Category Archives: Garter stitch

Raglan Sweater Episode 4 – Sleeves

Raglan Sweater Made from Custom Yarnia Yarn :)

Raglan Sweater Made from Custom Yarnia Yarn 🙂

My most humblest apologies for being excessively tardy with posting this. I’ve been obsessed (obviously) with other things.  I still want to help more people make their own sweaters before the end of the year. For me it’s helping us deal with the downturn one sweater at a time. Also, it’s wonderful to see the pride in people’s faces after they’ve made their first sweater.

Today. I”m going to review how to get those sleeves done! You can view the earlier episodes for my Raglan Sweater instructions here:

Raglan Sweater 1: Selecting your Fiber

Raglan Sweater 2: Calculating Stitches and Casting On

Raglan Sweater 3: Working up the Body and Arm Pit Gussets

I use the “Magic Loop” method for making sleeves all the time. You can knit a sleeve in the round and gradually increase the circumference of the  sleeve from the cuff to the upper arm; therefore, you can knit it using the magic loop method to knit both sleeves at once. I absolutely love doing this for three reasons:

  1. You get both sleeves done at the same time
  2. When you knit both sleeves at the same time it helps guarantee that both sleeves will be knit at the same guage
  3. As your doing increases or creating features on the sleeve at the same time this gives you the opportunity to keep these design features as uniform as possible between the two sleeves

Here’s how I calculate the increases for the sleeves:

Measure around your cuff (Measurement A), and measure around the thickest part of your upper arm (Measurement B). The calculate the number of stitches you need to begin the sleeve based on your gauge with the yarn. For example:

I want to do the cuffs and hem in garter stitch using a smaller pair of needles. I know my gauge is 16 stitches for a 4″ swatch or 4 stitches an inch using these needles. The circumference around my wrist or “A” is 6.  I’m going to multiply 4 x 6 and I get: 24 stitches.  But I like my cuff a little bit loose so I’ll add 2 more stitches to make it 26 stitches for the cast on.

Measurement “B” is 11″  (4 stitches x 11 = 44 stitches). There for I have to increase the circumference of the sleeve by 46 stitches. I usually increase a both the beginning and the end of a round of stitches (a total increase of 2 stitches per increase row). So this would mean I would have to increase a total of  23 times over the length of each sleeve. You can calculate the number of rows you would need to achieve the length based on your gauge. Take a brief look at the example illustrated below:

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Slide2 - Sleeves

Slide3 - Sleeves

Using “Magic Loop” to knit two sleeves at a time:

I usually start the first few rows of each cuff separately (sometimes on double points) then I put both cuffs with the yarn tails on the same sides onto the circular needles. Knit both sleeves at a time. Make sure to do your increase rows on both sleeves as you knit up the sleeve.

If you haven’t seen or tried the “Magic Loop” method there are a number of helpful tutorials on Youtube that can help walk you through the process. I’ve embedded one of my favorites here:

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Filed under Craft, Garment Design, Garter stitch, Knit, Knitters, Knitting, Stockinette, Wool, Yarn

Raglan Sweater Episode 2: Calculating Stitches & Casting On

I interupt this post to bring you more on swatching….

We interrupt this programming to...

We interrupt this programming to...

So I’m assuming you’ve selected your yarn and swatched it right? You’ve also washed the swatch in woolite or some other delicate laundry soap, and blocked it to see what the fabric (you’ve knitted) looks like and wears like after it’s been washed. Also if you plan to use different stitches like moss stitch and garter stitch with your sweater, you have blocked those pieces too. You know how old people begin some didactic story or lecture with the words ,”Let me tell you a story about…”? I’m not quite old yet but I’ve been leathered by more than a few knitting mistakes or disasters and I’ll tell you a story about a sweater I knit two years ago. This was my first raglan sweater. I used a ‘super-wash’ yarn and happily knit the sweater to the required measurements, but I skipped the blocking process. The sweater had a nice garter stitch hem at the waist and on the cuffs. It looked quite gorgeous and held it’s shape before washing. After washing the garter stitch hem stretched out, and despite my efforts to dry the sweater flat. The yarn stretched and the sweater turned into a tunic. How could I have saved this by swatching and blocking? If i’d swatched properly, I would have discovered that I needed to go down a few needle sizes for the hem and cuffs. I might have also see that my knitted fabric my stretch after washing.

If you want to keep a knitted garment for a long time and have it look fabulous through most of it’s lifetime, you really need to swatch and block. If you don’t care and you’re just knitting to make a sweater, then don’t block.

We now return to our usual program…

So if you’ve figured out how many stitches per inch or per length of four inches you get when knitting this yarn in stockinette stitch. Measure your chest and and take the number of inches from this measurement and multiply it by the number of stitches per inch.

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Using a cable cast on, I cast on 160 stitches on a needles that were two sizes smaller than the needles I would use to knit the body and sleeves. You can use a long tail or regular cast on if you feel more comfortable.  I knit garter stitch in the round for 6 rows. Remember garter stitch in the rounds is knit one round, purl the next and repeat.  I placed a marker at the beginning of the round, and another at exactly 80 stitches. After knitting the hem, I switched to the larger needles. At the beginning of the row I increased one stitch by creating a purl stitch at the first marker. I would create another purl stitch at the next marker.  I purled these two stitches instead of knitting them as I knit the length of the body in order to create a ‘false’ seam. I would also use these purl stitches to mark the beginning of the gussets I would create for the sweater’s armpits, but I’ll cover that in more detail later in the story.

Essentially, most of the sweater is knit as a stockinette tube. This is the most mindless part of knitting the sweater, and in some ways the most fun. I look forward to watching countless movies with subtitles as I knit this part of the sweater. I can put my mind in a sort of knit on auto-pilot.

Garter stitch hem and stockinette body

Garter stitch hem and stockinette body

Now, if you’re interested in learning how to calculate the yarn and dimensions of your own raglan sweater, I suggest you visit this site:  The Incredible, Custom-fit Raglan Sweater.

The Knitting Fool also has a wonderful Raglan Sweater Calculator. Fill out the stats and create your own pattern as a .pdf document. Please note the needle sizes refer to US sizes and you must knit a 4″ x 4″  swatch to estimate your gauge before running this program.

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Filed under Garter stitch, Knit, Knitters, Knitting, Stockinette, Sweater, Teaching, Yarn

Whole lot of nuthin

Well, I’m posting this photo of gratuitous cuteness* because I can’t seem to access all the photos I recently took of projects I’ve completed and am working on this month. This photo and another one of me scowling on the cliff above Waipea bay from two years ago (I need to verify this location actually) were the only ones I found and felt like posting. I think lately, I’ve been a little anti-web sharing… I have a Flickr account, but I use it for work. To tell the truth… I’m a bad photographer, and I don’t want to subject you to most of the blurry and out of focus pictures I take. Plus the idea of documenting my life in pictures and words as if it were the output of a tourist book has been less than palatable. It suddenly, occurred to me… this whole blogging thing, it’s a little weird isn’t it. Why would other people care about what I’m saying… why do I care about what I’m writing? Why should I share it? You know what I’m talking about right? I’m not dissing the whole blogging thing… just questioning briefly why I’m doing it, why we’re all doing it.

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I did finally complete the Dr. Who Scarf in time for our anniversary. Okay, here’s the thing with me and Dr. Who Scarves… I usually start off knitting them adhering religiously to the pattern striping, counting my rows and matching my colors to the pattern. About half way through I get lazy and then start making up my own color combinations and strip patterns. It usually works out in the long run. Also, I think I truly had to stop about 2/3 a way into the pattern. I had a really bad visual of my poor hubby getting the scarf stuck in the bus or Max doors. It’s one of those cartoon funny visions that would have very untidy and unpleasant consequences in real life. So for safety purposes I kept the scarf at a ‘reasonable’ length (about 14-15 feet). He’s tall, okay.

Though, honestly, I probably won’t knit another one of these for at least three years. That was enough garter stitch to give me a carpal tunnel injury. I wonder if you could actually do a community Dr. Who Scarf project where you have a bunch of knitters working on the scarf and just pass on the scarf, yarn and pattern as it was completed.

One more thing on the Dr. Who Scarf. I’ve been sewing my ends back into the scarf, but I was knotting them at the end. Bob, who taught my sock class at the Naked Sheep told me that I could easily sew my ends in in an “S” shaped curve and that would help keep the ends nice and neat. Okay, I’ve been knitting for how many years and I didn’t know about this. Just goes to show you can never stop learning things. Though I’m sure most (knitter) people who might be reading this are thinking… Duh! didn’t you know about that?

I am nearly finished with my Sonnet sweater experiment using Plymouth Bella Colour (teal). I just need to sew on the button band and one more arm. Yes, I guess it’s been the summer of garter stitch projects. But somehow, I’ve been really liking the look of things that are knit sideways. I like the striping and the way the rows end up forming neat ribbing. One thing, I didn’t realize how heavy Bella Color knits up, it feels heavier than wool. Though it did occur to me that this density and weight might be due to the natural concentration of mass that occurs when you knit in garter stitch. I do kind of like the way it hangs.

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*Please note: my dog has since outgrown his need to wear a comfort band in the house. This was just a sort of dog potty training thing we put him on early on.

Addendum… photos were finally found (actually, E hadn’t transfered them over from his desktop to the network).

Sonnet sweater in progress (probably wasn’t such a great idea to take pictures of a teal blue sweater against a teal blue couch… sorry)

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Socks I’m knitting for a friend… (Using Knitpicks Essential – Meadow). Since I took this picture I ripped out the gusset and heel/turn. I found better ways to make this sock since my nifty class at the Naked Sheep.

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Finally here’s the detail of the photo I took of my Wedding Shawl.

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Filed under Garter stitch, Knit, Knitters, Knitting, Project, Stuff I made, Wedding, Yarn

Wedding Shawl

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Materials:

  • 10 skeins of “Sari” by Lana Grossa in White
  • US size 19 needles (Plastic not wood)
  • Large tapestry needle (plastic)

The pattern is simple:
Alternate segments of rows of garter stitch (2, 3, 4 rows) with a row of yarnovers (yo 3 and yo 4). Vary your garter stitch row numbers and yarn over numbers randomly. Finish up all of your yarn. Sew in the ends with the tapestry needle. You’re done.

I’m actually tempted to make this stole again in brown, but this time string those little mermaid scale hanging round sequins (in both contrasting and complementary colors) on the yarn before I knit. I really wish that this yarn came in a pale aqua blue.

There were times when using the large, large needles really bothered me because they were so clunky. I actually had to rest my hands and wrists between periods of knitting this piece because the exaggerated motions required when using these large tools really wore me down.

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We had to take our wedding pictures before the ceremony… breaking with tradition, but that’s okay… we’re that kind of family. By the way… that bouquet was just a bunch of flowers I picked on the side of the road. Stop the Car!” I cried when I spotted them. The photographer said that it was the nicest bouquet she’d seen in a long time.

I broke down and took the actual shawl out of storage so I could take a photo of it in detail. I’ll post these later today. Holding the stole and touching my wedding dress brought back very nice-nice memories of our wedding and as our 1st year anniversary is around the bend it was sort of a nice memory sparker. Our wedding was happily stress free and just want we wanted… a happy time on the beach with friends and family, and there were tons of flowers. I did invest in the flowers because to me strangely they were more important than the dress. I made sure there was plenty of Pikake (jasmine), maile leaves and lots of tuberoses and plumeria ordering leis for the wedding party and our guests. If you ever want to get married on the Big Island in Hawaii I do suggest that you call “Lani’s Floral” she did an absolutely fabulous job preparing my flowers, and she’s a wonderfully nice lady too.

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Brother in law, Sister in law, Husband and Me

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Sunset on the beach before we went to chow down at our reception

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Filed under Embellishment, Fashion, Garter, Garter stitch, Knit, Knitting, Lace, Patterns, Project, Synthetic fiber, Wedding, Yarn

Haiku sweater for a little girl

Project Details:

This is my first shot at the Haiku pattern on Knitty. I used about 3 1/2 skeins of Bella Colour (Melon) to complete this project. I chose this yarn because it’s machine washable, and it is fine to work with; however it can snag pretty easily. I’m thinking that this might not be such a good thing for little ones who tend to get into sticky and burly situations.

Note, I love this pattern because it’s fairly simple and the construction or sewing of the pieces is fairly simple since there are only three sections to knit (the body and two arms).

Note, I’m still looking for the ‘perfect buttons’ to adorn this cute little sweater.

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Filed under Baby clothes, Garter stitch, Knit, Knitting, Patterns, Stuff I made, Techniques, Yarn

Progress on the Dr. Who Scarf

Brenda Dayne was right, doing a garter stitch project is a lot like being sentenced to Knitter’s Purgatory. It’s the same thing… over and over again. On the other hand doing row after row of garter stitch for a scarf can be sort of meditative. Just add some mantra at the end of every row. Despite the tedium, I’m gradually making progress on the Season 15 Dr. Who Scarf. By the way this is the perfect type of project to knit while watching foreign movies with subtitles – just beware of the color changes.

One caution though, it’s not the kind of project you can tote around with you even in the beginning because of all of the different colors of yarn. Anticipating the size of the project, I cleared out an old lined basket to keep both the yarn and the growing scarf in. If I have time I’ll try to list the exact colors I purchased from Elann.com to make the scarf. I’m a little sad that I couldn’t get the exact shade of blue grey pictured in the photos at the link above, but in general I really like the combination of the colors I chose.

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Filed under Garter stitch, Knit, Knitting, Patterns, Science Fiction