In The Sky With Diamonds Pullover pattern now available

The pattern for my new In The Sky With Diamonds Pullover is now available.
It’s a fitted, textured pullover with cabled and bobble sleeves and a Cowl collar, in alpaca and merino.
The length is to around the hip bone. The pullover is shaped from the waist to the bust.
The yarn used is Misti Alpaca Tonos Worsted.  The colour I’ve used here is Impossiblue – TW12.  It’s a gorgeous soft warm yarn.  I’m so looking forward to wearing this pullover.  My aim of designing a pullover with a cowl collar has been acheived.  I love collars.

In The Sky With Diamonds
In The Sky With Diamonds

In The Sky With Diamonds Pullover

Knitting Pattern

Yarn Suggested: Misti Alpaca Tonos Worsted or any other 10ply/Worsted yarn. 100gm balls, 199m (218 yds)
Gauge:22.5 stitches and 30.5 rows = 4 inches in Raspberry Stitch
Needle Size: 4.5mm
Meterage: 1367 – 3565 yards (1250 – 3260 m)
Sizes Available: 74 (84, 94, 104, 114)cm  29¼  (33, 37, 41, 45) in
This pattern is available to buy from Ravelry for $US 6.25

It worked!!!

My first effort at designing a cowl collar for a pullover has worked.  On the circular needle, I couldn’t tell if it would sit wide like I wanted it to.  It was all cramped up on the needle.  But it worked!!!  It’s looking just the way I want it to, spreading out beautifully over the shoulders. 🙂  Sadly, you’ll have to wait a little while to see a modelled photo of it, as the weather (indicated by the photo below) cools down a little.  It’s just too hot and humid to bear the thought of wearing such a warm pullover for more than a minute.

I’m using the time to type up the pattern ready for publishing.  The name suggested in this house has been In The Sky With Diamonds, due to the colour and the body pattern, which does look quite diamond shaped.  It was first suggested as Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, but I’ve discovered that there’s a hat pattern by that name, so I’ll try to avoid clashing with that. Technically, summer is over in less than a week, but as is fairly normal in Melbourne, we’re getting hot and humid weather in late February, although more of it than usual.  As published in the Australian Meterology website

Melbourne is set to break a February heat record for the most 30-degree days in the month. The city has already had 12 days of 30-degrees or hotter this month, only two short of the record. On average there are seven days this hot in February. The record is likely to be equalled on Sunday and broken on Monday or Tuesday with low-to-mid 30s forecast for the next few days. There has been a lack of strong cold fronts and a blocking high pressure system over the Tasman Sea has directed north or northeasterly winds over state for much of the time. As a result of the high number of very warm days the city is having one of its hottest Februarys on record. The average maximum so far is 29.2 degrees, about 3.5 degrees above the long-term norm and one degree short of the hottest February on record. The hottest February in the 157 years of records was in 1898 when the average maximum was 30.2 degrees.- Weatherzone© Weatherzone 2013

Hot summer
Hot summer
Not great weather for modelling woollens. 🙂

Whole lotta collar

My cowl collared pullover is all sewn up and the collar surging ahead. Before I picked up stitches for the collar I tried the pullover on. I love it! Here’s hoping that the collar will be an enhancement and not detract. :)Will the collar be wide enough, long enough, too long? Keep knitting and find out!!!  What’s the worst that can happen? Pull out the collar change it somehow.

Cowl Collar
Cowl Collar
Cowl Collar
Cowl Collar

The temperature is edging up to 36c over the next few days.  Not ideal knitting weather.

I have a design which will appear in the March issue of Yarn Magazine.  It’s very exciting!  I’ll keep you posted.


A sea of numbers? Knit your sample.

Pullover assembly

I plug all my garment measurements and stitch gauge into my spreadsheet. Taking all the resulting numbers I hand write a pattern.
For the shoulders on the back of the current piece, I cast off in four steps. For the front, in error I write only three of these steps. Knitting the sample I come to these three steps. This doesn’t add up to the correct number of stitches. Do I check what happened for the back? No, I change it so the three steps add up to the correct number of stitches. I line up the shoulders to sew them together. Hang on, these don’t match!!! What have I done??? Finally I check to see what happened for the back. So for each front shoulder I have to un-knit 5 short rows and redo to match the back. Thankfully this is fairly quick and easy to recitfy. Relief!!!!
What are my options?
a) Don’t make any mistakes when writing out your pattern. – Not likely or even possible
b) Check the written pattern against all your numbers over, and over, and over……. – Yes, but that won’t catch every mistake
c) Knit your sample – Yes, this is where it all comes together. It’s not until you actually use the pattern that mistakes will become glaringly obvious

The pieces are finished and I’ve begun sewing together. The shoulders are sewn and one of the sleeves is in.

Pullover assembly

For the moment, I’ve had the time to approach my design and sample knitting as “work”.  When my “work” is this enjoyable, I feel uncomfortable spending time on it.  Everyone else is working and I’m having fun!!!  That can’t be right.  One of the benefits of this is that when I’m feeling under the weather, this is work I feel capable of getting on with.  I sometimes feel that I achieve more when I’m sick than when I’m well.  I can ignore household tasks and get on with my project!  It’s not my fault, my brain made me do it. 🙂



Pullover sleeves chugging along

The sleeves for my cowl collared pullover are coming along nicely.  The first one is finished and here is a photo of the second one, underway.  It’s hard to get a true picture of the colour.  This distance seemed to work better.  When I tried to fill the photo with the work, it looked more grey than blue.  It’s a mystery to me.  I’m keen to finish the sleeves and get it all sewn up so I can get onto the collar.  That’s the whole purpose of this exercise.  It’s a good exercise in patience and a good motivation for keeping on going. 



10 ply Alpaca/Merino in the middle of summer?

My cowl collared pullover is continuing nicely.  I’ve been keen to see the diffence of the appearance of the tone on tone yarn colours in the stocking stitch/cable sleeves in comparison to the very textured front/back.  That’s partly apparent from my tension squares (swatches), but it’s good to see some finished pieces to see what it really looks like.

Here’s the completed back and the almost finished front.  You can see what I meant about the colour change at the top of the back.  I’d rather see this at the top or bottom, as it is, than as a band in the middle of a piece, so it’s working out OK. Both pieces were photographed on the same spot with the same lighting.  Who know’s what the camera was doing?  Not me!




I was OK with doing p3 togs all through every fourth row, but I’m happy to be onto the sleeves, which are stocking stitch, with a cable up the middle.  There’s a bit less concentration required. 🙂

As for knitting in the middle of summer, we seem to be having a high 30’s day once a week, rather than an ongoing heatwave in other parts of the country, so the house hasn’t been heating up day after day.  So the knitting continues.  And I’ll have a lovely warm pullover to wear when summer is over. Yay!

A new project

I have a new project underway.  The next step in trying different collars is the cowl collar.  The vehicle for this collar will be a pullover in Misti Alpaca Tonos Worsted using a relief stitch for the body and a cable for the sleeves.  My intention for the collar is to use a k2, p2 rib.  I’ll worry about that when I get to it.  Here are the swatches for this project.  The first swatch uses Raspberry stitch.

RIMG0145 RIMG0146

I’ve finished the back of the pullover now.  All the skeins are in the same dye lot, but a strange thing happened with the second skein.  It was the light and dark blue as shown above, then I came to a join in the yarn and it’s been predominantly dark blue since then.  This happened at the top of the back.  I’m continuing in this darker blue for the beginning of the front. Hopefully it will all look like it belongs together by the end.

Idiosyncrasy Pullover pattern available

My pattern for the Idiosycrasy Pullover has been available on Ravelry for a couple of months now, and I’m finally getting around to showing it here!

This is a beautifully warm and light lace pullover.

It’s a fitted, lace pullover with a Turtleneck Collar, in wool and cashmere. The yarn used here is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran.

Idiosyncrasy Pullover
Idiosyncrasy Pullover

Idiosyncrasy Pullover

Knitting Pattern

Yarn Suggested: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran or any other 10ply/Aran yarn. 50gm balls, 91m (100 yds)
Gauge:20 stitches and 26 rows = 4 inches in Small Fern Pattern
Needle Size: 5.00mm, 5.50mm and 6.00mm
Meterage: 910 – 1274 yards (832 – 1165 m)
Sizes Available: 74 (84, 94, 104, 114)cm  29¼  (33, 37, 41, 45) in
This pattern is available to buy from Ravelry for $US 7.00

Neck width stretch & Final assembly

With each pullover or cardigan (one so far) I design, I’m trying to refine the design and create my ideal design.  With each design, I want to deal with a design failing and see if I can correct it.  I love set in sleeves, as they give a close fit at the top of the arm, in comparison to the drop shouldered variety.  I’m not keen on trying raglan sleeves as I’m not confident that my row gauge is standard.  With set in sleeves, once the armhole shaping has been done, you can continue the armhole for as long or short as you want, to suit your own row gauge.  One flaw that I’m finding, is the tendency for neck openings to stretch, making the cross back look wider than I’m actually making it.  I’ve done some Ravelry research on the matter and have found someone with their own explanation for this phenomenon.  Joan Schrouder aka schrouderknits on Ravelry is “peevish” about this aspect of set in sleeved garments.

In response to a question about a garment with set in sleeves and negative ease perhaps riding up, Joan said:

How stretchy is your fabric? your yarn/fiber? What kind of st patt – does it stretch? How much wt is in the sleeves? (cap sleeve vs long sleeves?) What kind of shaping are you doing for the back of your neck? Are the sleeves separate pieces or extensions from the body? (ie is there a seam joining them to the body) My personal pet peeve with lots of set-in sleeve designs is that the shoulders are too wide to begin with, then the back of the neck cut-out, the fabric is knit loosely and with a stretchy fiber so the problem is compounded to make the sleeves droop unattractively off the natural shoulder line, looking much more like a drop shoulder.

In another about short row shaping on shoulders, Joan said:

I don’t know if you should do short-rowing at the neck part, too; try it if you want and see if you like it. I much prefer binding off my back of neck sts to help retard stretch that often occurs if those sts are not bound off. Rather than rejoining yarn to BO those center back sts, I would bind them off on the last time that I crossed them. I also rarely shape the back of my neck as I don’t like how it fits and it tends to lead to more stretching, one of my pet peeves.

So, it’s looking like back neck shaping may, in part, be the culprit.  Back neck shaping certainly isn’t a necessity.  The cast/bind off is nice and firm, it’s the step up between cast off sections where the stretch seems to occur.  I suppose this is happening with the front neck shaping too, but theoretically, if the back neck is firm, it should help stop the whole neck opening from stretching.  The front neck can’t stretch far if the back neck isn’t coming with it.  I also have the feeling that a collar will sit much better this way.

This is something to try in my never ending search for the pullover, as it should be.

My turtleneck lace pullover is finished and I’m now blocking the collar.  Here are some photos with the collar underway.

After sewing it together, and before starting the collar, I tried it on.  It fit’s exactly the way I wanted it to!  I’ve shaped it from the waist to the bust (another refinement I’m trying).  As I make my pullovers short, this is to prevent the baggyness at the waist that can occur without shaping.

So, I need to properly write out the pattern, get some photos done, and I’ll be all systems go!

In the home stretch

I’ve knitted all the main pieces of my lace cashmere pullover.  It’s blocking at the moment.  Then I’ll be able to sew it up and knit the collar.  Exciting!

As you can see, I finally got hold of some interlocking foam mats for my blocking.  I thought two would be enough, but I’ll need another.  Hopefully by this time next week it’ll be looking a lot more like a pullover!