Friday, November 20, 2009

Toby's Sweater

This sweater is based on Lion Brands' Turtleneck Dog Sweater. It's been changed to fit different measurements and a different choice in yarn – and also to eliminate seaming. I hope it fits. The dog lives in another time zone.

I chose a 17 st cast on at the end of the BACK section since 17 is about a fourth of 70. I made the leg opening increases and decreases a few sts from the edge but think they'll look better as written below. I made the increases for the BACK 3 sts in from the sides.

girth: 21"
neck: 11"
length: 16"

1 skein Vanna's Choice Colonial Blue (MC)
½ skein Vanna's Choice Mustard (CC)
size 9 [5.5 mm] knitting needles
crochet hook

16 sts + 32 rows = 4 inches [10cm] in garter st
Garter st pattern: When knitting back and forth, knit every row. When knitting in the round, knit one round then purl the next round. Repeat.

With MC, cast on 29 sts. Work in garter st, increasing 1 st near beginning and end of every RS (knit) row 4 times (to 35 sts), then every other RS row 9 times (to 53 sts). Knit 3 more rows.

Change to CC and knit across 53 sts (on RS). Mark start of round. Cast on 17 sts. Place a second marker. Join to start working in the round. Purl 53 to reach end of round. Work in garter stitch to 6 ridges of CC (10 more rounds).

(The chest is worked in CC, the back and sides in MC.)
Row 1: In CC, ssk, k to 2 sts before marker, k2tog. In MC, ssk, k to 2 sts before marker, k2tog. Turn.
Row 2: In MC, knit to marker. In CC, knit to marker. Turn.
Repeat Rows 1 – 2 three more times.
Row 9: In CC, knit to marker (9 sts). In MC, knit to marker (45 sts). Turn.
Row 10: In MC, knit to marker. In CC, knit to marker. Turn.
Repeat Rows 9 – 10 once more.
Row 13: In CC, k1, make 1, k to 1 st before marker, make 1, k1. In MC, k1, make 1, k to 1 st before marker, make 1, k1. Turn.
Row 14: In MC, knit to marker. In CC, knit to marker. Turn.
Repeat Rows 13 – 14 three more times (to 17 sts in CC and 53 sts in MC).
Break MC to begin knitting with CC only (in the round).

With CC, work in garter st in the round, to 6 ridges of CC (12 rounds), starting with a knit round. Decrease on every knit round by knitting to first marker (17 sts), k3, ssk, k to 5 sts before end-of-round marker, k2tog, k3. End on a purl round.

With MC, knit around.
Set-up round: (k1, p1) 9 times, (k1, p2tog) 4 times, (k1, p1) 13 times, (k1, p2tog) 4 times, k1, p1. (50 sts).
Work in (k1, p1) rib for 4". Bind off in pattern. Fold collar back.

Single crochet around each leg opening in MC. Weave in all ends.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Recently, I came across a pattern for Wash's Sweater, as seen on the tv series Firefly.

I liked the cables but wanted the Serenity cable row repeat to be shorter (since I didn't want a sweater as long as the original would produce).

After quite a bit of thought, I started with a lattice cable like the one on the right (using the Open Office equivalent to Excel).

Then I took out sections of cabling to get the heart-shaped sections in the second chart. This is the chart I'm going to use for the sweater.

In both charts, the 6-space-wide sections represent 6-st-wide cables -- either knit 3 over purl 3, knit 3 over knit 3, purl 3 under knit 3, or knit 3 under knit 3. The 4-space-wide sections beginning and ending with a slash (or backslash) are 4-st-wide cables -- either knit 3 over a purl 1 or purl 1 under knit 3.

Edited (a few days later): The sweater looks better with the middle six knit sts of Rows 17, 18, and 49 of the second chart replaced by purl sts.

Finally, here is a chart for the sleeves. As before, the slashes indicate cables. I've shown only the center top of the sleeve plus one side of the sleeve -- and only as far as when the sleeve sts are to be put on a holder for use when finishing the sleeve. The circles show where increases are made. (They're more like lifted increases than yo's. They are finished in the next row by being worked twisted.) And, as before, the middle six knit sts of Rows 17, 18, and 49 of the chart look better when replaced by purl sts.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

WS colorwork

Recently, I decided to work a Fleegle heel in colorwork. Information on WS colorwork is most likely available on the web already. And there are probably much better ways to get the same result. But, here is my take (mostly for my own reference).

My main problem was seeing the stitch that I was going to purl into (possibly since I knit Continental style). For this colorwork, I had blue at the top, brown in the middle, and green for the bottom thread. Keeping an order like this helps keep the yarn from twisting. The picture shows preparation for purling in green with blue and brown off to the right side.

When preparing to knit in brown, I left green to the left and blue to the right. For blue, both green and brown were left to the left.

As a side note, when working on the RS, I kept the same order, with blue in my right hand, brown over the index finger on my left hand, and green over another finger on my left. This was my low tech way of keeping the yarn from twisting.

A final note (mostly to myself): After turning (for the short-row part of the heel), before making the first st in a row (after the slip stitch), wrap the other 2 yarns under the yarn to be used in that st. When I didn't do that, I had holes. For the pair of socks I made with this pattern, I left one heel with holes and one without to help me remember this.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mobius band cast on

My DS2 found a link for knitting a Mobius band and asked me to take a look at it. He was planning on knitting it, but it turned out a little too difficult for a beginning knitter.

As I was reading the directions (Method 1), I thought to myself that the band could be worked even more easily with interchangeable circs.

Cast on the desired number of sts using a Turkish cast on (over 2 circs). (In the pic, I wrapped the yarn around the circs 126 times, for the pattern I was going to make.) Then knit back (or k1p1 back) over those stitches (for the example, 126 sts). These stitches form the "soul" or center of the band. (I placed markers every 18th st because the pattern I was going to use has a repeat of 18 sts.)

Then working with the part of the band away from the loose end, take off the needle tip and the cap. Place the needle tip where the cap was and the cap where the needle tip was. The pic shows the band after the exchange. Lay the work out so nothing is twisted (as in the pic).

Mark the beginning of the round and begin knitting whatever pattern you've chosen for the band. There will naturally be a single twist in the work. Work in pattern until you've knitted all the sts off the circ (126 sts). All the sts (all 252 of them) are now on the same circ.

Replace the cap on the circ that has all the sts on it with a needle tip. Then finish the round (126 more sts for a total of 252, for the example). Continue to knit in pattern. The second pic is of a finished Mobius band, May Flowers Mobius.

A picture of the first Mobius band I knitted is here. It's the last pic in the post. It was knit with worsted weight cotton yarn.

Note: The first pic here shows 2 circs of equal length. It works out better to have the circ on which the "soul" is knitted to be a bit longer since it will eventually be the only circ in use and have to be long enough for twice the "length" of the band.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Twists, etc

Recently, I was reading a German sock pattern and saw directions for making left and right twists (2 stitch cables). I immediately thought: This is so obvious. Why haven't I seen anything like this before?

My German isn't that good. This is what I think I read:
(Well, after the translation came out, I discovered that I had misread second for two , and the directions are for the usual pinch method of cabling without a cable needle. But, the following directions do work.)

For a right twist: Put the RHN (right hand needle) into the first 2 stitches of the LHN (left hand needle) as if working a k2tog. Slip the 2 sts off the LHN but do not knit them. Slip them back onto the LHN purlwise. The sts are twisted with the st nearest the tip of the LHN lying over the next st. Knit the first st tbl (through the back loop). Knit (or purl) the next st tbl. (Purl the second stitch if you want a right twist with purl back. Otherwise knit it.)

For a left twist: Just as the right twist starts out as if one were making a k2tog, the left twist starts out as if one were making a ssk -- or more accurately a ssp. Reposition the first 2 sts on the LHN needle as if working a ssk or ssp. (In other words, slip the 2 sts to the RHN individually knitwise. Then slip them back to the LHN purlwise.) Slip the RHN into the back of the 2 sts on the LHN as if working a ssp. Slip them off the LHN but do not purl them. Slip them back onto the LHN purlwise. Knit (or purl) the first st. (Purl the first stitch if you want a right twist with purl back. Otherwise knit it.) Knit the second st.

For a left twist (with fewer steps): Slip the first 2 sts on the LHN individually to the RHN. With the points of both needle facing the same direction and the LHN in front of the RHN, place the LHN into the 2 sts and slip them off the RHN. Knit (or purl) the first st. Knit the second st.

Now to decreases and increases....
After reading about making centered double decreases instead of paired single decreases for shaping sleeves, etc. in Knitting Daily, I've found that I like them a lot. I use Fleegle's method of making a centered double decrease. But, instead of working the stitch in one step as she does, I first slip the 1st 2 sts on the LHN to the RHN together knitwise. Then slip the next st on the LHN to the RHN knitwise. Finally, knit the 3 sts together through the back loop. This leaves a ridge in the center (equivalent to s2kp or cdd). On the other hand for a centered double decrease that looks like a sk2p, slip 1 st knitwise from the LHN to the RHN. Then slip the next 2 sts together from the LHN to the RHN knitwise. Finally, knit the 3 sts together through the back loop. (These have the added advantage, at least for me, of being easier to frog than the "pass st over" methods.)

I wasn't able to find anything on centered p3tog's. So, here's how I ended up making some in order to have the stitch look like a centered k3tog from the wrong side:
Leave the yarn in front. Turn the knitting over so that the yarn is now in back. What was the RHN is now the LHN and vice versa. Slip the 1st 2 sts on the LHN to the RHN together knitwise. Then slip them back to the LHN purlwise before finally knitting 3 sts together through the back loop. Slip this st back to the LHN knitwise. Turn the work over. The stitch is complete.

Finally, to get a centered double increase to match the centered double decrease (for shaping). In the same stitch, p1, yo, p1.

Here's a link for an interesting and, at least for heavier weight yarns, better, way to make a double increase. And since sometimes links disappear, here is a brief summary: k1tbl, k1 in same st. Place vertical bar of st just knit onto LHN. k1. You get a nice single increase by just working the first part of the stitch (k1tbl, k1 in same st).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


some terminology before I forget it.....

quoting Elizabeth Lovick (from a Yahoo! EZasPi post):
"Peerie is the Shetland word for peedie. (And little is the English word for peedie!!) The peeries are the patterns of 1 to 4 or 5 rows deep.
The boarders [borders] are the next size up - from about 7 to about 11 rows deep. After that come the OXOs and stars...."

from the Encyclopedia of Knitting by Stanfield and Griffiths:
"Little two and three row patterns [peeries] ... are often used as a contrast between more complex bands of motifs."
"Some ... borders are built up out of peerie patterns, while others stand alone. ... (F)or a more authentic color scheme, change the background for each band of pattern."

Also, I think I have figured out why we started with a stockinette edge rather than a ribbed one. -- A curled stockinette edge would be a lot warmer.

about colors, from Elizabeth Lovick (from a Yahoo! EZasPi post):
"The earliest FIs done on FI are bright blue, bright red
bright yellow with dark brown and very pale fawn, grey or white...."

Monday, January 5, 2009

Corrugated Rib

Recently, I test knit a corrugated rib hat for Amy. Corrugated ribbing is ribbing with the purl sts in one color and the knit sts in another.

Since I'd never done any corrugating ribbing before, I searched the web for info. Here are my adventures in making the hat:

First comes the supposed problem with curling and with strands peeking out from the edge. After a few attempts, I ended up with a knitted cast on (though a single cast on would work as well, and also, I suppose, a cable one).

Then, more importantly (to prevent curling), I did one round in k1p1 ribbing with the same color -- dark gray.

After this round, I added the second color. I tried having the purl color in my right hand -- but found it very difficult for me to purl English style. (I generally knit Continental style.) So, I ended up with the purl color (white) in my left hand and the knit color (dark gray) in my right hand. It worked out well -- and was surprisingly relatively fast and easy. The second picture shows both the right and wrong sides of the hat.

I used Patons Classic Wool Merino and size 7 needles. There is no problem whatsoever with curling and my DD has a nice warm stylish hat.