Knitting shaped Kimono sweater shoulders- Help?! 3

Calling experienced knitters, I want your help!*** See below Please! 🙂

Mostly level shoulder ribbon

Mostly level shoulder ribbon

This is Kamakura Kimono sweater from Knit Kimono by Vicki Square is an ambitious project for me!  I am using Berrocco Ultra Alpaca, gentle to knit with and it has been a warm lapful this winter. It is Challenging! The fabric is heavy, even drooping on the dress form. You can see the armhole steek below the orange pin…

Heavy sweater sagging already!

Heavy sweater sagging already!

  • My original yarns were lovely together but not enough contrast for the pattern, so back to my local yarn shop, oh my! 🙂
  • My good friend Carol said I must learn to knit with 2 colors at once! Okay, stiff upper lip and I’ve done that!
  • This pattern is a little confusing and my local shop guru said I should knit in the round and STEEK IT! I watched Eunny Jang steek 3 ways, will take  a Very Deep Breath and slice into this after stabilizing the front edges and armholes.
    [um, almost…eek!]
  • Shoulders, oh Dear!! Mine slope down and forward. I will get lost in a straight shouldered kimono! I found this great reference, looks exactly to the point: “shaped shoulders in the round“.

So, “FeralKnitter” recommends 5 steps:

  1. Decide how much rise you want. The usual 3/4-1″ measures for me are: 2 3/4″ front and 3 1/4″ back.
  2. Measure rows/inch– easy, 13/2″, or 6.5, one medallion repeat in this pattern, even for both directions.
  3. Rise (#1) x Rows/inch (#2)  gets me adding 18(+1= 19) rows to the front, 21(1+=22) to the back.
  4. Count stitches (armhole Steek to center front Steek), 73 for the front. The back is 156 stitches across. I don’t want to V up the center back neck, so will angle up across only the shoulder seam, flat across the back neck. That takes 6″, out of 15″, 9″ x 6.5 st/”= 60 stitches each back shoulder.
  5. Divide shoulder stitches #4, by short rows, #3, and add 1.  Front 73/19=3.8, which I will call an even 4-stitch short row. 🙂
    Back 60/22=2.76. Hmm, I hope it isn’t too indulgent to call that “3”. that still isn’t an even #, so a graph is in order…

*** This is where you come in, not so much for the graph, but for the ease/stretch/ heavy sweater sag experience! I wonder how much I should reduce extending shaping from shoulders up to the neck, for this heavy sweater?  Halloo?? 🙂

Inauguration Pie 4

Inauguration Pie today, raspberry-blueberry custard.  Some Red, some Blue, it looked awful, sort of like we did, 18 hours into Inauguration ’09, after absorbing cold, outside all day. But wow, damn-fine pie. We’re getting up at 3am again tonight to take a friend to the airport, just like we did for that 3am cab ride to the first Metro into DC from Hither-&-Yon, VA, just beyond the end of that line. Tomorrow I can feel bleary, remember the surreal gratitude all over again!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here is the pie, and a photo I would only share with friends, of us at the Western Regional Ball. Photo manipulation could only help a little, hat-hair, make-up blown off, from many hours before. We walked all over creation in DC, Metro bolluxed by crowds, roads still closed for the parade, cabs impossible. I hadn’t thought to engage a limo, probably not possible anyway. You can just see the edges of my shawl, which is huge and luxurious, but not warm.

For my sewing friends, the shawl I wore is made of Pino Lancetti silk, lined with red silk. I fell in love with the fabric in the garment district in Manhattan and it languished while I fretted over not ruining it. I ended up facing it with a red charmeuse I chose for it, lots of fine hand hemming. I could still take it apart and make it into something spectacular. Thank you 1912 sewers for helping me to even consider that!

I started the knitted hat after our inaugural tickets arrived, Friday before the Monday Inauguration. The hat was not warm enough when I finished it, so I lined it. Plenty of time to knit when you’re fretting over making last-minute arrangements to fly, sleep somewhere(?!).

Today we enjoyed the Inauguration from home turf.  Obama looked burnished by the last four years and so do we. And looking forward to the next term. I promise you that we are still adding to the volunteer mix here, trusting that it’ll make a difference. For today though, I got my contented fill of Sousa marches, speeches and the poetry that make me belong here, an American at home , in the place we’ve been working on. Here’s to all of us, Deo Gratias!

Kelly Cardigan repeats, with Variations 2

Knitting with mohair, camel , Italian Bouclé, and tweed insertion yarns was fast, so now – variations!

I’m making a couple of new sweaters, same basic design:

  • Fitting- from the old Sweater Wizard software. I don’t think it is available anymore- not ideal but I’m grateful for it, ready for an update–hint, hint! Options included knitting sleeves top down into the sweater, nice for good shoulder shaping.
  • Yarns– Silk and more mohair- Yum!! I added a Shibui Wasabi strand from a Wool & Company visit, Geneva Illinois. I was guessing on yardage, added a tam for the Wasabi. 🙂 he Caramel strand came from a visit to Art Fibers in SF, thanks to 1912 Sewer pal recommendation! It is Tsuki, 40% silk, 60% superkid mohair. Btw, they are great for distance requests, mailed another 300 yards (the cone in the photo) when I redesigned. They dye their own, no dye lot worries, aah.
  • Buttons – for the Wasabi, are from Mindy’s, local to me- Yay! I am on the prowl for the caramel sweater.
  • Variations– the Wasabi sweater has buttons, not Vogue Vintage Kelly, but I loved those and had to use them! Also, the snuggly shawl collar is smaller than I thought but still toasty.
    The sleeves are longer, too. I actually tore the cuffs out and lengthened them. The 3/4 length was perfect for spring, that warm green, but it was chilly! 🙂
    The caramel sweater is longer and will have a notched open or buttoned up collar, haven’t decided yet.

There will be a little of these original yarns left on the cones, so maybe next I’ll add in an Italian rayon, Ice Cream pastels, nice for Spring, will post…thank you to my m-i-l for the original cones! I had no idea there was so much yarn there! Xenia & Laura have two of these now.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Kelly Cardigan(s) 4

Here’s the sweater that knocked me off my stool and got me to use the fitting software I bought ($!) back in XP era. Yup, pre- 7, Vista and something before that, I think…

Kelly Cardigan

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This pattern came from a book called “Vintage Knitting”.  Simple, not even buttons in the classic view. I tested the gauge, then still messed up somehow, too wide. It’ll be a present for daughter’s visit soon. So I searched for the buried software and paid the update fee. It is so old that the Yahoo Support Group doesn’t seem to exist for Sweater Wizard 3. Anybody heard of it? Use it? Help?

I used 3 machine yarns twisted together, a camel hair, an Italian Bouclé, and a mystery yarn, very fragile, just hardy enough to add colorful slubs! Thank you Eugene Textile Center! They were slow knitting by hand until I figured the tension so that they wouldn’t stretch variably.

Both are done and I am already using the software to adapt fitting on my next Louisa Harding, a cotton/cashmere blend. A knitting option was “using round needles”, so fronts and back are all one piece, up to armholes already, love it! Post for that when it is done, soon, I hope!

Carol’s Scarf Reply

CAROL’s Scarf

This yarn is hand-dyed, called Hiroshige. The scarf is one of a His & Hers gift, his delivered, hers waiting to be blocked.

The headband is for me- another less-than ODD-BALL solution! The short ribs will stretch around my head, the long ribs will open to hold hair back and keep ears warm.

And here is the blocked scarf, stunning background not intentional. 🙂

Carol’s scarf, blocked

Louisa Harding Oaksike Reply


The Black Sheep Gathering is coming! I got a slot in a lace edge finishing class. So here’s my baseline, hoping to get much better after the class! 🙂

Sweater & Tools 🙂

This sweater has really nice edge finishes, a neckline and front finishes that hold their shape. They are light yet strong. the picot edge tends to pull to one side, leaning adrift. I hope I can improve on this in the class, not just with fervent blocking.

Yarn & Pattern

Here’s the book & the yarn, loved working with it. I like it with the necklace my daughter strung for me. I even like it well enough to sew in one of my labels! 🙂

[Except, if I make it again, those sleeves will have to be narrower! They Billow! And the cuffs are a fashion statement unto themselves! HUGE! They re fun to wear but out of step with the rest of the sweater. I’m learning—swatch *every bit of the pattern*.]

Cardigan- stabilizing neck & shoulders Reply

Neck & Shoulder fix on the Mari Pebble Cardigan

The collar rolls again!

This is a pretty sweater, fun to knit, an interesting pattern. Mari, the designer, lives in our town but we haven’t met. You can find her patterns HERE and this one HERE.  I hope sharing helps my friend Catherine Hopkins, asking about her sweater collar.

I love the roll of this collar. But—The shoulders had stretched out almost immediately, falling several inches off mine, so I pleated them, which inserted a sort of shoulder pad and a nice tuck falling into the torso. I got the idea from this Pendleton jacket.

Pendleton shoulder tuck

But–the yarn is heavy and it continued to stretch, pulling the roll out of the collar. And the buttonholes looked sad, hand-finished, buttonhole twist not a great match.  I’m sorry I didn’t take pix of these. Not that sorry. 🙂

So! I used a narrow grosgrain at the neck and shoulders to pull them back into shape. The measuring tape looked about right on my neck at 16″, so on that went, whipped in by hand. I pinned the ribbon, firmly adjusting the fullness back in, basting, then finishing.

Shoulders & Neck taped!

The shoulders had to be reined back in considerably, also.  I need to roll the shoulder line forward to fit my shoulders, didn’t do it here, wish I had. I could use some help with that.  I’m approaching the back shoulders on another, the “Kelly Cardigan” in Erika Knight’s Classic Knits. My sloper shoulders are adjusted forward, can’t be that hard to fix here (I hope).

That twist got picked out and the buttonholes pursed closed from the gaping grins left after taking off the old ribbon. This is the first time I’ve done machine buttonholes on a sweater. I don’t have a thing to say- it was as easy as putting them into a blouse!

This fits better and I’ll start to wear it again!


I posted this on Ravelry, finished a lace sweater on Saturday, in time to wear it to a friend’s (successful Surprise!) 60th Birthday party.  I still need to take it easy, eyes tire easily after retinal surgery.

Louisa Harding "Oaksike" cardigan