Posts Tagged ‘gauge’

Amy Herzog Can Help You Make the Perfect Sweater

Friday, October 25th, 2013
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Do you remember your first sweater? I remember mine. I actually learned how to knit by making a sweater. I got such satisfaction from showing it to people and saying airily, “yeah, I just made that.” Well, I don’t know who I was fooling. Of course you could tell I made it. The shoulders had a Michael Jackson-esque largeness from clumsy seaming, and one sleeve was a tad (noticeably) longer than the other. And I guess I didn’t notice myself that for one inexplicable row I changed from knit to purl and stopped halfway through and returned to knit. Plus, it was about five sizes too big.

There are 2 main reasons why most sweaters don’t fit:

Measurements (yours, incorrectly done)

Gauge (also yours, maybe incorrect)

Amy Herzog, designer of the best-ever sweaters and author of the groundbreaking book Knit to Flatter, has developed a software program that she just rolled out called CustomFit. By the way, this link takes you to my CustomFit home, so don’t go messing around with my measurements! She’ll be at WEBS on Saturday, November 2 from 11:00am – 2:00pm to show off the site and show customers our unique partnership with her website.

acorn-trail-2

Amy herself, in Acorn Trail

 

Here’s how it works: users establish an individual online account that contains their detailed body measurements.  Based on that information, knitters have the opportunity to design a customized sweater from a seemingly infinite number of styles and design details.  Here are a few examples to whet your appetite. I am a CustomFit account holder myself and am about to get busy on a gorgeous scoop-neck pullover with hemmed neck, bottom edge, and sleeves that will fit me like a glove because I spent quite a bit of time making sure my measurements were correctly done.

Amy’s store event will make that part of it a breeze, since WEBS is partnering with her to have our very own CustomFit account. We will record customers’ measurements and this information will be stored under the WEBS account in CustomFit. This gives WEBS the opportunity to provide personalized service in the form of sweater choices and yarn consults on your customized patterns.

If you love Amy’s iconic designs, you can use an existing pattern of hers, which now have CustomFit adaptations and instructions. She even has an FAQ section (which she’ll answer in-store on Saturday, November 2) so that you don’t get frustrated or lost.

It’s really perfect. So we’ll see you on November 2 from 11:00am – 2:00pm, tape measure in hand and ill-fitting knitwear in the trunk of your car, en route to a landfill or Goodwill.

 

The Only Library You Can Carry in Your Knitting Bag

Friday, June 21st, 2013
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A knitting teacher in your pocket!

I’m more and more convinced that Knit-Kards™ are the most genius thing ever. Produced by Nancy’s Knit Knacks, which sounds very folksy, these 14 double-sided laminated cards (with handy keyhole and ring included!) contain every piece of information you need to make a sweater, a sock, or a blanket, along with tips and tricks to make that project hum. A long-tail cast-on can be a pain, because what happens when you don’t leave yourself enough yarn to complete the cast-on? You have to rip that sucker out and start over. Believe me, my kids have learned the most choice swears from lurking around my knitting chair. The Long Tail Cast-on Knit Kard™  provides a table with a simple formula to figure out the number of inches of yarn needed based on number of stitches cast on and needle size. Bingo! Job done.

Along with yardage requirements for any kind of garment, from sweaters (baby) to afghans (huge), Knit Kards™ instruct users through Kitchener Stitch, basic increases and decreases, and how to use those increases and decreases for optimum graceful shaping. Yarn Label Guides explain the care symbols used by clothing makers so that your treasured garment doesn’t end up fitting your American Girl Doll. You can convert ounces to grams, meters to yards, and vice versa, learn how to make the perfect gauge swatch, or learn what the abbreviation K1b means. And to top it all off, you get a knitting needle/crochet hook inventory card to keep track of those needles you keep in a plastic shopping bag (Hey! maybe we can talk knitting bags and storage solutions in a follow-up post!). The bright colors make them easy to find in your crowded project bag, and the index-card size makes them convenient to take anywhere.

All the WEBS sales team keep Knit Kards™ in our apron pockets, and we all use them religiously. You should too!

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Check your Gauge

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012
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Ok, I know we’ve all heard this before; “Take time to save time, check your gauge!” 

Even though we all know we should, so many of us decide to go ahead with our project anyway throwing caution and common sense to the wind. I never knit gauge swatches either, assuming I would get gauge and cautiously sticking to patterns where gauge didn’t really matter. When my co-workers and I decided to knit a blanket for our friend getting married, gauge reared its ugly head. My square was so much smaller and almost roundish compared to my co-workers. While my square was small and tight, Tina’s square was huge and drapey. I ended up knitting the same squares as everyone else on a needle 3 sizes bigger. Tina had to go down two needle sizes to get the same gauge. We’re both experienced knitters, but the way we knit produced very different fabric.

Tina and I knit the same swatch, on the same needle size, with the same yarn to illustrate this point. My swatch is miniature compared to hers! The point of all this is, if Tina designed a pattern, and I attempted to knit that pattern without doing a gauge swatch, my project would be way too small. We’ve all heard knitter’s say, “I always get gauge”, but what if I designed a pattern? My gauge is obviously much smaller than most knitters, so you definitely wouldn’t automatically get gauge on my pattern.

The moral of the story is, do a gauge swatch every time!