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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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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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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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Next Up: Stony Brook

I finished up the Oyster Bay shawl last week. The knitting is done, shawl is blocked, pattern is written. Just two more crucial things: photos and test knitting. (Interested in test knitting? Send me an email at: fiddleknitsdesigns@gmail.com and I will sign you up to receive test knitting calls!)

I love the way this shawl turned out. It’s simple, but not boring. The Arab weight yarn knit up with a nice drape on US 10.5 needles. With an easy to memorize center panel and an easy texture to the body, the design made great travel knitting. So with it done I needed to replace my commuting project. That’s where the Stony Brook shawl comes in.

I wanted to create another pattern that was simple, but not plain. I had recently come across photos of my Aquamarine shawl and was inspired to do something similar.

Knit shawl pattern

For Stony Brook I plan on doing a garter stitch center and knitted on border as I did for Aquamarine. However, I’m doing a sweetheart shaping in the style of The Red Queen shawl.

Philosophers stone shawl

The combination of garter stitch center and knitted on cable and lace border makes for a great shawl. For me. I love designing the intricate patterns like Philosopher’s Stone or Bonnie’s Wish, but I also love simple pieces with interesting accents.

I also love, love, love the smooth buttery feel of Sugar Baby Alpaca. It’s a dream to work with! I would definitely work with it again. The only downside is that since it’s 100% alpaca there’s no natural elasticity. (Merino wool will always be my first and truest fiber love 😻)

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Weave and Spin

I was intrigued by Lion Brand’s Jumbo Alpaca as soon as I saw it. It comes in a hank of 62 yards. It’s gigantic and soft and kind of bizarre looking and I like things that are a little weird.

Jumbo alpaca

I worked on the knit Statement Scarf first and then set out to create a crochet design. I grabbed a jumbo hook and got going. After not even two full rows I realized I wasn’t going to be happy with the outcome. It was just way to chunky and messy for me.

So if it’s too bulky to crochet, but I needed to crochet, what was left to do? That’s when I pulled out WoolSpun (have a mentioned I love this yarn?) and started in on a mesh stitch to weave the Jumbo Alpaca through.

At first I wasn’t sure. It still looked like it might be messy. However, I learned a long time ago that some art (and crafts) look like total garbage in the process and amazing at the end. Actually, some of the best things look the worst in progress. I’ve learned the lesson, but it’s still a hard one to remember.

If you catch this post before February 8, 2018 then you can get the Weave and Spin crochet kit (2 balls of Woolspun, 1 hank Jumbo Alpaca, pattern PDF) on the Lion Brand website for 25% off. Currently the kit is the only way to get the pattern.

I had perhaps just as much fun modeling this one as I did designing it. Usually you all see my sister in design photos and I’m behind the camera. I switched it up this time tho! I’m not a very practiced model. Annalee was yelling at me the whole time that I was either moving too much or not enough. Haha 😆 You can tell we had some fun though!

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Make a Statement

I knew I wanted to knit this scarf the moment I saw the yarn. The texture and color and idea all made perfect sense together. Jumbo Alpaca is so soft you can pretty much curl up in it and be happy and sleepy and comfortable forever.

And the pompoms in this stuff! Oooo la la! 😍 They’re everybody’s favorite part.

Jumbo Alpaca has a somewhat rustic feel to it. I’m not sure how to even explain the texture. A ladder? It’s not a regular plied yarn and it’s not a single. It’s mostly natural fibers (43% baby alpaca and 43% wool) with 14% polyamide in there holding the fiber fluff together.

As you can see the scarf, which I named the Statement Scarf (because hello, you’re gonna get noticed!) is available in LionBrand.com as a kit (2 skeins if Jumbo Alpaca in the color of your choice and pattern). This, along with Weave and Spin, are my first designs published with Lion Brand.

Easy knit scarf kit

For reference, I am 5’6″ so this is one loooooong scarf!