Because you are great, I have a 30% discount on my new sweater pattern for you!
Spring is sprung, at least according to the flowering cherry trees around my way. There is light in the sky when I get up and I feel the promise of warmth in the (still rare) sunshine.
So I think to myself, what better time to release a pattern for a chunky sweater! haHA!
In my defense, I wear sweaters all year round and will wear this sweater well into the spring, trading my coat for the breathable warmth of the sweater when the spring really kicks in.
The Starflower Sweater is a modified raglan pullover knit in beautiful chunky wool for a cosy hug of a sweater. Designed to be a beginner-friendly knit, Starflower is worked from the top down, so you can try it on as you go to get a perfect fit.
I used Hill View Farm Yarns Pleasingly Plumb wool for the sweater and I love the squishiness of the Bluefaced Leicester fibre.
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I was honoured to be the recipient of the very first batch of yarn from Hill View Farm. It is a lovely yarn and I know that Natasha, the owner, has some amazing plans for crafty retreats, workshops, and yarn-based goodness.
p.s. I have some podcast (!) based plans in the works, and I would love to know if you listen to/watch podcasts. If so, what do you really like or dislike about them? More on this next week, but it would great to hear your opinions!
Today I’d like to introduce the pattern I wrote for the Machine Knitting, Sweater Basics. I have to say that I was really pleased with this pattern, and I hope it will be useful for both hand and machine knitters.
My idea was to create a worksheet that could lead a knitter through making a pattern based on a fabric of any gauge. I wanted it to be super clear and easy enough for even a beginner knitter to understand and work through. It was particularly important for me that it would be easy to customise.
Peek of the Sweater Blank Worksheet courtesy of Craftsy.com
Initial indications suggest that the pattern has been really successful for the people who have used it and I am so excited about seeing the finished projects–sometimes a very first project for the knitter (!) coming through.
I knit several versions of the sweater, modelled here by the lovely Craftsy model:
Photos courtesy of Craftsy
I have started a Ravelry project page for the sweater and I really look forward to seeing the projects progress.
If you haven’t signed up, but are interested in learning more about machine knitting or getting the Sweater Blank OR you would just like a 25% discount on any Craftsy.com class, please have a look at my website.
I am really pleased to be able to offer you a whopping 50% discount on the purchase of the class! Just follow the link above or go to my website for more information and a link for 25% off any other Craftsy class you may like to take!
In Machine Knitting; Sweater Basics, you will learn everything you need to know to knit a sweater on the machine: from basic machine maintenance, how to cast on, making fabric you love, to seaming, blocking and everything in between. The class includes my Sweater Blank–a worksheet that will lead you through making your sweater in any gauge or fabric you want and making it easy to customize. I will post more about the Sweater Blank later, but I have to say I am pretty pleased about it and I hope you will be too.
Although it was excruciating for me to watch this the first time, here is the trailer, for your amusement!
It is nearly time!! My Craftsy class is in the final stages of preparation and I am really excited to share it with you!
I know not all of you are machine knitters, but if you are at all interested in machine knitting, I think this class will give you a lot of information and help, not to mention a great pattern for a simple sweater.
Photos courtesy of Craftsy
Although I am really proud of the whole class, I am particularly proud of this sweater pattern which will enable the knitter to knit this drop shoulder sweater in any gauge with any yarn and any stitch pattern. I will post more about this later, but I hope it will be an incredibly useful pattern for the beginner or intermediate knitter.
You can enter to win this Craftsy class by simply clicking the link below. The winner will be chosen at random when the class goes live.
I think one of the challenges of working a set-in sleeve is that it isn’t obvious what is going on as it’s being worked, and one of the challenges of explaining the set-in sleeve is that the work is no longer flat, but 3-D, making the illustrating of the technique also less than obvious. Today I’ll attempt it anyway.
For a Zen Variations sweater, the Front and Back have been worked separately and then the body has been worked in the round, with stitches added on at the underarm (12). This leaves us with an empty armhole to fill with a sleeve as follows:
13. Pick up Sleeve sts from around the armhole.
14. Knit across the flat of the sleeve head (A), and work the sleeve head with short rows: working back and forth between sides B and C; W&T each st along the armhole sides until the sts cast on for the underarm (12) are reached. Then work sleeve in the round to cuff.
Autumn is here!! Whoop!! Bring on the sweaters and cast on ALL THE THINGS!
This is my mantra and I am practicing what I preach by having 4 sweaters on the needles at the moment. My monogamous knitting is, apparently, a thing of the past. I’m not sorry! It’s great to have the option of knitting on different projects and not worrying about running out of knitting, or sweaters for that matter. I’m probably not the only one who constantly thinks the next sweater is going to be the perfect sweater of dreams.
If your dream sweater is a top-down, seamless construction like those of the Zen Variations, then let’s talk construction! A post published few weeks ago, I discussed beginning a Zen sweater with the back. Today we are carrying on, working the fronts to the same point.
After knitting the back to the underarms, work the fronts individually:
7. Pick up stitches for the Left Front along the Left Shoulder.
8. Work straight for the length of the flat at the top of the sleeve head (see A below).
9. Begin Left Neck increases: this will be a different instruction for every sweater (+).
10. Work Left Front Underarm increases (+).
11. Put the Left Front sts on waste yarn and work the Right Front in the mirror image.
It should be starting to look like the top of a sweater now!
If you are interested in learning more about the process of knitting top-down seamless sweaters, please do join me you can join me at one of the Zen and the Art of Sweater construction classes coming up:
In this last post about the family cardigan, I thought you may enjoy seeing some sweater surgery. Cutting into knitwear is always a bit of a thrill, and it was necessary for Grandma’s cardigan. I knit the sleeves to my own length in her absence. I should have known better, as I am abnormally long monkey arms and an unconscious desire to knit all sleeves longer than they should be. That’s a theory for why my sleeves often come out out too long anyway.
When we tried the cardigan on Grandma, the sleeves were much too long–more than 10 cm, so I marked the correct length with a safety pin and grabbed some scissors. I knit the cardigan bottom up, so ripping back the sleeves wasn’t an option.
I cut it to the correct length, and then decided to graft the cuff I already knit back onto the sleeve. The other solution would have been to pick up the stitches and knit a new cuff down.
Beginning to work a cuff-length from the cut-off point, I began to graft the stitches from the cuff to the sleeve.
I quickly realised 2 things; first, there were more stitches at this place on the sleeve, and they would have to be eased into the number of stitches on the cuff. Second, that it was easier to rip back to the point I wanted to graft from and work directly with the live stitches. After being blocked the stitches are well-set and the chance they will run/get lost is minimal.
I grafted all the stitches, easing in the extra stitches evenly around the cuff.
I kept the stitches loose until then end, and then tightened them up and I think it is a pretty smooth join.
In the end, I think she was happy with it too. Or at least she did the nice thing and acted appreciative.