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Wet Coast Wools Podcast Episode 82: Knit Potatoes

September 12, 2019

Wet Coast Wools Podcast Episode 82: Knit Potatoes

Filmed on Wednesday, September 11th

Welcome to all our returning viewers, and to those who are joining us for the first time! If you like us be sure to hit the subscribe button and give us a thumbs up!

Complete show notes are available in our Ravelry group, the Wet Coast Woolies. A shortened form of the notes are available in the YouTube drop-down menu.

Glenda - Glenda on Ravelry, glendamcdonald on instagram
Kelsey - fiddlebach and KZipKnits on Instagram and Ravelry
Wet Coast Wools - WetCoastWools on all the things

FOs (Finished Objects) 00:04:59:
Glenda: Wearing Edie by Isabell Kraemer
- No finished objects!

Kelsey: Wearing Ease by Josee Paquin, knit in #220 Hempwol by Hemp for Knitting, in Florence.

  • Spudette for Heather - pattern is Knit Potato by Carina Lee. Yarn is just some scraps we had left over at the store. Assorted accessories - bow, hat, jacket. All using up scraps and bits and pieces.

  • Barbie Sleeping Bag by Theresa Dunlap - this is heavily modified. Again, odds and ends used up for this! Spudette needs to be equipped for its new life up north!

  • Fox Wedding by Sylvia McFadden, used two skeins of Fleece and Harmony Signature in Clover.

WIPS (Works in Progress) 00:12:41:
- 141 Pull col camionneur . Making this for Mike, with 2 strands of Holst Garn Coast. How is this the only thing I’ve worked on?!?


  • Aila by Isabell Kraemer in Seaside Speckles Vegan Yarn Pleiades Sock. This one has been a long time knitting - nearly finished…… I’ve done some sweater surgery one this one. I knit about half of the lace border, wasn’t loving it in this yarn so lifelined, ripped back and have refinished the body and just need to add some finishing to the armholes and neckline.

Sweater Segment 00:30:11:
This is a regular feature - talking about sweater construction, alterations, etc. Ask us questions and we will talk about it on the podcast.

Today we are answering a complicated question… PUPPIES.

In the Sweater Segment discussion thread, AppyDancer asked:

Is there a quick and dirty way to adjust the arm pit area on the colour work yoke sweater patterns? I’m not a fan of dropped armpits (for lack of a better term). I am just finishing up my first sweater (Fern and Feather) and I am finding that the armpits are a couple of inches lower than I like. Also, when I lift my arms, the whole sweater lifts and shows my middle bits. On this sweater I just knitted it longer because I didn’t know what else to do.

Without seeing you in the sweater, I would guess that this problem is due to a yoke depth that it too long for your body. If the join hits too low across your chest, it will also hit too low on your arm - that is why the whole thing pops up when you raise your arms.

Circular Yoke sweaters are essentially cones - you join the body and sleeves, knit some plain rows, and then decreasing evenly around the sweater 3 or 4 times, taking the total number of stitches to about 40% of their original number (in a very basic sweater, at least).

According to Elizabeth Zimmermann, “on a yoke sweater, the distance between the point where you join the sleeves to the body and the neck (exclusive of neck-shaping and border) is about ¼ of the circumference of the body…” (Elizabeth Zimmermann, Knitting Without Tears, page 70. Simon & Shuster. 1995.)

As a general rule, you join the body and sleeves, work some plain rows, and then get into your colourwork charts. Short rows are added to raise the back neck - you do this either at the neck, above the colourwork, or on the body, below the colourwork. I don’t have the Fern & Feather Pattern, but it sounds like you put the short rows in under the colourwork (this is a top down sweater, so you knit the yoke, then the short-rows), possibly before you add some plain rows (most sweaters seem to knit at least 1” plain between the colourwork and underarms.

Circular yoke sweaters do need to have a little extra room in the underarms - usually about 1-2” to allow for movement in the arms, and to wear something underneath it. Pay attention to the schematic to determine how deep your finished yoke is going to be.

An interesting thing I noticed in the Fern & Feather project pages is that the end of the colourwork is different for different people. On some people, it ends higher on the bust, for others it comes below the bust. This could be a size issue, but I suspect it is also due to row gauge.

Normally we only pay attention to stitch gauge, because this has the most impact on a sweater. Play around with needle sizes, and you should be able to attain the suggested stitch gauge for a particular pattern. I would argue that most people do not get exact row gauge for a pattern. Downside is that you can’t alter both row gauge and stitch gauge - I had a whole conversation about this with a designer friend of mine, and she agreed that you basically have to choose to match one or the other, since you are unlikely to match both.

Instead, look at adding or removing rows to change the yoke depth…

  • First, work out your row gauge from your swatch (because of course you’ve done a colourwork swatch, right?!). Then count up the number of rows you will knit for your yoke - colourwork chart + rows before (not counting the neckband) + rows after the chart. You can probably ignore the short rows for this, since you will need to keep them to lengthen the back of the sweater.

  • Using the pattern’s row gauge, figure out how long the yoke should be…

  • Using your row gauge, figure out how long your yoke will be… Is it off? By how much?

  • Can you leave out the additional 1” of plain knitting? Could you remove part of the pattern (in this case, one set of the little fern frondy things?) to make the chart shorter?

This is a problem in raglan sweaters as well - I made the Winston sweater by Jane Richmond, and the Raglan ended too far down my body, and made a really awful boob-shelf. To fix it, I pulled out the whole bottom of the sweater (and the sleeves!), shortened the raglan, and reknit it. Now it looks great - I just wish I had looked more closely at it when I tried the sweater on after separating the sleeves the first time. I had a feeling the raglan was too deep for me, but ignored it and kept knitting.

Elizabeth Zimmermann, Knitting Without Tears, Chapter 4.
“Ode to the Seamless Sweater”, by Kathleen Cubley. Interweave Website. September 26th, 2014. https://www.interweave.com/article/knitting/ode-to-the-se...
“Lisa’s List: 6 Armholes and How to Make them Work for Your Body”, by Lisa Shroyer. Interweave Website. March 26th, 2019. https://www.interweave.com/article/knitting/lisas-list-6-...
Debbie Stoller, Stitch & Bitch: Superstar Knitting, page 143-145. Workman Publishing, Nov. 1, 2012

Store News 00:48:02:

Knit City Knit-A-Long

Knit a Sweater or Shawl to wear to Knit City (over 500m used)
To enter, check out the Vendor’s List for Knit City. You need to use yarn from one of the vendors OR a pattern from one of the vendors or teachers who are coming:
Andrea Mowry, Tin Can Knits, Josee Paquin, Puzzle Tree Yarns, Crafty JAKs, Julie Asselin, etc.
aA secret: Holst Garn counts because we always bring Holst to Knit City! ;)
Starts June 15th, ends on October 5th (Knit City Day 1!)
We will put up a thread for conversation; the FO thread will go up in a few weeks.

WCW Knit & Crochet Bingo!
We have taken down the Bingo boards; if you still want to register, email us for a bingo board. You need to declare your challenges when you register.

August Bingo Winner - please contact to arrange delivery of your prize!

All the details about our #wcwbingoalong are available in our Ravelry group, the Wet Coast Woolies.

Knitted Knocker KAL/CAL

Started on Sunday, September 1st!

In preparation for Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, we are partnering with the West Coast Knitters’ Guild to host a Knitted Knocker-a-Long in September.

Knitted and crocheted knockers are a handmade alternative to breast prosthetics. Made from 100% cotton, the knockers are lightweight, soft, and in some cases more wearable that other alternatives. For more information, visit KnittedknockersCanada.com, or KnittedKnockers.org.

We encourage everyone to knit or crochet a pair of Knitted Knockers and donate them to a local organization - we will collect them here at the store if you are in Vancouver. Knitted Knockers of Canada would prefer that you make the knockers with a soft cotton like Cascade Ultra Pima. You can use any colour (or combination of colours) that you like. We will link to the patterns in our thread - for Canadian Knocker, I understand that nipple-less knockers are preferred.

Please note: you do not need to stuff the Knockers. Thread the end of your yarn through the last round of live stitches, and then bring them in. Knitted Knockers will provide the stuffing, and they are usually left untied, so that women can remove or add stuffing as necessary.

There are Knitted Knocker groups all over the world, so if you want to take part and live outside of Canada or the US, please contact a local group and make sure that your knockers meet their requirements for patterns, materials, etc. (The .org site has a list of international groups)

The thread is up - there is a link in the thread to the pattern page for Knitted Knockers of Canada. If you go to the KnittedKnockers.org site, you can download a version of the pattern that starts on the back of the knocker - this is easier for most people to use.

We have a couple of prizes to give away for this KAL, thanks to Estelle Yarns of Canada. One will be for general participation, and we haven’t decided on how the second one will be awarded.