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Piedmont Raglan: Test Knit Call!

I know a few of you out there have been waiting on this design. It’s ready for testing! Interested? Email me at: fiddleknitsdesigns@gmail.com

I’d consider this a Fall or Spring sweater. For transitional weather. Based on the sleeve length and the yarn I used. Of course, it’s perfectly acceptable as a winter sweater as well depending on your style and location.

For the test you you may use any yarn you like to achieve the gauge in the pattern. I’d like to have this fully tested by the end of the year. I know we’re in full blown holiday season, so I’m flexible on the dates. What I do ask of test knitters is semi regular check ins with progress updates. Something brief on a weekly basis is fine. Just so I know the project is still in the loop and don’t need to post another call for more testers.

This isn’t a super secret knit, so do feel free to post and share your WIPs as you wish. If adding a project to Ravelry please tag with “fiddleknits” and “piedmont”. Once tested this will be a free pattern available via my blog and I will post it on Ravelry.

Deadline: December 16 (Can be flexible if testers maintains communication on progress.)
I’m looking for some folks willing to test knit or proofread a raglan sweater pattern. I know this is a pretty hectic time of year for most people, so I’m giving what I hope is a good deadline and I’m willing to be flexible if you want to do it, but need an extra week or two.

NOTE: Please feel free to use your favorite yarn that lets you achieve gauge.

Yarn
2 (2, 3, 3, 3, 4) cakes Lion Brand Yarn, Comfy Cotton Blend
[392 yards, 200 grams, CYC #3, 50% Cotton / 50% Polyester]
Color: Whipped Cream

Needles
US size 7 / 4.5mm 32” circular needle and set of DPNs for body and sleeves
US size 8 / 5mm 32” circular needlefor hem

Gauge
16 sts & 26 rnds = 4” in stockinette stitch

Sizes
Hip: 36 (42, 48, 54, 54)”
Bust: 36 (40, 46, 50, 52)”
Length to underarm: 22 (23, 23.5, 24, 24)”
Sleeve Length: 12”
Upper arm: 14 (14, 15, 15, 15)”

Skill Level: Intermediate

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The sleeves are 3/4 length. If you wish to adjust yours to be short or long sleeve please do so, but also please check pattern as is and make sure it reads correctly. Then modify your as desired so you’ll enjoy your finished sweater!

Communications may take place through this thread so you can discuss with fellow testers. You may also email me. Please try and check in at least weekly with progress updates. A finished photo would be great at the end!

This is not a secret knit, so feel free to create a project page. Once the pattern is listed on Ravelry I would like your project linked to the pattern so Ravelers can see finished items of the design.

Project tags: FiddleKnits, Piedmont

I do work a full time job, but I will check in to this thread at least once a day and will answer questions and comments as quickly as possible.

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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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Test Knit Call: The Remake Raglan

raglan sweater knit in Lion Brand wool-ease yarn

Love test knitting? Here’s one for you then.

I just finished writing up the Remake Raglan sweater and need some eyes on it. Once checked it will become a free pattern available via my blog and Ravelry.

Here’s what you need to know…

  • Worked from the bottom up.
  • The yarn is Lion Brand Wool-Ease Worsted. But test knitters can use their favorite yarn.
    • If you do use Lion Brand Yarn you’ll need:Black: 3 (4, 4, 5, 5) skeins

      Oxford Grey: 1 (1, 2, 2, 2) skeins

      Grey Heather: 1 (1, 2, 2, 2) skeins

  • Gauge: 20 sts & 28 rnds = 4” in stockinette stitch
  • It’s striped, but feel free to make it a solid color.
  • Finished bust sizes are: 36 (39, 44, 47, 52)”
  • Sleeves are ¾ length. Make them longer if you wish.
  • Back hem is 2″ longer than front.
  • Front hem hits at the hips.
  • Neckline is wide and semi off the shoulder, but a few extra decrease rounds in the shaping section easily closes that up for a more modest neckline.
  • Deadline: Thanksgiving

Interested? Email me! Fiddleknitsdesigns@gmail.com

Can’t make the commitment to the deadline, but still willing to look the pattern over? That’s fine too! Extra eyes are always welcome. Once you’ve stared at a pattern so long all the words and numbers get jumbled up. Fresh eyes are a huge help!

The skill level on this is around advanced beginner or low level intermediate. It has some basic shaping, color changes, and working in the round.

I feel like I usually hear about top down raglans. They’re great, but I’ve always had an issue with them. It’s easy to begin and increase and try on as you go. Takes some guesswork out. However, at the end I absolutely cannot stand working the sleeves! Turning the entire sweater around and around as you work the small sleeve circumference feels cumbersome to me. So I’ve embraced the bottom up raglan. Still working in the round, still a well fitting classic shape. But this way once you attach those sleeves you’re on the home stretch and the knitting goes by crazy fast. Unless I’m working a cap sleeve design, I don’t plan on going back to the top down structure.

Next up: the next sweater up for testing will be Piedmont. I know a few of you have been patiently (or impatiently lol) waiting to see that one. Expect a test knit call within the next few days.

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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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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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Knit it, Drop it

Rewind. It’s one of the new [gasp] acrylic yarns I cant stop playing with. Lightweight, yet speedy quick and bulky. Interesting and fun, but not expensive. This yarn has been keeping my imagination rolling in high gear.

I’m working on a very repetitive cable and drop stitch stole. I envision it being worn walking along a beach on a cool Summer night. Draped over bare shoulders to ward of that chill coming in off the water.

Ok. Two things — I might be slightly romantic. Also, I’m in desperate need of a vacation. I’m thinking somewhere I can put this vision into action.

I frogged this design a couple times over the weekend until I got the arrangement of stitches I was happy with. There is a leaf motif as the center focal point and I was having some trouble making up my mind how best to show it off. I ended up asking Rick’s opinion. (So if you guys hate it we can blame him. Hehe. Also, we’re moving in together in July! It’s good he gets used to being a sounding board for my designs now. Give him a taste of what he’s in for 24/7 😂)

I cannot wait for this design, along with the ZZ Top shell, Rewind raglan, and Flikka shawl to all be wrapped up. Beach photo shoot here I come! 💛

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Finding Inspiration

Creativity can’t be turned on with the push of a button. Not for me anyway. I wish that were the case. I could never come up with anything worthwhile under the gun, so to speak. My design method always involved putting the yarn I wanted to use within sight and waiting for an idea to spark. Sometimes it was an explosion and other times a slow sizzle. In the case of the past several months it hasn’t even sputtered. Lots of stuff happening within my personal private life.

Fairisle mittens

I know it kinda sorta looks like I was designing for Knit Picks because a few patterns were published with them. However, I turn designs in to KP just about a year before they reach the public eye, so all those patterns were done well before I stepped back from designing. The In Rhythm hats came out as planned until I reached the point where all the patterns I’d done were out and I crashed into that wall of not designing.

Fair isle hat

Sometime in the Fall I started to really miss designing and the inspiration started coming back. Life stopped being completely upside down and I started crawling out of my funk. I know I’m being vague, purposely, nobody needs to hear my whining. Ha!

So anyway, I truly wish over those last few years of designing I hadn’t let it spiral out. When designing was under control and flowing and test knits were organized and patterns were checked and it was a small, but well maintained and oiled machine life was good. I enjoy seeing people knitting my creations. Just for the joy of it. Slowly, slowly with tiny cautious baby steps I’m crawling back to that. Not the crazy wacky can’t keep a handle on my sh*t where I ended up. I’ve been taking stock of what needs to get done to be 100% where everything needs to be. Obviously step one is posting those last In Rhythm hats. After that I’ll tackle a cardigan finally. Probably in Knit Picks yarn and it will get sent to everyone that purchased Woodland Wylde, despite the fact I already refunded purchasers the missing cardi pattern, I’d still like to publish a design.

After those items are off the table I’ll proceed as I have in the last weeks. Posting progress shots, talking about the designs, and when they’re done I’ll upload them. (The shawls and blankets and such that I’m posting aren’t coming out before the In Rhythm hats wrap up. They may come out before the cardi, though, as progress on that hasn’t yet begun. It was an idea that only popped back up for me last night. I do have a few very basic things on the way that will show up before the final two IN a Rhythm designs are listed.) No preordering or yarn dyeing or anything that involves potential missed deadlines and disappointments. The path of less stress. For everyone.

Knit hat

And oh my, oh my how the inspiration does come back when you find your happy place again.