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Monthly Archives: January 2010

  • Inishturk Sweater Knit-Along: Beyond the Ribbing & Sorting Out Patterns

    It has been a lot of fun to see so many of you already starting the Inishturk Sweater and sharing your ideas and experiences with the rest of us.  Probably the hardest part of this sweater is the part I'm going to talk about today - going from the ribbing into all those cable patterns!

    I found working the ribbing went just fine until I saw that I had to increase 22 stitches on that last ribbing row (which is a WS row).   I'm making this pattern in the medium size that had me working 106 stitches for the ribbing.  So I took my handy, dandy calculator and divided 106 by 22 and found out I should increase a stitch every 4.8181818 stitches!  OK, that is pretty close to one increase every 5 stitches, so looking at the ribbing, I decided I would mark 22 of the ribs with pins -- skipping one here and there.  Then I just increased at the top of these ribs.  I know that increasing doesn't have to be perfectly even for this pattern, but they should be fairly evenly worked across that row.  I worked my increases as "make 1" (m1) increases, but I also could have just knit into the front and back of those 22 stitches to increase, and that would be fine for this pattern.  I just wanted to make sure I didn't have "holes" where I made my increases (which would happen if you worked your increases as yarn overs).

    So, I finally had my 128 stitches to work my patterns.  I carefully worked the set-up row and the following row which had me just knitting the knit stitches and purling the purl stitches.  Then on Row 3 of the back, with stitch markers in hand, I carefully worked that row, placing stitch markers on my needle on each side of the larger cable patterns.  Until these patterns are established (and even after that!) these markers will make sure that my patterns will line up - and just make knitting them a whole lot easier.

    Another way I sorted out the patterns was to place different color markers on my needle on the side of each type of cable.  Then I wrote down the color and corresponding cable on a sticky note and attached it to my pattern.

    This sweater is a beautiful combination of some very different, but traditional Aran cable patterns.  However, not only do these patterns have a different number of stitches, but rows as well!  Some of you have been keeping track of that with Excel or another spreadsheet program -- but here's something to remember:  the largest of these panels (Panel B) has 16 rows.  All the other patterns have row repeats that go into 16:  some have 2 rows, some have 4 rows, and Panel A has 8 rows.  What this means is: every time I start Row 1 of that large Panel B, I should also be on Row 1 of all the other patterns.

    Now as for that center Panel B -- I have been following the row instructions written, but I do love charts.  So, I've decided that this week I will make charts and share them with you next week.  For those of you who have never worked charts before, I'll include a little tutorial on how to do that as well.  Meantime, keep those stitch markers and row counters at hand!

    Don't have a row counter? If you go to the pattern on, you'll notice that there's a built-in row-counter right on the pattern page! It's handy if you are working on your sweater near a computer OR on a mobile device.

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  • How to Help Haiti

    In light of the current situation in Haiti, we want to turn our attention to this part of the world and how you can help out. We have received many inquiries about donating knitted or crocheted items to Haiti, but the most immediate concerns are basic needs, such as food, shelter, and health care. Therefore, in lieu of sending handmade items, we encourage you to make monetary donations to established charity and relief organizations already on-site in Haiti to help address these needs. Here is a list of a few relief organizations:

    The American Red Cross is dispensing aid by building temporary shelters, providing medical assistance, and distributing clean water and medical supplies. Donate through their website or text "HAITI" to 90999 to donate $10.

    Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) is providing mobile hospitals, health care professionals, and medical supplies. Donate through their website. Popular knitter and blogger Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is keeping track of how much money crafters have donated to the charity. Read more about her work with Doctors Without Borders here.

    Save the Children is providing health care and resources to Haitian children and their families. Visit their website to donate, or text "SAVE" to 20222 to donate $10.

    Founded by former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is dedicated to distributing food, clean water, shelter, and first aid supplies. Donate through their website or text "QUAKE" to 20222 to donate $10.

    Children's advocacy group UNICEF is establishing safe space for children orphaned or separated from their families. Donate on their website or text "UNICEF" to 20222 to donate $10.

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  • Old Yarns & New Friends at the NYC Crochet Guild

    A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of speaking to the New York City Crochet Guild. We had a great turn out of over seventy people. I truly enjoyed watching the proud participants of this group show off their latest projects and designs. I was able to show them all of the exciting new yarns that we have for this year, such as Hometown USA, Amazing, the LB Collection, and some new yarns that have yet to be introduced.  When I asked how many of the ladies had been to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the majority of the members had visited the store and absolutely loved it. I have attached some pictures for the meeting for your viewing pleasure.

    My favorite part of the night was when one of the ladies, Irene, donated some vintage Lion Brand yarns to our archives. She donated some great oldies like Glitter Knit, Pamela, and Molaine that was made in Italy. She even gave us a sport yarn that was 100% pure wool that came out way before my time that was article number 804 with an old dye-cut label. Being that I love to collect vintage Lion Brand items for our archives, this was most exciting.

    One of the greatest take away from visiting guilds around the country is all of the insightful feed back that I receive. I love going back to the office the next day and sharing all of the wonderful things I learned with the rest of the Lion Brand team. I can't wait to visit my next guild.

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    Want Jack to visit your group? Groups of 50 or more in the tri-state area can contact regarding speaking at an event.

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