Join us on October 6th for an event celebrating the release of the book Craft Activism: People, Ideas, and Projects from the New Community of Handmade and How You Can Join In
Gale Zucker, an amazing photographer (and teacher of our recent Photographing Your Fiber and Finished Objects classes) will join us from 6pm – 7:30pm for a discussion of the book, a slide show and a trunk show.
This event is free! But we ask that you register by calling or emailing Customer Service so that we can be sure we have enough chairs and snacks. You can find all of the info you need on our website.
Guest: Carol Sulcoski and Kathy chat about what they saw at TNNA and what’s coming up in the yarn world. Ruffle yarns are a big hit right now for quick gifts. There were also many chainette yarns coming up for fall. These give you a thicker gauge, but helps keep the yarn light.
The industry is moving toward more diversity in patterns, so there’s a wealth of patterns out there for whatever you want to do, especially with patterns being available so many places now.
Guest: Melissa Morgan-Oakes, author of Teach Yourself Visually Circular Knitting. Kathy and Melissa chat about TNNA and what they saw there, what caught their eye, and what’s coming up in the industry. Both were big fans of what is coming from Artyarns. Lorna’s Laces has a new sock yarn coming out called Solemate. It has Outlast in it, which absorbs, stores, and releases body heat so the wearer stays comfortable at all times. Kathy also checked out the new pairing of Denise and Della Q. There’s a new case just for their needles and hooks.
Guest: Becca Smith, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Knitting. Kathy and Becca chat about the book and what it contains. Becca is also the founder of BagSmith, so she and Kathy chat about the yarns and creations you can find from them. BagSmith concentrates on really big knitting – size 50 needles!
A note: Our show is pre-recorded, so last week’s show did not include mention of the severe weather we got a week ago. On June 1st, our area experienced two tornadoes, including one that was on the ground for over an hour. It was classified as an EF-3. We will be donating a portion of our sales June 10th-June 15th to our local chapter of the Red Cross and Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society, which was very hard hit by the tornado. You can donate directly to these organizations.
Guest: Vicki Stiefel, co-author of 10 Secrets of the Laidback Knitter. She wrote this book with Lisa Souza and the whole premise is to help knitters experience more joy from their knitting. The authors wanted this book to be inclusive to everyone. Make sure you check it out!
Last show we talked about making the center back cable panel, and now that that’s done, we’re ready to pick up stitches!
Now, technically, the cable could be oriented either with the cast on edge at the neck or at the bottom hem. But I put it at the top neck so it’ll look more like the cables you’re about to do from the shoulders down. This is why you’re doing the right half of the body even though it says you’re picking up on the left edge of the cable panel. By “left edge” I mean the edge that’s at the end of a RS row. After working your last row, your yarn and needles should be poised to start working here, anyway.
When I’m picking up stitches in a bulky yarn like this, I like to go into the edge stitch instead of beyond it so you don’t have a thick seam on the WS. But you can do it whichever way you’re most comfortable. You have to pick up 50 sts in 86 rows here, which is somewhere close to 3 sts for every 4 rows, not exact, but you don’t want to have to cram sts in at the very ends, and I find that the cables can compact the rows a little more than Stockinette.
So, to pick up stitches, hold the cable panel firmly in your left hand, and with your right-hand needle, go into the selvedge stitch, from front to back, wrap your yarn like for a normal knit stitch, and draw the loop through the fabric. You’re essentially treating the edge of your cable panel like it’s a row of stitches on a needle. And if you’re still having trouble, definitely google it, there are lots of videos for you to be able to see it.
Once you’re done picking up those 50 sts, you’re going to cast on 44. How do you do that? Well, there are a few different methods you can use here, but the important thing is to use a cast on that only uses one strand of yarn, not 2 like the long-tail method. I recommend using the backwards loop cast on here, sometimes called an “e wrap” because it looks like a lower case letter ‘e’. I recommend it because it’s easy, it’s somewhat stable, it’s easy to pick up from, which you’ll be doing later, and if you look closely at your long-tail cast on, you’ll see that it’s actually the same as a backwards loop cast on with one row of knitting already built into it. So there’s some symmetry if you use it here.
Art & Barbara purchased a large mill end lot of 1300 YPP Rayon Chenille. They then had it dyed and it became one of the first of the WEBS yarns. It was the first time they had repeatable colorways. They were also able to take advantage of mills in the US, which unfortunately, don’t exist anymore.
Barbara & Art used to drive around looking for mills and finding them by looking for water towers. Art made lots of contacts, and now that everything is more precise with computers, mill ends don’t really exist.
Next week – What happens when Art retires his “regular” job.
Also next week, we’ll be LIVE at our Tent Sale, so local customers can catch us on WHMP. The podcast version will go up later than usual.
Alright, so we’ve got our Northampton Bulky, we’ve swatched and we’ve found the needle size we need in order to get 3 sts to the inch in St st.
Now it’s time to cast on that center back cable panel. Long tail cast on is recommended here because it gives a nice sturdy edge that’s easy to work with. Since you’re at the back neck here, the ribbing will eventually be picked up from the bottom of this cast on edge, which long-tail cast on can handle well if it’s made somewhat loosely. If you love provisional cast-on methods, you can do it here, but keep in mind that you’ll be working some cables as early as Row 2, so you might want to use a method that will give you a row or two of waste knitting to work with, otherwise the cables can distort the cast on edge and make it hard to see which stitches come first.
To work the cable, you’ll have to do a little bit of page flipping at first. The cable panel itself is only 24 sts wide, but you’re casting on 26. That’s because you have a one stitch at the left and right edges worked in garter stitch, which are the edges you’ll be picking up the left and right backs from later. But the other cables at the shoulders don’t need those selvedge edges, which is why they’re not in the chart. So, I show you how Rows 1 and 2 are worked to establish that it’s garter stitch, and you can take it from there, repeating Rows 1-24 of the cable chart, or the written cable directions, your pick, tacking on a little “k1″ at the beg and end of each row.
Just a note about the cable abbreviations: I had to do a bit of translation between the chart’s legend and the abbreviations used in the written pattern. The reason is because my charting software has kind of long, clunky names for cables (probably because it has to have a unique name for so many of them) and they don’t fit very well into written directions and they can be a little hard to read. But since we’re only working with a couple different cables here in this pattern, we can give them more readable, general abbreviations in the written directions. So at the top of page 2, I list what abbreviation means what.
So, we’ll be repeating these 24 rows a total of 3 times, using some of the cable techniques we talked about earlier. And if you’re new to cable charts, not sure if you get them yet, I recommend working from the written version, then comparing each row you’ve worked to the chart, to get a better sense of how it works.
Next show we’ll be talking about picking up the stitches for the sides of the cardigan, casting on in the middle of a project, and just how those sleeves come to be. So get cabling and happy knitting!
Guest: Laura Patterson from Fiber Dreams. Laura shares a bit of her backstory and how she ended up as a knitting designer. She also shares what she’s been working on lately. Make sure you check out her great patterns on our site here. You can also check out her site!
Steve chats a little about Stitches South. You’ll find lots of closeouts and a Deal of the Day just for Stitches, Madelinetosh, Malabrigo, Valley Yarns, Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Berroco. Anniversary Sale yarns that are there will be available at the Anniversary Sale price. Stop by and say ‘hi’ if you’re in the area.
History of WEBS – Kathy and Steve talk about how WEBS started as a loom rental business in 1974. Barbara and her business partner Donna also taught weaving in Barbara’s basement. As time went on they added other looms, spinning wheels, and a little bit of yarn. One loom was even displayed on the back porch! By the end of the 1970s, Donna left the business and the first store came into existence. The story continues next week!
Next Week you’ll find out more about one of the shops in the I-91 Shop Hop, plus KAL with Kirsten, and more of the History of WEBS!
Guest: Kathy chats with Karen, our store manager. She talks about our upcoming Authors Event. We’re going to have many authors at the store for one big party on Sunday, March 27th from 1pm-4pm. Authors include Mary Beth Temple, Gail Callahan, Melissa LaBarre and Cecily Glowik MacDonald, Hilary Price, and many more. Check out the page for the event on the website!
Tips & Techniques: Cabling
Kirsten gives some tips for cabling. If you can braid hair, you can cable! You’re just rearranging the order of stitches on your needle. Cables are usually set against reverse stockinette stitch, but this isn’t necessary. Kirsten recommends working cables with wool or wool blends with several plies, or a lot of twist. Solid yarns are also recommended so they don’t take away from the pop of the cable.
There are a couple methods to work cables, but the most assured way is to use a cable needle. It also helps understand what is happening with the stitches. You’ll slip stitches purlwise to a cable needle, then let the needle fall to the front or back of the work depending on what the pattern specifies. You’ll then knit or purl the stitches your pattern tells you to, and then knit off the cable needle. You don’t need a specific cable needle either, you can just use a dpn!
Have you ever looked at entrelac and thought that you would like to try it out, but weren’t sure where to start? Or maybe you have tried it, but you’re looking for something a little different.
Rosemary Drysdale’s latest book Entrelac: The Essential Guide to Entrelac is definitely a book you want to add to your shelf! Not only does it include detailed instructions (with photographs) for entrelac, there is also a wealth of stitch patterns using the entrelac technique and several patterns.
I love the different stitch patterns she uses and the way she incorporates them into entrelac.
Flipping through the collection (there are over 60 pattern ideas) you’ll find entrelac pieces using lace, cables, colorwork, and more!
As if all swatches with instructions weren’t enough to get you inspired, there are also over 20 patterns – from simple accessories to beautiful garments!
I really like the way the different shades of gray blend in this vest. The back is ribbed, so it has a tailored look without fussing with too much shaping.
I love the simple use of entrelac on this baby cardigan, and the addition of the embroidered rosebuds just makes it too cute!
If you have been intimidated by entrelac in the past, definitely pick this book up. It has easy to follow instructions (which would have been handy to have when working my first entrelac project!), and great tips, including how to knit backwards – a great skill to have when it comes to entrelac.
Guest: Kristin Omdahl, author of the new A Knitting Wrapsody, out next month. This is Kristin’s first knitting book. She took inspiration from all of the other crafts she enjoys and used them to help design. A DVD comes with the book that covers the techniques in the book. You can also find Kristin on Knitting Daily TV.