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What's On My Needles . . . and in my Head
Interview: Laura Patterson of Fiber Dreams

Interview: Laura Patterson of Fiber Dreams

The Indie Design Gift-A-Long is in full swing on Ravelry, with so many talented designers participating, and such an array of beautiful patterns. Today I’m talking with the very talented Laura Patterson of Fiber Dreams, who has an amazing catalog of designs all of which feature thoughtfully combined elements and detail, as well as evocative names and descriptive inspiration. I asked Laura about her work, and she graciously shared the answers that appear below: How did you get started designing? Not long after I started knitting, I began tweaking the patterns I knit. I didn’t like the rolled collar on a pullover, so knit ribbing instead, I added length and pockets to a too-short cardigan, worked a different top treatment on a sock or changed the toe. Mostly it was little stuff like that, but after a while there was almost always some change I made. Then I started making more drastic changes, like changing the gauge for a sweater I loved to work with the yarn I had on hand. Throughout all this my . . .

Tutorial: Seamless Simultaneous Set-in Sleeves

Tutorial: Seamless Simultaneous Set-in Sleeves

As a confirmed topdown sweater knitter, I’ve embraced raglan, seamless set-in, and contiguous sleeve constructions that begin with a cast on at the top. My latest favorite adds the simultaneously worked sleeve to the seamless, set-in method. It’s a nifty way to create that tailored set-in sleeve look, without having to pick up stitches for the sleeve cap from the armhole and then work short rows, or knit the sleeve separately and seam it into the armhole. Mind you, I love a good short row sleeve cap. It’s just nice to have additional techniques available for when you feel like a change, or have a technical need such as an easy way to make perfectly matched stripes around the upper body and sleeves of a sweater. Simultaneous sleeves are a variation of the seamless topdown sweater method. In that method, you cast on stitches for the back shoulders and neck, and work (often with a tiny bit of short row shoulder shaping) to the armscye depth. Then you pick up stitches from each back shoulder . . .

Tutorial: Grafting Garter Stitch

Tutorial: Grafting Garter Stitch

In addition to my Grafting Stockinette Stitch tutorial, I thought it would be helpful to demonstrate grafting in garter stitch; the live stitches of two pieces of garter fabric can be joined seamlessly and invisibly just as easily. You’ll need the live stitches divided equally on on two separate needles, a yarn needle, and a length of yarn at least 2 times the length of the finished seam – either a separate piece of yarn, or even better, the yarn tail from the last row. Hold the needles parallel, with WS (in this case, the private side of the work) facing together. Make sure both have the same number of stitches, and that there are purl bumps snug up against the front needle, and knit stitches against the back needle, as viewed from the outer, public sides. Setup 1 – insert yarn needle into the first stitch on the front needle purlwise, leaving the stitch on the needle: Setup 2 – insert yarn needle into the first stitch on the back needle purlwise, leaving the . . .

Tutorial: Grafting Stockinette Stitch

Tutorial: Grafting Stockinette Stitch

  Grafting, or Kitchener Stitch, is a way to join the live stitches of two pieces of knit fabric so that there’s no visible seam. It can be employed instead of sewing or the 3-needle bind off, in all sorts of helpful situations such as shoulder or underarm seams, or an infinity scarf. You’ll need the live stitches divided equally on on two separate needles, a yarn needle, and a length of yarn at least 2 times the length of the finished seam – either a separate piece of yarn, or even better, the yarn tail from the last row. Hold the needles parallel, with WS facing together; doublecheck to make sure both have the same number of stitches: Setup 1 – insert yarn needle into the first stitch on the front needle purlwise, leaving the stitch on the needle: Setup 2 – insert yarn needle into the first stitch on the back needle knitwise, leaving the stitch on the needle: The two setup steps are worked only once. Pull the yarn gently through the . . .

Inside the Vortex