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Making Love: A Sweater WIP

I broke and ordered a sweater kit from Wool And The Gang. It’s just better to not resist.

Anyway, they were running a sale and I jumped on it and got this cute little cropped bell sleeve number. It’s knit up using Tina Tape. According to the pattern it’s knit in one piece from sleeve to sleeve. I like the shape, but didn’t want to do the one-piece thing. So I’m actually making two sleeves, a back, and a front and then seaming it all together. Other than that all the measurements and stitch pattern will be the same as the original WATG design.

I like having the seams in sweaters to give it stability and hold the shape. I do not like sewing said seams together. I know I’ll appreciate the extra effort once I’m done, though.

Turns out Tina Tape is a pretty nice yarn. It’s something outside of my typical yarn choices. I’ve only used one tape yarn before and that was Rewind by Lion Brand yarn. (I designed a wrap in it…. really need to photograph and post that.) As I work up the WATG “Love Thing” sweater I’m already dreaming of how this yarn can be used for casual Spring tops. It has an amazing drape and the flat yarn works up in such a way that airflow is guaranteed.

It’s currently 8 degrees outside. So I have a little time to plan out my Spring wardrobe…. 🥶

This year’s goal: make more garments for me!

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Show Those WIPs!

Show off those #FiddleKnits WIPs on Instagram!

Use the hashtag #FiddleKnits so I can admire (and maybe share your pic, with permission and credit, of course!)

Oh, and follow me! I keep my @FiddleKnitsDesigns profile strictly yarn related, but you can also find me @FiddleKnits for cats and food and knitting and tattoos if you’re into that kinda thing.

I’m late to the party in really learning to use all of Instagram’s features. I still barely know what I’m doing. 😂 I only posted my first “story” in the past couple weeks.

Anyway, all my new pattern PDFs will have links to Instagram to remind you to tag and share your WIPs! Let’s see whatcha got goin’ on!

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The Boyfriend Sweater: Do You Believe the Curse?

If you’ve been a yarn crafter for at least a day or so you’ve probably stumbled across the myth of the boyfriend sweater curse. I don’t buy it. For me it was always a blanket. I started making a boyfriend an afghan (following a Lion Brand pattern and using homespun yarn…) and I broke up with him before it was done. A couple years later I was dating someone else and found the half finished afghan and decided to finish it and regift it to the new guy. We broke up about a month later. 😂 So is it an afghan curse or was it just that particular one?

Other than that I only made small knit gifts for my boyfriends. Lots of hats. A pair of socks here and there. Now fast forward to Rick. Last Christmas (our first together) I made him a crocheted blanket (again with Lion Brand yarn, but this time Wool-Ease Thick & Quick). Approaching another Christmas and we’re still together. I haven’t made him anything else. But he’s been eyeing all the sweaters I’m making myself and asking for one. So I decided to go for it. I don’t believe it that damn curse anyway. So he’s getting a Fiddle Knits original design using Knit Picks City Tweed HW in Toad. I searched for it a couple nights ago and last night cast on for the back.

I’m going with a broken ribbing for the bottom. The fronts will be ribbed into stockinette. We might go for some afterthought patch pockets. Sleeves will also have rubbed cuffs and stockinette main. I’m contemplating the ribbing for the entire back, though…. probably a modified from shoulder because he wants a casual look. He says messy but not sloppy. I think a Raglan shoulder might be too fitted for what he’s thinking. He’s says he’ll wear what I make no matter what! 😁

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On A Roll With Raglans

I don’t know if it’s the cool weather kicking in or what, but I’ve been on a serious sweater kick recently. And so far they’re all raglans. Bottom up (because I hate flipping the whole sweater around to work the sleeves of a top down raglan). I’m on my third sweater in about a month. All are my own design. The goal is that they will all be free patterns.

comfy cotton blend yarn from Lion BrandThe first sweater is Piedmont. It’s worked in Comfy Cotton Blend from Lion Brand Yarn. The body features reverse stockinette and the sleeves are traditional stockinette. The ribbed decrease line of the raglan sleeves joins the two textures.

I made the sleeves ¾ length because I’m constantly pushing my long sleeves up out of the way anyway. I like having my wrists exposed. Unless I’m snuggling in for some knitting and kitty cuddles. In which case I’m wearing an oversized sweatshirt and not a hand knit sweater anyway.

raglan sweater in the petite wool from we are knitters

The second sweater is Down Port. This short sleeve cropped sweater works up in no time using We Are Knitters Petite Wool and size 10.5 needles. Even though I designed it cropped you can easily add length prior to the waist shaping. My version used 3 skeins of Black and 1 black/white twist and 1 yellow.

The third sweater is currently on my needles. This one is a striped raglan in Lion Brand’s Wool-Ease Worsted. I used this yarn waaaaaaayyy back in the day when I was first discovering knitting. At this point it’s about 14 years ago. Frightening thought.

I haven’t quite figured out how I’m working the stripe sequence on this one. Currently I’m thinking of alternating between the main color and coordinating color 1 until after the waist shaping. Then switching to Coordinating color 1 and 2. Then just a little bit at the end with colors 2 and 3. Sleeves will be 3/4 length like I did for the Piedmont sweater.

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Settling In

I moved! In the last week Rick and I have been settling in to our new apartment. It’s good to be back out on Eastern LI. We’re mostly unpacked. Mostly. All my yarn and needles are still in bins in the craft closest. But I have a set of circulars and a few projects unpacked that I can work on! Of course, the yarn I have out and available I didn’t want to work on. So I got some new yarn. Woe is me.

Lion Brand Comfy Cotton Yarn

Lion Brand Comfy Cotton Blend in “Whipped Cream”. I cast it on as soon as I brought it home. It’s becoming a bottom-up raglan. Yet another design in progress that I’ll need to photograph and write up so I can release it.

I’m hoping that now, being back out east, I can get back into the swing of semi-regular photoshoots with my sister. With me being in more photos as well. Because I want to make some sweaters in my size!

This current design in progress (DIP?) began with inspiration from a Japanese knitting stitch dictionary my dad gave me for my birthday. I’m using the stitch on the hem and probably will incorporate it into the sleeve somehow. However, the majority of the sweater is worked in plain reverse stockinette stitch in the round. Yes, I know. There are lots of you knitters out there that hate lurking over and over and over again. I’m not one of those knitters. Purling has never bothered me. In fact, sometimes I even like it better than knitting. There. I said it.

If you’re not a purl fan like me then you can flip your work (after the hem detail) to knit the sweater inside out until you get to the sleeves. This lets you knit ever round instead of lurking endless inches. Work as your mood strikes you. Or heck, change the pattern entirely and make the right side in regular stockinette. I’m a big proponent of changing up patterns to make them work for you. So what if it was written on way? You do you!

Lion Brand yarn Comfy Cotton blend

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In the Name

Naming patterns is sometimes the most difficult part. I find myself having designed and worked through an entire pattern and then I sit staring at my computer completely baffled for what to call it. Like right now, I’m working on this cabled stole in Rewind. And what have I been referring to it as?? The Rewind Stole. Not a name that screams “make me!” Plus you can’t use descriptives like stole, shawl, hat, etc. in names on Ravelry, so there’s that to consider.

I used to use a lot of musical inspiration for my pattern and yarn names. These days, though, I find myself drawn to places. Eventually I’ll run out of local spots, but for now I’m finding inspiration in my surroundings. I think it’s because of my daily long train rides to and from NYC. I pass the signs at the station and am reminded of local history and the beauty that surrounds me here on Long Island. (And also of course the really broken down and unloved places too. Life isn’t all puppy dogs and roses.)

I think I might go with the name “Forest Hills” on this particular design. Yet another stop along the LIRR. And when I run out of LI places I’ll just have to go on vacation for name inspiration from other locales. 😬

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Rainy Days Call for Sunshiny Yarn

scarfie yarn

It’s practically a monsoon out there today. I’m working from home, thankfully. Otherwise I think I might have floated away. Accompanying me are my four-legged furry coworkers and some bright sunny Scarfie yarn.

knitting with cats

The furbabies are quite happy I’m home today since I was away all weekend. They have barely let me out of their site. Even Deetz (the fluffy black one that’s blending into my knitting bag) who usually likes to have her own space, has been hopping up on the couch with me off and on.

scarfie yarn

I’m going between real work and knitting on this one-piece baby duffle coat in Scarfie, one of my new favorite yarns. That black and gray blanket Kaya is sleeping on is also worked in Scarfie yarn. (Pattern is written, but I need to finish the sample! I’m about half way. Next Fall/Winter pattern release!)

Follow along with the process of all my projects on my Instagram! @FiddleKnitsDesigns


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Not Much

Oyster Bay shawl in We Are Knitters MeriPaca yarn

Not much knitting or crochet happened over the weekend. A little, but nothing of real interest. I am very very close to done with the Oyster Bay shawl. Within 10 rows. Of course, they’re long rows now. I’m hoping that next weekend I can get the pattern out to so test knitters. The pattern itself is written, but i want to get the shawl done and insert photos before it goes to testing so it’s a complete pattern.

Once this one is off in testing mode I have another shawl idea waiting in the wings. This time I’m going to try Wool and the Gang yarn in a pretty charcoal gray. It’s going to be a cable and lace affair worked sideways in the manner of my Topaz shawl.

Topaz shawl

It’s good to be getting my design mojo back. I almost forgot how much I love it! Thankful this Monday for the supportive people I have around me. 😊

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Future Designs

Designing, designing… I live for this. My brain never lets the designer in me turn off. It’s good and bad. I can’t make it all! I’m thinking of going back to my sample knitters/crocheters. When I had my design business in full swing I’d pay a handful of dependable crafters to whip up the samples for me. It meant more designs could go out, which is how I cracked over 330 published patterns on Ravelry! It’s about 9 years that I’ve been actively designing. The cliche that time flies really is accurate (as so many cliches are).

I spent the weekend working on a crocheted shawl in a yarn I can’t talk about. I’m on a kick of combining yarns, and this one is yet another that fits that bill. The yarns are about a DK/worsted. One is a solid and the other is a multi. A rag type maybe? I paired them accidentally. Both yarns happened to land on my desk at the same time with separate intentions. But once they met I knew they were meant to be. Soul mates! You’ll have to wait until about mid-April before you know what I’m talking about, though. 😬

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Cables and Ribs In Rhythm

I’m working to get you the next (#11) In Rhythm hat! Knitting is being done with Knit Picks City Tweed Aran/HW and US size 8 needles. The design is a series of cable twists worked over a ribbing. I’m thinking I will put a Pom on top, completely optional, of course. My current favorite hats, though, are all finished off with a good Pom. Who doesn’t love a Pom? (I know the answer is lots of people. Haha.)

Knit hat

Needles and Leaves (above) is my favorite hat to wear that I’ve ever made. Im actually wearing it right now! I’d take a selfie, but i don’t want to be “that person” on the train!

The current (as of yet unnamed) In Rhythm design kind of has a similar feel to Needles and Leaves with the cable rib type pattern and an Aran weight yarn.

We’re getting close to the end of this collection! Then we can move onward with some new things. I cannot wait to delve back into more shawls and I have gotten pretty hooked on doing more sweaters.