Monday, October 25, 2010

Sandridge: the Feminine Version (Helpful HInts)

A couple of days ago I finished up teaching a class at Janie H. Knits on the feminine version of Sandridge. I'm reluctant to use the word "teaching", since it makes me sound like an authority on something. Really, I just passed on what I had learned from making and knitting the pattern and listened to what others had to offer. Here are a few ideas that might be helpful:
1. Since the pattern was initially written as a man's jacket, a woman, especially if she's on the shorter side, might want to modify the raglan depth. This is easily done. Put the work on a length of yarn and try on the jacket as it grows toward the underarms. On my vanilla cream version, I simply stopped when I reached the end of the sleeve increases and cast on the extra required stitches for the body at the underarms. (Just use a backward loop cast-on and knit into the backs of the cast-on stitches when you knit them up for the sleeves.)
2. Consider whether you want to decrease the number of stitches in the forearm. Women generally have narrower forearms than men. If you are making a size with an even number of forearm stitches, decrease to an even number; if you are making a size with an odd number, decrease to an odd number.
3. If you are on the shorter side, you may want to decrease the sleeves at a faster rate. One of the advantages of knitting in the round is that you can decrease easily every third round instead of the more usual four or six. Do the math to figure out whether you need to do this-- you'll need to check your row gauge. Remember that the design plan is that you should knit straight for several inches for a fitted forearm. Of course, if you don't want that look, then feel free to decrease right to the cuff. You are in control!
4. When finishing the jacket border, after you have cast off all the stitches, DON'T BREAK OFF THE YARN; pull the last loop through, then insert your crochet hook into the loop, ch 1, and then begin to sc into the top 2 loops of the cast-off stitches. After a couple of inches, check for tidiness. You may want to unzip your crochet stitches and try with another hook size.
5. Experiment with buttonhole sizes. Carol needed only 2 stitches for her cute wooden buttons while Sue needed four for her pearly-grey oversized buttons.
Here are some photos of the class sweaters.
Janie, of Janie H. Knits, modelling my sweater, in vanilla cream Cuzco from Berroco
Carol, wearing her rust Cuzco sweater (too bad that her matching rust hair doesn't show!)
Sue, looking great in her jacket in Berroco's Vintage Chunky

Friday, October 22, 2010


I'm often not in a cooking mood on Fridays, so here I'm presenting my fave easy Friday recipe--ginger-soy tofu. For those of you who don't think you like tofu, or who don't know what to do with it, here's a recipe even Bill, my husband, loves. The tofu comes out dark brown and crispy and (dare I say it ?) meaty. Buy the kind of tofu that comes in little tubs with water, not the vacuum-packed variety. Press it by wrapping it in a tea towel on a plate and topping it with something heavy, like a big cookbook. I do this an hour ahead of the cooking.
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 1-lb package of extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into 16 cubes
1/3 c. low-sodium soy sauce (I like Kikkoman) combined with 1 tsp minced fresh ginger

Warm the oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the tofu and fry for 5 min. Add half of the soy-ginger mixture, and cook for 2 min. Flip the pieces of tofu and pour the remaining sauce over them. Cook for 5 more min.
We like this served over hot white rice with steamed broccoli. Yum!

This is a modification of a recipe from "The Healthy College Cookbook", by Nimetz, Stanley, and Starr, Storey Books, 1999.

It's time here to get out the mittens and gloves. Down to -1C last night. Here are mine. Are yours ready for the cold?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Something about Purple

I'm back from Rhinebeck (code for the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival) with wonderful yarns and other goodies. My find of the weekend was this huge ball of Seacolors Yarn from Nanney Kennedy. When I opened the car door at our B&B yesterday morning, the ball bounced out the door and rolled slowly down the steep driveway and I was so transfixed by it that all I could do was watch and smile. The photo does not do justice to the wonderful colours. In her tiny crowded booth, Nanney takes the time to choose colours for her customers based on what she thinks will work best for them--purple, lime green, and mustard for me. I intend to use her pattern for this and can hardly wait to get going. I must be in a purple mood (better than blue!) because this morning when I set out to tackle writing up Wakefield (see my last post), I chose to knit a second version in the dusky plum shown next to my Seacolors ball. I'm going to try out Diamond's Fine Merino Superwash Aran. I'm not usually a fan of superwash, but we'll see...

Monday, October 4, 2010


Just a quick post to introduce Wakefield, a seamless jacket, coming soon as a Ravelry download...