I know I said I was taking the summer off. But, sometimes as soon as you slow down to breathe the brain is able to kick into creative mode. That means I have a few things in progress that I wasn’t expecting. In addition to those, I am back on to a couple sweaters that I started ages ago. I had issues with them during editing, and have had to do a lot of work to try and get them fixed. That has meant a lot of work to create a spreadsheet to be able to plug in all my numbers and have my spreadsheet do all my figure checking/calculating for me. The garden is still taking a lot of my time, but now it’s just waiting for things to grow and then harvesting. We actually just started doing our fall planting. Today we are getting a big storm, so the garden is getting a really nice drink, and I’m getting the day off. Sort of. haha!
One of the things I have started is a sweater. I have a sweater that was already knit, but I was having some issues with it. I’ve now re-written the entire pattern and now have to knit it again to see if it’s going to fit as intended. I chose to use an acrylic yarn for this one. I went with Knit Picks Brava worsted weight. Sometimes I will use really nice yarn for a sweater, but being outside a lot and just busy doing a lot of cooking and everything else, I spill things on myself all the time. So, for sweaters around the house that I want to keep looking nice, acrylic is my favorite. I love being able to just throw them in the washer and dryer, without thinking twice. I’ve had nice sweaters accidentally end up in the hamper, and as you can imagine the result was heartbreaking.
As you can see I’m not very far into this re-knit, but hopefully I’ll be able to start getting some projects finished.
One of the projects I should be able to finish soon is a pair of socks. These are my Not So Plaid Socks. The pattern is a knit and purl stitch that creates a plaid look, without the colorwork. This gives the opportunity for someone that is more of a beginner knitter when it comes to socks to have a lovely pattern without having to worry about delving into colorwork. I know many people that are really put off by colorwork. I always say that you should just go for anything and give it a try, but if you aren’t ready then there is no reason to not have a fun pattern that gives you a pattern and some texture. I chose to use Chroma Fingering. This gave a color change with no work on my part. The Chroma has a nice long color change, which gives more of a fade type of look.
Next I have a pair of fingerless mittens. These are a great quick project. I still need to find some time to work on them, but when I do they should fly off my needles. These have a lovely texture, which is simply a type of bobble. I have called them Tied In Knots. I have a bit of pattern work to do on these, to make sure my numbers are all sound. I’m planning to have 3 or 4 sizes available on these. Because they are a unisex pattern, I want to have sizes from small female to large male. For these ones I am using Cloudborn Highland Superwash Sock yarn. It’s a nice yarn that is giving me some nice stitch definition. It also comes in smaller skeins. Most of these sizes will only require about 200 yards, so the smaller skeins are perfect. This one is difficult to get right now, but I bought a bunch of it on clearance, so it’s a great one for me to use.
Lastly, I have a shawl started. This will be a triangular shawl in a Freia Shawl, fingering weight yarn. I haven’t decided on the size yet, though. I think that is going to depend on when I run out of yarn. I am contemplating something that can be wrapped around the neck like a scarf, as opposed to a big full shawl.
I think that is pretty much everything for now. Hopefully soon I will have some of these finished and off for both testing and editing. At this rate it’ll likely be more into September before this happens. This summer is flying by, and it’s hard to believe it’s already August! That means it’s almost time for me to buckle down and get things done. Thanks so much for reading!
Now that the studio is complete I am playing catch up on all the projects I have on the go. This week alone I published 2 new patterns. My brain has decided that it needs to do everything right this second, which has resulted in complete overload. lol I’m slowly reeling myself back in to actually have a bit of focus. So, to start things off I wanted to let everyone know what is new right now.
First off, I published a new pair of fingerless mittens. These are called Caterpillar Mittens. They are made with fingering weight yarn, and have a very simple lace pattern that will resemble fluffy little caterpillars going across them. They are thick enough to keep your hands warm on a cool fall day, but have a little breathability so you don’t overheat as much as full mittens. 😀
I have also released a sock pattern called Flying South Socks. These socks have ‘V’s’ on them to resemble geese flying south for the winter, which is perfect for this time of year. We’re seeing a lot of birds flying south right now. Can’t say as I blame them, since we’re now getting frost and freeze warnings overnight. The lace pattern is pretty simple, with just yarn overs and some decreases, but it gives a bit of movement to the socks which is fun. 🙂
And lastly I released a scarf pattern. This is my Abstract Scarf. It’s a very gender neutral design that can be blinged up with your yarn choice. You can go all in with a sparkle, or do a dark neutral. It’s very easy to customize this for your special someone. 😀 I do love how the pattern pops with a light color or neutral, but the world is your oyster with this one.
That is everything that is new. I hope you all love what I have come up with this year. I have a sock pattern on the go right now, and a cowl that is about to go to an editor, so there is more coming down the pipeline before the end of the year, I hope. Keep an eye out for those. As always, if you want any sneak peeks, be sure to follow my Facebook page. That’s where I usually post my quick little snippets. I am also trying to be more active on Instagram with all that as well.
Well, it has taken the first three and a half months of this year to finally be better, but here I am. I had a horrible allergic reaction at the end of December, and am just getting to a point now where I can eat somewhat normally, and my voice is returning. I can never have nuts again, but I’m alive and feeling much better now. 😀 That means I’m back to work! Yay! I have been working on a few projects. I managed to knit a hat sample for a design back in January, but just last week managed to have enough brain power to write up the pattern. It is now in editing, so hopefully you’ll see that come across as a test knit in a week or two. 😀
This is my Diamond hat. It’s made with an aran weight yarn, so it’s nice and fluffy. The diamond pattern consists of slipped stitches, decreases and small cables. It’s actually a great introduction to cables if you were looking to carry on past my How To blog post about them. The cables involve two stitches at a time, and is a great way to practice cabling without a cable needle if you are feeling adventurous. (Honestly it sounds scarier than it really is.) Also, the decreases for the crown all happen in between the cables, so you can keep the pattern going to create a star effect on the top of the hat. It makes it a great hat for a pom pom. 😀
Next up is a scarf I am working on. This is made using the acorn stitch and is called “Oak Island Scarf”. If anyone has watched the show The Curse of Oak Island, you will have heard the fans being called Acorns. I find the show quite interesting, but I am from Nova Scotia originally and have always been fascinated with the Oak Island mystery and what the story really is. So, this is an homage to the story and the fans.
And the last project on the go right now is a pair of socks. These socks look complicated, but the pattern is very easily memorized. It will make them great for tv viewing! They are cuff down which make them a great beginner sock. I know how hard those toe up cast ons can be, and I have a lot of toe up socks, so I wanted to make another pair of cuff down, so as to include a variety of skill levels. They look very lacy, but honestly the pattern repeat only ever has knit stitches, a decrease and one yarn over. Again, these are another great way to get into the adventure of lace knitting, and you’ll get a comfy pair of socks out of them. 😀 Unfortunately, while these can be knit two at a time for the small and medium size, the large size is going to have a few rows that have yarn overs at the beginning or end of the row, which is going to make them a bit tricky.
I am hoping to get the scarf and socks knit in the next few weeks to then get them through editing. Thankfully the scarf is short and simple and shouldn’t take much time by the editor. That will mean a much faster turn around. 🙂 I am also going to start working on my last batch of edits for the few remaining un-edited patterns. That should be heading out in a few weeks, and then everything I have in my store will be tech edited. That will really free up my mind, because I constantly worry that there is a mistake in those patterns that I or testers never found. I’m too much of a perfectionist to let mistakes slide, so I want to make sure everything has had yet another set of eyes on it, and that everything looks as good as we can possible get it.
Oh Cables. Those delightful details that look so scary and complicated. I remember as a kid when I was learning to knit that cables were far too complicated for me. It really put me off for a long time, because I really wanted to make those cables and felt very discouraged. When I started knitting again, I was determined to figure them out. I did some looking online for videos, found out that I needed a special needle, which I promptly bought, and set to work. You know what I realized? They really are not that complicated. Honestly. They look difficult, but you don’t even need that special cable needle. Although, for starting out it definitely helps, and I highly recommend having it. I do still use mine when doing larger or more complicated cables. However, if all you have a small double pointed needle, it will work just as well. I was so happy that I was able to conquer cables. I have been improving on them ever since, and for many of my cables, I don’t need a needle at all. What I would like to do in this post is to alleviate any fears you might have for cables, and make them as straight forward as I can make them.
So, before we get started on making cables, you are probably asking what a cable needle is. It’s simply a small double pointed needle, that typically has a little bend in the middle to hold your stitches a little better.
As you can see in this picture, I have a short little double pointed needle with a small bend in it. That allows me to slip the stitches off the left needle, position the cable needle and still have a pointed end to knit/purl the stitches off. If you find that it is a bit fiddly, or the stitches don’t hold, you can stick an end into your piece just to hold it in place.
Now for those cables. 😀 First, what are cables? Cables are created by simply rearranging the stitches on your needle. You will slip some stitches on to your cable needle, then work some stitches, and then work those stitches that are still on your cable needle. This gives you a twist in your work that is your cable. How it is formed changes only by whether those stitches you put on your cable needle are brought to the front or the back of your work. This creates the lean to your cable, which means the stitches that are in front of the other stitches are leaning to the left or the right. Cables create a very pronounced and visible lean.
I want to start out with some simple cables. I’m going to start with 1/1 cables. That means we will only have two stitches involved in the cable. Lets start with the 1/1 RC. This abbreviation means that you are going to make a Right Cross (right leaning). To accomplish this, we will use our cable needle and slip the first stitch of the left needle onto it as if to purl (which means you slip the cable needle into the next stitch in the same direction as you would purl, but just slipping it off the needle instead of working that stitch), and let that cable needle hang at the back of your work (away from you). The cable needle will keep this stitch from unravelling as you then knit the next stitch on your left needle. Once that is worked, pick up the cable needle, and knit the stitch that is on it, as if it were a regular needle. You now have a stitch in front that has moved from the left position on your needle to the right, which makes it lean to the right. Next is the 1/1 LC. This one means we will create a Left Cross (left leaning stitch). This time, slip that first stitch onto the cable needle as if to purl, and this time let the cable needle hang at the front of your work (towards you). Knit the stitch that is on your left needle, and then knit the stitch from your cable needle. You will now have a stitch in the front that has moved from the right to the left.
The other notations you will see that make variations on the cables is when you introduce purls into them. For example, the 1/1 RPC. This means it’s a Right Purl Cross. You will begin the same way as the RC above, but instead of knitting off the cable needle, you will purl the stitch. You will have a knit stitch that cross over to the right, in front, and then your cable stitch will be purled and will now be on the left. In the 1/1 LPC it’s similar. Your cable needle will be hanging in the front, and you will purl the next stitch from your left needle, and knit the cable needle stitch. As you can see, both of these variations keep the knit stitch as the one that is in front and visible. The purl is tucked in the back of your work and hidden just a little.
One of the things that will come with time is the is the tension you need when working cables. You will find that you can get a bit of a gap because of how the yarn is pulled when working those cables. A great way to work on tidying this up as you go, is that when you are on the next row, you can pull your stitches a little bit as you are working them to even them out just a little. Unfortunately, depending on the size yarn you are using, just pulling the yarn tight when you work the cables isn’t always enough to tighten up the cables, and can lead to puckering in other areas of your work. I find that giving the stitches a little pull with your needle as you are working them in the next row helps even them out just enough.
And that’s it for the explanations. Now it’s time for the demonstration. From here it is just variations on how many stitches you have on your cable needle and that you work from your left. To allow you to practice I have created a dish cloth pattern. This will help you learn some larger cables, and on larger needles, but also teach you the way this looks on a chart, not just written directions.
I will include the pattern at the end of this post for you to follow, but I want to give you some visuals on how these cables will look as you work them and when they are finished. I have chosen to use 3/3 LC and 3/3 RC. That means you will be crossing 3 stitches across the front of 3 other stitches, either going right or left. These are also all knit versions. Let’s start with the 3/3 RC.
Your first step is to work your pattern until you get to the symbol in the chart, or the notation of ‘3/3 RC’ in the written directions. Then you will work it as instructed. The 3/3 RC means you are going to slip the next 3 stitches on to your cable needle as if to purl, and hold it at the back of your work.
Next, you will knit 3 stitches from your left needle. Be sure to snug up that first stitch just a bit to close up the gap that is left where those stitches on your cable needle had been. Next, grab your cable needle, and use it like another knitting needle. You will knit 3 stitches off that cable needle as normal. You now have your 3/3 RC. As you can see your front 3 stitches lean to the right, giving you that right cross.
The next cable you will find in this pattern is a 3/3 LC. As with the RC cable, work until you reach this part of your instructions. Slip the next 3 stitches on to your cable needle as if to purl, and hold the cable needle at the front of your work.
Knit the next 3 stitches from your left needle as normal. As you can see from this next picture, you have knit the 3 from the left needle, but still have that cable hanging out in front. This will give you a good idea of what the cable looks like half way through, and how it closes up and twists.
Now we can finish up the cable, and knit 3 stitches from the cable needle. You will now have a completed 3/3 LC. As you can see, the stitches from the cable needle make up the front stitches, and have a visible lean to the left.
As an extra note on this pattern: I have included both written and charted directions. Take a look at the chart and look at the symbols used for the cables as you work them. The image used will actually look like the stitch you are working. So, for the 3/3 RC, you can see that the first 3 stitches of the image end up going behind the second 3 stitches, to create the cross. That gives you the indication that your cable needle will go to the back of your work, and the front stitches should have that right lean. The 3/3 LC has the first 3 stiches being in the front, so your cable needle goes to the front, and they will become your left leaning stitches. It’s a great extra notation of where your stitches are being held.
These are the only cables used in this pattern. You can now go ahead and work through your little dishcloth. It will give you little ripples for scrubbing texture, and give you some visual interest. This also means you can use these skills in any other project you encounter without fear! As I said above, all cables are derived from the same skills. I hope this post has helped! I know that cables can look complicated, but now you will be able to give them a go, and will be able to start making projects that wow your friends and family!
Needle: US 7 / 4.5 mm Straight needles.
Notions: Cable needle
3/3 RC: Slip the next three stitches purl wise on to a cable needle and hold it to the back of your work. Knit three stitches from the left needle. Knit three stitches from the cable needle.
3/3 LC: Slip the next three stitches purl wise on to a cable needle and hold it to the front of your work. Knit three stitches from the left needle. Knit three stitches from the cable needle.