Category Archives: Skills

Be Brave, Be Bold, Be Creative!

As humans we generally try to do our best.  We try NOT to fail.  But here, for all of us, is one place where we can be brave, be bold and if we fail: no one gets hurt!

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Free Hat Patterns

If you are a knitter who always needs a pattern, NO PROBLEM! There are bazillions of pattern out there.  If you search on Ravelry.com for “hat,” for example, you get 28,845 choices.  We even have some here on Adele’s Legacy you can download for free. If you add “free” to your search for hats on Ravelry the number of patterns goes all the way down to 10,647! Clearly not enough for ANYONE, so it’s good that we added a few more…

But for those of us who want to be BRAVE and BOLD and try something new there is a way to have fun with our knitted or crocheted items and learn at the same time!  When you knit for Adele’s Legacy you experience the luxury of knowing that what you create will be loved and cherished, WITHOUT having to deal with the constraints of personal preference.

Meaning that you get the fun of knitting ANYTHING you want, all the while knowing that it will be worn and loved as the PERFECT hat or sweater or scarf. That is so freeing!

It’s also pretty exciting! It means that any stitch pattern you see that you believe is pretty, or interesting, or might be fun to do is the PERFECT stitch pattern to use on your next hat. Or sweater. Or scarf! You can be brave and bold!!

Now, you have to be a bit sensible! Consider the number of stitches, the number of rows, etc. Obviously if you are considering a 200 stitch pattern that is 300 rows long for a hat…it might be wise to reconsider. But generally you can try out many stitch patterns that might be new to you on the items you knit for the children.

Here is an example.  Let’s say you hear someone mention linen stitch.  You have never used it so you look it up and learn that the pattern works like this:

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This might be great for a scarf!  Give it a try!  It might be great!  If not you can always rip it out and start again!!

Children’s scarves, hats, and even sweaters are a great place to experiment with new stitch patterns.   If you try out a new stitch pattern in a small item like a hat or a scarf, then you will learn the stitch backwards and forwards, and you will be comfortable with it, but you don’t have to commit to working a full adult sweater.

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Simple Texture Pattern

Maybe you find a pattern like this in a book.  You decide that it would be pretty in a hat.  If you have a pattern you always follow for a basic stockinette hat, go ahead and follow it.  BUT after you finish your ribbing, instead of working simple stockinette for the body of the hat, use this pattern instead.  Work for as many inches as the pattern says, then do the decrease for the top of the head.  If you decided along the way that the hat needed some color so you changed to red at the end..you would get a hat that looks something like this.

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Hats and scarves, and even kid’s sweaters are great places to practice a new stitch someone told you about, or try out a new cast on you just learned. Obviously, if you don’t like what you create, you can always rip it out and start again, but don’t be afraid!  This is a great place to be brave, bold and adventurous.

Have you tried something new in one of your creations? Tell us about it or send a picture and we will share it!

 

 

 

 

Sweater Shapes

Most of the sweaters we get at Adele’s Legacy come in three distinct flavors.

T-Shaped

T-shapedFor this shape you can start at either end.  In the top down version you start at the top (which would include both arms and the body so you have to cast on a lot of stitches to start with) then work down. When you get the sleeves as wide as you want (half the width really because you will be making a back that is just the same) then you cast off the two sleeves, leaving the width of the body left. You continue working the body down to the waist and then cast off.  (Or bind off, they mean the same thing.)

To create a bottom up sweater you cast on enough for the width of the body and work to the underarms.  You then cast on enough for sleeve on the right side and the left side, then work straight until you reach the desired width of sleeves, then you cans off all the stitches.

Either way requires that you then create an exact copy for the back then sew the two together.  There are other variations of course, using circular, or all on one piece.

Raglan

RaglanA raglan sweater shape refers to the way the sleeves connect to the body.  Raglan in the type of sweater than you start at the top and cast on enough for the neck of the sweater.  After you knit some for the neck you place markers and start to increase, you increase all the way to the underarm (the increases are indicated by the dashed line in my silly drawing) by then you have increased enough that you can divide for the body and the sleeves. The body and sleeves are then worked separately to the end, where you bind off.

There are variations to this type of sweater, too: the most common being that you knit the sleeves and body first (bottom up) then connect them and decrease for the neck.  This type of sweater, either bottom up or top down, is almost always done in the round using circular needles and/or four needles.  This may seem daunting to a new knitter, but it really isn’t very hard, and fun to try! Making small sweaters for children is a great way to practice a new technique that you may find challenging.

Drop Shoulders

DroppedThis type of sweater is very simple, and there are MANY varieties. I drew the most basic type: bottom up.  You cast on for the bottom, knit all the way up to the shoulders, it’s just a rectangle, really. Then you make the back and sew them together up the sides (to the underarm) and along the shoulders (leaving a hole for the neck).  Then you pick up stitches along the edge of the rectangle (both the front and the back) and knit to the length you want the sleeve.  Then you do the other side, and sew up the seams.

This sweater can also be done in the round (or a lot of it anyway) or flat and sewn together.

Along with checking out various shapes that you can choose to knit a sweater be sure to look at our sizing pages. Hat sizes, scarf sizes, and sweater sizes.  This is very important if you want to be able to create a sweater that will fit the child who pulls it out of the pile!  Thanks so much for creating a sweater for Adele’s Legacy! Tell us what your favorite sweater shape is!!

Finishing School (Yarn Ends)

In an effort to help new knitters, and to ensure that we spread good knitting and crocheting habits, Adele’s Legacy provides proven best practices and advice for those who are interested.  Don’t forget our Tips and Tricks, too!  If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a message, and we will help you if we can!  

When you start or finish a piece of handwork there is always a short length of yarn that is not actually a part of the item.  We call these the “end” and they are very important.  If the ends are not correctly woven into the piece you are making that wonderful hat or scarf that you have worked so hard on might unravel the first time it is washed!  Here are some basic guidelines to dealing with yarn ends.

  • Yarn ends should be at least 7 inches long.  If they are too short you will have trouble weaving them in.  If they are too long they get in the way as you are working.
Sharp needle on left, blunt  needle on right.
Sharp needle on left, blunt needle on right.
  • It is best to use a sharp needle when weaving in ends.  A blunt needle is often useful to join pieces together (like sewing up a sleeve), but for sewing in ends a sharp needle is the most useful because you will want to split yarn as you weave.

 

  • Thread your needle and then, using the sharp point of your needle skim across the fabric of your work.  The needle should go through just about a third of the strand of yarn. It should be enough to anchor the yarn you are sewing in, but not enough to be seen through on the other side.
Skim across the fabric of your work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  •  Go back and forth, in the same way about three times, and then do it again, cutting across perpendicular to the three strands you just wove. (In the picture the yarn is blue just so you can see what it should look like.) This will help hold the end in place, and not allow it to unravel as easily. When you do the last pass of weaving in you should go through your work, but ALSO through the strands of yarn you just wove in. None of this should be obvious from the RIGHT side of the work (the outside of the hat, for example.)

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  • This is what it looks like when it’s complete. Of course, on your work you would have only one end because the other would be attached to your work.
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Weaving completed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • You do it the same way if the inside (or wrong side) of the item is the knit side, or if it’s crocheted.  You do not want to pull it too tight, it should be the same tension as the rest of the fabric of the item, so it won’t show. When you are done cut off the excess yarn and you are done with that yarn end!
Weaving on knit side fabric.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • If you are working on a scarf, or with yarn of a contrasting color, where there might be more change of the color showing through on the other side you can make it less obvious by splitting the yarn.  Before you thread your yarn end onto the needle split the yarn into two pieces. For example, if you are working with 6-ply yarn, split the yarn end into two strands of 3-ply yarn.  Then weave each yarn in separately. This will lessen the thickness of the weaving and will reduce the “footprint” of the weaving. It takes a little longer, but it makes a better product.