My current work in progress:

Moth Cardigan, designed byAmy Christoffers, knit from Rowan SoftYak DK in the Plain colorway, using U.S. size 3 and 5 needles.

KnitCircus Giveaway!

The Fall issue of KnitCircus went live today!

issue 11 cover 185x240 KnitCircus Giveaway!

The magazine is free to read online. Subscribers have access to the full pattern collection and extra articles for each issue. You can also elect to purchase a single pattern collection for an issue. Both the one-year subscription and single pattern collection prices are very reasonable — check out the information on subscribing here.  You can preview the patterns in the free online version.

If you turn to page 31, you will find an article written by yours truly. 😀

I am now a regular contributor to KnitCircus — you will find an article by me in every issue.

Which leads me to a question for you all:

Are there any topics you would like me to write about in upcoming issues?

If you have any ideas for article topics, please leave them in the comments. To sweeten the deal, I am authorized by KnitCircus to give away 2 free one-year subscriptions and 5 free pattern collections from the Fall 2010 issue. I’ll have the Random Number Generator choose the winners from among the comments with article suggestions left on this post. The winners will be chosen by noon Eastern time on Sunday, August 8, so get your comments in before then, please.

Buttons!

Thanks for weighing in on the Great Button Dilemma. I had actually chosen which buttons to use before posting the choices yesterday, but was interested to see what you all thought. I didn’t keep a running count, but it looked like more of you preferred the Celtic buttons to the Sheep buttons. Be that as it may, the Sheep buttons, which I purchased from The Rams Horn Studio, will be going on the sweater. I’ll save the Celtic buttons, which I purchased from The Millinery, for another sweater.

Pi!

In Pi shawl news, I have completed the “increase to 576 stitches” round, so things are slowing down considerably.

WIP080410 240x160 KnitCircus Giveaway!

According to the pattern, this design takes just over 1300 yards. A skein of Wollmeise lacegarn (the yarn I am using) has over 1700 yards, so I could make this a little bigger. I’ll see what I think when I get a little further along.

In yesterday’s comments, Andi asked:

Can you offer up an easy way to start circular shawls.  It seems as I have 12 fingers on each hand when I try to get started and then my frustration level rises to the “throwing of the object” level.  Any suggestions?

This shawl starts with 9 stitches, so what I usually do is cast on 3 stitches on each of 3 dpns, using a longtail cast-on. At this point I will usually simply join and start knitting in the round.

But for whatever reason, the start of this shawl was very fiddly. So I cast on 9 stitches on 1 dpn and knit one row plain across. Then I divided the stitches over three needles, joined, and started knitting in the round.

By doing this, I had the stability of one knitted row already on the needles when I joined in the round. After joining, I started knitting what would be the wrong-side (if I were knitting back and forth) as my right side, but I rather like the look of the tiny circle with the purl bumps for the center of the shawl. If it bothered you, you could purl across your cast-on stitches so that what becomes the right side is knit.

WIPCenter080410 240x160 KnitCircus Giveaway!

Some tips — a circular cast-on is much easier on short dpns. If you have the little 4-inch long glove needles by all means, use them! You will also find it easier to execute on wood needles than metal needles, because the surface of the wood has more grab to it and will help to keep the stitches from sliding off.

While I have 4″ wooden needles in some sizes, the only dpns I have in the size I am using for this shawl (U.S. 6) are 8″ metal ones, so my start was extra-fiddly. Hence the knitting straight of the first row.

Lucy Sez:

Lucy080410 240x136 KnitCircus Giveaway!

“Cross-eyed? Who’s cross-eyed?”

Comments

  1. AnneCameron says:

    Thanks for the link to Knit Circus — it’s definitely the most magazine-like of any online magazine I have seen, just gorgeous. I would love it if you would write an article on designing with cables!

  2. is this one of those stealth projects?

    I’d buy/read anything you publish – surprise me -though I’m leaning towards lace for virgins. 40 some odd years of knitting and never tried lace.

  3. I would find an article on knitted on edges and what types of patterns work well with this technique.
    Glad you choose the sheep buttons – they were great for that sweater.

  4. Diane Liebenthal says:

    Being a returning knitter I have plenty to learn. An article about the differnt cast on methods and when to use each one may be helpful.

  5. technical knitting stuff would be great, like when a pattern says M1, for make one, what are some different ways to do that and when would you use each way.

  6. LOVE the magazine. Think anything on the qualities of different yarns, as mentioned above would be useful. Have heard that you knit really fast, continental style, but what about those of us who are just slow? any tips without converting?
    Carol with three cats

  7. Wow, I love the magazine!!!

  8. How about an article on what inspires you?

  9. Whatever you write will be interesting and helpful. Particularly maybe you could give some tips for blocking shawls of different shapes — circular, triangular and oblong. You do such a lovely job on yours.
    .-= Kim B.´s last blog ..Fall Knitting Magazine Review =-.

  10. fibercrone says:

    I like Bonnie’s idea of “lace for virgins.” Another thing I’m curious about is how knitters learn to knit so fast. You’re so prolific you must have some tips.

  11. Hey, I have problems with my cast on edge when working in the round. How about a troubleshooting article for some problems such as the above, loose edge stitches, or other common questions people may have. You could even have people ask the questions and you answer. Just a thought. Or maybe even a piece about the ever growing community of male knitters like myself.

  12. Helen Chase says:

    Pick me please. I just started on a shawl for my daughters wedding next July, I just hope I don’t have to start over to many times..
    Keep doing what you do.

  13. There are lots of interesting topics, but I’d love to see more on lace. How to integrate different patterns together and especially how to transition to a border. Congrats on the regular articles!

  14. Sylvia Jordan says:

    I would love to have a subscription! Thanks for sharing.

  15. I was so excited to access the link for Knit Circus, and then I even paid for a subscription. I tried 3 times, it will not open. Oh woe is me……………Bunny

  16. Paulette says:

    Combining colors is somethng that throws me for a loop, so I’d love to see a “colors for dummies” type of article.

    Thanks for asking.

  17. I would like to read an article on blocking different fibers–steam, wet, dry, pins, wires, stretching only, etc. By the time I finish knitting a project, I don’t want the blocking to hold me back from actually finishing the project. With so many new fibers out there, it would be great to learn from others’ experience. Thanks!

  18. I’d like to see more on lacework! Looking forward to seeing more of your PI shawl!

  19. Congrats on the writing gig! Topics I’d like to see: finishing techniques (which itself could be many different articles); choosing colors for colorwork; and the design process. In general, I’d like to see more articles on advance techniques. Good luck and thanks.
    .-= Carol´s last blog ..Gauge- you cruel mistress =-.

  20. Article: finishing and buttonholes…..that would be great!

  21. Linda Hanford says:

    Wendy, I would like to hear about the various techniques for fair isle – how to avoid tangles, Philosopher’s wool method vs others…

  22. I liked your article a lot. I’d love to see one on colourwork tips and techniques!

  23. I would love an article on steeking for people like me who are still terribly afraid. I know that I could do it if I put my mind to it but my emotions just flare up and say “Get those scissors away from my knitting!”
    .-= Angela´s last blog ..I Actually Did It! =-.

  24. Loved the Knitcircus magazine–lots of good info

  25. You inspired me to start a pi shawl:) Which version are you doing, the first one or the one with all the hearts? I didn’t see the second version until i had already started, but I think I like mine so far! Yours is very pretty with the wollmeise – I haven’t been lucky enough to snag any of that yet. Thanks for the information and inspiration!
    .-= Tabitha´s last blog ..I’m done…maybe =-.

  26. Wendy

    I already love the article on charting 101…it’s great!!

    I would love to see designs for heavier socks ie worsted or DK weight

    Teresa
    .-= Teresa in Oklahoma´s last blog ..July 25- 2010 =-.

  27. For circular cast ons, I recommend Emily Ocker’s circular cast on (video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCftljy6OGw), which is fiddly but works. I also saw this one from Marie Grace, which looks easier : http://www.mariegracedesigns.com/marie_grace/2010/07/a-useful-little-yarn-loop.html.
    I was super excited to read your article today – very informative! I’d love an article about substituting yarn for projects – it’s so difficult sometimes to know if a yarn will work, regardless of if you can get gauge with it.
    .-= Jenn´s last blog ..Knitting Olympics =-.

  28. Maria Neill says:

    YES on the sheep buttons!!! I love buttons that have character!!!!! Congrats on joining Knit Circus. I look forward to reading your thoughts, sometime serious, sometimes HILARIOUS, sometimes for the teaching kind.
    When deciding on a topic to write about, perhaps you could talk about knitting so many shawls/shawlettes in a short period of time. I am yet to be able to go past a few rounds….tell us about the “rhythm” of kitting a shawl…there must be a way to reason with those patterns!
    Maria

  29. I love, love, love knitting magazines, especially the fall and winter issues. It seems you prefer finer yarn, but I love worsted weight and I would love new ideas for the cold weather here in the Northeast using wool, alpaca or llama yarns. And maybe an article (samples?) explaining what multicolored self-patterning yarns create stripes or patterns or color changes. I always seem to buy beautiful yarns that don’t end up looking like I imagined they would!

  30. kelly-ann (on ravelry) says:

    I would love to see you write about your design process and how you decide for your next project if you will knit a published pattern or design your own.

  31. Thank you for telling us about Knit Circus! Please enter me in the giveaway!

    PS-I loved the sheep buttons!

  32. Congratulations on becoming part of the KnitCircus family. As many others have said, I’d love to read more about the design process.

  33. Love to read anything you write as well, but how about
    an article for the nervous knitter, who is afraid to go beyond
    scarves and simple washclothes and maybe two hats.
    How to get past fear of cables, of complex patterns, etc.
    I guess any advice for the beginning knitter who wants to get better!
    PS glad you picked the sheep buttons. I love them!

  34. Heather H says:

    I’d like to hear your thoughts on blocking. When to wet block vs. steam.

  35. Definitely an article on colorwork! There are so many beautiful patterns out there that I’m afraid to tackle because of colorwork. I think a great article on it could be very illuminating!

  36. I would love suggestions on how one goes about “finding” the perfect pattern when you have a yarn you love! I started a shawl recently with some yarn, and then decided I HATED the “workup” — the yarn was just too “heavy looking” for the pattern repeats, even though it was a light fingering yarn. thanks!

  37. joan neal says:

    I would like to see an article on Lucy!! Love that kitty.
    Second choice would be picking suitable patterns and fitting techniques. Nothing more frustrating that knitting a sweater and finding that the pattern is not right for you or fitted well. Are there any fixes that can be done after a project is finished?

  38. The magazine looks great! I would love to win a subscription or one of the great patterns!

  39. Such an informative article you wrote in this magazine, Wendy! It’s amazing what we can do with the programs already on our computer. How about writing an article about knitting bloggers or blogging knitters? I made my first pair of socks after buying my first sock knitting book, your book, Socks from the toe up! You can see them on my blog. http://debbiesfiberwork.blogspot.com/2010/05/hooray-pair-of-socks.html
    .-= Debbie´s last blog ..Trying out embroidery with felt =-.

  40. Two areas to ponder:
    I’d like to see an article which describes in detail how to convert a toe-up sock to a top-down. I’ve tried this technique but usually find difficulty with the heel flap and gusset.

    I’d also like to see how to use/ change gauge to alter a pattern.

  41. Yay for the Sheep buttons! Your sweater will look adorable!
    Congratulations about KnitCircus!

  42. How about a bind-off compendium? There’s so many new ones lately and I don’t think I’ve seen an article that says which are best for what, advantages, disadvantages, etc. I get so confused.

  43. Amy Segel says:

    I would love an article about choosing lace motifs.

  44. I would love to see you explain how to make a chart. I have done a lot of make-it-up-as-I-go-along knitting, and I love the freedom of creating. I have never mastered making a chart of a lace pattern. That may be beyond the scope of the articles you will be writing, and if so, I understand. I look forward to reading this new publication.

  45. Ellen Adrian says:

    Although I descend from Celtic lines, I must admit that I also would have chosen the sheep buttons….They seemed to be a great fit…..
    I really look forward to your blogs…BTW, please tell Lucy that having crossed eyes only mean that the others who don’t have them are ‘abnormal’……..

  46. laura sequeira says:

    I would like what another person said–how to convert another neckline to a v-neck–probably not difficult , but more than I understand….

  47. I think an article on how to make sure a sock fits (what to measure, etc) would a great idea for an article.

    Love the pi showl too! I’ve decided to jump into the mix and knit one too. I just received some off-white mulberry silk that seems to be begging to be knit into this.

  48. Would like advice on techique for steeking and seaming.

  49. I think a great article would be all about the art of creating your own charts and/or converting a written pattern to a chart.

  50. Wendy, love the Celtic buttons, but the sheep have me hands down. Both my cousin and my brother are sheep farmers. My cousin is a spinner and weaver also. As far as topics, I’d love to see more of your sock information. Did my first “two at a time on one long needle” project and had a blast with it. Need to learn more!

  51. Vicki Johnson says:

    Congratulations on being a regular contributor! The shawl is going to be lovely.

  52. I am and lefty knitter and knit mirrored. I would like to have you address the issue of right handed knitters thinking that left handed knitters must change patterns in order to complete a project. Or that we lefties have to learn to knit right handed in order to create anything worthwhile.

    Mirror knitting is just that. I knit all patterns as written and my projects turn out just fine.

    And no, knitting is not a 2 handed craft. Hand dominance plays a part in how someone moves through the process. Some can do it easier than others.

  53. I would like to read about how to design your own shawl… I love to knit them, but to deisgn one of my own… confusing!?

  54. mamamagda says:

    I read your blog all the time but admit to being a shameful lurker.
    I had the same problems with double points & 6 sts in fine lace wt. cotton – thought I’d go crazy! My solution if you don’t have tiny wood needles, work on a place mat at a table, knit the stitches from the first needle barely lifting the work off the mat so they don’t twist or get out of place. To move onto the next needle, just turn the mat til the next needle is in the right position. Again knit off the next needle barely lifting them off the mat – continue…
    Sounds very fiddly but it worked for me. You only need to do this for 3-4 rounds & then you should be safe If you are desperate it’s worth a try !

  55. LOVE the Pi shawl!! What a gorgeous colorway!!

    I’m wondering if you have learned any tips on hand, arm, back health while knitting for long periods of time. I know your back is messed up right now and I’m curious if you have learned any tips to make it easier. Many of us knitters are older and have arthritis issues, not to mention having back problems and/or being out of good physical condition. If you can’t write such an article, maybe you could influence someone else to do so?
    .-= Ruthie´s last blog ..WHY =-.

  56. I would love to see an article on deciphering Elizabeth Zimmermann’s patterns. Her designs are incredible, but I have the hardest time trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do!
    .-= Lynn´s last blog ..Winners =-.

  57. I’m looking forward to all your articles in Knit Circus. The knitters have given so many good ideas for topics. I can’t think of anything that wasn’t suggested.

    I’d love to win a subscription, saving money to buy more yarn!

  58. I would love to see some articles about designing and what/how do you get inspired to design. Information and sources about pattern making would be cool too!

  59. Dr. Jackie says:

    I’m for colorwork too…I know how to do it, but could really use some tips on how to work with multiple colors at a time without slowing to a snail’s pace, or tangling bobbins into oblivion.

    I was one who voted for the sheep buttons, so…yay!!

    And I saw your column in Knit Circus, and was contemplating subscribing…so if you’d like to pick me for a subscription….(!)

  60. That is so exciting!! Can’t wait to read about what you have written.
    As for ideas.. hmm I’m not really sure?? but maybe about yarn fibre and projects?? Like what fibre you should stay away from if you’re knitting a certain project or what fibre works great for a certain project??
    .-= aesderina´s last blog ..Modern Art =-.

  61. Since you are a designer I would like to know your favorite stitch dictionaries.

  62. Article on getting the best results from blocking … the before and after on the Swallowtail project was amazing.

  63. Eliana Bahri says:

    The new issue of knit circus! Nice!! I’d love to win it! Thanks so much for this giveaway 🙂
    I’m always interested in reading anything you write. Although, I’ve never steeked before, and would like to know how you do it. I’d also be interested in learning more about colorwork, and lace blocking.

    ~Eliana~
    (IknitCupcakes on Ravelry)

  64. Love your article on charts. It helped with the ease of reading a chart and planning one.

    Would like an article on yarns and how to choose a substitute yarn for a project. Do you know how to do Tunisian Crochet and if you do, maybe an article on that. Thank you.

  65. I’d like an article on custom fitting socks. What do you alter to accomodate a wide (or narrow) foot, a high instep, thick ankles, a bunion, high (or low) arches …I’m sure the list of adjustments could be much longer. I don’t know of a single easily-accessible source for this information.

  66. Great article in Knit Circus. I would read and get something out of anything you would write but I love anything to do with socks, lace, final assembly and yarn. Oh, that would be just about anything about knitting, wouldn’t it?

  67. I would like something on choosing yarns. I often need to pick substitutes and I flounder!

  68. Helen Wyld says:

    Re : starting a pi shawl. I have made several and start with a crochet chain of the required number of stitches. Join into a circle and use your dpns to pick up from that. It makes a firmer centre to work from.

    Pse consider me for the giveaway.

    By the way, I like the celtic buttons but knew you would choose the sheep!

  69. I’d like to see an article on finishing – it’s something that still lets down the look of my finished knits. Also maybe something about the pros and cons of different fibres?
    .-= josiekitten´s last blog ..KnitNation 2010 – a woolly feast! =-.

  70. Kathy L. says:

    Can’t wait to read your article in Knit Circus. Please include me in the subscription give away!

  71. Awh Lucy! Glad you mentioned where to get the buttons, I was secretly voting for them.

  72. I have started the same sweater three times in a week (I ripped it again last night). This project has both an icord cast on and corrugated ribbing. I saw both your video instructions for corrugated ribbing and another for doing both colors in the left hand. What I would like to know is if your slipped-stitch method has more or less give than the more traditional stranded method. I actually asked at a yarn shop, but the person there hadn’t done a corrugated ribbing project yet to be able to tell me.
    .-= Seanna Lea´s last blog ..10 Tuesday my staycation =-.

  73. I’ve just started doing more colorwork, and I’d love tips on stranded colorwork and double knitting.

  74. heleneharris says:

    I’d like to see an article on instructions in patterns that seem obvious but sometimes aren’t.
    for example – a simple one that isn’t a problem for me but i’ve seen others question it –
    join in the round, being careful not to twist. We understand not to twist, but not how you actually “join.”
    a more complex example – “continue keeping in pattern” – this happens when for example there is a neckhole or an arm decrease, or heaven forefend, both! How do you figure out how to stay in pattern when you’ve just been doing it over a consistent number of stitches for the last billion rows?

    Thanks for considering it! your pi shawl is lovely! (576!!!)

  75. Wow, Knitcircus is great! I don’t know how I hadn’t heard of it before now. I was especially pleased that I could download and save it to read later.
    I’d like to read about how you came to be such a successful blogger and published author. Or to put it another way, how to make it as a professional knitwear designer.

  76. Thank you for introducing me to KnitCircus! I’d love a subscription:)

  77. When knitting socks, how to choose the best hand dyed yarn to do the pattern the most justice. Stay cool. cecilia

  78. You show us many great things. I would love more information on seaming, still haven’t gotten it totally. My LYS has the BEST lady there to help, but it still doesn’t sink in……thankfully she is very patient and a teacher at heart. Blocking also useful.

    Love the button choice! Hope to see it model soon.
    Would love a subscription!
    It is sorta a crossed- eye day!

  79. Info on how to substitute yarns on projects would be good.

    Thanks,

    Patty
    .-= Patty Madrigal´s last blog ..Flowers in the Garden =-.

  80. imjustlori says:

    Nice article! I think I remember when you explained how to chart like that on your blog. It’s nice to see you encouraging new designers that they can do it.

    As for new article ideas, I’d love to hear more about your designing process, and test knitting, and so on. A look behind the curtains, if you will.

  81. I would like to see an article about blocking. I think I didn’t really appreciate why this should be done until I saw a blog entry that showed one of your shawls before and after blocking. What a difference! I know it should be done for all garments and I know there are different ways out there to do it correctly. I think I’m probably not the only one who skipped blocking in the past and it would be helpful to many of us.
    By the way, congratulations on having your articles in the magazine every month!

  82. I’d love to see a comprehensive article on finishing a garment, including weaving in ends, blocking and seaming.

    Thanks. Love the blog (and Lucy).

  83. I agree with several commenters above – I want to know more about your design process. Your socks and shawls are always so pretty. How do you come up with such lovely designs? And your photography is fabulous. Something about that would be interesting, too. Thank you!

  84. I find the business of craft fascinating. I’d like to hear what you see in the knitting world!

  85. Arlene Hoose says:

    Hi Wendy

    I would like to read your take on different cast on & off methods. Which work
    best for sox and which work best for sweaters.

  86. Kathleen R says:

    I’d love to be entered to win! I love Knit Circus.

    Thanks!

  87. I would love to see something about designing shawls, such as how to take an existing lace pattern and make it “grow” into a shawl.

  88. Great article! I already downloaded the knitting font. As for what to write about in future articles, I’m fixated on sweater construction at the moment, but I don’t know if that’s something you have Big Opinions about. In the round or seamed, top-down, bottom-up, the whole thing. Also, I’ll echo some other commenters and say colorwork is another Big Scary Technique. Are you having a blast thinking about all the articles you’re going to write? Have a great time and congratulations!
    .-= Pixiewear´s last blog ..I Heart Ysolda =-.

  89. Kate/Massachusetts says:

    I know there are articles “out there” about knitting bust darts but I still am confused about the process. Your writing is clear and makes sense to me so I would love to see an article written by you for better fitting sweaters. Thanks!

  90. Knitcircus is great, love the articles and patterns. The fact you will be a regular contributor makes it even better!!!

  91. Thank you for the link for this new magazine; I like the ease of use and the fact that I can find always find it! Your article was very good-I have struggled with some design attempts and you helped me on several points. I think I would enjoy some articles on how you design a particular pattern-filling in the stitches in the right space etc, and how to ‘see’ the design . Thanks again.
    .-= Cindy in FL´s last blog ..A Typical Day =-.

  92. margaret says:

    I would like to see an article on shawls that will stay on the shoulders without a pin.

  93. I would like to see an article about how to adjust a pattern to your particulars. For example, I have a long torso, for sweaters that don’t require shaping it’s an easy fix. But there are some very cute sweaters with waist shaping that I often have difficulty tackling.

  94. I love Knit Circus! I would like to read your articles in every issue.
    .-= Jan W´s last blog ..Juried into Paducah =-.

  95. I’d like to see a discussion of how to use a different yarn than what is called for in the pattern – or choosing the best yarn (weight, fiber) for the pattern at hand. Also, I’d love to see a discussion of good yarns to use for vegan knitters. A tutorial on colorwork would be nice too!

  96. I would like to see an article about how to increase the sizing in a pattern. Some of the patterns aren’t written with enough larger size choices.

  97. Excellent article on creating charts in Word.

    I’d like to know more about how you know what to chart – where do your ideas come from for stitch patterns? How do you make them up? What creative resources do you use?

  98. I have already checked out KnitCircus and love your articles especially the one on chart making. I so want to design my own! I love the color of your Pi, too. Like the many comments above me…what a great Fall color! Thanks for commenting on the start of the Pi. I’m going to take my 12 fingers and give it a try! You make it all look so easy! Thanks for offering up the KnitCircus subscipt’s and patterns. Knitter’s are the most generous people in the world!
    Andi

  99. Elisabeth says:

    O.K. then: another magazine. So good that on-line is a viable option!
    I really like a “pattern-in-the-hand”, though. I’d totally love either of these give-aways!

  100. It would be great to hear your thoughts on designing lace, especially for incorporation in socks.