Tuesday, November 20

Working Decrease Sections in your Knitting Pattern

"What does it mean that I decrease every Xth row? Is that a right side or a wrong side?"

I've been getting this question a lot lately, so I thought a little explanation would be well suited to discuss on the ol' blog today.

There are several different ways that decrease sections in a knitting pattern are worded:
1. Repeat dec row every Xth row X more times. For example, "Dec Row (RS): K1, ssk, work to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. Repeat Dec row every 10th row 2 more times."
2. Repeat dec row every X rows X more times. For example, "Dec Row (RS): K1, ssk, work to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. Repeat Dec row every 10 rows 2 more times.
3. Dec every X rows (without indicating the original decrease row). Example, "Dec 1 st at each end of needle every 10 rows 3 times."

The trick to help you remember is that decreases are worked in SETS and the Dec Row + [The Number of Rows Indicated - 1] = a SET of decreases. So, continuing with our examples above, Dec Row + [10-1=9] = 10 rows total for a set.

In each of the examples above, 3 decrease rows are worked and there are 9 rows worked even between them. Here's how it looks all written out based on the examples above:

3 decreases have been worked over the correct number of rows (the number of rows is important for the length of the section based on row gauge). 10 rows for each set.

Now, here's the great part - because we know that the decreases are worked in sets (and we know how many rows are in each set), there aren't any hard and fast rules on WHERE in the set you have to place your decrease row. If you prefer it to be the last row of the set worked, then go for it. If you want it in the middle of the set, put it there. There aren't any detrimental effects to the taper or slope in this particular situation.

PS - This is the exact same way increase sets are worked, too. 

Thursday, November 15

Simsbury Debut

The Winter issue of Twist Collective made it's appearance this week and I am honored to be a part of such a beautiful collection with my piece, SIMSBURY -

© Jane Heller (you are AWESOME!!)
 Each design in the issue begs to be knit and is easily styled for the Winter wardrobe. I am particularly drawn to Fiona Ellis' Granville and Glenna C's Burrard, with their stunning use of cables and comfort. Faina Goberstein's Astra, Julia Trice's Esme, and Amy Miller's Dressage are enchanting, too! The models and photography (thanks, you guys!) are stunning throughout every page. You will not be disappointed one bit!

Simsbury came about because I wanted a sweater that would be perfect for layering, something simple yet with beautiful details that draw the eye. It had to be perfect for curling up in front of the winter fire (sipping cocoa, immersed in a page-turning book) or for showing off with cute jeans at the ice skating rink with the beau. I'm pretty sure I achieved that in this piece.

© Jane Heller (seriously awesome photography)

The design features a plunging v-neck that showcases itself really well, but would highlight layered pieces beneath. The main body and sleeves are worked in Stockinette stitch, for a faster workup, but it is the hem, cuffs, and pockets that are the real heroes - delicate, yet firm, the twisted stitch and eyelets draw the eye in.

When I swatched for Simsbury, I quickly discovered that the yarn needed a good twist to uphold the integrity of the twisted stitches, yet stand well on its own in Stockinette stitch. In addition, a subtle vintage coloring (where the color softly fades in and out) would really make the lace pop. 

© Jane Heller - super mad photog skills.
When Glory Days yarn arrived in the mail from Briar Rose Fibers, I was awed by the HUGE skeins of luxury that filled the box. 500 yards skeins of fluffy yarn nearly made me want to swim naked in it (i did not, but a girl can dream!)... The results were amazing; beautiful texture, comfort, wearability, but most important, a fun project for any level of knitter.

I truly love this Simsbury and I hope you do, too - now hop over and check the whole issue out.

PS. Thanks to Twist Collective and Jane Heller for the use of the photographs. Remember not "borrow" the images from my blog, as they are copyrighted. 

Monday, November 12

Win a Hayden Shawlette Kit!

The Hayden Shawlette, for Kollage Yarns, is one of my favorite designs - the rich cables, amazing texture of the yarn, and surprising simplicity make it a fantastic project! 

Right now, Kollage Yarns and Knitting Universe are teaming up to offer the entire kit (that's the pattern AND the yarn valued at $57) to one lucky winner and a friend! For a chance to enter, you must 'Like' both Knitting Universe Facebook Page and Kollage Yarns Facebook Page. If you already like these to fabulous companies, then you are already entered to win! WOOT! 

The deadline is November 20th, when they will randomly draw a name from the followers of Kollage Yarns and if that winner ALSO likes Knitting Universe, they've get to pick a friend to gift a duplicate kit to. Good luck and happy knitting!

Friday, November 9

A Little Something...

Free Gift Tag
The holidays are quickly approaching and it is easy to get lost in the shuffle of shopping, financial pressure, and entertaining.

I want my beautiful friends, family, and fans to take some time in the handmade joy of Christmas. Pick something you've always wanted to knit, focus love and peace into every stitch, and then gift the piece to someone.

To help you do that, I've designed these simple gift tags for you to use - you can download them for FREE right now. It is just a little something, but I wanted to give to you, so that it is easier for you to give to another.

All you have to do is click HERE for the google doc PDF, print on cardstock, cut them out, punch a hole for the ribbon, and fill it out to your special someone.

Feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you think about it. :)

Thursday, November 1

A day late, but....


My girls decided to both dress as Merida, the Brave princess, and they were sooooo stinking cute with their crazy red-haired wigs. I thought I would share a few of the pictures today. :)

Did you go trick or treating with kids? Steal their candy last night? Or were you handing out fun things to the costumed munchkins at your door?