Tag Archives: craft

Crafty Friends ~ Spotlight on Gloria Aida

Crafty Friend Gloria Aida

As a girl in The Holy City, Gloria Aida learned to crochet.

Many of you will remember Crafty Friend Gloria Aida from an earlier post. Her main project throughout 2010 was creating a massive collection of hand-made scarves for her favourite charity.

Pieces like this used to decorate most homes.

What you may not know is that my dear friend Gloria Aida is also a talented crochet artist. In fact, last summer I was inspired by her to learn to crochet — an art I’d long admired.

Note the intricate pinwheel stitch!

With Gloria Aida’s help, I was able to acquire a basic skill at the ancient art of crochet.

Layers add dimension to this lovely doilie!

For months now, Gloria Aida has been humoring me by allowing me to photograph some of her lovely crocheted lace pieces. These are works of art she has created over many years — some she uses daily, others she has stored away for her children and future grandchildren.

It is incredible to realise that a few short decades ago our grandmothers used to fill their homes with this intricate lace-fabric art. Through the latter 1900’s, the craft was almost lost to us. Thank goodness, it is now being revived, largely thanks to passionate artists like Gloria Aida!

Vibrant colour creates eye-catching art

I hope these pieces will inspire others to turn their hands to this resurging art form! What a lovely way to spend an afternoon, creating quality pieces that will endure for generations!

I regret I can display only a fragment of Gloria Aida’s collection in this post, but I’m hopeful she will share her work with us again at a future date!

Doilies are a true folk art!

Thank you, Gloria Aida, for both your friendship and for sharing your art with us.

Happy Independence Day to our American neighbors, and a Wonderful Canada Day weekend to our friends here at home…

If you have questions about this or any other project, feel free to reach me directly through my contact page.

The First Excellence The First Excellence

For all of you out there who love to read, please follow my writer account on Twitter @Donna_Carrick .

However, if you’re more interested in following this crafty bird through the labyrinth of fabric and yarn that we call a life, you can always join me on my Just Knittin’ Twitter site under @DCarrickCrafts . Either way, I’d love to meet you on FaceBook, so be sure to look me up!

Best in knitting and living passionately,
Donna Carrick

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Tammy-Li’s Spring Cardigan ~ Cable&Rib instructions:

Tammy-Li's Easter Sweater

For our Easter post, we featured young knitters Brianna L. and Tammy-Li Carrick. Tammy-Li was wearing a new Easter sweater hot off the needles that week: a lavender coloured (#143) “Baby Soft” sportweight by Lion Brand* Yarn.

As promised, since this was my own design, I’m free to share the instructions with you. To begin, you will need 3 balls at 140gms each. Depending on your child’s size, you may require 2 or 4 balls, but I used 3. I also used 3.25 mm needles.

Always begin with the back panel

Starting with the back:
Cast on 88 stitches — Finished sweater will be approx 30 inches around.
Row 1: (Right Side) K2, P2 repeat till end.
Row 2: (Wrong Side) Purl all.
Repeat these 2 rows till base of back measures approx 3-1/2 inches, ending on wrong side. For purposes of these instructions, we will call this a “Flat Double Ribbed” stitch = FDR.

Begin Pattern:
Row 1: (Right Side) **(K1,P1) X4, P4, K4, P4** Repeat 4 times fr**to**, (K1,P1)X4
Row 2: **P8, (K1, P1)X2, P4, (K1,P1)X2** Repeat 4 times fr**to**, P8
Row 3: Repeat row 1
Row 4: Repeat row 2
Row 5: (Right Side) **(K1,P1) X4, P4, Cable 4 Behind, P4** Repeat 4 times fr**to**, (K1,P1)X4

NOTE: To Cable 4 behind, move 2 st onto cable needle and hold behind work, Knit 2 st, then knit the 2 from the cable needle.

Continue in pattern, repeating rows 2 – 5, until fabric reaches approx 12-1/2 inches from bottom.

Shape armhole at desired length

Shape armhole:
On Right Side: Cast off 8 stitches and continue working in pattern
On Wrong Side: Cast off 8 stitches and continue working in pattern
On Right Side: K3 Tog, continue in pattern till 3 st remaining, K3 Tog.
On Wrong Side: P3 Tog, continue in pattern till 3 st remaning, P3 Tog.
On Right Side: K2 Tog, continue in pattern till 2 st remaining, K2 Tog.
On Wrong Side: P2 Tog, continue in pattern till 2 st remaning, P2 Tog.
On Right Side: K2 Yog, continue in pattern till 2 st remaining, K2 Tog.
On Wrong Side: Work in pattern with no decreases. You should have 58 stitches remaining.

On Right Side: K1, P4, **(K1,P1)X4, P4,K4 (Or cable if pattern requires), P4** Repeat once from **to**, (K1,P1)X4, P4, K1
On Wrong Side: P1, (K1,P1)X2, **P8, (K1, P1)X2, P4, (K1,P1)X2** Repeat once fr**to**, P8, (K1,P1)X2, P1

Continue in pattern till fabric reaches approx 6-1/2 inches from where you began to shape armhole, or 19 inches from bottom, ending with a wrong side.

Remember, this sweater fits my 7-8 year old petite daughter. You may need to adjust your pattern to fit your child — and always knit a guage before you begin!

Shape Shoulder:
Right Side: Cast off 11 stiches, work rest of row in pattern.
Wrong Side: Cast off 11 stitches, work rest of row in pattern.
Right Side: Cast off 11 stiches, work rest of row in pattern.
Wrong Side: Cast off 11 stitches, work rest of row in pattern.
Cast off all remaining stitches.

Front Left Panel: (Note: Always work Left Panel before Right Panel!)
Cast on 40 stitches.
Begin in Flat Double Ribbed Stitch:
Row 1: (Right Side) K2, P2 repeat till end.
Row 2: (Wrong Side) Purl all.
Repeat these 2 rows till base of back measures approx 3-1/2 inches, ending on wrong side.

Begin Pattern:
Row 1: (Right Side) **(K1,P1) X4, P4, K4, P4** Repeat once fr**to**
Row 2: **P8, (K1, P1)X2, P4, (K1,P1)X2** Repeat once fr**to**
Row 3: Repeat row 1
Row 4: Repeat row 2
Row 5: (Right Side) **(K1,P1) X4, P4, Cable 4 Behind, P4** Repeat once from **to**
Continue in pattern, repeating rows 2 – 5, until fabric reaches approx 12-1/2 inches from bottom.

Shape armhole:
On Right Side: Cast off 8 stitches and continue working in pattern
On Wrong Side: Work in pattern
On Right Side: K3 Tog, continue in pattern.
On Wrong Side: Work in pattern til last 2 st, K2 Tog.
On Right Side: K2 Tog, continue in pattern.
On Wrong Side: Work in pattern till last 2 st, K2 Tog.
On Right Side: K2 Tog, continue in pattern.
On Wrong Side: Work in pattern till last 2 st, K2 Tog. You should have 25 stitches remaining.
On Right Side: K1, P4, (K1,P1)X4, P4, K4(or Cable if pattern requires), P4
On Wrong Side: (K1,P1)X2, P4, (K1,P1)X2, P8, (K1,P1)X2, K1
Repeat these 2 rows till fabric reaches 17 inches from bottom, ending on Right Side.

Shape neckline to suit your child

Shape neckline:
On Wrong Side: K3Tog, continue in pattern.
On Right Side: Work in pattern till last 3 St., P3 Tog.
On Wrong Side: K3Tog, continue in pattern.
On Right Side: Work in pattern till last 3 St., K3 Tog.
Continue in pattern till fabric reaches 19 inches from bottom.

Shape Shoulder:
Right Side: Cast off 11 stiches, work rest of row in pattern.
Wrong Side: Work in pattern.
Right Side: Cast off 11 stiches, work rest of row in pattern.
Wrong Side: Work in pattern.
Cast off all remaining stitches.

Right Front Panel:
Cast on 40 Stitches.
Begin in Flat Double Ribbed Stitch:
Row 1: (Right Side) K2, P2 repeat till end.
Row 2: (Wrong Side) Purl all.
Repeat these 2 rows till base of back measures approx 3-1/2 inches, ending on wrong side.
Begin Pattern:
Row 1: (Right Side) **P4, K4, P4, (K1,P1)X4** Repeat once.
Row 2: **P8, (K1,P1)X2, P4, (K1,P1)X2** Repeat once.
Row 3: Repeat Row 1.
Row 4: Repeat Row 2.
Row 5: (Right Side) **P4, Cbl 4 Behind, P4, (K1,P1)X4** Repeat once.
Continue in pattern, repeating rows 2 – 5, until fabric reaches approx 12-1/2 inches from bottom. End on Right Side.

Shape armhole:
On Wrong Side: Cast off 8 stitches and continue working in pattern
On Right Side: Work in pattern
On Wrong Side: P3 Tog, work rest in pattern.
On Right Side: Work in pattern til last 2 st, K2 Tog.
On Wrong Side: P2 Tog, continue in pattern.
On Right Side: Work in pattern till last 2 st, K2 Tog.
On Wrong Side: P2 Tog, continue in pattern.
On Right Side: Work in pattern till last 2 st, K2 Tog. You should have 25 stitches remaining.
On Wrong Side: P1, (K1,P1)X2, P8, (K1,P1)X2, P4, (K1,P1)X2.
On Right Side: P4, K4(or cbl 4 behind if pattern requires), P4, (K1,P1)X4, P4, K1
Repeat these 2 rows till fabric reaches 17 inches from bottom, ending on Wrong Side.

Shape neckline:
On Right Side: K3Tog, continue in pattern.
On Wrong Side: Work in pattern till last 3 St., P3 Tog.
On Right Side: K3Tog, continue in pattern.
On Wrong Side: Work in pattern till last 3 St., K3 Tog.
Continue in pattern till fabric reaches 19 inches from bottom. End on Right Side.

Shape Shoulder:
Wrong Side: Cast off 11 stiches, work rest of row in pattern.
Right Side: Work in pattern.
Wrong Side: Cast off 11 stiches, work rest of row in pattern.
Right Side: Work in pattern.
Cast off all remaining stitches.

Use pins to mark where buttons go

Button Overlap — Left Front Panel (Do before right panel)
Use 3.25 mm circular needle to pick up 104 stitches.
Row 1: (Right Side) **P2, K2** Repeat till end.
Row 2: (Wrong Side) Purl all
Continue in Flat Double Ribbed Stitch till “Overlap” measures 1-1/2 inches, ending with wrong side. On Right Side, cast off all using a Purl stitch cast off. (This gives a smoother finish.)

USE PINS TO MARK WHERE YOUR BUTTONS WILL BE PLACED. THIS WILL HELP YOU PLACE YOUR BUTTONHOLES ON RIGHT OVERLAP.

Button Overlaps need to be well matched

Button Overlap — Right Front Panel (With Button Holes)
Use 3.25 mm circular needle to pick up 104 stitches.
Row 1: (Right Side) **k2, p2** Repeat till end.
Row 2: (Wrong Side) Purl all
Continue in Flat Double Ribbed Stitch till “Overlap” measures 3/4 inch, ending with wrong side.
On Right Side, (P2,K2)X3, K2, P1,Cast Off 5, **(K2,P2)X2, K2,P1,Cast Off 5**Repeat from **to** 4 more times, K2,P2
On Wrong Side: P4, **Cast on 5, P11** Repeat fr**to** 4 more times, Cast on 5, P15
Continue in Flat Double Ribbed Stitch till “Overlap” reaches 1-1/2 inches, ending on a Wrong Side.
On Right Side, cast off all using a Purl stitch cast off.

Sleeve picks up flat-rib&cable pattern

Sleeves: (Both are same)
Cast on 40 stitches.
Work in Flat Double Ribbed Stitch till fabric reaches 3-1/2 Inches.
Begin pattern:
Row 1: (Right Side) (K1,P1)X7, P4, K4, P4, (K1,P1)X7
Row 2: (Wrong Side) P14, (K1,P1)X2, P4, (K1,P1)X2, P14
Row 3: Repeat Row 1
Row 4: Repeat Row 2
Row 5: P1, Make 1, P1, (K1,P1)X6, P4, Cble 4 behind, P4, (K1,P1)X3, K1, Make one, K1 (You should have 42 stitches.
Repeat Rows 2-5, Increasing 1 stitch at each end on every Row5, till Fabric reaches approx 13-1/2 inches from bottom. You should have approx 68 stitches on needle. Be sure to measure your child’s arm from below wrist (add length to allow for growth) to underarm.
Right Side: Cast off 8 stitches. Continue in pattern till end.
Wrong Side: Cast off 8 stitches. Continue in Pattern till end.

Continue in pattern, reducing 1 stitch at each end of every row (reduce 2 st per row) until you have 12 st left. Cast off these stitches.

Make up sweater using “mattress” stitch before beginning collar.

Flaring collar allows it to sit flat

Collar:
Use 3.25 mm circular needle to pick up a multiple of 4 st plus 2. (I picked up 50 st.
Row 1: (Right Side) *K2,P2* repeat till last 2 st. K2.
Row2: (Wrong Side) Purl all.
Row3: **K1, Make1, K1,P2** Repeat till last 2, K1,Make 1, K1
Row 4:**P4,Make 1, P1**Repeat till last 2, P3
Row 5: **K3, P3** to end, K3
Row 6: **P5, Make 1, P1** till end, P3
Row 7: **K3, P4** to end, K3
Row 8: Purl all.
Repeat Rows 7 & 8 till collar reaches approx 2-1/2 inches. Cast off all stitches loosely.
If collar will not “fall” properly, continue to flare it by adding purl stitches. The more you flare it, the better it should fall. I found the above pattern worked with this yarn.

Fancy buttons make a great finishing touch!

Finishing touches:
Be sure to find buttons that will make your child’s eyes sparkle! Tammy-Li chose these lovely purple foral buttons to offset the lavender yarn.
Also, do not cut the strands too closely. Instead, weave them into your fabric to hide them. This will strengthen your fabric finishing and avoid unraveling down the road.

Hope you will enjoy making this lovely sweater!

If you have questions about this or any other project, feel free to reach me directly through my contact page.
The First Excellence is now available for a low price at {Indie}Pendent Books! See 5-Star review!!
The First Excellence To order a signed copy of The First Excellence

It’s easy to order from Amazon.com!
For all of you out there who love to read, please follow my writer account on Twitter @Donna_Carrick .

However, if you’re more interested in following this crafty bird through the labyrinth of fabric and yarn that we call a life, you can always join me on my Just Knittin’ Twitter site under @DCarrickCrafts . Either way, I’d love to meet you on FaceBook, so be sure to look me up!

Best in knitting and living passionately,
Donna Carrick

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Crafty Friends ~ Spotlight on Sheila Marbella

Crafty Friend Sheila Marbella

Well, folks, I hate to admit it, but we still have a foot of the white stuff on the ground here in the North country. So long as we see snow, Thematic Stitchings can justify a couple more winter projects before we kick our Spring-time crafts into high gear.

This week I’d like to introduce another member of our office break-time knitting circle, Sheila Marbella. Sheila enjoys creating colourful knitted fabrics, especially for her daughters.

Hatband is created in 2 stages

This wonderful tri-colour hat (red, white and blue) was built in 3 parts. First, the base of the hat band (white) is about 2 1/2 inches wide, or approximately 10 stitches using heavy worsted and 5mm needles. It is worked in stocking stich. (Knit 1 row, purl the next.) The edges will curl, but that’s ok. You want them to curl to provide a frame for the red ‘belt portion’. The belt loops are made by dragging the yarn across the band width at even intervals. Continue in stocking stitch till the white band is long enough to fit comfortably around your child’s head.

Sheila: I’ve been knitting for about 6 years, since Silva first got me into it. Before that I used to crochet.

The red ‘belt’ for the hat band is narrower than the white band — approximately 7-8 stitches. It is worked in garter stitch (knit all rows) and will be longer than the white band by approx. 1 – 1/2 inches. It will also be tapered at one end. To create this effect, when the red ‘belt’ is about an inch longer than the white band, reduce 1 stitch at each end for the next few rows, until only two stitches remain. Cast those 2 stitches off. The belt is then inserted into the loops on the white band, and a matching button is added to hold it in place.

Stitch body of hat in round st-st

The body of the hat (blue) is knitted in the round using a 5mm medium length circular needle. Depending on your yarn weight and guage, pick up approximately 60-70 stitches. Remember to measure your child’s head and knit a guage first. Sheila tried several methods of joining the white band to the hat body, but finally simply picked up stitches around the upper back of the hatband to begin knitting the hat.

The hat is a simple stocking stitch, continued for approximately 4 inches (or to fit your child). After 4 inches, reduce 10 st each row in a random fashion to avoid obvious ‘clumping’.

Finished Tri-colour hat in heavy worsted

When you have approximately 8-12 stitches remaining, use a darning needle or crochet hook to feed a long strand of yarn through the final stitches and pull them together in “drawstring” fashion to close the hole at the top of the hat.

The red, white and blue colours contrast so nicely — this is a great sporty hat to make any young girl smile!

Sheila models her daughter's hat

Sheila was kind enough to model the hat for us, so here it is! On behalf of Thematic Stitchings, I want to thank Sheila for sharing this winter project with us.

If you have questions about this or any other project, feel free to reach me directly through my contact page.

The First Excellence The First Excellence

For all of you out there who love to read, please follow my writer account on Twitter @Donna_Carrick .

However, if you’re more interested in following this crafty bird through the labyrinth of fabric and yarn that we call a life, you can always join me on my Just Knittin’ Twitter site under @DCarrickCrafts . Either way, I’d love to meet you on FaceBook, so be sure to look me up!

Best in knitting and living passionately,
Donna Carrick

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

End Of Winter Fun ~ Cabled Skating Sweater & Matching Scarf

Sweater/Scarf set in Red Variegated Worsted Acrylic

With winter nearing its inevitable conclusion (YAY), Thematic Stitchings has only a few more cold-weather projects to share. Very soon, we’ll be moving on to lighter colours, fabrics and, well, attitudes!

For now, though, with March still undecided about its Lion/Lamb status, I’d like to present a sweater/scarf set that is as much fun to wear as it was to create. For this project, I used a variegated worsted acrylic in a dominant warm red with strains of green, ivory and blue running throughout.

Edging is Double-Ribbed for 2 inches

First the sweater — I began by casting on a multiple of 4 stitches. The base is a simple double rib: K2, P2 to end. Continue till ribbed base reaches desired length, I like a base that is 2″ or more for ladies’ wear.

My Tip #1: Always knit your main garment first when making a matching set. Use your leftover yarn for the scarf. A scarf can be any reasonable length, but the garment must fit.

The back and front of the sweater are both worked in a stocking stich (K one row, P the next), but the centre of both front and back features an elaborate braided cable. You can find various braided cables in any knitting magazine or digest.

When the sweater body reached 2″ more, I added an upward-fan cable on either side of the braided cable. This feature made the overall garment more interesting.

Sleeves pick up matching ribbing and cable

The sleeves are also cast on in a multiple of 4 st and worked in double ribbing for 2″, then the same stocking stitch with the braided cable up the centre. To create the raglan effect, I increase on each side of the sleeve till I reach the armhole.

Armhole is shaped using Raglan method

I shape the armhole by casting off approx 8 stiches on both sides. Then, on the right side only: K2, K2Tog through back of sts, continue pattern till 4 sts remain, K2Tog Knitwise, K2. This easy shaping creates a professional looking ‘joint’ for any garment. I do the same thing when shaping the raglan into the body of the garment.

My Tip #2: Be creative when shaping your raglan sleeves. I’ve seen garments that feature a cabled ‘joint’, for example. I’m fond of the “K2, K2Tog” method, especially for casual sweaters.

On the wrong side, simply purl and continue the cable pattern. Do not reduce stitches on the wrong side.

Collar is double ribbed

For this sweater, I raised the neckline higher than I normally do, because I was going for warmth. I wanted a casual garment I could wear at the cottage during snowy winter weekends. The collar is built by picking up stitches after the entire garment has been sewn together. I opted for a simple double rib to match the base of the sweater, then I used a darning needle to create the “V” effect.

The finished sweater

Next, the scarf — this especially soft fabric was created using my favourite scarf stitch: a simple “staggered” double rib. Cast on a multiple of 4 stitches, plus 1. For each row, K2, P2, to final stitch, then K1. The effect is plush and warm, easy to wear on a daily basis.

Remaining yarn used on scarf


If you have questions about this or any other project, feel free to reach me directly through my contact page.

The First Excellence The First Excellence

For all of you out there who love to read, please follow my writer account on Twitter @Donna_Carrick .

However, if you’re more interested in following this crafty bird through the labyrinth of fabric and yarn that we call a life, you can always join me on my Just Knittin’ Twitter site under @DCarrickCrafts . Either way, I’d love to meet you on FaceBook, so be sure to look me up!

Best in knitting and living passionately,
Donna Carrick

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Crafty Friends ~ Spotlight on Gloria Aida

Crafty Friend Gloria Aida

Years ago I learned that anything I do is more fun when I share it with friends.

This week I’d like to turn the “Crafty Friends” spotlight on Gloria Aida, a friend, fellow crafter and often a teacher in our lunch-time knitting circle.

For years I’ve been fascinated watching Gloria produce scarf after  scarf, in a brilliant array of colours and styles.  I knew some were for her family, but seeing so many scarves fly off her needles, I became curious and had to ask…

Gloria: I started knitting when I was 8. First I learned a simple stitch: K1P1. I knitted different colours of headbands and belts.

Years ago, I knitted sweaters, cardigans, vests, jackets…then I stopped knitting when I started a full-time job. 

 

A pair of plush, stylish scarves in "fun-yarn"

2 years ago, I knitted 21 scarves in different colours and patterns for my friends and relatives for Christmas.  Now I realize that knitting for charities is more rewarding.

Green "basket-weave" scarf with 'loop-stitch' at both ends

During the past 2 years, our circle has watched Gloria knit countless scarves for her favourite charity overseas. This green scarf is done in a basket-weave, with the added detail of “loop-stitching” at both ends.

"Hairy" fun-yarn and simple knit stitch

Gloria: My advice to first time knitters is to start with a scarf and use a simple knit stitch. When you begin a row, be sure to finish it before you stop. Once you get comfortable, try K1 P1. If the pattern calls for 2 rows, complete 2 rows before stopping.

3 complete and 1 "under construction"

Here are 4 recent scarves created by Gloria. On the left is a white “Astrakan stitch”, which is soft and elegant. In centre, a blue “Diamond stitch”, and on the right is a white “Star stitch”. Under construction is a simple “Knit stitch” using a sparkly blue fun yarn. These yarns can be purchased for a very low price at your favourite thrift shop.

 

Gloria: One thing I have to say is I do give all the credit of learning to knit to my mom. In winter, I would sit behind closed window and through the glass I would watch people passing by, and listen to the rain drops falling while I am knitting. Now I follow in my mother’s footsteps — “knit and give”.

Blue Diamond Stitch

 

Gloria models her favourite black&white 'fun-yarn'

Here Gloria was kind enough to model one of her favourite “daily-wear” sets, a black and white hat and scarf created in a simple knit stitch using an inexpensive fun yarn that can be bought almost anywhere. Warm enough for January in Canada, and stylish as well!

Thank you for joining us, Gloria. It’s great to see what can be created using your imagination and a pair of reliable needles! 

  If you have questions about this or any other project, feel free to reach me directly through my contact page.

 The First Excellence The First Excellence

For all of you out there who love to read, please follow my writer account on Twitter @Donna_Carrick .

 However, if you’re more interested in following this crafty bird through the labyrinth of fabric and yarn that we call a life, you can always join me on my Just Knittin’ Twitter site under @DCarrickCrafts . Either way, I’d love to meet you on FaceBook, so be sure to look me up!

Best in knitting and living passionately,
Donna Carrick

A pair of plush, colourful scarves in stylish "fun-yarn"

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Split Palm Leaves Skating Sweater – Design by Donna Carrick

 

Dora loves my leftover yarn as much as I do!

Last Saturday was the inauguration of my new site “Thematic Stitchings”, dedicated to the crafty arts and creative colours that I love.  It’s my intention to spread the joy of creativity throughout the galaxy and beyond – one crafter and reader at a time.  Hmmm. Might take awhile…

 

Meanwhile, I’ll settle for reaching out to anyone who might benefit from my small creations, whether through reading my books or through enjoying my crafting journey.  Most of you already know that I also love to play the clarinet, but I’ll spare the galaxy that particular pleasure for the time being! ;-P

Last week’s mittens were actually created as a companion piece for this week’s sweater, using leftover yarn from the James C. Brett “Marble” Chunky shown here.

Chunky "Marble" Acrylic by James C. Brett

  I found the stitch pattern in the Vogue® Knitting Stitchionary Volume One: Knit and Purl.  (Out of respect for Copywrite laws, I won’t reproduce the actual stitch here, but you can easily search and find it.)

 

My Tip #1: When “casting on” stitches for any pattern that results in a “scalloped” edge, be sure to cast on more loosely than you might otherwise do. This will soften your scalloped edge so you can flatten it when the piece is complete.

Cast on Scalloped Edges loosely to reduce “curling”

 

I’m not fond of straight needles for heavy projects – they tend to hurt my wrists.  For this chunky sweater I used 4.5mm circular needles, which allowed the weight of the fabric to rest on my lap while I worked.

As you can see, the soft, wintry variegated colours of the yarn travelled in a wonderful zig-zag fashion across the fabric.

Wintry Variegated colours travel in a zig-zag motion

My Tip #2: With high quality variegated yarn, it’s possible to predict the flow of the colours as you knit.  Cast your 2nd sleeve on from the same colour-starting-point as you did your first sleeve to produce sleeves that match closely in colour waves.  Do the same for the front and back pieces of your sweater.

The pattern calls for a multiple of 11 stitches “plus 2”.  Always produce a test gauge to be sure how many stitches you will need to fit your size comfortably. When reducing the number of stitches to shape your armholes, revert to a stocking stitch for the armhole area, rather than knitting that area in pattern. This will allow you to more easily maintain the integrity of your pattern structure as you build the upper body.

When reducing stitches to shape armhole, revert to stocking stitch for that area.

For the neckline, I opted for a deep plunge meant to be worn with something underneath.  Because the fabric was heavy and warm, this allows for better breathing.  To continue the warm look despite the deep neckline, I used a wide collar-trim in a K1-P2 pattern, picking up stitches from the sides of the neckline for the “lapels”.

Neckline is open but still appears warm.

My Tip #3: Be sure to test your “lapel” to be sure you’ve picked up a correct number of stitches.  If you pick up too few stitches, the lapel will “gather” or “pucker” the neckline in an unattractive manner.  If you pick up too many stitches, the fabric will begin to “wave”.  Don’t be afraid to unravel your lapel and start again if necessary.

For the collar, I continued with the warm look of the K1-P2 ribbing, taking care to reverse the pattern from what I did on the lapel, so the right side would show the K1.

Edge sits flat after stitching.

My Tip #4: With a scalloped edge, blocking the fabric is necessary, but it will only help to reduce curling upward, it will not eliminate it.  To further reduce the curling effect and help the edges to sit flatter, I stitched each edge from the wrong side using a simple whip stitch.  See how the darning stitch pulls back the scallop to flatten it?

Finally, here is my Split Palm Leaves skating sweater, fully designed by me with help from Vogue® Knitting Stitchionary Volume One.

Donna's Skating Sweater

  By the way, I don’t earn any advertising money from Vogue.  I’m plugging them only to be sure they get fair credit for their pattern.  As it happens, I own and adore the complete set of Vogue® Knitting Stitchionaries, including their lovely Crochet volume.

If you want to ask me any questions about this or any other project, feel free to reach me directly through my contact page.

For all of you out there who love to read, please follow my writer account on Twitter @Donna_Carrick .

 

However, if you’re more interested in following this crafty bird through the labyrinth of fabric and yarn that we call a life, you can always join me on my Just Knittin’ Twitter site under @DCarrickCrafts .
Either way, I’d love to meet you on FaceBook, so be sure to look me up!
Best in knitting and living passionately,
Donna Carrick

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized