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Monthly Archives: May 2009

  • A Knitted Village

    A group of women have been working for 23 years to knit their small town of Mersham, England. The wooly Mersham is a highly accurate scale model, including houses, a cricket match, a red phone booth, chickens, townspeople, and more. Read more about the remarkable knitted village here.

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  • Textured Circle Shrug Knit-Along: Separating the Sleeves from the Body

    Just to recap: last week we cast on for the shrug, knit the yoke, and tried on the shrug to make sure it fits.

    In today's post, we will go through some of the possible fit problems that you may have run into while trying on your shrug after last week's installment.

    Once we do that, we will make fit adjustments, place our sleeves on scrap yarn to be worked later, and finish the body of the shrug.

    Next week we will finish the sleeves, and in the following post we will begin the neckline trim.

    By this time, you've completed the yoke portion of the shrug, and are ready to move on to finishing the body (the pink-filled area in the schematic above.)

    This is the point at which you have an opportunity to try on your shrug (if you have not done so already) and make any adjustments in the size before continuing with the project.

    In my last post, I transferred my whole shrug to a long piece of yarn so that I could show you how the project looks at this stage, and also to show how you could make sure that your shrug fits.  (See last post for photos.)

    There are several possible fit issues that might come up at this stage, and we will discuss possible solutions to them in today's post.

    Some possible fit problems:

    1. My shrug fits fine across the back, but the armholes feel too tight.
    2. My shrug is tight across the back and the armholes feel too tight.
    3. My shrug is too big across the back, but the armholes feel fine
    4. My shrug is too big across the back and the armholes feel too big.

    Fit issue #1 will be handled next week when we get to the section of the pattern marked "SLEEVES."  Since we are simply finishing up the body for right now, and your body section fits properly, we don't do anything different at this point.

    Fit issue #2 is corrected by just working a few more rows of the shrug, continuing on in both Textured Stripe AND increasing every RS row.  You can simply knit a few rows, try the shrug back on, see if it fits, and repeat that process until you get your custom fit...

    OR you can figure out figure out exactly how many more rows you need to complete by doing the following:

    • Figure out how much wider you need to make the back in inches.
    • Figure out how many stitches you need to make up that measurement.
    • Work enough raglan increase rows to bring you to that width. (At the same time that you are adding width to the back, you are also increasing the sleeves, so this *should* also help the fit of your sleeve.)


    • Say I need to make my shrug bigger across the back by about an inch.
    • Using my gauge, I know that I have about 4.5 stitches in one inch, so I need to add about 4.5 stitches to the back of my shrug to make it one inch wider. (To make the math easier, I'm going to round down to 4 sts.)
    • I increase 2 stitches in the back of the shrug every RS row, so I need to work 2 additional increase rounds in order to increase ~1 inch of width.

    Working these extra rounds will also increase the width of my sleeve by one inch.  If that isn't quite enough extra width at the sleeve for your fit issue, you can add more stitches next week when we get to the "SLEEVES" section of the pattern.

    Fit issue # 3: For this fit issue, you will need to rip back a few rows, until the fit across the back feels good to you, and then add more stitches to the sleeve next week when we get to the "SLEEVES" section of the pattern.  You can use the steps in the example above to determine exactly how many rows to rip back in order to get your exact fit.

    Fit issue # 4: For this fit issue, you will just rip back a few rows until the back fits you the way you like it, and should not need to add stitches next week when you get to the "SLEEVES" section of the pattern. (Since both your back and sleeves were too big) ...but you can if you do need to!

    The arrow on the left in the photo below shows how ripping back a few rows will make both the back and sleeves smaller, while the right arrow shows that adding a few rows will make both sections larger:

    Now that you've solved your fit issues (if you had any) let's move on to finishing up the body of the shrug.

    At this point, the pattern reads:


    NEXT ROW(RS): Place next 50(58, 66, 69, 77, 85) sts for first sleeve on scrap yarn to be worked later, rejoin yarn and work to marker, place last 50(58, 66, 69, 77, 85) sts for first sleeve on scrap yarn to be worked later.

    So, what you do is just thread a darning needle or tapestry needle with a length of yarn (abot a foot long or so) and use the darning / tapestry needle to remove the 50(58, 66, 69, 77, 85) sts from your circular needle.  Then, you knit or purl (whatever you should do according to the Textured Stripe pattern) across the back, then just place the last 50(58, 66, 69, 77, 85) stitches onto another length of yarn.

    It will look like this:

    Skip ahead in the post to: NEXT ROW (RS)

    • NOTE: If you already have your whole shrug on a long length of yarn, you can just run your circular needle back through the stitches for the back and leave the sleeves on the scrap yarn. (You'll have to work one extra row of the back in stitch pattern in order to be caught up with the pattern):

    Step 1:

    The entire shrug is on a length of waste yarn.  Run your circular needle through ONLY the back section (section between the 2 markers.)

    Step 2:

    Cut the scrap yarn at center back, pull the cut end out of the back stitches, tie.

    Now just tie the ends of the scrap yarn.

    Now, the pattern says to "work one row even."  This just means to work one row in Textured Stripe pattern without doing any increases or decreases.  From this point in the pattern until we begin the next section, you will only be working with the stitches used for the body.

    So, work your one row, then go on to:

    NEXT ROW (RS): Continue in textured stripe, bind off 3 sts at beg of next 10(8, 0, 16, 0 0) rows.  Then, 4 sts at beg of next 6(8, 14, 4, 16, 16) rows.

    • If you have a zero in the first set of instructions (3rd, 5th, and 6th sizes) you start right away decreasing 4 sts at the beginning of the next 6(8, 14, 4, 16, 16) rows.

    Stitches are decreased here in order to give a curved shape to the back of the sweater, so that it slopes inward and will help the ribbing to hug the wearer's lower back, rather than hanging loosely around the body.

    • Fit tip: If you would like to extend the length of your shrug, I suggest that you do it by lengthening the ribbing, rather than extending this section.  When you add the ribbing, it will pull the lower edges of the shrug, and you will get a "bubble-back" look to the sweater!

    Here is what my shrug looks like at this point:

    (See my flickr set for more photos)

    Here's how to transfer the stitches onto scrap yarn.  You can do this same process to save the sleeve stitches:

    Thread a darning needle loaded with waste yarn through the stitches on the needle.

    Remove the sts from the knitting needle onto the darning needle.

    Transfer sts from darning needle to yarn.

    I'd like to invite everyone to post your progress shots to the flickr pool for this KAL.  And, if you're still having any "so...what am I doing wrong here?" questions, this would be a great place for you to post photos of what your knitting looks like, so that your fellow "KALers" (including me) can help out.

    Related links:

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  • Craft for Father's Day with BK4K!

    BK4K (By Kids, For Kids) is our monthly kids’ newsletter that’s perfect for kids and the adults that craft with them, from parents and grandparents to teachers and scout leaders.

    Spend those long summer days crafting! This month's BK4Kis all about showing appreciation to your dad, so enjoy your summer vacation by making him a Father's Day present he'll love and use year-round. Personalize drink cozies and knit a striped remote cozy. These fun patterns are perfect for Father's Day or any day!

    Want to craft without knitting or crocheting? Dad's desk organizer is a great way to be creative and use scrap yarn.

    For more great kid-friendly ideas each month, subscribe to BK4K. If you already have a Lion Brand account, you can simply add it by clicking on "My LBY", and selecting it under “My Subscriptions.”

    Related link:

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