Monday, November 26, 2007

NO SEW Vest - Knit Along Part V

Now it's time to add the finishing touch to the sleeves and neckline!

Let's begin with the Armholes

Be sure to turn your garment to right sides facing out. Use 16" size 9 needles. Attach yarn at bottom edge of Armhole opening. Pick up 68 (68, 72, 72, 76) sts evenly around armhole edge.

PICKING UP STITCHES helpful information!
Okay, before you begin picking up stitches let's just take a look at the sleeve opening. If you made the Smallest size you will need to pick up 68 stitches around the outside edge. Instead of just picking up over and over and feeling frustrated that you have picked up too few or too many stitches try this: The big trick in picking up stitches is planning. Divide the armhole opening in half in your head. Since you have to pick up 68 sts total, you'll need to pick up 34 of those stitches on the front and the remaining 34 on the back. You may even need to divide into smaller and smaller sections, sometimes I use a few pins to help plan out where my stitches will be distributed.

Now to actually pick up stitches. Begin Right Side facing you and hold your needle in your RIGHT hand. Insert needle into next stitch, yarn over as if to knit and pull up that loop. That is how you pick up a stitch. Repeat that evenly around.

Armhole Ribbing. Working in the round, k2, p2 for 5 rows. Bind off and repeat on other armhole.

Neck Ribbing. Using 16" size 9 needles. Beginning at Center of Front, pick up 60 (64, 64, 68, 68) sts evenly around neckline edge. Working BACK and FORTH across instead of in the round, work a k2, p2 rib for 5 rows. Bind off leaving an 8" tail. Using tail, tack down ribbed edge.

Weave in all yarn ends and enjoy!

NO SEW Vest - Knit Along Part IV

Okay! Today is the day to join our shoulder seams without actually sewing them. This is done using the Three Needle Bind Off. It is MUCH easier than it sounds and once you learn how to finish shoulders with this method, it will become your favorite!

Reasons to LOVE the three needle bind off:
  • It provides a clean non-bulky shoulder.

  • Gives garments a professional finish.

  • No extra yarn ends to weave in

  • Bind off and join shoulders all at the same time.

  • It makes you look like a knitting genius!

Let's get started!

Turn your garment Inside-Out with the RIGHT SIDES facing each other. Slip stitches that were held by a stitch holder onto a spare needle (the needle size does not matter). Now hold up the stitches from the FRONT and BACK shoulders in your left hand. See photo below.

We are going to bind off in Purl stitch, the ONLY difference is you will be going through one stitch from back needle and one stitch from front needle. I'm going to write this out STEP by STEP.

  1. Using a third needle, insert needle into one stitch from back needle as if to purl and then into one stitch from front needle as if to purl.
  2. Purl both stitches and remove them from left needles.
  3. Repeat Step 1 and 2, then pass the previous stitch over this stitch.
  4. Repeat Steps 1-3 across shoulder. Reattach yarn and work remaining shoulder.
  5. Fasten off and weave in all yarn ends.

Here is my daughter's vest before picking up around sleeves and neck.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

NO SEW Vest - Knit Along Part III

Today my daughter watched me as I knitted away on my vest. "Mommy, will you make one for me?" Oh, those puppy-dog could I resist? So, I put my vest on hold and today's post is done using her little vest.

...NO SEW VEST continued

On our last post, you were to work the BACK until it measures 9 (9, 9 1/2, 9 1/2, 10)" from Armhole shaping.

NOW Work first 9 (10, 11, 12, 13) sts and slide on stitch holder, bind off next 18 sts, then work remaining 9 (10, 11, 12, 13) sts and place on stitch holder. Cut yarn. Set that part aside and now we'll work the FRONT.

Move 42 (44, 46, 48, 50) Front stitches back on to needle. See photo below.

Reattach yarn. BO 3 sts at the beg on the next 2 rows. These and all remaining rows are worked in st st (k 1 row, p 1 row). Continue in st st until panel measures 3" from Armhole shaping.

Divide for Neck Shaping
Work across first 18 (19, 20, 21, 22) sts. This is the Center of the FRONT. Attach a second ball of yarn and work remaining 18 (19, 20, 21, 22) sts. See photo below.

Continuing in st st (k 1 row, p 1 row), decrease 1 st at neck edge of every other row, 9 times until 9 (10, 11, 12, 13) sts remain.

HINT: When working with two balls, it will allow you to work BOTH side of the FRONT. So to work a row, you will work across the row to the second ball of yarn. Set down the first ball and pick up the second ball then continue across the row. The photo below will show you how your project will look.

Work even until panel measures 9 (9, 9 1/2, 9 1/2, 10)" from armhole and matches length of BACK. Place remaining sts on holder.

Tomorrow - 3 needle bind off and picking up stitches for sleeve and neck trim.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Churkey day to remember....

My husband will be the first to attest I am NOT a very good cook unless I follow a recipe. In fact, without a recipe, I'm downright lousy. I don't know why, but the food when I "wing it," is totally gross.

Anywhoooooo...yesterday I had the Churkey roasting away in the oven when my parents arrived. The smell of good cooking is so important to me to "set the mood." I was feeling pretty good. I had my list of things I needed to complete and the time frame set in my head so that everything was read at just the right moment. I had a chance to visit with my parents for a bit, sip down a glass of champagne, and even squeeze in a quick game of Disney Monopoly with my mom and daughter. Then it was time to get things rolling: start the potatoes, dressing, gravy, asparagus (the only green food my husband will eat). I had my mom's Waldorf Salad on the table along with the proper serving utensils and bowls for each side dish. Then, KABOOM! The power went out! Noooooooooooo!!!!!!!!! I started to panic and WANTED to cry (my usual response), but then said to myself" Okay...Nancy. Get your bearings...this isn't the end of the world!" I looked around and really, I was just about done cooking! I found a flashlight for my husband, lit a few more candles, left things on the stove in the pots so they didn't get cold and served up dinner. We all ended up cuddled up in our sitting room for a very cozy, old fashioned completely candlelit Thanksgiving dinner!

Not 5 minutes after we finished dinner, the power came back on! (PS. We had a cold front move in with some rain storms and high winds which resulted in knocking out the transformer right in front of our house and our whole neighborhood was out).

Churkey Day 2007 - Hadley, Pa, & Grandma

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Delusions of Grandeur

Photo courtesy of chalkboard manifesto

My eyes were WAY bigger than my stomach this week! I thought I'd be able to get so much accomplished...including knitting for the next portion of the blog. Well, a sick child and sick husband (yes, they act the same when sick) kind of slowed me down. We've had a really busy week in the store AND don't forget...I have to cook the CHURKEY. So, I'm sorry for the delay, and I appreciate your understanding....I'm going to post the the next section of the vest THIS Sunday...also a new QUICK CAP KNIT ALONG will be starting!

Have a great turkey, lurkey, churkey day!

Friday, November 16, 2007

NO SEW Vest - Knit Along Part II

Time for Section II of of our NO SEW Vest project.

The remaining sections won't require as much knitting, so I'll be posting them more often. It may even give you a way to relax during (an often stressful) holiday.

You have now worked up to the armhole. Now we will be dividing the stitches in half. Here's how it's done: Knit next 42 (44, 46, 48, 50) sts onto stitch holder to be worked later (these will be the FRONT).

The remaining stitches on the needle will be the BACK. You will now be working back and forth on these stitches, not in the round. Note: Since you will be continuing in stockinette stitch you will need to KNIT one row and PURL one row instead of just KNIT.

Okay now let's work the BACK.
Row 1 Bind off the first 3 stitches. Knit across row.
Row 2 Bind off the first 3 stitches. Purl across row.
Continue working in stockinette stitch (k 1 row, p 1 row) until BACK measures
9 (9, 9 1/2, 9 1/2, 10)" from beginning of ARMHOLE SHAPING.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Happy "Churkey" Day!

Turkeys get the day off at my house this Thanksgiving. And, no I'm not a vegan.

Well, up until an hour ago, I didn't have any plans set for Thanksgiving. During a phone call with my mother for a little knitting help, I volunteered to host a small Thanksgiving get together. "Nothing too big." I said. I just want us (husband, daughter, self) and my parents. Are you wondering why I'm so adamant about the group being small? Is it because I don't like to entertain? Or perhaps don't like to clean the house? Or because I've been so busy with work? No, the REAL reason I want the group small is I don't want to make a big turkey! I'm going to make a chicken instead. Crazy, but true. I've been making chicken for Thanksgiving now for about 4 years. I know that it isn't any different to make a turkey, I've heard the speeches from many friends. Last year, I even went as far as to order a fresh turkey but then backed out at the last minute and made...a chicken.

We'll have all the other fixin's....but it's another chickin' lickin' "Churkey" Day at my house this year.

I hope you are enjoying some of your own traditions this year, too!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Oh, Jennifer!

I'm sure my sister had no idea she'd be today's post (or hair, make up, and background may have been a little different). She took this on her cell phone and sent it to my phone.

But look! My non-crafting, self-proclaimed "Book Worm" sister, finished her first scarf! She even figured out how to bind off on her own! She showed me her progress about a week ago. Nice, even stitches; she's even a bit of a perfectionist...she'll make a very good knitter.

Jen's scarf was knit out of 1 hank of a very soft, chunky -Plymouth Alpaca Grande, on size 15 needles. She cast on 12 stitches and knitted every row.

WAY TO GO, Jen! Hmmm, I wonder what her next project will be....

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Vest Knit Along Helpful Information

It has been great to see how many people are working on this awesome vest! What I love about it is that it is a project I've actually completed, love to wear, and doesn't have a home made look. I hope you will like wearing yours as much.

Since I've been receiving a lot of emails, phone calls and inquiries in the store I want to give a little more detail and answer some of the questions we've been getting.

Next Knit Along Date - Since we had some popular colors that were delayed in shipping AND because there was a lot of knitting to accomplish before the next knit along post, we are changing the Knit Along Date to FRIDAY, November 16th.

You may substitute yarn - the gauge needs to be 12 sts to 4" over stockinette stitch. The required yardage is: 300 (400, 450, 500, 600) Another good yarn for this project is Plymouth Alpaca Grande.

Sizing - Here is some important info about sizing. Did you ever notice that a lot of people knit garments that are often boxy and oversized? That is because they are knitting sweaters too large! Here's why. Most of us come to knitting with a bit of sewing instruction. You figure for example, okay I'm a 36 bust then I'll need a 5/8" seam allowance and of course I'll need to add in some ease so I can move. WRONG! You'll end up with a sweater that could fit a line backer. We like to design garments that fit those you would buy off the rack. A good way of see how to know your size is go to your closet and pull out a few sweaters that have a similar fit to the one we are making. Measure them. You may be shocked how much smaller they are than what you think you need.

When choosing a sweater to knit, you have to remember that you will be getting A LOT of stretch. So instead of choosing a measurement that is my exact measurement or higher, I always choose a measurement several inches smaller.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Ugh, It's Monday

Busy week ahead....I thought I'd have the day to chill, run a few errands (like shopping), and hang out. Not the case! I'm up against some (unplanned) tight book deadlines...and a few other yucky jobs (including the stack of dishes piled up in my kitchen).

This Anne Taintor Magnet sums up my feelings today. I hope your day started out a little better. If not, click on the link for a good laugh, it helps!

Friday, November 02, 2007

NO SEW Vest - Knit Along Part I

Time to start our latest Knit Along!

Here is a little about this Vest project before we get going:

The NO SEW VEST is knit in the round. We begin at the Waist Edge and work both the front & back at the same time by knitting a tube. Since it is knit in the round, you won't have any side seams to sew together!

The gauge for this sweater is 12 sts to 4" over stockinette stitch (k 1 row, p 1 row) on size US 10 1/2 needles or size needed to obtain gauge.

Find your size:

X-Small (Small, Medium, Large, X-Large)
Fits bust sizes: 30 (32, 34, 36, 38)"

Time to Knit!

Using 24" circular size US 10 1/2, cast on 84 (88, 92, 96, 100) sts.

  • If you need help casting on in the round, check out our tutorial on the Fair Isle Mystery Hat
  • Be sure to place a stitch marker at the beginning of the round. When you reach the end of a round, you will NOT turn your work. Simply slide your marker and follow the instructions for the next round.
1. Work in a knit 2, purl 2 rib until vest measures 7 (7, 8, 8, 9)" from the beginning.

  • A little note on this wide rib: It is VERY figure flattering. The rib kind of hugs your body to make your waist appear thinner, now how great is that!!!
  • If you've never worked a rib before, it's very easy! Just keep repeating (knit 2 stitches, purl 2 stitches) all the way around. Every round will be the same. You will begin to notice the rib pattern emerge and you will see that you are knitting on top of your previous knit stitches and purling on top of your previous purl stitches.

2. Continue Body: Work in st st (knit every round) until garment measures 13 (13, 14, 14, 15)" from the beginning. Have fun! Our NEXT VEST KNIT ALONG DATE will be FRIDAY, November 16th.

As always, if you have questions please post. Chances are others have those questions too!

  • Design tip! Here is where you will adjust the sweater to fit YOU perfectly. We wrote this to hit just at the top of your hip. Do you like your sweaters a little longer or shorter? Measure yourself from just under the arm to where you want your sweater bottom edge to be. It's also a good trick to lay out a few of your favorite sweaters and measure them from under the arm to the bottom edge. You may need to add or subtract a few inches from lengths listed above to get your perfect fit. Just remember, if you ADD length you may end up needing more yarn.