December 30, 2006

More progress


A progress shot, as promised. I think the chocolate brown contrast yarn looks much better than the more insipid mustard shade that I originally chose.


But life is too short, so I decided not to start from scratch. I'll use the mustard again for the sleeves. That way I hope it will look like a design feature rather than a mistake ;-)

I have marked the armholes with waste yarn. I'll pick up this project again when my hangover has cleared from the New Year festivities.
Have a good one! I'll be back in 2007!

December 29, 2006

Season's greetings to everyone!

I thought I'd post some progress pictures of my shrug:

I love the colours and the twisted effect. But I can't stand the way the yarn gets into such a tangle. I have wound the contrast 'B' yarn into smaller bobbins, which makes life a little easier!

December 20, 2006


I must admit that I have been working on xmas knitting much more diligently than I have been knitting the shrug. After the holidays, I plan to get back into gear.

December 19, 2006

Hello from England!

Hi there from London!
I have just started my Twisted Circle shrug. I'm using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted, but my contrast colour is mustard and too light.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

So I've forced myself to go to my LYS and buy some darker shades to give it more contrast. I'll post pictures of my progress soon!

Best wishes


November 29, 2006

Twisted yarn

Yes, this pattern is meant to have twisted yarn, but I am having a lot of trouble with the two balls of yarn getting too twisted up. In the pattern, it tells you not to manually untwist the yarns because you will be automatically untwisting them per the pattern. However, my yarns get so twisted that I can no longer knit with them.

Did anyone else have this problem?

Can you give me suggestions?

November 27, 2006

November 19, 2006

Per your request

Here are some photos of my yarn being dyed for this project.

Next time, I'll post a photo of the yarn dried and wound.

November 09, 2006

Just starting

Hi folks,
I have been looking at this pattern for over a year and I have finally puckered up the courage to give it a shot.

I dyed my own yarn, the Bare superwash worsted from knitpicks.

I have frogged it about 20 times now, but I think that I am happy with the Emily Ocker cast on and I am going to forge ahead.

October 02, 2006

Finished - Twisted Float

Pattern: Twisted Float Shrug by Annie Modesitt
Book: Vogue Knitting, Fall 2005

Yarn Brand: Lorna's Laces
Yarn Name: Shepherd Worsted
Yarn Colorway: Watercolor, Charcoal
Yarn Content: 100% Superwash Wool
Amount of yarn used: 5 balls Watercolor, 2 balls Charcoal (1 ball = 225 yards)

Yarn Brand: Lorna's Laces
Yarn Name: Grace
Yarn Colorway: Watercolor, Charcoal
Yarn Content: Boucle (Mohair/Wool Blend)
Amount of yarn used: 2 balls Watercolor, 2 balls Charcoal (1 ball = 120 yards)

Needle: Size 8 US 16", 24", 32", 40", 60" (Addis)

Gauge: 4.5 stitches = 1 inches in twisted float pattern

Dimensions: Inner diameter = 18.5", Outer diameter = 39"

Project Duration: 03/07/2006 - 09/21/2006 (6 + months)

Project Notes:
It’s finally done. I took entirely too long to knit this project. Just in time for Fall.

I modified the pattern a little just for sizing purposes. I really wanted it to fit my friend perfectly.

So, I measured and measured obsessively. My friend was neither a M or a L of the sizes given. She was in between. So I made some minor modifications to knit it slightly larger than a medium but smaller than a large.

I also made some changes to the sleeves. I didn’t want the armpit area to be too big and sag. So, instead of working even for the upper arm, I tapered it a little by decreasing 1 stitch per pattern repeat 4 times before starting to decrease 1 stitch every 4 rows. The entire sleeve took 7 repeats, just the perfect length.

I also changed the colors used for the trim. Instead of using the purple in the original pattern, I knitted with 1 strand of watercolor with 1 strand of charcoal held together. I really like the effect.

October 01, 2006

Am I nuts? (A poll for the KAL)

Ok, I finished my shrug back in July--happy with the results and moving on to other projects. My best friend liked my shrug so much that she asked me this weekend if I'd knit her one in exchange for yarn for a project of my choice. Yes--she'd pay for her yarn and mine! Can I actually go through this again? Would anyone else?

Finished but not happy

Hi all,
I have finished my shrug but am not happy about the obvious pattern/colour change lines along the body & both sleeves. How did others overcome this?

September 28, 2006

Better late than never!

I'm just starting off so any help gratefully received.
For the record, I'm using Colinette skye yarn- same stitch tension as Lornas laces so fingers crossed!

September 20, 2006

C'est Finis!

I've finished my shrug, it's based on the twisted float and the pinwheel (elann). I used crazy yarns: silks, mohair, novelties. Here are some pix; there are a couple more on my blog I made bell-shaped cuffs.

September 15, 2006

Just Joined

A year late but finally started my shrug. Like many people, I had a really tough time starting (and ripping and restarting a few times) but I think I've finally got it. The tips on this KAL have been very helpful.

I'm using LL Worsted in Black Purl and Charcoal, and have Grace in Charcoal for the trim. So far I'm only on the second repeat, but I'll try to post more as the shrug gets larger.

How's everyone else coming along?

August 31, 2006

Body Finished

It's been pretty quiet here lately. Where are you shruggers?
Last night I finished the body of my shrug, here it is straight off the needles,unblocked. Now to tackle the sleeves. I used the original 'watercolour' but I think mine looks 'pinker/redder' than the original, which seems more purple.

August 03, 2006

Take out three times

Hello Everybody,

I just join the group.

I have try to do this shrug three times and my sts are not coming out like the magazine.

On rnd 2 I am suppose tho have 24 sts. I have 28,

All my other rnds are off.

Did anyone else have this problem? Could someone tell me what I am doing wrong?

July 30, 2006

I've finished my shrug!

Well, I'm happy to say that I've completed my shrug! Wahoo!! Following are some project notes:

*I used Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in Gold Hill and Chocolate for the body/sleeves and Lorna's Laces Grace in Chocolate for the trim.

*I made the XL size, as I wanted it larger than shown in Vogue Knitting. I did stop the increases on the body at 63 stitches between markers instead of 67 stitches, as I didn't want it too much longer.

*Ironic story of the project---I tried on the shrug during the first sleeve so I could determine the length I wanted. I decided on a total of 8 pattern repeats. Then, I actually ran out of Gold Hill with 1/2 of the second sleeve to go. I found another hank in another dye lot and completed the sleeve. Then I tried it on---the sleeves were too long by about two inches! Apparently the way that the shrug hung on me during the first sleeve did not give an accurate assessment of the length. I should have pulled out a tape measure! Frankly, I'm too lazy to pull out sleeve ends to shorten them, so I folded them back (although not shown in photos). Actually, it didn't look too bad, as it mirrored the collar style.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with the results. Now I can't wait to see everyone else's completed shrugs!

July 27, 2006

Finally Started!

I finally started my shrug last night. The LLs is lovely to work with but I am thinking of frogging & starting again. I am only up to the first twisted float section but am not happy with the opening circle at the start. I tried to remember the instructions for the circular cast on that Kenny recommended but couldn't (knew I should have written it down) so just cast on as per the instructions. Still trying to decide whether to leave it & attempt to weave some magic later or, before I go any further, rippit & start again. I am using the original colourway but mine doesn't appear as purple as I thought it would.

July 26, 2006

Out of yarn!

Arg--I tempted the knitting gods and failed by not having extra yarn. Somehow (even with good gauge) I managed to run out of the Gold Hill colorway with 1/2 a sleeve to go. See my blog for more ranting. Hopefully I'll have the situation rectified by the weekend and I can finish by next week.

July 24, 2006

Yarn substitution....

Please forgive me ... for not using the yarn recommended (or LL as many of you have used...?)

I browse through the web and find that the yarns are simply VERY costly to me (some HK$1,300 for the whole project excluding needles...)! As the pattern, I expect, is suitable for many other types of yarn I am trying to walk around local yarn shops and find something more affordable ...

I guess I would try to buy yarn from the Mainland China... after carefully choosing the right color match with nice fiber content I'll report to you all what finally I have chosen!

July 23, 2006

Yarn Possibility?

KnitPicks just came out with a bulky wool of the andes handpaint and solids. I wonder if this would be a less costly yarn alternative. The pattern is very easy to change for different gauges. Simply knit the inner circle until it is the correct width for your own arms and knit the outer circle until it is the desired diameter.

I bet it would be quick - though some may not like added bulk. I love this shrug!

Hi Everyone

I started my twisted float shrug in the middle of last month and have been cheating on it with some other projects. Man do I hate doing the twisted float rounds!

I'm a few rows away from completion of the main body and then I'm on to the edging.

I'm using LL Shepherd Worsted in Charcoal and Lakeview and I'm very pleased with how it is coming out so far.

I'm knitting it on Denise needles and I bought a 52" cord for it and I put it on some extender cords to try it on so far:

I was so in love with the pattern after first seeing Kenny posting about it that I was instpired to knit it myself. Thanks Kenny!

July 18, 2006

Nice to meet you all!

I've just ordered the VK back issue and happily awaiting for the pattern! Meanwhile thinking about the colors matching thing... how to turn it into a bit more 'oriental'? And happy to meet you all!

July 13, 2006

Sleeve Decreases

Hey all you shruggers!! I have a question.

I was wondering how you did the decreases for the sleeve. Did you do k2tog or ssk? Did you do them at the beginning of the round or the end of the round? Did you do them 1-2 stitches before/after the marker?

I know, so many possibilities. Just wanted to get some advice.


July 10, 2006

First sleeve completed

I'm grateful to Vicki for the encouraging words that the sleeve goes much faster than the body. She was right--I was able to get the first sleeve done in one week. I had to do 8 pattern repeats to get to the top of my hand, but it wasn't bad. I'm not posting pics yet, so as not to spoil the unveiling at completion. I do have photos of the progress on my blog, though, if anyone is interested.

Ok, Kenny and Carrie--I know the two of you are in about the same place as I am. Let's see if we can finish the same week!

July 01, 2006

Level 2 - Body Completed

You know those computer role playing games, where you start out a Level 1 mage and as you go forth in your quest, you fight battles and cast spells and you gained experience points so that you’ll eventually get up to the next level?

Well, being a self taught knitter, I’ve been collecting those experience points from lots of books and the internet. I just realized that I might have enough experience points now to be bumped up a Level - Intermediate maybe?

Why? Because I modified a pattern! No, I didn’t make huge alterations, add on or subtract major design elements; I just adjusted the size. Does that count?

So, naturally, I need to blog about it before I forgot what I did.

So, I’m knitting this for my friend Marla. She is not a little bitty girl but not like husky or anything. She is just a tall, full figured woman. Nice body and this is coming from a gay boy! I want to make sure that this jacket fits her with as little ease as possible so that we can still see her nice silhouette and it doesn’t look like she has a huge carpet rug wrapped around her.

Looking at the pattern, and measuring Marla like 15,000 times, I’ve concluded that she is slightly bustier than a Medium but not quite a Large.

I racked my brains and eventually just threw all the sizing information from the pattern out the window. I’ll just knit the circle to her exact body measurement. Even as I started, I started the pattern differently. Instead of using the recommended cast on, I cast on using Emily Ocker’s circular cast on. (I'll post the technique if people request it.) As I started, I assumed that I’d be knitting till the diameter of the circle equaled the width of Marla’s back, from armpit to armpit. Then I placed the armhole opening and continued knitting the outer ring of the circle. While doing all this, I had to make sure that I maintained the correct ratio of the stockinette and garter rings of the pattern, and also to remember to increase 8 stitches per round, every other round. Here are my notes. After I created the armhole opening, I had to make sure that the rest of the circle was large enough to wrap around her bust area. Let’s just put it this way, Marla’s little boobies are not that little. So, here again, I had to modify the pattern and knit a wider lapel round to accommodate for her Baywatch boobies.

So after months due, here it is:
Phew, that was nerve wrecking. But there is another challenge now. I’ve made the body look fine, but now since I moved her armhole opening, I now need to make modifications on the sleeve shaping. She made it clear that she didn’t want no puffy sleeves. I need to think about the sleeve shaping and I have no experience about this at all and will just winging it.

Happy 4th.

June 30, 2006

Progress report from Sweden

Hi, my blog-name is Garngamen (Sigrid for real), (which means: The yarn volture, in Swedish). I actually started to knit this shrug almost immediately when the magazine came out, using yarn from stash, which is Debbi Bliss Maya, two strands of my Estonian 100% wool yarn in the two different shades, one in turqouise, and one in a slow transfer between purples and blue. The white yarn is also two strands of a Swedish spinnery called Mojärv. I have tried different edges, and fell for a mohair-blend, but having tried it, I'm not totally happy with it. Thinking of re-doing it. Also, I seem to have increased a bit uneven, which makes it a bit bubbly. Current progress is that I have knitted one sleeve, that I plan to frog, since it feels a bit too big. Problems comes from using different yarn size, and size of shrug. This pictures are from a while back, but I hoped this KAL could move my UFO into a WIP again! Anyway, Greetings from a summer -sunny Sweden.

June 23, 2006

A better picture of the body!

I am feeling so good about my sweater! here is a better picure all stretchrd out to shape. I am starting the sleeves to day!

June 22, 2006

I finished the body!

Whew! I am excited to be finally be finished with the body! All along I have been so unsure of the sweater since mine looked so different than everyone elses. Now that I bound off all 464 stitches (yikes!) I feel like I have accomplished something unique! I have spent $28 on this project using all of my left over yarns! Yeah! Now I can't wait to finished the sleeves!

Here's the start of my cocoon

I put it down a couple of month's ago since I didn't understand the instructions and; finally, I called my yarn store and asked for some assistance. It was an "ah" moment...just a lot of untangle of the 2 skeins I'm working with.

In addition, I substituted the solid color of Charcoal grey to a Douglas Fir green (I didn't want it to contrast so much).

June 18, 2006

I've finished!

I've finally finished AND learned to upload a photo (fingers crossed it's the right size)! The loopy mohair was thicker than the one specified and I think that's made it a little more "frilly" but I can live with this.
Although I added another round of the pattern to the sleeves for the small size, if I were doing it again, I'd make them longer. This pattern is difficult to measure exactly. All the same, I'm very pleased that this is now complete.

June 13, 2006

A Note about Sleeves

A tip for knitting the sleeves. Be careful of where you begin the round. I finished my first sleeve and pulled it undone the next day because the beginning of the round (and therefore the carrying of colour B) ended up along the middle of the outside of the sleeve.

I'm not sure exactly how to get the best placement for the beginning of the round and the only thing I can suggest is work out where you want it to be by holding the body of the shrug against you to see where this line would be.

A note of encouragement - the sleeves are a cinch once you've completed the body and that interminable border!

June 12, 2006

Woo hoo! Finished the body!

Ok, I'm so happy that I finished the body tonight that I'm tempted to pick up the stitches for the first sleeve. But, it's time to revel in my achievement and go to bed! It will be here in the morning.

Here's a photo of the entire body on the dining room table. I have more photos posted on my blog.

Twisted Float Shrug-Along

Twisted Float Shrug-Along

How do I get on the list of shruggers?

June 11, 2006


Ok, so I got down to the last six rounds for the trim yarn today and I was very excited--I'll finish the body today! Yes, I held such high hopes until I started knitting with boucle yarn, double-stranded on size 8 needles, around the bottom of my hot air balloon. It was the longest six rounds of my life! I started the bind off, but only got one quarter around before I had to stop myself to go to bed. This is like the ultimate torture--so close, but...well, you know. And the worst part is--it looks really good! It's worth the hassle!

I should have update pics tomorrow night. I'm going to finish this part in the next 24 hours if it kills me.

I too am joinging late!

Hello! I just found this knit along even though I have knitting my shrug now for a week and a half. I hope you don't mind me barging in :).

Everybody's looks great! Wow! This shrug allows for creativity in it and I love that! Mine is quite different from everyone elses. I used all of my left over yarn for the sweater and did distictive rings for it. My goal lately has been to whiddle down my yarn stash and this was the perfect project for it!

You can see it in my blog here:

I have 6 hours of uninterrupted (no kids) time to knit today! Yeah! Can't wait to finish!

June 09, 2006


Hi guys, I just wanted to check in.

I just started the trim and I'm excited about finishing the body of the sweater. I'm not knitting to any particular size recommended in the pattern. I am actually knitting this for a friend and I am knitting it to her exact measurements.

For the inner circle, I measured her back and made that the diameter of the inner circle. Then I left the waste yarn for the armhole. The outer diameter I get by measuring the entire bodice of my friend.

I hope this method works. There are just so many stitches on the needle that it's hard to get a good measurement.

I hope to have some photos soon. Right now I'm tied up with a commission project which I really need to get done. I'm knitting a scarf for Annie Modesitt for her up and coming book. So after that I'll continue on the shrug. Will keep you all posted. Happy Knitting.

June 04, 2006

Finished the Lapel Rnd Section

Ok, I've finished the 10 rounds for the lapel pattern change and I'm measuring out at about 36" diameter on the XL size. I have 56 stitches per section, and the pattern tells me I need to work the standard twist pattern now until I reach 67 stitches per section. I'm estimating that that will put me over the approximate 40" diameter. My gauge has been pretty consistent so far, so then the question is--do I stop when I hit 40" (guessing at about 63 stitches) or stop when I hit 67 stitches? Any thoughts?

May 29, 2006

Losing my mind...

Is it just me, or do you truly get tired of going around in circles as you approach the Lapel section?

May 23, 2006

Waiting For Yarn

Hi all,
I have also just joined this KAL. Unlike Kim I haven't started as yet. I live in Australia and have had to order the yarn from the US, so I have to wait. I am using the original colourway, very unadventurous I know but I haven't even seen this yarn before so it makes it really hard. In the meantime I have read the previous posts and taken note of all the hints about casting on etc. I have a blog here where I post every few days; not always knitting related. Any other Aussie knitters out there who are tackling this one??

May 22, 2006

Joining late

Hi, all!

I just joined the KAL for the shrug today, even though I've been working on this project on and off for the last two weeks. For my current progress (at the armholes), you can see my latest blog entries here. I'm going to be at a stopping point now, since I have to get a baby shower project done by June 17th, but I'm really looking forward to completing this project.

May 02, 2006

Checking in...

Hi, everyone. I've been in a strange non-knitting vortex. I put the shrug down when I needed to solve the color problem and haven't pick it back up yet. Hope yours is coming along swimmingly!

April 15, 2006

Beginning of Shrug

This is as far as I have made it before having to put my knitting down for a couple of weeks.
My students art show is next week and I needed to focus on that completely. That is why I drove two hours there and two hours back just to get the yarn. I wanted it in my hands even thought I knew I wouldn't not be able to focus long enough to get far. But I thought I would add an update.
Even thought I am not posting often, I am reading everyones posts. I chose bittersweet and charcoal. I think I am going to like the contrast but it's a point where I am not sure. I can't wait for next week to be over so that things can slow down and I can get back to my shrug. As for the beginning circle, the opening doesn't bother me because I can close it later. But for those of you who are having a hard time, I found that Annie Modesitt also has a crochet Lacy Leaf Coccon in the Spring 2006 issue of Interweave Crochet, page 30. That might work for those of you that want to start in crochet. It is as beautiful as the knitted one. I might try that one later.

April 12, 2006

Thoughts about starting...

Hi, I'm glad to be here and have my yarn on hand. I am planning to use Rowan All Season cotton for the solid color and I found some cotton/acrylic variagated yarn to go along with it. I have seen all the comments about the start of the circle and had thoughts about trying to start with a small crochet circle (like the ones used for arigurumi) and then pick up and knit . Any thoughts about this? I am also thinking about switching the solid and variagated colors...I wonder what that will do to the look.

April 04, 2006


I'm sorry I haven't posted more about my efforts; they are sitting on the sofa still staring at me. I've been pretty bummed about the colors not working out. In retrospect, I'm kind of wondering how I thought it could work. I'm leaning toward getting more yarn in a different color, which will take some time, so please go on without me. I just haven't been motivated because I've been disappointed. I'll get over it. In the meantime, I've been mulling over which colorways might look good.

Kenny, how is yours coming along? Has anyone else started?

March 30, 2006

Progress, of sorts

My beginning on 2 circs is working out quite well in some ways, not so great in others. Major problem? The color! Linda you are wise to wait to order your contrasting color. I'm using chocolate, which is one of the colors in the Vera colorway. I'm coming to the conclusion that the contrast needs to be a completely separate color. The twisted stitches just look like more variegation. That's not much bang for your knitting buck. I want to complete a second repeate of the stitch pattern before deciding, though. I'll post the photo then.

The hard part is that every fiber of my being tells me charcoal will look like crap for the contrast. Because what does charcoal have to do with the Vera colorway? Nothing! Maybe one of the colors, but much darker, like a really dark green or brown (if Lorna's makes such animals) would work. I think contrast is in order, but it still has to coordinate, or at least that's what my brain is telling me.

March 28, 2006

Just joined!


I just joined this KAL and can't wait to start making this. I am a bit intimidated, though with the twisted float -I keep reading through the pattern and I am not sure I understand what to do exactly. The pictures of it in the "How To" section didn't really clarify it for me. ANy suggestions? I was also wondering if you (Reb) decided to go with the chocolate and vera? That's what I was thinking of using, but I think I read that you weren't sure. I have not seen either yarn IRL, so I was wondering what your opinion is of these 2 together.



Check your spam filters

The simplified version should be in a folder near you.

More pics

Alison, a fellow blogger, has already made this shrweater. She's shared a pic of hers. Here's what she has to say:

"Hey there - I too have already finished the TFS - and I'd be happy to share pictures and any thoughts I had (like poking my eyeballs out when there was over 400 stitches on my needle - a totally normal response by the way)...

I used LL yarn - Black Purl and Charcoal for the body and then Charcoal for the Grace. I love the yarn and it was a dream to work with - the color combination I used is terrific for dressing it up with black pants. The whole thing took about a month.

Sizing Tips

Annie has given me permission to include her sizing tips on our KAL. Here goes:

"For final garment size, measure yourself at 2 points:
A) Across your front, from armhole to armhold if you're wearing a top with sleeves. Divide the cross front meas by .83 to determine armhole placement.

B) From fingertip to fingertip with spread arms. Divide tip to tip measurement by 1.73 to determine final garment circ."

Surely Annie means the final garment's diameter above, how wide it is across. I don't know why we are to divide by these particular numbers, but I'll take Annie's word for it. :)

Simplified Version Now Available!

Hi, kids. Sorry I've been AWOL--I very innocently needed to reorganize my yarn treasury (to, um, sneak some more yarn into the house) and came up for air many days later, a household-wide Spring Consolidation (can't really call it Spring Cleaning since I didn't clean a thing) complete.

I have received the simplified version of the shrweater! I will be sending it to everyone shortly via email, as an attached .pdf file. New members will receive the pattern upon request. Annie has very kindly shared this pattern with us, so let's please respect copyright and not profit financially from her generosity.

That said, the major difference I see between the patterns is the beginning--knitting more stitches before joining, which is probably easier to manipulate. The stitch pattern is the same as far as I can tell, although you begin at a different point in the pattern, so the rows are written in a different order from the Vogue Pattern. I am going to try both to confirm that, though.

As for my swatches, I have not been happy with anything so far. I decided size 7s are too small, so I got some 8s in appropriate lengths this weekend. I'm a bit shakier with 2 circs than DPNs, but I'll let you know how it goes. Also, I'm having colorway doubts. My chocolate colored worsted arrived, but I'm not sure about it with Vera. Time will tell!

Kenny, your knitting looks so beautiful! I hope to catch up to you soon.

March 22, 2006

28 Stitches

Did you know that superwash wool will not felt?

I tried joining a new ball of Lorna's Laces Shepard Worsted using the spit and splice method and it didn't work. I thought all wool felt.

Anyways, I have an update on the Round Sweater/Twisted Float Shrug that I'm working on. I'm at the point where if I were to make a size S, I would start the armhole. I have 28 stitches in each of the 8 sections of the circle. I thought I would take the piece off the needles to get a more accurate measurement and take some pictures.

Here is a picture of it right off the needles:

And here is a picture of it slightly steam blocked:

15" in diameter. I am off gauge - it should have been 16 3/4" in diameter. I could reknit the entire thing using bigger needles, but I am not going to. I am quite happy with the fabric right now, anything looser will just be too floppy.

It looks like I will have to keep going up to a size M or maybe even an L. Miss M's shoulders are about 18" wide and I am assuming that this is how big I want the circle to be before I start the armholes.

I'm going to continue knitting till it's about that big and measure again.

Oh, and here is a closeup of the twisted float trim.

This yarn is just absolutely gorgeous. But of course, it's not only the yarn, but also the pattern stitch that makes it stunning. Annie Modesitt is such a genius! I just love the way the dark Charcoal contrasts with the Watercolor to bring out the look of a braided rug.

I wish I were at home now knitting. Happy knitting guys!

March 21, 2006


What's up Reb? Where are your progress posts?

I will be posting a progress picture soon. I need to put all the stitches onto scrap yarn to take some measurements. Then I'll post a picture.

March 18, 2006


Finally! I was able to log in. I've had trouble accessing this blog.
I am a self taught knitter who learns by experimenting.
I don't want to purchase a very expensive yarn yet.
I think I want to try something less expensive. Any suggestions?
I'm looking forward to the challenge. I will be able to start next week
since I will be on spring break.

March 15, 2006

Round and Around

So, in my 1000th attempt to start a circle, I came up with this:

I started the circle with Emily Ocker's circular cast on using size 6 US needles. Knitted a few rounds and went up to size 7 US and finally started the first pattern repeat with size 8 US. I worked the first pattern repeat and then I took out the needles and put the live stitches onto waste yarn to "check it out", I guess.

Look at how it is rippling!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PATTERN???

Maybe nothing. I read somewhere that said - to make a circle, you increase 8 stitches every other row/round. That's ok. I also read somewhere that said - if your work ripples, your needle size is too small, and if your work cups, your needle size is too big. Hmm.....

So, I decided that a sacrifice must be made. I'm just going to cut this $5000 yarn and make what I have into a swatch. As I snipped, my on-lookers cringed. I soaked it in some water and here is what I have.

Ehh.... it's now laying a little flatter.

So here's the thing. I think maybe I ought to just put this project aside for a while. It's really stressing me out. Should I attempt this once again tonight? What would I do different? Should I start with 6 US and go up to 8 US? Should I go up to even 9 US? Should I use a different increase?

Alas, I don't know the answers!! Probably an invisible increase would look better. Probably, in the grand scheme of things, I'm worrying about nothing. I just need to close an eye and keep knitting.

March 10, 2006

Going in Circles

As most of you know, my newest project is Vogue Knitting Magazine's Fall 2005 Twisted Float Shrug aka Circular Cocoon Shrug by Annie Modesitt. I just call it the Round Sweater (I know, so ghetto!).

I've been struggling. I just can't seem to start the circle to my satisfaction. I've swatched and swatched, started and restarted, ripped and ripped and I'm about to throw all my Lorna's Laces out the window. Well, not really cuz number 1 - I'm cheap, and number 2 - I need to solve this problem!!

My problem is that the circle is just not neat enough for my taste. There are holes and spaces between the stitches that I just can't seem to get rid off. Here are my alternatives. If you know of a better way to start the center of a circle - PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!
  • Emily Ocker's Circular cast on.
    - This swatch is done with 5 dpns. Look at the stitches right around the center.... they are so far apart.

    - This swatch is done using magic loop. Again, look at the center where the arrows point. WTF??
  • Queen Kahuna's Aloha cast on. (Thanks Carla and Martha!!)
    - I'm not sure if I like the weaving thing going on in the center. There are still holes. Emily Ocker's cast on is cuter I think.... more like a flower with a circle center.
So, there is ONE more thing that I can try. And if this doesn't work, I'm done. I will try to cast on with 2 needle size smaller and see if the holes disappear. If anyone of ya'll know that this is NOT going to work, let me know so I won't need to do more futile knitting!

By the way, which of the circles above do you like?

Cast On

Here are some cast on methods that I've been thinking about for this pattern:
  • Annie Modesitt's original pattern cast on.
  • Cast on 8 stitches. kfb into every stitch, then join. I'm not too sure about this method. It tells you to knit a row increasing to 16 stitches before even joining into a round. This will leave a hole that is 16 stitches wide in diameter. But I guess you can close the hole by sewing yarn around it or something. Maybe the alternative to this method is that you cast on 8 stitches, join and then kfb into every stitch. Ideas?
  • Emily Ocker's Circular cast on.
    This website tells you how to do this cast on. This seems to work pretty well. You can just pull on the end to close up the hole. My dilemma here is whether to cast on 8 and then join, or cast on 16 and then join?
  • Queen Kahuna's Aloha cast on.
    This cast on is really interesting. This is the first time hearing about it and it makes sense. This cast on should have virtually no hole at all. This however uses 2 needles at once. This would mean that you would have to start the project using either the magic loop technique or the 2 circulars technique. Another drawback of this cast on is that you have to cast on an ODD number of stitches. I'll try this maybe tonight.

Yardage Issue?

Edited to add yardage requirements as given in the pattern (for those who don't have the pattern yet):
Sizes, Bust & Length - 30 (35, 40)"
Materials - Lorna's Laces yarns
  • 4 (5, 5) 225 yd skeins of Shepherd Worsted in a variegated colorway (A)
  • 2 (2, 2) 225 yd skeins of Shepherd Worsted in a shaded solid colorway (B)
  • 2 (3, 3) 120 yd skeins of Grace Mohair Bouclé in a shaded solid colorway (C)
Multiplied out, that is
  • 900 (1125, 1125) yds variegated worsted weight yarn (A)
  • 550 (550, 550) yds solid worsted weight yarn in a contrasting/coordinating color (B)
  • 240 (360, 360) yds mohair bouclé (C)
Gauge - 18.5 stitches and 24 rows to 4" over pattern stitch using size 8 needles

However, yardage may run short; to make her 40" shrweater, BJ needed an extra half-skein of Color A. She said a couple others in her knitting group are running short also.

Yikes! I didn't order extra. I think I'll do the sleeves before casting off the body; I don't want leftover yarn I could have used on the body. If the garment turns out a little smaller, that should be OK for me. I'm sure we'll get a better idea whether more yarn is routinely needed as we go along.

Staggering Increases

I read a good tip today about randomly staggering the increases: roll a pair of dice 7 times, write those numbers down, then use them to assure "random" placement of the increase stitches. A low tech random number generator. :)

Yarn Musings

I don't get Vogue Knitting, so when Paula turned me on to this shrweater last week, I was instantly smitten. I had vivid and immediate dreams of Lorna's racing through my mind. I saw Lorna's, wanted Lorna's and pondered Lorna's obsessively. I considered a whole lot of colorways: Watercolor with Charcoal trim, Gold Hill with Cedar, Black Purl with Charcoal, Vera with Chocolate, Sand Ridge, Jeans, and more. Even Forest is really nice with its more subtle hues. I decided on the dramatic Vera. It's different from what I normally choose, there's high contrast, plus Chocolate will match my hair. :) And I don't have much wardrobe in the way of browns. Ivory doesn't normally work for me, but all the color thrown in there gives me the opportunity to embrace one of my bêtes noires.

I'm really curious how this project will look with varying amounts of contrast between the colorways. Or how about two variegated yarns, one high contrast within that yarn, the other low? Or maybe two solid colors, either high contrast or low. How about Noro Silk Garden making concentric color circles? With my singular mindset, I forgot to consider so many options! Artyarns Supermerino is lovely? Ooh, Mountain Colors! I'm very much looking forward to seeing everyone's choices.

I ordered my yarn online from Chez Casuelle, a brick & mortar and online shop. I couldn't find Grace locally, and ChezCas provided great service with a discount and free shipping to new customers. The yarn is winging its way across the continent. In the meantime I'll continue to pre-wrap my mind around the pattern way more than I usually do.

March 09, 2006

Pics of an upsized shrweater

BJ has already knit this shrweater; here are the pics. She used Lorna's in the Tuscany coloway. Doesn't it look amazing? I am so digging this stitch pattern.

BJ upsized the garment. I'd been worried that making it fit around a no-longer-tiny body (or fit around it with lots of room to spare in BJ's case--a 40" garment on 5'4" medium-size BJ) would be way too long, but I think it looks great. I like it better than the length the Vogue model is wearing.

Shrug, side view:

Shrug, back:

Sweater, side view:

Sweater, back:

Some answers

I've been wondering the same things Kenny has. Here are some answers from Annie. I'm posting them here so they aren't "lost" in a comment to Kenny's post.

CAST ON - Thanks, Kenny, for linking to Emily Ocker's Circular Cast-On on your blog. I had been thinking this might be the way to go, but I couldn't for the life of me remember the name of it. Annie wasn't familiar with this cast-on.

I'm also going to try a regular cast on then later thread the tail through those stitches. As when finishing a hat at the crown, you should be able to pull the stitches tighter. I might also try a smaller needle size for the cast-on and first round. I'll report back.

COLOR MANAGEMENT - Annie carried the contrast color (color B) like so:
"In the first Color A only row, I worked B along with A in the first st.
In the second Color A only row, I worked B along with A in the second st.
In the third Color A only row, I worked B along with A in the first st.
In the fourth Color A only row, I worked B along with A in the st before the first st.

Do you see the pattern? I worked B along with A at the start of each A-only round, only using B in ONE STITCH and leaving it hang until I got back to it again. Out of all the techniques I tried, this was the best for stranding B up with the minimum of show."

Yay, no cutting! No weaving!

INCREASES - Here's what Annie did:
"For the first few rounds I knit into the front and back of the st because it was easier, but after I had a bit of fabric on the needles, I used what I call the grandma increase (I'm going on the assumption that the st on the needle is the 'mommy' - therefore the st below the
'mommy' is the 'grandma'.

To do this I simply knit right into the center of the grandma stitch. I like this increase - even though it leaves a bit of a hole in the middle of g'ma, it's less visible than many other increases. You can use whatever inc you like though!"

I'm also going to try the twisted yarnover increase because I just learned that while making a Faroese shawl. I'll try the increases Kenny mentioned (bar, M1, and invisible), too. Which side will be public is a consideration. See below.

RIGHT SIDE/WRONG SIDE - the pattern calls the side facing you as you knit the wrong side, aka the private side. Annie says:
"Try not to think in terms of "right" and "wrong" side, but rather St st and Rev St st side. The Rev St st will be the public side of the garment, or not. It's reversible."

So, as the pattern is written, the side you see while knitting (the stockinette side) will be the private side. Use an increase whose reverse stockinette side looks good to you because that will be the public side of the garment. Unless you'd like to wear the sweater with the stockinette side out!

JOG - yes, there will be a slight jog at the beginning of the rounds. Annie doesn't have a suggestion for that. I don't think Meg Swansen's Jogless Jog will be much help since it is used when the next "stripe" will be 2 or more rounds wide (tall). I'll do some research on this and report back.

Some things to think about

Here are some things to think about:

  • CAST ON - The silhouette of this sweater is a big circle, knit from the center out. How would you start off the sweater? How would you cast on to make the neatest center point of the circle?

  • COLOR MANAGEMENT - The pattern stitch is a combination of garter stitch and stockinette stitch both knitted in the round. The twisted floats are on the wrong side of the stockinette stitch. Here is a general summary of the twisted float stitch pattern:

    1: A – purl
    2: A – k with increases

    3: A – purl
    4: A – k with increases

    5: A – purl
    6: A – k with increases

    7: A – purl
    8: A – k with increases

    9: A – knit

    10: A, B – k1A, k1B twisting OVER
    11: A – k with increases
    12: A, B – k1A, k1B twisting UNDER
    13: A – k with increases

    14: A, B – k1A, k1B twisting OVER
    15: A – k with increases
    16: A, B – k1A, k1B twisting UNDER
    17: A – k wih increases

    As you can see, the garter sections use only color A and the twisted float/stockinette sections use both color A and B. How would you handle both colors? Would you carry B from Row 1 over to Row 10 or would you carry it from row to row? Would you break off the yarn every color change?
  • JOG - Also, 2 kinds of jogs will happen, the color change jog and the garter stitch to stockinette stitch jog. What would you do?
  • INCREASES - What kind of increase would you use to build the circle? Invisible, kfb or m1? Remember, the wrong side is the public side.

March 08, 2006

Introduction - The Boy Who Knits

First off, a big thank you to Rebecca for starting this KAL blog page.

My name is Kenny and I am in Houston, Texas. I'’m a guy -– obviously and a self taught knitter. I'’ve been knitting for a little over a year now.

I hope this page will pool together ideas, thoughts, tips and tricks from knitters'’ experiences on this project. I plan to use this page both as a resource myself and to post my personal experiences with this project.

I also have a blog and it'’s at:

I am knitting this sweater - Twisted Float Shrug or Circular Cocoon Shrug or what I call it, Round Sweater (I know, it'’s so ghetto!) for a friend. I will be making this using the yarn used in the pattern, Lorna's Laces Shepard Worsted and Lorna'’s Laces Grace. I will be making the body with the Shepard Worsted in the original colorway -– Watercolor and Charcoal but using a different color for the trim. I will be knitting the trim with Grace in Watercolor and Charcoal held together.

I've started this project a whole bunch of times already and I a’m off to a shaky start. I cannot seem to get the beginning to my satisfaction. I am facing a couple of issues will share them on this blog.

In addition to that, I have e-mailed Annie Modesitt with some questions will post her replies here.

That'’s me ..... Happy Knitting!

Fantastic News!

Annie Modesitt will be popping by the KAL from time to time as her Modeknits Spring Heresy '06 Tour permits. And she has oh-so-generously offered a free, simplified version of the shrug pattern! I will give the scoop on that as soon as I have it.

Knit-Along scoop

(pilfered by permission from Tipper's Scarf Style Knit-along FAQ)

1. When will this knit-along take place?

This knit-along will be ongoing. Join when you'd like, knit when you'd like, finish when you'd like!

2. How do I join the knit-along?

Send an email to Reb. (updated 3/3/07: Please send e-mail to Kim.)

3. What happens when I send an e-mail to join?

When you send an email, I send you an invite through Blogger. Blogger will send you a link to confirm your membership. If you have a Blogger username, simply enter this and your password and you're all set. If you do not have a Blogger username, you will need to create one before you'll be a member.

4. Do I need a blog to join?

No, only an email address. However, when you sign up, you will be asked to create a username, and you can create a blog (for free!) at this time.

5. How do I post a picture?

When you create a new Blogger post, you'll see icons above the text you're typing. Click on the icon on the right; this will pop up a window that has a few options. You can upload a picture from your computer, insert a picture from a website (use this option if you've already uploaded a picture elsewhere), and select where in the post the picture will be placed. When you've entered the necessary information, select "upload picture" and Blogger will automatically insert the code into your post.

6. The sidebar isn't appearing at the top of the page; what's wrong?

When this happens, someone has posted a picture that is too wide or an URL that is too long. Use (or HTML code) to make your URL smaller, and make sure your photos are no more than 425 pixels wide.

7. My name isn't appearing in the sidebar. Am I still a member?

I haven't quite figured out how Blogger decides which names to insert into the sidebar and in what order; my best guess is that it will show nicknames (which you can enter into your profile) and will refresh when a new post is made. As long as I've sent you an invite and you've completed the process, you're a member.

8. How do I link my name to my website?

If you enter a website URL into that field in your profile, the posts you make will link your name to your website. Otherwise, they will link to the knit-along blog.

9. Where can I get this pattern?

The Twisted Float Shrug was featured in the Fall 2005 issue of Vogue Knitting. Many local yarn shops still carry this issue or can order it for you. Likewise, it is available from many online vendors. Or you can order a back issue directly from Vogue Knitting. You can also order the pattern individually from Vogue.

10. Can you send me a pattern?

ABSOLUTELY NOT. Patterns are protected by copyright laws, and it's illegal to distribute them. If you want pattern, buy it. Knitwear designers need our support!

11. What yarn should I use?

This pattern calls for Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted and Grace mohair boucle yarns. Some local yarn shops and online vendors sell kits for this shrug, and many others will special order for you. But you can also make your own kit by buying the yarns individually in a myriad of colorways.

Of course, you do not have to use Lorna's Laces. This shrug is also beautiful in Artyarns Supermerino with Silk Fur trim as shown here. Or use any worsted weight yarns your heart desires.


Would anyone care to join me in knitting Annie Modesitt's beautiful Circular Cocoon Sweater? It is also called the Twisted Float Shrug in Vogue Knitting's Fall 2005 issue. Let's knit!