I am very happy to be here again to lead our 2011 Winter Knit-Along (KAL) with all of you! I think the Saturday Morning Hoodie is a great choice for so many reasons, and I know you will enjoy making it during the rest of what has been a very cold and snowy winter. It is hard to believe that it has been a year since our Inishturk Sweater Knit-Along (finished sweater from that KAL is at the right), and this winter has made that sweater such a welcome sight in my sweater closet (and yes, my kitty still likes it too), so I know the Saturday Morning Hoodie Knit-Along will be just as rewarding!
Although there is a handsome young man modeling this year’s Saturday Morning Hoodie, it truly is a unisex garment that will look great on so many of us! So, let’s talk about sizes, yarn choices and one of my favorite subjects (really!): gauge.
So, first and foremost–the pattern is free and if you haven’t already–go and download the pattern and print it out; click here for the pattern. [Editor's note 1/27/11: We updated the pattern with written out instructions for the reverse shaping and some extra clarification, so if you downloaded the pattern previously, please click the link to re-download it.]
Now, what size to make? It appears at first glance that the pattern is written for 12 different sizes – but in reality there are six. Since this is a unisex pattern, the six sizes are sorted by standard men’s sizes and standard women’s sizes. Either way, the finished sizes for this pattern are 40 (44, 48, 52, 56, 60)”. When trying to choose a size, I usually look at a garment that I have already similar to the weight and fit like the one in the picture – then I just measure it around the chest. This garment is loose-fitting, so when choosing a size, keep in mind that it should be about 4-6″ larger than actual bust or chest measurements.
I’ve decided to make the second of the six sizes: the women’s medium (or men’s small) with a finished bust of 44″. I really do like this hoodie, but am making a size that my husband can wear as well if he likes. (I always say that, but it’s yours truly who is always chilly!)
The yarn called for in this sweater is Wool-Ease® Chunky which is a bulky weight yarn and is a “Category 5” yarn by weight (thickness). Other Category 5/bulky weight yarns that would work great for this would be Alpine Wool, Tweed Stripes, Homespun, or–for a more season-transitional yarn–Baby’s First, which is a cotton/acrylic blend. I’ve decided to work this one in the Wool-Ease Chunky and have chosen the color “Wheat” – a great natural shade with flecks of black and brown.
For the 44″ finished size, the pattern calls for 9 skeins of the Wool-Ease Chunky, so my choice was an easy one! If you want to make this in another bulky-weight yarn, make sure that you go by yardage for the correct amount of yarn. Each skein of the Wool-Ease Chunky has 153 yard (140 meters) so this converts to approximately 1380(1530, 1690, 1840, 1990) yards [or about 1260 (1400, 1540, 1680, 1820) meters for the six sizes].
I’ve been working with my gauge and found that the US 13 needle called for in the pattern was the right size to get the 10 sts and 13 rows for 4 inches. I know as a knitting teacher that gauge is not always easy for many knitters, but stick with it and make sure to change needles until you get the right gauge! And if you need a “refresher” on gauge, click here. (For the best results, be sure to wash/block the swatch just as you will the finished garment to get a “finished” gauge.)
I’ve already cast on my stitches for the back on my smaller needles (US 11) and am working on the ribbing. I’m looking forward to your comments, so let’s knit and keep those fingers warm this winter! See you next week!
I often find that the best way to motivate myself to finish a large project is by knitting or crocheting along with a friend. My co-worker Lindsey and I have similar taste in sweaters, so we decided to knit Metro together.
While this cardigan is very clean and classic, it does feature asymmetrical cables and ribbing. As such, it was very important for us to choose a yarn with great stitch definition. We decided to use Superwash Merino Cashmere for soft, warm cardigans. Lindsey wears a lot of rich earth tones, so she used the Saffron shade. I prefer deep jewel tones, so I opted for Olive.
Lindsey finished her cardigan first, and seeing how much she loved it really motivated me to finish my knitting. I completed my cardigan only a week after she did. In the end, our office KAL was a huge success, and we both ended up with warm, versatile sweaters that we love.
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!
Last week we asked you to vote for the next project, and your choice was clear: the Saturday Morning Hoodie will be our Winter 2011 Knit-Along project!
Our wonderful KAL host Heather will start with an introductory post next Thursday. In the meantime, you can start thinking about who to make this hoodie for. It comes in a variety of sizes for men and women, so you can make it for anyone in your life. Make it the warm Wool-Ease Chunky recommended, or try something different like our colorful Tweed Stripes or Homespun yarns. You can even make it in cotton-blend Baby’s First for a piece that will transition nicely into spring!
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 Ravlery group here and our Flickr group here.
While you’re waiting for the KAL to get going, comment below. Who are you? Where are you from? Who are you making this sweater for?
It’s time for a new knit-along! We think that January is the perfect time to start knitting a sweater, and we want YOU to help us decide on a pattern. Click on any image below to view its accompanying pattern, then click here to submit your vote by Wednesday, January 19th. Remember, you must submit your vote through SurveyMonkey for it to count!
We’ll announce the winner on Thursday, January 20th. Heather, our friend and frequent KAL/CAL host, will once again be guiding through the project step-by-step. We’re excited to see which pattern you select!
Are you new to the knit-along experience? Check out our Guide to KALs/CALs for more information.
Recently, I shared the fun news that I’ll be leading 3 knit-alongs on Knitting Daily TV this season, focused on fun projects that introduce you to new skills – we’re happy to announce that these segments will be available to watch on the Lion Brand YouTube channel!
The first one is the Fallen Leaves Scarf, which introduces seed stitch, a basket weave pattern, and slip stitch color work. There are 3 short segments to get you on your way as you knit this sampler scarf project. Watch them now and get started!
[Click below to play them all one after the other below; if you're viewing this blog post in your e-mail, you will need to click on the title of the blog post to view it online and see the videos.]
You can also check out my blog posts each Tuesday on KnittingDaily.com, where I elaborate on some of the techniques discussed in each episode.
Are you knitting along? Tell us about yourself, the colors you’ve chosen, and what you hope to get out of this knit-along!
Earlier this spring, I flew out to Cleveland, Ohio and spent a couple of days with the crew of Knitting Daily TV. Not only did I get to meet Interweave Knits Editor Eunny Jang who is also the host of KDTV (that’s us on set, to the right), but I also got to film three knit-alongs with her for this summer’s season of Knitting Daily TV. I also got to meet many other different designers and yarn-world figures who make an appearance on this season.
Although I’ve made a bunch of videos for our YouTube Channel and I’ve done some local TV interviews, I’ve never done a series of TV segments before. Although it looks quite warm and relaxed on set, it really takes the energies of quite a few people to make everyone look good, sound good, and to make the knitting and crochet process make sense on screen. It was fun for me to see how much filming could be squeezed into a couple of days and how many people it takes to make sure that all the pieces fall into place.
This summer, you can join me on Knitting Daily TV as I knit the Fallen Leaves Scarf, the Little Lamb Sock Critter, and the Tabard Vest–three projects that will be sure to expand your knitting skills. We’ll cover things like slip stitch knitting, cabling, and reading lace charts. It’s going to be a busy summer!
The season’s just starting, so click here to check out associate producer Annie Hartman Bakker’s preview of the first five episodes. Then click through to KnittingDailyTV.com and click on “TV schedules” at the top to find out when the show’s airing near you! This season is the 500 series, so any episodes starting with a “5″ are new. I can’t wait for you to join me!
Thank you to everyone who has participated in our Inishturk Sweater KAL. We had a great time learning along with you, and now we’ve reached my favorite part: seeing your finished sweaters! Here are a few gorgeous photographs shared with us on Ravelry.
theaadrian‘s sweater in Nature’s Brown Fishermen’s Wool
loydaf‘s sweater in Oatmeal Fishermen’s Wool
anne1k‘s sweater in Heather Gray Wool-Ease
sas58‘s sweater in Natural Fishermen’s Wool
Congratulations to everyone who has finished so far. If you’re still working, join us on Ravelry to share your thoughts and receive support.
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This Inishturk Sweater KAL has gone by so quickly and it has been a joy to see so many of you join, knit and learn. For those of you who haven’t finished your Inishturk yet, don’t worry! This KAL remains here for you to go back and read any of the posts or helpful comments from other participants. I finished my Inishturk yesterday — and just in time, since I would love to have a new sweater with this very long winter!
In last week’s post, I joined the shoulder seams with a 3-needle bind off, a technique that is perfect for matching patterns. Of course, you can sew those shoulders together after you have bound-off and I remembered the post about sewing together a cabled piece of the Cable Luxe Tunic, the KAL we did a year ago.
After I finished the shoulders, I picked up for the neck and found that I needed to pick up a few more along the front neck sides, but I decreased on the next round to the total number of stitches called for in the pattern. The second round has us decreasing 10 stitches across the stitches that were on the front holder and another 10 across the stitches that were on the back holder to accommodate for all those cable stitches that were in that center cable. If you decide to have your neck a little larger, just make sure that you have a multiple of 4 stitches for the k2, p2 ribbing.
I usually keep my sleeve stitches on a holder before I bind them off, just in case I need to adjust the length. After I finished the neck, I put on the sweater without the sleeves and then could see if I needed to adjust the length of the sleeves. Many times need to add an inch to sleeves, but these were just right! I bound off the sleeves and then saw how that double-seed stitch made the sleeves slightly “wonky”.
(The sleeve on the left shows how they both looked when they were finished. The one on the right was “blocked” by just dampening with a spray bottle and left to dry.)
After they both were dry, I used my markers to correctly place them where they need to be sewn to the body. I forgot to place a marker on each side of the front and back where the pattern told me to mark the sleeve placement. But my sleeves are 20″ across at the time, so I just measured down 10″ from the top for the front and back, and attached the sleeve making sure that the center of the sleeve is in line with the shoulder seam. I always use detachable markers (or safety pins) for my sewing and work from marker to marker for a nice even seam.
All that was left to do was sew up the side and sleeve seams — again, sewing from the right side and using those markers. I wove in the ends, put the Inishturk down for a minute and went looking for my camera.
When I came back, my faithful assistant was already doing her final inspection!
I love this sweater! Thank you all that have voted for this KAL and especially all of you who have participated, asked questions, left comments and shown photos of your Inishturk!
As you finish, please post photos of you and your sweater in our Flickr Group so we can see your results!
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The pieces to my Inishturk sweater are looking good with the front and back done and the sleeves still coming along. Some of you have finished (congrats!) and some have just begun (welcome!), but most of us are still “in progress.” Many times, when I sew together a sweater, I just lay the pieces out and start sewing if the pieces are close to the correct size. But before of you do, some of you will want to block the pieces. Why? Some of you have noticed how the cables have pulled in the fabric, as cables like to do! For example, my back is supposed to measure 22″ inches across, but after I knit it, it is only 20″.
Even if your gauge is right on the mark, this happens because of the cables. So, before I sew together a sweater that has a lot of cables, I just gently block it to size with a spray bottle of water. I simply spritz the front and back of a piece with water so that it is damp, let it set a minute or two, and then just gently pull or shape it to size. Next, I let it dry completely. Since I used the Fisherman’s Wool, the natural fiber just eased up almost by itself! Here it is at 22″:
My arms are usually a little longer than most patterns call for, so I like to put my front and back together first, work the collar, and then I put the sweater on to see just how long I would like my sleeves. This pattern is easy to adapt the sleeves – you can just make them shorter or longer without having to worry about any sleeve cap shaping.
Before I can do that, I need to sew those shoulders — but I’ve decided not to sew them at all! This pattern is perfect for working the 3 needle bind-off to join the shoulders. So I put the stitches of the shoulders back onto needles, worked the 3 needle bind-off, and I couldn’t have sewn a better seam if I tried! See the results below:
Now I just need to pick up stitches for the neck. I really like this pattern, because it tells me exactly how many stitches to pick up and where to pick them up. Knitting this collar in the round leaves even less seams to sew!
(As always, photos above with outlines and highlighted techniques are “clickable” for more details and/or information.)
How are you coming on your sweater? Let us know, or share photos by joining our Flickr group!
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The Inishturk Sweater is certainly a cabled sweater of “Olympic” proportions! I know I’m not the only one having fun knitting it while watching the 2010 Winter Games. One reason this sweater is a great project to work with cables is because there is very little shaping in this sweater. However, we do have necks and arms! So there is a little shaping at the top of the back and front as well as the sides of the sleeves. Some of you have been wondering how to keep your knitting in pattern while working the shaping of the neck and sleeves. On all the wrong side rows, the instructions are to knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches. This can be confusing when you shape this sweater, because all of a sudden, the patterns change.
The shaping for the sleeves (for all the sizes) has us increasing 1 stitch each side of the sleeve every 3rd row 8 times, then every 4th row 15 times. Keeping the Double Seed stitch pattern can be a challenge doing that when you will need to increase on the right side (RS) and sometimes on the wrong side (WS). The main thing to remember is on the RS, knit the purl and purl the knit stitches. On the WS, knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches.
One of the best skills to have as a knitter is to be able to “read” your stitches. In other words, know if they are knits or purls. So, look at the stitches as they appear right now rather than how they were worked on the row before. So, if your stitch appears like this picture (to the right, in pink), it is a knit stitch (even though it was a purled the row before.) These are the stitches you purl on the RS and knit on the WS.
OK – so here (in green) is a picture of a purl stitch as it “appears” (there is always a “bump” at the base of it). One of my students told me she learned how to identify a stitch as a purl, by the “pearl” necklace it is wearing! These are the stitches you will knit on the RS and purl on the WS.
Sometimes the edge stitches might be difficult to “read”, so just look at the next couple of stitches to figure out whether that edge stitch is a knit or a purl. And if the edge stitches don’t look perfect – don’t worry – they will be in the seam before you know it!
What about those cables patterns when you are shaping the neck? The main rule is to not work a cable if you do not have enough stitches to do it. Just work those stitches in stockinette stitch. Below you can see the shaping I’m doing on the front left neck. It looks a little strange, but when I pick up stitches for the neck, it will look fine.
This sweater is “shaping” up nicely, and soon we’ll be at our own “finish line”!
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