29
Oct

Design A Sweater, Lesson 7: Finishing!

Hi Knitters! This final edition of the sweater class is all about
finishing. In this week’s video and handout, I’ll discuss weaving in
ends, how to finish your turned hem, closing up the underarms, and
working the neckline trim! Whew! Each step goes pretty fast, but make
sure to take the time to do these steps right, as a well-finished
sweater will look a lot better than one with sloppy finishing.

Check out our tutorials on finishing, too–they’ll give you a
lot of information on how to execute the techniques discussed in this
lesson.

Finshing Tutorials

Another resource I really like and use a lot is Nancie Wiseman’s Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques, which is a wealth of information on every bit of swea=ter finishing you could imagine!

And without further ado, here’s your handout for this week:

29
Oct

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…

29
Oct

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!

29
Oct

Design A Sweater. Lesson 4: Sleeves!

I raced through the body of my sweater in order to stay ahead of the
class, but even if you haven’t finished that sections, you can always
start on a sleeve!

Knitting sleeeves can be a welcome break from
working the torso of a sweater–they are more portable, and smaller, so
each round goes much faster and the length gows perceptibly, for a real
feeling of accomplishment! In this lesson, we’ll go over the math
behind sleeve shaping, and discuss some potential modifications that
allow you to get custom sleeves!

Click the link below for the handout:

Lesson 4: Sleeves

And
check out our videos, where I (somewhat tiredly–apologies! I should
maybe not shoot these lessons on Monday!) walk you through the math and
show how the formulas in the handout gave me the sleeve I want!

16
Oct

Teaching an old dog new tricks

Here at Knit Picks headquarters, there are a lot of talented folks.
Between us, Connecting Threads (our quilting division) and Artist’s Club
(our painting division), there are lots of different skills
represented. Recently we started having some lunchtime classes to share
these skills, and over the past two weeks I’ve been learning to crochet!

Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve learned to crochet. I believe
this is actually the fourth. Each time I try to learn, I inevitably do
something really wonky, and give up the failed attempt. But this time,
I’m determined to make it stick.

I grabbed one of our Harmony Crochet Hooks and some Brava Bulky, and set to making quite a mess of things. But after two lessons and a lot of “no, no, through that loop,” and “you’re going the wrong way!” from Jenny K and Kim, I managed to make my first granny squares!

They’re not stellar, but it is the first time I’ve ever crocheted something that looked like the thing it was supposed to be…

21
Sep

Choosing colors for Colorwork

A very common question I get is, “how do I pick colors for my
colorwork project?” The short answer is that that’s a really personal
decision. You know what colors you like or that you like to wear, and
there’s no set aesthetic regarding what colors ‘should’ go together.
(believe me, since art school, my personal color palette includes all of
them!)

Generally, a safe bet for a 2-color sweater is to go with a light and
dark version of the same color. So, that means a dark red and light
red, dark blue and light blue, and so on. These colors can be
interchangeable, so it can be a light or dark background. This is great
if you have a favorite color in mind, or want to be completely sure that
the colors will look good together. If you want to use two colors that
you know go well together, be sure to use a light version of one and a
dark version of the other.

That said, choosing a basic palette for a garment starts with a few basic steps.

20
Sep

Designing a modern Bohus

Bohus sweaters are known for their subtle gradients of color and the
fuzzy halo that gives them an almost ethereal glow. The tradition of
Bohus sweater knitting is a recent and colorful one, inspired by many
other European knitting styles and the fashions of the mid 20th century.

The most recognizeable Bohus item is the yoked sweater. Though the
typical elements of a Bohus-style sweater can be applied to lots of
items like gloves and hats, a colorful stranded yoke really shows off
the techniques used. Careful planning of increases, multiple colors in
each row, knit and purl stitches and slipped stitches create a texture
unique to Bohus knitting. This texture can make even the simplest motif,
like stripes or dots, look exotic and unexpected. When I began thinking
about Tuva,
I wanted color to become the real focus, and let the stitches help to
show them off. I didn’t want this to be subtle – and immediately jumped
for a vivid rainbow.

With so many elements to balance, designing a Bohus-style yoked sweater presents some interesting challenges.