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  • knitting1105 11:46 am on November 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    English Tailoring Part II 

    A few years back, I took a class at Vogue Knitting from CocoKnits on English tailoring, and loved it.  We made a baby sweater in that class, which I gave to a friend’s grandson.  I repeated a similar class with her a couple of years later, hoping to hone this process and apply it to more sweaters.  Most recently, I gave Dan yarn for Christmas last year, and have attempted to knit one of CocoKnits top down sweaters for him, I had great difficulty with the gauge, and he has yet to receive that sweater.  I am thinking that this might be a good Holiday project for me…

    So, I posted recently that I was working on this Dale of Norway baby sweater, and wanted to do the set in sleeves as the English tailoring method.  I am proud to say that I have completed this, there was a bit of ripping back and experimenting, but I am quite proud of the end result.

    The only seaming is a few stitches under the arm.  And, the fit is a nice shoulder.

    This sweater has a sweet flower pattern at the bottom.  The pattern called for knitting the fair isle back and forth, but I choose to knit it in the round for those few rows, and steek it.

    I also knit the sleeves in the round.  These few adaptations really made this work as a great English tailoring sweater.

    Hoping to sew the short steek soon and finish this up.

    Julie Weisenberger is a really great teacher and I would highly recommend her classes.  If you are not able to take one of her classes, I highly recommend her new book, which I purchased this past year.


    Julie also has several great tutorials on her website that you all should check out, regardless of whether you use the English tailoring method.  I am always on the lookout for new techniques that either minimize finishing or give my knitted objects a more finished professional look.

    Another book that comes to mind is The “I Hate to Finish Sweaters” Guide to Finishing Sweaters.  This is a great book on sweater finishing, i.e. thinking about how you set up your sweater before you start knitting.  Many, many years ago I took a finishing class, and the instructor recommended this book.  It is a short spiral bound book, and one that I refer to over and over again.  I saw it on Amazon for $36!, but found reasonably priced copies here.


    • Diane Hamilton 12:29 am on November 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      The baby sweater is so pretty, I always admire your talent and skill in knitting. The time you put into these gifts is something that can’t be measured.


  • knitting1105 5:18 pm on July 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    This Sweater makes me sad 


    To be clear, this is one of my favorite baby sweater patterns, I have made several, and have plans for another.  I love the kimono style wrap, which is very easy for dressing babies.


    This was made with Baby Ull by Dale of Norway, now Dale Garn.  I have been knitting with this yarn for many many years, it is my favorite baby yarn that I have ever tried, and I have tried many.  The colors have always been so amazingly beautiful and rich, and the yarn is faithfully great quality.  Until recently.  I just heard that they had shifted production of their yarn from Norway to China a couple of years ago.  I have not made a ton of baby sweaters in that time.  Then I was working on this, the brown yarn and the blue yarn were the quality that I have come to expect from DoN.  Then, I was finishing this up last week for a gift, and decided that the lovely grayish purple would be the perfect 3rd color.  Knitting with it, I started to find slubs in the yarn and some poorly spun areas.  Not something that I had ever encountered with this yarn before.  When I looked at the ball bands, the brown and blue were from my older stash, and made in Norway, the Purple was from China; not the same quality.

    I still love how the sweater came out.


    Here is one that I made several years ago for my Niece Riley.  The colors make it feel so different.

    Of course, I needed to make booties to go with this sweater.  This is a free pattern, Christine’s stay-on booties.  I have made these before, they are fun and look like little moon boots for those “Fred Flintstone” shaped newborn feet!

    To make matters worse, I recently read that DoN will no longer be selling to the US market.  I do have quite a stash of Baby Ull (for those few who have been privy to my Baby Ull hoarding), but lacking in a few of the neutrals.  I took care of part of that with a recent order to KidsKnits.


    And while I was there, they had all of their DoN booklets on sale so, I added to my collection.


    I must say that while these books are nice, they come nowhere near the level of sophistication and color work of the older booklets.  I am happy that I have many of the older ones in my library.

    I think that i will stash up a bit more, and morn the loss of the beautiful designs and yarn.  I am hoping to find some North American yarns that can fill the void.

    • Pam 9:10 pm on July 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I will check what I have and share with you…if it isn’t made in China. I bought it for a baby blanket.

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 9:58 am on July 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Pam, no need. I have plenty for the moment. Thanks for thinking of me. Make that baby blanket!


    • Gracey 7:42 pm on July 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Lovely colors….I felt like that when I found our Manos would no longer make their cotton stria…I stocked up on it whenever I saw it…


    • Diane F Hamilton 10:17 pm on August 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      It is too bad that they switched to China production, but the sweater still turned out very nice!


  • knitting1105 3:18 pm on December 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Shelter yarn   

    7, 6, 5, 4 

    No, not a countdown to New Years Eve, but rather a countdown of needle sizes to find the one that works best.

    This Christmas I gave Dan 14 skeins of yarn.  A brilliant gift, that gives back.  (Plus I had a $50 Gift Certificate, it was also 20% off, so a great bargain as well).  This yarn has been on my wish list to knit with.  It is Shelter by Brooklyn Tweed, the color is Birdbook (not sure exactly what that means).


    The sheep are all American, and it is processed in the US as well.  And soft to boot.  Here is the story of the sheep from Wyoming, and the yarn processed in New Hampshire.


    The yarn is  a soft woolen spun :

    The distinctive character of Targhee-Columbia wool shines in Shelter, our versatile medium-weight yarn. Shelter is woolen spun, meaning the fibers remain in a lofty jumble that traps air and offers remarkable warmth and lightness. Its two plies are gently twisted to preserve that buoyant quality, so Shelter is a little more delicate than most commercial yarns. Woolen-spun yarns are also more adaptable in gauge, as they can compress to a dense sport weight or bloom to cohere as a gauzy fabric when worked on large needles. Shelter has a dry, soft hand and a faintly rustic nature; woolen spinning sometimes results in slightly thinner or thicker sections, and you’ll find the occasional fleck of vegetable matter that proves our wool is never treated with harsh chemicals. Garments knit from Shelter achieve their full beauty after a wet blocking, as each stitch relaxes and bonds with its neighbors to produce an even, light, plush fabric with a halo. You shouldn’t notice any change in gauge. Shelter is designed to be a workhorse yarn that invites cables, ribbing, textured stitch motifs, open work, plain stockinette and garter stitch. We think it’s ideal for sweaters of every variety, winter accessories, and blankets.

    The green tweed is lovely, but I really wanted to make sure that Dan liked it as well, which he did.  Gauge on this yarn says 20 sts/4″ with size 7 needles.  I started with that, but it was so loose and sloppy that I tore it out, it probably would have been good to keep as an example.  Then I progressively went d0own in needle size, I was thinking that eventually the fabric would just become too dense, but it didn’t.


    Size 6 was still wonky, with large gaps between the rows.


    Size 5 was getting better, but not the fabric drape that I was looking for.


    Amazingly enough, size 4 was a perfect fit.  18 sts/4″.


    All the time while working these swatches, I was thinking that I wanted to make a sweater using the English Tailoring method that I had learned in a couple of Vogue Knitting Live classes from Julie Weisenberger, aka cocoknits.

    I chose the pattern Antonia/Antonio.  This pattern has a gauge of 18 sts/ 4″, a perfect fit.  I was prepared however to adjust the sizing once I got the fabric density correct.  I am not sure who could get the gauge of 20 sts/ 4″ with this yarn on size 7 needles.


    The sweater starts at the top and is knit down with no seams. I will add hidden pockets to this, and most likely a bit longer in the torso, as Dan is fairly tall.   A brilliant gift if you ask me, this makes gift giving so much more pleasurable.  Plus I can try it on him as I go.

    • Heidi Klick 11:12 am on March 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Cool sweater and great yarn. Totally captivated by Brooklyn Tweed yarn. Lovely feel to it. Biedbook is one of my favorite colors.


  • knitting1105 8:08 pm on March 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply
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    Many many times I complete the knitting portion of a garment, and it sits waiting and waiting to be finished, mainly sewn together.  Blocking to me is fun, but piecing a garment together is not, and I need to get over this.  Today I sat out all of the pieces for my Batwing Pullover.   I thought for sure that I would do it this afternoon, now it looks like tomorrow.


    There are only 4 seams…


    Then, I would get to knit the cowl, which looks fun.

    • Diane Hamilton 12:04 am on March 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I can understand the piecing would not be as much fun as the knitting or the blocking to see the final project. Hope you get it done so we can see the finished project soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 4:53 pm on January 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply
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    Pullover Progressing 


    Batwing Pullover pieces

    All but the collar is knit up on the Batwing Pullover that I started a couple of weeks ago.  Aurora 8 by Karabella is one of my favorite cabling yarns, it is so soft and squishy to knit with, holds the structure of the cable beautifully.  Unfortunately, I have to agree with comments on Ravelry that this yarn is expensive ($10/98 yard skein), and has way too many knots in it.  Someone had to tie the knots, so they know that there are a lot.


    Batwing Pullover Detail

    I had 20 skeins of this yarn in deep deep stash.  Finding a use for it was exciting, and I knew that even with that amount, I would run short of the yardage required to complete this sweater. While Aurora 8 is still produced, my Turquoise color had been long discontinued.  Searching the internet, I found 2 skeins in a clearance warehouse that I ordered.  There were some on people’s Ravelry pages, but I did not have luck acquiring those.  I did yet another google search this time using the color number, not the name.  Bingo!  I scored, and found a stash.  I purchased 6 skeins, hoping that that will be enough to finish the collar (which is big).


    I really want to finish this, but the sewing of the pieces needs to happen first, and I need to be in the right frame of mind, with the right lighting.  I guess that it will not be completed to take to knitting tomorrow.

  • knitting1105 4:06 pm on January 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Diane will be Proud 

    On a recent post, my sister Diane noted that it was really good that I was starting a hat using yarn that I already had in my stash.  On a trip to the bookstore last week I purchased the Holiday 2015 issue of Vogue magazine.

    Layout 1

    All of my magazine subscriptions have been let go, some for a long time now.  I vowed to only purchase a magazine when there was a pattern, or perhaps a particular article that I really wanted.  Well, this is the pattern that made me choose this magazine:

    VK H15 photos by Rose Callahan

    Batwing Pullover

    I just love the look of this sweater, much like a cape or poncho, but I think more practical.  So, when I was looking at the pattern, I remembered some Karabella Aurora 8 yarn that I had in stash.  20 skeins, I thought for sure that would do it.  I love Aurora 8, it cables so beautifully, and holds it’s structure well. Turquoise would not have been my first choice of color, but the amount of yarn needed for this sweater would be a major investment, the stash yarn that I have was purchased at a deep discount years ago.


    When I started comparing the recommended yarn and yardage needed, I was very disappointed, as I was still quite short of what was needed.  A search of Aurora 8 found this to be a discontinued color.  I decided to swatch the yarn for gauge and see where I was, thinking that I could just make the lower band and collar of a different color.  To my surprise, my gauge was such that I could knit the small size and achieve a large version.  That really helped with the required yardage.  Online I found 2 skeins at an outlet on sale, and one person on Ravelry has agreed to trade me 5 of their skeins.  One store still has some at full price also.

    So, I started, and even though this color of yarn bleeds onto my hands as I am knitting, I am in love with this yarn once again.  Very anxious to complete this.  I think that it will make a superb Fall/Spring sweater for outerwear.


    Batwing in progress


    • Diane Hamilton 4:12 pm on January 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      So in quilting I always say buy 3 yards if you don’t know how you will use the material. In knitting, it sounds like you need 30 skeins for a large project???


      • knitting1105 2:00 pm on January 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Normally about 1,500-2,000 yards would be sufficient for a sweater, but it all depends on weight of yarn, cabling, and how big you are making it, in addition to the design. I am happy that I have finally found a purpose for this yarn!


  • knitting1105 10:56 pm on November 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    All done but the buttons 

    I have finally finished my first handspun and hand knit sweater using Woolgatherings fiber.  The process from fiber to sweater was fun.  I first spun the variegated as a 3ply,



    Then I ordered and spun 2 plys of eggplant and one of rust as my semi-solid contrast. My problem here was that my spinning was not as fine with the semi-solid as it was with the variegated. After that, and a couple of false starts with patterns, my friend Jane suggested the February Ladies Sweater.  It was the perfect match.  I was able to most of my semi-solid to maximize the length.


    Then I needed to choose buttons.  These were the 2 choices that I had on hand.



    Even though there is no green in the fabric, I think that it made the best option, pulling out the other colors.


    Problem is that the buttons are a bit too heavy for the drape of the sweater.  I will be on the lookout for something similar though.  The 3/4 length sleeve is just right.  If I were to restart this sweater I would have fractally spun the variegated so has not to have the long concentrations of pooling.  That said, I do love the colors, and the fibers were a dream to spin.


    • Diane 11:00 pm on November 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      It always amazes me to see the starting fibers and the finished product…looks great!


      • knitting1105 11:40 am on November 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        This was my first sweater, I wasn’t really sure how it was going to turn out, but I am happy with the results.


    • andresue 9:00 pm on November 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      It’s beautiful!


    • knitsbyjenn 10:51 am on November 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Lovely work!


      • knitting1105 11:39 am on November 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you! I think that I have to change the buttons though, they are too heavy for the fabric.


  • knitting1105 8:52 pm on October 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Just for Ria 


    I was going to title this Baby Ria, as that is what we all called her this summer on vacation.  But, she is no longer a baby, and that is a title that I think that she would like to not have carry over.  So, I finally finished the sweater for Toddler Ria, and sent it off last week.  It arrived, and I received a lovely video of her trying to put it over her head.




    Totem jacket with handspun yarn…

  • knitting1105 9:12 am on July 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    On Ravelry each project has a counter for how many times someone has looked at it.  My Polar Bear sweater, finished during Ravelympics 2008 has reached 1000 views, and 85 likes.  There are projects out there who have seen many more views, but they tend to appeal to the masses more, this is definitely more of a niche market.  And I know that it took years to reach this number, but I am just happy that Ravelry has allowed me to share my knitting with so many people.  My family takes it for granted.


    You can look at past posts here and here to see my progress in just 2 weeks!

    • Yvonne Creanga Cockrell 4:17 pm on August 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      My jaw dropped looking at this great work and the amount of hours you spent doing it. I hope whoever you made for still has it and is taking very good care of this heirloom.


      • knitting1105 4:30 pm on August 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Oh this one I made for myself, and I do appreciate it. Times have changed though, and right now I do not need the extra warmth!


  • knitting1105 1:46 pm on June 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    The Jury is Still Out 

    Remember how excited I was to knit up this shawl from the cover of Lovely Knitted Lace?  Well, it is finished, actually finished for a couple of weeks now.  Last week I was busy with summer Architecture camp for teens, and this week I am reeling from a really bad summer cold.  So bad in fact, that I did not even feel like knitting or spinning most of the time, and I have been home alone.   It was quite miserable.

    Well, here is the shawl pre blocking:



    And I was waiting to have a model to take photos of it, but then realized that I could model it and just use the self timer on my camera.  First, the shawl without the buttons closed, you can see how there is no shape to this, it really has to always be worn fully buttoned up.


    And the completed shawl.  I was not looking great today, a weeks worth of head colds took its toll, so I artfully cropped my head out!




    Wondering if maybe my torso is not long enough to carry this off.



    I disagree with her directions for sewing the shawl up.  I would find the point for each of the arms to have the petal end right at the top of the wrist (5th one in from each front edge), and then sew the bottoms between to the required measurements so that it fits properly on your hips.



    Pattern: Camellia Dolman
    Pattern Source: Lovely Knitted Lace
    Yarn: Helen’s Lace
    Needles: US 3 & 5
    Date Started: 3/28/14
    Date Finished: 4/16/14
    Finished Dimensions: Women’s large

    • Jeanette Andre 11:34 pm on June 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      This is such a beautiful shaw, you are right, it does look rather snug in the hip area.I’m sure you will be able to figure it out, looks lovely from the back spread out.


      • knitting1105 10:05 am on July 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        The pattern requires it to be snug in the hip area, otherwise it has absolutely no shape. I think that I just need to wear it lower. Thanks for the nice comments!


    • Diane Hamilton 11:39 pm on June 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Frances, as usual this is a beautiful work of art. I actually like it better unbutton and to get the true appreciation of the beautiful knitting I think you need to always hold your arms out. If old people can just stop in the middle of an isle for no good reason, you should be able to always hold your arms out to display this beautiful shawl. Sorry you have been so sick…hope you are feeling better!

      Liked by 1 person

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