Monthly Archives: June 2012

My Craftsy Classes are Live!

I’m really happy to be able to tell you that my two craftsy classes are now live!

The first class is Celtic Cables and it will work you through how to work cables and read cable charts.  In addition to this you’ll get the exclusive Portulaca Cardigan that was designed just for this class.  The class is set up like a full cardigan knit along (KAL) working you first through measuring yourself and choosing the perfect size.  Then helping you decide if there are any small adjustments you’d need to make for your body size.  From there we’ll work through every step of the cardigan, swatching, casting on, working the body, sleeves and then joining it all together for the yoke.

If you’ve never incorporated cables in garment knitting this is a great introduction or perhaps this is your first cardigan?  The class is nicely set up for helping knitters along – you watch the video and then you can ask me and your fellow knitter questions.  You can also jump in and help other knitters out if you’ve got answers or suggestions for them.  All projects that knitters are working on can be linked to the class so you can see what other knitters are doing in the class as well.

The second class is actually a free class on Short Rows.  As many of you probably know already I’m fairly fond of short rows.  There are many, many ways of working short rows and in this class I talk about a few different ways of working them.  But more importantly I talk about how to break a short row down so you can see exactly how it works and what you’re trying to do with it.  This can make a lot more sense of short rows!  The final two classes cover different things you can do with short rows.  We look at shoulder slopes and set in sleeves using short rows as well as creating short row bust shaping.  Now do be aware that as this is a free class I won’t have any interaction in the class.  You can still talk with other knitters in the comments though and discuss how you’re using short rows in your projects.

Ravi Short Rows in Garter Stitch

I’m putting together a quick blog post for all my Ravi Knitters out there.

There are a lot of questions about how to work the short rows.
Any method you want to use that you get the desired results is just fine.
If you use w&t method you can either pick the wraps up to work with the stitch or it is also possible to leave the wraps where they are.  In garter stitch they are somewhat hidden by the purl bump on the RS of the work.
When I was working the yoke I was happiest personally with the Japanese short rows.  The tutorial shown here in my blog is for st st and we are working in garter so it will work a little differently.
I’m putting up a series of photos below showing how I worked the Japanese short rows in garter and how I picked them up.
If you change the way you work the short rows as you are creating the yoke that works fine, I actually did that with the cardigan so that they got neater as I worked!

Japanese Short Rows In Garter Stitch, worked on the WS

There are two different methods of working this both of which give nice results.  In the method shown in photographs below I’ve described how you work it if your ‘pin’ is hanging to the RS of your work.  Below I’ve also given a written description of how to hid the wrap if your pin hangs on the WS of the work.

Work in garter stitch on the WS of the work to the position of the first short row.

Work to position you want the short row, place pin around yarn which will hang on the RS of the work

Turn work to the RS, slip 1 st from left needle to right needle, bring your working yarn to the back of the work and you can see your pin hanging in front of your right needle.

Finish working to the end of the RS row. For this pattern you will repeat this several times until you have 5 safety pins across your knitting. At this point you will work a complete WS row picking up all the wraps.
When you reach the first wrap you need to pick up on the WS row it will look like this.

WS of work when you reach the gap created by the short row. You can see that your pin is behind the right hand needle on the RS of the work.

Pull the pin up so that it sits on the left hand needle and remove the pin from around the yarn.

Knit this loop with the next stitch on your needle.

You will now continue knitting until you reach the next wrap you need to pick up.

This is how the 'double stitch' created by the wrap looks on the RS of the work.

Note: To actually see this you’ll have to turn your work as you’re working on the WS!

Alternative method which hangs the pin on the WS.

1. Knit on the WS to your ‘gap’.

2. Turn your work the the RS, sl 1 st from left needle to the right needle, bring your working yarn to the correct position at the back (WS) of your work and then place the pin on your yarn.  This will place your pin on the WS rather than the RS of your work.

3. Continue to work your short rows until all are completed.

4. Working on the full WS row where you have to pick up wraps work to the position of the first gap, your pin will be under the right needle on the WS of your work (which is the side closest to you).

5. Slip 1 st p-wise from left needle to right needle.

6. Pull pin with wrap to sit wrap on the left needle and remove the pin (this will be pulled up on the WS of the work).

7. Sl stitch back again from the right needle to the left.

8. Knit the wrap and stitch together.

This will give you a similar result and will again ensure that you only have the ‘double stitch’ showing on the RS of the work and not any extra loops of yarn.

Expanding Ripples Scarf

You may have noticed that I don’t knit all that many scarfs.  Lots of cardigans, a good few shawls but pretty much no scarfs!  With most scarfs knit from end to end there is something unappealing for me about so many rows and so much turning of the work.  That’s actually how the Expanding Ripples Scarf came about.  I wanted to knit a ruffled scarf but without have to work just a handful of stitches on each row.  This scarf is worked from the long side to the other side in a relatively tightly knit strip at the center and then the ‘expanding ripples’ are picked up all around and increased dramatically to create a ruffle all around the scarf.

I knit it really long so that it can be worn doubled over and will loop through itself.  However it’s really easy to modify this with a shorter cast on and by increasing the outer ruffles if you want to.  This was my first time trying out Manos del Uruguay ‘Lace’.  It was just perfect for this project, as lace goes it’s on the heavier side and the fluffy halo from the alpaca gives an extra dimension to the scarf.

This was published in the second edition of Interweave Knits newest magazine - Knit.Wear Spring 2012.  I like the concept behind this magazine, simple clean lines but very interesting knitting with multiple ways to wear many of the garments.  Plus I just adore the photography for the magazine, also clean but very atmospheric.

Here is my own very poor photo from before I blocked it.  I think the ruffles have retained their shape a little more than in the other photos?

For anyone out there waiting for the first clue on the Ravi KAL….watch your inbox later today :-)  You should also keep an eye on the KAL board on Ravelry, there’s a great buzz over there.

Portulaca Cardigan & winner!

We have a winner!  Congratulations to Suzy, I’ve just emailed you to let you know.  As soon as I get your mailing details the yarn and needles for Rose Song are on their way to you! (If I don’t hear from her by Sunday I’ll choose a new winner…)

My craftsy cabled class will be up pretty soon so I though I’d give you a preview of the design I created for the class – Portulaca cardigan.

The cardigan is knit using one of my favourite yarns, Soft Donegal, in a vivid green colour.  I believe Craftsy will even be stocking the yarn which for anyone in the US should be a big advantage as I don’t know of anywhere else that you can buy it directly at the moment in the US.

This cardigan uses a combination of cables that I love together; it feels as though they’re weaving their way up the front of the cardigan!

The cardigan is worked in one piece from the bottom up with waist shaping at the side.  Then the sleeves are knit in the round and the yoke is completed in one piece with raglan shoulder shaping.

In the class I work through measuring yourself so that you can ensure the waist shaping hits you at the right spot.  There is also some details on how to increases or decrease the amount of waist shaping.

It was a really enjoyable cardigan to knit, engaging but not too difficult if you pay attention to your cables!  For the moment it will be exclusively from Craftsy so the only way to get the pattern will be to sign up to the course when it goes live.

Final chance to win

Remember that give away I was doing for anyone who purchased Rose Song?  Well I’ve just added to the prize!

Originally the prize was 2 skeins of Scrumptious Chunky in Magenta (same colour as the sample) but now I’ve added the needles you’ll need as well.  These are the wonderful Lantern Moon Ebony circular needles, 32″ long in size 8mm/US size 11.  You’ll have everything you need to knit the pattern!

You’ve only got one day left to buy the pattern – tomorrow morning (7th June) I’ll announce the winner which will be drawn randomly from everyone that has purchases either on Ravelry or directly here on my website.

(Plus I really will show a few photos tomorrow of the cardigan for my Craftsy class!)

My Craftsy Trip to Denver

Last week I was travelling. I hinted a little about it but I didn’t want to say too much about it before I went. Now that the work has been done I get to tell you a little about my amazing week!
I was in Denver for the week recording not one but TWO classes with Craftsy. I’m still pinching myself that this is really happening; the last few days have almost felt like an out of body experience :)
I’ll tell you a little bit about my travels, plus I think I’ve fallen for Denver in a big way!
This is the view from my hotel window; I was staying right in downtown Denver.

My first day was to myself so I got to wander around a little, and found myself some cowboys in the park….

At the other side of the park the Denver Art Museum had the Yves Saint Laurent retrospective which I spend a few hours wandering around.  Apart for getting to see all the clothes first hand I think my favourite part of it was just watching YSL sketching.  He had such fluidity and he was talking about the fact that he doesn’t start with an idea in his head, he just waits for the idea to appear on the paper as he was drawing.  From there he only worked on live models to see the movement and drape of the clothing so he could make changes.

After my initial play/adjustment day it was down to work.  When you’re not used to having hair and make-up done every day it’s quite a treat to start the morning being pampered!  I then also got a chance to peek on the set.  I sent a big box of knits and yarn over before me so all the mannequins were pre dressed with my garments.

As you can see the set up that craftsy have for their recording is pretty amazing.  Multiple cameras, lights everywhere and some fantastic dedicated staff.  I was pretty blown away (and terrified!!).  It took a day or two for me to settle into the recording routine.  Even though I’ve taught many classes doing it on camera is a whole different ball game!  By the time we finished the two classes I was really happy with how they  turned out and more relaxed about the whole process.  The platform that Craftsy use is a really great way of teaching online.  They use streaming video so even with poor broadband coverage you can watch it without trouble (like in our useless broadband area).  The videos are easy to mark for your own notes and you can comment/post photos/ talk with the instructor throughout the class.  Talking with knitters and helping them through patterns is very enjoyable for me so this set-up seems ideal.

So now to tell you a little about the classes.  The first class I designed a brand new cardigan for, it’s got many cables, waist shaping and is of course seamless.  In the class I run through how to measure yourself, how to work cables and read cables charts and each step of the cardigan is knit through.  So if you’ve been nervous about tackling your first big project (or cables) it might be a good class for you!  I’ll post a few photos of the cardigan in the next few days.

The second class is a free class on one of my favourite subjects; short rows.  I talk through several different methods of creating them and then show some different ways of using them (including a bust shaping worksheet).

So lots of knitting to come for you all!  I think the classes will be up in the next few weeks but I’ll post to let you know when exactly they’ll be up.

It was an amazing opportunity to work with craftsy, everyone I worked with was just superb and I am dying to see how the classes turn out (although cringe at the thought of seeing myself on film!).

To finish the week off with a bang I got to have a book signing on Friday night at Fancy Tiger Crafts.  I got to meet tons of great knitters over the course of the evening and really got to finish my week in style.  If you’re ever in Denver I’d highly recommend making a stop here, it’s an amazing shop with the loveliest shop owners :)

I couldn’t help taking this one last shot – in the airport they have signs for Tornado shelters….