Vlog: The Knitter’s Kitchen Episode #1

Hi y’all!

The first episode of my vlog is up an running, watch it here or on Youtube:

Show notes from this episode follow below.

FO’s

WIP’s & Designing

The Dye Kitchen

The Kitchen

Books

 

Recipe: Rhubarb slices / Rabarbersnitter

Here’s a twist on the traditional Danish cookie, hindbærsnitter (raspberry slices). I’ve given the recipe quite a twist by using rhubarb instead of the raspberry – I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I did!

The recipe for the cookie part I used from Valdemarsro, their recipes are usually good. Here translated into English :)

Ingredients for rhubarb “jam”:

  • 200g rhubarb, cleaned and cut into pieces of appr. 1 cm
  • 60g sugar
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • vanilla bean from 1/2 pod (still in the pod is fine!)
  • 1 tsp corn starch

Add everything except the corn starch to a small pot, and boil together until it becomes a thick mass. Remove the vanilla pods, if you added them as well. Stir the corn starch with 1 tbsp of cold water or lemon juice, stir it into the rhubarb mass and let boil a couple of mins. Let cool.

 

Ingredients for cookie:

  • 200g white wheat flour
  • 40g almond flour
  • 40g powdered sugar
  • vanilla bean from 1/2 pod
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 150g butter

I put it all together and mixed it in the food processor, then adding a couple of table spoons of water to gather it into a ball. You can also carefully chop up the butter using 2 knives, then quickly knead it together. Don’t knead it too much!

Let the dough rest for about an hour in the fridge.

Roll it out to a large square (approximately 1/2 cm thick – rolling it out between two baking sheets makes it a bit easier!), divide it into two parts, then bake for about 10 mins at 175 degrees. Let cool – coming out of the oven, it will be soft. But after cooling, it gets hard and breaks easily.

Assemble the cookies:
Spread the rhubarb “jam” on one of the cookie pieces, add the other one on top. Top it off with an icing of powdered sugar mixed with lemon juice, and for the real Danish look & feel, add sprinkles! I made my icing with a bit of home made rhubarb juice instead.

Let the icing set, then, using a SHARP knife, slice it all into slices of approximately 10 x 7 cm. Or be creative ;)

Enjoy!

Tutorial: How to work a st+yo

The st+yo is a short row turn that can be worked as the last short row before working in the round. I’m using it when I do neckline shaping short rows: I use German short rows for all the back and forth, but for going back to working in the round, I use the st+yo method as the last short row turn.

Here is a photo tutorial on how to work that st+yo.

Step 1: With yarn in front, slip 1 stitch purlwise.

st+yo - Step1

Step 2: Turn work.

st+yo - Step2

 

Step 3: Do a regular yarn over (bring yarn to front, then over the right hand needle to back). Make sure to pull it tight to avoid a hole later on!

st+yo - Step3

Step 4: Slip first stitch purlwise from left hand needle to right hand needle.

st+yo - Step4

Step 5: Knit on!

st+yo - Step5

Working to st+yo on your way across it when working in the round:

Step 6: Knit to 1 stitch before yo.

st+yo - Step6

Step 7: Slip one stitch knitwise from left to right needle.

st+yo - Step7

Step 8: Slip stitch back, purlwise. Stitch is now twisted.

st+yo - Step8

Step 9: Knit stitch together with yarn over through back loops.

st+yo - Step9

Step 10: This is what it looks like!

st+yo - Step10

Step 11a: When you’ve knitted on (there is a tiny gap if you didn’t pull the yarn over tightly)

st+yo - Step11a

Step 11b: What it looks like from the wrong side of the work. You’ll see a horizontal strand bracing 2 stitches, but it’s hardly noticeable.

st+yo - Step11b

Knitting math: Re-calculating your size

When I’m knitting other designers’ patterns, I very often end in the dilemma of my gauge not matching the pattern (but having the perfect drape and feel), or the yarn I want to use not being the right weight. It’s silly, I know – I could change yarns or needles or something, but very often I don’t want to. What to do, then?

Well, sometimes I recalculate. But often, there is a pretty simple way of “altering” the pattern, which I’d like to share with you!

I have an example of a project I did a while ago: The Fuse cardigan by Veronik Avery.

Fuse cardigan

 

It is originally done in worsted weight yarn on a 5,5 mm / US 9 needle, but I just had this perfect yarn in fingering weight. Also, I didn’t really want a chunky cardigan, but instead more of a light weight one. Using fingering weight yarn on those large needles would make the cardi way too floppy and loose though, so I decided to work on 4 m / US 6 needles instead.

You can probably guess that if I just made my regular size (size M/37″ bust), I would end up with a much smaller garment. When you work on smaller needles and with thinner yarn, your gauge becomes tighter, so it takes more stitches per 10 cm / 4 inches.

The golden rule of (stitch) gauge:
More sts on 10 cm -> tighter gauge, smaller item. Often worked on smaller needles.
Less sts on 10 cm -> looser gauge, bigger item. Often worked on bigger needles.

As my gauge would be tighter (smaller needles + thinner yarn = more sts per 10 cm/4″), I could either choose to recalculate everything (!), or choose to make a bigger size to compensate for the missing width of the fabric. The last option is most likely the most appealing to everyone, isn’t it?

Use the below form to calculate which size you should make, based on the numbers for your gauge, the pattern gauge, and your chest/bust circumference:


How I went about determining the size I should knit:

Step 1: I made a swatch!
I know this seems like a huge hurdle for some, as most people just want to get on with knitting the actual garment. However, for garments especially, your gauge really is important. See the golden rule of gauge above! If the pattern says 10 sts per 10 cm/4″, and your gauge is 14 sts per 10 cm/4″, the number of stitches cast on will become a smaller item than if you had a gauge of 10 sts per 10 cm/4″.
Also: Make sure to wash and block your swatch before you measure the final gauge. Gauge can change in washing, depending on how you treat it and what the fiber content of the yarn is. Treat your swatch the same way as you will be treating the finished garment!

So, I made that swatch using fingering weight yarn and 4 mm / US 6 needles.
The pattern called for a gauge of 14,5 sts & 25,5 rows, my gauge was 20 sts & 35 rows.

Step 2: Calculating the gauge difference
In order to calculate the stitch gauge difference between the two, I did this calculation:

my gauge / pattern gauge = difference in gauge (the number of sts in my gauge needed to work 1 st in the pattern gauge)
20 / 14,5 = 1,38

Step 3: Calculating the needed size
If I went by the bust size alone, the size I would need (37″) would correspond to:

My size * gauge difference = size I need to work by
38″*1,38 = 52,5″.

So yes, I would need to work the size that corresponded to a bust size of 52,5″.
The pattern’s biggest size was 53″, so that made it clear – that was the size I needed to make! It turned out quite alright, didn’t it?

Pitfalls
HOWEVER, this method only works if you have an overview over the pattern and understanding of the garment construction. It’s absolutely the easiest for straight top down or bottom up sweaters and other items, but as soon as they’re worked on the bias (or using other funky techniques) you risk getting in a pickle. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it depends wholly on the item in question!

A couple of things to note:

  • The above method with size change is for horizontal calculations only (stitch count).
  • You can do the same for vertical calculations (row count), but make sure to consider the differences that might occur. I was so lucky to have my row gauge vs. the pattern row gauge be the same percentage in difference as the stitch gauge, but that might not always be the case.
  • When working on something like a sweater, very often it will say to work to a certain measurement. Use that measurement instead of counting rows!
  • The garment I did this on had a lot of positive ease. I ended up with less positive ease than was recommended (me: 1″, recommended: 6″), as really the size matching a 53″ bust would have needed to be 59″ (but the pattern only went up to 53″). It was no issue here, but it might be in a more fitted garment!

I hope this post has been helpful!

Jagged Stripes!

Hello out there!

Yesterday I published the Jagged Stripes pattern – a pattern for both a shawl and a blanket, which can be made as a temperature registration piece. Never heard of temperature registration? Well, in this case it is a knitting (or crochet) project where one row is done for each day, using a yarn color designated to that day’s temperature. After 365 days you can get something like this:

 

2017 Temperatures Copenhagen

These are the temperatures I registered for Copenhagen (Denmark) during 2017 – the highest temperature of the day (left), the lowest temperature (center), and the average values (right). See how different it comes out depending on which range you choose?

For illustrating the Jagged Stripes blanket, I used the highest temperatures range (rainbows are so pretty):

Jagged Stripes Blanket

A bit of background to mention here: When you search on Ravelry for “temperature”, you get all kinds of patterns (and projects!) for temperature items. However, most of them are plain, straight garter stitch items, nothing fancy. That might be great for some, but for me… I wanted something else! So I designed this one, garter stitch with a little twist.
I added a “neutral” color at the beginning and end of the item, as I do want the edges to be straight. This means there is a bit of short row shaping going on at the beginning and the end of the year – but don’t fret, it can also easily be made without those edges! You’ll then just have the raw zig-zag edge.

I have added an Excel spreadsheet where you can track your local temperatures, see what the blanket looks like after a while, and even customize the size you want based on your own gauge. I have based it on the values I would use myself, using degrees Celsius to record temperatures and using the colors I want to use. I have added a cheat sheet for looking up the degrees Celsius if you’re usually working with Fahrenheit though!
If you’re familiar with Excel and want to change colors or temperature ranges, see below for a tutorial.

There is a lot more information on the Ravelry pattern page, which can be found here: Jagged Stripes
Note that this pattern is free – and I hope to keep it so indefinitely.


 

How can I modify the Excel spreadsheet for my Temperature Blanket/Shawl?

If you want to change either the colors used or the temperature ranges used in the spreadsheet, AND you more or less know your way around in Excel, here is a video tutorial on how to do so. I would however only recommend it if you’re an Excel user already – it can be easy to accidentally mess it up completely!
Please note that I’m using Microsoft Office 2013 on a Windows computer.