Friday round-up

Happy Friday, lovely knitters!

I hope your week was lovely – it’s gray and rainy here today after a glorious week, and I’m enjoying the chance to curl up with my current sweater project and read.

But before you pick up your own needles, I should let you know that the earlybird pricing for Knit Stars 2.0 ends today – this is a big discount vs. the regular price, so if you’d like to join us please click here to sign up before midnight CDT!

I’m really excited for the summit – it’s such an honor to join this crazy-talented group of folks:

and share my sweater secrets with you. Can you join us?

I also thought it would be fun to share what’s on my needles these days. Right now, my hands are full with two big summer projects – an exciting collection, and my fourth book.

On my needles – collection

The collection will be a start-to-finish group of basic garments and accessories, and I’m really pleased with how it’s coming together so far.

Here’s a peek at some stitch patterning that threads through a few of the pieces:

I just love the crisp stitch definition of the Rosy Green Wool I used here. It has quickly become one of my favorite yarns. Have you worked with it, yet?

On my needles – bookbookbookbook

My fourth book manuscript is due at the end of the summer, so of course I’m also working on it every spare second (and then some). Many of the sweaters are out with sample knitters, but lovely packages are starting to arrive here at home. Want a peek of a few of the garments?

I’m really excited about this book, which feels to me like a lovely capstone to the first three. I don’t have a tentative title for you yet, but it’s a complete sweater reference, giving you practical advice and clear, easy-to-follow instructions to make whatever sweater you’re dreaming of. Whether you want to do the math yourself, or trick out a plain basic pattern, this book is your friend.

I’m having a ton of fun working on it – dissecting and getting super-nerdy about everything from pockets to hoods to shapes and formulae. And as usual, there’s a pattern collection as well, to give you a launching point for your own sweater. Since I’m still finishing the writing, I thought it would be fun to ask – what are your own burning sweater questions? Got a technique, a silhouette, a question that you haven’t been able to answer? I’d love to hear it!

This weekend, I’m hoping to move on to the sleeves of the gray yoke in the picture above – think I can do it??

Happy weekend, knitters – and happy knitting!

34 thoughts on “Friday round-up

  1. Of course you can!

  2. I love the idea of the sweater book. I personally would like a book that helps me alter a neckline. I like more open necks, rather than a crew neck and feel nervous about changing it without help.

    1. Great suggestion, I also have that concern.

  3. My current burning question has to do with understanding how to match my silhouette to the actual shaping that needs to take place in a sweater to account for it – how far in advance to begin decrease or increase shaping and how soon to end it, and what the rate of shaping should be. This would for me apply to the body and to the sleeves. And, in case you were planning this (since you mention this is a reference book), I would love to see (especially modeled) pictures of the knitted result of making certain changes to the shaping.

    1. Great suggestion – I vote for this info to be included as well, please Amy!

  4. Hi Amy, Reshaping and resizing a neckline to work for me is one of the things I’d most like to learn.

  5. I’d like to know how to modify a standard pullover or cardigan pattern into one with trapeze or long points in the front.

  6. I’d like to see a detailed explanation of how to adjust a set-in sleeve for a large bicep!

  7. The book sounds amazing! Here are some questions:

    For a sweater that doesn’t have bust shaping, what methods are there to add it? I’m particularly interested in methods that work for sweaters that would not be standard CF hour glass. For example, sweaters with straight necklines (e.g. Similar to featherweight), an A line shape (which you still want to look a bit A line), or sweaters with all over patterning on the front only or on both (e.g. Adding A stockinette panel for shifting).. Thoughts of things to discuss here:

    ideally where should you add and remove stitches (relative to the bust points, side seams and armscye) and what can you get away with?

    is it possible to have a very narrow v-neck that looks like a straight neck when worn?

    . I know you’ve discussed this a bit in Ravelry but I’d be interested in it in this book too ( adding shaping on the back only is not a great option for me…)

    I know you love seams, but I’d love to see thoughts on changing a design to seamless and back again.

  8. Thanks Amy for your books and custom fit patterns. I have knittted for 20 plus years and loved knitting jumpers but 70% have always had something “not right”. I have found myself drifting away and focusing on projects such as afghans, cushions etc that don’t need that “fit factor” about them. Now, understanding fit, fabric and shape I am knitting jumpers for myself again that not only give me pleasure whilst creating it but they fit the way they should!!!

    I am very interested in changing up the sleeves. How to do this and the impact on the shape it has on you design and your body. For example From a set in sleeve to a raglan sleeve. Many designs that I want to custom to my size have had raglan or other types of sleeves and I have not had the confidence or understanding of how to alter that. Plus when googling it there seems to be a strong feeling of you can’t do that or its way too hard or why would you? Please help Amy! I am loving this new found understanding of garment design and now want to stretch myself even further.
    Kate

    1. This is going to be a great book! Exactly what I need!

      Along the same lines of Kate’s question, I have questions about raglan vs. set-in sleeves. For my part, the set-in sleeves fit my torso much better. I am (kinda) busty, and I have found raglan sleeves leave me with bunching up in front. Is this typical of raglan sleeves with the larger busts?

  9. One issue I haven’t seen addressed anywhere is that of the aging geriatric body, say over 70, and the effects of gravity changing one’s shape. It’s tied up with how much ease to leave and still have a flattering shape. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, Amy!

  10. My burning question is how to incorporate narrow sloping shoulders with a larger bust without having extra fabric across the front of the sweater between the start of the armhole shaping and top of the shoulder…I don’t like having the seams on my arm! Right now I can use CustomFit but sometimes mashing up patterns don’t always work out

  11. My big burning question is either a worksheet with formulas or a table chart for converting different gauge to the sweater of your dreams. Example: pattern calls for 5 spi & 7 rpi on size 7 needles, so my yarn makes great sweater fabric on size 5 needles and the gauge is nowhere near the pattern. Also, could there be some basic men cardigan/ sweater patterns/ measurements? Please? Do the upper torso measurements work the same way for men as women? I’m super excited about your new book and looking forward to purchasing it!!! Thank you!!!!

    1. Oo please include info for men – particularly not just a straight fit (tapered).

  12. I love your books and classes–I feel confident knitting sweaters now– so I’m looking forward to your upcoming book.

    The patterns you’ve included in past books have generally been knit bottom-up, in pieces and then seamed. On a related note, you have often spoken about the importance of seams in providing stability.

    I’d appreciate if you could discuss what factors to consider when deciding if you should use bottom-up, top-down or in-the-round patterns. For example, does the type or weight of yarn influence the decision? Will a sweater knit in-the-round be less stable and if so, how can you strengthen it? Should you always join seams with a mattress stitch or is the three-needle bind-off an equally good alternative?

  13. Another geriatric question! Is it possible to tweak the sweater back to accommodate rounded shoulders? I don’t want to mess with redrafting armscyes and sleeve caps, and all the body curves happen there. Thanks!

  14. I would love to see instructions on how to use different sweater sizes from a pattern to accommodate the front and back differences. What I mean is that for some of us who have been cursed with a biggish chest but are narrow across the back, it seems that using different sizes from a pattern to fit the front and the back (even if knitting in the round) would help a lot. I’m sure many knitters know how to do this, but I don’t and feel as if any sweaters I make have to be a larger size to fit my front, but then end up being too large in the waist, shoulders, back.I hope that makes sense.

    The other thing I’d love to see is instructions on how to change the sleeve type in a sweater. I’ve come across patterns I like but am not fond of the type of sleeve, but don’t feel confident in switching to something else.

    Can’t wait to see your new book and collection!

  15. Ah, you are making a yoke sweater! It looks like yours will be an unsteeked cardigan, but will there be shoulder seams? Guess we’ll have to wait to find out. Could you address the influence that shoulder shape has on the fit of different sweater styles, and maybe give some advice on how to alter patterns for a good fit at shoulder and neckline, for different body shapes? Georgette (above) mentioned having sloping shoulders, while mine are more squared, and I suspect this is why I’ve had difficulties with the neckbands on yoke sweaters (made without shoulder seams, like lopapeysa). The yoke needs to accommodate my shoulders comfortably, then decrease rather sharply to a neckband that will not gap, but will still be large enough to admit my head without simultaneously providing a facial. When the fit through the shoulders is good, however, the neckband tends to stand up and gap, rather than lie beautifully as in the green sweater pictured above, which is what I want them to do. Some advice on how to calculate the placement of decreases would be really helpful. Thank you!

  16. My burning question is, can a designer help knitters to keep yarn costs down by offering a range of yarn choices across the economic spectrum? I would think that this has to do with yarn manufacturer sponsorship and the test knitting process, but couldn’t the sponsorship be shared and test knitting be done in multiples of say three test items knit concurrently? Certainly there is a benefit for sponsors to have your recommendation, but does it have to be a single recommendation? In Miracle on 34th Street, Kris Kringle spread not only cheer but created significant goodwill for Macy’s by recommending the right source for a xmas gift (in that specific case, Gimbels, which is I’m sure before many people’s time, but never the less a classic movie regardless of the brands — that serve as symbols — of the time). I know this was “just” a movie, but there is something to be said for a business that stands by its product selection and isn’t threatened by the fact that they cannot be everything to everyone. I would also think that sponsors would be willing to pay test knitters for their work to promote their goods so that there is no additional burden on the designer.

    1. love this suggestion!

    2. Many festivals offer classes on yarn substitution (understanding how to pick a good alternative if you don’t want to, or can’t afford to, knit with the yarn the designer used). No matter which yarn(s) a designer uses, there’s always a reason someone might want to use a different yarn. This is a good skill for you to acquire on your own rather than expecting the designer/publisher to triple or quadruple the amount of work they have to do, which would still only showcase three or four of the thousands of yarns out there in the market.

  17. I’ve always wondered how to change the neckline on a sweater. You love the sweater, but it’s a cowl neck and you’d like a round neck instead as an example. This is something I wish I knew how to change.

  18. Amy I’d love some in-depth advice on how to change neck designs. I am petite and over 60, and my neck and chest are not my best features. I tend to favor necklines that come right to the bones at the base of my throat. So many designs today have large dipping necklines or boat shapes! I love the look but just can’t wear it. How can I take a sweater design that I love and add the correct amount of stitches and shaping to get the neckline I want? I have all three of your books, but still can’t quite get my mind around this. I’m experienced in knitting many socks, shawls, etc, but currently working on my very first sweater and feeling like a newbie ….

    1. Hi Teresa, this is my wish as well as I mentioned above. So many top down sweater designs seem to have wide necklines especially and I am clueless about how to manipulate a top down sweater in the neck and shoulder area!

    2. I’m interested in this, too, especially in shawl and cowl collars and the kind that you have on Tucci – I don’t know what that style is called. I need an extra layer over the back of my neck and shoulders.

  19. Hi Amy,
    I have narrow shoulders and a wider waist and hips. I am still struggling with extra sweater fabric above the bust. I don’t want to put extra decreases at the armhole, because the sleeves won’t match up for seaming, and extra decreases at the neckline result in a super wide neck, which doesn’t seem to work for me. Are there any other possibilities?

  20. Hi Amy – I would love some advice/guidance on how to marry two different sizes in a sweater pattern. For example, my body measurements sometimes indicate one size, but sleeve circumference indicates another size. How and where do you marry the two?

    1. I too would love to know how to deal with a larger bicep issue. The women in my family have biceps that are a size or two larger than the rest of our sweater.

  21. In order to get an A line shape from any sweater can you just omit the waist shaping and add a few increases instead. Also when you want a smoother tighter fit in a loose elbow length sleeve can you just add a few decreases as you work your way down the sleeve. Problem is skinny arms and a bit of a tummy roll.

  22. My favorite patterns are NO Seam patterns, but I struggle with the holes in the underarms area. Even when I have a pattern that is picking up stitches for an added piece (like the thumb of a mitten), I have the hole look. Could you incorporate into your instructions dealing with this knitting connumdrune!! I know that you are an advocate of seams….especially with certain yarn types, but I also know that you do have No SEAM patterns (knitting in the round).

  23. Having large shoulder blades and a slightly rounded back, I would love a book that would explain how to deal with this fit issue. I also have very skinny arms which make sleeves look sloppy on me. An explanation how to refine sleeves would be helpful.

    Thank you
    Marie

  24. I’d love to see information on changing sleeve length. I really dislike 3/4 length sleeves but struggle with lengthening the sleeve and making it fit properly at the wrist. So some kind of formula for figuring out how to make a longer sleeve that is small enough at the wrist but gets large enough for a large bicep. My custom fit sweater has perfect sleeves but I just tried adapting a 3/4 length sleeve to long for my daughter and it isn’t quite right — wearable but definitely off.

  25. In an hourglass sweater, how “long” should the waist be? Like, I get that you measure your hips, waist-at-the-smallest-part, and bust, and then spread the decreases/increases out evenly between them. But how long should you knit even at the waist between the last decrease and the first increase? Just some fixed amount (e.g. one inch), or do you somehow calculate it based on the shape of the wearer?

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