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.


Join Ewe Ewe for the 4 Day KAL with Olive Knits!

Marie Greene wearing her new Foxtrot Cardigan pattern

Marie Greene wearing her new Foxtrot Cardigan pattern

My friend Marie Greene of Olive Knits is kicking off the third annual 4 Day Knit Along on July 4th and I’m so excited! The new sweater pattern is called the Foxtrot Cardigan and it’s SO cute.

The Foxtrot Cardigan will knit up perfectly using Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted yarn and I think the design looks like something I’d constantly want to wear. It has an easy fit, adorable wavy front bands and that fun dancing lace around the body.

This KAL will be a little bit different than the other ones we’ve done here at Ewe Ewe. Since Marie will be hosting this one you can follow along on her blog and get support on her amazing Facebook group. But! I’ll still be here, writing blog posts, posting photos, answering questions and knitting the Foxtrot Cardigan right along with you. YAY!


4 Day KAL Details

Ok, so you might be thinking… 4 DAY KAL? Four? Days? Really?

Yes, it’s a fun idea, but also, no, you can knit the sweater at your own pace. There are no rules, just a fun summer knitting party.

Marie has a schedule all planned out for us with a Kickoff Party on July 4th and the festivities run through July 18th where she’ll be hosting a Closing Ceremonies. You can read all about it on her blog.

Right now is the time to get your yarn, buy the pattern pre-order, and check your gauge!

Pattern: Foxtrot Cardigan pre-order packet — on Ravelry

Bust Sizes: 32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 48, 52) in/81 (91, 97, 102, 107, 112, 117, 122, 132) cm

Sizing details: The body is meant to have a swingy, relaxed fit with 6.4 in/16.26 cm positive ease built-in (which means you do not need to go up a size in order to get a comfortable fit).

Wooly Worsted yarn amounts: 9 (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18) balls


Wooly Worsted yarn  in color Midnight Blue for the Foxtrot Cardigan 4 Day KAL.  Shop yarn kits.

Wooly Worsted yarn in color Midnight Blue for the Foxtrot Cardigan 4 Day KAL. Shop yarn kits.

Get your Wooly Worsted yarn!

Wooly Worsted merino yarn is perfect for this sweater. The beautiful twist of this yarn means the stitch definition of the dancing lace will really pop. I chose Midnight Blue for my cardigan and I’m loving it so far!

Find a yarn store: Wooly Worsted is stocked by yarn shops across the US. See our stockists!

Get a kit: If you don’t have an LYS that carries our yarn, I put together yarn kits in 8 colors that I think would work really well for a new fall cardigan. Just choose your size and color! Shop Foxtrot Cardigan yarn kits.


Foxtrot Cardigan Yarn Kit
from 90.00
Size:
Color:
Quantity:
Add To Cart

Notes and quick links

I hope you’ll join me on this next knitting adventure! I’m busy checking my gauge and getting a new blog post ready all about that. I’m here to answer any questions about yarn, yardage, color, finding a yarn store, or just anything about this knit along. Send me a message or leave a comment below!

4 Day KAL Details by Olive Knits: Get The Who, What, Where & Why of the Infamous 4 Day Sweater Knitalong

Pattern: Foxtrot Cardigan pre-order packet — on Ravelry.

Yarn Shops: Find a Ewe Ewe stockist.

Yarn Kits: Shop Foxtrot Cardigan yarn kits.

#EweEweYokeAlong: Increasing in color work on the Threipmuir sweater

Thank you to those of you that wrote in asking about how to increase during the stranded knitting section of the Threipmuir sweater. Knitting an increase during color work can be a bit tricky but it’s not as bad as it seems so let’s give it a try!

On Round 3 of the chart there is a new stitch at the beginning of the chart that’s labeled as an increase. The designer asks that we work a “left lifted increase into the last KNIT stitch worked”. That sounds like a lot to unpack but it’s ok, I got you.

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In the color chart the first and second stitches are to be worked in our MC. By working this increase we are creating a stitch that means we have worked BOTH the first and second stitch by the time we’re done.

Step 1: Knit the first stitch in MC.

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Step 2: Insert the left needle from back to front through the stitch you just worked.

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Step 3: With MC, knit into the front of the loop on the left needle (creating a twist in the loop).

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This is how the stitch should look. There is a small bar under the new stitch but as you can see it fades away among the other stitches as you knit across the round.


On Round 6 of the color chart we encounter an increase at the end of the stitch pattern. In this case we will do the same thing but just knit the new stitch in a different color. Take a look.

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How to work LLI with 2 colors: Knit as instructed on the color work chart across to stitch 5. Work stitch 5 in CC1 as shown, work left leaning increase as shown above but rather than using the CC1, knit the new stitch using CC2.

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Let me know how it goes!

I’ve been answering some questions by email and a few have been the same so I decided to start a Facebook group for our KAL. This way we can all benefit in a collective way. We can easily share photos, talk about issues, ask questions, tell stories, whatever! Join the group >


Check in, stay motivated, encourage others:

A place for us to chat and post photos: Join the Ewe Ewe KAL Party!  

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

Email me if you have any questions! (It's always me on the other side of that form.)


#EweEweYokeAlong: How to get started on a color work chart

Making a knitted chart clearer for your project

Making a knitted chart clearer for your project

We get to start with some coloring! The sweater I’m making is in different colors than the designer’s original project so rather than confusing myself with her colors, I decided to print the chart page in black and white and color it to match my project.

I think it helped a ton! This really gave me a good idea of how my chosen colors will look in my sweater. I grabbed 3 markers that resemble my yarn shades and had a fun five minutes of coloring time.

Getting started with stranded knitting

Getting started with stranded knitting

To work a color work chart we start from the bottom right edge at the box labeled 1. We read the chart from right to left and because that mimics how we knit — always working to the left. We’re only ever working on one particular row and in this pattern we’ll only ever have two colors on any given row which is great.

In this case on the first row the first stitch is in MC, the second stitch is in CC1, and the third and fourth stitches are in MC again. We repeat those four stitches around and around until we make it back to the beginning.

Knitting with two colors at the same time

Knitting with two colors at the same time

The second row has an alternating color pattern. One stitch CC1, one stitch MC, 1 CC1, 1 MC and so on around. I like to hold my yarn as one color in each hand and cruise along the row.

Carrying yarn behind the work

Carrying yarn behind the work

As you work the alternating colors be sure to carry or “float” the yarns loosely behind the other stitches. These floats should have a light tension that will allow the actual sweater stitches to still stretch as normal. If your floats become too tight you may see some puckering in the color work section that could make the sweater a bit out of shape. If you think this might be happening you may want to hold a finger behind the work to help loosen your floats or in some cases you may need to go up a needle size when working the color pattern.

Those are both OK things to do! Color work is something that takes a bit of practice so take your time and figure out what works best for you. Remember that the sweater and the stitches will relax when we block it so an irregularity here and there is normal just like in normal knitting.


NEW! A Facebook KAL Group. Join!

A place for us to chat and post photos: Join the Ewe Ewe KAL Party!  

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

Email me if you have any questions! (It's always me on the other side of that form.)