Episode 90: Filmed on Monday, January 20th, 2020. Delayed from last Wednesday due to a Snow Day!
Welcome to all our new and returning viewers! We are coming to you from Wet Coast Wools, a yarn store in the Kitsilano neighbourhood of Vancouver, BC.
Visit us online at www.wetcoastwools.com! We are WetCoastWools on all the things.
Sweater Segment: 00:53:57:18
Store News: 01:20:38:12
No one is wearing any knitting today!
b33-31 b Baby Talk Hat by DROPS design, knit in Drops Baby Merino in Amethyst. I used the cast on numbers, but then knit straight for 6 inches and then turned it inside out and did a 3-needle bind off. It’s modelled after the Koala Bear Hat and Coco Bear / Archie’s Hat so I added two mini pom poms. Still have a good portion of the ball left.
Hummingbird Feeder Cozy, designed by me in a panic to keep the little hummers alive in our snowpocalyse. The yarn is a merino alpaca blend of some sort that I had about 50gms of. No tag, but it’s a worsted weight.
Works in Progress
Christmas socks. Using the 2019 Rellana Garn Christmas yarn in the Metallic version.
197-29 b Purple Way Shawl, by DROPS design, knit in DROPS Alpaca in Light Camel, Turquoise, Dark Indigo, and Light Pearl Grey. Another store sample, plus it will count as my Mosaic Knit Bingo square! ;)
Skirt designing has begun! I’m using Briggs & Little Regal, and knitting at an 18 stitch gauge.
Three Topics Today!
1) One of our #wcwbingo2020 squares is to do a little FO Surgery, meaning that you can take an existing FO that has a problem, and do some work to make it wearable. One option for this is to remove the bottom of a sweater to lengthen it.
If it is a top-down sweater, just unpick your cast on, rip back, and then re-knit the bottom of the sweater to the correct length.
If it is a bottom-up sweater, the only option is to cut off the bottom, pick up the stitches, and re-knit the bottom. The easiest way to do this is to knit downward from the body of the sweater. This may off-set your stitches by half a stitch, but it shouldn’t be too noticeable once you are finished.
You CAN save the bottom edging, for example, if there is a lot of ribbing on the bottom that you don’t want to re-knit; but, it makes the job much more complicated. You will need to use kitchener stitch to join the pieces back together. This can be a little tricky, especially if your sweater is something other than just plain stocking stitch.
I have a Sweater Surgery video from 2016 on our youtube channel where I talk about how I did this on my purple cabled hoodie. The sweater has about 4” of ribbing, and I was too lazy to re-knit that. Instead, I knit downward from the main part of the sweater, and then grafted the tops of those stitches to the tops of the stitches on the ribbing section. This worked, creating only half a stitch offset between the top and bottom pieces of the sweater. I think this is the easiest way to approach this, because you are using standard kitchener stitch to do it.
Last week, we had a customer who was trying to do a similar thing with a sweater that had wide ribs and cables in it. She cut off the sweater bottom, and then knit upward from the bottom edge to add the extra length. When she went to graft the two pieces together, she was connecting the tops of the lower stitches to the bottoms of the upper stitches, using standard grafting instructions (modified slightly to suit the ribbing, of course). Something kept going wrong, and creating a very big offset in the stitch alignment - always at least one stitch, sometimes 2 stitches. We kept trying to fix it, but didn’t have much luck. In the end, she decided to frog the bottom piece, and re-knit the lower edge of the sweater by working downward (ie: upside down) from the botttoms of the body stitches. She took it on holiday to finish, so I haven’t seen it, but hopefully the jog will be less obvious this way. I will report back on how her sweater turns out!
I have looked into this a bit - it IS possible to join the top of stitches to the bottoms of other stitches, but you have to modify the kitchener stitch process a little. This article from Interweave knits helps to explain it: https://www.interweave.com/article/knitting/5-grafting-myths-myth-2/
It’s a little too complicated to explain here, but essentially you have to change the order of how you work the stitches. In typical Kitchener Stitch (where you are attaching tops to tops), you work front needle, front needle, back needle, back needle.
For top-to-bottom grafting, it goes front needle, back needle, back needle, front needle. I recommend reading the article to understand it…
If you are trying to graft fabric other than stocking stitch, I found this calculator that lets you enter your stitch fabric, and it will spit out instructions on how to work your graft to keep it in pattern - ribbing, lace, cables, etc. (not the cable twist row, of course - don’t try to graft that row!)
We can talk more about grafting if you like… or would you rather we make a separate video about it?
2) Question from jmouratis:
Can you talk about armpits!! I know some people pick up extra stitches to remove the gaps (on sweaters in the round) and then decrease them when working the sleeves, and others tidy up with their yarn ends while weaving them in. What do you recommend? Any other tips/tricks to make the armpits look better?
Glenda: I think the pack is divided on this one. Some people will argue that picking up stitches is the solution, while others will argue that picking up those extra stitches forces the gap to open up and allow the stitches to be made, thereby making the problem worse.
I’m not sure I have a precise answer - I pick up one stitch for every one that you cast on under the arm, and then pick up the stitches that are being held on the scrap yarn. I leave long tails on the sleeve yarn, and sew the holes as necessary. You can also use a tapestry needle to pull out the slack on any stretched stitches around the armholes, and then sew up the gaps after doing this.
Don’t be afraid to pick up extra stitches if you think they are necessary - for example, I have seen sweaters that cast on 6 stitches under the arm, but only pick up 4 of them. In that case, go ahead and pick up those extra stitches!
3) Question from Kathleen188:
I have a commercial knit aran sweater I bought in Ireland that is too long for me and sucks in with the ribbing under my butt. It is not a flattering look! I’m wondering how I should shorten it and what you recommend. And how do I know what size needles to use?
First step, wash and block the cardigan! I have one of these which I bought in Ireland when I was 20. I hadn’t worn it for years because it was too big, and the ribbing was too tight. I blocked the sweater and it grew about 5 inches in length - it was purchased as an ‘oversize’ sweater, but now one front is almost as wide as all of me! I wear the sweater mostly at home, almost like a housecoat.
If you want to shorten your sweater, you are probably going to have to cut it with scissors. Cut one stitch, then pick out the yarn one stitch at a time, using a tapestry needle to help you. You need to make sure that you catch every single body stitch, so make sure to do this slowly, and with good lighting. Transfer the live stitches to a small needle (2-3mm or so) so that you don’t cause them to unravel as you force them on to a bigger needle.
If this is an Aran sweater, I’m guessing the yarn is something close to a worsted. You should be able to look at a single stitch and get a feel for how thick the yarn is. Err on the side of smaller needles, and maybe go for a 4.5mm or so… If you plan to re-knit the bottom of the sweater to add ribbing or something, you will need to wash the yarn before working with it. Wind it on to your swift, or around the legs of a chair or something, secure the skein with the ends of the yarn, and then drop the whole thing into a sink of water. Hang to dry and the weight of the water dripping out will help straighten the yarn. You can then try swatching with the yarn to help choose a needle size.
The traditional rule for sweaters was to knit the bottom ribbing with a needle that was 2 sizes smaller than the main needle. You do not need to do this - just re-knit a ribbing on the same needle as the main sweater and it shouldn’t pull in nearly as much.
I think shortening the sweater shouldn’t be too hard, but I have no idea how to fix ginormous sleeves like the ones on my sweater. I have chosen to embrace it, and wear it over my other sweaters. Maybe one day I will try to felt it, but I don’t think that will happen. ;)
WCW Bingo-A-Long 2020
Reminder - you must enter your challenges by the end of the month. If you are playing two boards, don’t forget to tell us what your challenges are for both!
We are now starting Bingo 2020! The board is available for download from our store website.There are 2 challenge squares again, and you need to sign up and declare your challenges by the end of January.
The rules for bingo are as follows:
You must declare your two challenges by January 31st.
You must create 24 unique projects - one project can only count for one square on the board!
Please join the group in order to play along
You need to have Ravelry project pages for each of your projects.
Glenda is compiling a list of all the participants, please go and make sure that your challenges are listed correctly. If you declared more than 2 challenges, I just listed the first two - tell me if you want to make any changes. (tag me in your post, so I am sure to see it)
Your challenges cannot be the same as things that are already on the board, unless you plan to do two of those things. Someone is making three christmas stockings, for example; one is for the ‘winter holiday’ item, the other 2 are for the challenge square.
You can keep moving around your FOs until you declare a completed row. Once you claim a row, those items have to stay in their assigned squares!
2 Important New Rules:
You need to be a member of the Group to play.
You must have Ravelry pages for your projects, and link to them when posting your completed rows. We need to be able to see that you have actually finished your projects.
In Episode 89 we gave some notes notes on special squares. You can go back and review that if you like; the info is also in the Ravelry thread. Here are some new notes from questions that have been asked in the Ravelry thread.
Textured Yarn: This is your chance to get creative and knit with all those cringe-worthy or undervalued gems like faux fur, eyelash yarn, raffia, paper, those old school netted mesh yarns that you can still find in the Dress Sew Discount room! Basically, if it doesn’t look “normal”, you know you’re on the right track for this square!
Breed Specific: We want to encourage you to find those rare, small breeds of sheep that are harder to come by ex: BFL, Masham, Wensleydale, Corriedale, Targhee - your yarn doesn’t have to be 100% this, but it should come from a sheep! If you are a spinner, this is a great chance to try something new and different - but you do need to knit with the hand-spun yarn in order to make it count!
Project Surgery: Remember, you cannot make a new item one way and then alter it (ex: by steeking) to make it functional. This square should be reserved for that loved but never used item that’s not quite right. Maybe the sleeves are too big, or the colourwork went off somewhere, or maybe you need to re-knit the toes or heels because the fit is off- something needs to be changed!
This does not mean you have to necessarily cut your project, it just means you are making a substantial adjustment through frogging and/or cutting and re-knitting etc. (just doing machine sewing or darning holes doesn’t count! You have to work for it, earn that bingo square! It’s supposed to be a challenge, not a walk in the park :D)
’Different style’ - Continental, Portuguese, Throwing, etc. Knit a full project using something other that the one you normally use. We are accepting learning to knit backwards as a new form of knitting.
‘Choose your own Challenge’ squares - Decide what you want to do, and tell us by January 31st. This can be to finish a specific project, or try a certain skill, or anything you like. Please keep with the spirit of the game, and actually make it a challenge for you and your skill level.
Your challenge square cannot be the same as something that is already on the board, UNLESS you plan to do a more complicated version of this, AND you will be making two of them. For example, you can knit one pair of plain vanilla cuff-down socks for the ‘Make Socks’ square, and then learn how to do toe-up socks for your challenge.
Happy Knitting Everyone!