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.


Sporty Forty KAL starts today!

Today’s the day we cast on our Sporty Forty shawls. And it’s also Elizabeth’s 40th birthday!

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth!

Sporty Forty  shawl designed by Elizabeth Smith

Sporty Forty shawl designed by Elizabeth Smith

Palm Beach Vibes yarn kit  for the Sporty Forty shawl

Palm Beach Vibes yarn kit for the Sporty Forty shawl

We have some helpful tips and tricks to get you started on your Sporty Forty shawl. The shawl features increases and stitches that are great for a beginning knitter or someone more advanced looking for a fun, relaxing project.

From Elizabeth, “When I was designing Sporty Forty, my goal was to use simple techniques so that the piece would not only be fun to make but also simple and relaxing. The kind of project you can curl up with at the end of a busy day, or enjoy working on while you’re binging on your latest Netflix obsession. “

Sounds perfect! Let’s get started.

Download your pattern if you haven’t yet. Grab a yarn kit if you’d like to knit this project!


Sporty Forty uses 2 types of increase techniques in order to create its shape. Yarn-overs (YO) are used on either side of the center stitch on right-side rows and the knit-front-and-back (kfb) technique is used on either end on both right-side and wrong-side rows.

How to work a knit front-and-back (kfb) in knitting

A kfb is an easy way to increase 1 stitch and looks especially well when worked in Garter Stitch (knitting every row). If you have never worked a kfb before, check out the photo tutorial below!

How to work a knit front-and-back (kfb) in knitting

How to work a knit front-and-back (kfb) in knitting


How to work a yarn-over (YO) in knitting

One of the most straight-forward types of increases used in shawls are yarn-overs (abbreviated “YO”). In Sporty Forty, I used YO’s on either side of the center stitch – it’s both an easy way to add stitches (which is what helps to shape the shawl), as well as provides a pretty eyelet detail (and in keeping with the “Forty” theme, I made sure there would be 40 eyelets down either side of the center of the shawl!).

YO’s are easy to make, but one little stumbling block can happen…

In this piece (and many other similar types of shawl/kerchiefs), you have a single center stitch that has markers on either side, and a YO is worked before the first marker and after the second marker on every right-side row.

What can be tricky about this is that when you work that first YO, and then you slip your marker, you have to be a little careful that as you knit that single center stitch, that the YO you are creating doesn’t slide over the marker, causing there to be an extra stitch in the center.

If you have never worked a YO in this way before, being aware of this potential issue and paying extra attention at this step can help you avoid possible issues and future ‘tinking’! Below is a photo tutorial that demonstrate this step in the process and might be especially helpful if you are new to yarn-overs:

How to work a yarn-over (YO) in knitting

How to work a yarn-over (YO) in knitting

Now you’re all set to knit your Sporty Forty shawl! Be sure to check in and say hello by either leaving a comment here or tagging #SportyFortyKAL on social media. We’d love to see your project!

Sporty Forty Knit-Along Details:

Elizabeth and Heather are hosting a fun, easy-going KAL starting on Elizabeth's birthday and ending on Heather's. Grab a kit and join in the fun!

KAL Kits + Pattern go live: Friday, March 1. Read the details.
KAL Start Date: Tuesday, March 12, 2019.
KAL End Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2019.

Get the pattern: Sporty Forty by Elizabeth Smith – on Ravelry

Get the yarn: We put together 8 yarn kits to work with this shawl pattern and guess what?! They’re $40! See the color options for the Sporty Forty yarn kits below.

Have a question? Contact us.

Thank you from Elizabeth and Heather. We hope you enjoy knitting with us to celebrate our big birthdays. Check back here to follow along! 💗💗


Introducing the Sporty Forty KAL with Elizabeth Smith!

Ewe Ewe Yarns owner Heather Walpole and designer Elizabeth Smith

Ewe Ewe Yarns owner Heather Walpole and designer Elizabeth Smith

Look who’s turning 40!

Elizabeth and I realized that our birthdays are just days apart and we’re both turning THE BIG FOUR-OH.

What better way to celebrate this milestone than with a collaboration between Elizabeth Smith and Ewe Ewe Yarns!

Sporty Forty  shawl designed by Elizabeth Smith

Sporty Forty shawl designed by Elizabeth Smith

Elizabeth designed Sporty Forty, a heart-shape-inspired shawl, with Ewe So Sporty Merino from Ewe Ewe Yarns. Her wonderful design skills are highlighted in this shawl with a simple garter stitch, surprising pops of color and an easy eyelet border edge. 

Isn’t it great? Look at those little hints of color happening. How fun!

Sporty Forty knitting pattern designed with Ewe So Sporty merino yarn from Ewe Ewe

Sporty Forty knitting pattern designed with Ewe So Sporty merino yarn from Ewe Ewe

To celebrate this great new collaboration (and our big birthdays!) we decided to have a birthday knit along. It’s a fun way for friends to have some birthday fun while being on opposite sides of the country. I hope you’ll join us!

Sporty Forty Knit-Along Details:

Elizabeth and Heather are hosting a fun, easy-going KAL starting on Elizabeth's birthday and ending on Heather's. Grab a kit and join in the fun!

KAL Kits + Pattern go live: Friday, March 1.
KAL Start Date: Tuesday, March 12.
KAL End Date: Wednesday, March 20.

Get the pattern: Sporty Forty by Elizabeth Smith – on Ravelry

Get the yarn: We put together 8 yarn kits to work with this shawl pattern and guess what?! They’re $40! See the color options for the Sporty Forty yarn kits below.

Sporty Forty Yarn Kits
40.00
Color Combo:
Quantity:
Add To Cart

Get Elizabeth’s pattern on Ravelry. Buy Sporty Forty >

Thank you from Elizabeth and Heather. We hope you’ll join us to celebrate our big birthdays. Check back here follow along! 💗💗


Pin now to have a reminder!

Sporty Forty KAL details

Sporty Forty KAL details


Halloween Hat Knit Along with Apricot Yarn & Supply

This is going to be fun! Look what’s happening at Apricot Yarn & Supply!

For Halloween we are partnering with Apricot Yarn & Supply in San Diego for a Halloween Hat Knit Along. With 5 hats to choose from!

Here's how it will work:

  • There will be 5 Halloween-themed hats - designed by Ewe Ewe Yarns - to choose from.

  • Ewe Ewe Yarns will release the NEW patterns on Sunday, October 7, 2018.

  • You receive 10% off the patterns and Ewe Ewe yarn to make a Halloween hat, when purchased together at Apricot Yarn & Supply. (Map)

  • Join me (Heather!) at Apricot Yarn & Supply for a meet-up on Sunday, October 28 during Liberty Station's Halloween at the Station event to share our finished hat creations and enjoy some Halloween treats. (The Liberty Station event on the North Promenade is a safe family-friendly option, with games and treats for the kids. 12pm to 4pm.)

Check in at Apricot Yarn on Sunday, October 7 to get started!

Hangout at Apricot Yarn on Sunday, October 28 to show off your hats!

Visit apricotyarn.com


Double the Fun KAL: Guildenstern Sleeves and Blocking

Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh! Can you believe we’re about to finish our lovely little summer shirt? I have had so much fun knitting up this cute little Guildenstern top; I hope you have, too! So, let’s get down to it so we can start wearing it and showing off to the Muggles!

Side Seams? Who needs ‘em!?

If you’re reading through the pattern and notice that I haven’t said anything to date about the Side Seams section, it’s because we won’t need to work them! Since we worked the Body of the sweater in the round until we divided for the armholes, that section is negated. So, yay! We get to move right on to the Sleeve Edging section!

WOO! THE SIDE SEAMS ARE ALREADY DONE!

WOO! THE SIDE SEAMS ARE ALREADY DONE!

 

Sleeve Edging - Pick It Up!

We’re going to continue using our smaller needles to knit our armhole / sleeve edging. Stitches are generally wider than they are tall so we do 2 things to compensate:

  1. we use a smaller needle than that used to knit the overall garment, AND,
  2. we pick up fewer stitches than there are rows to avoid puckering!

Since our stitches are so tiny, I’m going to route you over to a fabulous blog post that Heather wrote a little while ago when she hosted a Carbeth knit along. She used a nice bulky weight yarn so you’ll be able to see her stitches very clearly!

While we aren’t picking up for a front of sweater button band, the exact same principles apply: we want to pick up stitches with the RS of our work facing us so that the pick-up seam ends up on the inside of the sweater, and we want to pick up at a ratio of 3 sts to 4 rows of knitting. Our exact number of stitches doesn’t matter since we aren’t working in a ribbed pattern, we just want to be sure that the number is the same between the two sleeves. Be sure to count the number you pick up when you work the first sleeve so that the second sleeve matches!

VISIT HEATHER’S BLOG POST BY CLICKING HERE!

 

Finishing the Sleeves

Once you have all of your lovely little stitches picked up for the sleeve, whether you use Magic Loop or DPNs (or heck, even 2 circulars, however you prefer to work small circumference knitting) it’s smooth sailing to the end. Just two quick rows of garter before binding off purlwise.

sleeve stitches picked up at a 3 stitches to 4 rows ratio, using the Magic Loop technique

sleeve stitches picked up at a 3 stitches to 4 rows ratio, using the Magic Loop technique

Tip Time!

When binding off, I recommend going up a needle size or two unless you know you have a loose-ish bind off tension. If you work the bind off too tightly you could get some minor puckering, so stay loose on this one!

When the sleeves are all done, take the time to weave in your ends! I find it useful to weave everything in but not trimming the tails. If there’s any stretching that goes on during the blocking garment, you don’t want a trimmed tail coming loose which could mean you end up with tiny ends poking out everywhere.

 

Blocking Your Guildenstern

So, how many of you tried on your Guildenstern like 8 times before you even blocked it? No? No one? Just me… ok….

As  I was admiring my handiwork, I noticed that the armholes definitely tried to roll inwards despite the sleeve edging. That’s the nature of stockinette, baby! It’s gonna curl. Which is why blocking this out is so important!

Once again, I get to refer you to a blog post that Heather wrote about the steps needed to block a garment. It’s a great visual step by step to get you going if you’re new to blocking.

VISIT HEATHER’S FABULOUS BLOG POST ON BLOCKING!

What I will add to Heather’s post is specific to the Guildenstern. I’m not a big fan of pinning out sweaters when they block, as you’ll note that Heather didn’t with her sweater either. BUT! Since so much of this Guildenstern garment relies on straight lines, I decided to buckle down and block out my edges to they’d be nice and crisp.

Why don’t I like to pin?

Well, because the first time you block a sweater is the way in which you should wash/block it on all future cleanings/dryings. So, the least amount of work I have to do with a garment on subsequent washings the better.

But I reiterate, with the Guildenstern, it’s totally worth it to have clean, crisp edges to my sleeves, neckline and bottom hems.

 

What to pin, what not to pin, that is the question!

As I might have said ad nauseam above, I don’t like to pin garments. But when I do, I’m particular. I don’t want to pin more than I have to so I focus on what’s important. For this garment it’s the sleeves, hems and neckline. Here’s how I went about it after completing the soaking and rolling aspects of the blocking process from Heather’s blog post.

BLOCKING OUTSIDE IN THE SUMMER HEAT WILL HELP THIS DRY FAST!

Step 1: I used a blocking wire and placed it along the neckline/sleeves inside the garment so I had a nice straight edge to work with.

Step 2: Using T-pins, I pinned the neckline (both the Front and Back layers) just below the blocking wire so that they’re all pinned to the same height. I highly recommend using a pin every ½ to 1 inch so you don’t get scalloped edges.

Step 3: I used blocking combs (thought you could totally use T-pins if you don’t have combs) to pin out the edges of the sleeves. I used my ruler to measure out the width of the garment as per the schematic on page 2 of the pattern.

 Step 4: I used blocking combs again (and some T-pins since I ran out of combs) to pin out the two bottom hems). In this instance, I recommend pinning out the Back hem first and then the Front so you don’t pull any stitches.

I didn’t bother pinning out the sides. I could have, I suppose, used some blocking wires run vertically up the side seams but it didn’t seem worth the effort.

 

Rock Your Guildenstern

That’s it, folks! Once this baby dries (and mine did in less than 3 hours because it was 95 degrees in my yard) you just have to trim the ends from your woven-in ends and start showing off your handy-work. 

 

Share your Guildenstern!

We would love to see your finished garments! Heather and Meaghan are still here to answer any questions you might have about finishing up the Guildenstern shirt.

When you’re done, be sure to share yours online on Instagram with the hashtags #DoubleTheFunKAL and #EweEweKAL. Follow @eweeweyarns and @notsorryknitter on Instagram now! 

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

 

Double the Fun KAL: Guildenstern Neckline and Shoulders

As I mentioned last week, if you’re not all caught up on your striping, it’s ok! This week is a bit of a light week since I know how things can build up and we get behind. This week we’re going to work the Neckline and Shoulders. Easy peasy!

Neckline - Front and Back

I found it easier to just work the Back first since it’s already on the needles from last week. If you prefer to work the Front first, that’s a-ok since they’re worked in exactly the same manner.

Since we didn’t break our Color D yarn from last week we’re all ready to go with the RS of the Back. Grab your Smaller needle and knit 3 rows. To clarify, we’re now working in garter: knit 1 RS row, knit 1 WS row and knit 1 more RS row!

Now, with the WS facing we’re going to work the Bind Off row that will create the neckline. We are knitting and binding off knitwise to maintain the garter ridges for a nice neckline detail.

Knit the number of stitches as per the pattern and then work a kfb. This KFB (knit into the front and back creating a new stitch) is my FAVORITE technique when binding off for a raw neckline like the Guildenstern has. This new stitch that we create will be the setup stitch to begin binding off. When you create the new stitch in the kfb, you also avoid the weird stitch distortion that inevitably happens when you bind off mid-row. It’s super dee-duper awesome.

The pattern says to “BO (bind off) knitwise until X number of sts remain”. The thing you want to keep in mind is that the “X” number of sts is the number remaining on the left hand (LH) needle.

For example!

On my size I knit 32 sts before working the kfb. The “kfb” created a new stitch on my right hand (RH) needle. Once I bound off my first stitch using the newly created stitch of the kfb, I had 33 sts on my RH needle.

SO! When I’m binding off, I want to bind off until I have 32 sts on my LH needle. There will still be one stitch on your RH needle so that you’ll have a total of 33 once you knit to the end of the row. Clear as mud? It will be super clear once you start working the bind off.

IMG_1356.jpg

 

Finishing the Neckline

When you are done working the bind off row, the pattern says to measure out 5 yds. You don’t need that much for the Shoulders. I recommend measuring our 2 yards, MAXIMUM, to work the shoulders (I used just over 1 yard but I never want you to be short). You can then Break Color D and move on to the Front Neckline.

Work the Front Neckline in exactly the same manner as above. When you break Color D, measure out the same yardage (approximately 2 yds) for the Shoulder.

 

Working the Shoulders

The shoulders are “bound off” using a 3-needle bind off which is both a bind off method and a grafting method all rolled into one. It’s a really slick way of finishing a shoulder with a strong seam so the shoulder won’t stretch with wear.

We’ll start with the Right Shoulder just because but they’re both worked in exactly the same manner.

Step 1: Place the stitches from the Front and Back right shoulders onto two Smaller needles. Turn the project inside out so that the Front and Back shoulders are parallel to one another on the two needles with the WS facing outwards (the purl side will be visible). The working yarn will be attached to the first stitch on the back needle (see image below).

Shoulder, WS facing out (turned inside out)

Shoulder, WS facing out (turned inside out)

Step 2: Grab a third needle of the same size (a DPN is really great for this). Insert this needle into the front (knitwise) of the first stitch on the Front needle and the first stitch on the Back needle.

insert rh needle into first stitch on front and back needles

insert rh needle into first stitch on front and back needles

Step 3: Knit these two stitches together like a k2tog. 1 stitch will now be on your RH needle.

IMG_1410.jpg

Step 4: Insert your needle into the first stitch on the Front and Back needles (like step 2). Knit these two stitches together like a k2tog (like Step 3). There will now be 2 stitches on your RH needle.

IMG_1421.jpg

Step 5: Using one of the two needles in your left hand, pull the first stitch on the RH needle over the second stitch (binding off 1 stitch). 1 stitch will remain on your RH needle.

IMG_1463.jpg

Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until 1 stitch remains on the RH needle (no stitches on the LH needle).
You will notice what looks like a braid forming where you have bound off your stitches.

IMG_1468.jpg

Once all the stitches are bound off and only 1 stitch remains on the RH needle, break the yarn and pull the tail through to close up the final stitch.

Work the second shoulder in exactly the same manner!

 

Noble Goals!

The goal this week is to get all caught up from Week 3 where we worked Stripe Sections 2 and 3 and divided for the armholes. Additionally, let’s get those shoulders finished! Once both shoulders are complete you can break the yarn and try your sweater on! Next week we’ll focus on working the armholes and blocking so you can show off your new summer sweater!

 

Check in, encourage others, have fun!

Heather and Meaghan are here to answer any questions you might have about the Guildenstern shirt! We hope you're having fun with 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.)