Double the Fun KAL: Guildenstern Swatching and Hems

Happy first day of the Double the Fun KAL, Guildenstern edition! I hope you’re as excited as I am to make this adorable shirt by Cory Ellen Boberg! I chose to go with the Spruced Up color combo and can't wait to wear it this summer!

The first week of our KAL is a lot of housekeeping: designating colors, choosing size, swatching and measuring for gauge. So, let’s jump right in and get down to the business of making a fabulous shirt that fits!

Color Order!

When I think about the order of colors I think “Ok, lightest at the top, darkest at the bottom” so lightest color is Color A and darkest color is Color D. NOPE! It’s the reverse. Since this top is worked from the bottom-up, we need to make sure our darkest color is Color A. I found it helpful to grab a Sharpie actually write “Color A”, “Color B”, etc. on the ball band of each skein.

IMPORTANT! Cory makes specific note in the pattern to use Color D to swatch. Please be sure you know which color is your Color D and use that to knit up your swatch to avoid running out of yarn in the other colors!

 Spruced Up Kit: Vanilla (D), Soft Sage (C), Pistachio (B) and Teal (A)

Spruced Up Kit: Vanilla (D), Soft Sage (C), Pistachio (B) and Teal (A)

Choosing a Size

You likely already have your yarn (though if you don't, there's still totally time to join us) - which means you probably have a general idea about the size of garment you plan to make. BUT! If you’re on the fence about sizing here’s a tip I offer to anyone who asks:

Go into your closet and find your most favorite garment - preferably knit, if possible. You know which one I’m talking about: the one that you’re always happy to see is clean, the one that you feel like a total Rockstar when you wear it. THAT one!
Lay it flat on a non-stick surface, like a countertop or kitchen table, not a bed or sofa that can “stick” to the fabric, and measure the dimension across the bust of the garment. Make the size of Guildenstern based on that!

As an example, I’m a 40.5” bust and one of my favorite favorite shirts measures 41.75” (the dimension across the bust when laid flat is around 20-7/8” - half of the total circumference). Now, obviously the top doesn’t come in quarter sizes, only full sizes every 2”, so I’m going to knit the size closest which comes in at 42”. Pretty perfect!

Let’s Talk Swatching ITR!

Before we get started with the knitting, I want to talk about swatching for gauge when working in the round (ITR). I know lots of knitters who will swatch flat for knitting in the round. I have BEEN one of those knitters. Lemme tell ya… it didn’t work out so well for the finished garment fitting me so I’m here to share my favorite knitting tip: SPEED SWATCHING!

Alright, so "speed swatching" it’s a bit of a misnomer based on the fact that you don’t actually knit any faster, but you can create a gauge swatch that is appropriate for measuring gauge in the round faster than if you did it the traditional way: casting on an entire tube and knitting the whole thing.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to knit a speed swatch for this project since we’re going to be working this in the round once the hems are complete.

How to Measure Gauge

Once your swatch is dry, dry, dry, it’s time to measure your gauge so you know that your finished garment will fit.

I’m going to refer to you to a handy-dandy blog post that Heather shared back in May when she hosted another knit along with a few reminders/tips:

  1. Be sure to use Color D!
  2. Use a needle size that is close to the size you estimate you’ll need for this project. Cory calls for a US 6 in the pattern. I know from experience with Ewe Ewe Yarns that to get 24 sts / 4” using a sport weight yarn I need to go down a needle size or two. I swatched using my US 4 needle and am bang on 24 sts / 4”. If you don’t know, start with a US 6. If you swatch a couple of inches (pre-blocking) and measure and you’re already getting fewer stitches per inch, go down a needle size and restart.
  3. Cast on at least 30 sts (Heather’s blog post calls for 20 but they were using a Bulky-weight yarn). You want to make sure you have a good sample to take your gauge over.

Ok, with that said, head on over to Heather’s previous blog post about measuring your stitch gauge by clicking HERE.

Choosing Needle Sizes

Once you have determined your gauge for your Larger needle size, you'll need to determine what your Smaller needle size is (if you didn’t get gauge on at US 6).

My first assumption was to go down 3 needle sizes as per Cory’s pattern, however, after some trial and error on my part, I decided it was best to go down the metric number of sizes, as closely as possible.

For example, you’ll notice that Cory uses a US 6 (4 mm) for the Larger needle and her Smaller needle is a US 3 (3.25 mm). That’s a metric diameter difference of 0.75 mm. So I highly recommend just going down the 0.75 mm in size rather than 3 needle sizes.

  • If you’re using a US 6 for your Larger needle, obviously use a US 3 for your Smaller needle.
  • If you’re using a US 5 for your Larger needle, I would still recommend using a US 3 for your Smaller needle. Going down to a US 2 would be too small compared to your Larger needle gauge.
  • If you’re like me and need to use a US 4 to meet gauge, go down to a US 2 (2.75 mm) needle to get the 0.75 mm diameter difference.

Casting On!

Whew! That felt like a lot of work just to get to the magical part of casting on. But we’re finally there!

For week 1 (that's today!) we’re going to work the Cast On - Front and Back using our Smaller needles, exactly as Cory has it written. Mostly!

TIP TIME! I highly recommend knitting the Back hem first. You can work the back Hem, and break the yarn then work the Front hem leaving the working yarn attached for joining in the round next week.

If you don’t have 2 needles of the same size you can knit the Back hem and place the stitches on a stitch holder or length of smooth waste yarn while you work the Front hem. You’ll be able to tell the difference between the two because the Front is shorter than the Back. Next week we’ll talk about joining the Front and the Back and working the shirt in the round (so much faster!).

Hems.jpg

Until next week...

Week 2 of the Guildenstern edition of the Double the Fun KAL will be next Thursday, July 26th where we'll tackle joining in the round and Body Stripes Section 1. But before I sign off the blog post for the week, I have two more tips for you as you get those busy little fingers a-knittin’!

  1. Grab a highlighter or red pen and go through the pattern and highlight or circle your size of instructions throughout the pattern. It’ll make the process moving forward a lot easier - far less counting each set of instructions to get your size.
  2. Clip a removable marker to the RS of your garter stitch hems. You’ll notice that in the instructions Cory says “Beginning with WS facing” - so you’ll want to make sure you know RS from WS so that when you start the Body you’ve got the correct side of the garter ridges facing you!

Noble Goals!

This week your goal will be to swatch, measure your gauge and knit the Front and Back hems.

Next week we’re going to start working the shirt in the round so be sure you have a 32” circular needle with which to join the work and a couple of stitch markers. Have a great week of knitting!


Check in, encourage others, have fun!

Heather and Meaghan are here to answer any questions you might have about these projects and how a knit-along works. We hope you'll join us on this summertime knitting adventure!

We'll check in online on Instagram with the hashtags #DoubleTheFunKAL and #EweEweKALFollow @eweeweyarns and @notsorryknitter on Instagram now! 

Email us if you have any questions! (We're just a click away.)

Double the Fun KAL: The Shift Kickoff + Section 1

Hello! Welcome to the start of our two-project knit along! It's a wild one where we'll be working The Shift cowl on Tuesdays and Guildenstern t-shirt on Thursdays. I'm here with the start of our Double the Fun KAL and Section 1 of The Shift by Drea Renee Knits.

I chose to make mine in the Misty Moss color way using Ewe So Sporty merino in colors Teal, Pistachio, and Wheat. I think it seems like such a wearable combo for my redheaded self. Plus, the colors kind of match the shades in the original pattern!

The Shift: Section 1

Getting started on The Shift cowl isn't too bad. We start with a quick increase and then jump right in to the project. It starts off line-by-line so it's easy to keep track of where you are. If you have trouble with the M1R and M1L here's a link with all the photos and a great reminder about how to remember which is which. 

The next important thing to keep in mind is the differences between "with yarn in front" (wyif) and "with yarn in back" (wyib). These two terms can sometimes trip up a new knitter but it's really easy to use and can give some fun results. The biggest thing about these two terms is that they relate to the row you're knitting. It doesn't matter if it's the right side (RS) or wrong side (WS) – it's just the front or back of the needles as they sit in your hands.

Having the yarn in front or the yarn in back is just like moving your yarn for knitting or purling on the same row. Our yarn is in the back to make a knit stitch and then we bring it to the front to make a purl stitch. If you keep that in mind you'll breeze through this first section!

Keep working until you have 50 stitches on the needle. That's all the knitting we have for this week! You can work ahead if you'd like but I'll be back on Tuesday, July 24 to work on Sections 2, 3, and 4. Be sure to check-in to say hello!


Check in, encourage others, have fun!

Heather and Meaghan are here to answer any questions you might have about these projects and how a knit-along works. We hope you'll join us on this summertime knitting adventure!

We'll check in online on Instagram with the hashtags #DoubleTheFunKAL and #EweEweKALFollow @eweeweyarns and @notsorryknitter on Instagram now! 

Email us if you have any questions! (We're just a click away.)

Announcing the Double the Fun KAL: We love them both so let's knit them both!

I am so shocked by the results of my summertime knit-along poll. In the first 24 hours we received 140 responses and the tally was even.

TOTALLY EVEN! 70 of you voted for The Shift and 70 voted for Guildenstern. Amazing!

 Left:  The Shift  by Andrea Mowry. Right:  Guildenstern  by Cory Ellen Boberg

Left: The Shift by Andrea Mowry. Right: Guildenstern by Cory Ellen Boberg

I know I love both of these patterns and I'm so thrilled that YOU love them, too. It made me start thinking -- should we knit them both? Should we KAL both of these projects?

I ran the idea past Meaghan. Do you know Meaghan of The Unapologetic Knitter? She's my lead designer here at Ewe Ewe and has designed some spectacular pieces like the Wander Which Way and the Sporty Stripe Cardi. Anywho -- Meaghan said "Let's host them both and let's host them together!"

 Meaghan and Heather ready to KAL!

Meaghan and Heather ready to KAL!

So here we go! We're going to knit both of these adorable projects at the same time. Heather will host The Shift cowl and Meaghan will host the Guildenstern shirt. We'll knit them at the same time over the course of the next few weeks. Choose one or the other and let's have good time!


Announcing: Double the Fun KAL!

  The Shift  cowl by Andrea Mowry

The Shift cowl by Andrea Mowry

The Shift details

The Shift is a sport-weight cowl with an asymmetrical triangle edge. This is an accessible project for knitters of all skill levels. It's a little smaller and lighter for summer knitting and we'll be ready for cooler weather when it comes back. The color changing will be fun and we've put together some fun color combination ideas. 

Techniques: We'll go over mosaic knitting, increasing, decreasing, and lots of other tips.

Pattern: The Shift by Andrea Mowry. Download on Ravelry >

Yarn: Ewe Ewe Yarns, Ewe So Sporty merino yarn, 145 yards. 2 balls of 3 colors needed.
Find a local yarn store to get your yarn. If you don't have a store nearby, check out color kits here or choose your own color combo on the yarn page

Color combo ideas shown below. Click here to view kits >

Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm) 24" circular knitting needles. (Note: The pattern calls for a size US 5 needle but knowing my Ewe So Sporty yarn we will be knitting on a smaller needle to reach the gauge the designer recommends.)

Hosted by: Heather

The Shift Timeline

Now: Get your yarn! Download the pattern on Ravelry >

Tuesday, July 17: Kickoff + Cast On! Start with the setup and work Section One.

Tuesday, July 24: Sections 2, 3, 4.

Tuesday, July 31: Sections 5, 6, 7.

Tuesday, August 7: Binding off and blocking.

Tuesday, August 14: Seaming and styling!


  Guildenstern  by cory ellen Boberg

Guildenstern by cory ellen Boberg

Guildenstern details

Guildenstern is a sweet striped top with an ombre color effect and split hem. The original pattern is knit flat but Meaghan will show you how to modify the design to knit this project in the round! Knitting a project like this in the round means it will go faster and we won't need to seam the sides. 

Techniques: Knitting in the round, jog-less stripes, increasing, checking gauge in the round, and more. 

Pattern: Guildenstern by Cory Ellen Boberg. Download on Ravelry >

Sizes: Finished size (at full bust): 30 (34, 38, 42, 46, 50, 54) inches.
To wear with 1-4” positive ease at full bust. Shown in 38" finished size, on 36" full bust.

Yarn: Ewe Ewe Yarns, Ewe So Sporty, 100% merino, 145 yards. 
Find a local yarn store to get your yarn. If you don't have a store nearby, check out color kits here or choose your own color combo on the yarn page.

Required Yardage:
Color A: (Black Licorice) - 150 (185, 205, 245, 275, 300, 345) yards, 2 (2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3) balls
Color B: (Charcoal) - 180 (225, 250, 300, 340, 365, 420) yards, 2 (2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3) balls
Color C: (Brushed Silver) - 180 (225, 250, 300, 340, 365, 420) yards, 2 (2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3) balls
Color D: (Vanilla) - 130 (155, 175, 210, 235, 255, 295) yards, 1 (2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3) balls

Color combo ideas shown below. Click here to view kits >

Needles: Size 3 US (3.25 mm) 32 - 40” (81 - 102 cm) circular needles
   Size 6 US (4 mm) 24 - 32” (61 - 81 cm) circular needles
   Size 3 US double-pointed needles
   or size to obtain correct gauge.

Supplies: Tapestry needle, one stitch marker, 4 locking stitch markers.

Gauge: 24 stitches and 32 rows / 4 inches (10 cm) in stockinette on larger needles, after blocking.
   Swatch using Color D.

Guildenstern Timeline

Now: Get your yarn! Download the pattern on Ravelry >

Thursday, July 19: Gauge swatch and cast on! Work the hems separately.

Thursday, July 26: Joining in the round, placing markers, slipping stitches, Body Stripe section 1. 

Thursday, August 2: Body Stripes sections 2 and 3.

Thursday, August 9: Neckline front and back. Shoulders.

Thursday, August 15: Sleeve edging and blocking.


Check in, encourage others, have fun!

Now's the time to choose your colors and get your yarn. Heather and Meaghan are here to answer any questions you might have about these projects and how a knit-along works. We hope you'll join us on this summertime knitting adventure!

We'll check in online on Instagram with the hashtags #DoubleTheFunKAL and #EweEweKALFollow @eweeweyarns and @notsorryknitter on Instagram now! Plus you can join my Ewe Ewe Yarns Ravelry group if you like that type of thing. Whichever!

Email us if you have any questions! (We're just a click away.)