Looking back over previous posts, I discovered much to my chagrin that I first wrote about starting my Drumlin sweater by Amy Herzog over a year ago! I finished it last summer, then Life intervened and I wasn’t able to blog much. Now I’m back, and here’s Drumlin, using the fantastic CustomFit program I’ve been raving about.
I’m happy with how the CustomFit instructions put just the right shaping in just the right places to fit my own body. Placing the shaping on the front and back of the sweater makes it much more attractive than the side shaping I’d been used to. You can see on the back how the shaping occurs about 1/4 of the way in from the sides.
One of the things I learned was that when adding pockets to the front of a sweater with this sort of shaping, the pocket will droop if the shaping isn’t compensated for. Because of the decreases, the top of the pocket spans fewer stitches than the base of the pocket. I took two stitches out of the upper part of the pockets so they’d lie flat. Here you can see where the decreases for the body shaping are, and why the pocket had to be adjusted:
This is a seamed sweater, which I actually prefer over a seamless sweater. Yes, it’s more work, but I like having the structure – my seamed sweaters wear better because they’re less prone to stretching. (As an aside…I am soooooo very grateful to The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA) for their Master Hand Knitting Program! Working Level 2 forced me to learn how to seam properly, so I’m no longer intimidated by seaming and am happy with the results.)
Drumlin was the perfect pattern for my first foray into using CustomFit. It’s very basic, so I could concentrate on the customization that CustomFit created for me. It’s given me the confidence to use CustomFit for more projects. Plus it has proven to be a much-loved staple of my wardrobe.
I made several modifications to the pattern:
I wanted the 2×2 ribbing to look continuous. To do that, I needed a multiple of 4 (2 knit sts and 2 purl sts), plus 2 sts for seaming. Where the pattern’s cast on count was 60 sts for the sleeves, I cast on 58 and then increased back up to 60 within the final (WS) row of ribbing. Seaming will use up 1 st at each end of the row, so by starting and ending each row with 2 knit sts, the final result is also 2 knit sts flanked by 2 purl sts. Nice continuous ribbing!
Where the bottom ribbing meets the button band I wanted there to be 2 knit ribs on each side of the button band. In planning for the ribbing for each front piece, I made sure there was a 3rd knit stitch that would be used for picking up the button band, leaving only the two knit ribs visible on each side of the bands.
On the back I used 3 pairs of short rows toward the top of the armholes to bring the back up higher.
For the button band/neck trim and top-of-pocket ribbing, I used a needle one size smaller (#4). This gives the bands a bit more structure.
In order to make the neck trim lie flat, about 1″ in from the beginning of the band, I p2tog on each side of a k2 in the ribbing at the corners where the stitches along the back neck meet the sts that start the neck shaping (dec 4 sts). This allows the band to lie flat along the back of the neck. In the photo below you can see the decreases in the 2×2 neck trim; these make the neck trim lie down perfectly.
I saw a suggestion somewhere to cheat the button holes slightly toward the body of the sweater in order to mitigate the tendency to pull toward the outside edge of the band. So I’ve tried that. This was a nifty trick as the buttons look centered when the cardi is buttoned up, rather than pulling to the side of the band.
I love learning little bits and pieces along the way that help me make my sweaters more refined!
I love the designs in Barbara Benson’s book Mosaic & Lace Knits. I was especially drawn to the Love Child shawl, with its bands of color and clever lace and mosaic stitch pattern.
Last April, when it was STILL snowing, I happened to walk into my LYS, The Artful Yarn, when they were stocking their shelves with a brand-new shipment of Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock yarn. Oh, my…the gorgeous colors! Quite a few skeins came home with me, including a bright yellow and a cheery blue. I was more than ready for happy summery colors after such a dismally long winter!
I like the mosaic and lace stitch pattern so much. It makes the shawl a perfect weight for warm weather.
Knitting with the Tough Love Sock yarn was a dream. It’s well behaved and soft.
You can check out my review of the Mosaic & Lace Knits book here.
Once in a while I knit up a project that I’m so pleased with, I can’t help smiling when I see it and I wear it all the time. Such was the Waterlily top. Designed by Mehgan Fernandes, I found it to be absolutely delightful to knit.
I added my own modifications to make it just right for me….Shaping in the front and back to form an hourglass illusion, with extra decreases on the sides to make up for my pear shape. (More on this in a future post). I also made it longer than the pattern’s finished measurements.
I used Knit Picks Lindy Chain yarn in the Sagebrush color. Even though the yarn is fingering weight, it was a very quick knit on the #7 needles that got me the right gauge. The linen/cotton blend offered nice stitch definition. I’m in love with these details – the pretty lace on top and the clever Latvian braid.
I might just knit another of these next spring!
Knit Picks Lindy Chain yarn
We have a winner! Katherine of Hudson, Ohio won this beautiful book.
If only I hadn’t broken my arm, I’d have spent the past few weeks making summer tops from the lovely book Knitted Tanks & Tunics: 21 Crisp, Cool Designs for Sleeveless Tops. Designer Angela Hahn’s patterns include a variety of techniques and skill levels, all using a nice selection of cotton, linen, bamboo and other cool yarns.
Several tops feature clever construction, like this one called “Charlotte”:
The techniques used in different patterns range from lace, to fair isle, to this mosaic design:
I love that there are patterns that appeal to many skill levels. Relatively new knitters could easily make this cute “Atlanta” top. I can see this as an excellent first project to teach a new knitter the basics of making a sweater.
Here’s the top want to make. I like the “Marietta” V-neck back, mirrored by a clever V-shaped insert in the front. I like the simple cable down the center, too.
A careful study of the designer’s instructions show they are well-written. Her charts are well-done, with clear symbols and detailed written instructions for special stitches. I really like Hahn’s schematics, too. They include more details and more measurements than most schematics I’ve seen. I love great schematics that enhance my ability to understand a pattern.
The other place this books excels is in the Techniques section. The directions are very well written, with fantastic photos to illustrate the techniques. Over the years I’ve been knitting, I’ve appreciated being able to learn new skills from Techniques sections like this. Well-written and well-illustrated tutorials like these have given me the confidence to try patterns that I thought were beyond my abilities. It’s so gratifying to learn new skills and be able to finish such projects!
I’m giving away this wonderful perfect-for-summer book in a random drawing from comments left here on this post. The comment period will be open until midnight Eastern Time on Sunday, August 19th.
To enter the random drawing, simply leave a comment here on this post. Please include your contact information in your comment so I can let you know if you’re the winner. (One comment per person, please, with only one comment and email address per person.)
I can mail this book anywhere in the world as long as there are no postal or delivery restrictions.
This book was kindly provided by the distributor National Book Network.