Log in

Secretions [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

[ website | flickr ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

I've Moved!! [May. 10th, 2009|11:26 am]
I made a move not long ago over to Wordpress. So long, LJ, I'll still use you to eavesdrop on various communities...I just won't post patterns or blogs or much of anything anymore...:
Link1 bear|Dancing bears?

Garter Stitch Swingy-Sweater [Jan. 20th, 2009|02:15 pm]
Requested by some nice folks on Ravelry...

Yarn: Vanna’s Choice Solid…or any worsted weight yarn you prefer.
Gauge: Approximately 17 stitches in 4 inches…
**Gauge in this project is not terribly important, as the sweater is a knit-to fit deal. I would suggest knitting a swatch in garter stitch with the yarn and needles you would like to use. Cast on amount and increases can be adjusted according to your gauge and the size you would like the sweater to be.**

The following is a description of the process I used to construct my own version of this sweater. This is another simple top-down raglan that can easily be customized to fit your own measurements.

The Simple Top-Down Raglan Formula:

Your first order of business is to knit a swatch and figure out your gauge. Once you have this, you can do the math and find out how many stitches you need to cast on for your neckline. (I am a size XS or S in most patterns--34 inch bust--and I cast on 90 stitches for a semi-wide boatneck.)

To make your calculations extra simple, make your cast on amount a multiple of three. When the total cast on amount is divided by three, one third will make up the front of the garment, one third will be the back, and the last third will be split to make the arms, like so:

M x x x x x x x x x x M
x                                 x
x                                 x
x                                 x
x                                 x
x                                 x
M x x x x x x x x x x M

This diagram shows stitches (x) and markers (M) as they would be placed for a raglan beginning with 30 cast on stitches. The front and back are made up of 10 stitches each, and the sleeves are made up of 5 stitches each.
(**The formatting on this diagram is giving me trouble...so please just imagine that it makes a nice neat rectangle :)**)

This basic formula works as the beginning of just about any sweater you could imagine.

Swingy Sweater Instructions:

CO 90 Stitches (or your preferred amount, divisible by three)

Row 1: Knit (RS)
Row 2: Purl (WS)
Row 3 (Set Up Row): K8, PM, K15, PM, K30, PM, K15, PM, 22
Row 4: Purl
**To make a nice even edge, slip the first stitch of each row, beginning with row two**

Begin Increase Rows:
Row 5 (and all RS rows): K to two stitches before first marker, KFB, K, slip marker, KFB…repeat these instructions at each marker.
Row 6 (and all WS rows): K to end

Continue Raglan increases until sleeve sections fit comfortably around your upper arms. This sweater is super easy to try on as you go. When you think you’ve gone far enough, transfer sleeves to waste yarn (or some spare circular needles, if you have them). To transfer sleeves, knit like so:
Beginning with a RS row: K to first marker, slip marker, move all stitches between marker one and two onto waste yarn or spare needle, remove marker 2, knit all stitches until you come to marker 3, slip marker, move all stitches between markers 3 and 4 to waste yarn or spare needle, remove marker four, knit to end.

Body: Knit every row until garment is as long as you’d like, remembering to slip the first stitch of every row to maintain a clean edge. When you reach the desired length, work 4 rows in Stockinette stitch to make a nice rolled edge. Bind off loosely.


Divide sleeve stitches evenly between DPNS and work in garter stitch until sleeves are nearly the desired length (I made mine elbow-length). On a knit row, decrease by evenly spacing K2tog’s over your total stitch count. You should have roughly 5-8 stitches between decreases, depending on your size. This will give you a nice semi-puffed, rounded sleeve opening. After decreasing, work 4 rows in stockinette and bind off loosely.

Repeat for second sleeve.


Attach two or three buttons at the bust, then pick up three stitches and knit an i-cord across from each button. Use yarn needle to attach i-cord ends to the edge of the sweater. Weave in all ends, block if desired, or just wear right on out of the house.

Link8 bears|Dancing bears?

Candy Stripe Noro Raglan [Sep. 12th, 2008|09:52 am]
[Tags|, ]

I've had a few people ask about this on Ravelry, so I'm putting the details down here.
Hopefully I can REMEMBER all the details, as I finished the sweater early this year.
Warning...this is less a pattern and more a rambling description of what I did.

SO! This is a basic top-down raglan that relies on a very simple formula to shape the yoke.

First, you need to calculate your gauge. I used size 9 needles and Cascade 220 as my main color...this gave me a gauge of approximately 17 stitches per 4 inches...but I knit pretty tight, so it's best to do a test swatch on your own. In my experience, a raglan formula will work with any gauge.

Next, figure out how wide your neck will be. Remember that if you want a fitted sweater, the sleeves will tug at the sides of the neck and pull out toward your shoulder, so the neck will appear smaller when the sweater is off. I wanted a wide boatneck, so I calculated for 24 inches around (108 stitches).

Here's the key to the cast on calculation: Cast on a number that can be divided by three. One third will constitute the front of the sweater, one third will be the back, and the last third will be split to make the arms.

If you are my size and knitting at my gauge (how fortuitous!), you would split 108 into 3 x 36. You can place the markers whenever you'd like, depending on whether you are knitting ribbing, or a raw edge. It's really up to your personal preference.

For a ribbed neckline...knit 2, purl 2 until your rib is the desired thickness. You may want to go down two needle sizes to get a nice tight rib, but I didn't bother.

For a raw edge, knit a couple rows before beginning the increases, or if you want less rolling, knit a few rows of garter stitch.

When you are ready to begin increases:
Row 1: knit 36 (or one third of CO amount), PM, knit 18 (or one sixth CO amount), PM, knit 36, PM, knit 18 (to end of round)

Row 2: Knit to 2 stitches before marker, KFB, knit, slip marker, knit, KFB. You can also use YO's for you increases, in which case you would knit to one stitch before marker, YO, knit 1, slip marker, knit 1, YO.
Repeat this increase pattern at every marker, increasing one before and one after each (eight increases total)

Row 3: Knit around.

AT THE SAME TIME...knit two rows at a time at set intervals using a self-striping yarn (like noro kureyon or silk garden). Make sure you change colors on non-increase rows. If you are following the pattern above, that means odd rows only. So if you want two rows worth of kureyon a little more than an inch apart, knit 8 rows in the main color, then switch to kureyon for rows 9 and 10. Switch back to the main color on row 11...and so on. All the while, keep increasing 8 stitches every other row.

Repeat this pattern until your yoke is deep and wide enough for the markers to meet under your arm. Make sure you are not straining to make them meet, or your sweater will be way tight.

It will help if you have a measuring tape to see how far it is from your collar bone where the sweater will fall, to the middle of your armpit. This measurement should match the finished measurement along an increase. Once you think you are there, transfer the sweater to scrap yarn and try it on. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT...it is a pain in the ass getting stitches from scrap yarn back onto your needles, but getting a good fit is worth it.

When you are finished increasing, join the arms. Knit to the first marker, then place stitches on scrap yarn until you reach the second marker. Slip the marker and knit until you reach the next marker. Slip the remaining stitches to scrap yarn and continue with your knitting. You'll now have the front and back of the sweater on your needles and the shoulder sections separated on scrap yarn.

Knit the body as a straight tube until it is the desired length. If you are busty, you may want to strategically increase and decrease or add some darts. I am a 34 C (nearly D) and I didn't add shaping...I just relied on the stretchiness of the fabric to shape itself.

When the body is the desired length, add whatever ribbing or trim you'd like at the end and bind of very loosely. Use a bind of that will stretch with the sweater, and if using rib, bind off in pattern.

Use DPNs to slip the shoulder stitches off of scrap yarn and divide stitches evenly over three needles.

(I have heard that knitting the first and last stitch of the round together will help decrease the appearance of a big ugly hole at the armpit...I have never tried it...I just go back and sew up the gap)

At this point you can knit the sleeves straight without decreases, or you can decrease as you go. I knitted for a couple inches, then began decreasing two stitches every ten rows...I did this six times, to lose 12 stitches total. The best way to figure out how to decrease is to measure your existing arm opening at the beginning of the sleeve, then measure your forearm to figure out how wide you want your sleeve to be at the end. Do some subtraction to figure out the difference, then convert that number to stitches. Measure the length from your shoulder to your forearm, convert that to rows, and then evenly space your decreases over that distance. Ideally, your decreases should end an inch or two below your elbow.

Repeat all that sleeve business on the other side and VOILA! Sweater! Weave in your ends and wear it around. People will think you are a genius and you do not have to let on that it is actually the easiest sweater ever and the yarn did all the work.
Link3 bears|Dancing bears?

Blind Fate, Good Fortune, or Murphy's Law? [Jan. 24th, 2008|03:17 pm]
This morning I drove the dog over to West Seattle for a booster shot at the vet. When she was finished I decided, since I was already late for work, to drive over to the DMV in Westwood Village to renew my grossly expired driver's license.
I waited there in the office, with the dog sitting in the truck, for more than an hour, clutching my little paper number and chatting with a libertarian MD from Oregon. He talked about how drivers' licenses were unconstitutional ("they're restricting your travel, you know? Freedom of movement!") and how he wished "all the MEN" would just rise up and say that they were "sick of taking orders from other men". I chuckled at him and said, "Oh those MEN...you know?"
"I know. Look at that guy up at counter five."
"The one who looks like santa claus?"
"Yeah. Look at his suspenders."
"He's cute. I hope I get him when my number comes up."
"He's about due for a coronary."
"...I guess you would know."
"Say...have you ever been to Eugene, Oregon?"

We sat there and listened to a morbidly obese metro bus driver pacing back and forth and going "shit bullshit fuck goddamn sunufabitch!" and ocassionally farting. It was all classically DMV. I wanted to bail so bad, but I knew I had to stick it out. My shit had been expired for going on four months, and while I have never been pulled over, I hear that the cops don't take too kindly to driving with an expired license.
When my number was called, I renewed quickly. I read some glowing letters, saw some blinky lights, confirmed my height and weight, took the worst photo in the history of state-issued ID's and walked out the door with my brand new shitty paper license.
I hopped in the car and drove toward 99. I was really late for work, but was trying not to speed...that is, until I hit the battery street tunnel and slowed to take the blind curve before the exit. I guess I hit the accelerator a little hard coming out of it, because the next thing I knew it was all sun, blue sky, flashing lights, a booming "TAKE THE NEXT RIGHT TURN AND PULL OVER" and me going "goddamn shit fuck sunufabitch fuck."
I pulled over, and parked on a hill pointing toward Dexter Ave. I watched him get out of the car and struggled to roll down my janky driver's side window. I handed him my crappy paper license.
"I'm really sorry. I'm late for work after waiting an hour and a half to renew that thing. I wouldn't normally shoot out of the tunnel like that."
"Pull out your registration and proof of insurance, please. I'll be right back." He walked back to his car. I sighed very heavily and took the registration out of the visor. I leaned over to fish the proof of insurance out of the glovebox...
and then the dog puked.
I mean...and then the dog vomited her poor little guts out all over the passenger-side floor. I just watched her, going "oh no. Oh noooooo."
The cop came back and I felt justified in letting him know that my dog was sick, in an attempt to evoke sympathy. He just wrinkled his nose and explained my ticket. I sighed again. He told me that since my record seemed to be totally clean, I could try talking to the magistrate and getting the ticket deferred, then eventually wiped from my record. I thanked him, took the piece of paper, and went on my way to work, where I spent a good amount of time cleaning up regurgitated kibble.
In short:
Best. Morning. Ever.
Link1 bear|Dancing bears?

I guess I should do one of these... [Dec. 21st, 2007|01:14 pm]
This journal is pretty much friends only. Or...friend only, as it were.

Let me know if you want to loiter and read some nonsense.
LinkDancing bears?

The Softest Helmet [Nov. 13th, 2007|03:08 pm]
[Tags|, ]

A top-down helmet knit in Nashua Creative Focus Chunky on size 10 DPNs. Super soft and warm! This pattern is meant to be entirely customizable. I am just sharing my general method for constructing the hat and getting the perfect fit.


On four DPNs, Cast on 8 stitches (this is the same regardless of gauge or needle size):
(figure out some ingenious way to mark the beginning of the round...stitch markers have a way of slipping off DPNs)
R1: Knit all stitches
R2: Kfb of all stitches (16 stitches)
R3: Knit around
R4: Knit around, but Kfb of the first and last stitch on every needle. (increase by 8 stitches every other round)
This should give you a nice even increase. After trying out various ways of spacing increases and shaping, I've found this to be the simplest, since the DPNs act as your guides.

Continue like that, increasing at the first and last stitch on each needle and knitting around the non-increase rows, until you get to 80 stitches. Here I increased just the first stitch on each needle to make 84. I am a really tight knitter, so 80 might be sufficient for most people, but make sure you measure your head and figure out your gauge to get a correct number. If your ideal number of stitches is not a multiple of eight, do the partial increas like I did, but make sure your final number IS a multiple of 4, for the purpose of ribbing.
(Cast on amount is always the same, but how many stitches you increase to depends on your gauge and the size of your head. I have a 22" head, and wanted a 20" hat to allow for stretchiness, so I figured out the number of stitches by multiplying my number of stitches in an inch by 20)

When you get to the correct stitch count for your measurement, knit around for another 2.5 inches, then start a k1,p1 rib.

Continue the rib for about an inch and a half.

When you are satisfied with the depth of the hat, measure your forehead and figure out how wide you want the space in the front of the hat between the earflaps to be. Convert the inches to stitches and bind off that many at the beginning of the round (bind off loosely and in pattern. I used a size 17 needle), making sure to end on a purl stitch.
Continue knitting back and forth in k1,p1 rib for another 1/2 inch to an inch, then figure out how wide you want your earflaps and use the inches to stiches math to determine how many stitches each will be (remember that the rib will scrunch up a bit...).
At the beginning of a RS row, slip the correct number of stitches for the first earflap to one of your DPNs. bind off in pattern until you get to the start of the second earflap stitches, and k1,p1 to the end of the row. Make sure your ribbing matches the rest.
From here, knit the two earflaps separately to an equal length...whatever that length may be...bind off, and VOILA! Helmet!
Add icords to the earflaps to allow tying up if the mood strikes you...To further personalize, you could simply slip the stitches that run across your forehead to a dpn and return to them later, adding an extra flap across the front and a couple buttons, making it EVEN more helmety...

(FYI...This hat was inspired by the LOOK of the Nomad Hat in the Fall 2007 issue of Interweave Knits, and by my obsession with furry russian caps and cute earflap hats, but the actual pattern and construction are improvised...)
LinkDancing bears?

Ok. I'm doing this. [Mar. 1st, 2007|02:08 pm]
I'm back on the wagon.
LinkDancing bears?

Bear Party [Mar. 1st, 2007|12:11 pm]
LinkDancing bears?

[ viewing | most recent entries ]