Category Archives: Sweater

Labor Day Knitting With Hudson River View

Hudson River View from High Line

Hudson River View from High Line

To mark the close of summer, my husband and I took advantage of the good weather to watch the sunset over the Hudson from the new High Line Park.  Three flights above the westside of Manhattan, the High Line Park has been created from the remains of the old railroad tracks. It runs from the middle of the West Village to West 20th Street. The landscaping has integrated the sense of the old tracks.

The path snakes along and is covered at places with cultivated wild flowers. It includes limited seating with a good view of the Hudson River. We watched the setting sun as it sank into the New Jersey skyline melting into an orangey puddle of color.

I brought my Fushia Nightsong Lace Shawl and added some length to the piece. It’s a great project in terms of portability. Since it’s the second time that I’m using the pattern, I have a sense of the lace repeats.  In general, I try to stick with more mindless knitting for my portable projects.

Due to the brisk air, my husband donned his wedding sweater. It was more of a decoration than a garment but hopefully you can see the pattern.

Jean Moss Inspired Wedding Sweater

Jean Moss Inspired Wedding Sweater

Nightsong Shawl with Hudson River View

Nightsong Shawl with Hudson River View

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

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Mom’s Improvised Sweater – Knitting Instructions Included

 

Mom's Improvised Drop Shoulder Ribbed Sweater

Mom's Improvised Drop Shoulder Ribbed Sweater

To show that I come by my ability to visualize and adapt knitting patterns naturally, I am showing off my mother’s grey improvised sweater. 

I gave my mom this wonderful grey linen blend which contains flecks of white since my mother always has room for one more grey item in her wardrobe. One of my uptown knitting buddies had given it to me when she was destashing. It seems that my knitting friends all know that I can envision how to turn some longer cherished stash into something wonderful. 

Since there was sufficient yarn for a sweater, my mother decided to adapt a simplified pattern that she had used before. At its core, the pattern consists of two rectangles which are sewn together at the shoulders forming a boat neck. Then stitches are picked up for sleeves which are knit down. This has the great advantage of allowing the knitter to measure the length as she goes which is good because the sweater has a dropped shoulder.

Before she started, my mom knit a swatch and we measured it. The swatch allowed my mom to try out a couple of variations of stitches. Then I took her measurements and applied some easy math to get the basic cast on. And she was off and knitting. 

You’ll note that my mom used a variety of ribbed stitches to make the sweater more fitted. 

If you’re interested in trying it, follow these easy steps:

1] Knit a swatch of at least 20 stitches using the appropriate needle for the yarn and your gauge.

2] Take your measurements. Add 2 inches to your widest measurement and divide that number by 2.

3] Multiply the number of stitches per inch by half of your measurement to get your cast on number of stitches.

4] Knit 2 rectangles to the length that you want your sweater to be. My mom knit about 24 inches.

5] Sew the shoulders together (Take the measurement from step 2 and subtract 8 inches. Then divide by 2 this is the number of inches that you need to sew on each shoulder.)

6] Pick up stitches at the armhole. My mother used 8 inches * her stitch gauge (with half of the stitches picked up on either side.) She then slowly decreased to her wrist. I usually decrease every 10 rows a couple of times, then 8 rows a couple of times, etc. until I have the appropriate amount for my wrist.

Happy knitting!

Sunset on a Knitting-filled Fire Island Vacation

Good bye Fair Harbor Vacation

Good bye Fair Harbor Vacation

 

The end of vacations is always bitter sweet, especially summer ones on Fair Harbor’s car-free beach. While the weather wasn’t sunny and bright every day, it allowed us space to re-charge our batteries and get away from the everyday routine. 

One great advantage of vacation knitting is that you have a tangible reminder of your joy-filled hours of sitting by the beach adding stitch after stitch to your projects.  As I mentioned earlier, I like to have a few different projects to keep me busy and depending on other factors some may not be appropriate. For example, I brought the Black Malabrigo Fountain Pen Shawl which I’m making out of Malabrigo sock yarn. It was too thin to knit in the oceanside wind. (So much for finishing it on vacation!)

Some of the sunsets we experienced during our vacation. Sunsets in Fair Harbor are spectacular even if the weather has been poor. The third sunset occurred miraculously between thunderstorms.

Fair Harbor Bay Sunset

Fair Harbor Bay Sunset

Sunset on Fair Harbor with Sailboats

Sunset on Fair Harbor with Sailboats

Post-storm Sunset in Fair Harbor June 2009

Post-storm Sunset in Fair Harbor June 2009

Here’s the progress that I made during our Fire Island stay:

– Black Malabrigo Fountain Pen Shawl – Using  Malabrigo Sock Yarn bought at The Point NYC.  Source: Interweave Spring 2009. Finished 6 out of 10 repeats. Although given how the yarn is being used, I may add 1 or 2 repeats (if I have the stamina.) This pattern is relatively easy with only one nupp per 16 row pattern. It borders on being boring.

– Carnation Pink Nightsong Shawl – Using cobweb weight cashmere yarn from Silk City Fibers and a free online pattern. The pattern is interesting in that there is no center spine. It is probably better done with a single YO in the center but I decided to keep mine consistent. I like the way that the patterns expand and squeeze in. If the yarn wasn’t so TINY, I would probably be done with it. It hurts my eyes to do.

– Hemlock Ring Blankie – Using the pattern by Brooklyn Tweed, I am having fun with this project (although it out grew the needles while I was on vacation!) It turned out to be the perfect yarn for the weather. Thick enough to with stand the wind. I had fun changing colors. I finished 6 out of the Feather and Fan repeats. I think that it will look good once it’s done. It lays flat (unlike the sample in The Point).

– Heirloom Doily Placemats– I finished 1 1/3 of the Liz Snella Heirloom lace pattern using Cesari Wool. I think that this wool will hold up for this use. I find it rough on my hands. Also, since it’s not a very processed wool, there are bits of stuff that haven’t been cleaned out of the wool. (The plus for those who want to wear the yarn is that it has lanolin which helps for rain protection. (I also finished 1 1/3 of the Two Color Lace Doily which I frogged.)

-Green Mitered Tank Top – Out of a 100% cotton with a slub (which is great for those of us whose knit stitch isn’t perfect!) It’s a hospital green that seems to be in all of the windows along Fifth Avenue this spring/summer. The pattern is a Norah Gaughan from the Vogue Knit Summer 2009. It’s an under rated pattern since it is great for all types of figures. I finished the main knitting portion (I didn’t do any sewing, etc. on vacation.) I was very proud of myself for making the increases in the front following the mitered corner to look like darts. 

– Long Sleeve Linen in Grey, Beige , White – I think that I finished the front of this long sleeved ribbed sweater and plotted out the sleeves. It’s been taking WAY to long to finish but I’ve lost interest and keep plodding along. 

Do you keep track of your vacation knitting? Do you find that it gives you special joy? Please let me know in the comments section.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

 

 

Wedding Sweater Finished!

I finished my husband’s wedding sweater with days to spare! My husband is delighted with the way that it turned out (although he would prefer if the sleeves were a bit shorter.) 

I love Jean Moss’s patterns in Sculptured Knits since they have unusual pattens that are knit into the fabric. The Klimt Vest pattern contains a variety of triangles that are interwoven like one of those intelligence tests. I modified the neck line from a V-neck to a shawl collar which my husband prefers and I added sleeves using the pattern stitch just above the cuff.

The color is a rich navy blue that looks wonderful in the sunlight even next to black (my husband’s favorite color). It’s knit in Austermann’s Korfu which is a cotton and wool blend that’s light enough to wear in the spring and fall.

Note: Photos will be added later when my husband is in a modeling mood

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Planning Vacation Knitting

Overcast skies at Fair Harbor Beach

Overcast skies at Fair Harbor Beach

This year, we’re going to Fire Island for a beach vacation where we both get to indulge in our hobbies. My husband wind surfs in the bay and I knit on the ocean beach.

In preparation, I plan out my knitting, especially since there aren’t any yarn stores on Fire Island in case I run out of yarn or supplies or get bored with my current project(s).  To this end, I like to bring a variety of projects that involve different types of knitting and materials. 

For me, beach knitting is great for zen knitting where you get into the knitting zone without having to think. I find that it allows me to relax. This can be good for complex patterns such as lace, long projects that require lots of knitting which would take months otherwise, quick projects that you can finish in an afternoon on the beach or more simple minded projects requiring little thinking. 

When it comes to vacation knitting, I  tend to over pack since I like having the option of changing projects. Vacation knitting is a great way of having a memory of your vacation in terms of the finished item. 

This year, I’m  bringing a combination of pieces. Since I’m looking to reduce the number of WIPs and my stash,there are some stash buster projects in the queue. Here’s what I’m bringing with me:

1] Fountain Pen Shawl (Source: Interweave Magazine 2009)- This project has been planned for outdoor summer knitting since I’m using black Malabrigo sock yarn that I bought on sale at The Point. Alyssa, the manager, inspired this project. After knitting the Shetland Lace Scarf, I had promised myself not to make any more black lace pieces until my choices for the Malabrigo sock yarn were been black or white (and I have tons of white yarn from last year’s wedding projects!). 

2] Nightsong aka Gail (Source: Free Online) This project is already in progress using a free pattern that I found on the internet for free. I used the comments on Ravelry to help me. I’m using a cobweb weight lace cashmere. Between the fineness of the yarn and the complexity of the pattern, it’s taking longer than expected to finish. It’s a present that’s due on July 1st which is definately going to be late.

3] Hemlock Ring Blankie (Source:  Brooklyn Tweed). I’m planning to knit this project in a cotton, wool, silk blend made by a small producer. The yarn looks more interesting than it is to knit with. Usually, I’m not one to jump on such a big internet trend like the Hemlock Ring Blanket but lately I’ve been bitten by the lace doily bug and wanted to use a tried and try pattern to better understand how to extend a doily. This project is a gift.

4] Mitered Top (Source: Vogue Knitting Summer 2009). This is a Norah Gaughan pattern which should have a broader audience given it’s great line. It may be the mix of yarns that turns some people off. Given the way that the top gets more fitted may hurt its following, at least on Ravelry. (Part of NaKniSweMoDo)

5] Grey-Beige-White Long Sleeve Top. (Source:  Basic seater top.) This sweater was started back in March since I wanted a hand made sweater for the spring. Unfortunately, I didn’t get it finished in time. The colors were perfect for the spring in an Anny Blatt/Bouton D’Or linen blend called New Jeans. I am knitting it in a reverse 3/1 rib with a v-neck. The project is crawling towards completion. (Part of NaKniSweMoDo)

6] More knitted doilies. (Source: Online) Using Ravelry’s search function, I’ve been collecting a variety of patterns to test using scraps and swapped yarn. (Recycle projects to use up yarn while creating something useful.)

When I started this list the Botanica Medallion top on the cover of the Summer 2009 Vogue Knitting and my Estonian Lace Shawl were in the queue but I decided to cut back a bit.

In addition, I’ve made sure that I have hard copies of all of the patterns and put them into plastic sleeves to protect them. I  also fortified my knitting notions to ensure that I have enough stitch markers and highlighter tape to keep my projects straight.

Of course, this is more knitting than I can do in this period of time but I believe that it’s better to be overstocked with projects than being bored!

What do  you do for your vacation   knitting?

Sumbtted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Wedding Sweater-Klimt Vest Needs Sleeves

Wedding Sweater Sleeve from Jean Moss Klimt Vest

Wedding Sweater Sleeve from Jean Moss Klimt Vest

One of the problems with using a vest pattern to make a sweater is that you need to reassess the armholes to ensure that they work for a sweater and that you’re on your own for knitting the sleeves. This is the challenge that I face with Jean Moss’ Klimt Vest. 

To help me, I used Interweave’s Handy Book of Patterns. It’s a great resource for those of you who enjoy modifying and creating sweaters that have your own personal touches. Since I have been adapting sweater patterns to fit me, I have a good idea of how they work. I am particularly fond of set in sleeves which  have a good fit and give a more tailored look. 

For the Klimt Vest, I used the chart on the set in sleeve pattern to develop the armhole on the back. I will use this pattern of decreases on the front of the sweater and will have matching decreases for the sleeve.

In terms of determining the number of stitches to cast on and increase to the widest part of the sleeve, I use the book’s charts for the number of stitches per inch and the intended wearer’s size. Since the people I knit for tend to have long arms, I generally work out the sleeve increases so that they happen at regular intervals that make sense for the wearer. I have had sweater patterns that wind up with weird upper arms since the pattern states keep knitting for longer sleeves. In reality, you need to keep increasing at a slower rate so that you don’t get little bat wings. 

Sleeve Cap Detail for Klimt Vest Wedding Sweater

Sleeve Cap Detail for Klimt Vest Wedding Sweater

Since the Klimt Vest has intense patterning across the front and back, which changes on both the knit and purl sides of the knitting, I decided to use one repeat of the pattern after the mosaic ribbing and to continue the sleeve using the mosaic ribbing. This simplified the knitting for the sleeve since I didn’t have to worry about maintaining a complex pattern as it changed on both sides of the sleeve. 

Wedding Sweater Wrist Detail from Klimt Vest

Wedding Sweater Wrist Detail from Klimt Vest

I love the way that this sweater is turning out. Since I need to finish it before our one year anniversary, I am bit concerned about the fact that it is taking longer than an average sweater to knit.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Knitting Math for Wedding Present Sweater (aka Klimt Vest)

 

Klimt Vest Knitting Pattern

Klimt Vest Knitting Pattern

I am knitter with a mission: to finish my husband’s wedding present sweater before our first anniversary, a mere five weeks away. The sweater is based on the Klimt Vest from Jean Moss’ Sculptured Knits.

 

I am modifying the Klimt Vest pattern as follows:

1] Fiber. I am using Austermann’s Korfu.

2] Size. I knitting the wedding present sweater to fit my husband’s measurements in terms of width and length.

3] Sleeves. Since the pattern is for a vest, I am adding long sleeves, This requires modifying the armholes as well as figuring out the dimensions for the sleeves. 

KNITTING MATH

For those of you interested in understanding how to modify a pattern to fit your measurements or swatch, here’s what I do.

1] Knit and wash a swatch of the fiber I want to use. I recommend blocking the swatch. The goal is to get your stitch gauge for your wool and appropriate needles. 

2] Measure the number of stitches in 4 inches of your swatch. Then divide the number of stitches in 4 inches by 4 to get your number of stitches per inch. Note: It’s important to measure more than one inch since the tension, etc. may vary.

3] Divide your stitches per inch by the pattern’s number of stitches per inch. This result is the number that you use to adjust your number of stitches relative to the number of stitches in the pattern. If this number is less than one, you should have less stitches than the pattern. If this number is more than one, you should have more stitches than the pattern. 

4] Follow this process for all of the numbers in the pattern.

5] For areas such as the armholes and necklines and sleeve increases, check your results using Interweave’s The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns.

Note: This book is a great reference since it gives a very broad list of sizes and stitches per inch. This allows the knitter to check her math and to use their number of stitches for difficult areas such as the armhole.

Fortunately for me, the Klimt Vest has a 14 stitch repeat which had a multiple that was close to half of my husband’s measurement. Otherwise, I would have had to use part of a repeat at each end of the garment. This would have added complexity to my knitting. 

To date, I’ve knitted the back and front until the armholes. In planning the armholes, I checked my stitch projections against The Knitter’s Handy Book and made some modifications to simplify the pattern. (This pattern changes on both the front and back of the knitting.) Wish me luck as I start the armholes!

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief