Sunday, November 27, 2011

Altering the Meandros Sweater

I designed this sweater in Universal Yarn's Cobblestone, a wonderful sport-weight superwash wool that features a variegated strand plied with a solid strand. I produced four garments from this sproingy yarn using different techniques of colorwork and texture.

This sweater gets its name from the Greek meander running up around the collar and cuffs in purl stitches. A similar intarsia meander goes up the center and under the arms. Meanders symbolize friendship, love and devotion, and eternity. I used a method of working intarsia in the round which is really easy to learn.

The pattern is sized for Child's 6 through Men's XL. If your body shape requires breast darts, you can incorporate them into the Meandros Sweater.
Before you start knitting your sweater, measure the desired distance from the back nape of the neck to the bottom of the sweater. Then measure down the front, from where the shoulder joins the neck to where you want the sweater to end. Subtract the first measurement from the second. Then round down to the nearest multiple of 1.5. If you get a whole number, start the instructions as written.

24" (front length)
- 20" (back length)
4" rounded down to 3"

If you get an answer like 1.5 or 4.5, you will have to reverse the numbers of stitches for the yarn colors for the Front piece. For example, to make the largest size, you would start the Back as written but for the Front you would provisionally cast on 83 stitches in C and 76 in D (still in that order). Purl 73, place a stitch marker, then purl 3 in D and 10 in C, and place another marker. Work in stockinette in the established colors for 10 more rows. Then work Chart 1 starting at row 14.

The number 1.5 is taken from the row gauge. If you are knitting to a different row gauge than prescribed, divide 13 (the number of rows in half a chart repeat) by your number of rows per inch, and round it to a workable number. Divide the difference between your front and back measurements by this number. Round the number down to the nearest whole number. If that number is even, start the sweater as instructed. If it's odd, use the above directions.

Knit both Back and Front pieces of the Upper Body 2 inches longer than directed for the size you want. For example, for the largest size, you would knit the back to 13" and the front to 10" before working collar shaping.

Measure the horizontal distance between your nipples, or "bust points." Add an ease factor of 2 inches to keep the darts from looking pointy. This will be the flat area between the darts. If the distance between your bust points is 8", you would want to have 10" between darts.
8 + 2 = 10

Divide the sweater chest circumference by 2 to get a front width. If we are making the largest size, that would be 57 divided by 2 = 28.5

Subtract the between-dart measurement from the front width:
28.5 - 10 = 18.5

and divide by 2 to find the available dart width on each side.
18.5 /2 = 9.25

Multiply this number by your stitch gauge. The prescribed gauge is 5.75 sts/in.
9.25 x 5.75 = about 53

In this case, there are 53 stitches on each side to work the darts.

Go back to the rounded-down difference between your front and back length measurements and divide it by 1.5
3 / 1.5 = 2

Multiply your answer by 13
2 x 13 = 26

and divide by 2 for the number of short-row turnarounds needed.
26 / 2 = 13

Our sweater has 53 stitches available for each dart, and we need to make 13 turnarounds.
53 / 13 = about 4

When we get to knitting the Lower Body, we knit the front stitches in the color of the cast-on stitches off the extra circular needle (being sure to knit through the right-hand loops so as not to twist the stitches), stopping at the underarm. Our front garment measurement included 7 underarm stitches (3.5 on each side) to be picked up later. This is not a problem.

Total front stitches: 159 (83 of one color + 76 of the other)
10" between darts x 5.75 stitch gauge = about 57 stitches
159 total front stitches - 57 center front stitches = 102 side stitches divided by 2 sides =
51 stitches on each side

Purl across one side and the center front in pattern (in this case 57 + 51 to equal 108), then wrap and turn.

Knit across center front only (57 stitches) in pattern, wrap and turn.

Purl back across center front plus 4 (see above: 53 / 13 = 4) for a total of 61 stitches in this case, always maintaining pattern and hiding the wrap, wrap and turn.

Continue in pattern and hiding wraps, in this case adding 4 each time for 13 turnarounds (26 passes).

The last pass should be a knit row. Pick up 7 underarm stitches, knit the Back stitches without twisting, pick up the last 7 underarm stitches, turn your work, and continue from the second paragraph of Lower Body.

This may seem confusing, but you can do it all with a calculator once you know what numbers to put in. Please email me with specific questions at the address on your pattern. Any informations you can provide such as the measurements described above (front, back, and between bust points) and the exact stitch and row gauge you are using, will help. If you are not comfortable with short rows or intarsia, I suggest working a simpler pattern and then coming back to this one. Your reward will be a beautiful sweater and increased knitting mastery!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Here, Kitty-Kitty

Another pattern for sale!

This one features 10 kittens along the lines of the tiger cubs on Cole's shawl.

Isn't Claire a beautiful model?

The knitting is not hard at all. You only need to know how to knit and purl. The rest is explained in the pattern.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Eddie and Alex

Here's my version of the Van Halen pattern.
Which one's Eddie and which is Alex?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


The new Tangled is now live.
You don't have to go to Sock Summit to use this coupon!
View my socks here.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Cole has been wanting a pet all his life. Jeff is allergic to most furry animals, but Cole recently acquired this:
Isn't it nifty?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Port Hudson Organics

Yesterday, Cole and I went to rehearsal and came home with watermelons.

And two eggplants and five tomatoes. What's that? You only see four tomatoes in the picture? Hm . . . something must have happened to the other one. I hope it wasn't something sordid involving scrambled eggs and cheese.

Cole and I meet regularly with Thais Perkins of Port Hudson Organic Farm to rehearse for . . . well, for fun and any other important projects that might arise. We all enjoy it immensely and are looking forward to playing in public once we find a venue.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

gecko hat and headband

I'm pleased to announce the availability of my Gecko Hat and Headband pattern for only $3:

Gecko Hat and Headband

Sunday, July 17, 2011


My sock design, Van Halen, is featured on the Tangled Blog in the upper left.

Once I played a movement of one of Bach's partitas for solo violin on a recital, and one of the audience members told me, "You play violin like Eddie Van Halen plays guitar." Later, he asked me to show him some of my riffs.

I wonder whether Tangled was thinking of my approach to colorwork when they named the pattern. I'm choosing to take it as a compliment.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

binding off

Here's a way to bind off stitches that really helps your bind off stay loose. I "unvented" it while working through Lynne Barr's mind-opening Reversible Knitting. Captions are beneath the photos.

Here I have one stitch knit.

I put that stitch back onto the needle,

inserted my right needle through the next stitch as if to knit,

wrapped the yarn,

. . . and . . .

pulled the loop through both stitches.


This method helps keep the first stitch open. If you want extra insurance, you can hold it open with your thumb. I would use my left thumb to hold it open from the time I put it back onto the needle to the time I pulled the loop through both stitches.

Several stitch patterns in Reversible Knitting call for passing slipped or worked stitches over other stitches. I find this method saves time, but I don't assume that would be the case for everyone. I just fling the stitch back onto the needle when I'm going in for my next stitch. Slick, if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

leftward leanings

If you knit, you may already know about the SSK decrease, which is in my opinion the best looking left-leaning decrease. It involves slipping two stitches knitwise, one at a time, and then knitting these slipped stitches through the back loops.

You can also work this decrease without taking the stitches off the first needle. It especially works well with wooden or bamboo needles, but metal works, too.

Here's how to do it (captions are below the photos they reference):

Insert the needle knitwise into the first stitch, but do not take it off.

Bring the needle to the front of your work without removing it from the stitch.

Insert the needle knitwise through the next stitch.

Wrap the yarn around the needle,

pull it through the second stitch,

take yarn and needle between the two stitches to the back of the work,

bring them through the first stitch,

and slip both stitches off.

This method will save time and (more importantly) add variety to your knitting repertoire. I find it eminently satisfying to have more than one way of working the same stitch.

Many thanks to Cole for the photography.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

faux bow baby hat

Sized from preemie to 9 months, I designed this for my knitting in the round class. It uses 4 different methods of knitting in the round!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

gecko hat

All proceeds go to Relief Aid for Japan.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hello Again!

I weeded the gardens today. It didn't take long and it made me happy.

We're approaching the second anniversary of my stroke.

Sometimes it seems like just a few weeks ago, and sometimes it seems like years.

Other times I can't even remember what life was like before. . . .

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Great Barrier Reef

I have been wanting to knit something from Knits from Nature by Jenny Kee since my friend Joan gave me the book about 10 years ago. I love wearing tunics, but the one I really want for myself is the Barramundi, and I haven't had money for yarn since . . . well, since ever! But when baby Caleb needed a blanket I knew just where to look for inspiration. Since the blanket is worked in intarsia, the back side is, shall we say, not nearly as attractive. But I could use left over scraps of yarn for it, and I think it turned out really well.

I have plans to design an underwater scene baby blanket which is actually reversible. This will take some time, though, so don't look for it in the near future.