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Knitting

  • How to Add Bust Darts to Your Knitting

    Some of us are a bit curvier than others, and that means we might want to make the occasional adjustment to a sweater pattern. Fortunately, in most garments it's as simple as adding a bust dart in the right spot, creating a little extra space and reducing pulling across the chest.

    The first step is to determine where you want the darts to be based on your body shape. How to figure this out will depend on your specific pattern, but you can either measure yourself and your piece to determine where they should be or simply hold the piece up to your torso to find the best place to start.

    Next you will need to figure out how large you need the darts to be. You can measure your bust at its fullest point and subtract the finished measurement of the pattern to determine this, or you can use your bra cup size. If you are going by bra size, simply add an inch for each cup size up from A. Which method works best will, again, depend on the specific garment you are making. It may not be necessary with your pattern to add seven inches if you are a G cup, so it's best to use these methods as a ballpark and make adjustments to suit your specific needs.

    Short rows can be used to create extra room in a garment. Short rows can be used to create extra room in a garment.

    Once you have decided where to place the darts and how large to make them, it's a simple matter of working short rows. If you are working in the round, you may want to place markers to indicate where the front of your piece begins and ends.

    To make the short rows, start on the RS or at the beginning of the front of your garment in the round. Work across to two stitches before the end or before the marker indicating the end of the front. Wrap and turn, then purl back to two stitches before the beginning, and wrap and turn again. You will then knit back to three before, w&t, purl back to three before, w&t. Continue like this, working to one stitch before the previous w&t each time, until the bust darts are the desired size.  End after a purl row and w&t, so that you are continuing on the RS.

    As you continue, every time you encounter a w&t, pick up the wrapped stitch and work it together with the stitch that is already on the needle. This will create a smooth line with no holes in the work. Once you have done that, you can continue the piece as written, and your garment will have a nice shaped bust!

    Note: this is written for a piece worked in stockinette stitch. If you are making a garment with some sort of lace or color pattern, you may have to make adjustments to the placement or size of the darts, or determine whether they are possible at all.

     

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  • The 12 Kits of Christmas in July: The majestic aura of the Tree of Life Afghan

    12 Kits of Christmas

    From the dawn of time, human beings have been breathlessly inspired by the king of the plant world, the Tree. Imposing in stature, existing in a mysterious state that transcends our human-scale notions of consciousness, time, and space, trees have infiltrated the very roots of human imagination, representing spiritual growth, fertility, transformation, and transcendence.

    They also look super great on a knitted afghan!

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    Just take a look at today’s kit, this glorious Tree of Life afghan, from our Christmas in July celebration! Can’t you just feel the thrum of eons of mystique dwelling within these stylized, leafless hulks?

    Close your eyes and picture the wintery landscape where these living, ancient talismans dwell. Do you hear the strange song of ages that pulses soundlessly from the essence of these silent giants? Can you feel the cool air whistling through their branches? I can’t. It’s hot as heck out, and my imagination isn’t that great.

    But that’s not going to keep me from grabbing 10 balls of Wool-Ease: Fisherman and getting to work making this ultra-sweet afghan. Get the pattern, kick up your heels, dial up Terrance Malick’s The Tree of Life on your streaming-platform-of-choice, and start knitting up this genuinely serene, beautiful pattern. It makes for a marvelous gift, perhaps to wrap oneself in while communing with the elder spirits of the forest.

    When you have returned to this plane of reality, keep your aura tuned to our blog for more exclusive kits available only at www.lionbrand.com during our Christmas in July celebration! You get a whopping 20% off these kits, but you’ll need to act faster than a tree: these inspiring kits are on sale until August 7!

    So make like a tree and leave this blog so you can get started knitting!

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  • Summer Memories in the Making: The Leaf Squares Afghan

    Summer vacation is a grand opportunity for knitting.  You’ve got time to express your creativity, time to knit to your heart’s content!  Summer is also when you’re outdoors, at the beach or pool, in your garden or a public park.  You’d love to sit under a shade tree and knit, but the thought of making something large that drapes across your lap…well, no thanks.

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    The Leaf Squares Afghan will change your mind about summer knitting.  Constructed incrementally, piece by piece, it’s an entirely portable project.  You work with only a single skein at a time, so you’re not hauling around loads of yarn in the heat. Each section is only 25 rows from start to finish, ultimately measuring about 8.5 inches square.  This means that each section is small enough to pop inside a beach bag, a handbag, or even a large pocket.  You can have it with you on day trips, when traveling, or even while you’re waiting in the car to pick up kids from camp.

    Landscapes®, the yarn for this pattern, is light and lofty; knitting it is a tactile pleasure. This loftiness also guarantees that when the sections are sewn into a larger blanket you’ll have warmth without much weight.

    Landscapes has great stitch definition, silky luster, subtle and rich coloration.  Once you’ve completed the squares and joined them, you’ll see how the several colors of yarn, plus the multiplication of the leaf pattern, plus the texture and drape of the fabric, create a whole that’s much more than the sum of its parts.  It’s a magical result.

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    Equally magical, though, is the knitting of each section.  Think of each square as a knitting companion.  Take one with you as you move through your summer; before long, you’ve finished it and started another.  Each square accomplishes so much, so quickly, that you never lose interest.  In fewer than 25 rows, an embossed leaf pattern emerges within all of the four triangles composing each square.  And each square is so cleverly constructed that you’ll learn lots about knitting technique (or refresh what you already know).

    The Leaf Squares Afghan reminds me, amusingly, of Aesop’s fable of the grasshopper and the ant.  In summer the grasshopper played, while the ant worked steadily to gather food for the winter.  When summer ended, the ant had enough food stored for the winter months, while the grasshopper, who hadn’t anticipated the future, knew he would go hungry.

    In knitting the Leaf Squares Afghan I see myself as Aesop’s industrious ant preparing for winter, but with this difference—my work is also my relaxation and my play.  As I embark on summer travel, or as I sit on my screen porch at twilight, I’m having a great time knitting each and every square.  By summer’s end I’ll have finished all 36 pieces, and I’ll sew them together in the fall.  Then, in the winter, when I pull the Leaf Squares Afghan around me for some extra warmth, I’ll be reminded of the places I went and the things I did during those lovely summer days.

     

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