Friday, 24 September 2010

Knitting your own Designs for a perfect fit

Knitting your own designs for a perfect fitKnitting: Your Own Designs for a Perfect Fit
No Ravelry Link

Types of patterns: Garments

Number of Patterns: Jumper (7); Waistcoat (2); Top (3); Baby (3); Child jumper (3); Cardigan (8); Child's Cardigan (2); Skirt (2): Child's Coat (1); Coat (1); Tank top (1); Dungarees (1)

Split of patterns: Men/women/children mostly women, but many patterns are unisex.
Size Range:

Colour/Black & White: Colour photographic plates but black& white otherwise

Schematics: yes and no, there are a lot of schematics scattered around the book but not attached to the garments, however if you read the guidelines for the pattern it would tell you where to go for the garment

Target Audience: Intermediate to advanced, beginners would probably not be well served by this, it requires some basic knowledge.

How to knit guide: yes, this is mostly what the book is about

Experimental/Classical/Modern: Classical mostly

Comments: This is not the book with a tonne of cast-ons and cast offs and a lot of detail about knitting, the garments are of their time, but under some of the strange styling and rather suspect colourwork many of the patterns are pretty classic, but this isn't what the book is about, scratch a little deeper than the pictures and the cover and you will find a comprehensive book that lists almost every possible shape and style, how to alter already knit garments to fit better and other detail besides. While there are no schematics for the garments listed there is a listing of shapes, which would allow to check what the choices would be. It's comprehensive and most possible ideas are listed and comments about advantages and disadvantages involved. She also works on ideas for optical effects, colourwork, knitting direction and motifs. All illustrated in line drawings. While most of the garments suffer badly from age some are quite classic, or could be adapted to be more up-to-date. The patterns are also more guidelines than actual patterns, the detail is described and the sizing and other details left to the knitter.

Polo-neck jumper with cevron design: Today's style would probably suggest a different neckline, and it has no shaping, still it's a pretty classic style that would probably suit men, or with some adaptations to remove some of the bulk most women

Alpaca Waistcoat, - pretty plain waistcoat with no shaping and ties, could be easily modernised or again, with plain buttons could be quite successful for men.

Maroon Poloneck with Chevrons on Sleeves:L Interesting use of colourwork on the sleeves this also has a saddle shoulder.

Blue/grey Tweed Collared Jumper: Big ribbed mens' jumper with a collar, pretty classic stuff here

Baby Briefs and Matinee Jacket - babies stuff tends to be the most classic and this isn't an exception

Toddler's Chenille Top: this suffers badly from age, drawstring bottom, laced boxy sleeves, it's just not that appealing, though some of the ideas could be used.

Camisole Evening Top : Interesting use of colourwork which is well placed and not too busy, could do with wider straps but otherwise not a bad piece

Mohair Cardigan: Shetland Shell Stitch ornaments this v-necked cardigan with pockets, could probably be translated into another yarn without too much trouble for an interesting piece, would probably lend itself well to self-striped yarn

Camel-Coloured v-neck with striped borders - sleeves are knit along the yoke and the body grafted to the yoke, the stripes along the ribs would be an interesting place to use left-overs or busy yarns

Green Cotton twin-set: mosaic patterning along the body of this square necked top with only a small amount of detail on the sleeves of the cardigan, unfortunately the body of the cardigan is obscured by the styling/photography

Peach Mohair Jacket - fastened to the front with a bow it does look dated, though lose the bow and the mohair and it turns into a relatively decent garment with a little stitch detailing along the edges and yoke.

Bouchle Cardigan with eyelets is an interesting pattern, v-necked cardigan with a scattered eyelet pattern to keep interest going, has potential.

Girls cardigan in blue and white uses a few different colours of blue and is pretty classic, you might have to change the neckline for a more modern look

Boy's Jumper with diagonal stripes on front - a change of colour for this would modernise it.

Purple tunic with Jacquard Design: gathered at the waist and then flaring out the patterning is interesting, patterning along the sleeves to match

Man's grey waistcoat; Square bottomed with pockets and some stitch detail.

Pompom Skirt in hand-spun wool: this is one o the greatest crimes this book commits and almost unforgivable, it features on the cover as well and honestly I can't see a reason to make it, ever.

Little Girl's Red Coat: has an integrated scarf, stitch detail and is quite cute

Boys Bomber Jacket: Colourwork down the side and arms, this is a pretty classic style and shape

Girl's Square-necked striped top: modernise the colours, it would work now

The Heavy Winter Coat is not my style but I can imagine it updated and not looking all that dated, features the current large collar style

Thick Jumper in three shades of blue: Knit in Double-Double yarn this looks about aran weight, or maybe a little heavier, actually would look quite well in cotton I'd say, tweed sttich along the bottom and top, it's a nice use of three shades of blue in a garment

Sleeveless blue v-necked top: ribbing detail tank top.

Off-white summer suit in slk noil: skirt and short-sleeved loose cardigan make up this ensemble, skirt looks kneelenght, but it's hard to say from the photograph what shape it is.

Linen top: Colour stipes adorn the top and bottom of this garment, ooh look, horizontal stripes. along the body it has diagonal stitch detail. Photography is poor with this garment but I don't really hold up much hope for it being all that good a plan

Navy blue cardigan : pretty plain with some interesting rib detail, v-necked cardigan in a tweedy yarn, the pattern actually does show off the yarn.

V-necked jumper with Jacquard Bands - on a man this has the jaquard bands along the bottom of the body and the top of the sleeves, however it's not well photographed, so it's overall look is hidden.

Green Chenille Bomber Jacket - Pretty plain bomber jacket with pockets, again the photography obscures the garment

Tweed and chenille Bomber Jacket, buttoned and collared with contrasting details, this could probably be modernised and made into an intersting garment.

Baby's Travelling Bag - not for carrying items for a baby but a swaddling coverup with a hood. buttoned in the bottom this might work today but I have my suspicions.

Young Child's Dungarees _ stripes adorn this but the photography doesn't really show the garment well.

All of this being said this isn't a bad book, dated yes, and the garments certainly show age but overall it's not a bad book, in fact it's packed with information and occaisonally more than is usually given by a lot of designers. I could imagine an updated edition that would be more interactive, this would lend itself well to becoming an interactive text.

Buy/Borrow: if you're thinking about going into design this would be a good buy, if you can find it, I have my own copy that I look at occasionally. You need to ignore the surface of the book and dig a little to find the meat.

Where found: Dublin City Public Libraries has a copy, I have one myself, I went hunting for the books by Montose Stanley in the system and this is the only one still in circulation.


See the competition here that was me that won, that was.

Today the postie rang and it was my prize


it's a cute tin box, three skeins of Artesano Alpaca, two plastic needles, stitch markers and slide-on stitch counters. It's all pretty and cool and I'm so chuffed!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

New waistcoat

So I finally sewed on the buttons, I finished that on the 1st of this month and have been looking at it for a while thinking about sewing them on, finally today I did it.


the pattern is Hawaii from Manos del Uruguay in the colourway Pisces in their Silk Blend this is the third pattern I've knit in it.

Color Style Book Review

BookDepository LinkOn Ravelry

Types of patterns: Garments and Accessories

Number of Patterns: 17 Pullover (6); Fingerless gloves (1); Socks (1); Cardigan (3); Scarf (1); Gloves (1); Cushion (1); Tank Top (1); Mittens (1); Bag (1)

Split of patterns: Women but see comments.

Size Range: 33-50, most patterns have a reasonable stretch of sizes

Colour/Black & White: colour photographs and colour charts

Schematics: yes for all patterns it really matters for

Target Audience: Intermeditate to advanced.

How to knit guide: some of the basics in the regular Interweave Knits Glossary

Experimental/Classical/Modern: Mostly classical stuff with some modern thrown in

It's an interesting mix of patterns

Gee's Bend Pullover by Mary Jane Mucklestone. For people who like sewing, you make a back centre panel, a front centre panel and two side panels and sleeves and you sew them all up. There's no real shaping, it doesn't appeal to me from the pictures but it might be an interesting men's pattern. It's staggered stripes that breaks up the horizontal lines. Intereseting but not impressive.

Holi Mitts by Jaya Srikrishnan, a slip stitch pair of fingerless mittens. would be an interesting use of leftovers. One plain yarn and two variagated yarns make this interesting and fun.

Mohair Fair Isle by Mari Lynn Patrick, worked in the flat to the bodice and then half the sleeves and the front or back worked to the neck, has bell sleeves with a colour stripe along the end and a colourwork yoke. It isn't my style.

Faux-Embroidery yoke Sweater by Robin Melanson. the sweater is worked from the neck down with floats that make it look like emboridery and a mostly plain body, if I was to knit a roundnecked jumper this would be high on the list of jumpers to knit.

Honeycomb Turtleneck by Deborah Newton is interesting, you work cuffs horizontally and then pick up stitches to the armholes and then a colourwork yoke and a turtleneck to finish, you could possibly finish earlier and it would still be an impressive piece, not on my list of patterns to try due to it being not my kind of shape, the honeycomb breaks up the horizontal lines to make it more body friendly.

Bohus Style Knee Highs by Chrissy Gardiner Colourful cuff, and a little colour on the toes with shaping for the legs, worked in a k2p2 rib would make it comfortable and it would be a good introduction to colourwork on socks as it's not much colourwork over the whole design.

The Harvest Cardigan
by Robin Melanson is a beautiful cardigan worked in a few contrasting colours with some embroidery to enhance it. I'd be tempted to make it more v-necked, and I'd love this cardigan, as it stands I really would love it for me. There are five colours involved.

Hooded Scarf by Kristin Nicholas - has the Nicholas trademarked bright colours, this is a hooded scarf, worked in the round it's then cut and ravelled to form the fringe. I'm not the biggest fan of Nicholas' work, this isn't changing my mind

Funky Fair Isle Bag by Pam Allen - work circular base on dpns, keep increasing until it's too big for dpns and change to circulars work fair isle to to, end with striped garter rib, sounding funky yet? No? Neither to me. It's a Fair Isle deep bag with a couple of colours, would be good fair isle practice as bags are pretty forgiving of mistakes. Could possibly also do with lining.

Mosaic Yoke Jacket by Veronik Avery. This has vertical striping along the body and 3/4 length sleeves and mosaic yoke with shawl style collar, the designer fastens it with a leather belt but buttons (and buttonholes) could be added if wished. I liked this one, enough colour but not too much horizontal colour

Cunningsburgh Star Jacket by Shirley Paden is one of my favourite patterns. The top of the jacket has a quite simple colourwork pattern but the bottom has a more complicated look, the tie-string is not my style and I'd probably ditch it and I love the fact that the inside collar has the same pattern as the yoke. I'm not sure how it would look with a dark, rather than light background, but I suppose Ravelry would inform me on this.

Peace and Love Gloves by Veronik Avery would be a good place to start with applied embroidery on a piece, as gloves there wouldn't be much work and if it went wrong you could easily fix it. These have a houndstooth pattern on the body, the words Peace and Love on the wrissts and a flower embroidered on the Love glove. The fingers are worked plain. A pattern that would lend itself to adaptation

Retro Andean Pullover by Mary Jane Mucklestone is one of my least gavourite patterns. A cropped pattern with horizontal stripes this is just not something that I would think would look good on me. Plus added Steaking ARGHness.

The Argyle Vest by Ann Budd takes the Argyle pattern and plays with it a bit. Working it in a patch along the chest and in several colours (with an added note from the author to feel free to add in more, this is a clever use of leftovers. It's got a ribbed sides and back to give it movement and some fitted effect, however I'd look at the armholes, from the slight bunching in the photograph they might benefit from lengthening.

Floral Pillow by Marta McCall is a felted cushion with an abstract flower and leaves pattern, some needlefelting is involved to add some details and to make it look more stitched. Different.

Striped Raglan by Cecily Glowik. Horizontal stripes in a think and thin self-striping yarn make for an interesting garment, still self-striping doesn't inspire me and there's bunching under the arms on the model so maybe some extra length in the arms might be a good idea.

Fun Flower Mittens, decorated with beads and embroidery these mittens are knit in the flat and seamed, not my sort of thing but still interesting.

The book continues with some commentary and some advice on playing with colour and it's a good section on the various ways of incorporating colour into a pattern. Some of the added ideas could be used to modify the patterns in the book. Overall it's an interesting book about using colour. I mightn't use the same colours myself but many of the colours aren't bad at all. I have some biases towards some of the patterns but they all have certain things going for them in terms of ideas and inspiration

Buy/Borrow: I borrowed it from Cork County Libraries to take a better look at it and intend to buy it sometime soon. It's not just that there are two cardigans that I really want to knit in the book but there's also a lot of very interesting ideas and inspirations in the book.

Where found: Cork County Libraries via the Borrowbooks scheme

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Oddball Knitting

Book Depository Link there are no links on Ravelry for the designer

Types of patterns: Garments
Number of Patterns: technically 21, though many are just size; pattern and gender changes; Jumper Men (3); Jumper Women (5); Jumper Child (3); Cardigan Men (3); Cardigan women (3); Cardigan Child (3)

Split of patterns: Men/women/children

Size Range: Women 95-115cm; Child 67-89cm; Men 110-130cm; 2 jumpers sized for 16/18 or 20/22

Colour/Black & White: Black and white graphs; colour photographs with added illustrations

Schematics: No

Target Audience: Intermediate, has a lot of colourwork

How to knit guide: Some basics but not a comprehensive guide, more for general work

Experimental/Classical/Modern: Most of the patterns are classic but there are two that are just plain horrible.

Comments: This is an interesting book, by using non-straight-line patterns to use up yarn, this would be a useful book to use for people with too much yarn and not enough patterns, though you might want to knit sections of the patterns for each piece in order to continue the patterns. The pattern repeats could be used in other garments to repeat the same concept on another garment. Possibly in combination with Budd's Handy book of Garments or Sweaters. Just ignore the last two patterns and the styling of the garments. By the fact that the lines are broken and not straight it's a better look than horizontal lines on most people. I'd also like to see the diamond pattern done in a variegated yarn in the centres. This one made me want to swatch up something and get rummaging in my yarn pile.

Buy/Borrow: It's one that I would buy if I could get one, but it's out of print and expensive on Amazon, thankfully Dublin City Public Libraries has a copy (or two)

Where found: Dublin City Public Libraries

Knitting Survey

found at IrishElk via someone on twitter Have a knitting-meme

Bold for stuff you’ve done, italics for stuff you plan to do one day, and normal for stuff you’re not planning on doing.

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch or as I'd say Stocking Stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down (not sure about this one, not really a mitten fan)
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Sweater Or in English - Jumper
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (=modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items

Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffitti knitting: knitting items on, or to be left on the street – possibly ninja knitting. Or pirate knitting.
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns
Lace patterns

Publishing a knitting book - not sure about this, interesting possibility some day
Teaching a child to knit
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca - actually I'm not sure about this one, I may have
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Household items: dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies…
knitting socks- or other small tubular items- on two circulars

Dying with plant colours
Knitting items for a wedding
Olympic knitting Ravelympics yes
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting

Teaching a male how to knit (if anyone wanted to learn from me I'd teach them, no
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn

Knitting art
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Entrelac Knitting and purling backwards

Machine knitting
Knitting with selfpatterning/selfstriping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys

Knitting with cashmere
JewelryKnitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern

Knitting with linen

Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting

Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/armwarmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine

Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets

Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

Wow, not a lot of things I really want to try but a lot of things I want to keep working on to make better.

Some links

How Gauge works with a simple jumper example

Fit to Flatter series linked at episode 8 because I find it the one I need to re-read regularly, but it's all good.

A Size Survey I should try to fill out.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Baby Cardigan

And it's finished,
February Cardigan

I have to say it was a bit of a trial occasionally and is a prime example of having to read the pattern several times before launching yourself at it. Buttonholes are necessaryand you need to be thinking of them almost from the off. I used Weezalana's notes a lot while knitting and did knit the sleeves in the round as well. Once you get into the swing of the pattern it is relatively easy.

This is for my cousin's baby who was born this week. It's knit in James C Bret's Pure Merino, a machine washable yarn, the buttons are from my stash.

Monday, 13 September 2010


So I was just listening to a podcast and the knitter was talking about working out how to increase evenly over x stitches and they were saying that you just divide over the number of stitches and do that, but that's not exactly even (unless you're working in the round, for this I'm talking in the flat)

with 4 increases over 20 stitches, - is a stitch V is an increase, in this instance a lifted increase

-----V-----V-----V-----V with an increase at the end of the stitches

now if you divide by five, or number of increases+1 you will have

----V----V----V----V---- still with four increases but this time you have nice, evenly placed across things without an awkward stitch to sew up later!

But, you say, what about awkward numbers of stitches like six increases over 30?

30/7 is 4.2857.... or four stitches and two remaining so I would put five stitches either end and then four between increases


or put the two extra in the middle


or offset


though the thing to remember this is all dependent on the type of increase you do. If the increase involves the previous stitch, Kf&b for example, the top one would have been k3k1f&b etc.

So how do you cope with increases, with that wonderfully vague increase evenly over the row instructions?

Sunday, 12 September 2010


I've finished the Ribwarmer from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop. It was an interesting project and it does meet at the back, When knitting it I knit one row before changing colours on the opposite side which meant that it lined up properly, otherwise I would have had the reverse of the fabric to the front for the second half. I think it would look even better in a heavily variegated yarn with a plain dark yarn. Still this was in some leftovers I had around, I'm sure Elizabeth would be proud! It now needs some washing.
Ribwarmer finished

crossposted to Knitting Elizabeth

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Bad Knitter but I'm trying

I have finished an item but no photographs yet.
I've been neglecting my knitting in favour of helping to get an Irish Knitting Blog up and running. Apparently people don't see Irish Knitters so we don't exist and this is causing strange ideas about knitting in Ireland.

Judging from some of the designs, blogs and other stuff out there there's nothing of the sort. Some of them are wonderful and my Ravelry Queue has suffered from some additions.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Ribwarmer Start

So before the schoolkids went back this week, it was starting to get cool and my mind drifted to waistcoats and other relatively warm stuff. Travelling to work daily on a motorbike means that season changes are pretty obvious stuff.

I saw the Ribwarmer Waistcoat(Ravelry Link) in Knitting Workshop (one of the four Elizabeth books I have and one of the three I can currently find) and thought it would be a good thing to start with

Earlier today I took a shot of my progress

ribhugger start

it's all in garter stitch and I'm starting to wonder how I'll get the reverse side working. It's also strange as I'm finding that I have to keep bringing my attention back to the knitting and making sure I don't accidentally do the wrong thing, I'm reminded of Tara Jon Manning and her discussions of Mindful Knitting and how being mindful of what your're doing is a good thing. I'm powering along with this and I'm on the back stretch of it. I'm enjoying it. I'm also finding myself having to avoid thinking about the next project because I want to enjoy what I'm doing. I love the simplicity of the pattern, you knit straight, then turn, straight, turn, straight and cast off, and then you have half of it knit, you knit a second and sew them up the back.

However the next project has to have something other than garter stitch, between this and a piece of test knitting I'm doing I need something more.

I'm using some leftover aran yarn from some other projects, the white is quite old and the blue is leftover from my Mr Greenjeans. It's quite old and old-style yarn. I think Elizabeth might approve.

Crossposted with Knitting Elizabeth