Arcadia Knitting

Welcome to the blog of Arcadia Knitting, Chicago's largest yarn store! Owned by sisters Kathy and Sharon Kelly, Arcadia has been serving the Chicago knitting and crocheting community for over six years. Keep up with shop news and read more about our ongoing adventures in yarn...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Letting Go

I've been away for awhile. Tons of things going on at the shop. A little surprise is coming your way. Tell your stash that it's days are numbered.

On the knitting front, I had to give up the Rowan #7 sweater. I COULD NOT GET THE LACE PATTERN. ONLY 2 ROWS IN THE PATTERN. ONLY 9 STITCHES IN THE REPEAT. I blame seasonal affective disorder. My mind was too muddled with the hell that was this winter. Eventually I moved on to a cardigan in the spring/summer 2009 Verena Magazine. It's a cardigan with a very basic 4 st cable on the body and sleeves and the yoke is a lacey pattern. It is worked from the bottom up and joined in one piece from the neck. I opted to make the bottom all in one piece. The pattern has short rows on the front and back before you join all pieces for the yoke. A very interesting thing to do which will make it fit better. The grey yarn looks great. I expect to be wearing this sweater for the next thirty years. Very classic.

Off topic but on all of our minds...THE WEATHER. For Pete's sake people it's 70, it snows, it's 60 , it rains, it's 40 and windy. That all happened in 1 1/2 days! Every morning this week I had to look at my coats and make a decision. I had three or four ways to go: heavier coat, lighter scarf, lighter coat, heavier scarf, umbrella yes/no, boots yes/no, gloves yes/no. Thankfully my new morning routine is yoga and green tea or I would be giant ball of stress before leaving the house.

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Disturbing Trend

I try to keep positive when I see knitting magazines and patterns and see all the hits and misses. There are things out there not to my taste. It is not my job to tell other people that it is ugly. I think about what a hampster wheel it is to finish one issue and have to go onto the next. But there is something else that I have begun to notice that I have to come out and say is wrong. I have seen lately in a number of magazines and books cardigan sweaters on models where the button band pulls and is gap-ey. Button bands are supposed to lie flat, not pull, not gap.

How do you prevent that? I would say in the case of the publications - use a model that fits in the sweater.

In the case of the individual knitter, here's a few tips:

Measure, measure, measure. Are you making the right size? Look at the finished bust. If the cardigan fits snugly on the model and the button band is gap-ey then there is no ease in the sweater. If you make a sweater with ease of 3 to 5 inches then it should not be too tight to button. Measure a sweater that fits the way you want this sweater to fit.

Is your front bigger than your back? Do you need to add on a few inches on the front? Sometimes you can make the front a size bigger than the back. You will have to fiddle on the shoulder but as long as your front isn't inches different than your back you can usually ease in an inch or so.

Look at how they have made the button band. Some button bands are knit as you go and others are added afterward. Garter stitch is not very firm. Going down a needle size or two or three will produce a much firmer fabric. If you can do a rib with twisted stitches that is very firm. If you can do a double thickness band, that is firmer. Or remember when people put a grosgrain ribbon on the back or front of the band? That was the function of the ribbon.


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