this pattern because it had a different way of making add on stitches.  So far …

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Black Sheep Gathering


This isn’t a black sheep!  It’s a black angora goat.  That’s where mohair comes from!

The Pacific Northwest is home to several fiber festivals, and Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, Oregon is one of my favorites.  Despite being surrounded by yarn every day (you should see my desk), I get a boost of energy and creativity when I can spend time with fellow knitters and spinners.  Plus, I can buy MORE yarn, fleece, and spindles from the talented shepherds, indie dyers, and woodworkers who are local to this area.  I spent the weekend running into old friends, meeting awesome new people, learning new techniques, and planning a ton of knitting, spinning, and weaving projects to complete in the next year!


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The Sweater!

Obviously, I love to knit! And, I love to knit interesting and challenging sweaters. But, now that I have finally finished my Classic Lines Cardigan (CLiC), I can imagine knitting a sweater pattern more than once! Alison’s design is absolutely frightening in its simplicity, its versatility and its functionality.

Let’s start with the simplicty. Body knit in the round, sleeves knit in the round, joined, decreased neckline, quick steek cut, buttonband and Finished!! This has got to be one of the best “mindless” knitting projects!

The versatility is what has got me tempted to knit another CLiC. I know, I can hear it now, “It took you nearly two years to knit the first one!” But, I’ve been watching the different kit versions come in from our sample knitters and I have even more appreciation for the CLiC!

Remember that the sample knitters weren’t really knitting for a particular size. We were more focused on getting versions of the color options than on the sizing. The result was a range of sweaters from my rather dressy version to what looks like a boyfriend sweater! Just too many possibilities between mixing and matching colors and sizing!

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I am wearing my Classic Lines Cardigan!!

I absolutely love it!!

I am one of the few people in the office who is not complaining about the air-conditioning! My Gloss and Shimmer combination is warm and soft!

What I don’t understand is why it took so long for me to finish something that I truly enjoyed knitting and appreciated the design. When I saw Alison’s design, I was so enthusiastic that I started a Classic Lines Cardigan Knit-A-Long. I knit along quite nicely, finished my body, finished my sleeves, joined body and sleeves and then……just……slowed…….down.

Once I finally secured the steek with Kerin’s wonderful backward stitch method and then cut the steek during a staff meeting (how’s that for a blase attitude) I was back on course. A fake button band (no button holes), and it was finished!!!

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Knitting in Public

I love non traditional holidays.  Even if they are celebrating things that I do all of the time.  But it’s fun to make pie on Pi Day (3/14), watch the Star Wars movies on May the Fourth (be with you), and I definitely celebrate World Wide Knit in Public Day!  Most of my friends are knitters (or become knitters after we become friends), so I’m always knitting on a project if I have a spare moment.  But my friend Lee and I decided to go to a coffee shop and knit in public–on purpose!  




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