Lion Brand Notebook

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Announcing Our Winter 2010 Knit-Along!

January 14th, 2010

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Each season we host a knit- or crochet-along, a virtual event in which yarncrafters come together here online to work on one pattern together, share their experiences, and to learn together. You don’t need anything special, and there’s no need to sign up. Simply work on your sweater and check the Lion Brand Notebook at your leisure for new posts with helpful hints and tips (which come out weekly) and share your comments and progress if you’d like!

A few weeks ago, we asked you to vote for our NEXT project. Well, you voted and the results are finally in!

Announcing our Winter 2010 Knit-Along, featuring the Inishturk Sweater! (Click the photo to see/download the pattern).

Our host Heather’s first blog post will be next Thursday, so gather your supplies (or start thinking about what color and size you might want to make this pattern in) and get ready for this beautiful pattern to become part of your repertoire! Heather will be working on the pattern for the next 6 weeks, but you can work at your own pace.

If you have a blog, add the badge below to show that you’re participating (Right click or Ctrl+click on Macs to save the image to your computer; then upload it to your blog). You can also join our Ravelry group here and our Flickr group here.

In the meantime, leave a comment and introduce yourself! Who are you? Where are you from? Who are you making this sweater for?

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  • Anne

    I was also having gauge problems. I’m using Wool-Ease, and thought that was the problem, but apparently not. I switched to size 9 needles and to plastic instead of metal and that seemed to do the trick.

  • Judy

    I’m in Abilene, TX. I have chosen an eco yarn in a dark turquiose. I matched gauge by going up a couple of needles sizes. I’ve started working the back and ripped it out. This will be challenging to keep up with all the changes. But I will conquer with the help of this knit-a-long.

  • Granny

    Will she actually start knitting on Thursday or will she just be discussing yarns etc?

    Zontee says: Hi Granny, she will be discussing gauge swatching. You’re free to start whenever you’d like though.

  • Robin

    This will be my first big knitting project. Should prove to be a disaster. I’m excited though.

  • Anne Harnesk

    Hi everyone! I am Anne from Ardrossan, Alberta, Canada. This will be my 2nd KAL. I really love the “Fisherman” look of this sweater. I will be knitting for me with a plan on making one for my husband….. later. (I never get to knit for me)
    Not sure which colour yet. I will have to make a stop at Michael’s on the way home. Yeah!

  • Marla in Bellflower, CA

    What time does the event start on Thursday? I’m not sure how this works since it is my first KAL.

    Zontee says: Hi Marla, this is not a “live” event. As it says above, you can come any time you want to read the blog posts and work on your sweater. Leave comments when you feel like it. Work on it when you feel like it. Everyone will be working simultaneously, but at their own rate.

  • Donna in SE Wisconsin

    This is my first KAL, and I’m amazed at the number of comments already.
    I love the sweater, but overall a bit too ambitious for me. But I want to learn the pattern stitches though, so I’m doing a flat piece (maybe I’ll turn it into a big pillow). It’s not as much fun, but need to use yarn from my stash and only have 1 skein of fishermans wool.

    Zontee says: Hi Donna, don’t forget that you can also try just the hat, which will give you a sense of the cables and such — 1 skein should be enough for that.

  • <fb:name linked="false" useyou="false" uid="674665410">Cheryl Ann Wartman</fb:name>

    This is my first KAL, so I plan to knit this for me. I will use wool from a local mill:
    in a dark purple and denim mix.

  • Lucy Mc

    Hi, my name is Lucy from the middle of New Mexico. This is not my first KAL, but the first web KAL. My sister from post 95 (who lives in central Idaho!) told me about this and it sounds like great fun. I am just finishing up a sweater now and needed a new project. I have been wanting to do a sweater like this for a long time. I will be making this sweater for myself out of some pretty steel grey yarn that I have in my stash.

    Zontee says: Hi Lucy, that is very cool that both you and your sister are doing this together long-distance! Kudos!

  • Pat Rutland

    Hi. I’m Pat from Tennessee. This is my first KAL and my first sweater. It may be a bit of a stretch for me to think I can do this but you never know until you try. I’m ready to move from scarves and dishcloths! I’m so excited to get started! I bought the Fisherman’s Wool in Oatmeal. I’m sure it will be next winter before I get to wear it!!

  • <fb:name linked="false" useyou="false" uid="1447660425">Marianne Gaudio Spencer</fb:name>

    Hello. Marianne from Indianapolis. This is my first KAL. This sweater looks fabulous! Would love to make it, but would like to alter it into a turtleneck. Any thoughts? I’ve got some dark green Lion Wool Ease (I think) that’s begging to be made into a sweater! I’ve done cabling before, working on some wristlets right now with cables … tons of fun!

  • susan

    This will be my first ever KAL! As much as I like Fisherman’s wool I’m wondering if I should substitute another yarn since it may be too itchy right next to my skin.

    I’ll double check the ONE skein I have on hand before purchasing more but I’m really looking forward to starting this!

    BTW- I’m Susan from Maryland

  • Carol

    Hi, I’m Carol, from Brooklyn. I’ve been knitting my way through the stress of the holidays and it’s really helping keep me sane. This sweater is beautiful and complex enough to stay interesting, front and back. I’m looking forward to working it with a group!

  • Marla in Bellflower, CA

    I selected Vanna’s Choice for my project. Last year I knitted a sweater which was a blend of wool and silk. It felt very soft while knitting, but when I tried the sweater on it was too scratchy.

  • Janet

    Perfect timing to get it ready for my daughter’s 10th birthday!

  • Isabella

    Hi, I’m Isabella, from the south Brazil. I’m thrilled at the prospect of knitting along with such lovely company!
    I love complex designs, and this one is just the thing! I’m going to knit it in mauve for myself.It’s summer vacation now in Brazil, people WILL call me insane, but just like with Carol (post113) above, knitting keeps me sane.

  • Linda

    I introduced myself last week and this will be my first knit a long project. I already purchased the wool and am knitting a swatch right now. How does the knit a long work. Do you just long on and see how others are doing? Is there a particular time that everyone joins in?


    Zontee says: Hi Linda, again, you just work on your project and, at your leisure, read the new blog posts each week for hints and tips, and comment on them if you wish. The blog posts go up on Thursdays, but you can read them any time and work at your own pace. This is not a “live” event — there are no time requirements. Finally, please keep in mind that it can be helpful to read previous comments as often times questions have already been asked and answered.

  • Annette

    Swatch/guage question: if I plan on dry cleaning my garment, then can I just measure my swatch for guage, as is, right off the needles? I’m using L.B. Fishermen’s Wool, as in the pattern. Thanks for your help!

    Zontee says: Hi Annette, once you finish a project, you usually want to handwash and block it at least once to get rid of all of the dirt and dust that may have accumulated while you were working on it and to adjust its dimensions if necessary. Therefore, it’s still best to lightly handwash your swatch.

  • Denise


    My name´s Denise and I´m from São Paulo, Brazil. I´ll try to knit-along with you, even though I´m kind of a begginer … Let´s see!!!

  • Janet

    I’m sooo excited about this knit-a-long, and hoping to learn lots in the process. I went out to buy my Fisherman’s Wool last night, but worried about my daughter finding it too scratchy (she’s pretty particular about texture). I fell in love with the colour of Vanna’s Choice – Linen – stunning. So, I swatched it out, and found that gauge with 6mm needles – a full mm bigger than recommended. I’ve started knitting the back and found it a bit stretchy…

    Question – will I regret using Vanna’s Choice for this project and revert to a different yarn even though it is so beautiful? Advice???

    Zontee says: Hi Janet, Vanna’s Choice will be fine. In fact, you’ll see in previous comments that it’s one of the yarns we’ve recommended for substituting for people who are sensitive to wool.

  • Linnea

    I have just expanded my knitting from plain scarves to mittens, socks, and cable knit. I was really nervous to make this sweater but am really excited to have this blog and group to help! What a great way to make a project. I can’t wait to start my first ever knit along:)

  • Kaye S

    I am so glad to find that others are having a time with gauge on this one! Perhaps I,too,am doing too small a swatch. I did the Tree of Life KAL and loved it–no problems with that. I am really looking forward to this sweater. I am off to do a bigger swatch and look forward to tomorrows suggestions. I am using the LB Fishermens that I got at the Michaels sale. Good timing!

  • Cheryl

    I’m Cheryl from SE Wisconsin. This is my first KAL. I plan to make this for my daughter in the Fisherman’s wool natural color, unless she finds it too scratchy. If so, I’ll switch to Vanna’s Choice. Can the front and back be made in one piece on a circular needle, then divided for the armholes and worked back and forth?

  • Marci

    Hi, I’m Marci. This is my first KAL. I have two questions. I knit the swatch on double seed stitch on the size 8 needles and it was slightly too narrow and too short. Redid it on size 9 needles as the Fisherman yard gauge on the package suggested,and the width was perfect and the length just 1/16″ too short. Am I right in assuming that my tension is better suited to knitting it on size 9s?

    The second question is size. I am making this for my husband and he has a shetland wool cable knit sweater which is a perfect fit for him. I laid it out and measured the front just below where the sleeves were sewn on. It measured 24″ so doubling that would make a finished size of 48″ Am I correct in assuming from that that I should be making him the size Large?

    These may seem like common sense no-brainers, but there is quite a bit of work in that sweater and I want it to fit correctly the first time. Thank you so much for considering these questions.

    Zontee says: Hi Marci, size 9s would be correct. Generally speaking, you always want to match your horizontal gauge to the pattern (vertical gauge, you can always compensate by adding more rows on for extra length).

    And yes, if your husband’s sweater size is 48″, then that would be the Large size.

  • Linda

    I had the same problem with the swatch. It was slightly off and this is first attempt at a sweater like this. I went ahead and started my ribbing hope that just being slightly off will not affect the fit.

  • Jill

    I am looking forward to knitting this. I plan on entering it in the fair and then I am going to donate it to a charity to keep someone toasty warm. :-)

  • Marie

    This will be my first KAL, and I was a bit hesitant at first. I am an accomplished knitter, just not very good at “keeping up with the class” so to speak. I mentioned it to my son today, and he did get a gleam in his eye that maybe the sweater would be for him. Maybe it will be, we’ll see. Looking forward to the KAL.

  • Nancy H.

    Hi, Nancy in Colorado here. This is also my first KAL. I have been wanting to make an Aran knit sweater for myself for years, so this is perfect! I’ll be trying this in the round, knitting back and forth above the underarms. I found the yarn on sale at Michael’s too, and am just finishing up a sweater for my husband (with only a single Celtic cable up the front) so everything seems to be fall into place. Started the swatch yesterday, in the round on double pointed needles, 32 stitches around, but need to restart as I realized that it will be difficult to measure if it’s only twice as big as the area I need to measure. Think I’ll go 48 stitches this time. Thankfully, I’ve only knitted a few rounds. I’m excited to be ‘knitting along’ with so many other folks from around the world!

  • Pingback: Inishturk Sweater Knit-Along: Choose Your Yarn & Make a Gauge Swatch! | Lion Brand Notebook()

  • Julie

    Hi, Julie from NYC here: I’m very excited about this project , my first KAL!
    But I’m wondering: Why are there no charts provided? Any Aran pattern I have ever seen had charts. Or is this a “teaching moment”?

    2. Ho can I adapt the pattern for my daughter who will need a children’s size 8/10 ? Thanks!!

    Heather says: “Hi, Julie: Although this pattern (which has been a Lion Brand pattern for a few years) does not have charts, I will be discussing this and making charts to go along with the pattern. As for adapting to a smaller size, you will need to swatch with a lighter weight yarn and have a gauge with more stitches to the inch. This pattern has been sized by the number of double-seed stitch on each side of the cable patterns. The smallest size only has only 4 double-seed stitch pattern on each side, so this pattern can’t be made much smaller as it is written. I hope this helps you and you will try to make this sweater!”

  • Julie

    ^^ how

  • Marla in Bellflower, CA

    I will also be knitting mine in the round since I’m not a fan of sewing seams. I’m also looking forward to the lesson on creating a chart from a pattern. Thank you, I love learning new skills.

  • Charity

    Hi! Charity from Chico, CA here. This will be my first sweater, my first time with cables AND my first large project. As you can imagine I am a tiny bit apprehensive. But looking forward to being a part of a knitting “group.” Sounds like fun.

    I’ll be knitting this for myself, I guess. I still need to get the yarn. Teehee. I might go with the Nature’s Brown, but I’m leaning more towards the CottonEase Hazelnut. I like the shade better and think it might be less scratchy (I can be sensitive sometimes).

    Looking forward! =)

  • Julie

    To Heather: Thank you for your detailed reply! I will definitely try to knit the sweater, but may just have to do it for myself!! (And make another Aran for my daughter later).

  • Donna

    Is this where we ask Heather questions. I have two, probably dumb ones but I don’t know the answers. First, when a pattern says row 1 (RS) does that mean the right side is towards me or towards the outside? Also on the ribbing it says end with WS row. Won’t it look the same on both sides? (I haven’t started knitting yet) But if it looks the same, how do I know which is the wrong side. I’m so excited about this project.


    Zontee says: Hi Donna, yes, you can ask questions here. “RS” or “right side” means the public side of the garment or the outside that people will see. The pattern indicates it in case you would like to put a stitch marker or a safety pin on this side of the fabric so you can remember that it’s the right side — this should also address your second question about the WS row. Hope that helps.

  • Diann in Oceanside, CA

    I did my Swatch last night and I get the gauge using the size 8 needle as far as stitches go but more rows then required for 4 inches. Now what? Also I am using Vanna’s Choice in Pearl Mist for myself.
    I too prefer to knit the sweater in the round, will you be addressing these issues as well.

    Thanks and this is my second Knit-Along.

    Heather says: “Hi, Diann – I’m glad you did your swatch and don’t worry too much about the row gauge in this pattern as the stitch gauge is the most important to achieve the correct width. Although the Knit Along will be working the sweater as flat knitting, this sweater can be adapted to circular needles. I know others will be working this sweater in the round as well so you may want to read their comments as well!”

  • Kim

    Hi, I’m from Timmins, Ontario, Canada and I’m really looking forward to this and maybe making some “knitting friends” I love to knit, but have started working full-time and find I don’t make the time to do things for me. I can’t remember the last time I knit a sweater, and I love challenges. I also have had problems getting the right sizes as I always skip the swatch, this time I am going to do things the right way! I’m using Vana’s choice in Taupe.

  • Christine

    Hi, I’m from Newton, MA and I have a question for Heather. On the instruction for the pattern set up row for the back, should the second and third stitch be p1,k1 (x times) vs. k1,p1 (x times)?

    Also I want to convert the collar from a crew to turtleneck. Any suggestion to do this is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much.

    Heather says: “Hi, Christine: The pattern is correct, and if it helps you just know that those outside stitches are always done in the Double Seed stitch – so just stay in pattern after the set-up row.”

  • Tera

    Darn, I voted for the afghan! But oh well, this sweater was my second choice. I’m sure it’ll be fun to knit. I’m gonna use Fishermen’s Wool in Oatmeal.

  • Mary Ann Mijanovich

    I am excited to knit this sweater with all of you. I am using Vanna’s Choice and will be making it for myself. I noticed that the pattern says to gauge 16sts for 4 inches but we are swatching 20sts. Will that be a problem?

    Heather says: “Hi, Mary Ann: I find casting on more stitches than what the 4″ swatch calls for gives a more accurate gauge, since those edge stitches tend to not be very even. Hope this helps you and happy swatching!”

  • Pat R

    I have a pretty stupid question, but I want to start this out right and not get it wrong from the very beginning! On the WS rows after the set up row, it says to knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches. Is that as they appear? In other words, if it appears as a purl stitch, do I purl it, or since that stitch was a knit stitch on the RS, do I knit it? Hope this makes sense to someone!

    Heather says: “Hi, Pat: Yes, knit the knit stitches as they appear on the WS row – on the other side, those knits were purls and vice versa.”

  • Donna

    Christine (138) I thought the same thing about that first set in the set up row. My first couple of rows after the ribbing on one side look just like ribbing until I get the pattern started. It’s going fine now and I’m not tearing back, so that’s my mark of homemadeness…is homemadeness a word…*chuckle* It’s going really well now though after many restarts.

  • Mimi

    I am totally confused. After the pattern set up round (I’m knitting in the round), am I suppose to throw in “K the knit sts, P the purl sts” the 2nd round and every other round” in between each pattern stitches?

    Zontee says: Hi Mimi, yes, that’s correct. You may want to use a stitch marker to mark the beginning/end of your round so that you know where to start. It’s still “knit the knits/purl the purls” since you do it as the stitches appear (so when you see a knit stitch V, you knit, and when you see a purl bump, you purl).

  • Mary Anne

    I have been trying to swatch using Wool Ease and am finding that the swatch is very loose and light weight. It doesn’t feel like it will be warm like an Aran knit sweater and if I hold the swatch up, I see alot of light through it. Using size 10 needles I get 17 stitches in 4″.
    Would I get a heavier sweater if I use the Fisherman’s Wool?

    Heather says: “Hi, Maryann: The Fisherman’s Wool is the same weight as the Wool Ease, and quite a few knitters have commented on how light the Double Seed stitch pattern appears. However, when you work the cable patterns, the fabric of the sweater is much denser. This pattern in the Fisherman’s Wool or the Wool Ease will create a warm sweater (because of the cables) without a lot of weight.”

  • Christine-WI

    I made up the hat from this pattern right after the announcement of the KAL. My co-workers all think it looks great. (I made it in Vanna’s Choice.)
    The gauge for this sweater has been crazy. I think I am going to end up using US 10 1/2. I ended up making 5 attempts with everything from 8’s to 11’s. There was almost no change in width at all for me until I got to 10 1/2’s.
    Well, going to go block these swatches and cross my fingers that one of them will work.

  • Christine-WI

    I’m glad someone asked about the K in K and P into P. I know I was confused when we did the Cable Lux sweater (until someone asked about it.) Anyway, I wasn’t sure if I was remembering how to do it correctly. Thank you.

  • Eileen-WI

    Hi I’m from Bristol, Wisconsin. I’ve knitted for many years, but this is my first KAL. I going to make this for my daughter. I just ordered Wool Ease, so I’m still waiting for my yarn. I can’t wait to get started!

  • Donna in SE Wisconsin

    Regarding #143 – I was confused with K in K, P in P, also. I think I did this wrong and that’s probably why my pattern doesn’t look like the photo. (or the great photo’s being posted on Ravelry) Someone tell me if this is totally wrong…for the WS row, I was looking at the pattern row (RS) and reading it backwards (sort of) rather than visually looking at the knitting and determining if it was a V or a bump. Something tells me charting will be my answer.

    Zontee says: Hi Donna, in knitting patterns, stitches are referenced by how they appear currently (since knits and purls are the fronts/backs of the same stitch). So when a pattern says knit the knits and purl the purls, it means AS THE STITCH APPEARS while facing you. In other words, if you see a stitch that’s a V, knit it, if you see a bump, purl it.

  • Donna in SE Wisconsin

    Thanks, Zontee. Oh no…I’ve been doing it just the opposite! Important lesson learned.

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