Monday, January 6, 2014

Starting with a Bang

     2014 started with a knitting bang here, or rather the finishing started so, as I blocked two projects on New Year's Day.  My Scottish wool Long Collared Jacket finally made it onto my back.  It arrived there a bit later than it's Thanksgiving due date but I'm thankful for it now as baby, it's cold outside!

     If you follow the blog, you know I've knit this one before, having had the pleasure of working with Cully at Schoolhouse Press on test knitting the model in  EZ's Knit One, Knit All.  It's a great design and I see that Schoolhouse Press has just release SPP 51, the Elizabeth Zimmermann Coat that looks like it could be a sister to this one.  More knitting to come...
     I do love the fit on the body but I think I could have made the sleeves a bit more fitted and definitely shorter.  I also found that the three-needle bind off at the shoulder and the "attach as you knit" back neck did not have enough stability for the weight of this yarn in garter stitch; the shoulders were drooping and the collar was flattening out, not sitting snug and close around my neck.  Seeking stability, I took up a crochet hook and worked a slipped-stitch chain (yep, I can do that much crochet!) on the inside of the shoulder seam from the sleeve to the neck, filling up the gap from the three-needle bind off.  I  picked up a whole stitch of the jacket fabric from the bind-off gap for each chain stitch.  It works beautifully, giving the seam structure while still being flexible. There's no pucker at the sleeve cap or on the shoulder seam.  Can't even see it from the outside.

     I also blocked the Irish Diamond Shawl variation.  I modified it to be about 50% smaller than the original and used a yummy DK yarn, Sylvan Spirit from Green Mountain Spinnery, in the color Sterling.  The finished shawl came out to be about 30% percent smaller than the original because I used the larger gauge yarn; with the original yarn I'd have gotten a half-sized shawl.  Little Irish Diamond is going to be a favorite shawl around here, I can tell already.  I'm not smiling like this for nothing!

     "How did she do it?"  I can hear knitters ask.  Well for those of you with access to a copy of Folk Shawls, it's a breeze.  If you can join me for the Irish Diamond Shawl Workshop at Knit Knack in Arvada on January 26th, we can get it going for you there.  Just give the ladies at Knit Knack a call for details   For all the rest of you, here's how.....

 Little Irish Diamond Variation
     Using the pattern for the original Irish Diamond Shawl in Folk Shawls, cast on and work as written  through row 8 of Lace pattern 1, then repeat rows 1-8 of Lace Pattern 1 seven more times (instead of 13).  Then work the four rows of Eyelet 1 as written (ending with a wrong-side row), and begin Lace pattern 2, working rows 119 (RS) through 138 once.  Finally work rows 159-163 and end with the Garter Stitch border, as written.  Block and enjoy!

    I got the new website up this week, too.  The 2014 Knitaway® in the Studio dates are posted there along with online ordering for all the yarns.  You can also subscribe to my newsletter.  Technology is amazing.
     Happy New Year!



  1. Love both of these, Cheryl, and your glasses! Very cool.

  2. Your post was so timely for me. It reminded me that I need to tighten up the neckline on one of my sweaters, so I have picked up my crochet hook and am getting right on it! Thank you so much, Cheryl, and I love your jacket!

    1. It is a handy trick. There's nothing worse than a saggy neck pn a sweater,... it just ruins the fit. Hope it works out for you.