Wednesday, September 21, 2005

To convert to raglan

I'm starting to make a pattern from the newest issue of  I always like to know how a pattern is going to fit before making it -- and sometimes I redo patterns completely.  So I had to devise a way to redo patterns or, at least, compare them to my other patterns.  Here's my formula for converting a pattern to raglan.

First: Determine how many more garment stitches than sleeve stitches there are.
BB = number of garment stitches (from pattern) below the underarm divided by 2
SS = number of sleeve stitches (from pattern) near underarm seam (Include stitches belonging to underarm seam.)
Add 2 (or 4) to SS -- 2 if there are an odd number of stitches in the raglan seam, 4 if an even number.  (I arrange the raglan seam so that just over half of it belongs to the sleeve.)
D = BB – SS

Second: Measure your neck. Multiply by 120%. Multiply by the gauge. Call this number N.
OR: Second: Count the number of stitches at the neckline. Call this number N.

Third: Calculate the number of stitches at the neckline (so that B – S = D).
S = (N / 4) – (D / 2) -- number of sleeve stitches at neck
B = (N / 4) + (D / 2) -- number of garment-back stitches at neck
The type of neck chosen determines F, the number of garment-front stitches at the neck.
B and S should be made into whole numbers -- and possibly tweaked further to fit in with the ribbing and/or garment patterns.

Fourth: Determine U, the length of the underarm seam, and R2, the number of rows with raglan decreases/increases (decreases if knitting from the top down, increases if knitting from the bottom up). (One choice for U is BB/6. Another choice is the value of U from the pattern.)

After U is chosen, then R2 = (BB – B – U) / 2. U may have to be changed in order to make R2 a whole number.  Also check that 2 * R2 < R, the number of rows above the underarm seam. (Raglan decreases/increases are usually taken every other row – and sometimes every fourth row. For this reason, 2 * R2 needs to be less than R.)

Saturday, September 17, 2005

casting on

I just realized that I've been recommending the wrong type of cast on for starting a sweater.  What I should have said was use a cable cast on (instead of a chain cast on).  Directions for the cable cast on can be found at :  The cable cast on is easy to do, doesn't twist much, and is fairly substantial.  It's not too good, however, in places where one wants to pick up stitches -- such as at the underarm sleeve.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Easy-to-Make Textured Scarf

Since, I've almost finished the afghan I was making, my thoughts have turned to fall projects.
Here is an easy scarf to make in any width or length and with just about any type of yarn. Variegated yarn makes the scarf look too busy, though. For my first scarf, I used #6 needles with medium yarn and cast on 21 stitches. For my second scarf, I used #8 needles with bulky yarn and cast on 15 stitches. For my third scarf, I used #6 needles with medium yarn and cast on 27 stitches.
The pattern was inspired by Jacqueline Fee’s Beaded Rib Scarf, Sweater Workshop, p227. The main changes are the increase and decrease rows – to say exactly where and how many stitches to increase and decrease – and the pattern itself – to have more knitted stitches than purled ones. (I would much rather knit than purl. ) I didn’t put fringes on either scarf – although it’s OK to do so.

To make the scarf:
Cast on a multiple of 3 stitches.
Knit across.

Then: s1pyif (slip 1as if to purl, yarn in front), *k1, kfb (knit in front and back of next stitch), kfb * (repeat * to *), end k2. (There are now 3 mod 5 stitches – three plus a multiple of five.)

Repeat pattern rows 1 and 2 below until the scarf is at least 47" long:
1: s1pyif, k2, * p2, k3 * (repeat * to *), end p2, k3.
2: s1pyif, k2, * k2, p1, k1, p1* (repeat * to *), end k5.
End with pattern row 1.

Then: s1pyif, *k1, k2tog, k2tog* (repeat * to *), end k2. (There are now the same number of stitches that were cast on.)
Finally: s1pyif, then cast off, treating the last 2 stitches as one (to square the corner).

edited 12/21/06: Instead of the last decrease row and the cast off row, cast off and decrease at the same time (pso is pass stitch over, loosely, as in the ordinary single bind off):

s1pyif, *k1, pso, k2tog, pso, ssk, pso* (repeat * to *), end k2tog, pso. Then pull yarn through and weave in loose end.

Monday, June 6, 2005

Raglan seam thoughts

Here are some thoughts about the shape and structure of a raglan seam.

The raglan seam itself can be as simple or as complicated as one likes. It can be as simple as a single knit stitch or as elaborate as a cable pattern (p2cable4p2) -- as I saw on an episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer -- or a k1p2k1 pattern as in some of the sweaters I've posted directions for.

I like to be able to easily match up patterns on the sleeve with patterns on the front of a sweater, and I've also discovered a way to keep there from being holes near the bottom of the armhole -- which involves hiding 1 or 2 stitches from the raglan seam. For a raglan seam with an odd number of stitches (as in the boat-neck sweater pattern in this blog), allocate the central stitch to the sleeves. For a raglan seam with an even number of stitches(as in the ribbed sweater with turtleneck option pattern in this blog), allocate the central two stitches to the sleeves, and then just before the underarm seam k or p tog to give a single central stitch. The central stitch will disappear when the sleeve is added.

Increases are made on both sides of the seam (paired increases). In general, increase on every odd row until 3 rounds of increases are left. Increase every fourth row after that. Finally, knit without increasing until reaching desired number of "rows above underarm seam".

To match designs on the sleeve and garment body, keep this in mind. With S the number of sleeve stitches at the neck and B the back and x the extra raglan stitches belonging to the sleeve (2 or 4), if two sleeve stitches have z stitches between them, the corresponding front (or back) stitches have z + B – S + x stitches between them.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

ripple afghan

I'm taking a little time off from knitting now. The garden needs work. The only project I'm working on now is a ripple afghan which I inherited from my mother-in-law about 10 years ago. I finished a granny square afghan that my grandmother had started. (That was in the 70's.) Now I'm finishing one that my mother-in-law only bought the kit for. It's really simple to make -- perfect for something to do while watching TV. (I changed the pattern a little from the directions. I'm incapable of following directions exactly. I always think that this, that, or the other would be a little better if I did this instead of that.)

Chain a multiple of 25 plus 4 (304 for the one I'm making).
Then for each row after that:
chain 1, single crochet 1 (in last stitch of previous row), single crochet in back loop of next st, * skip 1, sc 11 (in back loops), in next back loop sc 3, sc 11 (in back loops), skip 1 *. End with sc 1 (in back loop), sc 1.

Note: The part between *'s is repeated until the end of the row. Between sets of sc 11, there will either be skip 2 stitches or sc 3 in same stitch. Change colors after every 8th row.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


I'm moving my recipes to -- since I just found out that a person can have more than one journal.
edited later to show the blogspot link instead of the aol one.

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Math for the neckline – neck ribbing

Here's the math that I use to figure out how many stitches to cast on for the neck. 

If you don't like math, don't read this because a lot of it is in mathematical shorthand.

These calculations give a neck that is at least 120% the size of the person's neck (for comfort).  The lower case b, s, and f are for adjusting the number of stitches cast on to give some symmetry.  C = garment circumference times the gauge and N = person’s actual neck size times the gauge.  Then choose:

B = 30 % of N + 7% of C + b -- the number of stitches at the neck belonging to the garment back

S = 30 % of N - 7% of C + s -- the number of stitches at the neck belonging to the sleeve

F = B + f -- the number of stitches at the neck belonging to the garment front

For a simple crew neck, b = s = 0 or 1, and f = 8 or 10.

For a wider neck, change 30% to 35% or 40%. For a deeper neck, add a multiple of 4 to f.

However, to adjust for the ribbing (because I like symmetry):  For k1p1 ribbing, choose B, S, and usually F = 1 mod 2. (I.e., when divided by 2, the remainder is 1)

For k2p2 ribbing, choose B, S, and usually F = 2 mod 4.

For k3p2 ribbing, choose S = 2 mod 5 and B and usually F = 3 mod 5, or vice versa.

To take k2p2 ribbing to a k6p2 garment pattern, choose S = 2 mod 8 and B and usually F = 6 mod 8.  -- For the ribbed (k6p2) sweater in the last post, C = 160, N = 56, S =10 = 2 mod 8, and B = F = 30 = 6 mod 8.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Ribbed sweater with turtleneck option

This sweater is fully reversible (front to back or inside out). Also because the cuff has the same number of stitches as the sleeve, the cuff can be worn down over the hand for warmth or rolled up once or twice.

This pattern is knitted in the round from the top down. Directions are for worsted (4-ply) yarn and size 7 needles (gauge: 4 st/inch, 6 rows/inch). Changes for double-knit (2-ply) yarn are in brackets. (size 5 needles, gauge: 5.5 st/inch, 7.5 rows/inch) This gives a sweater for a 14" neck and 38-40" around. For the turtleneck option, start with one size larger needles than the rest of the pattern, if desired. The raglan seam is k2p2k2 with the purl stitches belonging to the sleeve. (The picture is worked with no change of needle and 30 rows of ribbing.)

Neck ribbing: Using a 16" or 24" circular needle, cast on 80 [96] stitches, using chain cast on. Join by working patt into the first stitches cast on, starting with p2. Make sure the ribbing is not twisted. Work patt (p2 k2) around for 9-15 [11-18] rounds, or, for the turtleneck, for 30-45 [35-55] rows, starting with one size larger needles, if desired, and switching to the pattern needles halfway through. On last round, put markers before 1st [1st], after 10th [10th], after 40th [48th], and after 50th [58th] stitch. Stop 2 stitches before the first marker

Then, to establish the garment pattern: k2, (1st marker), p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, (2nd marker), k2, p2, *k6, p2* 3 [4] times, k2, (3rd marker), p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, (4th marker), k2, p2, *k6, p2* 3 [4] times

Upper garment. Each round for the upper body ends 2 stitches before the first marker. For "inc1" use invisible lifted increase ( or any other increase. The pattern is k6p2.

R1: inc1, k2, (marker), p2, k2, inc1, patt, inc1, k2 p2, (marker), k2, inc1, patt, inc1, k2, (marker), p2, k2, inc1, patt, inc1, k2, p2, (marker), k2, inc1, patt

R2: k2, (marker), p2, k2, patt, k2 p2, (marker), k2, patt, k2, (marker), p2, k2, patt, k2, p2, (marker), k2, patt

Alternate R1 and R2 (ending w R2) for a total of 28 [48] rounds -- until there are 58 [86] st between the markers on the back (and also front) – and 38 [58] st on each sleeve.

Do R1, R2, R2, R2 four times ? for a total of 44 [64] upper garment rounds. There are now 66 [94] st on the back (and front) and 46 [66] on each sleeve.

Do R2 until the upper body is long enough to reach 2" below the underarm. (Underarm seam should lie 2" below the actual underarm.) Then (to prepare for the sleeves):

k2, (marker), p2tog, k2, patt, k2, p2tog, (marker), k2, patt, k2, (marker), p2tog, k2, patt, k2, p2tog, (marker), k2, patt

Lower garment: k2 to reach the first marker. Slip the stitches between the first and second markers (sleeve) onto a spare circular needle or some scrap yarn. Using single cast on, cast on 14 [18] stitches. Work patt (k6p2) across the back to next marker, ending with k2. Slip the stitches between the third and fourth markers (sleeve) onto a spare circular needle or some scrap yarn. Cast on 14 [18] stitches. Work patt (k6p2) across the front to marker, ending with k2. The last 6 stitches worked are p2k4 [k2p2k2].

Work patt (k6p2), starting w k2, p2, k6 [k4, p2, k6], until garment is 2" shy of desired length. Do not switch to a smaller needle.

Work 1 row of (k2, k2tog, k2, p2). Then work (k2, p1, k2, p2) for 14 [18] rounds. Bind off.

Sleeves: (There are 44 [64] stitches in scrap.) To start the sleeve: With the garment right side out, identify the 14 [18] stitches that were cast on at the bottom of the sleeve opening. (Using a crochet hook,) pull yarn from the nearest scrap stitch through the top of the right-most of these stitches and then place the stitch back in scrap. Do the same for the left-most stitch. Slide a double-pointed needle --or a 16" circular needle -- into the garment to the right of the sleeve opening (to keep the needle from slipping). Pull yarn through the tops of the 12 [16] remaining underarm stitches and slide onto the needle (making sure that the long end of the yarn is behind the needle). (Pull the yarn from back to front through the top of knit stitches, and from front to back for purl stitches.) (There are now 12 [16] stitches on the needle and 44 [64] stitches in scrap.)

Work the k6p2 pattern around, starting with k1, p2 [k2, p2]. There are 56 [80] st on sleeve.

Work k6p2 around until sleeve reaches wrist. For a tighter sleeve, decrease 1 st every 10 rows 8 times. (At the end of these decreases there would be 48 [72] st on sleeve.)

Then k2p2k2p2 for 14 [18] rounds. Bind off.

Work the other sleeve the same way. Weave in all loose ends, and the garment is complete.