Where I write about knitting, crocheting and lace, and, on occasion general comments on other topics

Book Review: Knitting Plus by Lisa Shroyer

Written by: LindyBeir

May 13, 2012

The subtitle for this book is “mastering fit + plus-size style + 15 projects”. The first two chapters of this book cover the basics of how to knit garments that fit. While the focus is on plus-size, the information is applicable to any knitted garment. The information in these two chapters is worth the price of the book if you are wanting to learn more about how to modify patterns so that they actually fit your body. Chapter One discusses the common elements of a sweater and “what they mean to you” and Chapter Two covers the use of measurements and how to redesign patterns for a custom fit.

The remaining five chapters cover different types of sweater styles: The Drop-Shoulder, the Set-In Sleeve, The Raglan, The Seamless Yoke, and The Dolman. There are three projects for each type and these are really lovely designs for us plus-size gals. Each project also has helpful notes for the knitter. So this book is both a “how-to” guide and a set of 15 plus-size patterns. And some of those patterns are the sort that makes a knitter’s fingers itch to pull out some yarn and needles and get started. The “Poppy Cardigan” on page 67 is on my list of future projects for sure.

If you are interested in this book, click on the picture at the top of this post. It will take you to the book on Amazon.com.

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Book Review: Perfectly Plus

Written by: LindyBeir

April 2, 2012

I have decided to do some book reviews on my blog during 2012. I am going to start with my review of Perfectly Plus by Mary Arnold, Colleen East and Kristin Hansen.

This is a “How to” book — as it says on the cover, it features the “Knit-to-Fit Workbook For the Full-Figured Woman”. If you have read my blog about knitting sweaters without a pattern, you know that I am a proponent of taking measurements and adjusting your patterns to get a better fit. This book follows that philosophy and focuses specifically on what plus-size women need to do to get better fitting sweaters. The first chapter covers all the basics: the importance of gauge, making adjustments using your own measurements, using schematics and calculating yardage. If you read just this chapter, you will learn a great deal about knitted garment construction.

The book includes a basic pattern for a knitted shell and another for a knitted cardigan. It is designed as a workbook, so these patterns have places for you to fill in your measurements and do the necessary calculations to adjust the pattern so that it fits you. For those plus-size ladies who need help with the math — this book really walks you through all of it.

The remainder of the book contains sweater patterns showing variations from the basic patterns. These are nice patterns, but I think I am more likely to go with the basic patterns and do my own thing in terms of stitch patterns and details. This is a good reference book for those of you who are looking for information on how to knit better fitting plus size sweaters.

If you are interested in this book, just click on the image of the book to go to Amazon.com.

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FO: Basic Anklets — Cuff Down

Written by: LindyBeir

March 4, 2012

After doing two pairs of the “Fancy Feet” Anklets, I came to the following conclusions:
1) I really, really do not like to knit socks of any type toe-up. (I know that may shock those of you that swear toe-up is the only way to go — but there it is. I just don’t like to knit ’em that way.
2) I don’t like the repeating short rows that make the heel on this pattern. I don’t care for it’s depth or it’s shape.
3) I prefer using the German Short Row method over the “Wrap and Turn” method.

As knitters, we do have the right to our preferences. These are some of mine.

That said, I got out my needles and some leftover sock yarn and started working on a basic anklet pattern, cuff down. I have now finished my first pair and my notes are a bit sketchy — so I will need to knit a couple more pairs before I put out my basic pattern. But here a couple of pictures of the completed anklets:

Yarn: Leftover Serendipity yarn in colorway Amethyst
Needles: US 2 (2.50 mm) circulars, 48″
Magic Loop method. Pattern has a basic rib cuff and a short-row heel. Knit in stockinette stitch.

You will note the pooling on this yarn. I wrote about how this variegated yarn pools depending on the size of needles and the number of stitches back in 2010. If you’re interested here’s the link: A Study of Pooling in a Variegated Sock Yarn

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Buttons! Who knew?

Written by: LindyBeir

November 29, 2011

I am making significant progress on my Color Block Vest. In fact, I am nearly done! So Saturday, I realized that I really needed to go buy buttons for this vest. And off I went.

Now, I must admit that it has been some time since I ventured into a fabric store to buy buttons. And usually when I am buying buttons, I am also buying thread and fabric to match. What I discovered is that in the time that I have been absent from the fabric store scene that things have really changed. Changed in a good way, actually. Oh my! the selection was enormous! And really wonderful. In addition to the standard buttons in rather standard colors that come in sets of four or five — there are all these unique and stylish buttons available. Who knew? Obviously, not someone like me who hasn’t ventured into the button section of the fabric store in a good long while.

I was enormously challenged — I had so many choices! Wonderful choices! And then…I found them! The perfect buttons for my vest!
Buttons for Color Block Vest

Aren’t these just wonderful? They have a lovely brown background with swirls of pink, green and darker reddish brown. They match the three colors where they will be placed nicely.

As wonderfully matched as these buttons are — I must also admit to sticker shock when I went to check out. They were on sale, fortunately, but even at that they were expensive. I paid $7.00 apiece for them. (ON SALE!) Who knew buttons could cost so much? Now, I was willing to spend the money to get these perfect buttons — especially since I have invested money in a high quality yarn for this project. Still I think that buttons should not be so expensive. Even if they are perfect…

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WIP: The EZ Green Sweater

Written by: LindyBeir

June 26, 2011

I have been knitting recreated Green Sweater from the pattern recreated by Sunday Holm from the original sweater knitted by Elizabeth Zimmerman. (Schoolhouse Press Pattern #13, Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Green Sweater). This sweater pattern has a charming history and you can read the story here: Channelling Elizabeth.

Now, I am a “sometimes knitter” when it comes to sweaters. I start them and I knit on them “sometimes” — for some reason, I tend to knit on my sweater projects in between other projects. This means that I take a long time to finish a sweater project once it’s started. So, I started this project over a year ago — and I knitted a portion of the lower body and then I set this project aside.

A couple of months ago, I took this project up again and knit on it quite a bit. It’s a very intriguing pattern. The sweater is knit in the round using steeks. Yes, I said steeks. Steeks are that technique that many of us knitters avoid — but one Elizabeth Z embraced and used extensively. I decided to do this sweater specifically because of the steeks — I figured it was time for me to master the use of steeks. In this pattern, there are four steeks. The first one is up the center front (the sweater is a cardigan), then there is a steek for each armhole/sleeve and the fourth one is the neckline. You basically cast-on extra stitches, in this case I cast on five for each steek, and knit them up with the sweater. Then you cut them apart in the middle. Yep — I said you cut them apart. That’s what’s scary about steeks.

Here are some pictures of this sweater in progress:
EZ Green Sweater, Center Front
This is the center front, showing the center 5 steek stitches and the beginning of the armholes for the sleeves.

EZ Green Sweater, Steeks before Cutting
This shows the sweater with all the steeks knitted, before they have been cut.

EZ Green Sweater, Steeks crocheted
I used the crocheted method for fastening the steek stitches on each side.

EZ Green Sweater, Center Steek CutEZ Green Sweater, All Steeks Cut
In these two pictures, you can see the steeks, all cut and awaiting further work.

I am now working on the first sleeve. I am about two-thirds done with it. The sleeve has a unique design, and I really like how it is knitting up. I’ll post more pictures of this sweater once I have the sleeves and the neckline knitted.

Some details: I am using Frog Tree 100% Merino Yarn in Colorway 909 Teal and using circular needles, size US 8 (5.0 mm).

And finally…The Third Hat: Beret in Bee Stitch

Written by: LindyBeir

March 27, 2011

As you know from my previous post, I have been side-tracked with switching to a new computer and then finding that my blog had been hacked.  Well, I think I have recovered from the hack and I have all of my pictures and files transferred to my new computer — so, now to catch up and post about the third hat I started in January and finished in February.

My third hat is a beret knit in Bee Stitch.

Beret in Bee Stitch

This hat was also inspired by the thread about Hermione Granger’s hat in the Deathly Hallows, Part I, in the Harry Potter Lover’s group on Ravelry.  Again, I think the beret is fairly close to the original hat.

Bee Stitch Beret 4Details:  Hat was knit with Stitch Nation Full O’ Sheep (100% Peruvian Wool), using US Size 7 (4.5 mm) needles.  This yarn is very soft, aran weight, though I did find it a bit splinty.  The color is Passionfruit.  Stitch Nation is manufactured by Red Heart (Coats & Clark). 

When increasing for the beret, I basically doubled the number of stitches and it created a very slouchy beret, so if you’d like it a less slouchy, I’d only increase by 50%. I converted the Bee Stitch so I could knit it in the round and I wrote up the pattern to share with others, so here’s the link: Bee Stitch Beret.

To see my notes on Ravelry, use this link.

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Slouchy Hat in Trinity Stitch

Written by: Lindy

February 21, 2011

As promised in my last post, my Trinity Stitch Slouchy Hat was knitted in January. This is a semi-slouchy hat knitted in the trinity stitch. The inspiration for this hat came from a thread in the Harry Potter Lovers group on Ravelry. The thread was about the knit hat that Hermione Granger wears in the Deathly Hollows, Part I movie. Here’s a picture from the movie:
Hermione's Hat

There was a great deal of discussion about what stitch was used for the hat, but most of the comments were in favor of either the daisy (star) stitch or the trinity (bramble) stitch. So, I decided to give the trinity stitch a try — and here is the end result:
Slouchy Hat in Trinity Stitch

Pretty close, I think.

I knit the hat using Paton’s Classic Wool yarn on size US 8 (4.5 mm) needles. Colorway is “Bright Red”. I also wrote the pattern for this hat as I knitted it up, so that I could share it with others. Here’s a link if you’d like to download it: Trinity Stitch Slouchy Hat.

I had to convert the Trinity Stitch Pattern so that it could be used in the round. Directions for the trinity stitch knit in the round are included in the pattern. If you download this pattern and enjoy knitting your own hat, please leave me a comment. 🙂

To see my notes on Ravelry — use this link.

Next post — Beret in Bee Stitch.