Tale of Three Swatches

I wanted a cardigan with a stripe sequence that looks like this:

I’m using a slightly modified color palette, but I like the proportion and relative values of the stripes.  The sweater shouts “Spring!” to me, so sport weight wool seemed like the right choice.

Enter Galway Sport.  It’s a brand-new 2-ply from Plymouth, and I have 20 or so colors in stock.

I’ve generated the pattern essentials using CustomFit, and with the total number of rows in hand, I worked out a stripe sequence that fit–and maintained the proportion of the inspiration stripes.  This cardigan is a V-neck, but I am knitting Inlet, from the CustomFit Winter/Spring 2015 collection.  I had the option to change the sleeve length from 3/4 to full length, so I did so.

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L to R — Swatch 1, Swatch 2, Swatch 3

 

The swatching process was interesting.  Swatch 1 used 3.5mm Knitter’s Pride Karbonz, which were one size smaller than the ball band suggested.  My gauge was 5.2 stitches and 7.8 rows per inch–significantly looser than the recommended gauge of 6 stitches and 8 rows per inch.  Swatch 2 was on 3.00mm Addi Turbo Rockets, and while my gauge was a more pleasing 6.1 stitches and 8.8 rows per inch, this swatch was the least consistent of the three I knit. It was noticeably not square, and the tension was less even than I’d like.  I decided to try one more time using needles with a little more grip.  Since I’d used the Karbonz for the first swatch, and ChiaoGoos skip from 2.75mm to 3.25mm, I decided on 3.00mm Addi Turbo Lace needles.  That was the magic combo for me.  (Although I suspect that 3.00mm Karbonz would also have worked.) Some of the inconsistencies of Swatch 2 were probably attributable to inattention–I knit some of it standing up, some sitting, some while doing other things at the same time–but the slight drag of the brass finish on the Lace needles had a subtle effect I liked.

Here’s how my final swatch numbers measured up:

30 stitches measured 4.875″ (6.2 stitches per inch)

40 rows measured 4.625″ (8.6 rows per inch)

Total swatch measured 7″ x 6.875″, and weighed 17.5 grams

Just to be on the safe side, when beginning the pattern, I started with a cardigan front, instead of the larger back piece.  After about 7″ of knitting, my tension seems to be on track, and I love the oatmeal, navy, and bright pink together!

The process so far highlights a couple of the advantages of CustomFit.  You’ll notice that there was never a point where I had an even number of stitches per inch (or even x.5 stitches per inch).  Instead of trying to match the gauge of a pattern, the pattern is created from the gauge of the fabric I liked the best–and I was able to experiment until I was satisfied. Also, this sweater is a pretty math-intensive endeavor–but I only have to worry about the stripe placement & matching part of it–the basic silhouette and shaping are sorted, and are made for me.

If you’ve talked with me, you know I’m not a “hard-sell” kind of gal.  But when I am genuinely enthusiastic about something, I’m not shy about sharing that enthusiasm.  I love making sweaters within the CustomFit platform, and I think that the opportunity to participate in the design process is a big part of the reason why!

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Another CustomFit Adventure

This time I decided to use “Expert Mode”–you don’t really need to be an expert, but it’s a great way to combine just the details you have in mind.

I started by swatching Kenzington from Skacel Knitting’s HiKoo line.  I decided on a 4×2 ribbing, but I was undecided about which would be the right side until after I blocked the swatch.  With CustomFit, you are knitting to your own exact gauge, and in this case, mine was 16.75 stitches and 24.25 rows over 4″.  Probably not the sort of gauge you’d find in a standard pattern, right?

I knew I wanted to make a cardigan vest, and even though it’s not a shape I typically wear, I thought I’d try a tunic length.  For me, that was 13 1/2″ to the hem.  I wanted some kind of finish to the bottom, but didn’t want to interrupt the ribbing, so I chose a folded hem.  The front bands and armscyes are edged in i-cord trim.  I specified a deep scoop neck–1″ below the beginning of the armhole, and the neck trim is 1×1 twisted rib.  I wanted to wear it open, but I like a little bit of closure, so I asked for one button.

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CustomFit sweaters are most commonly knit in pieces and seamed.  The wonderful bit is that because the patterns take your individual row gauge into consideration, if you keep track of your rows, you will have precisely the same number for each piece–even though back and front widths can differ, particularly if you have more bust shaping.  After knitting the back and both fronts, I blocked the pieces.  (I stayed late on Sunday to pin them out so that they could dry before I came back on Tuesday.)  I seamed the pieces on Tuesday, and knit the edgings on Wednesday.  The button I wanted to use is about 1/4″ wide but about 2″ long, which mean that the crochet loop I made for it had to be a little bigger than I would have preferred.  I had the swell idea to secure the bust closure with hook-and-eye closures–except they are not readily available in Ellensburg.  So I bought a black bra at Goodwill and cannibalized it for the fasteners.  My last step was to tack up the folded hem.

Because CustomFit utilizes princess style darts for shaping, you need to increase and decrease in pattern, and many times there are more decreases than increases, or vice versa, depending on your build.  You can see the effect in the back view of the sweater, thought it’s present in the fronts as well.

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My last remaining issue is with the i-cord edgings along the front.  The pattern instructed me to pick up along the front at a 1:1 ratio.  I think it might have worked better to either have dropped a needle size or have eliminated 10-20% of the rows.  There wouldn’t have been any need to use a typical button band ratio, since the direction of the two pieces of knitting isn’t perpendicular.  To add some stiffness, I may try threading a stiff cord through the i-cord tube.  If that fails to give me a slightly straighter edge, I might reknit those front edgings a little more tightly.  Time will tell.

Overall, this was another great experience working within the CustomFit platform, and I am already plotting my next CF sweater! If you have more questions about the program, or are ready to try a CustomFit pattern yourself, email me–ann (at) yarnfolk . com!

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Please welcome the delightful Mrs. Crosby to Yarn Folk

She was kind enough to send along her Hat Box in 10 delicious colors.  Merino, silk, and cashmere in a 317 yard sport weight put-up.

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Jitterbug!

I got sucked right into the Colinette Yarns booth at TNNA, and ordered a couple of dozen skeins of Jitterbug–400 yards and 150g of exploding color.  Amazing when a box of yarn can leave Wales on a Monday and get delivered to the middle of Washington State on a Thursday!

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Custom Fit Info Session!

Are you familiar with Amy Herzog’s Custom Fit sweater generator? This coming Friday, February 13th, is your chance to learn more about how Yarn Folk can help you create a sweater that is perfect for YOU.

When we talk about Custom Fit, we don’t necessarily mean snug, form-fitting sweaters.  (Although that’s an option!) Custom Fit lets you make your own choices–about the yarn, the fit, and the design–and then use them to generate a sweater for a specific set of measurements, with no further math required.
I have made four Custom Fit sweaters, and can’t say enough about how much I love the process and the results.  Plan on coming in Friday at 5 pm to hear me try! as a Custom Fit LYS, I can assist with measurements, yarn selection and swatching, design choices, generating the pattern, and if you choose to participate in the KAL, you’ll be supported through your sweater journey.
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Sweater shown is Seguin.  You can  find my other Custom Fit sweaters here, here, and here.  (I need to get pictures of my mom wearing that last one!)
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Cross posting most recent email!

With information about my upcoming trip to TNNA’s winter show, and an updated class schedule!

Check it out here!

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Santa’s Helper

First, I want to share a phoDto of a small “thank you” gift pack I’ve put together.  Any purchase from now until December 31st enters you to win.  What’s inside? A Baggu tote, a double-zip Walker Bag, a Eucalan IMG_6284.JPGDelicate Wash travel set, a Lo-Lo To Go lotion bar, and a set of stitch markers made by Chelsea from Raveler’s Roost.  Along with a Ravelry pattern of your choice up to $7.  Thanks for being wonderful customers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, because Santa sometimes needs a little help, I am sharing a few gift ideas here and on Facebook over the next few days.

Stitch markers are a perfect stocking stuffer, or a small gift for a knitting friend.

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Are cases for your tools on your wish list?  Knitter’s Pride just introduced some new ones for interchangeables, assorted sets, and fixed circulars.

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And Slipped Stitch Studios’ Needle Nooks may be one of my favorite accessory items.  They keep your stitches safely on your needles whether you are using double points or circulars.  Love them!  I’ve got some really fun prints in stock right now.

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Girls’ Night Out

Girls’ Night Out is here again from 5 -9 pm this evening! Yarn Folk is featuring a 10% bump in value on all gift certificate purchases (for example, you pay $50, and get a gift certificate for $55). We’re also singing carols at 6 pm and 7:30, and we have fresh fudge from Mac-A-Bee’s in Cle Elum! And of course, every $10 you spend enters you to win one of the event-wide gift baskets, filled with items from Ellensburg’s great downtown businesses!

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Free Accessory Pattern Round Up

IMG_6191.JPGLooking for accessory patterns, either for yourself or to make for holiday gifts?

Here is a list of FREE patterns for both knitting and crochet.  Most of the knit patterns I have either made or seen made up; and while I am a less proficient crocheter, I looked for patterns with many successful projects.  Enjoy!

 

Knitted Scarves & Cowls

 

Gaptastic Cowl

yarn suggestions: Misti Alpaca Chunky, Brown Sheep Lanaloft Bulky, Universal Classic Shades Big Time, Cascade 128 Superwash

 

Honey Cowl

yarn suggestions: Yarn Hollow Tor DK, Aslan Trends Royal Alpaca, Frabjous Fibers Mad Hatter (with gauge modification), Malabrigo Rios, Cascade Eco Duo

 

Drop Stitch Cowl

yarn suggestions: Bear Creek, Misti Alpaca Chunky, Brown Sheep Lanaloft Bulky, Universal Classic Shades Big Time, Schulana Luxair Print

 

Riverton Cowl

yarn suggestions: Aslan Trends Royal Alpaca, Yarn Hollow DK, Malabrigo Rios

 

Inspira Cowl

yarn suggestions: Plymouth Gina, Universal Classic Shades, Cascade Eco Duo, Malabrigo Worsted (aran version); Zauberball, Noro Taiyo Sock, Noro Silk Garden Sock (fingering version)

 

Purl Ridge Scarf

yarn suggestions: Yarn Hollow Tor DK, Malabrigo Rios, Plymouth Mushishi, Phydeaux Beurre DK

 

Noro Woven Stitch Shawl

yarn suggestions: Plymouth Gina, Universal Classic Shades

 

Drop Stitch Scarf

yarn suggestions: just about anything–nice in solids or variegated, easily modified to different weights

 

One Row Handspun Scarf

yarn suggestions: again, nearly anything.  Unisex.

 

Mistake Rib Scarf

yarn suggestions: adaptable to any weight–modify cast on number and needle size as appropriate

 

Knitted Hats

 

Barley

yarn suggestions: Mountain Meadow Jackson, Mountain Colors River Twist, Plymouth Homestead, Cascade Eco Duo, Lamb’s Pride Worsted

 

Wurm

yarn suggestions: Mountain Meadow Cody, Frabjous Fibers Mad Hatter, Cascade 220 Sport Superwash, Frog Tree Pediboo

 

Rikke Hat

yarn suggestions: Yarn Hollow Tor DK, Malabrigo Rios, Mountain Meadow Cody, HiKoo Kenzie, Phydeaux Beurre DK

 

Hawks Hat

yarn suggestions: Cascade 220 Superwash, Cascade 220, Plymouth Encore

 

Star Crossed Slouchy Beret

yarn suggestions: Malabrigo Worsted, Peace Fleece Worsted, Plymouth Homestead, Cascade Eco Duo, Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted

 

Man Hat

yarn suggestions: Misti Alpaca Chunky, Cascade 128 Superwash

 

Be Loving (basic stockinette beanie)

yarn suggestions: Cascade 220, Cascade 220 superwash, Mountain Meadow Jackson, Yarn Hollow Tor DK, Malabrigo Rios

 

Easy Ombre Slouch Hat

yarn suggestions: HiKoo Kenzie

 

Norwegian Sweet Baby Cap

yarn suggestions: Any sock yarn.  HiKoo CoBaSi is a non-wool option

 

Easy Peasy Newborn Sock Hat

yarn suggestions: Any sock yarn.

 

Knitted Headbands

 

Blue Leaf Headband

yarn suggestions: Cascade 128 Superwash, Misti Alpaca Chunky, Universal Classic Shades Big Time, Brown Sheep Lanaloft Bulky

 

Morning Walk Headband (bulky & worsted versions)

yarn suggestions: Cascade 128 Superwash, Misti Alpaca Chunky, Universal Classic Shades Big Time, Brown Sheep Lanaloft Bulky; Cascade 220, Cascade 220 Superwash, Plymouth Encore

 

Totally Twisted Headband

yarn suggestions: Cascade 128 Superwash, Misti Alpaca Chunky, Universal Classic Shades Big Time, Brown Sheep Lanaloft Bulky

 

Knitted Mitts & Mittens

 

Cupcake Mittlets

yarn suggestions: Plymouth Cashmere Passion

 

Maize

yarn suggestions: Cascade 220, Cascade 220 superwash, Mountain Meadow Jackson, Yarn Hollow Tor DK, Malabrigo Rios, Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted, Plymouth Homestead, Peace Fleece Worsted, Mountain Colors River Twist

 

Susie Rogers’ Reading Mitts

yarn suggestions: Aslan Trends Royal Alpaca, HiKoo Kenzie, Malabrigo Rios, Yarn Hollow Tor DK

 

Basic Children’s Mittens

yarn suggestions: Plymouth Encore, Universal Classic Shades

 

HoB (mitts)

yarn suggestion: Cascade 128 Superwash

 

Pieces of 8 Mitts

yarn suggestions: any variegated or self-striping fingering weight yarn

 

Chilly Podsters (thumb & forefinger available for touch screens) http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/chilly-podsters

yarn suggestions: Cascade 220, Cascade 220 Superwash, Yarn Hollow Tor DK, Malabrigo Rios, HiKoo Kenzie

 

Owl Mitts

yarn suggestions: Plymouth Homestead, Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted, Malabrigo Worsted

 

Knitted Slippers

 

Footies

yarn suggestions: Malabrigo Worsted, Cascade 220, Plymouth Encore

 

Non-felted Slippers

yarn suggestions: Cascade 220, Plymouth Encore, Peace Fleece Worsted, Lamb’s Pride Worsted, Plymouth Homestead (all held double)

 

Crochet Hats

 

Divine Hat

yarn suggestions: Cascade 220, Cascade 220 Superwash, Plymouth Encore, Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride, Cascade Cherub Aran

 

Shell Stitch Beanie (baby & child)

yarn suggestions: Cascade 220 Superwash, Cascade Cherub Aran, Cascade Bentley, Plymouth Encore

 

Crochet Owl Hat

yarn suggestions: Cascade 220, Cascade 220 Superwash, Plymouth Encore, Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride, Cascade Cherub Aran

 

Brain Waves Beanie

yarn suggestions: Cascade 220, Cascade 220 Superwash, Plymouth Encore

 

Urban Jungle Crocheted Slouchy Beanie

yarn suggestions: Cascade 220, Cascade 220 Superwash, Malabrigo Rios, Cascade Cherub Aran, Plymouth Encore

 

Crochet Scarves & Cowls

 

Artfully Simple Infinity Scarf

yarn suggestions: Plymouth Gina, Plymouth Encore Colorspun, Universal Classic Shades

 

Rolling in the Deep Chevron Infinity Scarf

yarn suggestions: HiKoo Kenzie, Aslan Trends Royal Alpaca, Cascade 220 Superwash Sport, HiKoo Simplicity

 

Soft Stitch Cowl

yarn suggestions: Cascade 220 Superwash, Plymouth Encore, Malabrigo Rios, Malabrigo Worsted

 

Nancy’s Waves Scarf

yarn suggestions: Noro Silk Garden Sock, Noro Taiyo Sock, Plymouth Gina, Universal Classic Shades

 

Crocheted Headbands

 

Simple Crochet Earwarmer

yarn suggestions: Plymouth Encore, Plymouth Gina, Cascade 220, Cascade 220 Superwash, Universal Classic Shades

 

Classic Stretch Headband

yarn suggestions: Plymouth Encore, Plymouth Gina, Cascade 220, Cascade 220 Superwash, Universal Classic Shades

 

 

Categories: Gift Ideas, Knitting, Patterns, Yarn | 1 Comment

Friday Tidbits

 

Some things!

1) This evening, 5-7pm, Hawks Hat KAL continues. If you can cast on, knit and purl, I can coach you from there! Three balls of Cascade 220 Superwash makes at least two hats. (Three if you are creative and swap around the main colors.) Laurie Sundstrom’s great pattern is free, and so is the knitalong when you buy your materials at Yarn Folk
2) Pretty yarn on a rainy day! I only had a few skeins of the beautiful Soie (50% silk 50% merino fingering weight) yarn from Phydeaux Designs left, but Brenda sent more. It has the most beautiful lustre.

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3) Bulky yarn, quick knit! I took a pic before I plunked this Drop Stitch Cowl into the bath, but I used one skein of Bear Creek from Kraemer yarns, and finished the project in under three hours last night!

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