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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 05/08/2007 :  18:00:36  Show Profile Send Siobhan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't know how many of us are knitters, but I thought I'd post this information as it is HP.

A new knitting book of Harry Potter patterns by Alison Hanssel is now available. Her pulbishers have made one of the patterns available on line for free download and the blog is running a charity knit along for Warm Woolies.
http://charmedknits.blogspot.com/

This is the author's blog (with a Weasley Sweater pattern):
http://alison.knitsmiths.us/pattern_weasley.html

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2007 :  16:22:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Am I the only knitter?

I've been knitting since I was a kid, but most seriously since I was in college. Knitted a sweater from Elle magazine, then two Perry Ellis designs from Vogue Knitting. Didn't knit for years after college since I moved to one of the hot humid regions of the US. Then friends started having babies, I took up my needles again. I've been knitting ever since, ie. the last ten years.

As far as HP projects, I must admit that I've only done one. I knitted a Gryffindor scarf for Daughter.

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Myf
Confunded

571 Posts

Posted - 05/10/2007 :  23:39:14  Show Profile  Visit Myf's Homepage  Click to see Myf's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
No, I'm a knitter too! But a very beginner one. Well, my stitches are pretty good and very even, and I can knit on circular needles (haven't tried double points) etc - but I just haven't launched on a big project yet, apart from scarves and neckwarmers.

I really want to knit myself a simple cardigan though - I found this pattern which I really like (http://ohmystars.net/craft/knitting/pbuttony.html) but I can't understand all the instructions so I might have to go and buy a pattern which explains everything a bit better. I love the style of that cardy though, and I think it would look excellent in a charcoal grey with red buttons.

Siobhan, got any tips? Maybe I can ask you to help me decipher that pattern!

If you're looking for trouble you found it.
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Starling
Confunded

United Kingdom
701 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2007 :  06:14:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My stitches are very neat too, but I'm useless at knitting anyway, mainly because I'm also really good at dropping stitches and losing count. And I knit really slowly and lose patience.

I wuv multicoloured werewolf puppies.
"When Mister Safety Catch Is Not On, Mister Crossbow Is Not Your Friend."
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2007 :  10:44:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Myf

Siobhan, got any tips? Maybe I can ask you to help me decipher that pattern!

Really cute cardy, Myf. It seems pretty straightforward to me as an advanced knitter, but then I've run across most abreviations before.
You've knit on circular needles before, that's good. This pattern doesn't require joining the cast on row so there's no difficulty with twisting (I just had to rip out 8 rows of knitting and start over because I had a twist in my first row - Bah!). It really is quite clever that the bands are knit right in and the sweater is knit as one piece. I always hate picking up stitches to add bands. I never seem to get the right number.

I would recommend knitting a gauge with your yarn before starting so you'll have a better idea of how many stitches to cast on in the first place.
Abreviations:
Row 1: 2x2 rib is K2 P2 repeated

Row 7: pm means place marker (one of those little rings that slips over the needle). There's two markers for each of the sleeves, one front and back each.

Every 10th row: yo is yarn over- just wrap the yarn around the needle before making the next stitch. This increases your stitch count and will leave a larger space between the two original stitches for the buttonhole. K2tog is knit 2 stitches together, which will compensate for the stitch added with the yarn over.

Knit sleeves in round: ssk is slip, slip, knit-- slip two stitches one at a time to the right needle, place the tip of the left needle through the two stitches, then knit both together. This is a neater way of knitting two stitches together. They tend not to look so twisted up.

Let me know if that's not what you need. I'm glad to help.

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sunsethill
Confunded

USA
653 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2007 :  11:54:17  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Starling

My stitches are very neat too, but I'm useless at knitting anyway, mainly because I'm also really good at dropping stitches and losing count. And I knit really slowly and lose patience.



I, too, am a very beginning knitter. You might try using the really thick yarn. It's easier to see your stitches and whatever you are knitting goes super-fast. It is less frustrating to newbies, IMHO.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2007 :  13:25:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I find that if I use markers as I cast on, placing them every 20 stitches or so, it helps me to keep track of my total number of stitches. That way I only have to count to 20 (or 10 or whatever) over and over as I cast on. The circular project I'm working on needed 188 stitches with markers at the join and 94.

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Jokelly
Barking

USA
1509 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2007 :  01:49:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When did this board pop up? I didn't know we had a crafty board?

Ohh, I knit! I've made 3 or 4 Harry Potter scarves through the years. Coincidentally, the Gryffindor house colors are the same as my high school alma mater, and my sister's kids, so when I go to the games I'm wearing our colors.

I knit left-handed (work my stitches from right to left) so everything comes out backwards. Therefore, I make up most of my patterns, which is okay since I only knit simple things like hats and scarves. I recently finally decided to learn how to do cables. I have to remember though that if I want my cables to turn out like their supposed to that I have to go forward when the pattern says backward and backward when it says forward. Otherwise, you have backwards cables.

When I first start I had the hardest time learning how to use circular needles. Now that's all I use, whether I'm doing circular work or not. They're the best because now I have less dropped stitches.

My next knitting project will be a 1:12 scale blanket for my dollhouse. I'm having trouble finding the Size 1 needles, though. I have Size 2 so I just may use those and pretend the blanket was made with bigger stitches.

I also have one of those fancy knitting machines. I inherited it from my mom. I never use it and it lives behind the organ in the living room. I have made a scarf or two from it. It's neat because you can do a whole scarf in one sitting, but it's very easy to drop stitches and mess the whole thing up.

Current location: Laying low at Lupin's
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Myf
Confunded

571 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2007 :  05:53:08  Show Profile  Visit Myf's Homepage  Click to see Myf's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Wow, thanks Siobhan! It makes a bit more sense, but I need to work through it a bit more. Does it hint anywhere where you're starting, eg. bottom of the jumper moving up towards the neck or other way around? I admit I'm kind of confused as to how you knit the entire thing in one piece, if sleeves are included in that. I'm not very good at working out what something looks like from written instructions. I'll also have to experiment with ssk, as it seems not to make much sense to me yet.

In terms of projects, I'm also on the last square of this pattern - a toy for someone, not sure who yet (http://jofrog16.motime.com/post/658540). It's pretty good, and has been a bit of a confidence boost to see how neat and even my knitting is across all those stitches. I'm onto the cable side now, (my first time ever!) and I've only dropped one stitch, when I was transferring them to the cable needle. I just need to learn how to sew it all together well, and find a block insert for it. It's in a gorgeous crimson colour.

Maybe I'll go and look for some yarn for that cardy, now I have some expert help...

If you're looking for trouble you found it.
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2007 :  14:41:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was a bit confused too, first time reading the pattern through. Then I started again from the top and found this
quote:
A cute autumn sweater with a top down raglan construction, worked flat in one piece.
So you are beginning at the neck rather than the hem. The shoulders are knit into the body right down to where the sleeve needs to separate. Then the body is continued on its own. You should leave the sleeve stitches on holders, though they mention this only in passing in the pattern.
quote:
to try, put front, back and sleeves on separate holders or waste yarn

The sleeves are worked as separate tubes when the body is finished. A shorter circular needle is great for sleeves since it is easier to work with and the stitches won't get stretched out. Over the years I've had to invest in a couple of different length needles of each size.

quote:
When did this board pop up? I didn't know we had a crafty board?
Hee Hee Hee! I'm crafty!

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Myf
Confunded

571 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2007 :  00:17:17  Show Profile  Visit Myf's Homepage  Click to see Myf's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Thanks a heap, Siobhan! I am definitely going to try to make this cardy now. I was vacillating, but now it's a definite. I'll keep you all posted with photos and everything!

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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2007 :  12:16:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I CAN'T KNIT!

I just thought I'd put that in. I can sew and quilt but apparently yarn & needle projects and I don't get along. I learned to knit and crochet as a teen and in both cases my finished products were a terrible waste of wool. I can weave and I used to enjoy that greatly but I gave up on knitting.


And I love you, I love you, I love you.
Like never before, like never before.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2007 :  12:35:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It takes a while to work out the tension aspect of knitting. I can knit quite well. Crochet I can do, but not with much proficiency. I'd like to learn to tat (my grandmothers both did), but just haven't the time at the moment.

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Starling
Confunded

United Kingdom
701 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2007 :  16:16:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm left-handed, but my crafting teacher insisted I knit right-handed. It's probably one of the reasons I'm so slow!

I wuv multicoloured werewolf puppies.
"When Mister Safety Catch Is Not On, Mister Crossbow Is Not Your Friend."
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Jokelly
Barking

USA
1509 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2007 :  17:51:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Starling, I've heard the argument that it's too difficult to learn and that it shouldn't matter because you work both hands anyway, but that's bunk! There is a dominant hand that is used. These people are right-handed and don't realize that we don't learn some things like they do. If it was the case that it shouldn't matter then they should have no trouble doing it left-handed. My philosophy is when right-handers start adapting to the left, then I'll adapt more to their way. I do it too often as it is to give in even more.

I know some lefties have no trouble knitting right-handed, but I just can't do it. I've tried and it's like my brain freezes up. Luckily, I had a mother who was also lefty and showed me how to knit. She tried to teach me crochet, but I just couldn't pick it up. I can't get past the chain.

Current location: Laying low at Lupin's

Edited by - Jokelly on 05/13/2007 17:52:34
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2007 :  20:12:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My mum used a mirror to teach a left-handed friend how to knit.
I always thought it would be fun to knit along a row, then knit back without turning instead of purling, but I'm so pitifully right handed I've never been sucessful.

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Myf
Confunded

571 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2007 :  23:11:37  Show Profile  Visit Myf's Homepage  Click to see Myf's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
So do you guys knit using the continental or English way? Eg. if you're righthanded, do you hold the yarn in the right and 'throw' it, or in the left and 'loop' it?

I was taught the English, 'throwing' way, but I experimented last year with the continental method. It's very fast (when done right) and is more about manipulating the yarn than the needles. But it feels very counterintuitive to me, and if I wanted to do it again now I'd have to relearn. Plus, I still find it pretty slow.

If you're looking for trouble you found it.
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Jokelly
Barking

USA
1509 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2007 :  23:25:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I knit left-handed English. I work the stitches from right to left and hold the thread in my left hand. I did try to do the Continental way because of all the hype about it being faster and better, but I can't get the hang of it.

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Myf
Confunded

571 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2007 :  07:02:03  Show Profile  Visit Myf's Homepage  Click to see Myf's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Ok, I have a question about my cardy before I've even begun.

We can't get lots of the same yarn here as in the US, so I tried to get something similar. The yarn in the pattern is 50m per 50g, and knit on 5.5mm needles. The only yarn like that I could find was horrible acrylic, so instead I decided to buy a less chunky yarn, 65m per 50g, which is recommended for size 5mm needles.

Is there an easy way to convert the pattern to use slightly smaller (that's not the right word - what is?) yarn on smaller needles? Usually I suppose you'd check gauge and adjust up or down, but the pattern doesn't have a gauge recommended. Should I just start knitting and gauge it from how big it looks?

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Starling
Confunded

United Kingdom
701 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2007 :  07:06:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Lessee ...

When I knit, the left needle starts fullest, and the new stitches end up on the right-hand needle. Is that left-handed or right-handed? I use my right-hand index finger to loop the yarn. I've seen people take their hand off the needle and actually -take- the yarn to loop it (whilst sticking the needle under an arm to stop it from falling), but I just flick my index finger (so does my mum and so does my mum-in-law, who is a really fast knitter, both from the continent, btw).

I've got a few really gorgeous balls of wool in autumn colours. Really soft merino wool. I knitted some fingerless gloves, but they're to big, so I've got to unravel them. Not sure what I'll make with them now. Might knit a hat (how does one knit a hat?). My hair is still falling out, I'm going to need a collection of hats.

I wuv multicoloured werewolf puppies.
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Myf
Confunded

571 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2007 :  07:20:05  Show Profile  Visit Myf's Homepage  Click to see Myf's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
It sounds like English knitting to me, Starling!

This site has some excellent videos of knitting in action - you can see both being demonstrated: http://www.knittinghelp.com/

I've found some other top-down raglan construction cardy patterns, and I think I can figure out how to do this - this one (http://www.cosmicpluto.com/blog/?page_id=397) allows you to get a vague idea of gauge then see how it goes. I feel like I'm flying blind, but I'm happy to play around.

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Starling
Confunded

United Kingdom
701 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2007 :  08:25:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Myf

It sounds like English knitting to me, Starling!



Hmm, I wonder where my (Dutch) mum and my (German) mum-in-law learned to knit?

Thanks for the links!

I wuv multicoloured werewolf puppies.
"When Mister Safety Catch Is Not On, Mister Crossbow Is Not Your Friend."
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2007 :  10:43:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Myf, I would suggest that you knit a small swatch just to figure out how many stitches you get per 10cm, or so-- just so that you know how many stitches to cast on approximately before you start. Since the pattern does not really specify how many rows should make a certain measurement (see, I'm trying to remember how gauges are measured in metric-- I could just go look at one of my patterns), ie. you work till the thing is the right length, the difference in the needle and yarn size shouldn't be too much. The only problem may be with the depth of the armhole/width of the sleeve, and the distance between the buttonholes. You could also try knitting with your yarn on the 5.5mm needles. The difference isn't that great, but you may not like the loosness of the knit. Definitely try on the top part of the sweater before working the fronts and back without the sleeves. It would be preferrable (and easier to fix) to know that you would like the armholes a little deeper and/or the sleeve not so tight at the shoulder before moving ahead (all you'd have to do to deepen the armhole is work a few more rows-- to make the sleeve more roomy you would have to either unravel and cast on more stitches for the shoulder which would make the neck larger and lower, or just increase a few (evenly) from the binding to expand the flare).

I'll shut up now so as not to scare you off your project with too much info.

Not sure I knit in any particular way. My paternal grandmother ridiculed me for not knitting "right" (read as her way), so I don't know. My Mum taught me how to knit in the way that seemed easiest for me. I am pitifully right handed, so I cast onto the left needle and knit the first row to the right. I put the right needle all the way through the stitch (crossing the needles) and wrap the yarn (with my right hand) letting go of the right needle, and draw it through. My grandmother fiddled around barely using the tip of her needle to lift the yarn through. I read an article a while back in one of my knitting mags, the upshot of which was that it really didn't matter what method one knits-- everyone has a slightly different style-- as long as it looks good.

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Jokelly
Barking

USA
1509 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2007 :  12:07:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What type of needles to you prefer using? Metal, plastic, bamboo? Do you like circular or straight? I like to use circular metal needles no matter what the project. I just like the clicking the metal makes when you're knitting.

I'm jealous of you guys who can knit sweaters. The hardest thing I make are hats.

quote:
When I knit, the left needle starts fullest, and the new stitches end up on the right-hand needle. Is that left-handed or right-handed?


Starling, that's right-handed. You're working from left to right. I'm the opposite. When I begin a row I have all my stitches on the right needle and then work them until they're all on the left needle.

I think it's interesting that everyone has their own way of knitting. I'm one of those who lets go of the needle (left in my case) when I bring the yarn up around. Somehow I hold it someway that nothing comes apart. Then you just get into a rhythm and don't even think about what you're doing.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2007 :  13:59:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I freak people out when I knit without looking at what I'm doing. It works only on stockinette stitch projects, though, and only on the knit side.

I prefer my bamboo needles, second best is plastic. Unfortunately, most of my needles are metal. On the plus side, I'm weeding out the ones that are scratched or gouged up and replacing them with needles I like-- whichever happens to be available at the time. One of the problems I have with metal needles is that the oils/acids of my skin react badly with the metal. I have to be especially careful when knitting with light colours that my work doesn't become discoloured. My grandmother had the same problem.
I think I prefer straight needles to circular for the simple reason that I tote my stuff around a lot. A smaller bundle of work is easier to keep track of. I also have a difficult time with the warmth of a whole knitted project in my lap. Heat is not my friend and I get plenty of it here.

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Myf
Confunded

571 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2007 :  19:17:16  Show Profile  Visit Myf's Homepage  Click to see Myf's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your ideas, Siobhan. It makes a lot more sense to me now, and I think I can figure it out. I decided to cast on 106 stitches instead of 96, and have worked the ribbed collar section already. Now I just need to alter the instructions for placing markers so I have them evenly spread out. I already made adjustments to the pattern - the button band was in garter stitch , but I changed one of them (the underneath) to seed stitch for interest.

One more question - further along in the pattern it has this instruction for the body of the jumper: Row 9: Slip 1, (K to within 1 st of marker, M1, K2, M1) to end. Fair enough - but what does the M refer to? Is it a stitch, or referring to moving the marker from one needle to the other? I'm thinking it must be a different stitch, as there will end up being 'seams' which delineate the sleeves from the body.

Help?

In terms of needles, I prefer metal - I also like the sound, plus the firmer the better. Plastic has too much give. I've only tried bamboo once, and the needles seemed flimsy and very prone to splintering. Maybe I just bought cheap ones. I don't mind circular needles, but the ones I use have short needle sections - I like them a bit longer, as in straight needles, for grip. I also let go of the righthand needle when throwing the yarn, but I also don't have any trouble with it falling or dropping stitches. I think everyone definitely knits a different way!

If you're looking for trouble you found it.
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2007 :  10:35:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The M means "make"-- make a stitch there. There are a number of ways to make (also called increase) an extra stitch, you just have to try them to see which method you like the look of best. My latest pattern called for picking up the bar between two stitches and knitting into it. Made a small hole-- looked as though a stitch had been dropped. Unravelled and redid 24 rows of knitting, increasing by knitting into one stitch twice, and am much happier with the effect.

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Myf
Confunded

571 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2007 :  20:03:06  Show Profile  Visit Myf's Homepage  Click to see Myf's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Yes, I figured that out! In the pattern it just says to knit to the marker, make a stitch, K2, M1 then continue knitting. I have three markers - do I make 2 stitches around all of them? Ending up by increasing the stitch count by 6 every 2 rows? If not - won't I be increasing the stitches only at one part of the cardy?

GAH. I could write clearer instructions in my sleep.

The pattern itself says to make stitches the way you say, by knitting into the bar of the stitch, so I've done it that way. I'll have a look at whether I like it, and maybe go back and undo it like you.

This is so frustrating. I just want to get on with knitting it but I have to keep stopping to work out the pattern!

If you're looking for trouble you found it.
Professor Stephen Hawking
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2007 :  21:15:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK, I just looked back at your pattern again. It seems to me that the bit in parenthesis is supposed to be repeated around the garment. Though no where does it say so, that would be a way of putting it. Usually repeats are noted thusly: K2, *blah, blah, blah* repeat to end.
quote:
Row 9: Slip 1, (K to within 1 st of marker, M1, K2, M1) to end


Whomever wrote the pattern was writing in shorthand with themselves in mind. They cannot possibly have thought that someone else (particularly someone less experienced) would find their instructions complete. There's a lesson in having your knitting patterns proofed, eh?

Myf, I'm a little confused. You say you have three markers?
According to row 7 of your pattern there should be four total (I'm assuming one for each side of each sleeve). Or did you mean three more markers than the one you just increased at?

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Myf
Confunded

571 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2007 :  23:43:48  Show Profile  Visit Myf's Homepage  Click to see Myf's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Oh, now I'm confusing myself!

I have a marker 6 stitches from either end, to remind me to work the button band. That's two markers.

Then, on the right side, I have a marker about 16stitches from the button band marker, then another 33 or so from there, then another 16 again from there, then I knit to the button band again. So that actually makes 5! I'm guessing, though, that it marks (from the shorter edge of the asymmetric front) button band - left sleeve - back of cardy - right sleeve - button band. So do I have too many markers? The way I've started I'm increasing once for the left sleeve, once in the middle of the back, and once for the right sleeve. Oh man, I need to draw this all out! I'm no good at spatial cognition.

One more question - where do the seams at the front and back of where the sleeve joins the cardy come from? Is they run diagonally from the neckline to underarm. Is there another stitch at play somewhere?

MYF = CONFUSED.

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Myf
Confunded

571 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2007 :  23:47:14  Show Profile  Visit Myf's Homepage  Click to see Myf's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Yes, I re-read the pattern and I do have the right number of markers, Siobhan - I've just added one at both ends of the row, instead of just at the start.

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