Monday, October 29, 2012

Pulsing Cable Sweater

 Here it is. Just in time for the fall weather.  A beautiful cabled sweater.  It is also the first sweater that I am posting in multiple sizes!  The cable pattern pulses thick and thin vertically up the sweater.  It will keep you interested and challenge you in the shaping.  This pattern is for experienced knitters only!  Hope you like it!
 The chart below is like a photo.  Right click on it and save it to your computer, or print it out.  You will need this at your side, at least until you get the rhythm of the pulse!

Pulsing Cable Sweater
Yarn:  Sport weight yarn:  Label should suggest 3.5mm – 4mm needles, and 20-22 sts=4” in stocking stitch… 50gram balls should have around 125m, and you need 12 – 14 balls.  (I used Sandnes DUO, a merino/cotton blend)
Needles: 3.5 mm (US 5) for body, and 3.5mm and 4.0mm(US6) short circulars for the big turtleneck.
Gauge: 26 stitches, 30 rows = 4 inches knit from the chart. You should do a swatch using the whole chart width, and at least half the chart height…. Then wash or block the swatch before measuring!  This is very important to get the size that you want!!!
Sizes:  Small (4 – 6, fits up to 35 inch chest), Medium (8 – 10, fits up to 38 inch chest), Large ( 12 – 14, fits up to 42 inch chest).  The cable knit is very stretchy, but I like a natural fit (not too stretched)
Cable stitches: 
4 stitch left cable:   place next 2 sts on cable needle, hold to front of work, knit next 2 sts from left needle, then knit 2 sts from cable needle.
4 stitch right cable: place next 2 sts on cable needle, hold to back of work, knit next 2 sts from left needle, then knit 2 sts from cable needle.
2 of 3 left cable: place next 2 sts on cable needle, hold to front of work, knit 1 st from left needle, then knit 2 sts from cable needle.
2 of 3 right cable: place next 1 st on cable needle, hold to back of work, knit 2 sts from left needle, then knit 1 st from cable needle.
2 stitch left cable:  place 1 st on cable needle and hold to front of work, knit 1 st from left needle, then knit 1 st from cable needle.
2 stitch right cable: place 1 st on cable needle and hold to back of work, knit 1 st from left needle, then knit 1 st from cable needle.
A word about raglan edges:  On all four pieces you will decrease above the armhole for the raglan edge.  You will keep all edges as 2 knit stitch (2 purl on wrong side), and have 2 purl stitches right beside them.  You will do the decreases in the 2 purl stitches next to the 2 stitch knit edge.  It makes a nice clean line to the raglan, and an easy seam to sew up at the end.  Don’t worry, I will talk you through this… 
Pattern:   ***when there are multi size instructions, they will be like this…..  small(medium,large)***
Back: With 3.5mm needles cast on 112(120,136) stitches.  Work in k2, p2 ribbing for 2.5 inches.  On last row (wrong side) increase 12(18,16) evenly across.
Start using the chart (save the photo and print out!) starting at row one and stitch one, work first 6 sts, then repeat stitches 7 – 20 (between the light blue lines) 8(9,10) times, then last 6 sts. All wrong side rows are knit or purl as presented to you.  Work up the chart repeating the center 14 stitches as established.  After row 47, work the wrong side 48 , then start row 1 again.
Work in pulsing cable pattern until length of back measures 14.5”(15.0”, 15.5”).  End with a right side row facing you.
Raglan shaping:  Bind off 14 stitches at the start of next two rows.  (at this point, if you do not have enough stitches to make a cable, just knit the stitches that you do have.)  Now start decreases…
Row one decrease: Knit 2, purl 2 together, purl 1, work in cable pattern until 5 stitches remain, purl 1, purl 2 together, knit 2 sts.
Row two decrease: knit the knits, purl the purls like usual!
Repeat this decrease pattern, keeping the cable pattern as much as you can – you will lose the cables at the edges gradually – until you have 42(50,56) stitches left.  Place these on a stitch holder.
Front:  Work at for back until front measures 21”(22”,23”).  Make neck opening:  find and mark center 16(20,24) stitches.  Work until center stitches, join second ball of yarn and bind off 16(20,24) stitches.  Work both sides at once, bind off one stitch at each neck edge (knit 2 together at neck edge) every right side row 6 times.  (keep doing the outside edge raglan shaping at the same time) then leave neck edge even, and work until the raglan gets down to three stitches on each side.  Last three rows:  row 1: Knit 2 together, knit one.  Row 2:  purl 2.  Row 3: knit 2 together, and fasten off.

Sleeves:  Cast on 48(54,60)
Work in k2,p2 ribbing for 2.5 inches, increase 6(4,4) across last row….  (54(58,64) stitches are on the needles now)
Start chart pattern:  Small: Start row 1, stitch1, and repeat center 14 stitches 3 times, end with chart st 26.
Medium: purl 2, work chart repeating center 3 times, end with stitch 26, purl 2.
Large: Start with stitch 3, work across, repeating center 4 times, end with stitch 24.
All sizes: work chart as established.  Increase one stitch each side every 6  rows.  Work increases in purl stitches until there are enough to establish another cable pattern.  Add pattern first in knit stitches, then in cables when enough allow.  (if this is too difficult, you can continue to work the new stitches in purl stitches (reverse stocking stitch) all the way up the sleeve.
Work this way until increases grow to 94(98,104) stitches.  Work even until 17”(17.5”,18”) from start.
Begin raglan shaping, bind off 14 from start of next two rows, then use decrease pattern until 8 stitches remain.  Place these on a holder.
Finishing: sew the raglan seams.  Slip held stitches from right sleeve, back and left sleeve onto a short cable needle (3.5mm).  Pick up 54(58,62) stitches evenly around the front neck edge.  Count the stitches on the needle and divide by 4.  If any extra stitches, decrease them across the back , and work in a knit 2, purl 2 ribbing for 4 inches.  Switch to 4 mm needles and work ribbing for another 4 inches, then bind off loosely.
Sew under sleeve and side seams.

 I love cables...  :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween... part 1

Last week, we decided to get tickets to Oh Canada, Eh... their performance of Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Not only is this SO much fun to watch (we are RHPC fans from WAY back)... but it also created a rush to make costumes!  Of course, if you know anything about Rocky Horror Picture Show, you MUST attend a performance WEARING a costume, as one of the characters!  So, after promising I would not dress my hubby in a corset, off I went in search of supplies.  The first issue was the wigs.  I had to find a huge red wig for me.. I would be Magenta.

 Then a stringy, half bald wig for Riff Raff hubby...
 After that it would take some great makeup...
 and some great clothes...
 So here is the photo of the Magenta dress and apron.
 I used a charming vintage pattern from 1964 that stated, "good for uniforms", and it fits perfectly.   It includes good pockets so that I won't have to carry a purse.
 Then to Value Village for a ratty black blazer, that I cut into a ratty tailed tuxedo jacket.... complete with a built in hump on the back....
And made a vest to wear under from some vintage suit fabric.  I will stain the vest with tea, to make it more authentic, and wrinkle it and fasten with safety pins.
 Here is a low lit photo of me in the huge wig.... I need more makeup!
I am hoping that the Frankenstorm forecasted for the east coast is past us by Wednesday.  It will be a gloomy wet Halloween by all accounts, but the spirit will carry us through, no doubt!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Coming soon, pulsing cables....

My next pattern is a more complicated knit, designed for experienced knitters. Here is a sneak peak, and you can see a lovely cabled raglan sweater coming along.  The first photo shows the cable detail nicely, because the flash did not go, and the shadows show the pulsing cable pattern.

The second photo shows the true colour of my yarn.  A rich milk chocolate merino.  If you are interested in this pattern, I used Sandnes Duo, a sport weight merino-cotton mix.  I think it will take about 12 - 50gm balls.  An equivalent sport weight (ball band stating 3.5 - 4mm needle recommendation with 20 - 22 sts = 4 inches in stocking stitch.)  I will be knitting this in a ladies medium (to fit 37 inch chest), but I will also include a small, and large (at least) in the pattern!  The voting was in, and the multi-size votes were the landslide!  Thanks for all who sent their two cents worth.  I really love the feedback.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Art in the Region

The day arrived.  The art is installed in the Niagara Region Headquarters.  Mine is the green apples, part of the harvest series.  The five pieces were done in five different styles of mixed media artwork.  Mine is mostly wet felt and the stages can be followed by clicking the "felting" link in the upper right side of the blog.

 They are green apples, cherries in stained glass, 6 quart fruit baskets in mosaic, peach blossoms in fabric, embroidery and beads, and grapes in beads, fabric, wire and felt.
 Here is me next to my piece, in a favourite Colinette Tagliateli hand knit sweater.
 These are the other 9 pieces, each of three photos were reproduced in mixed fiber art by three different artists, who had to coordinate the edges of their pieces to match the one next door!  There is quilting, painting, paper, stitching, beading and even natural wood and rocks applied to the surfaces.  One is all rug hooking!
And finally one silly photo, doing my best Price-is-Right showcase pose.... notice the concentration on the face...  such a serious artist!

If you are in the Niagara Peninsula, and wish to see these wonderful pieces in person (and they DO look even more amazing in person than in photo) go to the Region Headquarters, first building on Schmon Parkway, off St. David's Road in Thorold.  In the main doorway, left through the cafeteria, to the next hall.... there is the first set, and the next right is the second set.  Anyone can stop by in business hours!  And send me a comment if you have seen them in person.  I would love to hear what you think!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cosy Pebble Wrap

 I like wraps and shawls and ponchos.  They are easy to knit and easy to wear.  And you SHOULD wear them.  Very fashionable and practical, and they fit everyone!  Seed stitch is so user friendly.  It will not curl at any edge, and gives a lovely pebbly texture.  Timeless.

Cozy Pebble Wrap

Yarn:  Worsted Weight yarn, about 800 meters, and works to gauge.  I used Noro Vintage in browns. (8 50 gram balls)
Needles: 4.5 mm (US 7)
Size:    ONE SIZE fits most.
Gauge : 12 sts = 4 inches in seed stitch
Seed Stitch (odd number of stitches)  every row:    K1, P1… across to last stitch, K1
Make 2 rectangles:    Cast on 59 stitches, work in seed stitch for 30 inches.  Cast off all stitches.

Following the drawing, join first seam as pictured, then pull A to A and B to B, and sew all or most of that seam.  I left about 4 inches not sewn at the neck edge to make a fold over collar. (see photos)
Noro yarn , when washed gently in cold and laid flat to dry, gets a bit bigger than the 18 “ by 30”.  It also gets really soft and drapes well, so go ahead and wash it before you wear it!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

question - please help with an answer!

Hi readers....  I have had a few comments and emails about my patterns.  Just to get some new readers up to date... I started this blog to hold on to the patterns that I created for (mostly) my own personal knitting.  Some are gifts, but most are for me.  So, as you may notice, and possibly be upset by, the garments are mostly in the medium, size 10-ish range.
Now, many years later, the blog has grown to a larger audience, and I need to revisit my goal for the blog.  I find maybe it is NOT just for me and a handful of curious readers (what is Chris knitting next?).  Perhaps it is time to attempt to step up and write my patterns for a variety of sizes.
So to that end, I have added the opinion pole in the upper right.  Please add your 2cents worth, and make my decision easier.  It is much more work , and much more MATH, to do multi-sizes, but if there is enough interest I would try to go in that direction.  The pole closes in one week.
Thanks for you input!  Cheers, Chris