La Bella

The Arabella is done!

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I’ve written about it before, so not much more to add. I started with a Brooklyn Tweed pattern size and merged it with a CustomFit generated neck, yoke and sleeves for best fit.

I do think it would have looked more structured in a woollen spun yarn, and find that the superwash, worsted spun, Tosh Merino Light makes an almost floppy garment because of its unusual length. But it’s still pretty. I did have to alternate skeins, though to prevent flashing.

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Also, the quaker ridging pattern is completely hidden in the variegation of the yarn; but I’ll live with it. Overall, am quite happy with this one!

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Details
Pattern: Arabella
Yarn: Madelinetosh Merino Light; 3.5 skeins; “Pecan Pie”
Ravelled: here

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Initiating Arabella

After moaning and complaining about knitting fingering weight sweaters, here we are again, with a fingering weight tunic.

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Another Brooklyn Tweed pattern, Arabella. It’s a simple, vented tunic, made special by the gores which push the fabric out into a playful, swingy shape. I’m planning to use CustomFit for the top of the body and sleeves, and am knitting the bottom with stitch counts from the original pattern which match up most closely to the numbers needed for the CustomFit yoke. This means I’ll end up with a front which is slightly larger than the back (as generated by CustomFit), but that’s what I need for good fit. I’ll also get a bit of negative ease in the bust, which is also something I prefer to the intended positive ease of the pattern. Finally, I’ll make full length sleeves (if I have enough yarn) and also add short rows to the front of the body, to ensure it doesn’t ride high as I’ve seen in many projects on Ravelry.

The yarn is Madelinetosh Merino Light (again!) in “Pecan Pie”. Let the moaning begin!

Warm Little Kitten Sweater

‘Tis done!

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love this colour. It’s a brownish grey, and that sounds dirty and smoggy, but is actually very delicate and beautiful. The brown also makes it a warm grey, perfect with warmer skin tones.

Not much more to say here beyond what I’ve already mentioned. I generated an hourglass shape, close fit, scoop neck pullover with CustomFit, using my stockinette gauge. I worked the body only in the stitch pattern, keeping the sleeves in stockinette. I haven’t decided on the buttons yet, but made the holes anyway. And finished all the twisted ribbing with tubular BOs to maintain the refined feel of the sweater.

Also, have you joined the #howiknit hashtag party on instagram? Here’s how I do it!

Hashtag party!! #loop2loop #howiknit

A post shared by @onkuri on

Look at those delicate princess seam shaping lines. I love!

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Details
Pattern: Thermal from Knitty
Yarn: Madelinetosh Merino Light, 2.60 skeins, “Kitten”
Needles: 4.0mm and 3.5mm. However, I knit lever style for most of the sweater, so the effective needle sizes are probably a size down. If you watch the video above, you can see how the yarn holding position doesn’t allow the loop to go as much around the needle as ‘regular’ knitting would, leading to the creation of smaller size stitches.
Ravelled: here

Kitteh!!

No, no, I haven’t gone and bought a kitten. That would be absolute mayhem! I’m talking about this yarn:

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A subtle, dusty grey; Madelinetosh Merino Light in “Kitten”. After the high drama of the last FO, I decided to make something useful again, to plug a much needed and frequently identified gap in my wardrobe: simple inner layers. Pretty enough to be worn on their own in mildly chilly weather, but good for layering under thicker knits in the cold.

Every time I travel to Kenya or India, I promise myself (teeth clenched and shivering), “more light inner layers!” And then I return to warm humidity and forget. But not this time. This one’s going to be a Thermal (I confess to waves of nostalgia after looking at the issue containing Monkey; was the sock craze really nine whole years ago?) with stockinette sleeves for textural contrast. Everything shaped with CustomFit, of course.

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Juicy!

Yes, it really is that bright!

Front 01

Another simple v-neck pullover template, filled in with seed stitch chevrons. They sublimate upwards, wispier as they rise. I had planned to work the sleeves in the same pattern, even diligently noting down the row number of the underarm BO so I could match patterns exactly. But the pattern turned out so striking, it would have been a bit too much, I thought, to have it all over the pullover.  Hence the simple stockinette sleeves, with only some garter rib at the cuffs tying it thematically to the pullover’s neck and hem trim.

Must also add: this was a really lazily planned, “oh whatever!” pullover.  I had so much going on in my life while knitting it; I really couldn’t spare the brain space. So I started with a provisional CO, intending to do a folded hem. On a sudden whim I decided to trim the neck in garter rib, so did the same at the hem as well. I also moved all shaping to the side ‘seams’ (this was worked in the round with single garter rib columns up the sides) to avoid dissecting the chevrons.

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And here’s a Knitters’ Special Spot the Difference:

sleeves

Yes, correct! I knit one cuff downwards and finished it with an invisible BO for ribbing; the other I started with a tubular CO and knitted upwards! I actually started the first sleeve provisionally in the middle, and meanwhile started using up skein remainders to trim the neck and hem. After that, I weighed all the remaining yarn and the half-done sleeve to calculate exactly how much yarn each sleeve could get. Then the first sleeve was finished downwards; while the second was started at the cuff and continued to the cap. An accurate electronic weighing scale is one of the best tools for knitters!

Details
Pattern: my own, template generated with Custom Fit
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh DK; 100% merino; 206m = 100g; 4 skeins; “Citrus”
Needles: 3.5mm bamboo circulars
Ravelled: here

Red Silk Cocoon

Done! I made no significant changes except to generate the basic cardigan with CustomFit. This required some number massaging for the sleeves, since the cocoon stitch needs about 10% more than stockinette for the same gauge. I used a button-band allowance of -6”, with neck depth at 5” below underarm.

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The pattern features a clever built in front-band, which I continued to the back of the neck.

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My only regret was not buying a 5th skein of yarn. After finishing one sleeve, I weighed the remnants and there was clearly not enough for the second sleeve, let alone ties. So I had to do a bit of nip tuck on the first sleeve to harvest enough yarn for the second. The hems were finished with some Cascade 220 (“Cordovan”). I had initially intended to use “Red Wine Heather”, but it didn’t look good. Better an obvious contrast than a bad match, right?

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The main yarn, Dream in Color Classy, was peculiar. While making my last two sweaters a few weeks ago, I found it soft and strong; but this time it was much rougher with significant thin patches. And there seems to be no variegation at all, just a single strong colour. Probably an older batch?

Anyway, quite happy with this cardigan!

Details
Pattern: Silk Cocoon Cardigan, Interweave Knits Spring 2009
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy; 100% merino; 229m = 113g; “Cinnamon Girl”; 4 skeins. Cascade 220 Heathers “Cordovan”; 25m.
Needles: 3.5mm for 4 rows of sleeve; 5mm for everything else, worked lever style
Ravelled: here

Nightblooms and Seedpods

Is done!

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A V-neck pullover generated with CustomFit, average fit. Except that it turned out more like relaxed fit. I’ve lost a bit of weight – or rather, re-distributed weight – with new classes, so the upper torso measurements are slightly off and the sweater is a bit too loose in the shoulder and bicep area. Never mind, I’ll just wear it over something else in winter.

Other than that, I love this sweater! This is exactly the kind of knitting I like, simple shapes with a touch of wow. The lace pattern is out of a pattern dictionary, and I kept the three columns half out of phase with each other. The middle column splits at the V-neck and is decreased away. The decrease points then move outside the outer pattern repeats, ‘eating’ the stockinette section till the shoulder. Then the pattern continues in ‘straps’ to the back of the neck, ending in a beautifully symmetrical  3-needle bind off.

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Hems and cuffs are finished with lining in fingering weight wool, because I used up every bit of the main yarn.

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Details
Pattern: my own, base generated with CustomFit
Yarn: Madelinetosh DK; 100% wool; 206m = 100g; 4 skeins; “Night Blooms”. Few metres of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine for lining.
Needle: 3.5mm bamboo for everything
Ravelled: here

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Golden Dusseldorf

I really like this one, even though it has much more ease than I usually wear. I generated a relaxed fit with CustomFit, and since I’ve lost a bit of weight it appears looser than usual. But I think that goes very well with its intended cosy, slouchy-yet-shaped deep winter intent.

Full 1

Lots of people over on Ravelry asked how to generate this with CustomFit so I’ll list the details here. It’s reasonably simple, although you do need to do a few calculations for the front.

Generate a relaxed fit, long-sleeved, narrow V-necked pullover. Work the back as written, making sure that the CO number is 4x+2. That way you’ll start with kk,pp,kk,pp,…,kk and you’ll get a smooth kkpp multiple once the pieces are sewn up and two k stitches consumed at each seam. Work the sleeves as detailed here. Remember to go through the pattern and change all the milestone stitch counts to reflect your additional stitches. Increase a few BOs at the top of the sleeve cap to remove the additional stitches.

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The front requires a bit more thought. First, make sure you start with not just 4x + 2 stiches, but specifically 4x(odd number) + 2 stitches. This will ensure you get a pp column between the cable panels. If you start with a 4x(even number) + 2 stitch CO, then you’ll end up with a ppkkpp column in the middle. Add or subtract up to 4 stitches to get a 4xodd+2 stitch count, noting how many stitches you added or subtracted.

On the penultimate ribbing row (which will be a WS) add 10% to whatever had been your CustomFit suggested stitch count, in order to compensate for cable compression. (Remember, you are aiming to start the stockinette section with 110% of the initial CustomFit stitch count, not 110% of the number you actually cast on to get the correct stitch multiple.) Make two of these increases in the central ‘rope’ of each panel, and distribute the rest equally in the stockinette sections.

Eg: Say your CustomFit CO stitch count was 92. So 110% of that is approximately 102 stitches – this is the number of stitches you want at the start of the stockinette section. However, at your CO, your ribbing needs to be 4xodd+2. So you start with 94 (= 4×23 +2) and work 2×2 ribbing as long as you need to. When you start the stockinette section you want 102 stitches (which is ~ 110% of 92, not 94). So you need to increase 102 (intended stitch count) – 94 (actual stitch count) = 8 stitches evenly. Make two of these increases in what will become the central ‘rope’ of each cable panel (as explained in the sleeve post) and the remaining four stitches as two increases per side in what will become stockinette in the following row.

Then go through the pattern, changing milestone stitch counts as per your changed counts.

Work in pattern till the neck. Before starting the neck do the following calculations.

Number of stitches on each side of neck split = A
Number of stitches removed at each armscye = B
Number of shoulder stitches on back piece = C
Number of stitches in cable panel = D
Ie, number of decreases needed = E = A – (B+C+D) -1
(The last -1 is so that you end up with one more stitch on the back shoulder than the front shoulder (not including the collar). The extra stitch on the back is used for seaming the collar which continues to the nape).

Number of rows available for neck decreases = F (add row counts from CustomFit pattern, neck to armhole + armhole to shoulder shaping)
Distribute the total number of decreases (E) over the number of available rows (F) to get your neck decrease rate.

Finally the knitting! Work armscyes as directed. Make neck decreases in the stockinette section just outside the cable panels. Once shoulder shaping is complete, BO only the stockinette stitches and m1 on the collar, away from the neck edge. Work this extra stitch in stockinette – it will be used to seam the collar with the extra seam stitch on the back neck.

Continue working the cable panel till the centre back, throwing in a couple of short rows so that it curves at the back neckline. Join cable panels from both sides of the neck at the centre back, and seam in place. Finish the entire neckline with an applied i-cord, picking up 3 stitches every 4 rows on the front, and 2 stitches every 3 rows on the back.

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Details
Pattern: Dusseldorf Aran
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy; 100% merino; 229m = 113g; worsted weight; “Gold Experience”; 4.45 skeins
Needles: 3.5mm for ribbing, 5mm for rest, worked lever style
Ravelled: Here