Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Final Reveal: Knitting the Perfect Cardigan

Yea, it's done!  And I love it.  As you may recall, for the past few months, I've been heavily modifying Red Heart's Alica Blue Cardigan to become my perfect cardigan.  And I quite happy with the results (though there were time I seriously doubted what I was doing).

So here's how I did it (tailored to my own measurements).  I was on gauge with the pattern, so I just changed the stitch count and size for my needs:

1.  Knit the right front, back, and left front as one piece up to the underarm.  I also wanted to lengthen the sweater to about 22" overall.

2.  I knit a 5 st garter button band on both edges as I knit the cardigan, rather than going back and adding the button band as the pattern stated.  I made my button holes at every 2 inches along my band.

3.  I needed to accommodate my larger hips, but then decrease the size down to 34" for my chest and shoulders (the smallest size in the pattern was a 36" bust).

I didn't like the 3 x 2 ribbing called for in the pattern.  Instead, I did a tighter 2 x 2 ribbing:  Using a #5 needle, I cast on 5 sts for the right button band, 60 sts for the right front, 122 sts for the back, 60 sts for the left front, and 5 sts for the left button band (total 252 sts).  Keeping the 5st button band in garter st, I knit 2 inches in k2,p2 ribbing for the bottom hem.

When my ribbing was complete, I changed to a #6 needle and began knitting in Stst (again keeping the button band in garter).  For my first row in Stst, I decreased 10 sts across the right front, 22 sts across the back, and 10 sts across the left front (total 210 sts remaining).  I like to knit my ribbing this way with more sts.  It allows more room for my hips, and the ribbing lies flat and doesn't get stretched out.

4.  Continuing in Stst, I did a series of 4 decreases on the front and back to shape the body, then I did one increase for the chest about an inch before I started the underarm shaping.  This body shaping left me with 47 sts for each front (plus the 5 st button band) and 94 sts for the back.

5.  I began the front lace detail at 12 inches from the bottom hem.  I thought I would only be able to do 4 repeats on the lace pattern, but I actually fit all five across each side.  One weird thing: the lace pattern is not symmetrical.  I don't think anyone is going to notice looking at my sweater, but if I were to knit it again, I would try swatching the lace pattern and try to reverse it for the left front side.

6.  For the arm holes, I bound off 5 sts before and after each side marker (total 10 sts for each arm hole).  Then did a series of decreases to shape the armhole:  dec 2, 2, 1, 1, 1.  I think this is slightly different than the pattern instructions, but worked great for me.

7.  I bound off the neckline pretty much as stated in the pattern, then picked up sts to do a 1 x 1 rib for the collar.

8.  I knit the sleeves in the round, CO 55 sts with a #5 dpns and knitted a k1.p1 rib for 18 rounds.  I then switched to #6 dpns and Stst.  On the first round, I decreased 10 sts (45 sts left).  I followed the increases as written in the pattern for a total of 77 by the time I reached the underarm.

When my sleeve measured 16 1/2 inches, I bound off 5sts before my marker and 5 sts after my marker (total 10 sts).  At the beginning of the next 4 rows, I bound off 2 sts (following the same sequence as the body of my sweater).  Then I started doing the decreases to shape the shoulder.  I think there's a typo in the pattern here.  For my shoulders, I knit 1, k2tog, knitted until the last 3 sts, ssk, then k1.  I did this decrease every right side row until I was left with 25 sts and my shoulder was about 7 1/2 inches from where I bound off for the underarm.  Then I bound off 2 sts at the beginning of every row for 6 rows.  Then I bound off the remaining 13 sts for the top of my shoulder.

9.  And, as I tend to do, I scoured esty for some cute vintage buttons to finish off my sweater.

I'm not sure about the white buttons on this sweater, but I do love the cute geometric design on these.

All and all, I LOVE the color and design of this sweater.  It is perfect for me.  And I got it finished before the holidays!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sweet Snowman Knitting Pattern: Holiday Knitting

As promised, I wanted to tell you what pattern Jennifer used to make my cute little snowgirl ornament.

My ornament from Jennifer
Jennifer said she used the "Parson Brown" pattern by Emily Ivey (it's a FREE pattern!), but changed the hat and added a scarf.

"Parson Brown" by Emily Ivey
This pattern is adorable and there's still time before the holidays to knit one for your tree or for a friend!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Knitting Group Ornament Exchange

Last night was my knitting group's third annual ornament exchange.  Each member makes an ornament to exchange within the group.  The ornament does not need to be knitted, but it does have to be handmade.

The purple and red button ornaments below were my contribution to the ornament exchange.  (You can find the directions to make all four of these ornaments on my Hubpages!)

In exchange, I received this sweet and cozy snowgirl ornament from Jennifer.  I don't know if Jennifer used a particular pattern to knit her, but I'll ask and let you know.

She's adorable, and right now I've got her on display with Rambo, my stuffed lamb, in the center of our wreath:

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Update on the Perfect Cardigan

I've finally had a chance to put in some serious knitting and get the body of my Cotton Candy Cardigan done - but I still have the sleeves to go (sad face).  The sweater is based on the Alice Blue Cardigan, a free pattern from Red Heart and I've made many modifications to create what I hope will be the perfect cardigan.

These photos show the body unblocked, but so far I'm really happy with how this cardigan is coming along.  I have notes all over the place on my modifications.  I'll try to pull them together and post them along with photos of my finished sweater.  I hope to have this whole thing done and blocked in time for Christmas.  I just need to finish two sleeves and lay off the ice cream so this cardigan will fit when I'm done.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Having a Ball: Christmas Ornaments Made with Yarn

Yes, it's getting to be that time of year - when most knitters turn their creative minds to holiday knitting.  For me, the first project to tackle is my decoration for my knitting group's annual ornament exchange.

This year, I started playing around with yarn - layering it inside Christmas balls, wrapping it around Christmas balls, and turning Christmas balls into yarn balls.  I came up with four different designs, and I'm not sure which one to use for my ornament exchange:

Want to make your own yarn ornaments?  Check out my Hubpages for the directions for all four designs!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Christmas Knitting: Tiny Sweater Ornaments

It's time for my knitting group's annual ornament exchange, and since I'm not getting anywhere with my current knitting project, I've become intrigued by little knitted sweater patterns.

This time of the year, lots of yarn companies release FREE patterns for little sweater ornaments.  I've already have plans for my submission for this year's ornament exchange (more later), but I wanted to share some of these little patterns for little sweaters:

First up, these little cuties from Berroco, available for download here.  I love the little fair isle sweater and hat.  These would be great for dressing up stocking stuffers like little toys or candy canes.

Vogue Knitting also has a free pattern for this sweater garland (available here).  This would be a fun way to use up some scrap yarn while making a colorful garland for your tree or mantle.  These sweaters could also be knit as separate items to use as ornaments.

Red Heart has this charming cardigan pattern, which would also be great for doll attire.  You can find it on their website.

And a lot of sweet knitters have shared their patterns for little sweaters for free on Ravelry or on their blogs.  Ravelry has a lot of patterns to choose from.  Here are just a few:

Emily of Greens and Jeans has a tiny raglan design that can be modified in a number of ways.

Lori of Bird's Eye View also has a sweet little pattern that would look great in variegated yarn or using an array of scraps.

And Linda at Natural Suburbia has this adorable Christmas Tree Sweater.  Such a great idea!

Hope you find something here to use to decorate your own holidays with!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Adventures in Making: "Fall Leaves" DIY Challenge

I'm excited that my Changing Leaves Cowl knitting pattern was chosen for the October DIY Challenge by the crafty blog, Adventures in Making.  The theme for this handmade challenge was "Fall Leaves".

Head on over to Adventures in Making to see the other autumn-inspired craft choices.  If you want my free knitting pattern for my "Changing Leaves Cowl or Scarf, visit my Hubpages!  Thanks!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Cotton Candy Cardigan: Crafting the Perfect Sweater
My favorite type of sweater is what I like to call "a classic cardigan."  I love cardigans that have kind of a classic 1950's shape, with tight ribbing at the hem, a flattering fit, and buttoning up the front with some interesting design around a crew neckline.

I came across this free Red Heart pattern, the Alice Blue Cardigan, and thought it was almost perfect.   Just one major problem:  the pattern's smallest size is a 36" chest which is a little too big for me.  So, now I have a new project - to alter this Alice Blue Cardigan into a great fitting "classic cardigan".

First up:  the yarn.  I fell in love with this Jojoland Splatter Dash merino dk yarn in a beautiful variegated pink-rose-lilac color.  This yarn is a little more pricey than I usually like to pay, but I wanted a pink cardigan and I love the subtle color change of this yarn that makes it a little more sophisticated and interesting than just your basic pink.

The plan:

1.  Change the rib hem to a tighter k2, p2 ribbing.

2.  Knit this cardi in one piece to armpits, then break into front and back pieces.

3.  Change the button band to garter stitch so I can knit it along with the rest of the sweater, instead of picking up stitches when I'm done.  I like to have as little finishing as possible.

4.  Cast on for my wider hips, but then add shaping to bring the chest down to 34".

5.  To narrow the chest, I'm going to have to omit one column of lace detail on each side of this cardigan.  I'm also going to probably raise the lace detail by not starting this design until I'm past my waist shaping.

I'll be posting my mods and photos as I go.  To be honest, I haven't figured out the calculations for the lace yet, so I've got some work ahead of me.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Very Shannon Summer Sweater KAL: Wisterious

Ta-da!  I finished my Wisterious lace top in time for the Very Shannon Summer Sweater KAL, and I love the final results!!

I bought this Juniper Moon Findley Dappled (50% merino, 50% silk) for another project, but the gauge just wasn't working.  After a quick search through Ravelry, I found the wonderful Wisterious by Jennifer Dassau and my yarn (held double) was perfect for it.

Here are my notes:

1.  The sizes are a bit limited on this pattern.  I decided to make this top as a size 38, but only blocked it to about 36" around.  I think the fit is good and it will probably drape more with wear.

2.  You may remember that I wasn't confident that I was on gauge when I started.  The only fix for this was to trust and continue knitting down to where I joined the body under the underarms.  Then I tried on what I had to see if it was going to fit.  If it didn't, I had two choices:  1) cry; or 2) rip it out and start over in a larger size.  Luckily it fit.

3.  I only made a few modifications along the way.  I made the length of the top only 22" by doing only 2" of ribbing.  I was a little afraid that I would run out of yarn (silly - I have a fair amount left over).

4.  To accomodate my larger hips, I cast on an additional 28 stitches around before starting the rib border.  I also only went down one needle size for the bottom border hem.

5.  I was thinking of omitting the buttonholes and just sewing the buttons in place - but don't!  The neck opening is not large enough to fit your head without unbuttoning the neckline a bit, and making the buttonholes is super easy and super fun!

6.  Although the instructions don't mention it, I think you really need a set of dpns to do the armhole ribbing.  My smallest dpns were size #4, so that's what used.  I think they worked fine.  Because my ribbing wasn't as tight as the pattern called for, I omitted two rounds of the border.  Then I just bound off in pattern.

Love the finished top!  Thanks to the other ladies in this KAL for their vote of confidence on my coral/orange buttons.  I think they are the perfect choice :)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Summer Sweater KAL: Wisterious Update

I haven't talked much about it, but I am still hard at work on my Wisterious Top for the Very Shannon Summer Sweater Knit-a-Long.  I'm actually pulling in to the home stretch - it doesn't look like much but I just have to do the sleeve edging and block it, and then I'm done!  I didn't think I was going to make the KAL deadline of Sept. 24, but I think I will pull it off :)

I've done only some minor modifications that I'll list when the top is blocked and finished.  I only have one decision left to make:  BUTTONS.  I love vintage buttons (someday I'll have to do a post about my collection of vintage buttons).  And one of the things that drew me to this knit top pattern was the cute button detail around the neckline and shoulders.

original pattern photo by Jennifer Dassau from Ravelry
So - decision time:

I have four good choices right now.  1) some little white buttons (on card) with cute detailing around the center (hard to see in photo), 2) these corally-orange buttons that I kinda really love, 3) these light blue buttons that are shiny on one side and more opaque on the other.  I could use these with either side facing up, or 4) these vintage pearl buttons with a shank that might work better with the buttonholes in my top.

I'm leaning towards at least starting out with the coral-orange buttons.  I can always change them if I don't like them later.  But I'd love to hear what YOU think?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Favorites: Amazing Knit Cake

from Inspired by Cake!/
How cool is this knitting-themed cake, made by Inspired by Cake!

For more "craft-inspired" cakes, check out this link on CraftGossip of cakes for those who sew, quilt, knit, or crochet. My personal favorite is the white cake with the dress form on top, and the cascade of sewing notions down the side.  But they are all pretty amazing :)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

We Have a Winner...And Some More Good News!

And the winner of the free copy of my Mosaic Blanket pattern and three (3) skeins of yarn is...Mary D!  Congratulations to Mary!  I'll send out your prize package soon!!

Thanks to EVERYONE who entered my giveaway!  It was my first free giveaway and I learned a lot.  It was great to hear everyone's feedback on my knitting patterns and tutorials.  This is very helpful as I think about new patterns for the future.  It was also fun to see everyone's email addresses (there are some really cute addresses out there) and find some new blogs to check out.  Thanks again to everyone who stopped by!

And more good news - 3 of my patterns have been published in the 2015 Knitting Pattern Daily Calendar by Accord Publishing.  This is my first time having my patterns in print, and I'm pretty excited.  I'm not sure where this calendar is available (other than Amazon), but I'll pass on more information when I have it.

Thanks again everyone!  I appreciate you stopping by!!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Summer Sweater KAL: Beginning with Helpful Hints

It's that wonderful time of year again:  time for Very Shannon's Summer Sweater KAL (knit-a-long).  I participated last year in Shannon's Summer Sweater KAL and really enjoyed it.  If you've never joined a KAL, it's a great way to try or finish a knitting project that's been lurching in your heart or mind (or maybe in the back of your closet).

"Wisterious" © Jennifer Dassau
This year, I've selected the lacy and light Wisterious pattern by Jennifer Dassau.  I must admit the thing I love most about this pattern is the little button detail on the shoulders - I have the perfect vintage buttons already picked out for my top.

But before I get to the buttons, I have a lot of knitting to do:

I'm using Juniper Moon's Findley Dappled lace weight yarn (50% merino, 50% silk) in Cloudbank (held double) for this top, and for the first time in a long time, I'm not sure of my gauge (sad face).  I did a swatch, but had a beast of a time counting my stitches.  I went with a larger size to give the top some positive ease, and I think (and hope) it will work out when blocked.

But here's a helpful hint:  you might notice the ziploc bags in my photo.  I saw this on Pinterest - Since I'm working with two balls of yarn as I knit with my yarn held double, I put each ball in a baggie to keep my yarn from getting tangled.  I just pricked a little hole in the bottom corner of each bag, and ran my yarn through the hole.  The bags are big enough for each ball to move and spin freely, but it keeps them separate and neat.  So far, it's working like a charm!

I'll keep you posted on my KAL!  In the meantime, don't forget to enter my Mosaic Blanket and Yarn Giveaway!!  I'd love to have loads more people enter!  The fun ends on Friday, August 8th at midnight EST.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Shawl project: Scraptastic Ombrellone

So happy with my latest knitting project!  This is the wonderful Ombrellone by Melinda Vermeer.

I started this out with just the light purple and darker purple color striping, but I thought it looked too much like 7-year-olds girl's bedroom.  So, I changed the pattern a bit using some of my stash:  I frogged what I had and began again with some KnitPicks Swish DK in my new favorite color, Sugar Plum.  Then changing the pattern, I started my stripes on Row 24 with some Naturally Caron Country in gray.  I continued with these stripes to Row 37.  On Row 38, I switched from the light purple to dark purple stripes (Ella Rae Classics Heather) and continued with the gray.  Then on Row 56, I switched the gray to KnitPicks Swish DK in Lost Lake Heather (green) with the purple.  LOVE this green!

Sadly, I didn't have enough of the Lost Lake to do the full border, so I had to end with Row 83.  I think the border is still wide enough and it looks fine.  I did lose a little length though by not making the border as wide as the pattern stated.

To bind off, I used a semi-stretchy stitch on the next RS row.  To do this:

Knit the 1st stitch. Then,

1.  Slip next st to the right side needle knitwise.

2.  With these two stitches on the right needle, knit them together tbl.

3. Knit the next st.

4.  Bind off next st as normail.

Continue working through steps 1-4 until you have 1 st left.  Then cut your yarn and pull it through the last st.  Ta-da!

  Don't forget to enter my free giveaway, ending on August 8!!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

ENDED 8/14/14: FREE Yarn and Knitting Pattern Giveaway!!

It's time for my first giveaway!!  One lucky person will win (drum roll please):
  • A hardcopy of my Mosaic Baby Blanket or Lap Afghan knitting pattern (more photos on Ravelry -pattern includes directions for both the baby blanket and the adult-sized afghan), and
  • One skein each:  Caron Simply Soft worsted weight yarn in Persimmon (not quite as deep a color as pictured below), Country Peach, and Off White - 3 skeins total - enough yarn to knit your choice of afghan!

This yarn includes a pretty coral colored skein (not really as orangey as shown here), a soft peach color, and an off-white neutral.  I think these colors would make a cheerful baby blanket or lap afghan.  But, you could also swap out one of the colors and change the color combination.  You could take out one of these colors and add a denim blue to make a great blanket suited for a boy - or add a pretty lilac color for a lovely girl's blanket.  Or swap one of the colors for a dark emerald green to make a rich design of mosaic color.  You can use them however you choose!

How to enter my Mosaic Blanket Pattern and Yarn Giveaway:

1.  Go to my Hubpages knitting pattern and craft tutorial website and check out all my knitting patterns.  Links to these patterns are also on the right-hand side of this blog.

2.  Come back to this page and tell me your favorite of my knitting patterns, or your favorite of my craft tutorials in the comments below.

3.  Be sure to leave your name and a valid email address for me to contact you.

Giveaway will end on Friday, August 8, 2014 at midnight EST.  Official rules and regulations:

1.  This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only.

2.  Only one entry per person please.

3.  Winner will be chosen by random selection.  Please be sure to include your email address.  I will contact the winner and give that person one week to respond with their address.  If I don't get any response by the end of that week, I will pick another winner.

That's it!  Good luck!!  Remember, this free giveaway ends on Friday, August 8, 2014 at midnight e.s.t.

Not feeling lucky?  I you can buy my Mosaic Baby Blanket and Lap Afghan knitting pattern for only $3 on Ravelry!  Thanks!!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Favorites: Sugar Plum Cowl Update

I'm thrilled to show off my Tanner Cowl from New American Knits by Amy Christoffers.  (Please excuse the loose ends in my photos - I was so excited to share it that I haven't trimmed them yet!)  I really can't say enough about how much I love this finished cowl, but I'll try :)

1.  I love the color - Sugar Plum in Knit Picks Swish DK.  All the details are here in my first post, but I think the color is perfect with this design and I can see myself wearing this cowl in the Fall right through to Spring.  So pretty.

2.  This design is so beautiful.  The lace pattern is very interesting - geometric and intricate without being too fussy.  I did end up shortening the width of my cowl by stopping with Row 48 on the chart.  This seems to be a good place to stop if you want a cowl that isn't quite so wide.  The resulting pattern isn't symmetrical, but it is balanced and you capture enough of the design to be interesting.  My finished cowl after blocking is about 7 1/2 " wide by 44" around.  This will be perfect to wear both as a neckwarmer and as an accessory to wear throughout the day.

That pretty much sums it up.  Again, LOVE IT!  Can't wait until the temps drop down and I can start wearing it :)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

{Knitting Book Review} New American Knits by Amy Christoffers

Generally, I try not to buy too many knitting books.  They're all so pretty and tempting but truly, how many patterns are you really going to knit out of any one book?  But anyway, at a moment of weakness (which I won't get in to), I purchased "New American Knits" by Amy Christoffers.

I've only had the book for a couple of weeks, but it features some really great patterns .  I particularly like the Rockwell Hat (which would be great for those random skeins of dk yarn I have in my stash), the Moses Hoodie (which I love but I'm afraid of putting in zippers), the Nevelson Lace Pullover (gorgeous!), and the Benton Cardigan (this has my name written all over it).

In the midst of all these beautiful patterns, I found a real winner - the Tanner Cowl - and immediately cast on.  I love the intricate details and lace in this design and how it folds in the photo in the book.  The pattern calls for worsted weight, but I had some Knit Picks Swish DK in my stash in this sweet Sugar Plum color (love!).  I chose to use a size #7 needle to use with my smaller gauge yarn.  I assume the overall size of my cowl will also be smaller, but I think it will still be large enough to wrap around my neck twice.  I might need to give it an aggressive block to make this happen.

The pattern uses pretty basic stitches, but does require a fair bit of attention and concentration.  I found that putting stitch markers between each 28 st repeat really helped, though you have to move them on certain rows (as instructed in the directions).  Still I've missed a couple of yarnovers while not paying enough attention, and had to make them up in the next row.  Luckily, I think the overall pattern is pretty forgiving, and no one will notice a missed eyelet here and there.

One note:  I *think* there is a mistake in the chart on row 39.  I think the first st should be another "move the beginning of the round marker, slip stitch, k2tog, pass slipped st over" thingy, otherwise you'll have too many stitches.

I'm planning to shorten my cowl width-wise, and only follow the chart to row 48.  My cowl design will not be symmetrical, but no one will notice.  And in my warm weather climate, I don't need a cowl that is 10 inches or so wide.

All in all, I love how my Tanner Cowl is coming out and I'm eyeing my next project from this book!

Friday, June 13, 2014

My Field of Flowers Tote was Chosen as Craftys Award Finalist!!

I guess I should be a little more subtle or humble about sharing this, but I'm just too excited :)  The Craftys Awards are an online contest for the best craft submissions.  This was the first year of the contest and submissions were accepted in a variety of categories:  knitting & crochet, sewing & quilting, jewelry-making, home decor, and a number of other categories.

I submitted a few of my craft tutorials, and my Field of Flowers Knitted Tote was chosen as one of the ten finalists in the knitting & crochet category.  And I'm just thrilled!

Unfortunately, my tote was not chosen as the winner, but that's okay.  I'm still happy just to be chosen as a finalist.  The winner was a knit wedding dress that is truly amazing.  Congratulations to Stephanie Klose for her beautiful dress - and congratulations to all the 2014 Craftys Award winners!!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

{Hand} Dye-ing for Something to Knit

I recently had the opportunity to take a yarn hand-dyeing workshop at a LYS, Yarn and Y'all.

The workshop was a lot of fun and I wish I had taken photos of the yarn dyeing process, but I was too busy enjoying myself to remember to take pictures.

We started out with about 440 yards of undyed merino wool in sock weight.  I told myself that I was going to use browns and blues for my yarn, and stay away from my favorites, purples and greens.  I wanted to create something different than what I usually buy.

photos taken from different sides on different days
But as you can see, I ended up still gravitating toward my usual pinks, purples, and greens.
And the yarn looks total different when balled
Despite falling back into my comfort zone, I'm still very happy with my resulting yarn.  Now, to pick something to knit with it!  I decided I wanted to make scarf or narrow shawl from my hand-dyed yarn.  I was thinking of something light and loose with lots of eyelets or a loose weave.  Here are my favorite choices:

Frisson:  I love the simple geometry of this shawlette.  This pattern is really what I had in mind when I thought about using my hand-colored yarn.

Hallayo:  This scarf pattern has been in my queue for a while.  I love this design, but really wanted to make more of a shawl than a scarf.

Sea Line Shawl:  This is your basic feather-and-fan design, but I think it would be pretty with the colors in my yarn.

Margosha Shawlette:  I'm leaning toward this pattern.  It has the eyelets and open weave that I was looking for.  I like the crescent shape of the design.  And I like how the short-row edging creates a little ruffle.

Which one do you think I should make?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Free Knitting Pattern: Pinwheel Basket

I love baskets for decorating and organizing things, and this knitted basket pattern is one of my favorites.  I had this pattern on my Hubpages for a while, but I haven't posted a link on this blog until now.  This is a quick, fun knit that uses Zoë Scheffy's free Pinwheel Coasters pattern for the base, then builds up the sides using a lattice pattern in two colors.  All the directions are on my Hubpages.

Just as an FYI - you won't find this pattern in Ravelry.  Since it uses part of Zoë's pattern, I felt uncomfortable posting and taking credit for this pattern there.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Drops Sweater Update 3: Adding Color to the Yoke

Ta-da!  My Drops sweater is done and blocked!  I just need to add buttons (I ordered them and am waiting for them to arrive).

I had planned to do the whole yoke in the hand-dyed yarn from RoseSprings Farms, but then was afraid that I wouldn't have enough to finish the full yoke, so I decided to add in my gray body color throughout the design.  I'm glad I did - some of the detail in the yoke gets lost in the color.  If I had knit the whole yoke in this variegated yarn, I think it would just look like a colorful blob.

So here's how I did it:

First, I'm using diagram M.1 as a sample.  I've numbered the rows from the bottom up, starting with Row 1 (RS) on the very bottom.  I only numbered the right side rows for ease.

Starting with the directions for the yoke, after you attach your sleeves, knit one row with your body color while you do the stitch decrease as instructed.  On the next WS row, attach the yoke detail color, and knit one row.  Then start the yoke diagram as instructed with your detail color.

Complete rows 1 - 11 of the diagram with your detail color.  On Row 12, rejoin your original body color, and follow the stitches and decreases as shown.

Continue with body color through Row 16.  On Row 17, I rejoined my detail color and started doing seed st (instead of the p3tog design laid out in the diagram).  I continued in seed st in my detail color until Row 27.  FYI - the seed st doesn't work out exactly symmetrically, but with all the color in my yoke, no one will notice :)

On Row 27, I rejoined my body color and just knit the row.  Then I purled the next row (Row 28) with my body color.  I continued with my body color and followed the diagram as instructed through Row 31.

Row 32 - switched to detail color for the rest of the yoke diagram.  Then I used my body color again for the collar.  I chose to decrease 1 less st and knit my collar in a k1, p1 rib.

There seems to be a few minor typos in the diagram.  I think on Row 34, you should place the yarn to the back of your work, then slip the st as if to purl, then bring the yarn to the front and purl the next st.

There were a few other places that my stitch count didn't match up to the diagram.  I'm not sure if I screwed up or if the diagram is wrong, but it all worked out in the end.  I'm really happy with how this sweater turned out.