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.


#EweEweYokeAlong: How to knit a swatch to check gauge in the round

Today we’re going to check gauge for our Threipmuir sweaters but we do it a little differently because this sweater is knit in the round. Normally we’d check gauge by knitting and purling back and forth but because we will only be knitting this sweater we should only knit our gauge. Here’s how to knit a gauge swatch in the round.

Choosing Fluffy Fingering colors for Threipmuir sweater

Choosing Fluffy Fingering colors for Threipmuir sweater

We’ll need to start with choosing our colors for the sweater and specifically which color will be CC1 and which is CC2. I am using the Red Velvet on the left for the MC body color of my sweater and I decided Berry will be CC1 and Saffron is CC2. According to the pattern specs we use the least amount of CC1 so that’s a good skein to knit our swatch!

Creating a swatch in the round

Creating a swatch in the round

We want to swatch on the larger size needles. I know that I knit a bit tight so I went up a needle size to a US 5 (3.75mm) needle to check my gauge. Knitting a swatch in the round is almost like making a loose i-cord. Check out this video by The Unapologetic Knitter below all about how to work that swatch.

Here’s what I ended up with!

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When it’s finished — trim those long strands and give it a soak in a gentle bath for about 15 minutes. Carefully press it in a towel to remove the water and then set it out flat to dry completely. This is not a swatch that we want to pin because we won’t be pinning our finished sweater so we want to treat our gauge the same way we’ll treat our knitted piece later.

Gauge swatch knitted in the round

Gauge swatch knitted in the round

And there’s my little knitted swatch all trimmed and dried! My stitch count is a tad bigger than I expected so I am going to make a smaller size sweater. If you have a question about your gauge size be sure to email me and I’ll help you figure it out!


Check in, Stay Motivated, Encourage Others!

What do you think? We could finish our sweaters before the real cold sets in for the season.  

We'll check in online on 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.)


Vickie Howell can show you how it's done!

Vickie Howell worked up a great class for our new Doodle Stitch Beanie! This hat features an alternating stitch pattern that is interesting to both knit and look at. Take a peek:

The Doodle Stitch Beanie uses two balls of Ewe So Sporty yarn in your favorite colors. Plus, Vickie teaches a free tutorial right on her Facebook page. Awesome! 

You can get the pattern here or on Ravelry and find Ewe So Sporty yarn at your favorite yarn store or online.

Watch the video with Vickie Howell below and then use those same steps to knit your own Doodle Stitch Beanie!

Tell us what you thought of Vickie's class in the comments below!

Learn it now! Brioche Knitting Tutorials

I think brioche knitting has to be one of the hottest trends I'm seeing this season. There's amazing patterns by designers like Stephen West and Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark that feature brioche knitting and purling. Look at these!

Brioche creates a fully reversible fabric and gives a very different effect from regular knits and purls. I have tried it a few times from reading different tutorials but I didn't have much success. But my friend Meaghan at the Unapologetic Knitter has put together an AMAZING video series on how to brioche knit. 

The five video series includes all you ever need to know to create a successful brioche project. The series is jam-packed with info:

The posts are filled with tips and helpful shots of exactly how to knit this trendy stitch pattern. I have never worked brioche before and look! Two colors!!

Brioche knitting in Wooly Worsted yarn

Success!! 

I did run into a few hiccups but they were my fault and not the fault of my teacher. Meaghan does recommend placing a marker on the right side of the work so you can tell when you need to be BRK-ing or BRP-ing (look at me with the lingo!) on a row. But after I put a little brain power behind it I could clearly see that if I was working with Color A and that color's knits were facing then I needed to BRK and if the purls were facing then I needed to brioche purl.

All in all, I think this video series is easy to learn from, well planned and beautifully presented. Meaghan does use both Ewe Ewe yarns, Ewe So Sporty and Wooly Worsted for these videos and for good reason! Says Meg,

"It's such a good yarn to learn new skills. It's springy so the knitter gets nice tension but tightly twisted enough that it takes a beating and doesn't get fuzzy if you need to rip out and try again. Love my Ewe Ewe!"

Wow! Thanks! Let's knit together, you bring the new skills and I'll bring the yarn! ;) 

But seriously, if you're looking to learn brioche, go watch Meaghan Schmaltz's amazing tutorials now!

Visit the Unapologetic Knitter >

Hot tip: Jogless stripes in knitting

I just learned a new knitting tip from my friend Meaghan, how to have jog-less stripes! 

Whenever I knit stripes in the round I find there's always a little skip and a jump when I transition from one color to the next. Sometimes I pull the last stitch of the previous color a little tighter to help hide this but there is actually a good method for avoiding these jogs and it's easy to do!

I have been trying it on my Easy As ABC baby sweater for the knit along and I thought you might like to try it, too.

Jog-less stripes in knitting. Woohoo!

Here's how it's worked for our sweater. 

Knit as normal to your color change, change to the next color and knit around. On the second round of a color do this: 
Row 2: Sl 1 purlwise (wyib), knit to end. 
Row 3 through the next color change: Knit as normal carrying the other color up the inside.

Head over to The Unapologetic Knitter read the article. Magic!