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Jenni is running her exciting Great Finnish Yarn Club again, a club that pairs the talents of wonderful Finnish indie dyers with some very talented designers (well, at least I can honestly say so about the other three…).

You get four instalments of yarn & a pattern designed for that particular yarn.

September: Yarn by Hopeasäie & pattern by Susanna IC

October: Yarn by Lanitium ex Machina & pattern by Yarnissima

November: Yarn by Handu & pattern by Veera Välimäki

I’m really pleased to be the designer for December (my sort of month in so many ways) and to be working with Tuulia Salmela’s beautiful Knitlob’s Lair yarn. (I just knitted a happy striped cardigan with one of her other yarns, Väinämöinen.) This is a teaser for the scrummy December yarn:



It’s displayed in the decidedly non-club theme, Colour-drained Late Summer Doldrums (you can spy the second “colour” in the centre – already wound).

In the club you have the choice from one of three more enticing colour schemes:

  • Dark November Nights
  • Harvest Time
  • Misty Autumn Mornings

I look forward to seeing how the dyers have interpreted these themes.

(A note on the pricing: for EU customers, the listing does not include VAT – tax (19%) and shipping (about €25) is added at the end. Just so you don’t get more of a surprise than you want.)

crochet cast on perfected

August 13, 2013


I’ve moved!

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for the perfect NECKLINE (or underarm or anything, really…)

No gaps, no holes.
There are video tutorials for the basic method here and here (from about 4:06). These are good for seeing the general technique in action. They start from no stitches (and also show how to use this cast on as a provisional cast on… which is too fiddly for me).

For a neckline on a top-down pullover that is knit in the round, your cast on is an extension of already existing fabric and stitches.
This is how to do it.
(Yarn in photos: Fyberspates Vivacious DK in Spiced Plum and Peacock)


1. At the end of a RS row at Right Front edge, turn work over.
WS is facing.


2. Borrow the first stitch to make the initial loop for casting on.
Here, the crochet hook is slipped inside this first stitch so that it can be slipped off the knitting needle.
The yarn stays behind the knitting needle.


3. Fetch the yarn to pull it through the borrowed loop to make the first cast on stitch.


4. First stitch is cast on.


5. Place the yarn behind knitting needle to cast on the next stitch.


6. Repeat steps 3 to 5  until the required number of stitches is cast on.
Note: If you are substituting this crochet cast-on for another cast-on, you need to cast on one extra stitch before replacing the borrowed stitch (step 8 below).
If you are following one of my patterns and there is a crochet cast on, then the extra stitch is already accounted for.
The extra stitch is decreased on the next round.


7. Final stitch. You still have a loop on the crochet hook.


8. Place this loop on the knitting needle. This replaces the stitch you borrowed at the beginning.


9. Cast on is complete.


10. Turn work over and join to Left Front for knitting in the round.


11. Knit in the round to 1 stitch before the first cast on stitch (the one that used a borrowed stitch).


12. Make an SSK with the next two stitches (the last front stitch & the first cast on stitch).
(SSK: slip 1 knitwise, slip 1 knitwise, knit the slipped stitches together through the back loop)


13. Looking good.


14. Knit across all cast on stitches to Left Front.
Consider the pesky space.


15. Make a YARNOVER with LN to close the space – in the yarn between the last cast on stitch and the first Front stitch (not with the working yarn).


16. K2tog – knit the first Left Front stitch together with the yarn over you just made.


17. Contemplate the beauty of your work.


18. This is the Right Front one round later. Nice!

19. And left.

This neckline can be left unfinished or finished with a collar of some sort. My sweatrrr and Simple Ziggurat have simple collars added, but could both be left raw, when raw is this smooth. (See photo below.)

The crochet cast on can also be used to add stitches to the fronts of a cardigan as in Strrripes, for example (see previous post!) or for any cast-on knitted back and forth rather than in the round. The decreases on the following row then differ a bit (for Right Front you make p2togtbl on WS and for Left Front a k2tog on RS).

This is a photo of sweatrrr with the neckline left raw:

(Yarn: Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply in Silver & Bronze)


August 11, 2013


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One simply cannot have too many stripes.

Therefore, strrripes:
OK, so the challenge was and still is this: how do you start from one shoulder and wind your way down to the hem in one piece of knitting, while striping and with absolutely minimal cutting and joining of skeins? And achieving symmetry? And no finishing left to do when you’re done?


The challenge is still on for even if the Ziggurat method is now worked out and finessed in general – I have so far worked out the turns and joins for 6-row stripes (as in the blue/green cardigan above) and 4-row stripes (below) – there are other possibilities…
Each variant of striping and pullover versus cardigan works differently; the colour change has to happen in different places  – unless one likes cutting, joining, sewing. That, too, is of course possible.
(I like sewing. I like knitting. I just don’t like to sew my knitting. When I’m done knitting, I want to be done done.)

Oh, and a knitter just asked about using multiple colours, not just two. I have work to do!

p.s. The fabulous yarn for the Strrripes cardigan at the top is dyed by Ce of The Uncommon Thread. Her BFL Sock yarn has fantastic sheen and drape. It’s almost hard to believe there is no silk involved. The happy, gorgeous colours in the other cardigan are dyed by Tuulia of Knitlob’s Lair. The yarn is Väinämöinen, a 4-ply sock yarn. (The pattern is not available yet but will be.)