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.
Step 2: Turn work.
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!
Step 4: Slip first stitch purlwise from left hand needle to right hand needle.
Step 5: Knit on!
Working to st+yo on your way across it when working in the round:
Step 6: Knit to 1 stitch before yo.
Step 7: Slip one stitch knitwise from left to right needle.
Step 8: Slip stitch back, purlwise. Stitch is now twisted.
Step 9: Knit stitch together with yarn over through back loops.
Step 10: This is what it looks like!
Step 11a: When you’ve knitted on (there is a tiny gap if you didn’t pull the yarn over tightly)
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.
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!
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!
Today is a really dreary, rainy day in Copenhagen, Denmark. It makes me want to knit with brightly colored yarns in order to get a bit of brightness in my day – and what is better than a summer sun yellow?
Today I published the pattern for Classic Plaits, a simple pair of socks that are worked toe-up, featuring instructions for two types of heel: Short row or afterthought. The detail on these socks is a simple cabled braid along the outside of the foot, making them interesting but still very quiet to look at. I can imagine them quite well in a sophisticated grey, or any other semisolid yarn out there!
I know I’m not very good at keeping the blog updated lately. But I’ve been busy – designing stuff for you guys!
Today I published a sweater/pullover pattern: Roland. This sweater I made for my brother (Roland), and after quite a few false starts it ended up more or less perfect.
Simple stockinette, followed by a basketweave pattern on the body and sleeves. A fun an interesting knit, as well as soothing and relaxing. It’s great TV-knitting!
Even though it’s originally intended to be a men’s pattern, it can be worn by women as well. I included instructions for waist shaping in the pattern, if you want that – or use it with the straight body as a nice comfy sweater with a bit of ease!
The truly remarkable part of this pattern is that the sweater is truly reversible. The textured basketweave pattern looks good from both sides, and reverse stockinette stitch instead of ordinary stockinette also looks good. Just make sure to pick up those neck edging stitches carefully, and you’re good to go!
Ever since I discovered the KnitPro interchangeable needle series around 6 years ago, I’ve been a KP girl. I tried out a variety of their needles – wood, acrylic, metal, cubics, karbonz. The metal ones always were my favorites, though Karbonz were a close contender. However, the Karbonz did end up annoying me as much as I liked them, with needle tips coming loose and, with my most recent (pretty big!) order, needle tips and cables not always fitting. Over the past 6 months, I have been considering changing to a completely different brand – at least try it out, but perhaps change over for good.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I have enjoyed the KP metal needles immensely for 6 years, so I am by no means trashing them. I have just gotten curious about other brands, and may have found the KP’s wanting on a couple of features. What I still very much like about them is the stiffness of the cable, the sharp tips, and the ease with which you can change between different tips. The metal ones will still be in my tool collection, right until I completely wear them out or if another deserving knitter inherits them.
In the summer of 2014, I bought my first Signature needles. I was absolutely in love! I loved the aluminium that warms up in your hands quickly, the sharpness of the tips, the swivel join, and initially the soft cables. And a separate size cable for each needle size makes the join pretty seamless and comfortable.
Using them more, however, I have also discovered some weaknesses. The cable, mainly. With my tendency to just chuck any project in my bag before I leave the house, the cable gets scrunched up in the bag. It has tons of memory, so getting the project out everything can be a bit hard to work with for the first couple of minutes. Also, it’s not that handy for magic loop working, which I do a lot – with the cable being so soft, it’s not so easy to push through. And then, well… Additional cables costs a lot of money. They’re around 3-4 times the cost of the KP ones, and then you can only use them with one tip size. I have only bought one extra cable, for the 4 mm size needles, but it feels like I could just as well have bought a full fixed circular needle instead.
Still, I LOVE them. The needles themselves are awesome, and for a non-portable project which doesn’t require magic looping, they’re absolutely great.
Recently, my friends and I put in a big order for ChiaoGoo needles. The reason being that we have created our own sock club this year: One pair of socks each month, with yarn from stash. The rule is we just need to cast on, basically – so we were joking a bit that at the end of the year, we’ll each have 12 unfinished pairs of socks, still on the needles. That prompted an urge to buy more needles, of course! ChiaoGoo needles being our latest obsession for sock knitting, we all started wishing for those. A huge order for needles of all sizes was put in, mainly 2,25 mm (US 1), but also the numbers around that. And a couple of us wanted other sizes, just to try!
Having gotten some money as a present a short while ago, I thought this the perfect opportunity to try out the ChiaoGoo Twist interchangeables. Metal tips, the nice stiff red wire (perfect for magic looping and socks! Just make sure not to whack yourself in the face with them, that happens…), and an opportunity to also buy the ChiaoGoo Spin wires from their interchangeable bamboo range, which have swivel joins.
So I also threw the ChiaoGoo Twist small set in my virtual shopping basket.
“The small set” basically means it only contains the small sizes: 2,75 – 5 mm / US 2 -8 (3 mm / US 2.5 is missing though, which I found a bit puzzling…). The bigger set consists of sizes 5,5 – 10 mm / US 9-15.
ChiaoGoo has taken the consequence of the wires and joins issue, and divided the small/large set by two cable join sizes. The small set has a small cable join, the big set a bigger one. This makes sense to me – I would need a bigger join for a bigger needle if it needs to work alright with the needle thickness. In the set, 3 wires are included, one of each of the (I guess) most used lengths: 35 cm, 55 cm, and 75 cm (14″, 22″, and 30″). That’s the cable length itself – adding the tips, it adds approximately 13 cm to the length at either end. That makes for a final length of 60 cm, 80 cm, and 100 cm – exactly the wire lengths I use the most of.
I bought 2 each of each wire length, but from the Spin Bamboo range. That’s their interchangeable range with bamboo tips instead of metal tips, which have swivel joins on the cables and softer, see through cables. You can just about glimpse one there in the photo above!
Of course, I LOVE them! But not unconditionally.
I love the stiffness of the Red Twist cables, and I like the sturdy appearance given by the join with the tips. For some reason they seem more sturdy than the KP’s – I wonder if that has something to do with the opposite join (you stick the needle into the join on the cable, while on KP’s you do it the other way around)? Or have they just paid more attention to detail? In any case, I like it. It’s also easier to tighten the join between tip and cable for some reason, even though it happens with a tightening key just like with the KP’s.
The Spin cables however, I’m not sure I’m a fan of. They are a lot softer (they don’t have that metal core), and give a slightly fragile appearance. Despite the swivel join that I like a lot, and which would resist my twisting and turning of hands while I knit, I’m not entirely convinced that they will last super long.
(I have an annoying tendency to twist the needles in my hands while knitting – probably because I’m subconsciously trying to tighten the join all the time. On my convertible KnitPro needles, the join comes undone quite quickly. I discovered this while trying out KP Cubics, which turned out to be very uncomfortable due to that particular habit!)
Another little note: Only 2 cable stoppers were included in the set, and additional cable stoppers need to be purchased separately. The KP cables all have 2 cable stoppers in the package, which is pretty handy – you’ll have stoppers for all your cables! That’s not the case with CG though, so I will need to get a hold of some of those. A ton of cables doesn’t really make sense to me if I can’t just snatch the needles and secure the project before I move on, like I am used to doing.
I will be trying them out more, knit some more projects on these. Meanwhile, I will most likely only be doing one project at the time on a particular size CG needle, due to the lack of cable stoppers. Good thing I still have my KP’s and Sigs handy ;)
In September, I released a shawl pattern in collaboration with Rainbow Heirloom: The Road I Took. It is a pattern show casing the Nostalgia Club September colorway – and this month, I’ve been so lucky to get the chance to design something with the January colorway called ‘Auld Lang Syne’. See the blog post on the Rainbow Heirloom blog here!
Emily sent me 3 skeins of yarn: two skeins in the club base, Rainbow Heirloom Lush Light, and one skein in the Sweater base. Being different fiber blends, the colorway came out slightly different on the two bases. I decided to mix the different yarn weights, just to see if I could make it work!
The New Start cardigan is worked up in a fun construction. First, the back panel is worked in the worsted weight Sweater yarn, then stitches are picked up for the fronts worked in Lush Light. The collar is worked, and at the end the sleeves, using a raglan construction worked with short rows.
The process kept me interested all the way through. It was so much fun to see it shape up, add different stitch patterns for the ribbing, and get a final result I love!
This cardigan, being cropped, works really well with dresses. Most of my dresses flare from the waist, and I have always been a bit sad about the usual full length cardigans interfering with that cut. This is my solution – and it’s a much used one already! I even made a second version in my own handspun yarn, slightly different, but I’m very happy with it.
Step 4 of designing in this series is just knitting. Knitting, adjusting my draft pattern, adjusting numbers if necessary. Trying the sweater on now and again to make sure it is all as it should be.
Most of the adjusting and trying on happens when working the yoke. I’m trying it on several times to see if it works. Once I’ve divided for sleeves, the process is smooth sailing from here – the rest of the body is just knitting and knitting, spruced up with some waist shaping and the color changes. I take meticulous notes on the yarn usage for each color, to check if the calculations I made on color use actually work out or not.
In this particular case, it looks like the calculations were on the generous side, which is good. I might need to adjust it a little bit for the final pattern, as the calculations were very generous, but I’m happy that I indeed have enough yarn and did the calculations right so I am sure not to run out. Phew! If it turns out I don’t have enough yarn, it’s a huge turn off and the project risks being thrown in a corner to think about what it has done ;)
Some decisions have to be made at this point as well. And, actually, one of the inklings I had regarding the yarn, which I had ignored for the sake of ease, proves right. I will in no way have enough of the last, dark blue, to make the sleeves the full length I wanted them to be. As the sleeves are around 10 cm longer than the body, I would need double the amount of the darkest yarn for the sleeves to make that length. And I don’t have that, as I worked the required stripe length + the ribbing in that color.
What to do? The project gets to hibernate a little bit while I contemplate whether I should do something fun with the yarn left overs in other colors, or just stop the sleeves after the second to last color and work a ribbing for 3/4 or bracelet length sleeves. Tough decision here.
Next up: Step 5: Taking a final decision, blocking, and sending the pattern off for tech editing.
Swatch and calculations done, I’m finally ready to start knitting. This is my favorite part!
I usually write the pattern alongside the knitting of my sample, as I want to remember exactly what I did. With all those calculations done, sometimes I can actually already write a draft for most of the pattern at this point. As the calculations are based on the pattern process/flow, it’s more or less a matter of writing down each step and plotting in the numbers.
While I knit, I adjust the pattern instructions I wrote to start with. Sometimes it looks better when done slightly different, or the plan I had simply doesn’t work out.
There is also quite often some ripping out happening at this point. As I knit, it might suddenly turn out that the numbers I calculated are wrong, make it look odd, or just should be adjusted a little bit. In this particular case, casting on and knitting for a while happened 3 times, as I didn’t like the look of the yoke to start with. Working this sweater top down (my favorite method – you can try it on while working on it, it’s so handy!), the cast on and yoke is the most complicated part of the pattern, so I can just as well get it right straight away.
After a lot of requests and comments on my Sowa top from the Impulsive Knits collection, I decided to make a kids’ version of the pattern as well. I had a perfect little model in mind, my darling niece, who is just as jumpy and crazy as I am at times!
Little Sowa is available in the sizes 2-12 years, with the biggest sizes overlapping the grown up Sowa top sizes a bit, with some slight mods like waist shaping removed. Also, there are instructions for working it in a fingering weight yarn only, so you’re not limited to using a lace weight yarn. The use of fingering weight yarn will however make the ruffles a little heavier. This isn’t a big issue for the kids’ sizes, as the ruffles are smaller, but it would make the grown up top look less light.
I made the size 6 years for Frida, as I hope it will fit her for a while. She’s only 4 years now, but big for her age – despite that, I was surprised by the perfect fit!
If you want to make a matching kid & grown up set, purchasing Sowa as well as Little Sowa will make you eligible for a $2 discount on Ravelry – which counts towards previous purchase as well, should you have already bought Sowa. Discount is applied automatically upon check out.
And, just because I loved my little model’s own ideas for how to model stuff, here is a bit of picture spam:
For the calculating, I use Excel spreadsheets. I could of course calculate everything by hand with a pen and a piece of paper, and that would also work fine – but knowing the right formulas and notations in Excel, that just goes a lot quicker. An additional plus is that it will be a lot easier to do the grading (= calculating other sizes) later on, as it will be a matter of copying the same formulas used into the same places in another column, using different numbers for the size only.
Now I’m usually doing the grading simultaneously with my calculations for the sample I’m working on. There’s a very specific reason for that: This way, I can find out straight away if the plan I have will also work out for other sizes. It’s pretty handy, as it will make it possible to make sure I don’t need to do all kinds of things specific for one size or the other.
Step 2B: Calculating yarn use per color
Apart from calculating the stitch counts needed for the sizes, I also needed to calculate how much of each color I could use in order to have enough for both body and sleeves. This includes calculating the area of the fabric (cm2, square cm), and multiplying it with the amount of yarn used per cm2 (calculated on grounds of the size and weight of my gauge swatch). A little simple math later, I could see that I could make stretches of around 11-12 cm per color, and only use the 5 skeins I have in the gradient. Hurray! Now I just hope my calculations actually are right (which isn’t always the case at this point in time) :)