It was so much fun to participate in designer Marie Greene’s annual 4-Day Sweater KAL. Although the name of the KAL invites knitters to challenge themselves, participants had from July 4 – August 1 to complete their sweaters. Laura completed her sweater, made from Green Mountain Spinnery Sylvan Spirit yarn, in 12 days!
Laura included notes about her knitting process and pattern modifications on her Ravelry project page for her Soundtrack. Here are two of her favorite tips!
Choosing a Size Based On Your Swatch Gauge
First, she chose a size based on the gauge she got in her own swatch, not the pattern gauge. After knitting a 6″ square swatch, Laura’s gauge using Sylvan Spirit was 19.5 sts and 33.5 rows per 4″. The pattern gauge is 21 sts and 31 rows per 4″. Laura’s fabric is more loosely knit than the pattern gauge. Marie recommends 2″ to 4″ inches of positive ease for this sweater. Laura’s bust is 36″, and she choose to knit a sweater with two inches of positive ease. Looking at the number of stitches at the bust for each size in the sweater pattern, she calculated that knitting a Size 2 (a 36″ bust in the pattern gauge) would yield about a 38″ bust at her own, looser gauge. So, Laura knit a Size 2, but her finished garment ended up being a 38″ bust. Don’t be scared to do a little math to come up with your own, custom size based on your gauge swatch!
The Armholes Are (Probably) Going To Be OK
Second, Laura, along with may other KAL participants, was concerned while knitting the sweater that the armholes might be too tight. One of the benefits of top-down sweaters is that you can try them on as you go, and many knitters like to try their sweaters on right after finishing the yoke and separating the sleeves from the body. At this point, it seemed like the armholes might not be deep enough, especially since the pattern does not instruct knitters to pick up any stitches under the armholes when knitting the body, as many sweater patterns do.
Knowing that Marie is a wonderful designer, Laura took a deep breath and decided to trust the pattern (and her gauge swatch!). For many sizes in the Soundtrack pattern, a large number of stitches are added right around the bust. This additional ease in the body of the sweater helps the armholes fit nicely, but this is difficult to see until the body of the sweater is finished. Laura’s sweater fit just as she wanted it to without any pattern modifications around the armholes once it was complete and blocked.
One of our favorite yarn companies, Berroco, is hosting a Summer MAL (make-a-long) dedicated to “tees”! Knit a short-sleeved pullover using Berroco yarns to be eligible for a chance to win weekly prizes. Cast-on date is Friday, June 19.
Our Pattern and Yarn Picks
Berroco has so many wonderful summer yarns and breezy tee patterns. Here are a few of our “Tee Party” suggestions!
Knit a Cas Cay, Iras or Soca in Estiva, a bulky, gradient cotton tape yarn with amazing yardage (336 yds/ball). Iras, a free pattern, takes only 2 – 3 balls of Estiva and knits up so quickly. Cas Cay and Soca are FREE on Ravelry or Berroco.com with the code BerrocoTeeParty.
Kits are available through Northfield Yarn for Villa (knit), Derecho (knit), and Maldives (crochet), pictured below left to right. Kits include a copy of the pattern and the yarn needed for the size you select. We’ll have more tee kits available soon (both crochet and knit) featuring Berroco Liana, a linen and nylon blend!
How to Participate
Share your progress in the Berroco Ravelry group, Facebook group and/or tag Berroco on Instagram with #BerrocoTeeParty to join the fun and be eligible for weekly prizes, provided by Berroco.
Margaux from Berroco will be going live in their Facebook group on Thursdays at 10am CT this summer to cheer you on, answer questions and to share her own tee progress.
No party is complete without gifts! Use code BerrocoTeeParty to purchase one tee pattern via Berroco.com or Ravelry.com. One code per person.
Many of our customers prefer to keep using the remote shopping options we’ve developed during the shut-down, and those will continue Monday through Friday (click here for more details). But, consistent with the latest Stay Safe Minnesota order, we are setting aside one day a week for in-store shopping. On Saturdays from 10-5, we will invite up to two people at a time in the shop for up to 30 minutes. Standard precautions will be followed (see details below, or download a copy here).
Because this is a very limited number of people, we are also taking appointments for shopping during these hours so that you have the option of ensuring a spot. This is also a more “distanced” option because you can bring a buddy but otherwise you will have the shop to yourself. Use the “Book Now” button on our homepage or call 507-645-1330 to make an appointment.
We will be taking precautions for everyone’s safety, including wearing a face mask, keeping our distance, and cleaning surfaces frequently. We ask that customers follow the following precautions if they visit the shop while we are open on Saturdays:
Please reschedule your visit if you or anyone in your household is experiencing cold or flu symptoms.
Wear a face mask. (We have masks available for $1 if you don’t have one.)
Hand sanitizer is available at the door and we ask that you please use it before entering the shop.
While in the shop, leave six feet of space between yourself and others
Be judicious about what you touch — we’re not saying you can’t touch things, just refrain from touching all the things. 🙂
Please respect the 30-minute time limit.
Sorry, no cash transactions, reusable bags, or public restroom available.
Remote Options Continue
Monday through Friday, we will continue to provide the remote options that have been in place since mid-April. See full details here.