Monday, March 28, 2011

A Brief Update on the Clapotis KAL.

Happy Rainy Monday! Hope everyone enjoyed a knitting/stitching-filled weekend, with plenty of college basketball!

I wanted to share a quick update on our latest KAL, the Clapotis. We had a lively and large number at the shop on Friday. Hope just as many of you joined us virtually for the cast on!
Sally and Theresa
Just about everyone is using the spreadsheet I linked to in the last post. And no one but me is mirroring their twisted stitches. There were a few questions about slipping the stitches at the beginning of every row. I slip purlwise every time, with the yarn in front on the purl side and with the yarn in back on the knit side. Being consistent - remembering to slip on every row and slipping the same way on every row - is more important than the specifics of how you slip.
Mary and Kathy
Knitters have selected a few different yarns for the project - I saw Araucania Ruca, Misti Alpaca Suri Handpaint, Ella Rae Lace Merino, Spud & Chloe Fine and Malabrigo Sock. Each of these yarns is working up beautifully. It's just a matter of selecting the right size needle and adjusting the pattern size (number of increase and/or straight repeats) if necessary. BTW - the spreadsheet makes it really easy to make those pattern modifications!

We also had the opportunity to support a good cause. Kathy's daughters made stitch markers ($5 for a dozen) and all the proceeds are going to Samaritan's Purse to help Japan. She sold out Friday, but promises another batch early this week.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Getting Ready for the Clapotis.

We're hearing lots of interest in our next KAL, the Clapotis - the more the merrier...and the more good input we'll have to help everyone be successful. Remember we're casting on this Friday at 2pm at the shop - this is a suggested start time... please feel free to start sooner and/or join us virtually!

Hopefully by now you've selected your yarn (if not, check out this post for suggestions, or come by the shop and we'll be happy to help!) and given some thought to which size needle works best.

You might've visited Knitty to print out the pattern. But no worries if you haven't! When I knit my second Clapotis, I didn't even use the pattern. Instead, I used the fabulous "ClapotisStitchNumbersFinal" spreadsheet linked in the How do you pronounce CLAPOTIS? group forum on Ravelry:

click the image to link directly to the forum on Ravelry (note that you need to be logged into Ravelry for this to work!) then click the name of the spreadsheet to download it
 This spreadsheet includes row by row, section by section instructions and stitch counts. I cannot recommend it highly enough! Here's a snapshot of the first bit of the spreadsheet to give you an idea:

One thing about the spreadsheet is that it's just words and numbers. The actual pattern has a know a picture is worth a thousand words! This shows the finished dimensions (21 inches wide and 55 inches long) and illustrates the unique construction - it's knit from the lower left corner to the upper right corner, making a parallogram. wow!

from the Knitty pattern page

Ok, so you have yarn, needles and the pattern. Now what? You swatch!

Wendy found a great blog post that describes a way to swatch so you can try out the dropped stitches and make sure you like the drape of your fabric. The post also talks about resizing and/or using all your yarn.  If you're thinking about using yarn other than worsted weight and/or making a different size, I highly recommend reading it...and swatching!

The past two times I knit this, I followed the pattern and twisted the stitches on the knit side only, twisting in the same direction by knitting through the back loop. I didn't have any issue with the results. But when I swatched for this project (following the great blog post's instructions), I tried out the mirrored twist. See what you think.

swatched per instructions, starting mirror twists mid-way - Spud & Chloe Fine (colorway 7802 - clementine), on a size 5 needle
Me, I think I like it (please note that I used the mirror twist on the left side of the dropped stitch - like column 2 in her example).

I have two balls of the Spud & Chloe Fine, approx 490 yards. I am planning a scarf-sized Clapotis - narrower and longer than the pattern schematic. I'm sure I have enough yarn to do this, but I'm going to get into the pattern and work a few of the increase sections before I decide what modifications (if any) I'll make.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Our Next KAL - Clapotis.

(typing this, I realize we've selected another pattern that is going to tempt alliterative blog titles - I promise to do my best to avoid the tempatation...but it's hard!)

The Colchi KAL is wrapping up; the finished shawls (and WIPs) we've seen are gorgeous. Please share your project with our Ravelry group so we can ooohhh and aaahhhh!

...and that means it's time to plan our next one. It's going to be Clapotis (pronounced clap-oh-tee, Ravelry link). Cast-on date is Friday, March 25.

We picked this project for three reasons:

First, it's a fun knit - I've made two and still want to make another one (or two!) - that lends itself to a group project. There are several forums on Ravelry devoted to the pattern and Excel spreadsheets to help track your progress.

Second, it's adaptable to just about any yarn - really. Any weight - the projects on Ravelry span laceweight to aran. Just about any fiber - because of the dropped stitches, we suggest something relatively "smooth and non-sticky". Think merino, silk, cotton...and shy away from mohair :-) And any color - solids, variegated, multi tonal - all lovely. see below for a few suggestions.

and Third, Theresa has promised to join us. Yes, this project has been in her mental queue since she saw one knit in Misti Alpaca Suri Handpaint (oh my, there are some gorgeous ones on Ravelry!). Hopefully this is just the motivation she needs to cast on!

We hope you'll join us, too! I'll be back next week with links to my favorite tips and tools on sizing and tracking the pattern. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments or in our Ravelry forum.

Yarn Suggestions
(these are just a few of the dozens of great possibilities. please note that suggested yardage and needles are just that. suggestions! in the next post, I'll share tips about resizing the pattern to fit the yardage you have - the pattern as written makes a shawl-like scarf and many folks have made a more scarf-life size)

Theresa's favorite Misti Alpaca Suri Handpaint. Suggest 3 skeins and a size 6 needle. Ravelry links here.

The ever-popular Koigu KPPPM. Suggest 3-4 skeins and a size 6-7 needle. Ravelry links here.

Or Noro Sock, either Kureyon or Silk Garden. Suggest one skein and a size 5-6 needle. Ravelry links here.

Still thinking fingering weight, how about Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock. One of the new 100g skeins and a size 6 needle.  Ravelry links here.

Or maybe lace weight? There's the lovely Ella Rae Lace Merino. Suggest 2 skeins on a size 3-4 needle. Ravelry links here. (and check out our very own yarngurl's FO here. I've seen this one in person and it is stunning!)

And finally, a worsted weight. None other than Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted. Suggest 3-4 skeins on a size 8 needle. Ravelry links here.