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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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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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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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I Have A Problem

As I stood looking through one of my project bags this morning I realized something. I have a problem. I have so many projects in the works that I’ve officially lost track of how many exactly there are. It’s Spring, so that’s official cleaning time. Right? Time to hit the yarn piles. Hard. With cold stony non-attachment. Rip or toss. That will be the question.

Now I need to know, how many projects are too many? Two? One knit and one crochet? Four? Two travel (one knit and one crochet) and two for at home (one knit and one crochet)??

I also have to consider, I’m moving in July! Eek! My boyfriend knows, but doesn’t know, just what he’s getting into with all this yarn. There’s just. So. Much! He’ll learn fast. And he’ll be ok with it. 😬

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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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ZZ TwistY!

I’m working on take II of a crocheted shell I designed in Lion Brand’s ZZ Twist yarn. This yarn was created with a “Z” twist meant for crocheters. (Z is opposite of the standard S twist. It’s spinning term stuff relating to spinning a single and then counter-spinning to balance the energy in the yarn.)

I like the definition and drape of the fabric that this yarn produces. This is another yarn that I wasn’t overly impressed with when I first touched it. I was like meh, I like natural fibers. Truly. However, the appeal of a washable garment is pretty strong because I hate hand washing and feeling like I have to treat garments like they’re about to break. I have some weird contradicting feelings and habits I guess. 🙂

Anyway, I gave the yarn a shot because it was there. So really, why not? The top came out nice (Annalee already added it to her wardrobe) and I’ve begun to consider other patterns I can write for it (all garments). Something that I found does happen, though, is the yarn gets a little twisted up. I think it might be a little overspun. Just my opinion. As I worked I’d notice the strand of yarn feeding into the project would twist around and start to double back on itself. Like when you’re making a twisted cord. (Twist, twist, twist, fold and let double back on itself. That kind of thing.) It’s a very minor annoyance and so far my only semi-negative comment.

As soon as I finish and photograph take II of this top I’ll get to work sizing up the pattern. After that it’ll be some proof reading and the pattern will be listed!

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Fast Crochet

I posted a teaser photo of Flikka yarn on my Instagram feed not too long ago sharing the fact that I hated this yarn when I originally saw it. Honestly it reminded me of some crappy 70s throwback. All the colors are multi rag-type looking options. Would I want an entire garment in it? Not so much. But as an accent color to another yarn I think it does pretty well.

flikka yarn

So I designed this crochet shawl (lots of crochet recently!) using Lion Brand yarns Jeans and Flikka. Jeans is a very soft acrylic yarn. (If you’re looking for an non-traditional baby yarn you might want to consider this as an option. It comes in traditional denim inspired colors.) Flikka is a blend of 50% cotton and 50% acrylic. It’s not to die for soft, but it’s softer than it is rough.

I made this shawl twice. The original (shown in photos) uses Jeans in Vintage and Flikka in Keepsake. Since it worked up stupid fast I decided to make another. I used Vintage again, but this time paired it with Jump rope. Photos of that combination will hopefully be shot this coming weekend. Weather permitting. No pattern release day yet. It will be available here on the blog and via Ravelry as soon as it is properly tested, photographed, and laid out as a PDF.

flikka yarn

Interested in test crocheting this design?! Send me an email:

fiddleknitsdesigns@gmail.com

The Details: Pattern test opened April 23, 2018. Deadline for finishing the pattern is May 31, 2018. Testers may use the yarn of their choice. This is not a secret test, so crocheters are free to post about their WIP.

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