Ursa KAL: Starting the neckline and working a half-brioche stitch

Welcome to the Ursa sweater knit-along! Today we’re kicking it off by casting on our sweater. Party!

Ursa Sweater Knit-Along: Starting the neckline and working a half-brioche stitch.

Ursa Sweater Knit-Along: Starting the neckline and working a half-brioche stitch.

Starting a new project is a ton of fun. So much hope! So much potential. I love it.

Casting on the Ursa sweater for our latest knit-along!

Casting on the Ursa sweater for our latest knit-along!

We start at the neckline for Ursa by casting on for our specific size. The next row is a wrong side row where we’ll add stitch markers for raglan shaping and start working the half-brioche stitch or HBS.

All the HBS sections at the start of the sweater are over 3 stitches. Jacqueline, the Ursa sweater pattern designer has a great video tutorial about working the HBS sections. Click here to watch the video.

Below I have a photo tutorial of how to work the HBS section. You can click the images to enlarge them.

And now we’ve worked across the setup row, creating brioche, adding markers, woohoo!

You can see the contrasting color stitch markers which signify the middle of the back of the sweater. There is a faux seam here and the added color helps remind us not to increase at those markers.

Working the setup row for the Ursa sweater.

Working the setup row for the Ursa sweater.

On the next row we start increasing for the V-neck and the raglan shaping. We’ll be using m1r and m1l increases which are also called bar increases. I have a great photo tutorial on working these increases here.

How to work an m1R in knitting

Instructions: With left needle pick up the strand between 2 stitches from back to front and knit through the front of the stitch.

How to work an m1L in knitting 

Instructions: With the left needle, pick up the strand between 2 stitches from front to back, and knit through the back of the stitch.

Getting started on the Ursa sweater by Jacqueline Cieslak

Getting started on the Ursa sweater by Jacqueline Cieslak

Keep in mind that we increase at the markers on every right side row and we increase at the neckline every other right side row. It’s good to keep track of your progress with a counter or a notepad.

Knitting the neckline of the Ursa sweater in Ewe Ewe Baa Baa Bulky merino yarn.

Knitting the neckline of the Ursa sweater in Ewe Ewe Baa Baa Bulky merino yarn.

I hope you’re off to a good start! Let me know if you have any questions or comments by leaving a note on this blog post or emailing me here.

Keep up with the KAL! Leave a comment on this post, join our Facebook KAL group, Ravelry group, and use hashtags any photos with #eweeweyarns, #BaaBaaUrsa and #ursasweater on Instagram.


How to check knitting gauge in the round

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It’s time to start a sweater (we’re making Ursa on our latest knit-along) and you know you want to check your gauge but the sweater is knit in the round. Since we won’t be turning our work and we’ll only be knitting this gauge might be a little different than normal.

As a knitter, I know that my tension is different when I purl than when I knit and since this project will be worked mostly in the round and I won’t be purling much I’d like to make sure I’m getting the stitch count the designer recommends.

I’ve put together some photos on how to knit and block a gauge swatch in the round.

How to Check Knitting Gauge in the Round

Yarn and needles for a gauge swatch

Yarn and needles for a gauge swatch

Step 1: Cast on

Step 1: Cast on

When knitting any swatch you want to start with the exact yarn the project will be made in and the same needles you plan to knit the sweater with. Variations on either of these items can result in a different gauge.

For the sweater I’m knitting I need a gauge of 11.5 stitches over 4 inches. I will have 20 stitches on size US 11 (8 mm) needles for this swatch.

Cast on normally. DO NOT TURN.

Slide stitches to the other end of the needle

Slide stitches to the other end of the needle

Hold working yarn to the back creating a long float

Hold working yarn to the back creating a long float

Now for the strange part! SLIDE your stitches to the other end of the needle so the front of the work is still facing you.

Hold the working yarn from the ball across the back of your hand and knit into the first stitch. Continue knitting across the row. This will create a long, loose float of yarn across the back of your work.

DO NOT TURN. Slide work back to the other end of the needle always keeping the knit side facing you.

Knitting a gauge swatch in the round

Knitting a gauge swatch in the round

Knitting a gauge swatch in the round

Knitting a gauge swatch in the round

After a few rows this is what the piece will start to look like. You can see the knit side of the work on the left and the wrong side or purl side in the right photo.

Knitting a gauge swatch in the round

Knitting a gauge swatch in the round

How to trim a gauge swatch knit in the round

How to trim a gauge swatch knit in the round

When the swatch reaches a good height bind off as normal.

Flip the swatch to the wrong side and (YIKES!) cut the floats so the swatch opens flat.

Knitting a gauge swatch in the round

Knitting a gauge swatch in the round

Blocking a gauge swatch for knitting in the round

Blocking a gauge swatch for knitting in the round

Here’s my swatch. It looks crazy, doesn’t it?! All of those edges seem like they could just fall off but they don’t. Just be gentle.

Next we need to block the swatch. In a small bowl I added a touch of Soak wash and cool water. Submerge the swatch and leave to rest for 15-30 minutes.

Blocking a gauge swatch for knitting in the round

Blocking a gauge swatch for knitting in the round

Blocking a gauge swatch for knitting in the round

Blocking a gauge swatch for knitting in the round

Remove the swatch from the bath and gently lay it out on a towel.

Blocking a gauge swatch for knitting in the round

Blocking a gauge swatch for knitting in the round

Blocking a gauge swatch for knitting in the round

Blocking a gauge swatch for knitting in the round

Fold the towel over the swatch and lightly roll the towel pressing the water from the yarn.

On a dry towel straighten the swatch, leave it to rest and dry completely.

I block my knit swatch just like I plan to block the finished sweater. I don’t pin a swatch if I don’t plan to pin the sweater.

How to measure knitting gauge in the round

How to measure knitting gauge in the round

When the swatch is dry it’s time to measure the stitches. Exciting stuff for a knitter!

I like to use a stiff ruler and gently lay it across a row to count the stitches. I also measure in several locations around the swatch to be sure that one row wasn’t a fluke.

How to measure knitting gauge in the round

How to measure knitting gauge in the round

And here we are! Count the Vs of each knit stitch as one stitch. My swatch is measuring 11.5 stitches across 4 inches just like the pattern asked for.


I hope you’ll join me for the Ursa sweater knit-along starting on Thursday, August 1, 2019! Here’s the details:

  1. Thursday, August 1: KAL kickoff and cast-on with details about knitting the half-brioche stitch, neck and shoulders of the sweater.

  2. Thursday, August 8: Working the German short row bust darts and finishing the body of the sweater.

  3. Thursday, August 15: Knitting the sleeves, finishing the neckline and blocking.

  4. Thursday, August 22: Wrap photos!

Get your yarn: Find the yarn at a local yarn shop that carries Ewe Ewe Yarns or here on our website.

Let us know you’re joining the KAL! Leave a comment on this post, join our Facebook KAL group, Ravelry group, and use hashtags any photos with #eweeweyarns and #BaaBaaUrsa on Instagram.


Ursa KAL: Supply Buy

Get your Ewe Ewe yarn and supplies to knit the Ursa sweater by Jacqueline Cieslak

Get your Ewe Ewe yarn and supplies to knit the Ursa sweater by Jacqueline Cieslak

Want to knit the Ursa sweater pattern by Jacqueline Cieslak? We’re knitting it with our own Ewe Ewe Baa Baa Bulky merino wool yarn. Here is a list of the supplies you’ll need to knit this sweater.

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Ursa Sweater Supply List:

Baa Baa Bulky Merino Yarn
20.00
Color:
Quantity:
Add To Cart

Pattern: Ursa — on Ravelry.

Yarn requirements: Ewe Ewe Yarns Baa Baa Bulky merino wool yarn, 132 yards, 100g.
(4, 4, 5) [5, 6, 6] {7, 7, 8} skeins.

Finished Measurements: (34, 38, 42) [46, 50, 54] {58, 62, 66} inches at bust

Sizing notes from the designer: To choose your size, measure the circumference around the fullest part of your bust, then add 2-6” (depending on how much ease you want) and choose the closest size.

Needles: US 11 (8 mm) 32” (if making sizes 34-46) or 40” (if making sizes 50-66) circular knitting needles.
— US 11 (8 mm) double-pointed needles for sleeves (or small circumference knitting method of your choice such as magic loop or 2 circulars).
Note: The pattern calls for size US 10.5 (6.5 mm) knitting needles but I got gauge on US 11 (8 mm) needles. Be sure to check your gauge before starting the sweater!

Notions: 7 coordinating stitch markers, 3 contrasting stitch markers, stitch holders or scrap yarn for holding stitches, darning needle for finishing.


I hope you’ll join me for the Ursa sweater knit-along starting on Thursday, August 1, 2019! Here’s the details:

  1. Thursday, August 1: KAL kickoff and cast-on with details about knitting the half-brioche stitch, neck and shoulders of the sweater.

  2. Thursday, August 8: Working the German short row bust darts and finishing the body of the sweater.

  3. Thursday, August 15: Knitting the sleeves, finishing the neckline and blocking.

  4. Thursday, August 22: Wrap photos!

Get your yarn: Find the yarn at a local yarn shop that carries Ewe Ewe Yarns or here on our website.

Let us know you’re joining the KAL! Leave a comment on this post, join our Facebook KAL group, Ravelry group, and use hashtags any photos with #eweeweyarns and #BaaBaaUrsa on Instagram.


What to Make: Ursa by Jacqueline Cieslak

Welcome to our weekly feature, What to Make Wednesday! The yarns here at Ewe Ewe are so versatile and I love to share ideas about what you can knit with them.

Ursa  sweater knitting pattern by Jacqueline Cieslak

Ursa sweater knitting pattern by Jacqueline Cieslak

Meet the Ursa sweater! The designer, Jacqueline Cieslak describes this as a “bear of a sweater – chunky, bold, snuggly, fierce,” and I totally agree! I love details on this cropped pullover and I am dying to knit it for myself.

I think it looks so fun to make and even better to wear. I can imagine throwing it on over a tunic and leggings or maybe a long sweeping dress just like Jacqueline. It’s so cute!

Ursa  sweater knitting pattern by Jacqueline Cielsak on Ravelry

Ursa sweater knitting pattern by Jacqueline Cielsak on Ravelry

Ursa will knit up perfectly using Ewe Ewe Baa Baa Bulky merino yarn. My friend Jesse at Knit One, Crochet Too started one in Sky Blue and, let’s be honest, I totally got cast-on-itis when I saw this photo:

Ursa  sweater in  Baa Baa Bulky merino yarn  from Ewe Ewe Yarns

Ursa sweater in Baa Baa Bulky merino yarn from Ewe Ewe Yarns

GAH! Don’t you just love it? I want it. The accent stitches really pop and the sweater looks like the squishy dressed-up sweatshirt of my knitting dreams.

I’m going to make Ursa and I hope you’ll join me for a new knit-along!

Ursa KAL Dates and Details

Ursa will be fast to knit and we can get it done in just a couple of weeks! Here’s the plan:

Wednesday, July 17: Announce the KAL!

Thursday, August 1: KAL kickoff and cast-on with details about knitting the half-brioche stitch, neck and shoulders of the sweater.

Thursday, August 8: Working the German short row bust darts and finishing the body of the sweater.

Thursday, August 15: Knitting the sleeves, finishing the neckline and blocking.

Thursday, August 22: Wrap photos!


How much yarn do I need?

Sizing notes from the designer: To choose your size, measure the circumference around the fullest part of your bust, then add 2-6” (depending on how much ease you want) and choose the closest size.

Finished Measurements: (34, 38, 42) [46, 50, 54] {58, 62, 66} inches at bust

Yarn requirements: (4, 4, 5) [5, 6, 6] {7, 7, 8} skeins of Baa Baa Bulky merino yarn

17 colors of  Baa Baa Bulky merino wool  yarn from Ewe Ewe Yarns

17 colors of Baa Baa Bulky merino wool yarn from Ewe Ewe Yarns

How to find the pattern, yarn and join the KAL

Pattern: Ursa — on Ravelry.

Yarn: Ewe Ewe Yarns Baa Baa Bulky merino yarn.

Get your yarn: Find the yarn at a local yarn shop that carries Ewe Ewe Yarns or here on our website.

Let us know you’re joining the KAL! Leave a comment on this post, join our Facebook KAL group, and use hashtags any photos with #eweeweyarns and #BaaBaaUrsa on Instagram.

What color will you choose?!