3 THINGS YOU HAVE TO KNOW ABOUT GAUGE

Gauge

Today we will talk about Gauge. I am writing as a textile designer and as a knitter. In fact there is no clear seperation between these two anyway.

I am always very open minded when it comes to designing. This includes how I handle Gauge. For example it happened more than once that we could not fill in the right data on Ravelry when describing a SKEINO pattern. This happened because at times our designs expand the rules a little bit. You can certainly do that if you know your stuff.

What stuff? – Here are 3 things I recommend every knitter to know about Gauge:

  1. Basics

All knitting patterns should provide a Gauge that will give the number of stitches and rows for 4 x 4 inches (10 x 10 cm). Most of the time the needle size to create these number of stitches and row is also provided. Sometimes the designer will say: “…or obtain Gauge” or “… depends on your project”.

Anyway, you will need a gauge for your project.

The best way is to always knit a swatch. The first step is, to use the needle size the Gauge provides. Watch for the pattern the gauge is given for. It can be Stockinette Stitch, Garter Stitch or Pattern Stitch. This is very important for your swatch. Cast on for your swatch at least the number of stitches for 5 inches. If the needle size provided does not give you the result you should have, you need to change the needle size. Try a larger needle if you are a tight knitter, try a smaller needle, if you are a loose knitter. We all knit differently and it also makes a different if you are a “Thrower”, “Continental” or “Combination” Knitter. Spend as much time as you need for the PERFECT SWATCH. You will have the time back and no more “unraveling” and “figuring out” which is a waste of time.

  1. Another aspect is your personal taste.

The Gauge for a garment is very important for a perfect fit.

For some patterns the Gauge needs to be perfect for the design to come out right.

To follow the provided Gauge it is very important for you to not run out of yarn for a certain piece.

The Gauge is your decision for a cuddling scarf or shawl. Walk away from the provided Gauge, if your swatch does not please you. Change the Gauge to the better. You will be surprised what it does.

The Gauge is your decision for most lace knitting. Work as loose or tight as you like.

  1. Changing the yarn weight

If a pattern is written for a DK weight yarn and you want to use a Worsted Weight yarn, go for it.

It is very easy for a scarf or shawl. Chose the needle you think will be right for your yarn pick and start a swatch. Change the size of the needle as often as you like until the result is pleasing you. Now you have to do the math, which is very important. The provided Gauge tells you the number of stiches and the stitches you need to cast on. If you change the yarn to a heavier weight you need less stitches for 4 inches (10 cm).

Example: If you have a Scarf that is knitted lengthwise and the Gauge is 16 Sts per 4 inches, but the stitch number from your personal swatch is 12 Sts per 4 inches, you will need to do the math. If the scarf should have a desired length of 72 inches, you will need to cast on with your yarn 216 stitches. (12 sts per 4 inches = 3 sts per inch x 72 inches = 216). It is that easy, trust yourself and try it.

For some easy projects you don’t have to do the math at all, because it will just work. Like a triangular shawl knitted down from neck. Make a swatch to determine the needle size and start your work. When the yarn is knitted up, the shawl is done.

I want to give you the inspiration to develop the courage to become as independent as possible. By doing so you will always enjoy your craft as much as possible. Trust yourself and your instinct. Don’t be afraid to work outside of the pattern.

Maybe a glass of wine will do the job to let go and be yourself.

Do you agree with this list? What do you think are the most important things every knitter should know about Gauge?

 

…and as always:

Happy Knitting!

 

Love,

Bjorn

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SKEINO IS COMPANY OF THE MONTH

The friendly folks at Iberiabank in Fort Myers awarded SKEINO as company of the month and gave us the opportunity to display some of our products in 2 of their branches. We feel honoured and proud!

So there are Arabella Shawls and Scarves, Sock Yarn, Venice as well as a SIS. We had great feedback and so we thought you might enjoy the following photos:

IMG_2862IMG_2864IMG_2860IMG_2863IMG_2868

Want to see our exposition tables first hand? Come on over to:

Location 1 – Until Christmas 2015

 

Location 2 – Until Thanksgiving 2015

 

If you look closely there are 3 more yarns that we use for certain kits. Can you spot them? Let us know in the comments!

…and as always: HAPPY KNITTING!

 

MISS GRACE SHAWL PHOTO COMPETITION

During the last 2 weeks we received plenty of beautiful photos from knitters from all over the world. It’s great to see so much response from the knitting community. We really couldn’t ask for more!

You sent us all kinds of photos, in all stages of progress and using both our yarn as well as others. All of these wonderful images will be showcased in this blog post.

As you know there is a prize: the best photo will win a 100% discount on SKEINO for any of our products including free shipping. The decision wasn’t easy. We sat together for quite some time and after several cups of coffee and lively discussions we decided on our top 10.

No matter what happens, please remember: Everyone’s a winner baby, that’s the truth!

TOP 10 PICTURES

10. Jutta, Switzerland – colorway Michelle

All the way from Europe came this photo by Jutta. Her Michelle colorway is almost finished and it looks so smooth! The full forms create this nice look, almost like the surface of water with little waves in it. We’re wondering if Jutta is thinking of Lake Zurich when she knits…

Uni Kath_Ravelry-Jutta-Michelle

 

9. Susi Hoosier, USA – colorway Jan

Susanne named her project “Friendship” and we couldn’t think of a better title! On Ravelry she commented that it will be a Christmas present. She chose colorway Jan which comes in pastel purple and blue tones contrasted by a solid black. Her photo composition is as simple as it is beautiful with the basket holding the yarn and the shawl in progress in the front.

Hoosier Susi_Ravelry-Jan

 

8. Steven Self, USA – colorway Barb

First of all thumbs up for one of the few male knitters! Steven is knitting colorway Barb. We love the way those deep purple tones are contrasted by the pastel tones in the full forms. The two balls at the bottom of the photo give it a nice “work in progress” look.

Steven-Self-Barb

 

7. Elly May, UK – own colorway

Elly is not using SKEINO colorways but we have to admit that these look so funky! What a color explosion this is! Stunning, as they say in the UK. This is a great example how you can use SKEINO’s free patterns on Ravelry and create your own style.

Elly May_Ravelry

 

6. Manuela Tudor, Canada – colorway Cindy

Manuela sent us this beautiful picture of her colorway Cindy. This is the original colorway our Tapestry Knitting technique was created with. The shawl is very colorful and Manuela did a great job contrasting the lively shawl with the neutral gray of the stone background.

Manuela-Tudor-Cindy

 

5. Laura Yant, USA – colorway Sherri

Laura’s theme in this picture is fall. Her colorway Sherri is work in progress and since the rows are so short when you start knitting Miss Grace we’re sure she made very quick progress. Laura did such a great job matching the colors of the background with the Miss Grace colorway and those leaves make it even better! What a great sense of color!

Laura-Yant-Sherri

 

4. Janice, USA – colorway Patti

Janice was brave enough to model herself in this photo and she gets an extra point for that! Her colorway Patti looks amazing – the 3 colorways creating the forms make Patti particularly interesting, we think. Also the photo composition quotes the shades of green and blue in the shawl. Note the green hat! 🙂

jdm6of18 Janice_Ravelry-Patti

 

3. Deana Mumbower, USA – colorway Pamela 

Deana chose colorway Pamela for her project. This collage style photo is truly artistic and we love the way she brings together the shawl with pictures of herself. A special mention goes out to her tattoo. That’s what you call a passionate knitter!

Deana-Mumbower-Pamela

 

2. Ann Kobilis, USA – colorway Sherri

This photo looks like a knitting lab. Ann seems so dedicated to her Miss Grace in colorway Sherri! All the tools are ready to go and on her tablet Ann is watching Staci Perry’s video tutorial. The full package of Knitting a Miss Grace shawl!

Ann Kobilis-Sherri

 

1. Candy Spurzem, USA – colorway Patti

Now isn’t that picture gorgeous! Candace shows all her creativity and humour when dressing up her big Gorilla friend. We love the crown! The background is all nature and it looks like the Miss Grace king (or is it a queen?) is more than happy with Candace knitting the shawl for him (or her). Congratulations Candy, you won a FREE SKEINO product of your choice!

Candy-Spurzem-Patti

 

Honorable mentions:

Staci Perry, USA – colorway Sherri

Well, who would doubt that one of the most successful knitting bloggers out there is able to take a great photo! Staci always does such a good job when posting things she makes tutorials about. We hope many of you found her video for our Tapestry Knitting technique helpful. We cannot thank Staci enough for her great job on explaining the somewhat challenging pattern. The feedback we received was overall positive, so here goes a honourable mention to Staci!

Staci-Perri-Sherri

 

Merrie Marks, USA – colorway Leslie

Merrie is kitting colorway Leslie. The full forms come out with a nice gradient that almost looks like a rainbow. Once finished her Miss Grace shawl will definitely be a very special piece turning many heads!

Merrie-Marks-Leslie

 

Jeanne Anderson – colorway Jeanne

Jeanne is knitting colorway Jeanne, or at least she is about to start! And that’s what we love about her picture. It looks so much like she just recently unboxed her package and is ready to go.

Jeanne-Anderson-Jeanne

 

Hayley – own colorway

Hayley posted her project on Instagram and of course we are more than happy to showcase her work. We’re not sure what yarn she is using but the project looks beautiful.

Haley_instagram

 

Eileen, USA – own colorway

Eileen is using Knitpicks yarn for her project and from what we can see it looks like a big success.

image_medium2

 

We hope you enjoyed these beautiful pictures and if you participated yourself, thank you sooo much for sending your photo to us!

Please know that you can always send us pictures of your SKEINO projects. We will be more than happy to post your images on our social media channels.

Do you agree with our rating? Which picture is your personal favourite? Let us know in the comments!

…and as always: HAPPY KNITTING!!

HOW I FOUND OUT ABOUT A “SECRET” KNITTING STYLE

I learned to knit when I was just 5 years old. My Grandmother had the patience to show me how to do my first chain with my fingers, because I was on her heels and wanted to do the same thing she was doing. Over the years I became more and more interested in needlecraft and everything that goes along with it, so finally I studied Textile Design.

I’m now getting close to 70 and you would think that after so much time I would know most about needlecrafts but very recently I found out something very curious that made me think again:

It was the day when someone told me that I practice COMBINATION KNITTING.

I had no idea that besides the English/American and the Continental technique there is a third knitting style! Well, this explains why some of my pattern writing always needed some extra help to be right so knitters could understand what I was trying to say.

Here is a video that opened my eyes when a friend sent it to me:

Recently I planned a new Shawl and I decided to do a very open structure just based on the front row YO, K2tog and the back row all purl. To make it more exciting, I chose to work the shawl in the bias.

Knitting Bias Scheme

Interestingly due to my Combination Knitting technique, the K2tog’s supported the bias shape and the final design turned into a lengthwise striped scarf. What a fun surprise!

SKEINO Gala Scarf Detail

SKEINO’s new Gala Scarf

Our superfluffy, glittery and light weight VENICE yarn made the scarf very special and I’m convinced that the result with another yarn would not haven been so pretty as it came out with SKEINO Venice Yarn.

Here is the pattern:

Cast on 30 Stitches with needle #11

  1. Row K
  2. Row K1, K2tog, K26, M1, K1
  3. Row P
  4. Row K1, K2tog, K26, M1B, K1
  5. Row P

From now on repeat the following two rows:

Front row: K1, K2tog, K1, [YO, K2tog] 12 times, M1B, K2

Back row: P

For the last 5 rows repeat rows 1.-5.

Bind of loosely and weave in ends.

As I was knitting the model for our website I recorded a small video and I thought that it would be a nice idea to show you how the scarf knits using my combination knitting. You are very welcome to try the technique too:

This was my first attempt on doing a video tutorial. Please let me know if you want to see more videos like that.

To conclude let me say that actually I am very happy with my knitting style: it is easy and fast. But as you already know, SKEINO’s slogan is HAPPY KNITTING so please stay true to your personal style.

What is your favourite knitting style? Do you know of a fourth “secret” technique? Please let me know in the comments!

…and as always:

HAPPY KNITTING!

Love,

Bjorn