Emerald by Isabell Kraemer

Emerald by Isabell Kraemer

Emerald by Isabell Kraemer

I’m knitting Emerald by Isabell Kraemer. It is such a pretty summery top and I’ve been meaning to knit this one for absolute ages. I chose some Sirdar Cotton DK in Terracotta, a rich, burnt red which suits my Autumn colouring.

Sizing and Fit

I chose the large size, with no ease at the bust, but as the sleeves are knitted top down I made the armhole to the depth I wanted and will knit wider sleeves to cover my meaty upper arms.

The lower part of the body (it’s worked top down) will be in the XL size to allow ease at my hips.

Mistakes and fixing

I made a mistake on the left front (as worn) and the back. Oops, I missed a garter ridge before the pretty pattern on the bodice. I’ll duplicate stitch it later, shouldn’t be too difficult and you’re not going to tell anyone, right?

I haven’t found buttons for the front placket as yet, but if I can’t find one, I may make some dorset buttons to match with the same yarn.

World Wide Knit In Public Day 2021

World Wide Knit In Public Day 2021

World Wide Knit In Public Day is on Saturday 12th June 2021

I’m excited for World Wide Knit In Public Day 2021 which is this Saturday, 12th June. What have you got planned? I’m hoping it’ll be sunny here as I’ll be out front knitting most of the day. If you crochet, feel free to join in, it helps promote both crafts and gets people talking.

What is World Wide Knit In Public Day?

World Wide Knit In Public Day started in 2005 by Danielle Landes and was an opportunity for knitters across the globe to meet, celebrate their craft and enjoy some social interaction in public.

Knitting is often a solitary craft and during the pandemic many of us has missed our regular knitting groups. Zoom has helped with some and also for those living in isolated areas.

If it is safe for you to do so, within social distancing guidelines for your country, please do join in and celebrate #wwkipday, maybe even host a meeting yourself? You can partner with cafe’s, pubs, outdoor venues and post on social media so knitters can find you and join in.

Wheatsheaf Sweater
Wheatsheaf Sweater

If you are wondering what to knit, check out our pattern range in our various stores links here: https://linktr.ee/woollymadlydeeply

Cowlabunga 2021 starts April 4th

Cowlabunga 2021 starts April 4th

What is Cowlabunga?

Cowlabunga 2021 is a 6 week long KAL/CAL (Knit along or crochet along) of cowls hosted by Loraine from Woolly Madly Deeply and myself. All our cowl patterns are eligible to be entered.

You can find Loraine’s patterns in her Ravelry store or her Payhip.

You can find my patterns in my Ravelry Store or my Payhip.

You can join in the chat in our Ravelry group – Knitting (and Crochet) Across the Pennines or in our Facebook Group of the same name.

Cowlabunga 2021

Tell Me About Cowlabunga 2020

We had such fun with our cowl knitting and crocheting last year, didn’t we? It was initially kicked off to coincide with the release of Loraine’s pattern Find My Way cowl. We had some amazing entries and some worthy winners of the prizes.

Jadzeea made a version of Ziga Zig Ahh!

Stringnbeans made a beautiful Find My Way

You can find more projects in the Cowlabunga FO Thread on Ravelry.

Cowlabunga 2021 starts April 4th 2

When is Cowlabunga 2021?

From Sunday 4th April 2021 at 15:30 UK time through Sunday 18th April 2021 at 23:59pm we will be discounting all the cowl patterns we have available by 25% using the unique code Cowlabunga2021. The KAL itself will then continue to run until Sunday 2nd May 2021 at 16:00 UK time.

We will have a cast on party live in our Facebook group on the Sunday afternoon. You will be able to join us in the chat to tell us which patterns you have chosen and which yarns you will be using. We love to see your WIPs and FOs so don’t forget to post in the FB or Ravelry groups with pictures. And tag us when you are posting on social media!

Is there a Cowlabunga Discount?

There most certainly is! This year we will be using the discount code cowlabunga2021 and you can use it as many times as you want! Just put the patterns you want into your Ravelry shopping cart, enter and apply the code between Sunday 4th April 2021 at 15:30 UK time through Sunday 18th April 2021 at 23:59 pm and 25% will be taken off the price. You will be able to buy more than one pattern but if you choose to buy from both of us you will have to check each shop out separately.

What Prizes Can I win?

This year we will be offering pattern codes and e-books as prizes. Last year I don’t think we realised how much the Covid pandemic was going to affect life, the post included! And I must admit that I was absolutely terrible at getting to the post office to send off my physical prizes. So this year we have decided to keep everything digital. Both Loraine and I will be offering codes for our single self published patterns and some e-books of our collections.

Show Me Some Eligible Patterns!

Both Loraine and I have released new cowl patterns since last year, so even if you entered before there will be something new to tempt you. However, if you already own one of our cowl patterns you could make it again. Test knits are also eligible if the pattern releases before the event finishes on Sunday 2nd May 2021 23:59. As long as you don’t cast on before 4th April 15:30 you can enter your project for a prize!

You will find a bundle of all our eligible patterns on Ravelry – Cowlabunga Cowls

Emma and Loraine

Wondrous Wheatsheaf Poncho coming soon!

Wondrous Wheatsheaf Poncho coming soon!

Wheatsheaf Poncho Pattern is coming soon!

I’ll be publishing the Wheatsheaf Poncho Pattern very soon and our email subscribers will receive an exclusive discount code, just for them.

Here are some photos of my testers garments, Karen did some short rows on hers, but the others worked the pattern exactly as written.

I love this cool purple that Cathy chose, she’s a beautiful lady and this compliments her colouring so well. The buttons look glittery almost in this photo, but check the one below that for a close up. Cathy knitted the L Size.

Wondrous Wheatsheaf Poncho coming soon! 3
Cathy’s Poncho worn with buttons over one shoulder/arm
Wondrous Wheatsheaf Poncho coming soon! 4
Cathy’s spider web buttons, black web over a white background.
Wondrous Wheatsheaf Poncho coming soon! 5
Cathy’s Poncho worn with buttons to front as a cape

Karen’s poncho is in another cool colour, this multi tonal pink handspun is to die for. Karen knitted the S/M size.

Wondrous Wheatsheaf Poncho coming soon! 6
Karen’s Poncho folded longways like a shrug, you can see her short row shaping. Karen’s yarn is fabulous, it’s her own handspun using various shades of pink to create a jewel toned mix which is gorgeous.

I’m always glad to see some different yarns used for testing and when Nita suggested James C Brett Rustic Aran Tweed in the colour way 30 Dat I was delighted. It’s a blend with 20% wool, blocks nicely, washes well and has amazing colours. Isn’t it stunning? It’s also an affordable option. I like this yarn because the colours, like Stylecraft, are consistent and dyelots rarely matter very much. Nita knitted an XL size.

Wondrous Wheatsheaf Poncho coming soon! 7
Nita’s Poncho worn the traditional way with buttons over shoulder. I love the red, tweedy yarn she chose which adds interest to the stocking stitch fabric and works really well with the cables.

I knitted my Wheatsheaf Poncho with some Stylecraft Special Aran with Wool in the Spruce colourway. It’s a heathered mix of greens both warm and cool. It’s machine wash, softens with each wash and is really affordable for those on a budget. I’m wearing the XL sized Poncho and it used around 520g of yarn, so 1 and a bit 400g balls.

Wheatsheaf Poncho in green worn by Loraine
Wheatsheaf Poncho in green worn by Loraine
The Wondrous Wheatsheaf Sweater is finished 2021

The Wondrous Wheatsheaf Sweater is finished 2021

Wheatsheaf Sweater – what did I learn and what do I love?

I finished the actual knitting of the Wheatsheaf Sweater on Saturday night while on a Zoom call with some friends from the After Party group on Ravelry. We always have a lot of laughs and enjoy chatting, but knitting or crochet happens at the same time. I was picking up the neckband of the Wheatsheaf Sweater and cast off/bound off my stitches not long before I left the chat to go to bed.

I prefer a fitted knit to a saggy, baggy knit that swamps me. The 20 year old me would be appalled, she liked to cover up her shape and hide her body.

I like that I have a waist, boobage and curvy hips. The belly, less so, but it’s the same belly that covered my son and kept him safe during my pregnancy, so I can forgive it anything.

I love the two cables that run up the front of the sweater and split at the V neckline to follow the V shape and create a beautiful design line. If you’d like to see more of the project, you can see my Ravelry project page here.

I learned a long time ago that I prefer to seam and knit flat. But I also know that many of you prefer seamless knits so there will be two versions of the pattern to suit both types of knitters. For this cable, I prefer bottom up as it’s easier to work the cable, so I will probably stick with that.

Wheatsheaf Sweater right shoulder as worn
Wheatsheaf Sweater right shoulder as worn

Wheatsheaf Sweater – let’s talk ease

I wanted 1-2 inches of negative ease at the bust, pre-blocking. After blocking, it’s a perfect fit. At the lower body, which is Aline in shape I wanted it to fit me without too much extra fabric, a neat but good fit. My preference is based on my own shape and knowing what suits me. I’m not tall, only 5ft 2in and I’m a curvy girl. Boxy knits or oversized items absolutely swamp me and all that extra fabric makes me look a lot bigger than I am. Not a good look for me.

For a modified drop shoulder sweater you might want 2-4 inches on the body, but the most important measurement is the shoulder width on the back. That measurement needs to fit you. With a modified drop, it’s easy to adapt, as you can work the lower body wider (Aline, straight or with waist shaping) and bind off more or less stitches to get the shoulder width you need.

Understanding your sleeve length also helps. The sleeve for a modified drop shoulder sweater is lengthened to fit the armhole gap. If you make your upper body narrower, add length at that part of the sleeve, if you make it wider, reduce the length of the sleeve top. There’s a little bit of easy maths involved, but you’ll love your sweater so much more if it actually fits YOU.

Me in the sweater
Me in the sweater

What would I do differently?

I’d have knitted the sleeves with a couple of inches of ease. They’re a good fit, no extra fabric and the cables look good down the centre of the sleeve. That said, an extra inch or two for comfort would be nice. Though with washing and wearing, I know this yarn will relax a bit. Next week it’ll be a looser fit on those sleeves. I’m also carrying a bit of lockdown fluff, which I’m planning to shift over the coming months which will make all the difference, no alterations required.

What is the Wheatsheaf Sweater a Modified Drop Shoulder?

It’s one of the best ways to go with the current trend for Drop Shoulders but have a garment that fits someone with narrow shoulders. Just because something is popular, fashionable or on trend, doesn’t mean it’s for me or you. Wear what suits you, the shapes that flatter your figure and leave the high fashion to others.

The shoulder seam ends at the main shoulder bone, at the top of your arm, not near your elbow. The line of the shoulder and armhole draws the eye up to your face, now down the body to the extra fabric or droop of standard drop shoulder sweaters.

If you have lovely broad shoulders, then a standard drop shoulder will look great on you, so please go for it. But, for those with a narrower upper body, they’re not usually the most flattering shape.

Drape, Fabric and Swatches

Other considerations include drape and how the fabric of the sweater behaves. Does it drape nicely or is it so firm that it could stand up without you wearing it? I’ll state the unpopular view that a swatch will tell you a great deal, I’ll also add that one of the best, absolute best swatches for a sweater is a sleeve. It’s large enough and heavy enough to show you have the yarn will really behave on the rest of the garment, rather than a six inch square which only tells us how it behaves in a small piece of knitting or crochet.

You can work your sleeve swatch in the round or flat, whatever suits the pattern you’re making, but that one item will tell you so much and save you a lot of time.

For those working top down and in the round, a large swatch of any kind is your friend. I will admit that for top down sweaters, where I have used the yarn before, I have a rough idea of the needle size I will need to get gauge/tension. I’ll just cast on and crack on with the knitting or crochet. However, I measure A LOT, during that first part of the knitting. I need to know whether it’s going to be wide enough, do I need to add length, adjust my increases etc. So pay attention at this stage of your garment.

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