Yes, it is May already! Here in Australia the weather is transitioning to winter. The days are shorter; we often find ourselves cycling into the dark. The nights are cooler, we've cracked out the flannelette sheets and stoked up the fire at night. And the rain has come. After an incredibly dry Spring and Summer, the rain is very very welcome. I love the Australian bush after a rainfall, the foliage colours are so vibrant. The brightness of the Australian light really does make it feel almost magical.
May for me, now means Milo May. A month to celebrate the milo pattern and all its diversity and potential. Since milo was released five years ago, there has been over 7600 projects posted on Ravelry. Every time I see how many milo projects there are it really just blows me away. I can still so vividly remember the nervousness that I felt when I released it, my first paid pattern. I can still remember the discussion I had with my husband where we talked about how awesome it would be if milo sold 50 copies. 50 copies, we thought, Imagine that! How amazing would that be!
This year marks the fourth annual Milo May. Over the years there have been some amazing milos knit. I love how knitters have taken this humble vest pattern, added a massive dash of their incredible creativity and handcrafted some amazing knits. We've had beautiful colourwork. Some stunning cable work. And even for those who have knit the pattern as is, some gorgeous yarn choices have been made.
So how do you join in....
Milo May is hosted on my Ravelry group, which you can find the link to here. There is a very chatty thread over there, where we talk about all things milo and a lot of other stuff that may have no relation whatsoever to milo. And that is fine too.
Join the group.
Knit up a milo. (or two or three or even more ~ last year one amazing knitter knit a milo for every day of May!)
Create a project page for your milo linking to the pattern.
Tag your milo #milomay2014.
Use the #milomay2014 tag on other social media too.
We will close off entries a few days into June to allow for stragglers to finish weaving in ends, block and get photos. Then we have a prize draw. Some prizes will be randomly selected, some will be for something more specific and some will be chosen by the milo boy himself. He really likes that part!
If you've not knit a garment or are just learning, fear not. Milo is an incredibly easy knit and is perfect for beginner knitters. You would not believe how many people tell me milo was their first knitting project.
The prizes you ask? What are the prizes?
They are amazing! As well as my regular and much loved sponsor, Little Plum Yarn, this year I have had a number of donations from a whole heap of other knitty indie type businesses. I'm pulling all the information together and shall post tomorrow with all the details. It is pretty special though, and I can honestly say this year's milo may is going to be fabulous.
I've got a few other things cooked up for milo may but first up, I'd like to chat about a subject close to my heart.
How to choose the right size.
Milo is designed to be a fairly fitted vest. The reason that it is perfect for kids and they don't tend to take it off is because it is fitted. They don't notice that they are wearing it. Being fitted keeps their little chest and tummy warm, and that makes mummies and grannies very happy. We like to see kids with warm little chests.
To ensure that the milo you are knitting fits, two things are pretty crucial. You know I'm going to say it, but the first one is swatching. For milo, you need to swatch in the round in both stocking stitch and garter stitch. Maybe whip up a little matching beanie as part of your swatching process... but it will have to be in the same yarn. An Otis Baby Hat by Joy Boath would serve the purpose or a simple beanie with a garter section or brim. Not sure how to swatch in the round. Read here.
The second thing you absolutely must do is measure the child you are knitting for if possible. Measure against the skin or underclothes for an accurate measurement. Choose the size that equates to that measurement. Don't freak if when you compare it to the approximate age it is quite different. That is normal. Most kids aren't average and aren't the same size. My 5 year old son is 22" chest. My 8 year old daughter is 23.5".
If you want your child to get more than one year out of their knit, and who doesn't, do not go up a size. Add extra length instead. Kids grow upwards far quicker than they ever grow outwards. They need more length not width for growing room. My kids outgrow length in their knits, they never outgrow width. My daughter is still comfortably wearing the 21" (which I knit to 6 years length) I knit three years ago. I possibly should knit her a new one this year as it is possibly getting too short!
Another fitting tip:
If on the other hand your child is older than the approximate age for which they measure, knit the bodice based on their age. Then when you increase into the garter stitch section work extra increases so that the stitch count is equal to the size that matches their chest measurement. Does that makes sense?
Is there anything you've wondered about milos?
Something you'd like to know how to do that you've seen on milos floating around?
Psst: if you don't have the milo pattern, now is the time to buy it. It's discounted by $1AUD for the whole of May. Discount is subtracted automatically at the checkout.
Happy Milo May everyone!
How's everyone going on their wee Gidday Babies?
Are you keeping up?
I love that there are a number of people over on Ravelry who have got so excited by this pattern they've knit multiples! That is just awesome!
I'm loving seeing all the colour combinations, it's been really interesting to see what other people have come up with. This week I've been working away on my full size sample for the full pattern range. My testers are all just about finished so I envisage the pattern is probably only a week away..... as long as the model is co-operative! He tells me his Pirate Days are just beginning, so there is a chance I may need to resort to bribery.
Did you knit your Gidday Baby in the White Gum Wool base? How absolutely lush is it? I've been pretty set in using a grey for each of the bodies of my three, but I've used Fairy Wren, Everlasting and Hawthorn in the yokes. I love them all. Gum Grey is a stunning colour for babies. I love that it's not white, but yet has that traditional unisex feel to it. And I am totally in love with Augustbird's Pebbly Beach; such a glorious colour and I am over the moon with the finished cardie. I have a jumper lot of Augustbird's White Gum Wool waiting to be knit up for me next! I am a bit excited about that.
In this week's instalment we're going to be talking all things sleeves. There's quite a bit I want to get through today, so this could be long.
First of all, let's talk about the options for knitting the sleeves.
Small circumference knitting
I've mentioned before that I'm a big fan of small circumference needles and that is what I've used for this cardie. For baby sizes such as this you really need the teeny 9"/23cm circulars that are available from Hiya Hiya. If you google "9" Hiya Hiya circular knitting needle" you should find an online store near you. Addi also makes excellent small circular needles but I think the 8"/20cm only goes up to a 3.75mm. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I do, however, have a whole collection of Addi 12"/30cm circulars that I use for knitting sleeves for larger kid sizes and even my size. I cannot tell you how much I love them!
They are perhaps a little fiddly when you're getting used to them, but they sure are a time saver. There is no stopping and starting and no ladders; one of the more frustrating aspects of other small circumference knitting options.
Having said that, let's look at the other options. For some knitters, these may be the preferred option. Everyone is different, and my way may not be your way. I've provided online tutorial links for you to check out if you need to.
Double pointed needles (dpns)
Knitters tend to have either a love or hate relationship with dpns.
This is probably the most common method.
Two circular needles
Quite an easy method, don't feel daunted by the use of two needles. I find this an easier and less fiddly option than magic loop.
Travelling or Single Loop
A lesser known option but a goody.
Knitting the sleeve flat
While it's good to learn new techniques, for some knitters the good old flat knitting and seaming the sleeve is the preferred option. Later on in this post, I'll look at how you can adapt any sleeve pattern for flat knitting.
Picking up the underarm stitches
My approach to picking up underarm stitches does differ from some designers. I think the underarm pickup should be the complete process, I don't believe you should have to darn holes under the arm as part of the finishing process. That to me, is not great workmanship and no matter how neat you darn it always looks a bit, well, not so neat. Part of the problem, I believe is that patterns generally don't direct you to pick up enough stitches. Usually it's the same number as you've cast on under the arm, but that is not enough to close any gaps. Depending on whether I'm knitting a raglan or a circular yoke I might pick up anywhere between three and five stitches more than I cast on under the arm. This helps to close up any gaps and eliminate any unsightly holes. You can apply this approach to any pattern.
Need a little refresher on picking up stitches?
Here's a great link for picking up along a cast on/off edge:
Where to start
If you look at the photo above the big red arrow points to little bump left by the kfab stitch. The V which this arrow also points to is where you will pick up your second stitch from. Picking up the first stitch from this spot on a circular yoke can leave a bit of a gap. We don't want that. See the stitch I've marked with the pink stitch marker. Around there is where you want to pick up your first stitch. Note the stitch I've chosen to go in through is one with a small hole. Always chose the smaller hole option, picking up through a bigger hole won't close it up; it will emphasis it. We don't want that.
When you're picking up stitches, make sure you pick up through the V of each stitch around the underarm, picking up through two strands of yarn. The yarn on your needle should look like this when you're picking up.
Generally, when you're picking up these stitches if you pick up around to the stitch marked by the kfab you'll have the correct number. You'll recognise this stitch as it's the last obvious one to pick up. If you look closely it looks a bit different, a bit tighter and you can see the bump caused by the kfab.
Sometimes though, this will leave you one stitch short of the required number to pick up. This will be the case for the 15" size, you still have to pick up one more stitch. You can pick up this stitch anywhere in the gap between the last picked up stitch and the needle, remembering to choose a smaller space to pick up through. What I do sometimes, however, is a little unconventional, but it works.
Imagine I've picked up around all the underarm stitches, (you need to imagine it, because unfortunately this photo below doesn't show those picked up stitches). There is still one stitch to be picked up. I've marked the stitch I pick up with a stitch marker. Note that I've marked the right leg of the stitch and it is the stitch next to the one on the needle.
I slip this right leg back onto the left needle and knit it. Unconventional? Yes. Effective? Yes.
What I've shown you here is two different ways to pick up an extra stitch either side of the underarm stitches to help close gaps. You can choose either one, or use a mix of both like I do. It doesn't matter how you approach it, as long as you close up those gaps. As I've said before, there is no right or wrong way, just different techniques that may work better for some people. Play around with the way you approach this, if when you've picked up the stitch there's an obvious hole pull it off and try again.
In the first round of knitting the sleeve stitches, you will notice that you knit a ssk and a k2tog. These also help with closing those underarm gaps, and are really the third step in the process. In this instance, I always slip both stitches of the ssk knit-wise.
Tomorrow I'll talk about weaving in ends which will finish off the underarm beautifully but as you can already see there are no unsightly gaps or holes. Hooray!
Knitting your sleeves flat
if you're taking the option of knitting the sleeves flat, and seriously, if you don't have a 20cm circular, I don't blame you, this is how you go about it. You can transfer this approach to any circular sleeve patter.
Row 1: (RS) Beginning in the middle of the underarm, pick up and knit half the stitches the pattern instructs you to. Knit across the sleeve stitches. Pick up the other half of the underarm sleeve stitches.
Row 2: (WS) purl to last picked up stitch, p2tog with the first of the original sleeve stitches. Purl to last original sleeve stitches. ssp the last stitch with the first of the picked up stitches, purl to end of row. (2 sts dec)
Continue to work the sleeve as instructed but knitting flat, so alternating knit and purl rows.
Work the decrease instructions when knitting a right side row as follows: k3, k2tog, knit to last 5 sts, ssk, k3.
When decreasing down to the final stitch count, decrease to two stitches MORE than indicated. These stitches will be required as selvedge stitches for the seaming. We will talk about seaming in a finishing post in the next few days.
When knitting the garter stitch cuff, all rows will be knit.
So that's it.
The update file for this week can be found below.
Oh, and one other thing. If you don't have a small 3.75mm needle to work the cuffs, don't stress about it. I may have knit mine on the 4mm when I was away. Shh!
Remember to be in the running for the fabulous White Gum Wool and Augustbird prizes, you must post a finished photo on Ravelry on your project page. You must link to the pattern page. Only those projects that show up in the projects on the pattern page will be in the running for the prizes.
The prizes will be drawn next Wednesday May 7th, which gives you a bit over a week to finish.
The instalment this week is a wee bit late. Let's blame Easter for that.
Did you have a lovely Easter break? We did. We spent it with family, which was lovely but it did involve a two and a half hour drive home with two kids on a chocolate come-down (not pretty) and a dash to get back in time for an out-of hours doctors appointment for my husband (not cheap) followed by a trip into the city to find a pharmacist open to dispense his antibiotics (not fun). He has an infected ear, but is now on the mend. The kids are back at school today after a big sleep, so once again it is quiet and peaceful, albeit a bit messy.
Today's non-clue involves a little tricky-ish part (not really that tricky) followed by some lovely stocking stitch knitting. As we've finished the yoke it's now time to knit the body and the sleeves. To do this, we're going to separate the body stitches from those that we'll use to knit the sleeves. You will need the two pieces of waste yarn that the Needles and Notions section mentioned.
For those who have not knit my patterns before or are newer knitters, I want to emphasis that there are four kfabs in the row where you separate. These are worked either side of the sleeves stitches that are put on hold. Please make sure you remember to knit them. These kfabs tighten the stitches either side of the sleeves where often slackness appears due to the separation process. They also help to prevent little holes under the arms, which can be quite common with top down garments. I believe you should never have to darn up underarm holes, the pattern should prevent them. This is the first step in doing so.
About waste yarn
Waste yarn can be any scrap yarn that you have left over from other projects. A piece about 12"/30cm long is a good length. The best yarn to use for waste yarn is one that will not felt, so cotton or a superwash yarn is ideal. I like to use a waste yarn that is a different colour from the yarn I'm knitting with.
I have to confess that I don't actually use waste yarn very often anymore. I slip my sleeve stitches onto a Clover Circular Stitch holder and the needle I'm going to knit the sleeves with. You can sort of see them in this photo.
Integrated button bands
Once we've split the stitches into the body and sleeves, we will keep knitting the body, as pictured above.
You may have noticed at the bottom of the yoke the instructions that had you working 3 knit stitches and then slipping a stitch at each edge of the front. This continues to occur in this section.
The instructions read as:
Body row 1: (WS) k3, wyib sl1 purl-wise, purl to last 4 sts, k4.
Body row 2: (RS) k3, wyif sl1 purl-wise, knit to end of row.
You will notice that this creates a garter stitch edging on each of the fronts which continues down from the garter yoke. You may notice that where the slipped stitch is worked you get a long elongated stitch on one of the insides but it is barely noticeable on the other side. Like this:
You may have even wondered if you'd done something wrong as they weren't the same. You can probably guess the reason I'm showing you this photo is to let you know that they're not meant to be the same. These slipped stitches are purely functional.
What do they do?
Stocking stitch and garter stitch create stitches that are different in height. The stocking stitch is much taller than the garter stitch. Now imagine you're stacking two rows of blocks of different heights side by side. This is effectively what is happening when you knit garter and stocking stitch side by side. The garter stitch edging does stretch out vertically to accommodate the stocking stitch but one of the side effects of this is that the garter stitch edge will flip inwards. You may have knit a cardigan before with garter stitch edges where this happened. Sometimes blocking can prevent the flipping but not always and even when blocked the flipping can still happen.
Working a slipped stitch between the garter and stocking sections works as a transition stitch by creating a stitch that is taller than the garter stitch yet shorter than the stocking stitch. It helps to prevent this flipping. Even unblocked this way won't flip as much, when blocked it's foolproof.
You can work this little trick into any garter stitch edging you come across in any other pattern. Neat huh!
I posted a photo on Instagram and Facebook on Friday showing the best place to measure the yoke length. It reminded me that I should included one for the length of the cardie this week. When measuring, it's best to do it on a flat surface and make sure the front and back of the neckline are lined up. Having said that, I will admit that I often measure in the car or the park, neither of which provide terrifically flat surfaces. I love that knitting really is quite adaptable like that. A wee bit out in length for the body is not going to be too drastic.
My wee cardie in Augustbird Pebbly Beach and White Gum Wool Everlasting is all done. I cheated a bit and knit ahead. I'm now working on the sample garment for the bigger sizes for the full pattern. I'm knitting it in White Gum Wool Gum Grey and Hawthorn. You can see the colours above. Below is my finished baby size cardie In the 3-6 month size awaiting buttons and blocking.
Last night I also knit the leftovers from my wee cardie into a square in my mitred blanket. It's now up to 76 squares. Almost a fifth done.
And below that is this week's pattern instalment.
Any questions? Comments? Concerns?
It did occur to me after a comment left by a lovely knitter that some newer knitters may not have knit through the back of the loop before. You may even find it a daunting option.
It's really not. In fact, it is super dooper easy, no more difficult than knitting in fact!
The best way to illustrate this is with a couple of photos.
This first photo is just to give you a visual of a normal knit stitch. Notice how your needle is going through the front of the stitch.
You'll notice that each little stitch on the needle has two legs. One that sits over the front of the needle and one that sits over the back. When the stitch is correctly positioned on the needle the right leg will be the one at the front. You can almost flatten the stitch and see how it's going to form the shape of the V when it's knit.
When you knit through the back of the loop you simply knit through that back leg. It's really no more difficult than a knit stitch.
When you knit through the back of the loop it twists the stitch by bringing the left leg forward. This is what closes up the hole left by the yarn over.
This is a really useful technique to know. If you come across a stitch on your needle which has somehow got twisted and has its left leg forward you can knit it through the back of the loop and untwist it. There's no need for jigging it back and forward between needles to get it to sit right before knitting.
So how do you identify a twisted stitch?
A twisted stitch will have the right leg behind the needle. It will also twist as you try to knit it. A normal knit stitch will be open to you knitting it, but a twisted stitch will cross its legs as if to say no.
The best way to identify a twisted stitch is by feel as they do look quite innocent and innocuous when sitting on the needle. As your knitting experience grows so does your feel for what you're knitting. You can feel when something is not quite right. You'll feel that that twisted stitch is a bit tighter to knit and not quite right.
Go with that intuition, it's all good!
Today's yarn: White Gum Wool in Gum Grey.
Knit on Addi Turbo needles.
So have you got your yarn ready?
Were you good and swatched? I hope so!
This is the yarn I'm using. Augustbird's Pebbly Beach from The Colours of Australia range. Aww. It is so lovely, such a great colourway and works with so many of the White Gum Wool solids. Beautiful with Gum Grey, Quarrystone or Storm for a subtle effect or for more of visual contrast, it teams stunningly with Everlasting, Sedge, Hawthorn and Flax Lily to just name a few. In fact, it works so well with so many colours that I'm having trouble deciding which one to team it with! I'm currently leaning towards Sedge. Or Everlasting. That's probably my thing for yellow.
Anyway, I thought I'd share with you a link to the Augustbird Ravelry Group. It's here. And there are two reasons why I wanted to share it. Number one, it's a great way to stay up to date with what Rebecca is up to as well as see some stunning stuff knit up in her yarn. It's important I believe to support our local indie yarnies and give them our love. If you subscribe to the White Gum Wool newsletter or read Nan's blog, she has written very eloquently about the loveliness of the indie yarn industry this week. Secondly, there is a fabulous thread there where Rebecca posted swatches of her Colours of Australia colourways with some of the different White Gum Wool solids so you can see how beautifully they work. Have a look at the thread here.
While you're over at Ravelry, please pop on over to White Gum Wool group as well. Again, it's a great place to show your support for our yarnies, keep an eye on what's going on and what's being knit in White Gum Wool.
I realised as I was planning this post that there was something that I forgot to tell you, and which I have now updated in the pattern. I should have encouraged you to swatch in garter stitch as well, given the yoke of this cardie is worked in garter stitch. But I didn't and you know what. I won't tell anyone that you haven't as long as you don't tell anyone that I forgot to tell you. Our secret, okay?
I have amended the information page from last week to include the tension for garter stitch. Generally, if you want to be lazy, if you just go down a needle size from the one you use to get tension with stocking stitch you should be pretty right.
As you probably guessed, the section we're going to be working first is the yoke. You'll find the updated pattern on Ravelry and at the bottom of this post. What I thought I would do, was talk through the first part of this pattern looking at a few different elements of it and why some things are done the way they are.
The most obvious place to begin is with the cast on. I've specified a long-tail cast on for this pattern mainly because it is my cast-on of choice for something such as a neckline. It is both elastic and sturdy when worked properly.
Worked properly you say, what does she mean by that?
In my experience, I've found that some people do pull their yarn a bit too snug when they use this cast on and as a result it doesn't work as well for them as it should. If you've ever been a bit befuddled as to why people consider this a relatively stretchy cast-on, it is probably because you are pulling the working yarn too tight on that final movement of each stitch cast on. Try relaxing it a bit.
Not sure what I mean by the long-tail cast on? Can you substitute with a cable or knitted cast on?
Knitty gives a good run down of cast-ons here, if you scroll down you'll find step by step visuals for a long-tail cast on. You know what though? I never use a slip knot or any other knot with a long-tail cast on. I just loop the yarn over the needle and begin with it like that. It gives a much neater finish. The knot is so completely unnecessary!
As for substituting a cast on, why yes you can. One thing I will point out though is that when you work the long-tail cast on it effectively casts on but also works a row. In the pattern, I use the cast on and the first row as the first stripe on the yoke. So if you're substituting you need to take that into account and adjust to cater for it.
Have you worked stripes before? They are pretty easy. Much easier than one may think.
When you start knitting with your Contrast Colour (CC) you can do a number of things. You can simply just start knitting leaving a good length tail to weave in later. Or you can tie the new yarn around the old yarn to help keep it stable. Later you can undo the knot and weave in the end. You may know of another way and that's fine. The wonderful thing about knitting is that there is usually no one way to do things. It's a beautiful craft like that.
Once you've got the first stripe down it's quite easy to change colours. You don't need to cut your yarn and restart with each new stripe. Simply drop the yarn you're not using and pick it up again when you get to the row you need it for. When you pick it up, bring the new yarn from beneath the old and just make sure that you don't pull it too tight. As it's travelling up the side it needs to be loose enough so that the edging won't bunch up, but not so loose that you end up with a loose bit of yarn there. I think I'm making it sound more difficult than it is! Anyway, I found this simple little video that is quite a useful one to look at. (She talks about flopping the old yarn over the new one).
Some people like to work a twisted edge when they change colours. I do think this does tend to keep the edge a little firmer, but am not completely convinced the finish is more pleasing to the eye. There is a good flickr set of photos to show you how to work this here.
You might like to experiment and see what suits you best. I used a twisted edge on the original cardie I knit but in the red one above, I just carried the yarn.
This pattern uses the most simple increase of all to shape the yoke, yarn overs. This does leave a decorative hole which I quite like. You, however, may not and as the pattern mentions you can close the hole up by knitting through the back of the yarn over stitch on the next row. Neat huh! If you look at the red and grey yoke above, that's what it will look like.
Ok, I think that is about enough for now. I'm going to post in the next day or so and talk about the integrated button bands and how and why I work them the way I do. You will start these at the bottom of the yoke in this section of the knitting but fear not, the pattern clearly explains what to do. You may just be wondering why am I doing this wee bit, so I'll clear that up and show you some photos of what will be happening with your piece.
Do you have any questions so far?
Is there anything I've missed?
Ok, let's get knitting!
Don't forget to pop on over to Ravelry to set up your project page. Also pop into my Ravelry group and share your progress photos as the lovely and very efficient Sally has set up a thread over there to chat away.You'll also find KAL threads in both the Augustbird and White Gum Wool groups as well.
That's the beauty of a non-mystery KAL. No-one is going to get narky at you for sharing progress shots! Yay!
I'm sort of tricking you by saying this is part one. It's more a pre-KAL post but nevertheless it is still a very important part of the KAL. It contains all the super dooper important information you need to know before you start knitting. It also contains some information about what you need to do before you start knitting the cardigan.
These details are one of the most important parts of a pattern, you should never skip them. Never. Ever. I'm going to explain a little bit about why that is as we look at each part.
In this case, I'm going to tell you it would be really really lovely to work with the suggested yarns. Ethically, you will be supporting small businesses as well as a product that has been produced with the highest regard for the sweet wee sheep and the environment. As you knit you can think about those little sheep frolicking around the paddock with their families AND their tails. You can think about how happy these sheep must be. If that doesn't enhance your feeling of zen-ness when knitting, then nothing will.
However, I do understand that using the suggested yarn is not always possible. Looking at the suggested yarn will tell you a couple of things if you are planning to substitute. It will tell you the weight of the yarn. In this case, it's a 8ply or dk weight.
It will also tell you the composition. Here, it's 100% ethical superfine merino. It's handy to have a basic understanding of different yarns and the way they work when considering a substitute yarn, as not all are equal. Not all can be substituted for each other. When substituting it's a good idea to look for a yarn with similar characteristics. Here the characteristic that you'll be looking for is merino or wool. Using a similar type of yarn will give you as close as possible a result to the original in the pattern. Cotton would work ok. Bamboo by itself will grow, which for a garment as small as this would not be too big a problem but for an adult or even a child's garment, it would be quite problematic.
Be aware that this is what I call a true wool yarn. By that I mean it is not a superwash or machine washable yarn. Superwash or machine washable yarns have been soaked in an acid bath to remove the scales from the yarn or covered with a polymer coating. Those superwash yarns that feel quite slick to knit with are the ones with the polymer coating. This prevents the yarn from felting, which makes it machine washable. Obviously, there are some obvious benefits to a machine washable yarn. The downside is that the lack of scales on superwash yarns mean they are more prone to stretching. I've found I need to treat them far more gently when blocking to prevent this.
Clara Parkes Book of Yarn is a great resource for those knitters wanting to learn more about different yarns and how they work. Or more importantly for the knitter, sometimes don't work!
15(newborn) -16(3mth): 220/205 (250/230) yards/metres approximately.
(1 ball White Gum Wool 8ply or 1 skein Augustbird White Gum Wool 8ply)
15(newborn)-16(3mth): 50/45 (50/45) yards/metres approximately.
If you're not familiar with the term yardage, it tells you how much yarn you will need. Most patterns will refer to the yardage in terms of both yards and metres. A good pattern will always provide the measurements for both imperial and metric. Why? Half the world thinks in metric and the other half imperial and it's not nice to alienate those that think differently, is it. Despite the fact that I live in a metric country and was born a long time after the decimal system was introduced here, when it comes to sizing measurements I always think in imperial. I can tell you the head and chest measurements of all my family members in inches, but ask me for them in cms and I'm going to need to convert.
Anyway, I digress. The yardage will tell you how much you need for each size. For the 15"(newborn) you will need 220 yards and the 16", 250 yards of the Main Colour. So basically you will need almost the full ball. If you're knitting two, you may get enough yarn for your Contrast Colour out of leftovers from the other cardie, if that makes sense, but be frugal with your ends. I think you would definitely for the newborn but it really depends on your personal knitting style for the 3 month size as to how much exact yardage you will use. I do tend to be generous with my yardage estimates, no one likes running out. But even if you're using the same yarn as I do; your own personal knitting style, the way you wrap the yarn, how tight you tension it, and a whole other gamut of things can make the yardage you use different from mine.
22 stitches and 30 rows/rounds = 4” in stocking stitch on 4mm/US#6 needles.
It is advisable to swatch both flat and in the round and adjust your needles accordingly to ensure you maintain a consistent tension throughout this project.
Your tension should be measured over 4" or 10cm, nothing less. I use inches to measure my tension so it will be a more accurate measurement for you too. Why? 4" actually equals 10.25 cm, not 10cm. So if you're measuring your tension over 10cm that could be half a stitch different. Not a big deal on a small garment like this but on a bigger one that may throw your sizing out. Hence, I specify that I measure my tension in inches rather than both. Most tension measurement rulers provide both measurements so in the pursuit of the best fit I don't think it's a small thing to ask. If you don't have one of those, they are a very handy accessory. My favourite one is a Knit Picks one which has a clear window for measuring tension as well as a needle sizer along one side.
So how do you measure tension? And why do I mention swatching both flat and in the round?
Many moons ago on my old blog I wrote a detailed post about why. Along with actually knitting your swatches (yes, that is plural) it would be a good idea to read it.
The link to that post is here: SWATCHING
Beyond that, I'm going to say make sure you swatch with the exact needles you plan to knit with. That means brand, needle tip composition, everything. Different brand needles and different needle tip composition, ie. wood, nickel or carbon) may affect your tension. Wooden and bamboo needles tend to be grabbier (so good for slicker yarns like bamboo and cotton) while metal needles tend to be slicker. Which type of needle you use really comes down to personal preference. Some beginner knitters might find the grabbiness of the wood quite comforting when they-re worrying about the stitches slipping off the needles. My kids are currently knitting on Lantern Moon needles. yep.
Needles and Notions:
This list is basically all the stuff you're going to need to knit the cardigan beyond your yarn. I've listed the needles that are most commonly used to get tension but if you needed to change your needle size to achieve tension, you will need to adjust the needle sizes you need here. If you are a beginner knitter, you may be quite tight. That's pretty normal. You will find with experience and the development of speed your knitting will loosen up.
Small circumference knitting? What does that mean?
Typically, where possible I knit anything that is circular, like a sleeve, in the round. The sleeves for this cardigan are knit in the round. For a sleeve this size, it's a very small circular needle. A 20cm circular. If you wander into any yarn shop, some yarn shop owners are going to tell you there is no such thing. But there is, they just live in the Dark Ages of Knitting. They probably don't have a Ravelry account either. They possibly may not have even heard of it. The Dark Ages of Knitting can be a very helpful place, but at other times it can be a little scary.
Anyway, a 20cm circular is quite tiny and it's not everyone's thing. I love them but I have small hands and they suit my knitting style. (I knit English style in case you're wondering). But they don't suit everyone. For that reason, when we get to that section we'll look at three other options for small circumference knitting. We'll also look at how you can adapt the pattern to knit the sleeve flat and seam it up. It's ok to seam. It's really not all that sinful. I'll show you how to seam beautifully so that you too won't hate it.
If you do want to try a 20cm circular both Addi and Hiya Hiya make them. I have some of both brands and would recommend either equally.
So that's all the important information in a much lengthened format than you will normally find in a pattern.
I've included all this information as it appears in the pattern in the file link below. It also includes the abbreviations list and the schematic. We shall chat about any of these if needed or perhaps even next week.
My aim is to post the first part of the pattern next Monday or Tuesday, all going well. It is school holidays here and I'm sure I don't need to explain what that means!!
P.S. I've added a Pattern Page to Ravelry. You can find it here and start your project off.
Non-Mystery KAL: Gidday
If you have any questions please ask away below....
Mystery KALs (Knit-A-Longs) are pretty hot property at the moment.
They're all over the place on Ravelry, Instagram and all the knitty crafty interwebs hangouts.
I did a mystery KAL quite a few years ago with the Sorella and Fratello patterns. It was a lot of fun, but just between you and me it was a bit daunting. I was a wee bit nervous about whether those who participated would actually like the patterns. What if everyone complained and said they didn't like them?
Anyway, all these mystery KALs got me thinking about a KAL where you knew what you were going to be knitting, you knew exactly what you were going to end up with at the end of the KAL but it was still a new unreleased pattern. And just like a mystery KAL you were only given a wee part of the pattern each week. Does that sound like fun? Like something you'd like to be a part of?
I thought it did so I've come up with this:
That wee cardie is knit in a yarn that you've heard me banging on quite a bit about; White Gum Wool. These are the Fairy Wren and the Gum Grey colourways. I am pretty enamoured by this Gum Grey, it's a terrific unisex colour perfect for wee babies and bigger people alike. I'm currently knitting a bigger version of this using the Gum Grey again and a stunning red (Hawthorn) from White Gum Wool. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen a little peek.
So here's how the KAL works:
To run this KAL I'm teaming up with two wonderful yarnies, both of which I'm very excited about. And even more excited about is that they are both providing some excellent goodies as a prize.
Firstly, the wonderfully generous Nan from White Gum Wool. If you haven't caught up on the story behind White Gum Wool, read my older post here and visit the White Gum Wool page here.
And secondly, the very stalkable Rebecca from Augustbird. (Yes, stalkable really is a word!) Rebecca's stunning website is one that I visit regularly sometimes just for the *sigh* factor. She is a very talented dyer who has been producing some glorious colourways using White Gum Wool as a base. A little birdy told me that there will be a stocking there this Sunday with some very special colourways that would be just perfect for this KAL.
So here's how the KAL is going to run:
The KAL will run for about three weeks, but the pattern will remain up on my blog and you can finish at your own pace if you are a more leisurely knitter.
Each week I shall be releasing a new section or non-clue of the pattern and chatting about the different techniques used in the pattern as well as giving you some tips on other aspects of knitting that arise as we knit-a-long. I'll be knitting along with you, sharing my progress photos and if need be taking some close up shots to guide you through each section.
Each week after the non-clue is released, I encourage to chat away or ask any questions in the comments section. Feel free to also jump in and answer any questions that you know the answer to!
The pattern we will be knitting will be the little cardigan you see in this post. I think it will make the perfect baby gift, quick and fun to knit.
It's very easy, so easy that if you're a beginner you can probably join in and learn. If you've never knit a garment before this is the perfect pattern to begin with. The techniques are easy and attainable. For the more intermediate and experienced knitter, this is still one to join in on as we'll be looking at some of my favourite finishing techniques and other tips. And who doesn't knitting a cute baby cardie?
The sizes on offer will be a 15" and 16" chest, which equate to a newborn and 3 month size. These sizes will be offered free.
At the completion of the KAL, or maybe even sooner, the pattern with the full size range from 15" to 30" chest (equates to a newborn to about 12 years or older) will be available for purchase from my Ravelry store.
The pattern has been written for White Gum Wool and I would highly recommend using it.
Nan offers free shipping which is a great incentive to try out this yarn. Either size requires less than a ball for the Main colour. The contrast colour only requires 50-60 yards for these sizes.
This is a cardie, that because of its simplicity would work beautifully with a solid matched with a semi-solid or variegated colourway, such as Rebecca from Augustbird produces. As I mentioned earlier, Rebecca will be stocking some White Gum Wool in her store this Sunday but do get in quick as it will sell out very quickly!
Everyone who completes the KAL AND posts a picture on their Ravelry page linking to the pattern page, will go into the prize draw. Winners will be drawn randomly and will win:
First: Four 100g balls of White Gum Wool of the winner's choice.
Second: A 100g skein of Augustbird yarn on a White Gum Wool base.
I plan to kick the KAL off in just over a week's time, which gives you plenty of time for yarn purchasing.
Tomorrow I will pop up the details for swatching, needle sizes and notions.
So who is joining me?
Keep in touch
Who am I?
Textile artist, knitwear designer and teacher.
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