Tag Archives: cables

Inspiration: St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

Have you all drank your green beer and eaten your corned beef yet?   No?  Well, what are you waiting for?!  (Though, to be honest, it’s far too early for beer for me, and I’ve never actually drank a green one, even in college.  Also, I’m vegetarian, so no corned beef for me.  But, maybe I’ll make some Irish soda bread for dinner.  Yes, that sounds good.  Irish soda bread and a beer around 6:00 tonight.)

I’m not really sure how to celebrate St. Patrick’s day, really.  I’m not Catholic, so I won’t be going to mass.  I’m not a big drinker, so I’m not going on a bender.  And, I’m only part Irish, anyway (maybe- my family history is fairly muddled, but my maiden name was kind of Irish).

What I am, though, is a knitter.  And if you thought I was going to let a day like this pass by without talking about Irish sweaters (Aran jumpers, in particular), you were wildly mistaken.

Aran jumpers are simply gorgeous, and they’ve been on my knitting bucket list for years.  Originating from the Aran Islands (just off the coast of Ireland), Aran jumpers are the old-school version of an all-weather coat.  They are traditionally made with untreated wool, so the yarn retains all that good lanolin, making the sweaters perfect for wearing in the rain (something that happens a lot on the Aran Islands), or while fishing on the ocean.  Supposedly, each family has a favorite Aran pattern- specific cables that everyone in the family wears, something like each clan having its own tartan.  I’m pretty sure that’s a myth, but I love the idea anyway.

Of course, these days, people use Aran cables to decorate anything, not just sweaters.

This shawl may be simple, but you can definitely see the Aran jumper influence with that gorgeous braided cable along the bottom.

Celtic Myths by Asita KrebsThis designer took the opposite approach, and crammed every square inch with cables!  I can only imagine how cuddly and warm this blanket must be.  (Can you spot the same braided cable in this project, too?)

Celtic Aran Afghan by Sharondipity DesignsI just love this sweater.  It’s a modern take on the Aran jumper, oversized and cozy, but still undeniably Aran.  And, there’s that cable again, running right up the front!

Katla by Lars Rains

Do you have plans for St. Patrick’s Day?  Have you ever knit up an Aran sweater?

What?! More Patterns?

That’s right, knitters!  Surprise!  Another pattern- and it’s one I’m super proud of!

Introducing: The Laura Shawl!521622201It’s a gorgeous (if I say so myself) cabled wrap, almost six feet long and two feet wide.  It looks great wrapped around your shoulders, or cozied up under your chin.  And, frankly, it’s big enough to act as a lap blanket when you go out to eat, and they set you too close to a drafty window.

The Laura Shawl is knit in gorgeous tweedy wool that works great with cables.  Four wide panels of complex cables are interspersed with some knit/purl texture, and the whole bad boy is finished with thick fringe on either end, just to make it feel extra-luxurious.

52162220_21The best part?  It’s part of another beautiful book from Knit Picks, the Woodsmoke Cable Collection.331101This book is absolutely breathtaking.  It’s chock full of 16 lushly cabled patterns- sweaters, blankets, scarves and hats.

I mean, look at these:331101111Really, I want to work up all of these for myself.  (Or maybe have someone else do it so I don’t have to wait?)331101151What’s that? You want a copy?  Buy yourself a copy here!

Or, comment below with a description of your most complicated cable project for a chance to win a free copy!  (The winner will be named next Friday, so stay tuned!)

Finished!

I finally got around to seaming and blocking my Stranger Cardigan!

And… I like it.  I don’t love it, but I think it’s partly that it took me an age to finish (I get annoyed with projects that take too long), and it’s partly because it’s pretty warm here (and no one loves a thick wool sweater when it’s super hot).

Anyway- pictures! Ignore me being a total dweeb. I have trouble looking like a not-crazy person when taking finished project pictures.IMG_0360

I like the shoulders- the seam between the two cabled panels is very pleasing- so neat and tidy!  And the sweater turned out nice and long- it goes down to my mid-thighs, so it’ll look great in the winter with leggings or jeans and a comfy t-shirt.IMG_0353But, I think it’s a little too long in the arms.  I’m always so paranoid about having too-short sleeves, I end up making them too long.  It’s a curse.  I might rip them back, or I might leave them.  It could be nice to have long, cocoon-like sleeves in the dead of winter.IMG_0379Of course, my favorite part is still the lovely cables up the front.  That’s what drew me to the pattern in the first place, and I still love them!  These cables might find their way onto some other projects, too.IMG_0413I’m pleased with the finished product, all told.  And I’m even more pleased that it is finished.

What’s your most recent finished object?

Inspiration: All the Cables

Hello, my name is Allison and I have a problem.  I love cables too much.

It’s funny, now that I’m on the body portion of my cabled sweater, which is all in stockinette, I’m finding it difficult to keep my attention on it.  Where are my cables?  Where is my interest?  Why isn’t my cable needle out?  It makes me kind of sad.

And what’s a sad knitter to do, except dream of her next project?

I love the understated simplicity and interesting construction of this pullover.  The cable/eyelet combo across the front and back is just gorgeous.  But I don’t know if it has enough cables to tame the raging cable monster in my brain.

Natsumi by Yoko HattaNatsumi_01_medium2[1]These cozy little mitts are super pretty, too.  I love how the cables run directly into the ribbing at the top and bottom.  But, while the cabling is very pretty, I don’t know if it is unusual enough.

Traveling Cable Hand Warmers by Purl Soho

traveling-cable-hand-warmers-4-2_medium2[1]Ah ha!  This might be perfect!  After all I’m looking for the most over the top, ridiculous cable pattern I can find.  This hat is nothing but an amazing, beautiful tangle of cable loveliness.  And, I can always use a new hat.

Snowstorm Hat by Anna RaufSONY DSCDo you ever get caught up on a specific project or technique?  What do you do when you can’t get something out of your head?

Dun, dun, Done!

So, I feel like my posts have been a little lacking in content lately.  I’ve written a bunch of little, silly posts, about TV and such but nothing with  a lot of meat lately.  Sorry about that.  But I have an excuse.

I’ve been working on a monster of a design for KnitPicks.  And it’s been eating up all my time.  While I still can’t talk about it (not until next year when it’s published), I can tell you I’ve finished it!  A little under a mile of worsted-weight tweed in garnet red.  Tons of cables.  And, well, that’s about all I can tell you.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASorry to be all secretive and mysterious, but I’m super excited about this one, both because it’s a really pretty finished object, and because I don’t have to work on it any more!

I’m sure you’ve had projects like that- huge knits that are marathons of complicated stitches that never seem to end.  And after they’re done, you sit back and go “Wow, I made that!”

I’m looking forward to showing off this project down the line, but in the meantime, tell me about your most epic knits!  I’d love to hear about them.

The Library is Open- Part 2: Cables

Let’s talk about cables!  They’re some of my favorite things to knit, and they look super impressive.  But here’s the secret- they’re actually pretty easy!  (Especially if you can read your knitting as you go, instead of relying on a row counter to keep track of your pattern.)

Here’s the little sample I’m going to talk about today.  (These cables are both pretty simple, but the concepts I talk about here could totally be applied to more complicated cables.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s a cool thing about cables- 90% of them are done with knit stitches, and 90% of them only work crossover rows on the right-side.  That totally simplifies it, right off the bat!

First off, let’s figure out how wide these cables are.  This is super easy!  Just look at the widest part of the cable and count the knit stitches across, just like we did last week.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe cable on the left is 3 stitches across, and the cable on the right is 4 stitches across.

Next, we’ll determine how the crossover is worked for our cable.  Look at the narrowest part of the cable (where the two parts of the cable actually cross), and count how many stitches are on top.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe cable on the left has 1 stitch on top, and the cable on the right has 2 stitches.  This, combined with the width means that the left cable is a 1×2 cable, and the right cable is a 2×2 cable.

That’s all there is to figuring out the stitch count for a cable!  Next, we need to figure out how many rows each repeat takes.

Start by identifying the crossover row.  It should be the row where the stitches are all slanted sideways, instead of being nice, upright “v’s.”OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen count the rows from one slanty v up to the next one.  I like to count the outside edge stitches- I think they’re easier to see.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe left cable has 3 rows in-between each crossover row, so it’s a 4-row repeat.  The right cable has 5 rows between each crossover row, so it’s a 6-row repeat.

If we combine all the information we learned, we can come up with the pattern:  The left cable is a 3-stitch cable, with a 1×2 crossover worked every 4th row.  The right cable is a 4-stitch cable, with a 2×2 crossover worked ever 6th row.

So, now that we know the pattern, what’s should we do next to continue the swatch?

Look down the cable to the most recent crossover row, then count rows up to the needle.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe left cable has been worked 1 row past the last crossover, so we need to work 2 more rows even before we make the next crossover.  The right cable has been worked 5 rows past the last crossover, so we can work the crossover on the next row.

Does that make sense?  Do you have any favorite tips for working cables?

 

Cables sweater- now with even MORE cables!

I think I might be in love!

At least in love with this cable.  It’s such a fantastic combination of beautiful, squishy, substantial, and interesting.  The big cable is a 12-row repeat, so it’s keeping my interest, and the little cable is a 4-row repeat, which makes it easy to keep track of where I am in the pattern.  I’m enjoying it so much!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve finished one side of the sweater front (I think it’s the right front, not that it really matters, because there’s no shaping!).  The pattern had me mark a couple spots with scrap yarn-  I think these marked stitches will have to do with adding in the sleeves later.  But, honestly, I’m not worrying about it too much- I’ve decided that for this sweater, I’m just going to follow the instructions, and trust the pattern writer.  It’s very relaxing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI know I just said that I was going to follow the instructions blindly, I can’t help myself to a little “improvement” here and there.  The pattern asks for the little cables to be exactly the same on the left and right front pieces.  I decided to make them mirror images.  After all, it’s not any extra work, and I think it’ll make the finished product look a little nicer.  But that’s IT! No more changes! (Unless I run out of yarn and decide to do something different with the sleeves.)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m fully enjoying this project!  Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) I’ve got some more design work coming up, so I don’t know how much more headway I’ll be able to make for a while.  But, even if I can’t be working on this project, I know I’ll keep thinking about it.

A new day, a new sweater

I’ve made a decision, and I’ve started my new favorite project (or at least my favorite for right now)!

I grabbed my lovely Haze Heather Wool of the Andes Superwash and started casting on.  It’s really a lovely color, perfect for spring knitting with shades of lilac and violet.

26320I purchased a copy of the Stranger Cardigan.  I wasn’t sure about that shape, frankly, I’m still not sure.  But, those cables!  How could you pass up those cables?  They’re too pretty for words.Stranger1_medium2[1]I cast on with nice big needles (for maximum coziness) and have been chugging away at it for a few inches.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s been so long since I’ve done a real cable project- I’d forgotten how much fun they are!  So interesting to knit up, and so satisfying after they’re finished.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t know how the sweater’s going to look when I’m done, but so far, I’m loving this big, cozy, cabled panel!

A(nother) Sweater

Apparently I’m on a sweater kick.  I mean, I always appreciate a good sweater.  But, I feel like I’ve got a bit of a bug under my skin lately about knitting sweaters.  (Or maybe it’s just that I’ve started looking at Pinterest more- so many pretty projects, so little time.)

I’m thinking that my next sweater should be for me.  And I think it should be more modern and girlier than my usual fare of plain-ol, top down pullovers.

And I think it should use this lovely lilac yarn I’ve had stashed away for almost a year.  (KnitPicks’ Wool of the Andes Superwash in Haze Heather)26320My first instinct is to go simple and easy to really show off the color.  Add in an interesting, modern silhouette, and I’m in love!

Worsted Boxy by Joji LocatelliResize_of_a04_medium2[1]But, oof, that’s a lot of stockinette… like, a lot…

Maybe I want to keep it simple, but do a more classic, relaxed silhouette.  And maybe add a little textural interest, just enough to make it fun.

Mailin by Isabell KraemerIMG_6038_medium2[1]But, then we’re back in kind-of-old-fashioned-and-not-terribly-flattering country.  (Although I do really like this pattern.  I’ll have to keep it in mind for a later date.)

Maybe I need something a little fiddlier- something with a ton of teeny tiny cables?

Little Wave by Gudrun JohnstonLittle_Wave_1_medium2[1]Maybe… but it’s not as much of a “wow” project as I was looking for…

Oooh, look at this one!  An interesting, modern shape, a perfect canvas for super-cool cables, and I think it would look pretty killer in purple!

Stranger Cardigan by michiyoStranger1_medium2[1]I think we might have a winner!

What do you think?  Which would you pick?

Pattern: Evergreen Cap

Hey, guys!  I’ve got exciting news!

Who’s got two thumbs and is one of Knit Picks’ newest pattern designers?

This gal.

Totally exciting, right?  As of Monday morning, my first official Knit Picks pattern went up, and, I have to say, it’s one that I’m pretty proud of.  (I’m actually wearing the prototype as I write this.  But that has more to do with the fact that my house is very cold, and less to do with how proud I am.)

This design has been bouncing around in my head for over a year and was finalized months ago.  I’ve been dying to share it with you, and now I can!  Woo hoo!

Also, look:  they even took professional photos with a real-life model (instead of me taking weird-angled shots with my tiny point-and-click camera that eats its battery after five pictures).

55670220_4Ooh… Aah…

55670220_3And, if you want to read the blurb from the website:

“The Evergreen Cap is an exceptionally cozy unisex hat, perfect for everyone on your Christmas list. A richly cabled beanie knit in thick Wool of the Andes Superwash, this hat keeps out even the coldest winter wind. Inspired by the tall cedar trees of the Pacific Northwest, wide cables climb smoothly from the cap’s brim up to the crown. Carefully arranged decreases allow the cables to continue uninterrupted to the very top of the hat.The Evergreen Cap is a quick and lovely accessory for men and women.”

55670220_6Fun, right?!

And, the best part?  It’s free, and just in time for last-minute Christmas knitting!

Get the pattern here:

Evergreen Cap Pattern