July 29, 2014 by Rebecca

We've had a few questions about picking up the stitches for the back yoke so I've put together a photo tutorial for that section and for joining the two yoke sections together before working the right sleeve.

Picking up stitches for the back yoke

Once you've finished the front yoke, return the held stitches to the needle, bind off the underarm stitches and knit across the live stitches. 

Rotate the sleeve so you can see the right side of the front yoke and pick up the specified number of stitches across the row just under the first garter stitch row. You can squish the rest of the stitches on the needle while you pick up the stitches.

Alternatively pull out a loop of cord so it's a bit easier to manoeuver the needle while you pick up the required amount of stitches. In the picture below 6 stitches have been picked up so far. If you are unsure how to pick up stitches across a row in the middle of the fabric this Technique Thursday post will help.

Once you've finished picking up the required number of stitches, you're ready to continue with the Back yoke instructions.

The first couple of rows of the back yoke will look a little squashed on the needle, because of the small circumference of the sleeve. As you work the back yoke it will become a bit easier to work it flat.

Joining the two yoke pieces

Once the back yoke is complete the following right side row will join the two yoke pieces together, to create the envelope neck opening. Knitting some of the back and front yoke stitches together will mimic the picked up stitches at the other end of the neck.

Knit the specified number of stitches for the size you're making. Then place the held stitches from the front yoke on a spare needle, I used a dpn. Your knitting should look like the picture below.

Next place the back yoke on top of the front yoke as shown below. Then knit the next stitch of the back yoke together with the first stitch of the front yoke.

Continue working across joining one back yoke and one front yoke stitch together until  there are only 2 stitches left on the back yoke. 

Then work the decrease as described in the pattern. You'll have a few stitches of the front yoke remaining, knit to the end of the front yoke.

After completing the row your work should look like the picture below. Continue with the Right Sleeve directions in the pattern. 

wee envelope, tutorial


July 01, 2014 by Ysolda Teague

Celebrate my birthday with 29% off any of my self published individual patterns. Enter the code 'rainbow<3' when checking out here or on Ravelry to receive your discount :)

I'm afraid we aren't able to offer this on books, patterns published by a third party or on the Rhinebeck Sweater patterns by other designers. The sale will end at 10am GMT tomorrow. Now, is it too early for cake?


June 30, 2014 by Ysolda Teague

Nine years, plus a few weeks, ago, I started a blog. It wasn't something I'd put much thought into. I'd recently found Knitty.com and Craftster.org and was thrilled to find a few other people who were as into my new hobby as I was. I'd been knitting for a couple of years and had already discovered that I found it easier and more interesting to make things up than keep track of my place in a pattern. That didn't mean it had ever occurred to me to design my own patterns, I hadn't even really thought about the fact that regular people made those. 

And then two things happened. I got the first Stitch n Bitch book, which I discovered through the author, Debbie Stoller's magazine, Bust. Since high school I'd been making monthly trips on the bus to a retail mall to pick that, and other magazines that opened up a cool, feminist world where women did interesting things, had strong opinions, liked sex, cared how they looked, and didn't think crafts were weird and old fashioned. I found the puns in Stitch n Bitch trying and some of the projects were more my thing than others, but I loved that it explained the techniques I didn't know enough to know I needed to know. The most exciting thing about it though? That had to be the little bios of each of the contributors that accompanied each pattern. I wanted to be one of them. 

Enter Knitty. I didn't have the faintest idea how you went about getting into a book, and the only knitting magazines I'd ever seen looked more like they were aimed at an odd hybrid of stereotypes of grandmothers and pre-teen girls. Browsing Knitty one day I noticed that they had a page titled "get into Knitty". Much to my surprise, it all seemed like stuff I could do. Follow a template for the pattern, take photos, etc. I started swatching. I worked the shaping for every size out, separately, on graph paper and the construction clearly shows that most of the patterns I'd looked at were very traditional, but I made a cardigan, and a pattern. 

The photo I thought best summed up who I was back then — I wore that hat constantly; an early Ravatar; and the current one. 

Just like the contributors to Stitch n Bitch I got to write a short bio and provide a photo for Knitty, and their guidelines said this would be a good place to include your blog link. Right then and there I registered a domain and started looking into blogging software. 

My first blog header

My first blog header

My first post was motivated by a project I'd made for a swap on the Craftster boards, wanted to share the chart, and needed somewhere to host it. This morning I managed to track down the original photo and reinstate it. Nothing could more hilariously reveal that I had no idea I'd be writing this now at that time than the fact that my very first post is about an intarsia project based on a topless photo from a seventies porn magazine. On the other hand, a lot of my subsequent design work has focussed on making sweaters work with boobs, and I do have a special ability to bring any conversation around to breasts. 

I was nineteen years old, feeling a little lost in the multitude of ways that are part of being on the cusp of adulthood, and remembering that the thing that made me truly happy as a kid was making stuff. That summer I rode my bike everyday to work at my uncles' office, a job that left plenty of time for browsing the internet and writing blog posts. I saved the money I made, and that wasn't blown on partying, to buy a digital camera. I blogged about the projects I made, which focussed heavily on skulls, corset style lacing and comic book characters, and wrote for an audience made up entirely of friends. 

When Amy Singer, the editor of Knitty, emailed me to let me know I'd made it into the issue I was so thrilled, and so unaware that it might not seem very professional, that I posted her email on the blog (something I had no memory of until now!). I do remember finding her comment about Rowan amusing: they seemed like such a distant world. 

One morning in September I woke up and thought my little website had been hacked. There was absolutely no way that that many hits could be legitimate. But they were. Knitty had gone live, they'd put my pattern on the cover, and it turned out that when, a few months earlier, I'd been so excited to find a few people who liked to knit, I'd been grossly underestimating their numbers. There were thousands of them. People who loved to knit, who were as excited about finding new techniques, stitch patterns and designs as I was, and who wanted to see my 'other designs'. 

I had no idea then quite how dramatically that would change the course of my life in that moment, but I do remember feeling like something bigger than I'd realised was happening. I couldn't imagine that it would turn into a career by accident while I was busy trying to figure out what to really do after university. It was exciting to meet other people who liked my hobby, but I didn't know then that some of them would become the dearest friends. I liked seeing where blog visitors and commenters came from, and I read about other bloggers lives in far off lands with wonder, but it didn't even cross my mind that I'd travel to meet them there. The creators of books seemed to operate in a completely separate universe, one I couldn't imagine crossing into, let alone being a part of changing. I sometimes wished I had extra hands and extra hours in the day, but I didn't know the answer would be found in amazing employees and collaborators. I was hoping to buy yarn and take away pizza, not to support both myself and others. 

I couldn't leave out Ravelry, although it didn't come along until a couple of years later. Here's a screenshot of my notebook that I took when I was first allowed to write about it publicly. 

I couldn't leave out Ravelry, although it didn't come along until a couple of years later. Here's a screenshot of my notebook that I took when I was first allowed to write about it publicly. 

More than anything, no matter how thrilled I was to find that there were other people out there like me, I couldn't predict what a wonderful community I'd stumbled into. You changed my life, I love you dearly, and I wouldn't be writing this nine years on without you. The yarn industry, knitwear design, and the online crafting community, have seen enormous changes in that time, but I'm still, when it comes down to it, thrilled that you're out there and that you love sticks and string. From all of us at team Ysolda thank you. What will the next nine years bring? 

Tomorrow is my birthday, and in time honoured tradition, we'll be doing a pattern sale so do check back for details on that. 


June 20, 2014 by Rebecca

Wee Carson was released at the beginning of the week

I've already started one for my niece and will be doing a tutorial for installing the zipper and the ribbon. Yes, we are planning an adult version of this one, the yarn for it is in the studio.

Brooklyn Tweed released their first kids collection on the same day, BT Kids.

Is it time to start crafting for Christmas? Mary-Heather, Sarah and Christina certainly think so and announced #craftmasinjuly on Twitter yesterday.

Locals — This weekend is Edinburgh's first yarn crawl The Indie Burgh Yarn Crawl organised by Jess of Ginger Twist Studios. Have fun if you're participating.


June 19, 2014 by Ysolda Teague

I learned this little trick from my friend Mel and it's so helpful for those of us who can never remember if they clicked the row counter. 

After the first 10 rows take a piece of scrap yarn and lay it across your knitting between two stitches. Continue knitting. 

10 rows later pause at the same point and flip the scrap yarn to the back. 

You can easily total up the rows you've done by counting the 'stitches' of scrap yarn. And if you forget to flip the yarn just grab a darning needle and thread it through where it should have been. Find it hard to eyeball 10 rows? Try doing just 6, 

technique thursday


June 13, 2014 by Ysolda Teague

The new Knitty came out earlier this week. It's exactly 9 years since I sent my first pattern ever to Knitty and accidentally changed the course of my life — nostalgia! Isn't that cover sweater pretty? 

Season 2 of Orange is the New Black came out last Friday, we may have binge watched it at the weekend. Love this clip, thanks to Cirilia for capturing it! 

Don't forget World Wide Knit in Public events start this weekend, maybe you'll find one local to you.

Yellow Submarine Yarn bombing project unveiled.

Quince and Co released their new yarn last week Piper 50/50 Merino, kid mohair heavy lace weight. 

I've been working on some sweaters (got to do something to make all that tv watching productive) but my current big project is a wedding dress for my oldest friend. The wedding is three weeks tomorrow and I'm still working on developing the pattern so I'd better get a move on!