Aalto KAL: Part 4, What Now?

According to the calendar, the Aalto KAL is over. However, I don’t think anyone is finished with their poncho yet. Am I right? I know I’m not! I haven’t even finished with the first half!! And Mary Lou who has been attending the in-person KAL hasn’t either. We took a pic yesterday of our progress.

IMG_2886

So, first of all, we are going to extend the knit-a-long. If you can or want to join us in the store, we will be meeting Saturdays, July 29 and August 12, from 2-4pm. That’s four more weeks. Not sure if that will be enough, but we will assess when we get there. I’m hoping to get to the shoulder shaping in the next few days, and I will do another post on the short rows then.

What we noticed, though, when we took the photo is that my fabric (the orange) is much more open than Mary Lou’s fabric (the blue). It’s hard to tell in the above photo, but here’s a close up.

IMG_2885

We decided we had better check our gauges again. Oops! Neither of us is on gauge! I am back to 19 sts/4″ and Mary Lou is at 25 sts/4″! I am not terribly concerned about mine. I know I can stretch my finished piece vertically and gravity will do the rest. I may never achieve that perfect 22 sts/4″, but it will be close enough (remember my comment about being tall?). Mary Lou is also not going to worry about it. She is short and was concerned about the length of the poncho down her arms. That is not going to be an issue at all now. And, when she held up the piece to her body, it was obvious that the circumference will be big enough to accommodate her torso, so that’s not a concern. She can also stretch her poncho¬†horizontally when she blocks it if she decides she needs more room in the torso.

This is one of the beauties of this garment – you don’t have to be spot on with your gauge to still have a great poncho.

How are things going for you?

~ Laura

Aalto KAL: Part 3, Adding a New Ball of Yarn

First of all, sorry for the delay in getting this blog post done (and thank you, Judy, for reminding me to do it!). I have been under a deadline to get a shawl design wrapped up for our upcoming Progressive East End Project, and I haven’t even gotten to my 2nd ball of yarn for Aalto yet. Sigh…

However, Mary Lou was here knitting with me at last Saturday’s in-store knit-a-long, and she had to attach a new ball of Twig. Normally, when I add another ball of yarn or a new color to my knitting, I knit in the new strand and the old strand as I’m knitting like this:

But, because of the airy, open nature of this fabric, this method won’t work – it would show through as a line on the right side of the fabric.

So, the best way to add your next yarn is to knit several stitches (I would do 8-10 sts) while holding both the old and new yarn together. I suggested to Mary Lou that she should do this at the beginning of the row, because even if it was a bit noticeable, having it at the edge of the fabric would mean that most people would never see it. However, Mary Lou ran out of yarn suddenly in the middle of the row, so she decided to add her new yarn there (despite my dire warnings!). I believe she knit 10 stitches with both the new and old yarn held together, then she dropped the old yarn and kept knitting with the new one. After knitting with the new one for several rows, here’s what it looks like:

The join is in the middle of the row right under where Mary Lou’s nose ends. Can you see it? Neither can I. So, go ahead, change yarns in the middle of the row!

Bonus tip: This type of join is also ideal when working with cotton yarns. My favored knitting in method is terrible for cottons – you can always see the join from the right side. Knitting several stitches with the old and new yarns held together, surprisingly, is not nearly as noticeable. For a tighter fabric, I may only do a few stitches , but for open fabrics, where the stitches are looser, I like to do 8-10 stitches.

~ Laura