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February, 2011

Knit Alongs Week 8: Finishing!

And here we are at the end of our knit along. I’ve enjoyed hosting this knit along so much I’m already planning our next one!

But first thing’s first – Let’s finish up these sweaters. Finishing is my least favorite part. When I am done knitting something it should be DONE, not take another 4 hours to put together. But let’s tackle this as efficiently and painlessly as possible.

I’m so proud of everyone for all of the hard work they’ve put into their sweaters! I’ll start highlighting some FOs soon, I’m sure!

Keep emailing me or posting questions on our rav forum, sending me pictures, and, above all, knitting!

Beatnik

 

Biblioholic's Beatnik!

We’ve got some seaming ahead of us, unfortunately. Seaming is a make or break part of the knitting process, but luckily it’s very easy to MAKE it, once you’ve got the process down.

For this sweater we will start with seaming the shoulders together. Since we knit the body together we don’t have to seam up the side seams, so all that is left is to ease in the sleeves. You want to start with the sleeve seam and then seam the finished sleeve into the body of your sweater.

Lily's Beatnik Sleeves!

The easiest way to make sure your sleeve is seamed in properly is to start in the most obvious spot -the armpit. Attach the seam of the sleeve to the center of the armhole bind-offs of the body of your sleeve with some scrap yarn. Then find the center of the top of your sleeve and attach it to your shoulder seam with some scrap yarn again. From here you can seam between your two markers evenly. If you still aren’t comfortable you can make more markers by finding the center of both your sleeve and body sleeve section between your markers and attaching the pieces with more scrap yarn. This way your sleeve seam sections are divided into quarters to make sure your sleeve is worked it as even as possible.

 

Ginger4's Beatnik!

And luckily the collar is picked up, so that is the end of your seaming!

This Weeks Beatnik Goal: Knit the collar, seam in your sleeves, weave in the ends, and you are finished!

While the designer gives a stitch total for the number of stitches you want to pick up for this collar, it’s a ballpark number. I picked up my stitches just to see how close I was and I got 138. I really wouldn’t even worry about counting it. Just pick up the stitches evenly around, make sure you knit one row, either as you pick the stitches up or 1 round after you put them all on your needle, and then go to town on that twisted rib.

Jackie's Beatnik!

Picking up Stitches Pointers: Don’t pick up stitches on the very edge of your sweater. Move into that first row of stitches and pick up loops along a ridge of that first row of stitches. You’ll have more of a seam on the inside of your sweater, and less holes on the outside.

Pick up all your stitches and THEN start knitting. That helps you to see if your stitches are even along the needle before wasting time knitting something you are just going to pull out because you didn’t get it right.

If there is a part that looks wonky, pull it. The last thing you want is holes along the front of your sweater, so better to catch any holes as you are picking up stitches, or even in that first row of knitting, than to finish your collar and be driven crazy by holes.

If you get to the end and you picked up an odd number of stitches, just drop a PU St or knit 2 PU sts together to make sure your rib works out. You can do it!

The Two Boyfriends Cardigan

 

My Mom's Two Boyfriends Cardigan!

One of the joys of The Two Boyfriends Cardigan?! Hardly any finishing! You may have a couple holes at the armpit of your sweater between your picked up stitches that you can go back and seam a little. Otherwise, besides some weaving in of your ends, you are set to start working on your pockets!

Emily's Two Boyfriend Cardigan!

This Weeks Two Boyfriends Cardigan Goal: Knit up your pockets and attach them to your sweater. Weave in your ends and you are finished!

You want your pocket stripes to line up with the stripes of your sweater so, while you’ll be able to see your pockets, they are flush with the body of your sweater.

 

Gillian's Two Boyfriends Cardigan!

There is really nothing tricky to it!

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Post pics and/or questions on our Ravelry Knit Along forum, email them to me, or tweet them with #solknitalong so I can show them off next week.

Happy knitting!

I’m Outie 5000, Minneapolis

I’m having a much harder time saying goodbye to Minneapolis than I thought I would.

We’re leaving tonight. I’m not packed, which is weird for me because I started packing to move here like 3 weeks before move day.

Well, my yarn is packed. I’m not TOTALLY LOSING IT! But, like, I haven’t packed undies.

I’ve really loved the last 2 months I’ve spent in Minneapolis. Who wouldn’t?! I worked from home, I made big strides to grow my business that I’ve been putting off because of time. I’ve got a really cozy apartment that I’ve made my home, in a neighborhood full of delicious bar food.

Sure, it snowed a lot here this winter. The most in the entire history of Minneapolis, in fact. But when you don’t have to leave your house unless you want to, and you spend the majority of your day working at a table next to a big window, or under a blanket knitting, you don’t find yourself complaining about the snow much.

So, here I am, about to go back to a city I love that is full of my friends, kinda sad.

I miss Chicago. I miss my girls and my students and my coworkers and biking and THE GYM (yeah I said it) and amazing (not just bar) food. But I’m going to miss Minneapolis, too. How nice everyone is, and how beautiful it is, and how cheap everything is, and the coop right next to my apartment, and our apartment.

Have I created a life where I have no home? Where no matter where I am I’m missing somewhere else?

Maybe people aren’t meant to live in 2 places. I know my brain can’t handle it – the last time someone asked me my zip code I answered, ‘6603’.

Beatnik Sleeves

But, the experiment continues. Chicago, here I come! And Minneapolis, I’ll be back in May. If there is still like 30″ of snow on the ground, though, I’ll be pissed.

Pudgey and Sleeves

I finished my Beatnik sleeves, and I’ve got to pack up all the pieces and will finish it in Chicago next week.

Mods: These are my first modifications of this sweater pattern! Besides knitting the body together.

As written, the pattern says to decrease for the sleeve cap every other row. Because of my smaller gauge with the DK weight yarn, I decreased every 3rd row, and it appears to have worked out! I kept my stitch counts the same throughout, and ended with the appropriate number of stitches, just made the section longer than it would have had I followed it exactly.

I guess I better start packing. Being in denial isn’t going to stop anything! It’s just going to make me have to make a HUGE trip to Target. And tax is SO much higher there.

Classes Start Next Week!

I can’t believe it myself, but by this time next week I’ll have two (completely full!) classes on my Spring Class Schedule in the books.

If you are still waiting to sign up for classes – don’t! All dangerously close to filling classes are marked below in red. And there is only one spot left in Sweater Club and that is in Sunday’s class. Grab it before it’s gone!

As always, email me at allyson [at] thesweatshopoflove [dot] com with any questions and to sign up for a class. I can’t wait to get started!

– Allyson

The Sweatshop of Love’s Spring Class Schedule

FULL! We’re Just That Awesome Cup Cozy: Yes, we should be using these instead of taking one of those paper cup sleeves at New Wave every time we order a drink, but just think about how AWESOME we are going to look using these?! You’ll need a leftover bit of sock yarn, some size 4 needles, and two cute buttons. I’m so excited about this that this is a one part class that I’m running twice. Monday February 28, 7-9pm AND Tuesday March 1st, 7-9pm. And it’s FREE!

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Thursdays are FULL! 1 spot left for Sunday Selfish Sweater Club: Intimidated by sweater knitting? Scared of knitting patterns? Want to knit a sweater with some super fun girls?! Then this class is perfect for you. We’ll break the sweater pattern of your choice down into sections, get you on a sweater knitting schedule, and help you every step of the way! From picking out materials to seaming your sleeves, Selfish Sweater Club will help you knit a sweater. Signing up for this class gets you one or two classes per week over the course of eight weeks. The goal is to finish your sweater by the end of the class. Spring session of Selfish Sweater club starts Thursday, March 3rd and/or Sunday, March 6th. It continues every Thursday night 7-9pm and Sunday morning 10-12pm. The one class per week option, either Thursdays or Sundays, is $80. Two classes a week, both Thursdays and Sundays, is $130.

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Two Spots Left! McCarren Park Cap: Not only super cute and warm, this hat is fun to knit and a great way to practice your picking up stitches skills. It’s practically seam free and a great excuse to make some fabric covered buttons! You’ll need a skein of DK weight yarn (slightly smaller than worsted), size 4 DPNs and a size 4 16″ circular needle. This class is in two parts. Tuesdays March 8 and 15, 7-9pm. $40

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Beginner Knitting: Always wanted to learn to knit? This is the perfect time! It’s still cold so you can sit inside and practice your new skillz, and make things for yourself before you get wrapped up in knitting all your holiday presents! This 2 hour class is a great intro to knitting. You’ll learn to knit and purl, the two stitches you’ll be using for all your new projects, to cast on, or start a project, and to bind off, or to end a project. All class times are from 7-9pm and are $25. You can add materials for $8 or bring them yourself.

Two Spots Left! Wednesday, March 9
Monday, March 21
Wednesday, April 6
Tuesday, April 19

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Welly Warmers: A great beginner project, you’ll love these Welly Warmers so much you’ll want to wear your boots right through summer. These boot toppers aren’t full socks, they’re just leg warmers designed to fold over the top of your tall boots – filling that calf space and making your boots look awesome! You’ll need some super chunky yarn, like Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick, and size 11 double pointed needles. And don’t forget about the 4 cute buttons! This class is one session (they’re a quick knit!). Wednesday March 23, 7-9pm. $20

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Toys! More Advanced – Dinosaur! Beginner – Stripey Ball: So I lied. There is one class that isn’t meant for you, though I wouldn’t be opposed to keeping that dinosaur for myself! Everyone is always making babies, so I like to keep a bunch of toy patterns at the ready just in case a baby birth sneaks up on me. I recently received Zoe Mellor’s book Knitted Toys as a gift and now I’ll never have to look for toy patterns again! In this two part class we will be making either the Roaring Dinosaur or the Stripey Ball. Tuesdays April 5 and 12, 7-9pm. $40

Roaring Dinosaur: For slightly more advanced knitters, this dino is knit in pieces and seamed together. The pattern calls for sock weight cotton yarn and size 3 needles, but the awesome part about knitting toys is that gauge doesn’t matter! Bring some yarn, any color of course, and needles corresponding to your yarn color, and we’ll do this thing! And of course email me with any materials questions.

Stripey Ball: New to shaping and seaming? This toy is a great beginner project and perfect for practicing your seaming skills, color changing, and pattern reading. Any yarn and needles will work! Email me if you’ve got materials questions.

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Two Spots Left! Chunky Cabled Cowl: This is a pattern that has been around for a while, but for good reason! It’s a great intro to cables, a fast and simple one skein project, an amazing gift (don’t tell anyone I said that) and so darn wearable! You’ll need a pair of size 15 needles and a skein of Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick. Monday April 11, 7-9pm. $20

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Group Knitting: Come get help starting a project, finishing a project, picking a project, picking materials, or learning something new! These classes are here for you to make up class time with, especially missed Holiday Present Prep classes, and any scheduled classes you can’t make it to can be rescheduled during these class times. All of these classes are from 7-9pm and are $15.

Wednesday March 16
Wednesday April 13
Monday April 25
Tuesday May 3
Thursday May 5
Wednesday May 11
Thursday May 12

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Reflection Cowl: Ready to tackle a more challenging cable pattern? Even a cable chart?! This beautiful cowl is cable-licious! Using two worsted weight yarns at once, these cables mirror each other, creating two side by side pannels of cabled goodness. It’s not to say this pattern wouldn’t be good for a beginner – this is a two part class, so we’ve got lots of time to get the cables down, read our cable chart pattern, and switch colors. Wednesdays April 20 and 27, 7-9pm. $40

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One on One Classes: Is there something you are interested in knitting that you don’t see listed here? Pick a project or a new skill and email me to set up a one on one class! I generally schedule classes weekday nights 7-9pm and weekend days in two hour blocks between 10am-4pm. Send me a few dates and times that work for you. I will match our schedules, pick a time that works for both of us, and give you a class outline. One on one classes are $20 per hour; most classes are two hours long.

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Knitting Book Club: We’re reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society for our Monday, March 7th meet up. If you are interested in joining the book club, send me an email. Please don’t come with knitting questions as I won’t be teaching anything (so the book club can be free of course), just come to knit and chat about our book!

Please note that all classes are held at New Wave Coffee at 2557 N Milwaukee Ave / 3103 W Logan Blvd in Logan Square unless otherwise noted.

Reflection Cowl Pattern

Mirrored cables in two different yarns make this cowl really unique. Working with two worsted weight yarns at once and following a cable chart pattern keeps this a quick and interesting knit.

Reflection Cowl

With cables like waves crashing away from each other, pick a variegated and a solid yarn to play on the water theme. Two solid colors make Reflection Cowl super modern and a great way to add two pops of color to any jacket.


– REFLECTION COWL –

Finished Size One size, roughly 13 1/2″ long (27″ around) and 10″ wide.

It's Hilarious!

MATERIALS

Yarn Malabrigo Worsted (100% Pure Merino Wool. 210 yds/3.5 oz): Continental 26 (MC): 1 skein, and 621 Deja Vu (CC): 1 skein.

Needles Size 9 (5.5 mm) needles.

Notions Removable markers (m), cable needle, tapestry needle.

Two Rows of Pretty Cables

GAUGE

Not necessary; no fit necessary.

Ravelry Pattern Page

Knit Alongs Week 7: Beatnik Sleeves and the Two Boyfriends Button Band

While the Two Boyfriends Cardigan knitters are happy to have sleeve knitting behind them, Beatnik knitters still have one more week of it.

But can you believe it’s week 7 already?! One more week and we’ll be finished. I can’t believe it!

Keep emailing me or posting questions on our rav forum, sending me pictures, and, above all, knitting!

Beatnik

Katie's Beatnik!

We are slowly making our increases up the sleeve, inching toward the armhole bind offs. I know a few of you said you wanted to change the length of the sleeves, and this is the week to make adjustments. When you are finished with your increases, just keep knitting until you have the sleeve length you want.

Hold a tape measure to your armpit and measure down the length of your straightened arm. 12″ is what the sweater calls for, and will land just under your elbow. Adding length after your increases are completed will, obviously, extend that sleeve length, so just keep working even in pattern until the sleeves are as long as you want them.

Biblioholic's Beatnik!

And just a quick note – I’m working in a much smaller gauge than what the sweater requires, with my size 6 needles and DK weight yarn. After binding off for the armhole, I know my decreasing for my arm wouldn’t be long enough if I don’t make adjustments. I’m planning on decreasing every 3rd row, instead of every other row like the pattern calls for, and see where that gets me.

Let me know if you are also working a smaller gauge and have questions about the sleeve cap decreases.

This Weeks Beatnik Goal: Finish your sleeves. This isn’t a huge amount of knitting if you are keeping your sleeves the length the sweater calls for!

Once you finish your sleeves you can go ahead and seam them up and into your sweater! Otherwise you can save all finishing for the very end. I know I like to spread my finishing out so I’m not seaming for 4 hours straight, wanting to stick that tapestry needle in my eyeball.

The Two Boyfriends Cardigan

Yay! Your sweater looks like a sweater now!

My Sister in Law Emily's Two Boyfriend, and Pregger Belly!

This week we are picking up stitches along the front of the sweater and working our button band. If you’ve never picked up stitches before it can be a scary thought, but just know that there is no rhyme or reason to picking up stitches. You just stick your needle in there and pick up loops.

Picking up Stitches Pointers: Don’t pick up stitches on the very edge of your sweater. Move into that first row of stitches and pick up loops along a ridge of that first row of stitches. You’ll have more of a seam on the inside of your sweater, and less holes on the outside.

Pick up all your stitches and THEN start knitting. That helps you to see if your stitches are even along the needle before wasting time knitting something you are just going to pull out because you didn’t get it right.

If there is a part that looks wonky, pull it. The last thing you want is holes along the front of your sweater, so better to catch any holes as you are picking up stitches, or even in that first row of knitting, than to finish your button band and be driven crazy by holes.

My Mom's Two Boyfriend, and Baby Nolan!

This Weeks Two Boyfriends Cardigan Goal: Knit the button band! You are going to pick up your stitches, knit them on the RS of the sweater, then turn and start working your K2P2 rib on the WS of the sweater.

Be sure to bind off loosely so your button band doesn’t pucker!

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Post pics and/or questions on our Ravelry Knit Along forum, email them to me, or tweet them with #solknitalong so I can show them off next week.

Happy knitting!