Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for January, 2009

Crocheted Comfort for My Cat

January 5th, 2009

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This is a guest post from Carolyn, our Customer Service Supervisor:

I began knitting about 4 years ago, with help from my colleagues, then a year later I began crocheting. At this point, I have gotten the basics of both down, but I’ve decided that I am better at crochet. Whenever I want to learn something new, I see Rose, the head of our crochet class and she shows me a new stitch.

Awhile back, I had some left over yarn hanging around and just started a single crochet square using our Babysoft in Lavender, then decided to add Cupcake in Pistachio. This turned into a small square “blanket,” which now designates the bed of my kitty Sylvester (a.k.a. Maudy). I had laid the blanket over a pillow, and that is where he sleeps every night — and of course cat-naps during the day. It seems to bring him comfort.

As you see here in this photo, Maudy was in the animal hospital recently. When we visited him, I brought along his blanket -– he felt so peaceful to have his Mommy, Daddy, AND his blanket — he is resting here with the little IV in his paw.

He is back home safe and sound now, doing better from his illness, and back to his happy cat self.

Cable Luxe Tunic Knit-Along: Moving Forward in the New Year

January 2nd, 2009

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A Happy New Year to all of you! I’m sure many of you have been very busy these last few weeks with all sorts of holiday projects. My Cable Luxe Tunic has been sticking up out of my knitting bag trying to get my attention – and now it finally has it again! Quite of few of you have felt you’ve gotten behind on this KAL, but now that the calm of January is here, you can continue (or start!) this project and actually learn from all the hints that other knitters of the tunic have posted so far.

So, where am I on the tunic? I had thought that by now I’d have both the front, back, and both sleeves done — and would be working away on the yoke — the reality is that I have the back finished, and a sleeve done. When I finished the first sleeve, I realized that maybe I would have to adjust the length for my daughter, since she likes to wear her sleeves longer. I decided to put the sleeve stitches on a holder, and get going on the yoke, so that she can try it on before I finish the sleeves.

When I started the yoke, I caught myself ready to make another mistake! Luckily, I reread the instructions and saw that the circular needle I need for the yoke has to be a size smaller than the needle used for the body of the sweater. I needed a US 9 needle for the tunic, so I used a size 8 24″ circular needle for the yoke. The instructions told me to start at that back center seam of the cable strip and pick up all the way around back to the seam. I placed 4 markers on the top edge of the strip right above marking the spots where the back, left sleeve, front, and right sleeve start.

With the right side facing, I picked up the stitches just like I did when I picked up for the back, front and sleeves. I really love to use markers that attached to my knitting and this isn’t the only time I will use them for my yoke. I picked up the 130 stitches for the yoke, which is what the small size total stitch count. To make sure the stitches didn’t fall off the end of my needle, I put a point protector on the other end of the needle.

Although the pattern asks for a circular needle, the yoke itself is knit back and forth, so I placed a marker at the end of the row to remind me to turn my work and knit back. Could you knit this yoke in the round? Sure you can — all you need to do is remember to work the garter stitch in the round which is knit 1 round, then purl one round. And also remember that if your stitches get too tight around your needle after your decreases, you may have to switch to a 16″ circular or double-pointed needles to get to the top. I’m doing the yoke as it is written in the pattern, and I don’t mind the seam in the back which will continue from the seam in the cable strip. By knitting it in rows, I knit every row to get garter stitch this way.

For all the sizes, the yoke decreases every 6th row and for the small size I have to decrease 13 stitches evenly across each decrease row. To make this easier, I am using my markers again to mark 13 places in my knitting. Since there are 130 stitches, I will place a marker every 10 stitches (I decided to go in 5 sts on each end of the row — this still makes 10 sts between each marker, and I won’t have to decrease right at the edge of my row.)

Now I will knit the 2 stitches before each marker together on every decrease row. After all my decrease rows, I can remove the markers and just knit up until the garter stitch yoke measures 3″ from where I picked up the stitches. So that’s my plan and if all goes well, I should have this tunic ready to sew up next week. Here’s wishing you all a year filled with happiness, health, and as much knitting as you can fit in a year!

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