works in progress

I’m waiting on a rather large amount of yarn destined for deadline projects (for NEXT fall!) but since it’s not here yet, I’ve had a chance to pick up a sweater project that’s been languishing on the needles for ages!

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The yarn is Anzula Haiku, a fingering weight blend of 70% merino, 20% bamboo and 10% nylon. I’m not quite sure if they’ve changed the put-up since I got it at TNNA several years ago – the website says 400 yds/skein but my labels say 500!

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The colourway is “Madam”, a delightfully dusky pink, and the sweater design is my own – a top-down, fingering weight wrap cardigan with a ripple lace edging and i-cord ties. I hope to release the pattern this fall!

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I have a limited amount of yarn, so when I finished the body I decided to go ahead and do the front bands and the ties before starting the sleeves. I divided the remaining yarn into two equal balls (with the help of a scale) and now I can just knit the sleeves until I run out of yarn – I don’t think they’ll be full length, but that’s totally okay with me. It’s a lighter sweater after all.

I also finished up my Just Enough Ruffles Light for the knitalong! Do check out the thread, there are lots of beautiful in-progress and finished projects.

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The yarn is Mountain Colors Perspectives, a gradient set in their Twizzle base. Because the stitch count for JERL changes so drastically, the last couple colours are quite narrow along the ruffle. I’m into it!

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I did add a few extra rows to the ruffle, and I cut it perilously short – I had perhaps a foot of yarn left over after binding off. The finished piece desperately needs a good blocking, and I’m going to share a blocking tutorial on Friday along with a blocking prize pack!

KAL Tutorial: KFBF

Join the Knitter’s Pride KAL Thread for chat and to win awesome prizes! We still have two awesome prize packs to give away. KAL runs through August 21!

The KFBF increase is, of course, an extension of the KFB (also referred to as kfb, kf&b, kf/b) increase. In a regular kfb, you knit into the front and then back loop of the stitch – this ‘uses up’ one stitch from the previous row, as opposed to an increase worked between stitches like an m1. A kfb results in 2 stitches being created out of 1 stitch from the previous row.

In a KFBF, we’re tripling the number of stitches on the needle – creating 3 stitches out of 1! It requires a little bit of needle acrobatics, but it’s easy to work and doesn’t require yarnovers or multiple rows to increase the stitch count quickly.

Here’s a quick step by step tutorial for the KFBF increase! Click any photo to see a bigger version.

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Insert the right needle tip into the stitch knitwise as normal.

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Pull the new stitch through, but don’t remove the stitch from the left needle. Try to keep this stitch a little bit looser than normal – it’ll give you more room to maneuver.

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Swing the right needle tip around to the back and insert it into the back of the stitch.

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Wrap the yarn as normal for a knit stitch.

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Pull the new stitch through, but still don’t remove the stitch from the left needle!

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Bring the right needle tip to the front and insert it into the front of the stitch again – this step can be a bit tricky especially if you are a tight knitter. Pull the stitch open a little to get the needle tip in if you need to.

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Wrap the yarn as normal.

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Pull the new stitch through and then you can remove the stitch from the left needle!

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Ta-da! You have created 3 stitches out of 1.

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I’m a few rows into the ruffle of my JERL and I’m onto the second last colour. I plan to knit the ruffle until I’m nearly out of yarn, which should add perhaps an inch to the length of the ruffle.

How’s your summer neckwear knitting coming along?

Edited to add: I’m using Knitter’s Pride Marblz needles, available at WEBS! Aren’t they awesome? Someone on IG said they look like glow sticks ;)

KAL Tutorial: Infinite Long-Tail CO

It’s kickoff day for the Neckwear Knit-a-Long with Knitter’s Pride!

Here’s the awesome plan!

WHERE
Join the fun by sharing your photos in the Knitter’s Pride Ravelry Group and on Instagram using the hashtag: #kpchauKAL

PRIZES!
Prize #1 Buy a pattern
Purchase any neckwear pattern using the coupon code neckwearKAL15 by July 31 and you’ll be entered to win a Nova Platina Deluxe Needle Set!

Prize #2 Post to Instagram
Post a photo on Instagram of your KAL progress using #KPchauKAL and you’ll be entered to win a Marblz Fixed Circular knitting needle. We’ll choose a winner on Friday, July 31.

Prize #3 Start a project page on Ravelry
Start a project page and use the tag KPchauKAL and you’ll be entered to win a Marblz Fixed Circular needle. We’ll choose a winner on Friday, August 14th.

Prize #4 Finish Your Project
Post a photo of your finished project by August 21, 2015 in the Ravelry KAL thread and you’ll be entered to win a Eucalan Gift Pack.

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I’ll be knitting Just Enough Ruffles Light in this gorgeous Mountain Colors yarn gradient set, and I have a few tutorials to help you out as you knit.

If you’re not knitting this particular pattern and have an issue, feel free to post questions here on the blog or in the Ravelry thread – there are lots of helpful knitters there who just might help you out a little faster than I can!

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Today we’ll be covering a really valuable method of working the Long-Tail Cast-on – an Infinite Long-tail cast-on! Lots of people love the traditional long-tail CO (myself included) but it can be a bit of bear to figure out how long of a tail to pull out of the ball, especially when working a CO of several hundred stitches. Working from both ends of a ball is a great solution – you never have to estimate how long of a tail and come up short (or way too long).

You’ll need a center pull ball of yarn – don’t worry, if you don’t have a ball winder, you can always wind a center pull ball by hand! If you’re using two different skeins of yarn, you can also use one tail from each ball. You can even use two different colours for a contrasting edge if you’re feeling fancy!

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Pull out the ends of the ball (in this case it’s one from the inside, one from the outside) and hold them together to make a slipknot.

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I usually count this doubled slipknot as the first cast-on stitch, though you can also choose to take it off the needle at the end of the first row of knitting, if you’re making something delicate where the doubled yarn will be apparent.

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Put the doubled slipknot on your needles and tighten it up – I’m using the US 4 / 3.5mm tip and longest cord from my Knitter’s Pride Nova Platina set.

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There are lots of long-tail cast-on videos out there I’m sure, so I’m just going to go through a little quickly! The two ends of the ball will now become your two tails. If you want to knit your project from the center of the ball, make sure that the strand coming from the *outside* of the ball is over your thumb. Create a ‘slingshot’ with the two tails.

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Bring your needle up through the thumb loop from the outside…

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Up and over the inside index finger loop…

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And draw through the center of the thumb loop.

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Take your thumb out of the loop and use it to snug up the stitch. You don’t want to tighten too much when you cast on, because it can produce a rigid, inflexible edge.

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Sometimes the yarn can get a bit tangled when working this cast-on over a large number of stitches, or in very twisty yarn. Don’t worry too much about it, just let go of the tails every once in awhile to allow the twist to equalize itself.

You could also use this method of pulling from both ends of the ball to do a number of other types of long-tail cast-ons, like the German Twisted Cast-on or the Austrian Long-tail Cast-on.

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I like to place markers in as I go, every 25 or 50 stitches depending on how many I need in total. Just slip the stitch marker onto the right needle and keep casting on!

When you’re finished, cut the strand of yarn that was over your thumb – in this case, it’s the strand on the right of the photo above. Leave a few inches of tail for weaving in.

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And that’s it! You can cast on 40, 100, 200+ stitches with this Infinite Long-Tail Cast-on and never have to worry about running out of yarn!

Don’t forget to use the Ravelry coupon code neckwearKAL15 for 25% all my neckwear patterns before July 31 to be entered to win an awesome interchangeable needle set!

See you in the Knit-a-long thread :)