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!
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Textile artist, knitwear designer and teacher.
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