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Archive for the 'Knit-Along' Category


Free Spirit Topper Knit-Along: Blocking & Seaming

November 25th, 2015

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KAL #2Friends! Fellow Knitters! I cannot believe we have reached the end of another fantastic knit along. I admit I felt a little overwhelmed when I read the Free Spirit Topper pattern — all those stockinette stitches! – but I am SO GLAD I stuck with it because my topper is so cozy. I haven’t taken it off since I finished.

For those of you who have not finished, I have a few last items of business to share with you.

First of all I want to talk about blocking. When I finished my two panels, they puckered in the middle, inside the seed stitch border:

kal5_one

kal5_two

I decided that blocking before I combined the two pieces was the best idea. I found this fabric does not require much manipulation, so I wet each piece and squeezed the water out gently. Keep in mind there is a 20% animal fiber component to this yarn, so it’s best not to agitate your yarn, to avoid felting. I laid one piece on my stone kitchen bar countertop and flattened out the puckering. I then placed the second panel directly on top of it, shaping it identically.

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Free Spirit Topper Knit-Along: What’s Your Knitting Style?

November 18th, 2015

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KAL #2
You are probably nearing the end of your first of two panels for the Free Spirit Topper.  You have repeated the same two rows for so many inches, you may be exhaling a little sigh as you realize you have to do it all again for the second half of your Free Spirit Topper!

If you’ve lost steam, you could always wear the first half as a scarf until you get around to the second panel, but for those of you who are committed and determined to have a snugly sweater at the end of this knit along—I’m talking to you!

Due to the repetition of this stockinette pattern, I have found myself wondering about different knitting techniques.  I learned to knit using the English style of throwing the yarn.  Over the years I have tweaked my technique to wrapping my working yarn around my pointer finger and sort of flicking it around the needle.

city

This past year I have challenged myself to knit garments (as opposed to scarves or hats or smaller projects) and this has caused some knitting fatigue.  I taught myself how to knit in the continental style which involves picking the yarn instead of throwing it.  I find a row of continental style knitting goes a bit faster too—so I am that much closer to the finished product.

Though I have enjoyed experimenting by mixing my techniques when knitting for long stretches, I warn that this can mess with your tension if you are a beginner.  Be sure to do some practicing on a practice swatch to make sure your tension remains the same throughout.

If you have tried knitting before and not found your groove, trying a new technique may be the trick. One style may be better for a righty than a lefty.

I recently discovered a class on knitting techniques BEYOND English vs. Continental, from Patty Lyons.  She talks about 6 different techniques. This may be fun to explore if your skill level is beyond a level 2 (the rating for this topper).

On another note, I have found that my marker, separating the 8/9 stitch border from the rest of the project has been misplaced a few times. I don’t know how this has happened! But there are a few stretches where my border ended up only being 7 or 8 stitches long instead of the correct amount! I hope it blends in when I am wearing it! Almost everything I have made has a little mistake or too—don’t fret—it gives your garment some added character!

What is your favorite knitting technique? How do you prevent knitting fatigue? I would love to hear about your stretches and techniques in the comments below.

Take a look at some of our fellow Ravelry knitters as they work on their Free Spirit Toppers! All projects featured use different colors of Scarfie.

tealadytoo leaobrien95 memaw9
Tealadytoo’s Free Spirit Topper in Ochre/Navy Scarfie leaobrien95’s Free Spirit Topper in Cranberry/Black Scarfie memaw9’s Free Sprit Topper in Forest/Black Scarfie
Nolanacleta Aquaspir KnittedKnotion
Nolancleta’s Free Spirit Topper in Cream/Taupe Scarfie Aquaspir’s Free Spirit Topper in Denim/Navy Scarfie KnittedKnotion’s Free Spirit Topper in Oxford/Claret Scarfie

I am Kristy Glass and I am so thrilled to be infiltrating the Lion Brand blog to lead you in the 2015 Fall Knit Along! Even though I learned to knit as a girl, my passion for fiber arts has escalated at a very steep rate these past several years.

I returned to knitting and began crocheting about 8 years ago after I suffered an unexpected health setback leaving me feeling completely out of control. Hand work was a healing salve for my body and soul as I suffered through a long healing process. Thankfully I continue to use knitting to aid meditation, solace and a feeling of accomplishment. I knit year round, despite weather changes, and I am highly anticipating us all knitting together on this project.

I have completed over 100 projects including scarves, cowls, hats, hand warmers, phone cozies, afghans, pillows, sweaters and yarn bombing. My most recent passion has been making sweaters and actually wearing what I make!

kristy_200px

Free Spirit Topper Knit-Along: Reading Your Knitting

November 11th, 2015

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KAL #2

While you are knitting, do you ever find yourself asking these questions:

What did I just do, a knit or a purl? Okay, what did I finish when I last put this down? What am I doing?  Why did I just knit a knit, but it seems like I should be doing a purl? Why are there 2 purls in a row? Etc. etc.

Let’s talk about READING your knitting.  When knitting a project like this it is easy to make mistakes if you are not reading your knitting as you go.  I was knitting along on my seed stitch border when I found myself needing to do two knits in a row and so I had to pause and look for my mistake!  I had dropped a stitch! HORROR! Luckily I drop stitches so often I am getting good at rescuing them!

When you find a dropped stitch, quickly insert a needle into the stitch so it doesn’t drop down anymore, then grab a crochet hook and pass it up the ladder of dropped stitches until it gets back in it’s proper spot. There are many online tutorials about this that show good visuals to help you picture what I just described.

Once I had rescued my stitch I could get back to seeding. Here is how to read seed stitch. First things first! When you see many V stitches in a group or a row, which will be the look of the RIGHT SIDE of the bulk of this garment, it looks like this:

KAL_RightSide
And if you were to flip this fabric over, you would see bumps like this for our WRONG SIDE:

KAL_WrongSide
Now, these two stitches come together to make SEED STITCH. When you are looking at it, the bumps are the purls, and the v’s are the knits.

BUMP/Purl:

KAL_Bump
V-stitch/Knit:

KAL_VStitch
As you are knitting seed stitch, you KNIT the bumps, and PURL the V’s. This is how you read your stitching. If you get to a V, you purl that one, and the NEXT should be a bump that you Knit.  This way you don’t have to think about the pattern: (k1, p1) but just read your stitches and you know whatever you are seeing, you do the opposite on that stitch.

When you have finished the border and you are working on the main part of the garment, you only seed stitch for the first and last 8 stitches.  Pay attention to which side you are on—RIGHT or WRONG. If you see a sea of V’s it’s RIGHT, a sea of bumps, it’s WRONG….Knit all on the Right Side and Purl all on the Wrong side.  You will get the hang of reading your stitches in NO TIME. It’s all about practicing and repetition. And of course mistakes! But that’s okay… a mistake or too, especially in seed stitch, is easy to blend in….all is not lost!

This tutorial can be helpful if you can identify a place where you purled instead of knit or vice versa.

For those of you participating who are masters at reading your stitches and knitting, this may become a monotonous project for you. I suggest tapping into audiobook land. Most audiobooks you can borrow for free through the overdrive app and your public library account on your smart phone.  Recently I have enjoyed listening to Room by Emma Donoghue, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. All 3 were performed so well by the actors (for me, this is a huge aspect of what makes an audiobook good), and the stories were incredibly engaging.

Happy Knitting!


I am Kristy Glass and I am so thrilled to be infiltrating the Lion Brand blog to lead you in the 2015 Fall Knit Along! Even though I learned to knit as a girl, my passion for fiber arts has escalated at a very steep rate these past several years.

I returned to knitting and began crocheting about 8 years ago after I suffered an unexpected health setback leaving me feeling completely out of control. Hand work was a healing salve for my body and soul as I suffered through a long healing process. Thankfully I continue to use knitting to aid meditation, solace and a feeling of accomplishment. I knit year round, despite weather changes, and I am highly anticipating us all knitting together on this project.

I have completed over 100 projects including scarves, cowls, hats, hand warmers, phone cozies, afghans, pillows, sweaters and yarn bombing. My most recent passion has been making sweaters and actually wearing what I make!

kristy_200px

Free Spirit Topper Knit-Along: How to Perfect Your Ombre

November 4th, 2015

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KAL #2Before you begin, I want to point something out that has come up on the Ravelry forum. This topper is knit in two parts.  If you look at the Lion Brand photo of this garment, you will see the two sides’ colorway match up nicely.

The bottom starts on the darker color and works into lighter and then repeats.  If this matters to you, I encourage you to take a look at your 4 skeins of yarn and see if you can find two that seem to begin around the same place in the pattern.  I did not think of this before I began and just knit up a swatch using the first skein I grabbed out of my bag.  When I look more closely at the 3 remaining skeins, I can see which one I want to start my 2nd piece on.

KAL_skeins
The skein in the middle appears to start near the same place my first side started (after I knit the gauge).  When making a project with two nearly identical pieces, it is sometimes suggested to begin each one at the same time.  If matching up the colors concerns you, I suggest starting both sides of the project, putting one on a stitch holder or waste yarn while you finish the other, and then coming back to it.

When it comes time to change skeins (as each side will require 2), don’t be afraid to start into the skein a little ways to continue to match the color. Save that yarn, in case you end up needing it. You can weave in the ends in the back or experiment with a Russian Join.

KAL_marker
Some of you are wondering why there is a blue marker in this photo! I put it there during the seed stitch portion so that I know which side is the right side. Later, it is easy to tell because the V Stitches (stockinette) side is right and the bumps (purl) are the back.

I would love to hear from you down below in the comments or on the Ravelry forum — how much does it matter to you that you have the color matching between both pieces, or do you think it is a non-issue?

Next week I will be writing about reading your knitting!


I am Kristy Glass and I am so thrilled to be infiltrating the Lion Brand blog to lead you in the 2015 Fall Knit Along! Even though I learned to knit as a girl, my passion for fiber arts has escalated at a very steep rate these past several years.

I returned to knitting and began crocheting about 8 years ago after I suffered an unexpected health setback leaving me feeling completely out of control. Hand work was a healing salve for my body and soul as I suffered through a long healing process. Thankfully I continue to use knitting to aid meditation, solace and a feeling of accomplishment. I knit year round, despite weather changes, and I am highly anticipating us all knitting together on this project.

I have completed over 100 projects including scarves, cowls, hats, hand warmers, phone cozies, afghans, pillows, sweaters and yarn bombing. My most recent passion has been making sweaters and actually wearing what I make!

kristy_200px

Free Spirit Topper Knit-Along: Gauge Swatching!

October 28th, 2015

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KAL #2Editor’s note: There’s still time to get your Knit-Along Kit, get your kit here now and use coupon code FALLKAL2015 to save 20% (until November 1st)! Don’t forget to join our Ravelry Forum; share your progress with us along the way!


Welcome to the Fall Knit Along! Your votes have spoken and our project is the Free Spirit Topper using the new Lion Brand Yarn — Scarfie.

I have been wanting to work with this yarn since the first moment I saw it!  I love the way the color changes throughout the skein.  I am a huge fan of knitting with yarn that changes as you go—it makes for a fun surprise around every corner.

I love this pattern because the level of difficulty is just right for a scarf-only knitter to take it to the next level and knit their first garment.  And for you experienced knitters out there, this is an opportunity for you to mentor those taking on a new challenge, and effortlessly end up with a beautiful, on trend garment.

:: Can’t see the video above? Click here to watch – https://youtu.be/W9XM2N1SuTQ :: 

As is always the case when knitting a garment, it is very important to take the time to knit a gauge swatch before beginning a project. I know, I used to think this was a waste of time too. I got so excited about my new project I just wanted to jump right in! I learned my lesson when I made my first cable-knit project—a hat for myself—and it fit my 2 year old. Whoops!

It doesn’t take that much time to knit a gauge, and if you don’t frog it to use in the final product, you have a little coaster that matches your sweater!

KAL_gauge

:: A gauge palette can be super helpful! Get this one here – http://lby.co/1PUyLlX ::

For this project I am using size 9, 14” Brittany needles. I love how my yarn slides so nicely on these super-sanded, strong needles.  I also love this length because each side is meant to be 15” wide, so when they fit nicely on my needle, I get constant affirmation that I’m knitting it in the right size!  Brittany needle company is so stellar, they even replace lost or damaged needles, no questions asked.

Just one last cheer for those of you considering this but are hesitating because you have only knit a scarf up to this point. You can do this. I will hold your hand through the whole process, and then we will be twins in our Scarfie Free Spirit Toppers!


I am Kristy Glass and I am so thrilled to be infiltrating the Lion Brand blog to lead you in the 2015 Fall Knit Along! Even though I learned to knit as a girl, my passion for fiber arts has escalated at a very steep rate these past several years.

I returned to knitting and began crocheting about 8 years ago after I suffered an unexpected health setback leaving me feeling completely out of control. Hand work was a healing salve for my body and soul as I suffered through a long healing process. Thankfully I continue to use knitting to aid meditation, solace and a feeling of accomplishment. I knit year round, despite weather changes, and I am highly anticipating us all knitting together on this project.

I have completed over 100 projects including scarves, cowls, hats, hand warmers, phone cozies, afghans, pillows, sweaters and yarn bombing. My most recent passion has been making sweaters and actually wearing what I make!

kristy_200px
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