Archive for the ‘KAL & CAL’ Category

CAL Week 4: Sugar Sparkles Shawlette

Thursday, April 18th, 2013
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All our crochet work is done! Now we move on to the blocking and see the magic it can have on a finished piece.

You may want to weave in your ends before blocking but don’t trim them yet, let them settle into the new shape with the blocked shawl and trim them when everything is dry.

Here you can see that I’ve pinned the top edge, using blocking wires to keep it nice and straight. Then I pinned the bottom section of the shawlette with another wire and I have a third wire in the center so I can keep everything even.

Once the center section was pinned I was able to pin out the angled increase and decrease sides with a pin in each bobble, here you can see that in detail.

We have a great video with Dena showing you the blocking process. While she is blocking a knit shawl the principles and process are the same.

Once the shawlette is dry you can unpin, trim any ends that may have popped out during the blocking process, and wear!

Thanks for crocheting along with us! What was your favorite part of this project?

Get your copy of the pattern here and join in the CAL at any time! Week 1, Week 2, Week 3

CAL Week 3: Sugar Sparkles Shawlette

Thursday, April 11th, 2013
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We’ve got the first three rows of the edging done! They might have felt a little difficult at times but they set up the rest of the edging so everything else moves along pretty smoothly from here.

Here we have a video showing you the key steps from Rows 4 and 5.

In Row 4 you begin to shape the edging by decreasing sections with dc3tog (double crochet 3 together) stitches, and increasing in others with chain loops. The FPtr stitches in Row 5 of the edging are worked around the FPdc from Row 3 and are a bit easier to place because it’s very easy to see those post stitches.

Row 6 will be familiar with it’s combination of dc3tog and chain loops, like in Row 4.

Row 7 has the seemingly tricky FPtr5tog (Front Post Treble 5 together) stitch, this video shows you how simple it is.

Row 8 is another combination of chain loops and bsc stitches with the added interest of a bobble at the top of each of the triangles created by the FPtr5tog stitch that you did in Row 7. Once you’ve completed Row 8 of the edging you’ll have just a bit more work to do along the top of the shawl before you’re finished.  You’ll need to thread  beads for the last time before you begin this section and REMEMBER you’ll be working along the wrong side of the shawlette for this top edge so the beads align on the right side.

Now, you’ll sc along the side of your beaded edging to neaten that edge and bring it in line with the top edge of the shawlette. Then you’ll work alternating sc and bsc along the top edge in the same way you did for Row 1 of the edging. Regular sc will be worked along the other side of the beaded edging to mirror the first side. Finally you’ll slip stitch back along this edge to finish it off.

Next week we’ll have a finished shawl and share some blocking and finishing tips. Have you enjoyed the pattern so far?

Get your copy of the pattern here and join in the CAL at any time!

CAL Week 2: Sugar Sparkles Shawlette

Thursday, April 4th, 2013
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Now that you’ve finished the main body of the shawl you can move on to the beaded edging.

Picking the right beads for your project can seem like a big task but you really, almost, can’t go wrong! Here you can see I’ve swatched with 4 different colors, they’re each appealing in their own way. The tonal color combo gives just an extra bit of shine, the darker amber gives more of an autumnal feel, while the iridescent green beads say Spring to me. My shawl will be worked with the grey beads, I’m on a bit of a yellow/grey kick lately.

Linda offers some great advice in the pattern that directs you to string only as many beads as you’ll need for a particular row. This way you don’t have over 600 beads that need to be pushed down along your yarn as you work the edging, 150-200 beads at a time is much more manageable.

We’ve put together a quick video showing you the bsc stitch from Row 1 and how to transition to Row 2

The edging is worked along the bottom of the shawl and Row 1 is worked with the wrong side facing you. It’s worked this way because when you bring up a bead for the bsc, beaded single crochet stitch, the bead sits on the back of the stitch. I like to work with about 10 beads at-a-time in my left hand, then I can get a bunch of stitches done before I need to dip down and grab more beads. You’ll cut the yarn and fasten off at the end of Row 1 and rejoin your yarn at the other end to begin Row 2,THEN you’ll turn the work over and work in the opposite direction for Row 3.

Here we also have a video showing the FPdc stitch and how to keep track of it’s placement in Row 3.

Next week we’ll tackle Rows 5-7 of the edging. Have you done any beading with your crochet?

Get your copy of the pattern here and join in the CAL at any time!

CAL Week 1: Sugar Sparkles Shawlette by Linda Permann

Thursday, March 28th, 2013
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It’s the first week for our CAL (crochet-a-long)! We’re extending some of the love from National Crochet Month in March into April!

Everyone was very excited when we saw Linda’s Sugar Sparkle Shawlette so it was an easy decision.

For the CAL you’ll need:

* 775 yards of a light Fingering weight yarn: the pattern calls for Malabrigo Sock, but you could also use Valley Yarns Charlemont or Valley Yarns BFL Fingering. I’m using a coned wool that I’ve had in my stash for a few years but the color makes me happy and I’m getting gauge!

* US size D/3.25mm and US size C/2.75mm hooks, I’m using the Addi Color coded hooks. You won’t need the smaller hook till you get to the border.

* 675 size 6/0 seed beads.  If you’re lucky enough to be local to our store the Northampton Beadery has a great selection of colors in this size!

* you’ll need a beading needle and a yarn needle, for weaving in ends.

I’m also going to suggest locking ring stitch markers, it’s always a good idea to have a few of these around.

The main body of the shawl is worked sideways from point to point with all the increases, and subsequent decreases, happening along the same side. You may want to place a marker, every couple rows, on the side with all of your increases. It can be easy to loose track of which side that is when your work is just a few, short rows and it will remind you what side the decreases will happen on when you get to them! You can also keep a small notebook handy and tick off each increase/decrease row as it’s made.

Here you can see my shawl, Mary’s(Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in Raspberry), and Tina’s(Valley Yarns Charlemont Kettle Dye in Purple Passion), all just beginning the decreases.

This center section is fairly easy and moves along quickly. Next week we’ll look at bead choices, stringing your beads and working the first 2 rows of your border.

What yarn will you be using?

KAL Week 4: Valley Yarns 514 Burning Branch Shawl

Friday, March 15th, 2013
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Did you bind off your Burning Branch Shawl? One of my favorite parts of any project with lace is the blocking.

Because of the unusual shape of this shawl, it can be a little tricky to block  I laid it out on m blocking board and pinned out the SSKs then smoothed the rest of the shape and pinned it.

 

I love taking a dried lace project off the blocking board. It is so satisfying when you remove the pins, pick it up, and the beautiful shape stays.

Now you can wear your finished shawl. Check out the different ways Katie is wearing our sample.

  

Do you love your shawl? Any questions we didn’t answer?

KAL Week 3: Valley Yarns 514 Burning Branch Shawl

Thursday, March 7th, 2013
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Now that we have completed our three leaf repeats, it is time to work the last leaf and twig border. You’ll work the first part until there are 9 stitches between each marker.

The twig pattern is formed in the next section and is repeated until you have 2 stitches before marker B. This will be your k1 and ssk like before.

Tip: As you’re working, you’ll being to be able to read your knitting. There were a couple times I was purling back on the wrong side row and I realized I missed a yarnover. This is super easy to fix without undoing what you’ve already done. When you get to the point where there should be a yarnover, simply pick up the bar between the two stitches and purl it – instant fix.

Kirsten designed this pattern to use all of the BFL skein, so you may run out before you finish the pattern repeats, but the great thing about how she designed it is that it’s okay! I ran out (with enough to bind off) when there were five stitches between the markers and it still looks amazing. You could also do the last section in a coordinating color for a different look.

Next week, we’ll wrap up the Burning Branch Shawl KAL and block our shawls!

KAL Week 2: Valley Yarns 514 Burning Branch Shawl

Thursday, February 28th, 2013
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This week, we move on to knitting the leaves of the Burning Branch Shawl. I love the leaf pattern of this shawl and the way it develops. It has me thinking spring, and I’m definitely ready to see leaves on the trees again.

In the first row of each leaf section you’ll be placing your ‘B’ markers. this is why it is important to have two different colors of markers.

Tip: If you don’t have different color markers, you can use scraps of yarn. I often just grab a short length of yarn from a nearby scrap ball and tie it and use it as a marker. Then I don’t have to worry if it falls off and rolls under a chair since it is just scrap.

For each repeat you’ll work until there are two stitches before your ‘B’ markers. These will be your k1 and ssk.

After working the first leaf you’ll repeat it two more times.

The wrong side purl rows are starting to get long! Purling is not my favorite thing to do, but I’ve been catching up on old TV shows on Netflix as I knit this.

How is your shawl coming?

KAL Week 1: Valley Yarns 514 Burning Branch Shawl

Thursday, February 21st, 2013
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We’re kicking off our latest KAL (knit-a-long) here on the blog today! When Kirsten finished 514 Burning Branch Shawl, we loved the unique shape and the BFL Fingering dyed by Gail is amazing to work with and wear.

 

For the KAL, you’ll need a skein of Valley Yarns BFL Fingering Hand Dyed, size US4 needles (I used 32″ Addi Lace circulars), and stitch markers*- 6 each of 2 different colors, and the pattern.

In the first section, you cast on, place you ‘A’ markers and work 12 rows to set up the pattern.

If you’re going to be at Stitches West this weekend, make sure you come visit us in booth 604-612 and 703-711. We’ll have the sample, pattern, and yarn so you can start right away. You definitely want to check it out in person. It is gorgeous!

We’ll continue next week. Hope you’ll join us!

*My stitch markers were purchased from Knitifacts etsy store.

Sebastian Gloves Knitalong – Week 3

Sunday, November 25th, 2012
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We’re wrapping up the Classic Elite Yarns Sebastian Gloves Knitalong this week. How are your gloves coming along? I’ve finally finished one of the ribbed cuff gloves and I’ve started a cable cuff glove too.

Cable Cuff Clarification – First up, if you’re knitting the Cable Cuff version of the gloves and haven’t started knitting from the second chart yet, there was a missing line in the instructions. After you finished knitting the 16 rows of the Cuff Cable Chart, BEGIN FOLLOWING CABLE CHART OVER 18 STS BEGINNING WITH ROUNDS 4 TO 8, THEN WORKING CHART RNDS 1 TO 8 TO COMPLETE GLOVE. Some of you may have picked up on this omission. But some may have started with round 1 of the second chart. But no worries. Your gloves will still look great. You’ll just have an extra twist in your second middle cable crossing. You can see an example of the extra twist here.

Change to Smaller Needles for Fingers – After you’ve knit the last Reverse Stockinette Ridge and placed the stitches on waste yarn, be sure to change to your smaller needles. I missed this step in the directions, but it’s not the end of the world. By knitting the fingers on smaller needles, this will create a more dense and durable knitted fabric. This is exactly what you want on the finger tips which is where my gloves wear out first. I’ve mended the fingertips of these gloves so many times. I love them and will keep mending them until I run out of yarn. So keep your yarn scraps from the gloves for future mending.

Use Short DPNs – If you never knit glove fingers before on double pointed needles, you may find a shorter needle such as the Knitter’s Pride Dreamz 5″ DPNs to be easier to work with. You’ll only have 3-5 stitches on each needle, and longer DPNs may feel more awkward and just get in the way.

Shaping Finger Tops – Once you’ve knit to the top of a finger and after threading the tail through the remaining stitches, I like to tighten up the stitches from my last round before pulling the tail tightly to close up the top. I find this creates a more tidy looking finger tip.

Closing Up the Gaps – Once you’ve finished all of the fingers, you may find some gaps between each finger. Since you left nice, long tails at the beginning of each finger, with just a couple of stitches, you’ll be able to easily close up those gaps. Before weaving in your ends and cutting off the extra yarn, try on your gloves looking for any other gaps that you want to close up.

Embellish Those Gloves – I really like the look of the cable pattern without any embroidery. But I’ve seen others do some really nice embellishing too. Have fun with this part; you’re almost done!

Thanks again to everyone who have been sharing their glove progress with us. It’s great to see so many knitting along. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments below. And if you’re on Ravelry, we’d love to see a picture of your finished gloves in the Sebastian Gloves thread.

Happy Knitting!

– Dena

Sebastian Gloves Knitalong – Week 2

Sunday, November 18th, 2012
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So is everyone ready to get started knitting their Sebastian Gloves? I’ve been working on the Ribbed Cuff Version and have really been enjoying having a portable knitting project again.

First off, I’d like to answer a couple of questions people have had on social media this past week. Some of you may be having the same questions.

1. “I’m not very good at knitting on double pointed needles. Would it be possible to magic loop these?” Absolutely! I would suggest knitting the gloves using your favorite small-diameter circular knitting method. I started out knitting my glove on DPNs, but once I got to the cable portion, I found it easier to knit on two circular needles. With this cable pattern, I didn’t like having a cable cross between two double pointed needles. With two circulars or the magic loop method, it’s easy to have each cable portion on a separate needle.

2. “I don’t want the cable pattern on the inside of the glove. If I recall, cable draws the fabric in compared to the same number of stitches in stockinette. If that’s true – is there a way to figure out how much I’d need to reduce the number of stitches on the inside without knitting it, measuring it, and pulling it out?” Kristin Nicholas‘s response to this question: You would have to figure out your stockinette gauge and substitute in. You would also have to adjust the finger stitch numbers for pickup. The reason I put the cable on both sides is because if a glove is the same on the front and back it can be worn on both hands. The gloves I have that are either right or left handed always wear out on the right hand first. You can swap the gloves between hands so they will wear evenly and you won’t have to re-knit the fingers so often.

3. “Is there a fingerless version of these?” or “Wonder if I could make these as mittens instead of gloves?” If you want to make a fingerless version, there has been suggestions to bind off after the last reverse stockinette ridge or to stop knitting the fingers at the first knuckle. If you want to make mittens, I would suggest skipping the last reverse stockinette ridge and continuing the cable pattern. Follow a basic mitten pattern to shape the top. But you’ll have to do some extra work figuring out how to end the cable pattern.

Now let’s get knitting! Below, you’ll find some notes, links to video tutorials, and tips as you knit the gloves.

Cast On – I just used my go-to Long Tail Cast On. Unless I need a really stretchy cast-on edge, I use this most of the time.

Needles – If you’ve never used DPNs before or need some tips, check out our Knitting in the Round on DPNs video.

Changing Colors – If you’ve never changed colors in your knitting, check out our video on How to Add a New Color to Your Knitting.

Ribbed Cuff – For the first row of ribbing in the ribbed cuff, I would suggest knitting all stitches. If you do the ribbed pattern on the first row, you’ll get a messier transition between the color change (see photo at the right). I ripped back and reknit this row. Check out our tutorial on how to knit clean stripes in ribbing for more explanation.

Knitting Cables – I love cables because they add a lot of fun texture and look a lot more complicated than they really are. If you’re a cable newbie, watch our How to Knit Cables video before starting the cable section. One of my favorite tools to use to keep track of where I’m at in a cable chart is highlighter tape. Really, it’s awesome. You can see it in use here. But sticky notes work really well too.

Marking the Thumb Gusset – Later in the glove, you’ll need to measure from the beginning of the thumb gusset, to where you knit the last reverse stockinette ridge. For ease of measuring later, I would suggest slipping a locking stitch marker in the middle of the cable pattern of this row. It’s easier to see where the thumb gusset begins.

Knitting the Thumb Gusset – You’ll be using a Make 1 stitch (M1) to create the thumb gusset. For a refresher on how to knit Make 1 Increases, watch this video.

Once you’ve knit the thumb gusset, you’ll hold the thumb stitches on waste yarn and continue knitting the rest of the glove hand. You’ll need to knit until the hand measures a certain amount from the beginning of the thumb. Don’t make the mistake that I made and measure from where you put the thumb stitches on waste yarn. You’ll need to measure from the beginning of the thumb gusset. So I had several rows I had to unknit. And unknitting cables is definitely harding then knitting them. Learn from my mistakes.

That brings us to the last reverse stockinette ridge. We’ll pick up there next week. Now take a moment, slip on your glove, and take a picture. Looking good so far I bet. Share your progress on our Ravelry page here. I’d love to see everyone’s color choices and gloves so far. I’m knitting the small size, which is a little snug for my hand.

If you get stuck, please post your questions in the comments.

Happy Knitting!

– Dena