Monthly Archives: June 2013

IMG_1655 - Version 2I love taking The Old Dog and The Punk out for a hike. It was really beautiful this weekend, so we went out for a spin.

It used to be, until about last year, that I would take a hike as fast as possible, making sure the dogs were in a trot at all times and my heart rate was in the aerobic zone.

IMG_1746Well, partly due to the various factors — ¬†Lucy is not all business on the trails (she likes to smell the flowers), I need to make sure that The Old Dog doesn’t get over tired, and The Human is getting old too — our hikes are less about exercise and more about enjoying the scenery and the jaunt.

Really. (I know there are some of you who don’t believe this).

I woke up on Saturday morning, thinking about where I wanted to go. Should we go high up on the ridge line? Go tromp around in the woods? Or make sure there were plenty of water features for the dogs to go dip in?

Why not hit it all? We went up on the ridge in the morning before the sun got too hot.


We went into the trails.

There were some “obstacles” for the dogs including wood planks and a flower archway.

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Dogs got plenty of splashing time.


The flowers were out in full force…

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And when it was all done, the dogs were out for the count,








…and I got to finish my weekend project.


All in all — perfect!

My sweater is a bit on hold as I try to jam on a project due, fully blocked and gift wrapped, on 6/24. A friend’s Mom turns 88. Eighty eight deserves a killer shawl, right?


I will, for sure, be putting on the knitting jets after this project is finished. In the meantime, The Cormo Sisters are joining their sleeves….their gorgeous work below. I have a feeling I’m going to regret not knitting this sweater in natural!!



One thing I generally do when I get to this point, before I get too far into finishing up the raglan decreases…CHECK GAUGE. The one place where I like to make sure the sweater fits is how it fits under the arms. I double check here to make sure the depth at the underarms is roomy enough or tight enough — and I have been known to change how the sleeve decreases are done to make sure I hit the right depth.

Other than that — knit on! If you have questions on how to adjust, please let me know!

IMG_9040I’ve loved this sweater the moment the pattern was published, back in 2009. I purchased many sweater quantities of yarn with this sweater in mind. But for some reason, I haven’t knit this sweater, until now.

I finished this sweater a few weeks ago, but it wasn’t until this weekend that I finally replaced the initial set of buttons I had on this sweater.

IMG_9041The sweater is Audrey in Unst by Gudrun Johnston, published in Twist Collective in Fall 2009. It is a very popular pattern, with more than 1,000 projects posted in Ravelry.

I made only a few modifications to this cardigan.

  1. Cast on the ribbing using a tubular cast on (and here’a link to my favorite instructions by Ysolda Teague);
  2. Cast off the sleeves using a matching tubular cast off (and link to TechKnitter’s instructions)
  3. Lengthened the body by 1.5″

Very minor for me. I used indigo dyed yarn, A Verb For Keeping Warm’s Annapurna. I love the little speckles of white, and I love how this makes this cardi look like a little jean jacket.

I think I need this sweater in a multitude of colors! (I think pale dove grey next.)


…But reality is another, it is better to come to grips with it right away….even in knitting.

IMG_9042I need to eat some humble pie. If anything I’ve written prior to this post has confused you as I refer to the edging — this is why — I apologize.

I had completely read the pattern wrong. I thought that the cable edging was attached after. And yes, a part of the cable edging is applied after knitting the body but not the whole thing.

This changes a couple of things for me.

1. I do not like raw edges on sweaters. So….I’ve decided to do an i-cord edging on the sweater.
2. I want to increase the width of the front by another cable on each side. (Now you see what I was planning to do — if the cable edging was an applied edging, then I could have decided at that point how wide to make it!)

This will result in:
1. I need to add the extra width for both the double cables and the i-cord edging.
2. I need to recalculate the front neck decreases to make sure that the neck opening is wide enough.
3. I need to frog (rip-it, rip-it) what I have knit so far on the body….which is about 200 yards worth. Sets me back by a couple of days, for sure, but I will catch up.

The good thing about knitting though — you can always undo and redo mistakes.

Now that we’ve finished the sleeves….are any of you our there wondering if you have enough yarn?!

This is very approximate and requires some digging back in the brain for some formulas for calculating area for certain shapes. But, it will give you at least some idea of whether you have enough yarn, and perhaps plan for some modifications if you are running short.

First, we’ve already knit the sleeve. The sleeve is a trapezoid. The area for a trapezoid is calculated using the formula: 1/2*h*(b1+b2) where h is the height of the trapezoid (and in this case the length of the sleeve), b1 is the length of one end of the base of the trapezoid (in this case the circumference around the wrist) and b2 is the length of the other base (in this case the circumference around the top end of the sleeve).

You also know how much yarn you have used, either because you have kept track, or because you can weigh the sleeves and convert that into approximate yardage because you know how many yards of yarn there is in 1 gram/1 ounce of yarn.

From the above, I know that I can knit “x” square inches using “y” yards. Divide that yardage by the square inches to get the y/x yard/square inch.

Using the schematic, I know that the body up to the yoke join is a rectangle, and I can calculate the area of that area of the sweater. I can also approximate the top back as another trapezoid, and the two fronts as 2 more trapezoids. Add these, and remember to calculate the edging band (another rectangle) and add that. You will get total area in square inches to be knit. Multiply this by the yard/sq. inch  rate of your yarn usage, above. Now you know how much yarn you need to knit the rest of the sweater. You can weigh the yarn you have left (or add up the yardage on the label assuming that is correct) and you can see if you have enough yarn.

What if you don’t have enough yarn? Here are some options:

1. Order more. Hope the manufacturer/store has the same dye lot.
2. Think about shortening the body. The amount by which you need to adjust this length can be calculated by doing the above calculation backwards.
3. This sweater has a edging band. Is there a contrast yarn you can use on the edging?

And then, more dramatically,
4. Can you modify sleeves to 3/4? Short sleeves? This would probably require re-knitting of at least the upper portion of the sleeves, depending on how dramatically you are changing the sleeves.
5. Can you do all the ribbing and the edging band in another yarn/contrast color? This would require some yarn surgery — snipping the ribbing off the sleeves, picking up the live stitches, and knitting the ribbing in the contrast color, and of course, doing this for the body (or ripping out the body and starting the ribbing on this different yarn, depending on where you are in your project.

IMG_8911The result? Sometimes good! I actually do this quite a bit, with mixed results, but here is a recent example of a fingerless mitt I was making out of handspun…Sure, I could have spun a bit more yarn, but I like the orange accent.

More often than not, I do buy extra yarn and deal with the leftovers….later.

Hope that is helpful!

Here are some WIP photos from some people who have told me that they are following along on this KAL…Remember to PM me on Ravelry if I can use your photo on my blog!

Nice going, everyone!!




sandness Sometimes, a new design comes out and it does not matter that I have a million projects on the needles, or looming deadlines. The perfect yarn is in stash, the needles are free (or I will free them).

It needs to be cast on.
This happens to me about once a year. It usually wreaks havoc in my well planned and organized knitting life. And generally, I really know I have no business casting on this new project.
sandness 1This happened to me when Wool People 5 came out. Curse you Jared Flood. Many gorgeous designs, as usual, and accessories heavy. And in the middle of all the shawls, one spoke to me. It wasn’t the runaway most popular shawl of the collection on Ravelry, but to me, it was perfection.
I had been Golluming my Malabrigo Finito in natural for the perfect, cozy shawl. It started screaming at me from its nesting place. Because the yarn totally knew it needed to be made into this shawl.
Not difficult, not lacy, not a project that can only be knit by a maestro.
But knit in a cream, round yarn, there was no fudging in knitting this thing. The construction is classic Shetland. The wave pattern in the edging had to be blocked out evenly. It appealed to the OCD part of me.
sandness 2I love the waves, but I also sigh in content as I look at the transition point from the triangular body to the edging. It’s so pretty.
I was wrapped in it for most of my time at Squam, dragging it from place to place like Linus and his blanket. It smells of the fireplace we had going in our cabin every night. I made the large size, with 1/2 a repeat omitted mostly because it was already huge (finished block size is 38.5″ deep by 79″ wide) and to ensure that I had enough yarn left over to make the hat cousin, Norby. (I haven’t made this yet….and yet another Brooklyntweed collection, from Wool People 2.)
Sometimes, you just have to do it. You know the feeling, right?

IMG_0009What!? No, I did not take a sleeve workshop at Squam Art Workshops. But, I did finish the sleeves for my June’s Favorite Cardigan while attending the Squam Art Workshops and cast on for the body.

Couple of observations about my sleeves….
1. Perhaps I should have alternated skeins. Each skein is different on this yarn, sort of like handspun that was randomly plied. If I were being a perfectionist, I would have alternated the skeins. You can see from the enhanced photo that the skein changes are pretty obvious. From a normal distance away though? Good enough for government work.

Which is a perfect segway for two topics: Stephen West and alternating skeins.

I took a class from Stephen West (highly recommended, for many useful tips but also for the high entertainment factor). One of the best quotes (paraphrased): “If someone notices a knitting mistake on a garment and they see it, they are WAY TOO CLOSE. Take 3 steps back.” LOL. Two take aways from the class. I learned a ridiculously amazing cast on for garter which involve a bit of a pirouette of the wrists, and his shawls are beautiful in person. And yes, I’ve already been mentally rifling through the yarn that I have on hand to pirouette cast on one of his shawls. Stay tuned!

IMG_9027Alternating skeins. I would say that I alternate skeins, while using hand dyed yarn, 90% of the time. If I enhance the photo with high contrast (see left), you can definitely see that there is a major demarkation where I changed skeins. If I wanted to avoid this, I would have started alternating skeins…maybe not for the entire sleeve but at least for the last 4″ or so leading up to the switch.

You can probably see that I’ve already made a modification on the sleeve….I twisted the cables in different directions rather than keeping them twisted in the same direction, so that they both twist into the body.

I’ve cast on for the body, and am knitting along. There was a question as to what “knit as established” means — for me, that means keep the knitted fabric/pattern going as it was set up: So, stockinette is stockinette, and pattern stitches are pattern stitches.

I think I’m going to take a day in the middle of the week and post progress photos from other participants. i am loving how this sweater is knitting up in the other yarns. If I were to select a different yarn, I would definitely pick a very light colored, round yarn.

See you soon!