Swatching in the round

In case you’ve not seen this neat way of making a swatch for an in-the-round project, here’s how to do it.

Use a pair of double-pointed needles. Cast on the required number of stitches. *Don’t turn the work, but instead push the sts back to the other end of the needle. Draw the yarn loosely across the back of the swatch. Work the next row as if it is the next round. Repeat from * for the required length of swatch. Cast off. Cut the strings at the back. Block and treat as the project is to be treated. Pin out and measure.

As with all swatches, measure across the central sts as the edge sts may be distorted.

 Here are pics of a (small) swatch worked in this manner (a) from the front; (b) from the back and (c) pinned out for measuring with the strings cut.





Note, if the yarn is slippy, you may have to secure the edgemost stitches so that they don’t unravel. You can do this with a sewing machine or by crocheting the edge as you might do with a steek. It helps to have long lengths of yarn at the back.

Advertisements

Diary of a Design: Release Day!

I’ve been cagey so far about what I’m calling my latest design – I hit upon what I think is a great name some time ago, and I didn’t want to jinx things by naming it publicly too early. I hear all sorts of stories about perfect names with no other dupes in the Ravelry database being snapped up the week before release.

I give you: Nostepinne

(and yes, I aliased it to Nostepinde too!)

Before I knit Nostepinne, on cold days I would wear an old grey jumper of my husband’s. It felt like wearing a cuddle, but it looked like a sack of potatoes. For Nostepinne, I took the best features of that jumper – the pure wool, soft grey colour, roomy ease, slightly-longer-than-usual sleeves and added other, more feminine features. The U-shaped neckline is flattering and leaves plenty of room for layering, while the elegant “Nostepinne” cables hide subtle waist shaping and create a “sweetheart” shape over the bust.

A nostepinne is a tool for winding yarn into centre-pull balls or cakes. The balls of yarn created gradually get bigger the more you twist.

Image courtesy of TricksyKnitter
Image courtesy of TricksyKnitter

The pattern is available on ravelry for £6

However, I’m also running a competition in my ravelry group to win a copy of the pattern for you and a friend. All you have to do is nominate your friend and say why you think s/he would like the Nostepinne pattern.

And sure, while you’re there, why don’t you join the group? I make sure to post all my latest news there, plus sneak peeks of what I’m up to next!

Diary of a design: Nearly Knit

Getting there!IMG_6343.JPG
Only have to attach the sleeves. All the “knitting” is done, and I am waiting for the sleeves to dry, so I am about to cast on my knitmas gift! Yayness! Can’t wait to see how this jumper looks on Friday at the shoot. The weather looks absolutely woeful, so I’ve had to wrack my brains for an indoor location.

p.s. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know of my penchant for etymology. I just had to look up rack v. wrack. Quite interestingly, either is useable wrt brains and nerves… Rack is edited so more often, but I prefer wrack myself in this context.
Xe

Grading Hats

When I write a hat pattern, I like to make sure it can be made for just about any size head. I notice this is something not all designers do. Quite often, patterns will be for one size only (e.g. average woman’s size) and I wonder whether there is much value-added if I produce a hat in a range of sizes? Do people actually want hats scaled for babies all the way up to adults? Certainly, if a stitch pattern doesn’t allow for small grade changes, fewer sizes might be appropriate. Usually though, stitch patterns just aren’t that big or can be tweaked to accommodate patterns with a range of sizes.
Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear what you think.

P9010109_medium2
Kildare Beret in size Women’s (22 inch)
P9050188_medium2
Kildare Beret in size New born (12 inch)

Here is a table of my existing hats (7 different patterns) and the sizes they are written for.

On average, the circumference of a head of a Baby (Toddler, Child, S Adult [Teen], M Adult [Woman], L Adult [Man]) is 14 (16, 18, 20, 22, 24) inches or 35.5 (40.5, 46, 51, 56, 61) cm

Hat Pic Pattern Name Sizes in Pattern
P9010109_medium2 Kildare Beret New born, Baby, Child, Small Adult, Woman, Man
PB090126_a_medium2 Roxbourne New born (Baby, Child, Young Adult, Woman, Man)
PC150123_small2 Uppingham Hats (2 hats in 1 pattern) New born (Baby, Child, Young Adult, Woman, Man)
petals_and_plaid_hat_small2 Petals And Plaid Hat Newborn (baby, child, Adult S, Adult M, Adult L)
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Abbye Hat Preemie, (New Born, Baby, Toddler, Child, Woman)
image_small2 Loom Band Hat Baby (Child, Teen, Woman, Man) To fit head circumference: 15.25 (18, 20.75, 22, 25.25)in/39 (45.5, 52.5, 56, 64.5)cm
Corona Beret Corona Beret Baby (Toddler, Child, Small Adult, Medium Adult, Large Adult)

Diary of a Design: Day X

I’ve forgotten what day I’m on, but things are progressing well after a crazy month. I have booked a photo shoot for next week, but I have a bit of catching up to do. My front is complete, and the front and back have both been blocked.
IMG_6325-0.JPG

IMG_6326-0.JPG
When I was making the front, I decided to make the neckline wider and this had the knock-on effect of making the shoulders narrower, so I frogged back some if the back and redid the shoulders. No biggie. I pinned the pieces together with safety pins and had a little try. I’m loving it so far.

IMG_6327.JPG
I also have half a sleeve

IMG_6329.JPG
Sorry about the woeful lighting, I’m blogging this from my local swimming pool!
All that’s left to do is the other sleeve and a half, sew it up and the neckline. Getting there! Need to get cracking with my knitmas gift too, so plenty of knitting for the month!
X

Would you like to Test Knit my Corona Beret?

Corona Beret

Hello! I have a new design coming out soon, and I’d really appreciate some help in the form of test knitting.

Corona Beret

This is a slouchy, textured beret in a plump 4-ply. The yarn I used is the stunning Skein Queen Blush, which is crazy soft and warm. Even if you don’t try it on this project, get some to play with, you won’t be disappointed. I fell in love with the colour in this skein when I went to Skein Queen’s Open House during the Summer. There was no way I was leaving without it, even though I’d already filled up on Jamieson’s of Shetland (which Debbie also sells). (You don’t have to use this yarn if you’re doing the test knit, you can sub in a different yarn. The tension to get is 28 sts x 38 rows per 10cm over st st).

Corona Beret

This hat is all about the texture of the star pattern. The coronal pattern under different lights and points of view, can look like a star, a crown or a flower. The texture is created just with knit and purl sts – no cabling or slip sts here!

Corona Beret

If you would like to test knit for me, just get in touch. I’m catchloops on ravelry, twitter and gmail, so drop me a line!

Test Knitting is: you get the pattern for free, but it might have mistakes in it. You agree to knit it by a certain date, tell me anything that jars you about the pattern and put up a ravelry project linked to it when it goes live. Since there’s a group of us doing it at the same time, it feels like a KAL. I update everyone with any changes along the way and help out if there are any ambiguities or techniques new to you.

Knitting and Illness

So I’ve had a flu, not even a particularly bad one, just 3 days “off” and today I declare myself well enough to try and get back to it, albeit at half speed.

I find myself having to apologise to patients before me, to whom I have suggested doing some knitting until they’re back on their feet. I see knitting as so relaxing, that surely it’s an ideal thing for ill people to do. Wow. Stupid or what? I forced myself to do a few rows on day 1. I have a self-imposed deadline for the end of the month for the jumper you may have seen me talking about in other blog posts. The concentration it required, and the pain in my fingers, wrists and arms when I tried to manipulate the needles, were just not worth it. Plus, I will have to tink back those rows when I pick it up later this morning because the tension is way looser than it should be. Days 2 and 3 saw the project languish in its basket. So, sorry guys, those disbelieveing dagger-eyed looks you gave me were well deserved!

The problem is, as a freelance knitwear designer, there is no-one to pick up the slack. If you don’t work one day, you don’t earn that day. I was looking after my sick menfolk before I got ill myself, so all-in-all it’s been an entire week since I made any real progress. I will fiercely be playing catch up. Let’s see how it goes!

Moral of this story: wash your hands really well!

Please don’t catch flu this season. If you’re vulnerable, such as those who have pre-existing medical conditions or are pregnant, go and get the flu jab. Stay well!

Diary of a Design: Day 7, what happened there?

Oh dear, not much at all this weekend… I finished the back and did a row or two of the front.
IMG_6140.JPG
And what I’ve done here was cast in at the doctor’s surgery this morning- my youngest has ear lurgy. He’s on antibiotics now and is completely wiped out, but we’ve had a couple if all-nighters this weekend. Poor little tyke. For the record, I don’t take antibiotics lightly. Without going into the gory details, this is definitely a bacterial infection, and I’m not taking chances with his hearing.

That said, I may have had a little go at writing up a different pattern on Sunday evening…

IMG_6141.JPG
The yarn is 24 karat gold. (In colour)

Abbye is back and better than ever

A couple of days ago I was chagrined to report that I had got my maths wrong on the sleeve cap of Abbye.
IMG_6101.JPG

Well I’m now happy to say an update has gone out to all customers with the corrected (and re-TE’d) sleeve cap, and the pattern has been reactivated.

Although I was most ashamed to have to fix an erratum, I am nonetheless proud of the fact that I got the corrected pattern re-released less than 24 hrs later.

I am very grateful to the customer who found and reported the error, and I was very happy to refund the price of the pattern to her. She is going to unravel the tops of the sleeves and redo, and I can’t wait to see the finished cardi.

If you find an error in one of my patterns, please let me know so I can fix it for you and any other knitters who have the pattern. As they say in business, if you got a problem with my products, tell me, if you like my products, tell everyone else!

Happy knitting,
X
E