Archive for December, 2007

lace weight crochet

This year, for the first time, I decided to ask for some yarn for Christmas and I got this
Malabrigo laceweight yarn

It’s lace weight malabrigo, and it’s beautifully soft. I’m using it to crochet this shawl, although I’m making mine without the fringe. Here is my progress so far
Crochet Lace shawl - progress
I think it will be even nicer after blocking.

I wore the Cowl Neck Tunic over Christmas, and really like it, although I decided that it needed to be a little bit longer, so I have added a few inches to the length. I have written the pattern up here

Round Yoke Cowl Neck Tunic

Just a very quick post to say that I finished the cowl neck tunic today, just in time for Christmas
Cowl neck crochet tunic

It’s lovely and soft and took just over 200g of yarn (Sirdar Blur). I used knitware software again, but made several changes as I went along. The pattern is now available (see Free Patterns section in the sidebar)

Top Down Round Yoke Cardigan tutorial

top down round yoke cardigan

Here is the promised  tutorial to make this cardigan in your size, with your yarn choice using knitware software to generate the pattern. A free demo is available to download here. The demo is fully functioning and will allow you to make the cardigan with any yarn, in any size but will not allow the pattern to be saved. The best way to save the pattern is to select all, copy and then paste into Word. I really like this program (no affiliation!) and I have purchased the full version (there are a few extra functions not available on the demo version) – I think it is worth every penny!

 Terminology

I will be using UK terminology in this pattern. If you are used to US terminology you will need to make the following substitutions

Double Crochet (UK) = Single Crochet (US)

Treble Crochet (UK) = Double Crochet (US)

Yarn requirements

I used approximately 300g of a DK weight Teo Handspun 100% alpaca yarn for a woman’s size 36″ garment. 

Hook size

When you have chosen your yarn, experiment with different hook sizes until you get a fabric with a nice drape – you will probably need a hook about 2mm larger than the recommended size for your yarn weight. I used a 6mm hook  with DK weight yarn for my cardigan

Stitch Patterns (Important! – see notes above about terminology)

Main Stitch Pattern Row 1 : Double Crochet, Row 2: Treble Crochet

Eyelet Stitch Pattern: Two Treble Crochet in same stitch, Skip next stitch. Repeat to end of row

Tension/ Gauge

Crochet a Tension (Gauge) square about 6 x 6 inches in main stitch pattern using hook size to give desired drape. Measure number of stitches and rows over 4 inches. My gauge was 12 stitches x 10 rows.

Creating your pattern using Knitware

Open the program and select Pattern Design. You will need to use the following options

Choose desired size. I used Sex: Female, Name: Standard Women’s 36

Select crochet for Working Method

Input your gauge in the Test Swatch Gauge

For style options select:

  1. Ease: Moderate
  2. Construction: Circular Top Down
  3. Body Style: Cardigan
  4. Body Shape: Straight
  5. Body Length: Waist
  6. Body Hem: No Hem
  7. Shouder Style: Round Yoke
  8. Sleeve Style: Modified Lantern
  9. Sleeve Length: Half
  10. Sleeve Hem: No Hem
  11. Collar Style: No Collar

You can also fill in information about your yarn type, and start and finish dates, but these are all optional.

Check the Finished Dimensions data and adjust if necessary. I wanted a slightly wider neckline so I increased the neckline slightly from 7.8 iches to 9 inches.

Click the pattern tab and your pattern will be generated. There is an option to estimate the yarn required, but I have found that this usually overestimates.

Once your pattern is generated you will need to make a few changes.

  1. The number in the starting chain doesn’t include the skipped chains at the start of the row, so as I was using Double crochet, I added one extra chain to get the correct number of stitches
  2. For the yoke increases the pattern terminology is M1 – this means two stitches in the same stitch
  3. Add the Eyelet yoke stitch pattern about half way down the yoke instead of Row 2 of the main stitch pattern. My yoke had 22 rows and I added the Eyelet Yoke stitch pattern on row 14.
  4. When working the sleeves, instead of Chaining for the underarms, you can just work into the Chain stithes you made when separating the yoke.
  5. Ignore the finishing instructions! For my cardigan instead of fastening off when I finished the body, I worked double crochet in the round along front bands, neckline and hem for 3 rows. I made a button hole about half way down the yoke adjacent to the eyelet yoke stitch pattern row, by chaining 2 on the second row and then crocheting into the chain on the third row.
  6. If using full version you can save and print  your pattern. The demo doesn’t allow you to save the pattern, but you can copy and paste into Word if you want to save the pattern after printing

This pattern can be easily modified by using different stitch patterns, sleeve and body lengths etc.. A nice variation would be to put a few more openwork rows into the yoke – there are endless possibilities. Once you have divided the yoke, you can (and should) try the cardigan on to make sure you are happy with the fit.

Please let me know if there are any problems with this tutorial by leaving a comment, I will try to answer any questions as soon as possible.

Leftovers

I really enjoy making things out of balls of yarn left over from other projects – it seems such a bargain, like getting two things for the price of one. I had about 120g of  Colourmart angora/lambwool yarn left over from the shell stitch wrap around cardigan , which I was thinking of using doubled to make a hat, until I rediscovered this pattern.
lost in music - progress
I had seen it before on knit on the net, and quite liked it, but it was difficult to know how it would actually fit (as you can see the model in the picture has her hands up to her ears at all times!) – I actually saw the finished  article at the UK Stitch ‘n’ Bitch event, and liked it even more in real life. The orginal uses cotton, but I think the angora/wool blend with make a lovely soft and light garment.
Talking of colourmart yarn, I received the olive cashmere yarn (to make another
top down round yoke cardigan )
yesterday – the colour is actually nicer than it looks on their website and it is quite a bit finer than the alpaca yarn I used for the orginal. This doesn’t actually matter as it is really easy to change the gauge using the knitware program. I have had quite a few requests to write up the pattern. I am slightly reluctant to do this as I think the nice thing about the cardigan is the fit and the drape, which I couldn’t guarantee in different sizes using substitute yarn. I think it is really important to work with the yarn, and find a hook size that gives a nice drape in the stitch pattern, and work with this, rather than trying to fit the yarn to a predetermined gauge. I have been thinking about posting a tutorial on how to make the same garment using knitware software (there is a free working demo) e.g. using the stitch pattern,shaping options and modifications that I used, but using individual gauge and size data. Any comments?

A little lace

I’ve now made a start on the flared lace smoke ring
flared smoke ring - progress

I haven’t knit lace  for ages, and I had forgotten how much concentration it requires. I’ve already had to start again once because the yarn on the cast on row snapped when I was knitting the first row, and I couldn’t repair it.  I’m using size 4mm needles, and they are really too large for the yarn (knitwitches heavy laceweight cashmere) so the effect is a bit too stringy for my liking – I think I will have to start again with a smaller needle.

I got a lot of positive feedback on my round yoke cardigan. I’ve ordered some yarn to make another one.  I decided on some Colourmart Cashmere in Olive in the end – unfortunately for me, the day after  I ordered they added some better colours (I really like dark meadow and speckled wine), and I will write up a pattern when I make this one and post it on this blog.

Top down round yoke cardigan

I managed to finish this off tonight, and I really like how it turned out.
top down round yoke cardigan
It’s almost exactly how I wanted it. It’s lovely and soft and only took about 200g of yarn in the end. The only thing that I am not too keen on is the colour – it looked grey when I bought it, but it’s acutally a taupe/beige colour. I’m thinking of making another one in a different colour and a slightly heavier tweed yarn – possibly texere troon tweed 

Trouble with sleeves

For the past couple of days, I have been trying to finish the round yoke cardigan from my first post. This was actually lost for a while – I eventually found it hidden under one of the living room chairs! I was making good progress until I got to the sleeves.

top down round yoke cardigan - progress 

I must have reworked the first sleeve at least ten times now and have now decided that I liked my first attempt best, so I will have to start again – hopefully for the last time!

I have now finished the little trekking socks and the one row scarf, and am making good progress with the ruffle sweater that I am test crocheting.

Ruffles sweater - progress

 The yarn is Schoppel Admiral purchased at Knit n Caboodle. I’m only just over half way through the first ball, and will probably need less than 3 balls in total. I have never made an adult sized sweater in sock weight yarn before, but this seems to be progressing nice and quickly and is enjoyable to work on.