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Author Archives: Stefanie Japel

  • Textured Circle Shrug Knit-Along: Final Post!

    Hi Everyone!  It's been fun knitting with you these past few weeks!  Time really flies!

    Today's post is my last, and will focus on the second round of increases, casting off, and sharing an FO (finished object in knit-speak)!  My FO is a little bit lopsided, since I added about 10 stitches to only one sleeve (so that I could show you how that looks), but I still think it looks awesome and will actually wear it!  (You can't even tell that one sleeve is about an inch wider!)

    Increase round 2 is performed much like increase round 1.  It just brings us back to k1 p1 ribbing. You simply work a M1P (Click here for a video for M1, but instead of knitting the bar between the stitch just knit and the next stitch on the needle, you'd purl it.) between the two knit stitches in every wide rib between the sleeve markers.

    Then, for the finale, we switch to seed stitch (also called moss stitch in the UK) and work a few rounds, then cast off. I recommend casting off in stitch pattern (if you are supposed to purl, purl, then pass the cast-off loop over, and vice versa if you're supposed to knit.) Click here for a video. This will create a more elastic cast-off edge.  I also recommend casting off with a needle size that's 2 sizes (1 whole mm) larger than the needle you used for the rib...so...use your "body" needle to cast off.  I cast off my shrug a few rows early, your seed stitch border will be a few rows wider than mine.

    When your shrug comes off the needle, the seed stich border may seem a little bit wavy.  You'll just want to lightly steam this edge, so that it will lay flat. If you find that your edging seems too loose (this may be the case if you've added a large number of stitches at the under arm) your best bet is to mist the ribbing lightly with water and stretch it lengthwise. Let it dry like this, and it will be tighter and less floppy.

    In my photos, I'm wearing my shrug pinned at the front to show what this looks like, since we've had a few questions about adding a button.  If you want to add a buttonhole to the front edge, a good point to do that is in the first few rows of the seed stitch border.  You could just do a "yo k2tog" which will make a small hole.

    Here's the back.  My husband took the photo and didn't tell me that the collar wasn't lying exactly flat...but you get the idea! :)  I could block this so that the back is flat, but I like the ribs that the Textured Stripe pattern creates, so I'll probably leave it like this.

    This has been a lot of fun!  I can't wait to see all of your FO shots in our Flickr Group! Or share them with us in the Customer Gallery (like this one from Mary Jo).

    Look out later this summer for our charity KAL/CAL!

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  • Textured Circle Shrug Knit-Along: Increase Round 1

    Hi Everyone! I hope you're having a great week!

    In our last installment of the Textured Circle Shrug KAL, we picked up all around the neck opening and started working on our ribbing.

    In this installment, we will proceed to Increase Round 1.  In this round, we work a few RLI (in every other knit rib) between the markers that we placed to denote each "sleeve" portion of the shrug. (The pink arrows in the picture below show the stitches over which the increases are worked.)

    You work your ribbing from the beginning of round marker to your sleeve marker, then begin the increases.  Work increases all the way around to the second marker.  Then, work normal ribbing across the top / back neck of the shrug, all the way to the second sleeve.  You'll work increases all the way across this second sleeve section, and then work regular ribbing across the back.

    • NOTE: If you've added stitches at the under arm, you will have placed markers as in the previous post to keep those stitches separate.  Do not work increases across those extra stitches, only across the original number of sleeve sts as denoted in the pattern instructions.

    I talked a little bit about the RLI at the end of last week's post, if you're just joining us, be sure to check it out.

    Here, again, is the link to the video on www.knittinghelp.com that shows how to do a RLI.  In this pattern, RLI means to knit into the right leg of the stitch below the next one on the left hand needle, and then knit the next stitch.

    I took some photos of how this looks in our shrug:

    Here is how the stitch pattern starts out, with a k1 p1

    Next, we knit into the right leg of the stitch below the next one on the needle:

    Next, knit into the next stitch on the needle.  (Once you do this a few times, this step will become very fluid.)

    Here is what the ribbing looks like after this step.  Every OTHER knit rib (between the markers that denote our sleeve sections) has two knit stitches.

    Now, just proceed in this new rib stitch until we get to Increase Round 2.  Next week, we will work this second round of increases and FINISH THE SHRUG!

    How are you coming along with your shrug? Where are you up to? Let us know!

    And, for those of you who are finished already, share your project with us in the Customer Gallery.

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  • Textured Circle Shrug Knit-Along: Neckline Trim

    Hi Everyone!

    I've been on the road teaching a workshop for the last few days, so I apologize in advance for the quality of the photos in today's post.  Since I was teaching all day, most of these were taken at night in the hotel.

    Thank you to everyone who stepped up to answer questions since the last post! I was traveling and didn't have my laptop, so I really appreciate it.

    Today's post will focus on picking up stitches and knitting the ribbing along the neckline of the shrug.

    I tried to get some good photos of where / how I picked up my stitches, but this is actually a very individual process. (Here is a video from www.knittinghelp.com that shows how to pick up stitches.)

    I tend to use the stitches along the outermost edge of the knitted fabric, while some teachers will tell you to pick up a little farther into the fabric. Wherever you choose to pick your stitches up, you'll be fine, as long as you pick up the number of stitches recommended by the pattern. The two kinds of stitches that you will find at the edge of the fabric are what look like bumps (first arrow) and lines (second arrow.)  You can pick up into either of these.

    You just insert the needle into the fabric and draw the working yarn through the loop that you've created.

    • HINT: It may take a few attempts to end up with the right distribution of picked up stitches along the front of the sleeves.  Something that helps is to divide up the fabric into smaller sections and make sure to pick up the appropriate number in each section.  For example, I had to pick up 70 stitches along the right and left fronts.  I had 10 stitches at the top of that section from the cast on, so I had to pick up 60 stitches along the diagonal.  I could have (just by eyeball, and using markers) divided the length of the fabric into 6 sections and made sure to pick up 10 sts in each section.

    Begin picking up stitches at the right back section, and continue around the right front.

    • HINT: Fold the sleeve in half to bring the points together.  You may even want to seam your sleeves now, to make it easier to see where to pick up next.

    At the cast-on edge, you just pick up one stitch for every cast on stitch, and then continue down the left front, and end at the left back right at the spot that your stitches are waiting for you on the scrap yarn.

    Transfer these stitches to the needle.  Now you're ready to work your ribbing in the round.

    • NOTE: Some people have asked me why I decided not to do a provisional cast on at the neck, so that the stitches could be seamlessly worked into the ribbing.  This is a possible alternative, but I like having the structure of that back neck cast on edge.  It really helps the garment to keep its shape.

    For people who have added stitches at the under arm, you will fold the little flap of extra stitches up, and pick up sts along that top/cast on edge.

    Place markers like I have in the photo below, so that you remember which sts are added, and which are part of the original pattern.  This way, you can still follow the original pattern instructions for your size when you are ready to do your increases.

    • NOTE: Several people have commented on the Ravelry page for this pattern that they think there is an errata in the next (increase) section.  I want to comment on that for those of us who are itching to go on ahead.

    The pattern instructions themselves are fine, but the way that RLI is described in the pattern notes makes the increase section not quite work out.

    • RLI is defined by the pattern editor as knit into the right leg of the stitch below the next stitch on the left hand needle.
    • BUT, in order for the instructions to work, you also need to knit into the next stitch on the needle.  When I do this, it is one fluid motion, and I consider it one operation.
    • So to ME, RLI means to knit into the right leg of the stitch below the next stitch on the needle, and then into the next stitch on the needle...and that is how the pattern is intended to be worked.
    • Here is a video for RLI (the instructions are just the way I describe above, to do the increase and then knit the next stitch in one operation...except that the abbreviation on the site is KRL)

    My next post will describe the increase section in detail.

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