Pattern Pick: Perfect Poncho by Carol Beliveau Designs

Perfect Poncho

Perfect Poncho
by Carol Beliveau Designs

This is the Perfect Poncho, so beautiful and warm. You could wear this every where. The pattern is simply gorgeous and is the perfect size. It is a one size fits all but you can certainly add inches to the length if you so desire to have it longer. (just make sure you order the extra ball or two of yarn if you do) I love that it covers the butt area and is perfect so you don’t sit on a cold car seat. Alpaca makes this nice and warm but substitute with your favorite yarn. . . . >

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Pattern Pick: Cosette by Wood House Knits

Cosette-Ad

Cosette
by Wood House Knits

Cosette is a sweet, lovely cardigan as fresh as spring. I named it Cosette because I was listening to Les Miserables while knitting it. It describes Cosette blooming into a beautiful young woman like the blooming flowers in the garden. The cables transitioning into lace in the stitch pattern is like flowers blooming from the cables.

This cardigan is constructed from the top down in one piece with saddle shoulders and set-in sleeves. The shoulders are shaped by short rows. . . . >

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Product Pick: A Ghastlie Night Knitting Bag Apron by KOALA Caddie™

A Ghastlie Night Knitting Bag Apron

A Ghastlie Night Knitting Bag Apron
by KOALA Caddie™

SAVE $10 thru 6/30 on our best-selling Ghastlie Night KOALA Caddie. It is available in sage green, mauve & gray, with a choice of satin lining color. A neat combination of craft apron & knitting bag, the Caddie keeps projects and yarn free from fur, soil, spillovers & tedious transfers. It adjusts in width and length, has extra long ties and an inner pocket. Etsy Review: “5 out of 5 stars - It is absolutely gorgeous! I am over the moon with the quality and ingenious idea.” Free U.S. shipping. . . . >

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Product Pick: HiyaHiya Sharp Sock Interchangeable Set from Knit Bin

HiyaHiya Sharp Sock Interchangeable Set

HiyaHiya Sharp Sock Interchangeable Set
from Knit Bin

High quality HiyaHiya stainless steel interchangeable needles are now available in small sock knitting sizes! The sharp tips are great for increasing, decreasing, and intricate stitch patterns. Flexible cables, and near perfect joins. Five tip sizes (US 0 to 2.5), 4 cables, tip adapter, and grips included. Case is optional. See the Knit Bin website for more details. . . . >

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FREE Pattern Pick: Posh One-Ball Cowl by SweaterBabe.com

Posh One-Ball Cowl

FREE Pattern Pick: 
Posh One-Ball Cowl
by SweaterBabe.com
(free ONLY until 6/30/16. On Ravelry too.)

Here's a super quick-knit cowl in a great yarn from Malabrigo yarns that is surprisingly soft and light. Knit this cowl up quickly on size 10 ½ needles in the round, with a visually gratifying stitch that uses cable knitting techniques to create a pretty, embossed diamond design. A ribbed band gathers the cowl on one side for a perfectly-cinched look. This unisex cowl is easy to wear and easy to gift! . . . >

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Why do I have to do a Gauge Swatch?

Should I check my knitting gauge?

"Do I really need to knit a gauge swatch?"

It's a common question when you knit from a published pattern.

And even me, a (ahem!) well-seasoned knitter, will try to skip knitting a gauge swatch whenever possible. But here are FOUR scenarios where you might not want to skip this important step (sorry!):

ONE: When the finished size matters

The biggest lesson I've learned from past projects gone wrong is that if you really want a finished project to fit correctly, take the time to do the gauge swatch! And I don't mean CO and measure after you've knit a few rows. This is a situation where you will be spending HOURS lovingly knitting a sweater, vest, or what have you, for yourself or a deserving friend or relative. If the end result does not fit - how annoying would that be? To give yourself the best assurance that your finished measurements will match what the pattern has intended, follow these steps to properly swatch: Whispering Leaves Lace Top-Down CardiganFor example, it'd be a real shame if this slim-fitting cardigan was knit up in the wrong gauge - resulting in a cardigan that's too tight or baggy!

    1) With the suggested yarn (or a similar yarn in weight and look and feel if you are substituting) and suggested needle size, knit up a swatch that is at least 4" x 4" in the specified stitch pattern that the gauge is given in.

    2) BO the swatch and then block it however you will plan to block the finished item. You might even wash it if it's to be a often washed item. 

    3) After it's fully dry, unpin and measure it on a flat surface. A tape measure, ruler, or special gauge measuring tools (like the 2 shown here) are all fine.  You can use sewing pins to mark the 0" point and then the 3", 4", 5", or more point (choose whichever of those inch measurements lands most precisely between 2 sts, rather than in the middle of one since trying to count partial sts is too inaccurate).Should I check my knitting gauge?

    4) If you have more sts per inch than the pattern's stated gauge, re-swatch with a bigger needle size. If you have less sts per inch than the pattern's stated gauge, re-swatch with a smaller needle size.  Repeat these last 4 steps until you match gauge.

    5) At any point, if you don't like how the swatch is looking (at gauge or even before you get gauge) you might decide to try a different yarn. Swatching gives you the chance to test out the yarn with the stitch pattern and at the gauge needed by the pattern. 

    6) Once you've figured out what needle size will give you the exact gauge needed by the pattern, you can proceed. Hint: I will still measure as I go to double check that my gauge is good . . . it's never too late to turn back if you see a big problem!

REMEMBER - even being a half stitch off can make enough of a difference in the finished size (esp. for a fitted sweater) that you won't want to skip this step. For example, if the sweater is 4 sts to the inch, but you are knitting at 3.5 sts to the inch. . .  over a 40" bust, that's say 160 sts. With the slightly off gauge of 3.5, those 160 sts at the bust now measures 45 ¾", which turns a fitted sweater into a baggy one. 

    7) Matching the pattern's exact row gauge is generally not as important as getting the right stitch gauge, but it does depend on the pattern. Needing to work a few extra or less rows here and there won't matter for most patterns, but read through your pattern and you might decide it matter enough to change yarns.

TWO: When you are substituting a yarn

This is probably the most common reason to knit a swatch. You'll be able to check your gauge AND test if you like the look and feel of the yarn for the pattern. Different textures will result if your yarn weight is a little different, if the yarn content is different, if you are using a smooth yarn vs. a textured one, etc. Swatching is the BEST way to decide if you like your yarn choice before you've knit (or purchased!) a bunch.

THREE: When you might not have enough yarn

Yardage estimates in patterns are BASED on the stated gauge! Particularly for patterns that are "one-ball" patterns, you can't expect the yardage estimate to be accurate if you are knitting at a different gauge. For example, if the pattern gauge is 4 sts per inch and you are knitting at 3.5 sts per inch, you will end up with a larger scarf (or whatever) than intended in the pattern. You'll definitely use up more yards of the yarns to finish the instructions, so plan accordingly. Many published patterns will pad their yardage estimates 10-15%, but that is not an industry standard you can rely on. PLUS, yardage estimates on ball bands are estimates based on the weight of the ball or hank, so there's always some room for error there too.

FOUR: When there are new stitch patterns or techniques in the pattern

Challenging yourself with a new and interesting stitch pattern with this new project? Swatching in that pattern will allow you to learn it before you work it in the actual project. Maybe you'll discover that it's too easy (and therefore "boring") or too hard (which means frustration and/or ripping out rows later). Great things to discover while swatching vs. after you've already started the project!

Hope the above has been helpful. While I'm with you in wanting to skip the step of checking gauge, I'm too aware of the risks, so I almost always swatch first!

FYI - All of my SweaterBabe patterns state the gauge on the pattern sell pages. I find that it helps my customers to select their yarns for my patterns. 

OTHER RANDOM TIPS ON GAUGE:

Why is it better to measure across 3 or 4+" vs. 1 or 2"? Less room for error and/or slight inconsistency in knitting tension or stitches. If you measure across just 1" of sts, you may not get an accurate measure that would match if you measured 1" elsewhere. But measuring over 4" or more of sts will average out all those slight variations.

Don't measure too close to the CO, BO, or the edges. How loosely or tightly you CO or BO could skew your measurement, so measure in the middle for best results. This is also why you don't measure when sts are still on the needle, as how they are spread out or bunched up on your needle can skew your measurements easily (plus, you're supposed to block the swatch first!)

Pattern gauges will not always be to the 4" measure.  . .  sometimes, a true gauge will be something like 23 sts = 5", or 4.6 sts = 1". This does not convert nicely to a 4" measure, as it would have to say 18.4 sts = 4". How does one measure 18.4 sts??

Try to swatch using the actual needles you'll use for knitting the project. For some people, their knitting tension (and therefore their gauge) will vary on bamboo needles vs. ultra smooth aluminum, etc. Even working in the round vs. rows can change your gauge a little.

Happy Successful Knitting!


Gorgeous One-Ball Knitting Projects!

One_Ball

One-Ball Knitting Projects are ALWAYS on my needles. I LOVE to use up stash yarn and have a project that's pretty quick to knit for fast gratification! Plus, I always need a few projects that are grab and go. Whether I'm in the school pick-up line, or at one of my kid's classes, I like to get my knitting in whenever possible, don't you?

Above are some great One-Ball Projects. Want more options? Check out the FULL selection of One-Ball Knitting Patterns or One and Two-Ball Knitting Patterns.

[shown above, left to right, top to bottom]

  1. #200 Woohoo Pompom Hat. Fun to knit and fun to wear! Also on Ravelry.

  2. #211 Chalice One-Ball Scarf. Beautiful lace that is surprisingly simple to do. Charted and written out. Also on Ravelry.

  3. #160 Meandering Cables One-Ball Hat. Chunky cables knit up into this warm, cozy hat. Also on Ravelry.

  4. #231 Adina One-Ball Scarf - a NEW RELEASE! Gossamer, all-over lace with uniquely rounded ends. Also on Ravelry.

  5. #193 "Don't Ruche Me, I'm Knitting" Scarf. A MKAL winner! Lace and some strategic shaping to create the ruched look on the ends. Also on Ravelry.

  6. #207 Quick Chunky Book Cuffs. Fast and great for topping your boots! Also on Ravelry.

  7. #225 The One Hat. Oh so knitable - I made four of these in 2 days! Also on Ravelry.

  8. #214 Shawl-Collared Shrugette. A lovely option to feel a little more covered up when wearing skinny-strapped tops. Also on Ravelry.


Cable blankets worthy of your knitting needles!

gorgeous cable blanket knitting patterns


Lush cable knit blankets are a true luxury to knit and cuddle under! Here are some stunners that will be sure to receive the proper oohs and aahs when gifted or sighted on your couch!

  1. #223 Marrakech. An instantly best-selling pattern that will earn you tons of compliments! The cable design is actually quite easy to learn, with impressive results.  Baby, Crib, and Throw sizes included in pattern. Also on Ravelry.

  2. #204 Threaded Cable Throw. A richly textured throw that will elevate any home decor. Wide, uniquely threaded diamond cable panels run the length of this gorgeous piece. Also on Ravelry.

  3. #189 Travelling Cables Blanket. Simple cable crosses combine with lace to create textural results! Pattern includes 4 blanket sizes, from baby to throw. Also on Ravelry.

  4. #218 Pendants Blanket. An eye-catching overall cable pattern makes this blanket a must-knit! Pattern includes baby, lap, and throw sizes. Be sure to check out the hack that allows you to transform the baby blanket into a chic cardigan! Also on Ravelry.

Shop ALL Blanket knitting patterns on SweaterBabe.com.

Shop ALL knitting patterns on SweaterBabe's Ravelry Pattern Shop.

 


Product Pick: Knitting Bag Apron by KOALA Caddie™

Knitting Bag Apron

Knitting Bag Apron
by KOALA Caddie™

If you invest in fine yarn and love challenging patterns, then YOU deserve a KOALA Caddie. This unique knitting accessory will help you maximize your time and protect your work from fur, soil & transfers. I make each Caddie by hand, using the finest fabric, thread and accents. One Etsy buyer wrote: “Absolutely the greatest knitting bag ever! So well made and versatile. I love it!” The Caddie shown here features the rare Paw Prints of Egypt fabric and, as with most, is in limited supply. ~ Mary . . . >

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Pattern Pick: Perfect Poncho by Carol Beliveau Designs

Perfect Poncho

Perfect Poncho
by Carol Beliveau Designs

This is the Perfect Poncho, so beautiful and warm. You could wear this every where. The pattern is simply gorgeous and is the perfect size. It is a one size fits all but you can certainly add inches to the length if you so desire to have it longer. (just make sure you order the extra ball or two of yarn if you do) I love that it covers the butt area and is perfect so you don’t sit on a cold car seat. Make one for all your friends and family! . . . >

get pattern link

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