Friday, December 21, 2012

Best Loved Shawl

     The winter solstice has arrived.  The beautiful holiday traditions are gathering around us like a favorite shawl.  Soon the presents will be all wrapped up and you'll be thinking again about knitting for yourself, so here's a pattern for my own favorite go-to shawl of the last two winters.  I seem to always have this one by my side.

       A version of the Simple Garter Stitch Prairie shawl from Folk Shawls, this one has elongated tails that make sure it stays on, feels great and looks just right, no matter what your holiday attire.  I've even worn it out building snow people.  It looks delightful with fresh snowflakes sparkled on top.  


     I knit the second one this summer, also in Dancing Colors, and now it's ready to go for the holidays.  I used one size larger needle on this year's vintage and it is one very large and wrap-worthy piece of knitted joy.  I think the next one will be knit in Unspun Icelandic yarn.   Warm and light as a feather.
       So below are the instructions.  I hope you enjoy this little gift from me to you.   How I'd love to see you all wrapped up in a Best Loved Shawl.

Happy Holidays!

Cheryl Oberle’s
Best Loved Garter Stitch Shawl

© 2012


 The Best Loved Shawl is a triangle worked from the bottom to the top, all in garter stitch.  Long tails for secure and elegant wrapping are shaped with extra increases.  Work increases by kfb on rows 1-13 until the bottom border is formed, then use yarn overs as increases and, when the tails are formed, kfb will be used again for additional shaping.

Yarn:  Approx. 1000 yds DK weight yarn.

Needles: circular size 9 or size needled to obtain gauge.

Gauge: 12 sts and 20 rows in 4 inches in garter st.

Finished Size: approx. 84 inches across the top and 35 Inches from top to tip.  Note: the shawl’s extreme width is due to its nice long tails.....perfect for wrapping.

 st(s) : stitch(es)
kfb: knit in the front and back of the stitch.
RS : Right side
WS: Wrong side
Cast on 3 sts.
Row: 1: Kfb, k1, kfb. - 5 sts on needle.

Row 2 and all WS rows:  Knit

Row 3: Kfb, knit to last st., kfb. - 7 sts on needle.

Row 5 - 12: repeat rows 3 and 4. - 15 sts. on needle.

Row 13:  Kfb, knit to end.  - 16 sts. on needle.

Row 15:  k8, yo, k8.  - 17 sts on needle.

Row 17:  k8, yo, k1, yo, k8.  - 19 sts. on needle.

Row 19: k8, yo, knit to last 8 sts, yo, k8. - 21 sts. on needle.

Row 20: knit.

Rows 21 - 184: repeat rows 19 and 20. - 185 sts on the needle.
Long Tail Shaping

Begin increasing at a rate of 4 stitches every other row as follows:

Row 185: K8, yo, k2, kfb, k to last 11 sts of row, kfb, k2, yo, K8.

Row 186 and all even numbered (WS) rows: knit.

Rows 187- 250:  Repeat rows 185 and 186.

Top Edge Yarn Over Row

Row 251 (RS): K8, yo, k1,*yo, k2tog, repeat from * to last 8 sts, yo, k8.

Row 252 (WS):  knit.

Repeat  rows 19 and 20 once, then row 19 once more.
 BO VERY Loosely!      



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Knitaway® in the Studio, 2013...Got a Date?

I do!  Four of them to be exact for the 2013 sessions of the Knitaway® in the Studio.  The details are up on the website and the basic information is below as well.  We'll explore Shetland shawls in the spring and Triangular shawls in the fall.   Registration starts January 14th.  Hope you can join me in the Studio for a Knitaway® in the near future.  2013 is looking like a mighty fine year.

Knitaway® in the Studio 2013 
Registration opens January 14th, 2013

Session I: April 24 - 28, 2013  
Session II: May 1 - 5, 2013
Spring session topic: Shetland Shawls: Tradition and Beyond

Session III: October 9 -13
, 2013
Session IV: October 16 - 20, 2013
Fall session topic:  Shawls at an Angle: Triangles All Ways

Friday, December 14, 2012

Calling All Snowflakes

       The Hurry-up Last Minute Sweater is done and being cozily worn.  As usual, it was fascinating working with EZ's instructions to get such interesting detail and fit.  Always a joy to see that brilliant mind at work.  I did deviate from the original in making this sweater considerably longer than called for.  I had a plan, you see.

     As some of you already know about me, I often operate on the premise that anything worth doing is worth overdoing.  In this tunic I can make a snow angel and not get a wet derriere.  With tights and boots it's cute enough (and warm enough) to wear to a holiday party in an igloo or an ice palace.  So I'm ready for the snow.  Where is that white stuff?


Friday, December 7, 2012

December's Here

     And so is my Hurry-up Last Minute Sweater!  It's on the blocking floor and will, I hope, be dry enough to wear for a walk in the snow we're expecting this weekend. 
     The finishing took a bit of time;  I do take time with that as I think it makes all the difference in the look of the sweater.  I did a few things differently than EZ suggested, but I think she might have approved, being as I did think it all through before proceeding.  I use hems a lot in my own designs and I thought I'd take this opportunity to share some of my favorite tricks.

      On the edges with the provisional cast on, I created a purl ridge before proceeding with the hems as I wanted a nice crisp turning edge on the bottom, cuffs, and neck edge.   Once hemmed the edge is beautiful and sharp.  Notice what looks like a pin in the fabric? Another trick of the trade.......

      Before hemming, turn the very rolled up stockinette stitch hem inward, and steam it to make it more docile and easy to work with.  Use large safety pins to hold it in place for one final spurt of steam (watch out! those pins get hot) and leave them in during the hemming.  Works like an extra hand to keep the hem smooth and even.

     The live stitches of the hem are kept on a piece of scrap yarn until they have been tacked down.  I like to use a smooth cotton yarn for such a task; it tends not to get entangled with the stitches it is holding and pulls out easily when no longer needed.
     In the actual stitching, be aware that if you take too much of the sweater fabric into the hemming stitch, the hem will pull on the sweater and make the hemline more visible on the right side.  Prevent dreaded hemming dimples by passing the finishing needle through the sweater stitches so as to split the stitch, never venturing too near the outer surface of the sweater.  And don't pull the hemming stitches too tight.  Tacking down a hem is best done with a light hand.
     I find it most satisfying to pull out the holding yarn once the stitches are secure.  I'm funny that way.