Thursday, August 21, 2014

Your Knitting Gauge

Hey Knitters,

I can't tell you how many emails I get, shout outs on Facebook, and just general, hey Deb, I have a question, kind of thing.

Sometime you may feel gauge should be a 4-letter word, am I right?

As Knitty States, "From time to time, advice is offered to a knitter who wants to tweak the sizing of a pattern: "just knit it at a tighter/looser gauge to make it smaller/bigger." While it's true that altering the gauge of a knitted fabric will alter the size of the finished piece, it doesn't always mean that you'll get a finished garment that will fit -- or feel -- as expected. Some people get the relationship between "tighter" and "looser" and increased or decreased stitches per inch mixed up. Others assume that gauge is the answer to all yarn substitutions: if it matches, it must be all right. And a bigger gauge (fewer stitches per inch) doesn't always mean easier to knit. Gauge might be a frustrating concept, but it's also misunderstood."

It's super easy, once you have the basic skills to figure it out. I promise. 

I hope this is helpful...

Yarn A-Recommended yarn for pattern
Scenario: Your pattern calls for THIS worsted weight yarn, and a size 8 needle, and you want to use a different worsted weight yarn. 

Yarn label (ballband) for your intended pattern states just that. Notice the knitting needles? Under that is the US 8 needle size. The BIG number "4" indicates the weight, which is a worsted weight.

Now, looking up at the picture, we will figure out the gauge...stitches per inch for your finished object using a different yarn. To the left of the needles in the picture, you see the 4 x 4? that tells us their swatch was 4 inches by 4 inches. The 17S tells us it's 17 stitches per that 4 inch swatch. 

Clear as mud so far? Good!

The way in which you calculate stitches/inch is by dividing the 4 into 17. 4 divided by 17 = 4.25 sts/inch. I personally would round to the nearest whole number. 4. Though, you could easily make the case to round to the 18, which would be 4.5. I would make this decision based on how tight/loose you knit. If you knit tighter, go up, if you knit looser/to gauge, go down.

Let that sink in a bit before you continue reading.  *tick-tock tick-tock*

So, for this worsted weight yarn you will get 4.25 sts/inch on a size 8 needle. Again, I round to the nearest whole number, which in this case is 4 stitches/inch. 

Now for the fun part...I'll help you see a clear picture (my hope anyway) of what a substitution looks like.

Step 1: You will substitute with a worsted weight yarn for the best results. Now, that's not saying you can't use a different weight, but honestly, in MY opinion, I wouldn't do it. You will have an entirely different finished object just by that, and besides, you would have to do a WHOLE LOTTA math to get the same gauge.

Step 2. Look at the yarn label (ballband) of YOUR chosen WORSTED weight yarn, Yarn B. This is where you will figure out how to match the gauge of the recommended yarn to the yarn you want to use.

Ok?

This is your new yarn label.


Yarn B-Your Yarn

Step 3. Notice the needle size is 7. The stitches/inch is 5. (remember, you divide the 4 inch into 20 this time.)

Step 4. You then look at the pattern recommended label and compare, Yarn A. You have 2 stitches/inch difference, right? (more to come on that) That can make or break your finished outcome of your project. Making it too small in this case.

*Go up a needle size when you want to make your garment bigger and get LESS stitches/inch, go down a needle size when you want to make it smaller and get MORE stitches/inch.* 

You need to go from 5 stitches/inch to 4 stitches/inch. That 2 jumps down, right? 5 sts/in to 4.5 sts/in to 4 sts/in.

You still with me?

We're close.

Step 5. In remembering your pattern wants 4 stitches/inch on an 8, to get the recommended size it states, you must go DOWN 2 needle sizes with the new yarn to get the same 4 stitches/inch.  For new yarn: 20 sts on a 7 (5 sts/inch), 18 sts on a 6 (4.5 sts/inch), 16 sts on a 5 (4 sts/inch) Each jump is 2 sts. 

*refer to blue asterisk again

SummarySo, in order for you to get gauge for your pattern by substituting your worsted weight yarn of choice (in this case), you will need to use a size 5 needle. That seems like a huge jump, but all worsted weight yarns aren't the same. This yarn will appear a tighter gauge as it's on a smaller needle, though your stitches per inch will be exactly the same, therefore have a garment/scarf/cowl/mitts/gloves, etc that fits as you had intended per the pattern details.

I have a passion for teaching others the basics of the nitty-gritty "stuff". I'm always happy to answer questions. So, if you feel this was helpful, I'd love a comment below or a shout out on my Facebook fan page that I did a good job. That tells me, you understood and I can continue to give my reader/knitters what they need.

So, as I always say,

Knit On!

Deb



Thursday, August 14, 2014

Book Review: Sockupied 20 Knit Projects to Satisfy your Sock Obsession

They used the word Obsession in their title!

Oh My Gosh! This book is for every Lover of sock knitting. 20 Knitted Sock Projects with many different designers included in this book. You will NEED this book in your library. 

Author(s): Hunter Hammersen, Cookie A, Ann Budd, Cat Bordhi, and MANY more
Paperback: Sockupied
Publisher: Interweave
Pages: 168 Pages
Price: It sells for $24.99.

These 20 knit sock patterns are the perfect on-the-go project. This book contains patterns that show diversity of the first 10 issues of Sockupied eMag. You remember? An interactive publication that showed pop-ups, slide shows, and videos. Now, they have taken this to a new level by providing a print version. 

It showcases cables and lace, handpainted, as well as solids, toe-up, and top-down. You will find articles pertaining to sock knitting fundamentals that include techniques designed to help tweak patterns to suit YOUR feet and YOUR knitting style.

Let's dive in...

The Divas first impression: The cover is intriguing to me. Well styled, shows diversity in designs, and the color palette works!

I randomly opened the book and the Speed Bump socks, by Deb Barnhillstared me in the face. Self-striping yarn is what she, as well as others, refer to as "Comfort Food." Wouldn't you agree? And what else I love about this pattern, is she uses a yarn that can be purchased at any of your big box stores. Patons Kroy Sock yarn. Using a simple pattern makes this sock a definite go-to for me! Can't wait to begin...


One of my favorite (sock) designers is Cookie A. Passerine socks. So, when I happened to stop at this pattern, I was instantly in love. Looking at it, I couldn't really tell what the design was, until I read her description. Of course!! Feathers with sleek vanes and quills coming together. See it? A twisted stitch pattern on the cuff is my very favorite way to begin a sock. This delicious sock is knit from top-down. My style of knitting socks. Oh how I love thee...these will be on the needles SOON. That's how I roll...


Ok, let's ALL be honest, we love a well written pattern from Hunter Hammersen. Right? Definitely. Cataphyll socks. This pattern is unique with the leaves trailing down the leg and split in two. She chose a fingering weight yarn by Plucky Knitter, a fiber I've been dying to get my hands on. (making a mental, or maybe a written note, so this 50-year-old mind doesn't forget) Again, knit top-down. This pattern is filled with charts. If you love them, you will be in heaven, if you don't, sorry... you will just have to find a way to love. Because this sock is well worth the effort. I'll be making these. 

I'll post my own pics in the near future of these fantastic socks.


This picture shows the socks that caught my eye on the cover. Our Paths Cross socks. Lorilee Beltman packed a punch with this design, yet kept is very simple. It's a toe-up design with a stockinette stitch. The strands are carried vertically making this knit anything but plain. Again, using a Plucky Knitter yarn, this sock will be fun, quick, yet simple. I will knit this sock too.

Sockupied

Have you counted how many of these socks I'll be putting in my que. All. Of. Them. Oh boy. If I just had enough hours in the day, I could work these up super quick. I was told that sleeping was overrated anyway...sigh.

This was fun, right? Was I able to enable you enough to go buy this book? It's only $24.99 and you get 20 patterns. That's just over $1 a pattern. Ok, I'll do the math. Please hold...You still there? 

$1.25 per pattern. That's a steal! I don't even sell MY patterns for that cheap. 

I give this book a thumbs up for originality, photography, well-written instructions, and the well thought out group of designers. Their yarn choices are fantastic. I hope you'll step out a bit of your own stash and experience some of these. I know I will. 

Again, this book is published by Interweave, the name of the book is Sockupied 20 Knit Projects to Satisfy your Sock Obsession, and all the details can be found at that link. I encourage you to pop over and read more about it. I've only given you a little bit, there's much more over there. 

Also you may want to check with your LYS. I'm sure they'd be happy to accommodate. 

So, with much love knitters, I bid you farewell for now. I ask you to review this book for yourself and report back (as usual). I'm anxious to hear your thoughts and maybe even share a few pics. 

Knit On!

Deb


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Book Review: 25 KNITTED ACCESSORIES to wear and share

I always enjoy getting the emails from Interweave asking if I want to review another fantastic book.

This one is no exception...

  • Beautiful photography
  • Clearly written instructions
  • Nice Variety of Patterns
Author(s): 25 fantastic designers
Paperback: 25 KNITTED ACCESSORIES to wear and share
Publisher: Interweave
128 Pages
It sells for $22.99.


These 25 patterns are interweave favorites. Cozy patterns designed by incredible designers and brought together all in one book. All knitters, beginner to advanced, are invited to knit these timeless projects that include: colorful mitts, scarf and hat sets, lace shawl, socks, embroidered bag, headscarf, boot socks, and more...

Let's have a peek...

Of course, I'd start with a sock. I love socks. Toe-Up Travelers. This one in particular is designed by none other than, Ann Budd. It has a traveling-stitch pattern found in a Japanese book of stitch patterns. Worked from the toe up, with an added stitch pattern at the sides of the leg. A short row heel along with a stretchy bind off makes this the perfect knit. Don't you think so? 

I, however, have not made a toe-up sock, yet, but believe me, I will now. 



I was so excited to see this one in the 25 favorite patterns. The Wanderer cap, designed by one of my favorite designers, Jared Flood. I had knit this one last year for my favorite barista down at Poor Richards, here in Colorado Springs. He's since left the coffee shop, but from what I hear, still wears it. Proudly, I might add.

This cap is knit with a rustic tweed yarn. It features a zig-zag pattern that adds a simple, yet bold detail. A definite mans hat, in my opinion. Starts with a ribbed band and flows seamlessly for a very finished look. I loved knitting this hat. I will be making these for the men on my Christmas list this year.

Shhh...don't tell them, if you know who I'm talking about. 



The third of my favorite projects in this book are the Teak Bittersweet gauntlets, designed by Laura Irwin. You love them too, right? A panel of continuous color changes that include both stranded and intarsia, creates a modern looking design. A simple seed-stitch band completes the look. Did you notice the cute button? How many do I have in my stash? Too many to count. I will be making these. Soon.



Designers that you will find in this book are: Kristin Omdahl, Mags Kandis, Veronik Avery, Kate Gagnon Osborn, Jaya Srikrishnan, Gudrun Johnston, Melissa Wehrle, Connie Chang Chinchio, Kristeen Griffin-Grimes, Jennifer Burke, Courtney Kelley, Melissa LaBarre, Ruthie Nussbaum, Laura Irwin, Nancy Bush, Lucinda Guy, Jared Flood, Ann Budd. 

Wow!

I totally recommend this book. It's full of great photography and well written patterns. 

Again, It's published by Interweave, the name of the book is 25 KNITTED ACCESSORIES to wear and share, and all the sorted details can be found at this link. Please click over and see for yourself how beautiful this book is. I wouldn't steer you wrong, I promise! You know me, I love a knitted, well designed accessory. 


Also, check with your LYS. It's a perfect addition to your library. I'm so glad I now have a copy too.

So, with much love knitters,

I bid you farewell for now. I ask you to review this book for yourself and report back. I'm anxious to hear your thoughts and maybe even see some finished work from it.

Knit On!

Deb




Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sweaters and more Sweaters...

Hi Knitters!

If you have been following me on Facebook, you know I've been knitting sweaters. 2 in fact within the last month and some days.

Both are fantastic knits!

First one:

Little Coffee Bean. I knit it with Berroco Comfort, a super soft, worsted weight fiber. Of course, the recipient is 3 months old and mommy and daddy are super Bronco fans. So, hence the color scheme.

Cast On: August 9, 2014 Bind Off: August 11, 2014 (Quick knit)

Photo: Finished my, well Kamerons, little sweater. Little Coffee Bean, made with Berroco Cotton. ❤️

You know, I've always said, NO, I don't knit sweaters. I ONLY knit accessories and of course, dishcloths. But, how that has changed. My lack of confidence in my skills (I know, right? I'm a designer for heavens sake) kept me from moving forward.

Second one:

Featherweight Cardigan. I knit this with Cascade Yarns Heritage Silk. An amazing silky fiber that has a beautiful sheen to it. It's a bluish/green color, the name escapes me right now.

Cast On: July 3, 2014 Bind Off: August 2, 2014





I instructed my sweet husband to just point and shoot with my iphone camera. He did a good job, don't you think?

I love this cardigan, and will DEFINITELY make it again. Soon.

So, let's see what you've been working on. Care to share? Any cardigans that you can enable me with? Please?

So, as I always say,

Knit On! And On!

DEB

Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Review: New American Knits - classic sportswear patterns

Interweave has asked me to do another great review. You are going to love this one. 

It's all about applying traditional knitting skills and motifs to contemporary wearable pieces. It's textures and colorwork will create a modern wardrobe you will absolutely love.

Author: Amy Christoffers
Paperback: New American Knits
Publisher: Interweave
128 Pages
It sells for $24.99.

If I could sum up in one word, okay, maybe several, I would say, This book represents what knitters want to knit. Me included. It contains wearable pieces that are classic in style, yet simply sophisticated, with a modern flare . 

Amy has obviously taken her inspiration from what's hot right now and functional, and projects that have that nostalgic feel and perfect for the modern lifestyle. With everyday sweaters and useful knitted accessories, Amy has created patterns that knitters will LOVE to knit, as well as the finished products. 

Amy states: "I've named each of the pieces after an American artist that I find particularly inspiring. I hope you are intrigued enough to investigate them!"

Let's take a peek...

There are 20 patterns that include: sweaters, hats, shawls, cowls, mitts, tunic, pullovers, turtleneck, hoodie and more. 

This van der zee cloche is the perfect quick knit gift, a simple beanie for a man or a woman. Leave on/off the embellishment to suit your taste. 



This cowl is my favorite of all the pieces. Many of you know me well enough to know this information. This Tanner Cowl is the perfect introduction to knitted lace, eyelets and working in the round. I'm super excited to knit this up for my fall wardrobe. I even LOVE the color in the Manos Silk Blend yarn she chose. 



Okay, knitters, you know you love these as much as me. These Parrish Mitts are adorable. The colorwork creates a painted look, and the floral motif adds an image that adds dimension. Yummy!



You all know accessories are my things. But, I love this sweater. The Remington Cardigan has a feather motif with a V-neck, dart shaping, traditional decreases at the neck edge. It's incorporated into a lace motif adding a big  of embellishment. I'll be casting this one on really soon. Who's going to join me?

 

As you can (clearly) see, I'm in trouble, yet again. 

I totally recommend this book. I mean, I seriously do! It's full of great photography, well written patterns, a plethora of additional knowledge that will give you the confidence you need, if in fact, you need it. Amy has included abbreviations and techniques in the back for reference. 

Again, It's published by Interweave, the name of the book is New American Knits, and all the sorted details can be found HERE. Please click over and see for yourself how beautiful this book is. I wouldn't steer you wrong, I promise! You will find many reviews that will convince you it's a good value for the money. 

Also, check with your LYS, I'm sure they ALL have it. 

So, with much love knitters,

I bid you farewell for now. I ask you to review this book for yourself and report back. I'm anxious to hear your thoughts and maybe even see some finished work.

Knit On!

Deb

Thursday, July 17, 2014

TGV...what is that?

Funny you should ask...it's the coolest, most quick knit you've ever done. I'm having so much fun knitting this. In fact, my work projects have taken a back seat. It's knit top down and has two sections; garter and rib with only ONE pattern.

I'm using fingering weight yarn, Skeindalous, with a looooong color change. It's her Betty Sock. This was the perfect choice for this shawl. Though, a fingering weight self-striping would be awesome too.

Oh! I'll have to knit this again with self-striping yarn.

It's the perfect take-along project. Planes, trains and automobiles. Not to mention the dentist office while waiting to be a DD for a friend, knitting group so you can chat away, or just plain I-really-don't-want-to-focus-on-anything-today kind of project.



All around Super fun!

The pattern is called TGV (Tricot grande vitesse--High speed knitting). It's a pay-for pattern, but oh-so worth it! The designer is Susan Ashcroft. You might want to hang out a bit on her Ravelry page. She has some fun knits.

Glad I could enable you. But knitters, I MUST get back to work!

So, as I always say,
Knit On!

Deb

Monday, July 14, 2014

K the knits and P the purls...Reading Your Work

Has it ever confused you, when reading a pattern it states, K the knits, and P the purls? It did for me too, until...

I found an easy way to do this when you're unsure of how to read your work. What I mean by read your work is, by identifying what a knit stitch looks like, versus a purl stitch. In laymen terms, the knit stitches look like little v-neck sweaters or nice and smooth with no bump, the purl stitches look like little turtle-neck sweaters or bumps.

When you come to the a stitch that appears to have a v-neck sweater on or smooth, you knit it, a turtle-neck sweater on or a bump, you purl it.

If that is still a bit confusing, here's my way:

You are instructed to K the knits and P the purls on the WS rows.

Example:
Row 1 (RS) Knit
Row 2 and all WS rows: K the knit sts and P the purl sts
Row 3: *k3, p2, k5, p7, [k1, p1] twice, p1; repeat from * across
Row 5: k
Row 6: same as 2

Repeat this 6 row pattern xxxx times

Okay, here's my trick...
Row 1: knit across the sts
Row 2 (WS): purl across the sts
Row 3: *k3, p2, k5, p7, [k1, p1] twice, p1; repeat from * across
Row 4 (WS): K1, [k1, p1] twice, k7, p5, k2, p3
Row 5: knit
Row 6 (WS): purl

Now, what did I just do?

I knit Row 1 as instructed
I changed the knit stitch in row 1 to a purl stitch in Row 2
I did Row 3 as written
I changed the knit stitch (in row 3) to a purl stitch in Row 4, but started at the end of the row, as that's what I ended with on Row 3. Basically reading the previous row backwards and changing every knit stitch to a purl stitch. (refer to row 4 above)
I did Row 5 as written
I changed the knit stitch in row 5 to a purl stitch in Row 6 



Clear as mud?

The whole idea of knitting the knit stitches and purling the purl stitches, usually on the WS rows, is to reverse your work, creating a finished looking design on the WS as well.

This whole concept is easy once you do it. If you would have had a k3 border on each end, you continue in the border pattern, then do the reverse stitch for the WS rows, or whatever row they ask you to do it on.

I've provided 2 ways for you to hopefully better understand the reading of your work.



So, as I always say,
Knit On!
Deb