Category Archives: Knit

Sweet Love Note success

I finished knitting my Love Note sweater the other night. I would have finished sooner, but I couldn’t decide how long I wanted my sleeves. I finished them several times.

Magic loop

I didn’t enjoy knitting the sleeves using magic loop; I’m not sure why not. Maybe because I had a 40” cable, and it might have been more comfortable with a longer cable or 2 circulars? With coronavirus lockdowns, it would have taken longer than I wanted to get more needles, so I just slogged on.

The pattern has the sleeves ending just below the elbow, but that made everything congregate visually around my waist. No thank you! I tried 3/4 length (mid-forearm) but DH said it just looked like my sleeves were too short. I eventually settled on bracelet length, ending above my wristbone, not quite full length. Short sleeves might have worked, too, but I wasn’t going to rip them all the way back; those sleeves were hard earned.

Love Note sweater

I finished at 1 a.m. Then I put it on, and ended up reading ‘til 2 a.m. because I didn’t want to take it off to go to bed. I think that’s a win!

Love Note sweater with helpful knitting cat

Calvin and I took careful measurements because I wanted to wet block it and still have it be exactly the same size when it was done. Superwash yarn is notoriously stretchy when wet, but in my experience it generally bounces back to the same size when dry. You just have to not freak out when you see how big it grows when wet!

I didn’t make a real swatch for this sweater, but I started it 3 times, which means I really made two huge swatches before knitting this sweater. I didn’t wash and block a swatch though, so I didn’t really know how it would turn out, although I could make an educated guess. Do as I say, not as I do! As long as you’re willing to live with the consequences, it’s knitter’s choice.

I definitely got familiar with the fabric on different sized needles! I used a US 9 for the upper body and lace, a US 10 for the stockinette body and sleeves, a US 8 for the bottom ribbing and sleeve ribbing, and a US 7 for the neck because it was above the US 9 lace. A US 8 probably would have been fine for the neck; I just didn’t think of it.

Love note sweater blocking outdoors

It was nice enough to block outdoors, so I took full advantage. And it did stretch when wet. I patted it carefully into approximately the right size. It was about an inch longer than I wanted, but it did bounce back perfectly when dry. Whew!

Finished sweater is 40” around for 3” of ease; I was knitting the 41.5” size. No hi-low hem, just cropped. I love the way it fits; the recommended 7” of ease would have been ridiculous on me. I take patterns as a general suggestion, a starting point for negotiation. This is a great pattern by Tin Can Knits.

Love Note lace detail

The mohair makes the lace a bit fuzzy, but it’s pretty anyway. Now I have to find something to wear it with. I’m glad I found a project for these two retreat souvenir yarns!

I’m almost finished with Minerva; soon I’ll have nothing on the needles again. But I have a couple ideas…

Are you feeling more productive with social/physical distancing, or less? I was feeling pretty scattered for a few weeks. I could manage tasks that were already planned out, like knitting something designed by someone else, or even designed by me that was already on the needles, or making videos for Minerva, or sewing face masks, or baking from recipes. But I couldn’t wrap my head around something that requires a big burst of creativity, like designing something new.

I hope that finishing these projects will give me enough head space to spark creativity. If not, I could always knit…another Love Note. In DK. Yes, I love it that much.

Love Note update: Neckline, and Sleeve Island

I finished the body of my Love Note, guessing on length based on my Soldotna Crop. I wanted it to be one inch longer than that. (I love my Soldotna Crop, but wasn’t willing to buy a whole skein of yarn just to knit one more inch.) I am opting to not do the short row shaping at the hem; I just want the sweater to be the same length all the way around.

I decided to finish the neckline before moving on to the sleeves, for two reasons. The first reason: I want to know just how much yarn I have left for the sleeves, in case I have to make them shorter than the pattern suggests. Yarn chicken is a common game around here.

The other reason: I wanted to know exactly how long my sweater is, and I couldn’t know that without finishing the neck, because everything hangs from there.

The first time I finished, I realized I hated the round crew neckline around my neck! It made me feel claustrophobic. No thank you! I don’t even have a picture; I frogged that back in the middle of the night.

I thought about how comfortable the provisional cast on was when I tried it on for length. The instructions have a round of decreases, and then on to the ribbed neck.

Waiting with provisional cast on

I ripped back to the neckline decreases, so it’s still not as wide as it was with just the provisional cast on, but a reasonable width. Then I worked 7 rounds of stockinette on the smaller needle. This rolls *away* from my neck, and is a little wider than the ribbed neck (ribbing pulls in more), which makes me very happy. This is basically the same treatment I gave my Stopover sweaters. Winning!

Purple Love Note sweater

I weighed my remaining yarn, and now I’m knitting down the first sleeve.

Purple Love Note in progress

I’m at the point where it reminds me of “The Wild Swans” by Hans Christian Andersen. Do you remember that story, where the last sweater isn’t quite finished, and the last brother has one wing and one arm?

What are you knitting right now?

How’s your Minerva KAL progress?

I haven’t been knitting a lot; I got sidetracked by sewing face masks this weekend. More on that later.

Minerva KAL progress

But I love how entrelac gives me a little feeling of victory, each time I finish a rectangle or triangle. Progress! I can tell as I cycle through my colors that I’m getting somewhere. And I love seeing what’s to come, too. My Huckleberry Knits DK Gradient is knitting up into a shimmering rainbow, rather than individual squares, just as I envisioned.

How are *you* doing with yours? Do you have any questions? The pattern is meant to stand on its own, but my little video tutorials can help light your way.

If you’ve downloaded the pattern, please do give Minerva a try. I offered special introductory pricing as a way to help in these troubling pandemic times. I’d love to know that it’s helping you! Please post your projects on Ravelry or Instagram and let me know. Use hastags #pdxknitterati and #minervakal2020 so I can find them on IG.

The Minerva Entrelac Cowl or Scarf pattern is available through Ravelry. Come knit with me!

Previous Minerva KAL 2020 posts:
Introducing Minerva Entrelac Cowl/Scarf and KAL
Minerva KAL: Choosing your yarn
Minerva KAL: Casting On
Minerva KAL: Base Triangles
Minerva KAL: Tier 2
Minerva KAL: Finishing Tier 2

Minerva KAL: Finishing Tier 2

Oh, that last bit, the right edge triangle. It sounds a little tricksy at the end, but it’s not hard. Just keep following the directions, to the end, which is a slightly tricky part. Here’s a video for you:

Then it’s on to Tier 3, which is a piece of cake! 🍰

When you’re finishing Tier 4, with another right edge triangle, picking up the last stitch can be a little tricky. I like to pick up here, in the outside of the first V on the outside edge, so the corner of the triangle doesn’t stick out as a bump on the lovely straight edge.

Now it’s just a matter of knitting away and watching your colors change. Have fun!

Entrelac knitting

You can find the Minerva pattern here on Ravelry. Come knit with me!

If you’re on Ravelry, please make a project page for your Minerva; I’d love to see them there. Ravelry makes it so easy to find them all together. And post on Instagram using #minervakal2020 and #pdxknitterati too. I love seeing your progress.

Just keep knitting…

Edited to add:
All Minerva KAL 2020 posts:
Introducing Minerva Entrelac Cowl/Scarf and KAL
Minerva KAL: Choosing your yarn
Minerva KAL: Casting On
Minerva KAL: Base Triangles
Minerva KAL: Tier 2
Minerva KAL: Finishing Tier 2

Minerva KAL: Tier 2

How are your base triangles looking? Not really triangles, are they? But they’re close enough, and they’ll look good as we go on.

I forgot to ask: If you’re on Ravelry, please make a project page for your Minerva; I’d love to see them there. Ravelry makes it so easy to find them all together. And please post your progress on Instagram using #minervakal2020 and #pdxknitterati so I can see them there, too.

Here’s a short video on how to start the left edge triangle.

And here’s a video on picking up stitches for the first right leaning rectangle.

You can find the Minerva pattern here on Ravelry. Come knit with me!

Knit on…

Edited to add:
All Minerva KAL 2020 posts:
Introducing Minerva Entrelac Cowl/Scarf and KAL
Minerva KAL: Choosing your yarn
Minerva KAL: Casting On
Minerva KAL: Base Triangles
Minerva KAL: Tier 2
Minerva KAL: Finishing Tier 2

Minerva KAL: Base Triangles!

Did you cast on and purl your setup row?

I used a crochet chain provisional cast on. If you’re doing it right, you’ll see the chain. See on the last 3 stitches, I did it wrong? Don’t do that!

Here’s a short video to walk you through the beginning of the first row.

And a video of the transition between the first and next triangle.

Let me know how you’re doing with your project; post on Instagram and use #minervakal2020 and #pdxknitterati so I can see them. And please make a Ravelry page for your project if you’re a Raveler; I love being able to check in on your projects. And post on your blog if you’re a blogger and let me know!

I’m using a bit of Knit Picks Chroma Worsted, I think in Pegasus, to show you this beginning, because I already used my Huckleberry Knits Gradient to do a little knitting last night. I had a Zoom meeting with the knitters who were going to come to my Minerva class that I had to cancel, so it’s a bit ahead of where we are right now.

Biscuit helped me set up my workspace. She was ready for her closeup, under the warm Ott light!

We had a good meeting, but it sure is a lot harder to have a knitting class when you can’t touch the other people’s knitting! And one on one is easier than a large group. So in a pinch, Zoom for sure. But I’d always choose in-person over virtual meeting, if possible.

If you want to join the Minerva KAL, you can find the Minerva pattern here on Ravelry.

If you need a private lesson or tutorial via Zoom, I can arrange that! Shoot me a message.

Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises. ~ Elizabeth Zimmermann

Edited to add:
All Minerva KAL 2020 posts:
Introducing Minerva Entrelac Cowl/Scarf and KAL
Minerva KAL: Choosing your yarn
Minerva KAL: Casting On
Minerva KAL: Base Triangles
Minerva KAL: Tier 2
Minerva KAL: Finishing Tier 2

Syncopated brioche tutorial

Planning for a Minerva KAL cast on tomorrow, which is Wednesday. Is anyone else having issues of not knowing what day it is, while working from home? What yarn are you using? Color changing? Or do you want to do stripes and sew in all those ends? Knitter’s choice!

While you’re off picking yarn for Minerva, let’s have a look at some brioche. You know brioche is never far from my mind.

If you’ve become comfortable with 2 color brioche rib, you may be wondering what else can you do with it. Let’s syncopate!

What is syncopated brioche? It’s a simple switching from brioche knit to brioche purl, or vice versa, within the row or round. What happens when you do that?

This! See where I changed from knitting with the blue yarn in the rib stitches, to purling with the blue yarn at the leafy border? The blue purl stitches sink into the background in the border. And I switched from purling with the yellow yarn in the ribbing to knitting with the yellow yarn at the leafy border. The knit stitches always stand out more than the purl stitches in brioche rib, so the knit stitch yarn will be your featured color.

Here’s the back of that same sample.

And here’s where two edges meet on my Syncopation Shawl, the leafy side border and the wide ending of this asymmetric triangle shawl.

Here it is in the scarf version of Syncopation.

I made a little video tutorial to explain what happens at that dividing point in syncopated brioche.

Let me know if you find it helpful. And if you’re not a knitter, you can just listen to me yammer soothingly while we all practice social distancing!

Lovenote Sweater update

While you’re busy choosing yarn for the MinervaKAL2020, I thought I’d show you where I am with my Love Note sweater. I had put it on hold while I finished my Noro Minerva sample, but now I have time to get back to it.

I love the better lace definition on US 9 needles, and I’ve gone back to US 10 for the body because I like the floaty quality of the stockinette that way. Yes, I did knit stockinette on the 9 for an inch or so, and didn’t like the way it felt, so there was a little more frogging.

I still don’t really know what my gauge is, but I put it on 2 circulars and tried it on, and it is a much better size than the first one! I know, do as I say, not as I do as far as gauge swatching for sweaters goes. As long as you’re willing to live with the consequences, you can do whatever you want! You could say that my first two attempts at this sweater were giant gauge swatches, themselves.

The first time I tried to get an update picture, Calvin wanted to help. There’s not enough contrast between rug and sweater, but I love this picture anyway. It was his one year anniversary with us, and he has been very charming since day one.

It’s a rainy day here, after a stretch of glorious sunshine. Today’s to do list:

  • Learn how to use Instagram Stories (don’t laugh; I’ve been resisting
  • Learn how to use Zoom on my laptop (for singing and knitting?)
  • Try sewing some masks using this tutorial (haven’t used my sewing machine in a long time, hope it’s in good form!)

What are you doing during this time of social distancing? Let’s flatten that curve!

Minerva KAL: Choosing your yarn

Let’s talk about yarn. For the Minerva samples shown here, we’ve used worsted weight yarns with a long slow color change. The colors are constantly shifting, but not as quickly as in a variegated yarn. The show color shift makes each block look like a separate color. But the yarn has done all the work; you don’t have a million ends to sew in. (Side note: Today is Calvin’s Gotcha Day anniversary; he’s been part of our family for one year. He’s a love bug!)

These two cowls are knit with Knit Picks Chroma Worsted. Chroma is a mirrored gradient, so the color change in one direction, and then back, around a central color.

This cowl is knit with Noro Silk Garden, a worsted to Aran weight yarn. Noro yarns have delightful color changes. Other options are Berroco Millefiori, Cascade Melilla, and Plymouth Gina.

If you don’t mind sewing in more ends, you could choose two or more colors, and knit each tier in stripes of color. You could even knit an entrelac rainbow! But you’d have a lot of ends to sew in.

For the KAL, I’m planning to knit with a slightly lighter weight yarn, Huckleberry Knits American Dream DK in the Practical Tactical Brilliance colorway. This is the same colorway I used for my Aspen scarf, and I love how it transitions in a continuous rainbow. I won’t get individually colored squares, but I’m hoping for a shimmering rainbow progression. We shall see! The DK yarn will give me a slightly narrower cowl (my worsted version is 8” wide) but I’ll be perfectly happy with that.

What yarn are you choosing for your Minerva? Cowl or scarf? See pattern for yardage information. You can find the Minerva pattern here on Ravelry.

Next up: cast ons!

Edited to add:
All Minerva KAL 2020 posts:
Introducing Minerva Entrelac Cowl/Scarf and KAL
Minerva KAL: Choosing your yarn
Minerva KAL: Casting On
Minerva KAL: Base Triangles
Minerva KAL: Tier 2
Minerva KAL: Finishing Tier 2

Introducing: Minerva Entrelac Cowl/Scarf and KAL

Minerva is an entrelac cowl or scarf, knit flat. She’s a twist on my Athena Cowl, which is knit in the round. You can choose your pricing; see below.

Why knit a round cowl flat? To learn all the elements you need to know for any entrelac project, and to avoid a huge game of yarn chicken on a long scarf or loop cowl knit lengthwise! Entrelac looks like it’s woven, but it’s just a lot of squares and triangles, knit one at a time. You’ll want to knit just one more square…

Knit to the length you like! Samples shown in worsted weight yarn, but I’ll be knitting one in Huckleberry Knits American Dream DK for a KAL.

Short cowls, steam or wet blocked

100g/200 yards will give you a short cowl.

Noro Silk Garden, 115 g (2.3 balls)

I used 115g of Noro Silk Garden for the longer cowl. 200g/400 yards of Noro will give you a 60″ scarf or cowl.

Test knitter Paula Sadler’s Minerva Scarf, 4 balls of Noro Silk Garden

I’m planning a KAL during this time of social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Come knit with me at a distance! I’ll be posting the updates here on my blog. I’ll also be posting pictures on social media; I’m @pdxknitterati on Instagram, and PDXKnitterati on Facebook. Use #minervakal2020 and #pdxknitterati on Instagram. I’ll help you through the tricky spots!

The Minerva pattern is available through Ravelry Minerva Entrelac Cowl or Scarf (Ravelry link).

Let me know if you’d like to learn entrelac with me. I’ll post soon about choosing yarn and getting started.

Thanks to tech editor Meaghan Schmaltz, and test knitters Kristine Alcade, Ann Berg, Anne Fields, and Paula Sadler.

Edited to add:

All Minerva KAL 2020 posts:
Introducing Minerva Entrelac Cowl/Scarf and KAL
Minerva KAL: Choosing your yarn
Minerva KAL: Casting On
Minerva KAL: Base Triangles
Minerva KAL: Tier 2
Minerva KAL: Finishing Tier 2