Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Ok, Webs is having an end-of-summer sale and they have several worsted weight yarns for a good price (what enabling? where?). I'm trying to decide what to get, if anything, for this project. I may opt for KP or Elan.

So, what yarn have you chosen? And what color?

I have a lot of teal, dark denim blue and pink in my stash, so I'm trying to branch out, but not too far...so I'm being a bit of a cheater by asking what colors everyone else is doing. Hehe.

(Also hi! I can't remember if I've introduced myself or not, sorry. I'm Melanie from Lotus Knits, and I'm excited about this KAL because I LOVE this sweater!!)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Questions for Advanced Knitters

Hi folks! When I saw this sweater on the cover of IK, I immeadiately thought, "I want to make this but it's way too hard for me." Well, I mustered up my courage and I think I'm ready for the challenge.

Up to now I have only knit things in the round (hats, socks, one sweater). I love knitting in the round, I think it's elegant and efficient; it appeals to my sense of aesthetic as well as my fear of seams. So it is with trepidation that I approach this sweater. I looked at the instructions, and it seems that the sweater is knit flat, from the bottom up, in 4 pieces: front, back, and 2 sleeves. Then, at some point near the top all of the pieces are joined together on one big circular needle and the remainder of the sweater is knit in the round to the collar. The last step is (yikes!) sewing up 4 seams (front to back x 2, sleeves x2). Do I have this right?

Couple of questions for you advanced knitters:
1. What is the best cast-on for this sweater?
2. What is the best way to knit the individual pieces so that they can be invisibly seamed together? Should I just knit across each row to the end, turn, and purl back? Or should I slip the first stitch on each row like I was taught to do with heel flaps on socks?
3. It seems disadvantageous to knit the front and back separately and them seam them up. Can I flagrantly disregard the instructions and knit the body in the round, or will I just be getting myself into trouble?

I can't wait to get the yarn for this one...I'm thinking bamboo. I'm also planning on doing 3/4 length sleeves and a slllightly shorter torso to make this more of a spring/fall sweater. Thanks for being my yoda! I look forward to hearing all your words of wisdom.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Substituting Yarn

Maryanne advertised me so well, but I am not sure if what I have to say is really so inventive. I am the kind of knitter who, first of all, can't follow the pattern (because I always have to change the neckline, shorten or prolong something) and second I never in my life used the yarn suggested in the pattern. Mostly because I always knitted from German/English publications and the yarns mentioned there weren't available in Poland or in Switzerland. So, substituting yarn became rather essential to my knitting. The simplest method I use is first to check what kind of yarn is required - the most important is how thick your knitting needles should be. Then check how many yards or meters you need. Now, if a pattern calls for yarn which requires needles size 4 (4mm, sorry have no idea about the American system- Maryanne, if you can tell better, please edit me!) you can easily go with another yarn requiring the same size or one size bigger or smaller. All depends on what effect you want to achieve. Let's say that a pattern suggests merino, but for some reason you don't like wool or just want a lighter sweater: you can easily pick up cotton (for a smooth and tight fit) or cotton/viscose, cotton/silk (for a more glossy look) or any other blend of yarn (even the sale yarn, because it's cheap and looks fab!) as long as the size of needles stays the same. Again, you have to know your knitting: if you knit loose, you might check for needles a size smaller, in order to keep to get your chosen garment to look as you want. If you knit tight (like I do), think about using bigger needles, otherwise your garment will be stiff and tight. Keeping the size of the needles is as well rather useful with counting the yardage. Recently I learned to buy yarn not by skeins (as most of the European magazines call for) but by yardage, and it always works! No more 1-2 skein rests, with which one has no idea what to do! So if the pattern says 1000y and your gauge is close to the pattern's gauge, you will probably need 1000y of the substituted yarn. I usually allow myself 100-200y extra, but again: I am paranoid and very careful. Plus, with the yarn delivery in this strange country it's always better to have one skein extra. If your gauge is bigger you should probably anyway decide to have 200y more.
Of course, depending on what blend you use, your knit will look different. For instance, I am working right now on the Puff Cardigan from "Fitted Knits". The pattern called for merino, but I didn't have any in the stash and didn't feel like spending extra money on this project. I had some nice cotton, which as well was to be knitted on the needles size 4-4,5mm. Knowing me and knitting from this kind of yarn (which is weaved from 7 thin cotton threads and then twisted into a loose kind of cord, so it splits like hell... but it has a lovely matt-gloss look and an adorable colour) I decided for needles size 4. The cardigan on the picture in the book looks rather tightly knitted, and it gives me the impression of being almost felted. But my cotton gave extra dimension to the knits. The seed stitch looks almost like beaded and the whole knit seems to be more decorative, almost decadent.
As some of you might know I knitted two different versions of Lelah: one in cotton and one in poly blend. And believe me or not, they look completely different. The one from cotton is slightly too big in the boob area, but it's because I didn't trust the pattern. The poly one is my absolute favourite, because it as well wears better than this particular cotton yarn.
When you substitute yarn, you have to make sure that your gauge is right. I never start work without making a swatch or two (with needles of two different sizes, to compare which I like better). Like that one can easily count the stitches required for the particular project. (I know I am not telling anything new). I usually cast on 20 stiches for my swatch (sometimes more, depending on what the label says). Now: if your garment is knitted in stockinette you should knit the swatch in stockinette (but if it's patterned, then better make a swatch in the pattern you will knit in, and a stockinette to make sure it's not too loose). I am a lazy swatcher and keep it short, usually about 20 rows. Then measure how many inches/centimeters you get in those 20s. And now it gets very mathy: let's say that your 20s=12cm/4.72 inches, but the pattern says you need 48cm/18.9inch. Here you count like that: 20 times 48=960, 960 divided by 12=80 stitches (20 times 18.9 = 378, 378 divided by 4.72 = 80 stitches). So that's the amount of stitches which you need to obtain the gauge. But again, some patterns call for a particular amount of stitches to keep the repeats of the pattern. So, if our gauge is 80 stitches but we have to work on the pattern which repeats over 13stitches, then: 80 divided by 13 = 6,2 repeats, so round it up to 7 repeats (so that the garment wouldn't be too tight) and that gives you 13 times 7 = 91 stitches. Does it make sense?
I know, ladies, that probably all of you knew this stuff already, so I hope that I haven't bored you to death!
Happy Knitting!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sweater Specifics

I had a request from Rhonda to provide a little more information about the Wheat Ear Cable Yoke Sweater as far as finished measurements for the various sizes, as well as yarns and yardage and possible substitutions. I will do my very best to answer her question and provide you all with the information, but if any of you notice a mistake or have more enlightening information to add to this subject, please feel free to post what you've got! It will be much appreciated!

The 4 sizes listed are: 35 (40, 45, 50) inch finished bust circumference.

Here is a diagram of the other finished dimensions of the sweater that may help you decide which size to make (hopefully the FBI and Interweave won't arrest me in the middle of the night for posting it):

If anyone needs the sleeve circumference measurements, just send me an e-mail and I'll get those to you (I don't usually use Blogger so I had to wrestle with getting the image formatted to fit properly and after about 20 tries and a few not-so-nice words, I settled on this one and called it good!).

The yarn called for is Tahki Torino (100% extra fine merino; 94 yd [86m]/50g): 10 (12, 14, 16) balls. (940 yds, 1128, 1316, 1504) (metric: 860 m, 1032, 1204, 1376).

According to WEBS this yarn is considered worsted weight with a gauge of 4.5 sts = 1" on size 8 needles (metric: 4.5 sts = 2.54 cm on size 5.0 mm needles). So probably any worsted weight yarn would work. I have to admit that I'm not the best at substituting yarns, so if anyone has any great options they'd like to share, I would really appreciate it! Kasia is also the Queen of substituting yarn, so maybe she can do a post to talk about that - I'll ask her :)

Anyway, hope that helps Rhonda, and whomever else may have had questions about the sizing that has not purchased their pattern or yarn yet.

Happy Knitting!


Thanks so much to Ms. Lindz and Kasia for making some lovely buttons for our KAL! I've posted them (finally!) in the sidebar for your use. Please save them to your own computer before using them on your blog. If you have any questions about how to post the buttons and link them to the KAL site, please feel free to contact me (knittymugginsATyahooDOTcom) or Kasia (ladymorgianaATgmailDOTcom) and we'll do our best to help you get set up. Anyone else who may feel like making buttons, please feel free to do so and if you e-mail them to either Kasia or me, we'll get them posted in the sidebar. Thanks everyone and enjoy!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Oregon Coast Colorway-Knit Picks Yarn

Thought I would post what I've done so far on the sweater. Just as soon as I get the underarm section done on this I'm going to put it away until closer to September....I know I jumped ahead but I just had to see how this yarn looks with the pattern. The yarn is so soft and light so it will be perfect for Winter here in the South!!

Having Yarn Issues

Okay, so I'll introduce myself first then get to the yarn problems. My name is Maddie, I've been knitting for about a year and a half and this will be my first long sleeve sweater. Anyways, to my yarn dilemma. I am on quite a budget [ I'm home from college for the summer and am just barely scraping by ] so I was hoping for a nice, inexpensive yarn to use for this project. Knit Picks Swish Superwash in Dublin:

It's the same gauge and everything, plus it's nice and inexpensive [ $3.29 ] a skein. Anyways, just let me know what you guys think -- I'm very indecisive and have a really hard time making up my mind without some opinions. Thanks in advance guys =)

My first KAL!

Hi all!

This is my first KAL... I'm really excited about this project. I bought the supplies and magazine almost 2 months ago but I've been busy with other WIPs and birthday presents, etc. September is going to be pretty much the perfect time for me to start this project. Below are pictures of the supplies I bought (minus the Rowan Denim which has been used to make the baby pants from LMKGs for a friend). There's also a close up on the yarn which is 7 skeins of Baruffa Merinos Sei in colour 42000 (sort of a charcoal grey). Baruffa is apparently made by the same company as Trendsetters, at least, that's what they told me at the LYS.

Getting a head start

Hi...thanks for inviting me to this KAL. I love this sweater and knew I was going to make it the day I got my mag. I've already begun (couldn't wait) working on the back section and did a little swatch of the cable pattern as well...couldn't wait to see how that looked either! : ) It's working up very nicely in Knit Pick's Shadow, two strands, 100% Merino, and I am using the Oregon Coast colorway.
I'm looking foreward to getting to know all of the participants and seeing your work as well!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Always too late ;)

Hi Everybody!
khmm khmm... the one who is supposed to be co-hostess is like always the last to introduce herself... oh well..
My name is Kasia(you can find me here and together with Maryanne we are hosting this KAL. It's so lovely to see so many of you here and I hope that there will be more to come! Thanks all for being here and again big thanks for Maryanne for setting everything up!

Monday, July 9, 2007


Hey all. My name's Maddie. I have a blog [ here ] and I LOVE IK! I can't wait to get started on this project. But I really do have to decide what yarn to use for it! Any ideas? I never like to stick to what they recommend in the mag -- for whatever reason, maybe I like being rebellious! haha. Anyways, I just wanted to put a quick little introduction in here. Take care everyone!


Hello everyone,
I am so glad to be invited to this knit along. I love the sweater. I am thiking of maybe using the cotlin from knitpicks.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Intro and a Yarn Sub Idea!

Hello - I'm Robin and I've gotten to know Maryanne through a number of KALs - Fitted Knits, the Sexy Knitters Club and most recently, Knitting Lingerie Style! Looking forward to get to know Kasia and my fellow joiners(I know I'm early.)

After Maryanne told me about this KAL, I started thinking about it more and more, and then about yarns that could work well for this great pattern. I was thinking of using my Tess Designer Yarns "Silk and Ivory" for this - I think the cinnamon color might look nice for this. Thoughts?

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