Friday, January 30, 2009

Top down raglan

I recently started making a top down raglan V-neck jumper for myself! I am knitting it in Rosarios 4 Capuccino which is a 60% milk fibre, 40% Australian wool mix and is about an Aran weight. It feels like a smooth good quality wool to knit with and as you can see from the picture this particular colourway is variegated.

I decided to start with a crochet provisional cast on as I prefer to have 'live' stitches when picking up around the neckline. The top section with sleeves is knitted in rows until the neck shaping is completed. I decided to use a left and right 'make 1' increase for the raglan seams working the increase just before the stitch in front of the stitch marker and after the stitch after the marker to give me the raglan seam. I also worked the neck increases 1 stitch in from the edge to give a clean line of stitches when picking up the neckline to knit the band.
Once I completed the raglan increases I divided the stitches up into sleeves and body and continued knitting in the round. One problem I realised with using the variegated yarn is when I started to knit the body section the yarn colours have started to 'pool'. I did unpick the body back to the beginning of this section and started knitting rounds with alternate balls of yarn so the 'pooling' isn't quite as bad although it is still happening in areas. I think this is a problem I will just have to live with in this particular garment.
I'll post another picture when I am near the bottom of the body section.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sock knitting workshop

Yesterday I was teaching at The Knitting Habit in Alton, Hants. It was a sock knitting workshop. I teach several different sock workshops and yesterday was knitting short row heel and toe socks. Although this is not the most commonly used sock technique it is the method I have used to make my own socks since I learn how to make them this way from an article in Interweave Knits written by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts in 2000.

Both the heel and toe are shaped with short rows and the socks are knitted on 5pd (stitches divided over 4 needles and 1 to knit with) so there is no need to rearrange stitches when you come to shaping the heel. The socks also finish with an unusual 3-needle cast off which gives a seam on the top of the foot at the base of the toes, very much like commercial socks, but you don't feel the seam when wearing the socks. Casting off this way means there is no grafting of toe stitches so another big advantage over other methods.

Some of the students found knitting on 5pd took a bit of getting used to and the short row shaping proved a bit of a challenge to some but by the end of the day most students had nearly completed their mini sample sock. Hopefully they will give this method of sock making another try as it is very easy once you have learn the short row shaping.

If you are in the Alton area do go and visit The Knitting Habit. It is in Alton town centre in the street that goes up a hill near Boots. The owner Marion is very friendly and helpful and I will be teaching more one day workshops there througout the year. For details of when and where I'm teaching look at the Events page on my website.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I have been knitting

I was pretty busy before Christmas with work for Knitting magazine but I did manage to do some other knitting as well. I designed this cream lace scarf to be knitted in Knitting4fun Alpaca Aran yarn. It takes 1 skein of 100gms to make the scarf. I used a diamond lace and an extended diamond (pillar lace) lace pattern which work well together. In the last repeat of the pillar lace pattern I made a slit in the scarf so the other end of the scarf could be threaded through it. I just need to write the pattern for it now.

The next 2 scarves I knitted as Christmas presents (so I couldn't post this before Christmas - at least that's my excuse for not writting anything for agaes again). The taupe coloured scarf (described as burgandy by the yarn company) is knitted in Rosarios4 Silk4milk which has been naturally dyed. Silk4milk is 60% milk fibre, 30% silk and 10% cashmere and it is a lovely yarn to knit with. I used the fern lace pattern and in order to make sure the scalloped edges matched I knitted the scarf in 2 halves. I knitted the section arounf the neck in k2, p2 rib to make it thicker and warmer.

This 3rd scarf is knitted in Adriafil Carezza which is a 70%angora yarn and again feels lovely to knit. It didn't seem to shed to much either. I used the horseshoe print lace pattern for this scarf but knitted it from the same principles as the Silk4milk scarf.
When I have a few spare minutes I will get down to writting the patterns for these 3 scarves.