I am super excited to finally start my first Custom Fit sweater. The brainchild of designer Amy Herzog, the Custom Fit program allows you to create sweaters that fit perfectly because they are created for your specific measurements.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that during our recent yarn crawl I ended up with a ridiculous amount of yarn earmarked to make sweaters. That was the impetus for me to finally try Amy’s ingenious program. Do I know how to alter sweater patterns to better fit me? A qualified yes…I still struggle, especially when altering armholes and sleeve caps. At the end of the day, I have limited confidence that my alterations will work as I hope. That’s why I wanted to give Custom Fit a try.
Here’s how it worked:
I signed up for Custom Fit. Once registered, I entered all my measurements into my account. It was easy, since the measuring instructions are very clear. Next I chose a pattern to buy. I wanted my first Custom Fit sweater to be simple so I could easily understand how the program works. I chose the basic v-neck Drumlin Cardigan.
Once I told the program my gauge it started to create the pattern using my own measurements, plus gave me an option to refine my measurements even further. Rather than “secretary’s spread”, I refer to my hip area as “knitter’s butt.” I altered the hip measurement so that the back would be wider than the front to accommodate where I carry my weight.
I hit a button and out came the pattern I purchased, completely customized for my measurements and gauge. It’s like magic!
Drumlin is exactly the style I had in mind when I bought my gorgeous dk-weight Cestari “Ash Lawn Collection” yarn.
When I make sweaters I like to start with a sleeve. It’s a good chance to see whether my gauge swatch is truth or fiction! Miracle of miracles, the sleeve and gauge swatch match and the sleeve is the exact measurements that my Custom Fit pattern says it should be. I can’t tell you how relaxing it was to knit the sleeve, knowing all the shaping was already calculated for me and the final measurements would fit me.
In addition to the online program, Custom Fit can be found in many yarn shops. A trained staff member will take your measurements and get you started in the program. They’re there to help you every step of the way.
If you follow my blog, you know I recently released the Aran Reversible Scarf as an individual pattern. I am delighted to announce that it is now available on Knit Picks, using their fabulous Capretta yarn. As you can see in these photos, Capretta has great stitch definition. What you can’t see is that its combination of merino wool, cashmere, and a touch of nylon makes it exceedingly soft.
Using a ribbed cable technique, this scarf is surprisingly easy to work. The stitch pattern is easy to memorize. With cables forming on both sides simultaneously, it seems like a really cool magic trick!
I hope you’ll give this pattern a try. It’s a lot of fun to make!
Photography by Gale Zucker
Passport in hand, I’ll soon go on the Yarn Discovery Tour, learning more about the yarn shops in my new(ish) domicile in Northeast Ohio. I purchased my “Passport” from The Artful Yarn in Chagrin Falls. Any of the 15 shops participating in the Tour sell the Passports. The list is impressive! Even given more than two weeks for the Tour, I wonder whether I’ll make it to all 15. It sure would be fun! I’m already plotting my course for the September 6-24 dates.
I hope I can stay disciplined enough to bring patterns with me to shop for. I might begin with this pretty Acorn Trail cardigan from Amy Herzog:
It’s not always easy to find an entire sweater’s worth of yarn, so I’ll pick out some smaller projects too. I checked my “Favorites” list on Ravelry the other day and was shocked to find over 500 patterns! It’s high time to start whittling that list down! The Yarn Discovery Tour will be the perfect way to pair yarns with those projects.
Photo credit for Acorn Trail: Jonathan Herzog
Acorn Trail Pattern: on Ravelry and on Amy Herzog’s website
As many of you know, Ravelry holds a crazy-fun event during the Olympics called the Ravellenic Games. We will cast on during the Opening Ceremonies, and aim to have our projects finished by the time the torch is extinguished at the end of the Closing Ceremonies.
Ravelry has concocted silly names for different kinds of “events”. I’ve entered “Shawl Sailing”. I’ll make Romi Hill’s beautiful Lyrica Euterpe pattern, using Alpenglow Yarn’s SMerF 4000 fingering weight merino. I’ve had this project in my stash for forever, and am glad to have the perfect excuse to make it.
Getting ready for the Ceremonies to begin!
Falling in love with a new-to-me yarn is one of my favorite parts of knitting. This happened to me when I tried Dragonfly Fiber’s gorgeous Djinni Sock yarn recently. A blend of merino, cashmere and nylon gives it a wonderful hand, and the just-right ply makes for delightful knitting.
When I was a young, I spent a lot of time in Arizona. I loved nothing more than to ride through the hills, exploring beautiful canyons and desert vistas. It was on one of these rides that I discovered a whole hillside of petroglyphs. Ancient carved rock pictures of snakes and stick figures captured my imagination.
No wonder I felt compelled to make the Petroglyph Socks from Anne Podlesak’s Western-inspired book, Free Spirit Knits.
I modified the Petroglyph pattern by making a rounded toe. If I had it to do over again, I think I’d choose a yarn that is a true solid so the socks’ stitch pattern would show up better. That said, I know I’ll get a lot of use out of these socks. I like the pattern, and the yarn makes the socks heavenly to wear.
I will be reviewing Free Spirit Knits and offering a brand new copy as a giveaway in the coming weeks.
Dragonfly Fibers offers many weights of yarn, in a staggering array of gorgeous colors.
I encourage readers to purchase books through their local yarn shops. Please ask for Free Spirit Knits there. You can check out the patterns in the book on the book’s Ravelry page.
Anne Podlesak offers many great patterns on Ravelry.
You might remember I was working on some very special mittens for my best friend’s birthday. Here are the Cupcake Mittens, all finished.
The stripes on the thumbs add a jaunty flair, I think.
I like how the personalization worked out, with my friend’s initials and milestone birthday year.
I made some modifications. The original pattern included some little stitches along the edges. I left them out. I changed the top of the mittens to make a more rounded shape.
Cupcake Mittens pattern is available as a Ravelry download. If you enjoy this pattern, you might like to check out more SpillyJane Knits patterns on Ravelry. She has a knack for creating fun and whimsical designs.
The yarn I used is Knit Picks Palette. It is available in a zillion great colors. I used the nine colors recommended in the pattern.
So what’s on my needles now, you may wonder? It’s more like what’s on my 10 needles…
A good friend of mine celebrated a landmark birthday recently. Knitting together is one of the pastimes we enjoy most. Eating cupcakes is another. (When we attend Stitches West together, we always make time to go to our favorite cupcake store(s) in Palo Alto. That’s right, we love cupcakes so much we leave the mecca of yarn for an afternoon. We’re that serious about our cupcakes.)
As this is a big occasion birthday, I wanted to make my friend something special that would commemorate our shared hobbies. What better than Cupcake Mittens?!
Why do I say my project is on 10 needles? Well, I have a bad habit of not finishing pairs of things. Single socks and gloves tend to lay around my house, forlornly waiting for the their mates to be knitted. I’m making both mittens at once this time, using 2 sets of 5 dpn’s, size #1. Somehow (when I have enough sets of needles to pull it off), making two at the same time fakes me out into thinking the knitting is going faster. This works for sleeves, mittens, socks…whatever comes in pairs.
One thing about this pattern is that there are a LOT of ends to weave in. All those adorable little cakes use a bunch of different colors. Theoretically I know to wait until a project is blocked before weaving in ends. However, I figured that it was worth saving my sanity to weave all the ends in every time I finish a round of cupcakes.
To personalize the mittens I’m working my friend’s initials into the palm side of one mitten, and her birthday year into the other. I used graph paper to figure out the proportions.
If you love cupcakes and stranded work, you might like these mittens too!
I had a great time making the Virginia City Cowl from Romi Hill’s book New Lace Knitting. (You might have seen my recent review of the book.)
After admiring Romi’s patterns for years, I finally took a class from her at one of the knitting conventions. She is well known for her shawl patterns, and her expertise in designing lace is fantastic. I knew from her class that she is detail oriented, with thoughtful and thorough instructions. These strengths shine through in her book.
In the pattern for the cowl part of her “Virginia City Cloche and Cowl” design, I appreciated that she gives specific recommendations for how to block the piece. She is equally specific when describing how to sew the piece together after blocking. I loved the clear and helpful details!
I used Cascade Ecological Wool.
As a reminder, if you’d like to enter the drawing for the giveaway for New Lace Knitting you have until Midnight (EST) on February 21st to entire a comment. Details are here.
Now that it’s like this outside…
I’m getting a lot of use out of my Page Turner Throw!
The throw, made Quince & Co.’s gorgeous Lark, is holding up really well.
I love snuggling up in this as a plan my next few projects. One that I can tell you about involves kitties….lots and lots of kitties at the local shelter. They need blankets, too. Stay tuned!
Mistake Stitch Scarf & Headband Set
Just in time for winter, I offer you the Knit Picks version of my Mistake Stitch Scarf and Headband set. Super bulky yarn makes for warm and cozy accessories. My scarf and headband designs are quick to knit – just right for gift giving during the busy holiday season. Post-holiday, they’re the simple kinds of projects that we all love to make as we crave relaxation, simplicity and maybe some social knitting with friends. A holiday gift to you is that the pattern is free!
Fans of Knit Picks yarn will love The Big Cozy yarn, a super bulky scrumptious blend of alpaca and wool. It gives nice stitch definition and also softness.
The headband is secured by a button, which you can adjust for just the right fit.
With snow promising to pile up soon, this warm thick scarf is a welcome accessory!
I hope you enjoy this relaxing set of quick knits!
While you’re there, please check out my other Knit Picks patterns, available through their Independent Designers Program.
Photos are by Gale Zucker Photography, © Gale Zucker/AudKnits LLC 2015
Knit Picks The Big Cozy yarn
When travelling, what could be a better project than a super-simple shawl with a pretty lace edging? The Simple Lines shawl, by the designer who goes by “maanel” on Ravelry, was the perfect design for a recent trip to the Northwest. The Baah LaJolla yarn was a dream to work with, and the color is just right to go with a dress I’ll wear to an upcoming wedding.
The main section is very easy – great for knitting in airports and rental cars, I found.
The lace edging was deceptively simple, too.
I did make one addition to the pattern. The lace edge, being mostly stockinette, wanted to curl. By adding a few rows of garter on either side of an eyelet row, the edge now lies flat. In case you’d like to add the edging for your own version of the shawl, here’s how I changed the pattern:
Row 18: Knit across.
Row 19: Work eyelet row, including increases.
Row 20: Knit across.
Row 21: Knit across
Row 22: Elastic bind off.
Here’s how I blocked the added rows, pinning each stockinette diamond shape into a point, then adding another pin to stretch out the eyelets I added:
This turned out to be one of my favorite shawls – it was relaxing to knit and I love wearing it.
As the fall air gives a hint of cold weather to come, my mind turns to winter and holiday projects I’d like to make for friends and family. And let’s face it, I love to knit cozy accessories for myself as well!
My holiday gift to you, beloved AudKnits fans, is a new free pattern featuring a matching reversible scarf and headband set. Made of super bulky yarn, the scarf and headband make for very quick knits that are also perfect for social knitting or keeping occupied while traveling.
I used Plymouth Yarn’s beautiful Galway Roving. It has a nice loft for extra warmth and knits up on size US #13/9mm straight needles.
The matching headband knits up in no time. It is worked flat with a single button which can be sewn on where needed to adjust the length to your liking. The headband includes a schematic.
I hope you enjoy this pattern. Happy knitting, everyone!
Download the pattern for free from AudKnits.com.
Photos © galezucker/ AudKnits 2015
Check out Gale Zucker Photography to see more of Gale’s incredible photography.