Must Knit List

I know I’m late to the party here, but the Tarta Cardigan by Heather Zoppetti is perfect.  It combines clean lines with feminine shaping, and I love the subtle transition between the two colors.  The pattern calls for a DK weight yarn, and I think I’ve found the yarn I would like to knit it with, Shalimar Yarns Homage DK.  Right now I am particularly drawn to the cream color Oyster and am really tempted to use the neon yellow, Citrine, let’s see if I can commit to this!

I also have a few more designs waiting up my sleeve, but I first have to finish two major pieces of sample knitting: Elemental Linens for the Holla Knits Home issue, and the Axial Cardigan for the Holla Knits Fall/Winter 2014 issue.  I just want to say a quick thank you to everyone at HK, I feel so lucky to be able to be contributing to the site, and I hope I can continue to do so!

Tomorrow morning I will be announcing the winner of my Cafe Au Lait Giveaway, thanks to everyone who entered, but new readers and old!  It’s not too late to enter!


Gauge Demystified

Don’t ask me why, but I hate gauge swatches, even though I have learned the hard way (more times than I care to admit) how important it is.

The Sterling Peplum pattern that became available yesterday was the last straw for me. As I had previously mentioned in a post while in Belize, I had to restart the top as it was much, much too big!  The original design concept was for it to be knit from the bottom up, completely seamless worked on circular needles.  But as I made headway on the peplum part, I quickly realized my math had led me astray.  (Turns out, my original gauge swatch was worked on with size 2 US needles, but I was now knitting the top on size 3 US!)

I quickly changed the design to be worked flat from the waist up, seamed, then have the peplum worked from the waist down in the round.  And I swore that my new goal for 2014 is to ALWAYS knit a gauge swatch.  I know I say this all the time, but now I really, really mean it, but I am going to need you to help hold me to that!

So in an effort to be a good influence, here is everything you ever needed, or wanted, to know about gauge!

Needles – always use the needles for the gauge swatch that you are using for the project.  If’ your item is going to be knit in the round on circular needles, do so for your gauge swatch as well.

Size – at minimum, your gauge swatch should be a 5″ by 5″ square.  Most patterns give gauge calculations in 4″ by 4″ squares but it can be handy to have the extra inch at each end to account for any selvage stitches.

Blocking – Block the swatch the same way you plan to block your finished garment, since your swatch is essentially there to help you visual what your finished piece will look like, as well as what the finished measurements will be.  See this amazing post on all the various ways to block your garment.

Measuring – My advice is to use a fabric tape measure, since it will be fluid, like your garment will be.

Now for the details:

Stitch Gauge -

Stitch Gauge

Place your tape measure on your swatch, and place pins to mark a distance of 4 inches.  (I usually use the 1″ and 5″ placement since the end of my tape measure is a little wonky).  Then simply count the number of stitches in between.  This piece has 21 sts in the 4″ section.

Row GaugeRow gauge is similar.  Place your tape measure on your swatch, and place pins to mark a distance of 4 inches.  Then simply count the number of rows in between.  This piece has 28 rows in the 4″ section.










If you have any specific questions about gauge, ask me and  I’ll do what I can to research an answer for you!

Sterling Peplum

I am happy to announce that my Sterling Peplum pattern is now available for sale at Ravelry!  This was such a fun and quick design which I knit while on vacation in Belize, I particularly enjoyed the lace insert at the waist, which was repeated along the neckband, hem, and armholes.

The details:

Yarn – Cascade Ultra Pima, Silver #3801
3 (3, 4, 4, 5) skeins; 660 – 1100 yards
Finished Measurements: 30 (34, 38, 42, 46)” and shown in size 34”.
Needles – Size 3 US straight and circular needles OR size to obtain gauge
Size 2 US circular, and double pointed needles
Gauge – 21 sts and 28 rows to 4” in Stockinette Stitch on size 3 US
Notions – waste yarn for provisional cast on, stitch markers, tapestry needle

The pattern is first worked flat from the waist up, and the peplum is worked in the round from the waist down.