Posts Tagged 'crochet'

Blatant Advertising!

Unusual Yarns (multi-stranded knitting and crochet yarn) are having a closing down sale. All yarns are currently half price ( 0.99p per 50g ball). The sale ends January 6th is now extended to 21st January!
clotted cream yarn

Advertisements

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?

Not Quite Cowl

I’ve been making good progress on the Cowl neck sweater, but having tried it on, I have decided I can’t really call it a Cowl neck
Cowl neck sweater - progress

I was a bit impatient whilst working on the neck, and I decided it was long enough when it was about 3 inches shorter that I had originally intended. I do like the neck this length, more of a polo neck (I believe it’s called a turtle neck in the US). On the subject of terminology, since I started knitting I have got into the habit of using the term ‘sweater’ rather than ‘jumper’. I think this is because it is a term that is understood on both sides of the atlantic, whereas I believe that jumper means something entirely different in the US.

Anyway back to the ‘cowl’ neck ‘sweater’ – It’s my own design – top down, round yoke and will be a loose fit hip length with slightly A-line body and 3/4 sleeves. It’s really easy work, just round and round in double (= US single) crochet. So far it’s taken about 2 balls of Sirdar Blur.

Seamless

Ever since I knit my first cardigan, I have disliked sewing up seams and have never really been happy with the results. I think part of the problem is that I am so impatient to finish, I tend to rush the seams. When I learned about seamless knitting, I knit a few seamless cardigans with better results.

When I learned to crochet, I was surprised to find few seamless patterns. Crocheted seams tend to be rather bulky and crochet lends itself well to seamless and modular designs. I recently started a  Seamless Crochet group on Ravelry. I was initially a bit worried that nobody would join, but so far we have 20+ members.

On the subject of seamless crochet, I have just bought Everyday Crochet by Doris Chan (seen here with the Winter Issue of Interweave knits).

This is probably my favourite crochet pattern book so far. There are several top-down seamless garments (tank tops, long sleeved tops, cardigans, jackets) with a number of size and design options, as well as some nice crocheted belt patterns. I often end up selling my pattern books once I have browsed through them, but this is definately one to keep.

New arrivals

 I seem to have a new yarn-related package arriving almost every day at the moment. These arrived a couple of days ago…..
new book and yarn

and these arrived today…….
UK Stitch 'n Bitch Tickets
 I  have been thinking about buying the knitter’s handy book of sweater patterns for a while, but finally decided to go ahead and get it when I discovered that there are seamless raglan and round yoke options (I dislike sewing seams). The yarn is Twoon Tweed from texere (one of my favourite on-line yarn shops) to make the Prepster jacket from the Happy Hooker.

The tickets are for the UK stitch ‘n bitch day on 10th November. I managed to persuade my non-knitting sister to come with me even though she  told me ‘never again’ after accompanying me to to the knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace last year (she said that I felt one ball of wool too many).  I took my daughter Carmen this year (she is a budding knitter) and we had a great time.

I am making slow and steady progress on the lion brand cardigan. Now that the yoke is done, it’s pretty mindless and a bit boring to work on at the moment – perfect for working on whilst watching TV though. I’ll post progress pictures at the weekend.

First post!

I’ve finally got round to creating my first blog. I have been meaning to do this for years, but have always felt I wouldn’t have the time to maintain it. I plan to use this blog mainly as a space for me to catalogue my knitting and crochet projects. I’ve been knitting for about 8 years, and crocheting for 3. I’m a sporadic knitter – I go through phases of frantic knitting, planning projects, buying vast quantities of yarn, trying out lots of design ideas (this can have an almost manic quality!), then periods where I will hardly pick up a hook or needle. I am currently going through the former – hence the decision to start the blog.

 The weather’s getting cold and I need warm clothes! I tend not to knit or crochet clothes for myself as adult cardigans and jumpers take so long, and I am often not happy with the results (they usually end up frogged or given to charity). I mainly stick to small things – socks, scarves, hats etc as they take less time, and it’s not such a big deal if I am not happy with the results. This year however I have 3 sweaters/cardigans lined up – all for me. Two are currently in progress, the other is just in my head at the moment. They are all crocheted so hopefully I will finish them before I get bored with them.

 The first is a top down round yoke cardigan I’m making with yarn I got at this year’s knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace. It’s DK weight alpaca yarn from Teo Handspun from the Isle of Skye.

And this is my progress so far

The pattern is designed using knitware software (free demo version available here). This would have been finished by now had I not started this.

 

I’m using Colourmart angora/wool DK weight which is very soft and a pleasure to work with. The third project will be a cowl neck hip length mohair sweater with 3/4 lenth sleeves – I’m still working on the pattern for this and will try not to start it until I have finshed the first two.