Official Bella Blouse Knit-Along: KNITTING IN THE ROUND FORUM

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on Jul 25, 2011 5:38 PM

Hi Knitters! If you're knitting Bella in the round, this is the place for you to share your tips and tricks.

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rockync wrote
on Jul 25, 2011 8:40 PM

Our email thread has gotten rather long, so I'm going to try to transfer the pertinent emails dealing with issues and advice:

One of you asked about the side seams. I am doing a false seam with an M1,ssk on each side every even row. Every 4th row I am doing an ssk at each side until I have decreased the number of stitches I need to.Someone in the KAL emailed Norah who has said the seams are not a structural element so you can add the false seam or not – it should make no difference to your garment. I should have enough knitted in the next day or so to post photos of how my “seams” are shaping up. My band is still too bulky looking to me so I will try to steam press it flatter when I do the final blocking and I’m going to the yarn store tomorrow  to try to color match a thinner yarn for the neck and sleeve inserts.

Vickie, your decrease looks good, and thanks also for the book page -- I like the mitered decrease.  Last I wrote, I was doing ssk before the marker and k2tog after the marker, having the lean toward the seam, but then realized that if it were done in pieces, the decreases ought to lean the other way.  So, I changed it to k2tog before the marker and ssk after the marker.  This looks much better than my first go - quite smooth, nearly invisible.

When I picked up the stitches, I used a 5 needle (band made with a 6).  I used the 5 because that was what I needed, to get the gauge correct on my swatch...So I wouldn't have big gaps along the band, I picked up about 8-10 more stiches..(not exactly sure..each time I count it's different!) I'm sure now that was a mistake.Then the 5 circular needle bent on me, so I transferred the pick up stitches to a 6 and continued....now I too am worried about the body flaring from the band.It's so hard to tell with circular needles. I did a one st. dec at each side on the first round,  then did a double decrease on each side at the 1". I'm very close to the no. of stitches I should have started with, but I'm 1 1/2" into it.I did a balanced double decrease....slip two stitches from the left hand needle together, as to knit,.put them on the right needle.  Then knit the next stitch, then slip the two stitches over the knitted stitch.   I've attached a photo, but it should be in all knitting books. I'm hoping the final blocking will do the trick if it is still a little flared.Thanks to all for the tips etc.  Especially the one about dec 2 on each side, to allow for the fron and back dec!!!  I hadn't thought about that one.  Vickie

Hey puckers!  Sorry can't remember who initially had the problem    Blocking will help puckers immensely   When I block a badly puckered or too large garment I actually throroughly wet the garment rather than just laying on a damp towel, press out the excess water by rolling in a really thick towel and then I've found I can really 'rearrange' the garment to the size I need (within reason).  Also I continue to either 'push in' the garment or 'pull out' as the garment dries.  Also when the garment is thoroughly dry and before I move it I often put my iron on the coolest steam setting and without setting the iron on the garment shoot steam onto the puckers that may remain.  Usually this takes care of the problem   Hope this helps     so did you find that picking up with the same size needle as you knit the band helped the problem?  Also  do you remember what formula you were using to pick up?  I'm close to starting the 'pick up' and was wondering if you used Lisa's (I think that's the name) formula?    Knit on   Bev

I frogged and picked up again with the smaller needles.  I knit one round and just switched to the larger needles.  So far it seems ok, but I'll know better after a few more rounds.  I left my band open for now (to Janet ) in case I have to frog again, but still joined into the round.  I also noticed that after I frogged, the band was 25.5 inches instead of the original 26 I blocked.  So I think picking up with the smaller needles is a good idea for all.  Lisa, I think they probably would have straightened out some as I knit on, but i didn't want any imperfections around the band.     Jane

Brainstorm.  I think the puckering is caused because the needles for the body are a size larger than for the band.  So....what if you picked up the stitches with the smaller size needles--or even a size smaller than that?  So if you're using a size 6 needle for the band, pick up the stitches with the 6 needle or even a 5 if necessary, then change to the larger size after the first row or two.   What do you guys think Jane

I think I picked up the stitches with extra loose tension and the puckering is (I think) caused because the body stitches are larger than those on the band (even though the gauge was exact as far as I could tell.  Yes, I blocked the band prior to picking up the stitches.  The puckers occur where I picked up stitches next to each other (in the "bumps") instead of "every other row."  I didn't start the decreases until row 8 of the body at 1-1/4 inches from pick up row.  If I frog and pick up fewer stitches, I'm worried I won't have enough for the bust size.  I made the band the 26" size, blocked it to exactly 26".  Oh well, I hope a final blocking at finish will whisk away the gathers?

Sunny, Good question – I hadn’t thought about the fact that I would need to do 2 decreases per side. I will have to experiment to see what works.

I found the attached pictures, from Knitter's Handbook, by Montse Stanley, helpful for joining the band.  My join didn't come out quite so perfect - some stitches look twisted, but it will do (who's going to look that closely, except me!)Sunny, I'm essentially sticking with the pattern, i.e., decreasing one stitch each side every 1.25", so, 4 stitches total on a decrease round.  What method of decreases are people doing?  I am thinking:  ssk, k2tog around each marker.  Jane, your method for determining pick up stitches is great.   Robin

From:  Sunny Becker

Hello, Belles of the Bella Blouse-
I am home from my business trip and happy to be back with my knitting. Last night I joined the band in the round and picked up stiches for the body. I divided the total # of body stitches by the number of leaf patterns on the band and determined that I needed 7.6 pickup stitches per leaf. So I basically alternated between picking up 7 and 8 stitches per leaf. I think it came out pretty even.So now I am knittng the body and (of course) I have another question. I did scan through all the e-mails and don't think this issue has come up. In an early post, Anne said:'I will mark the halfway stitch which will be one side and the end of the round which is the other side.Every EVEN row at each side I will either M1 and then ssk to create a “seam” or just ssk to create the decrease seam. I haven’t done the math yet on the pattern but I’m thinking I will be decreasing every 6th row. I am making my shirt a little longer than the original and I am using the second set of measurements (38 ½). Once I get my stitches on and see how many decreases I need to get to the pattern count, I may have to make some adjustments. My hope is that I will get a neater, more uniform look while providing the needed structure to the sides .'The original pattern calls for a decrease on each side of the back and the front every 1 1/4". So when knitting in the round shouldn't I decrease 2 stitches on each side, rather than 1 as Anne describes?  In fact, I'm wondering whether it's better to do this or to make the decreases more frequent but gradual
 --- say, decreasing by one stitch per side approximately every 3/4 inches. I'm hesitant to do this because it may change the shape of the blouse in some way I'm not anticipating. 
Thoughts?  -Sunny

Due to insane temperatures, the band blocked.  For the completely non-mathematical (like me) out there, here's the totally silly method I used to pick up stitches:Since our gauge is 5 st/inch and the band for small size  (for example) is 20 inches, I knew I needed to pick up exactly 5 stitches per inch of band.  So I lay it down next to a measuring tape, marked every 2-inch interval and made sure to pick up 10 stitches for that segment.  Say what I might, it worked. Good knitting,   Jane

I've finished the band and it is currently blocking.  The reason I chose to block prior to picking up the stitches is to ensure that there is no pulling or puckering of stitches that are knit to a larger gauge.  Thanks for the tip about it, Robin!  I'm either going to pick them up according to that formula or try to do it mathematically according to gauge.  When I come up with more of a formula, I'll post it. I decided I'm not going to do seams, fake or otherwise, mostly because I'm not doing many decreases.  The band is so very wide (and my bust size disproportionately larger than my hip size) that I figure the designed shaping is going to get lost on me anyway :)While the band blocks, I'm going to start on the sleeve inserts.  Does anyone know how to reverse shaping on a chart????  Hope all your bands are going beautifully!     Jane

Next,... a plea for help!  I'm changing my mind (yet again..), and I could use some advice...  I've finished the band and decided to abandon a vented side and join the band before picking up stitches.  I (sadly) did not do a provisional cast-on.  Any suggestions for best method here?  Should I cast off?  or, keep the end stitches live, and try to pick up stitches from the cast on and then 3-needle bind-off?  or what??  As far as I remember (it's been a long time since I've done it), kitchener stitch is for live stitches on both sides.  Hoping for words of wisdom from this e-life-line!  Thanks in advance!3)  On picking up stitches, that measure of (2 sts/3rows) or (3 sts/4 rows) was something someone told me years ago and I've found it to be quite consistent over different yarns.  But that doesn't take into account if the piece is first blocked.  I'm not sure about working with blocked pieces.  [For me, blocking is the same category as seaming!  I'm selectively very lazy about some things.]  I suppose one could just measure how many rows per inch the blocked piece measures, and how many stitches per inch for the body, and determine it from there.

I had another thought about this (I haven't yet finished my trim, so just thinking ahead a bit...):  as a number of others, I am just planning a vent on one side (the beginning/end of the trim) so my trim is in one piece.  I think it will be helpful to put a marker at the 'half-way' point on the trim, so that while picking up the body stitches it will be easier to count and keep even.ps.  I also fixed an omission in my previous email below (my trim is 160 rows *for each side*).I'm glad to hear that the seams weren't intended to add shape; I don't plan to add a false seam.  Also, I'm a bit short, so will probably shorten this a little.  According to the pattern, underarm to bottom is 15.5" (including trim).  For me, 13" will be enough! 

Hi everyone.  On picking up stitches for the body: I think a general rule is to pick up 2 stitches for each 3 rows, or, 3 stitches for each 4 rows, to get the right gauge (ie, neither loose nor puckering).  I also have to adjust the number of pattern repeats in my trim to get the right size, and, I'm not to gauge (I'm getting 5.5 sts/in), so will have to adjust (I want 22" across the bottom). To take my own numbers as an example: I'll have 16 pattern repeats for each side, so (each repeat being 10 rows) the trim will be 16x10=160 rows for each side.I need to pick up 120 stitches along the bottom for each side.Fiinally, 120 sts/160 rows = 0.75 = 3/4, i.e. 3sts/4rows. 

You are probably right about not needing the false seam but I thought by doing this it would be easier to block the finished top and avoid getting a bell shaped look. Also, as I knit, if it looks like I need to have more or less ease, I can adjust the number of decreases contained in the “seam”.  When this is knitted in the round, the decreases are going to show along the sides so I was thinking more of providing a uniform look to the sides. Of course, I’m probably overthinking this and it may end up that I will frog the body and just knit in the round like normal.Once I get to the body, I’ll post a photo of the seam and we’ll see how it looks and if it is helping at all.   Annie

She tells about how she emailed Norah and she said she had the blouse in pieces so it would be easier to make any adjustments while knitting.  Apparently there is no reason for the seams?  Anyone else see any reason why we couldn't just knit in the round ?  I would still mark the side seams for when the dec's happen, but other than than, maybe the whole M1, ssk business can be avoided?  Just a thought...

I will be knitting in the round also. I had started my bottom band and then realized it was too bulky so I am waiting for delivery of a less weighty yarn. Looking over the pattern, I have devised a plan: 
Once my band is complete ( I will knit it as one long piece) I will block it and then pick up my stitches on a circular needle. I am not going to worry too much about exact count, concentrating more on picking up enough stitches to keep my work from puckering or stretching. 
I will leave the band open and close it later. I will knit row 1 joining the round. Every row will be knitted. 
Because there are decreases in the pattern and someone pointed out that the seams might provide structure, this is how I plan to proceed: 
I will mark the halfway stitch which will be one side and the end of the round which is the other side. 
Every EVEN row at each side I will either M1 and then ssk to create a “seam” or just ssk to create the decrease seam. I haven’t done the math yet on the pattern but I’m thinking I will be decreasing every 6 th row. I am making my shirt a little longer than the original and I am using the second set of measurements (38 ½). Once I get my stitches on and see how many decreases I need to get to the pattern count, I may have to make some adjustments. 
My hope is that I will get a neater, more uniform look while providing the needed structure to the sides. 
Once I get up to the armholes, I can split the front and back and knit according to the pattern. 
I will wait until my shirt is done and blocked before I knit the inserts in case I have to adjust them to fit. 

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moonquilter wrote
on Jul 26, 2011 10:58 AM

Thank you Kathleen for setting uip the "Round" forum.  It will be easier to keep track of the postings here.  I hope all the "Rounders" will use this forum.

Also, I'm interested in the "sleeves" forum as well....not going to do them this time, but sure I'll learn a trick or two by reading along.

This is a current pic of the double dec. that was mentioned in the emails above.  Would love to see how everyone else has done their decreases...mine has bumps that show.  Vickie aka moonquilter

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klandreneau wrote
on Jul 26, 2011 4:06 PM

moonquilter:

This is a current pic of the double dec. that was mentioned in the emails above.  Would love to see how everyone else has done their decreases...mine has bumps that show.  Vickie aka moonquilter

Hi Vickie!

Looks good! What yarn are you using?

Katherine

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moonquilter wrote
on Jul 26, 2011 5:29 PM

klandreneau:

moonquilter:

This is a current pic of the double dec. that was mentioned in the emails above.  Would love to see how everyone else has done their decreases...mine has bumps that show.  Vickie aka moonquilter

 

Hi Vickie!

Looks good! What yarn are you using?

Katherine

 

     Thanks Katherine,

I'm using some Lion Cotton, 100% cotton, worsted weight, that I had...it seemed heavy, but it knits up pretty well.  I was so eager to start and my order from KnitPicks took longer than it should have to arrive (found out the PO had it for 3 days before delivered!).  By then I was almost done with the band.  The "comfy" I ordered is very soft and eventhough it is "worsted" weight, it is smaller.  I posted a pick of the two, showing the size difference on the main KAL.  I decided to finish this one first and make all the mistakes, then with the Comfy yarn, it should be a breeze...I hope ..... lol.....

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Lightwriter wrote
on Jul 27, 2011 4:47 PM

OK, I finally finished ALL the lace (WHEW! Such a relief!).  I blocked the band and joined it.  I picked up the stitches.  All the fancy math in how many to pick up was confusing me (I am NOT a math person!), so I just decided to mark the band in 1/4's and just see what happened.  Boy, I was surprised to find myself picking up 60 per quarter!  I finally had 122 stitches (Band was 31 repeats and measures at 44").  Close enough.  I will probably do an extra decrease in that I will probably lengthen this by 2" (I am TALL).

Knit the first row with the size 6 needle, changed to 7.  Getting close to the first decreases.  Will see how that goes.

So, as I understand it, I just keep knitting and decreasing until 7 decreases and then until you get to the armhole part.  Then do you divide it out on holders and needles to finish the back and front seperately? So far I am really enjoying knitting it in the round...it is so much simpler than the lace! First sweater knit in the round, but it just made sense since the entire band was already done.

Thanks so much for help!

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JKH44 wrote
on Jul 27, 2011 8:55 PM

Katherine,

I also am using the naturally caron spa yarn.  My YO side is curling some but I am hoping once I block it the curling will stop.  I am knitting mine in ocean spray and all in one color.  I wanted to do 2 colors but I had trouble finding the same lot number so I decided to do it in all one color and I think it will look nice.  I did a sample swatch in the caron country left over from my maple street cardigan and thought it was too bulky so I am happy with the spa it looks like lace.  I can’t wait until I get the band finished so I can start knitting in the round, Haven’t done that before but seems more logical to me, the worst thing that can happen will be I will have to rip out and start again, so I am giving it a shot.  Thanks for everyone’s suggestions I am storing them away until I get to that point, kind of confused with the side seams but hopefully when I get there it will make more since.

Thanks,

Janet

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rockync wrote
on Jul 27, 2011 9:20 PM

I steamed my band and I am marginally happier with it but I am looking for a similar color yarn in something thinner to do the neck and sleeve inserts. Here are photos of my false seam in which is hidden the actual decreases.

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rockync wrote
on Jul 27, 2011 9:23 PM

JKH44:

Katherine,

I also am using the naturally caron spa yarn.  My YO side is curling some but I am hoping once I block it the curling will stop.  I am knitting mine in ocean spray and all in one color.  I wanted to do 2 colors but I had trouble finding the same lot number so I decided to do it in all one color and I think it will look nice.  I did a sample swatch in the caron country left over from my maple street cardigan and thought it was too bulky so I am happy with the spa it looks like lace.  I can’t wait until I get the band finished so I can start knitting in the round, Haven’t done that before but seems more logical to me, the worst thing that can happen will be I will have to rip out and start again, so I am giving it a shot.  Thanks for everyone’s suggestions I am storing them away until I get to that point, kind of confused with the side seams but hopefully when I get there it will make more since.

Thanks,

Janet

Janet - blocking didn't completely fix the curl at the bottom of my band but I put a white cloth over the edge and steamed the bottom without touching and that left the edge nice and flat.

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klandreneau wrote
on Jul 27, 2011 10:01 PM

JKH44:
I am knitting mine in ocean spray and all in one color.

Hi Janet!

Mine is ocean spray also!  We must post pics when done!  Finished my band this evening and hand washed it.  Put it drying flat in front of a fan.  Hopefully will find time tomorrow to join and pick up to knit in the round...will have to study the pattern concerning the decreases.  I've printed a lot of the notes and kept them with the pattern, just in case I need the help.... Love reading all the posts!

Thanks,

Katherine 

 

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moonquilter wrote
on Jul 28, 2011 10:03 AM

rockync:

I steamed my band and I am marginally happier with it but I am looking for a similar color yarn in something thinner to do the neck and sleeve inserts. Here are photos of my false seam in which is hidden the actual decreases.

Annie,

Your "seam" looks like a real seam...I wish now I would have tried it.  Also I should have probably blocked the band first....will know for sure when I attempt to block when it's all done.  My edge is much more pronounced with the extra knit stitch, and it too want sto curl under, but tends to stay put when I flatten it...I'm thinking that when we are wearing it, once we "fix" it on ourselves, it should stay???  Maybe I'm in dreamland...lol  I like your colors!!  Vickie

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yarngirl52 wrote
on Jul 28, 2011 2:13 PM

Knitting in the round would mean knitting the back and the front at the same time. Right? The back instructions state to dec 1 st on the RS every 1.25" 7 times. The instructions for the front  show no such decreases and yet they are the same width as per the schematic. Am I missing something?

The double balanced dec (sl2, k1, psso) would dec 2 st at each "seam". So do the front and back get a dec at the seam?

Another question. I have 18 extra stitches. Should I dec to 200 st on the first round? Or should I try and combine it with the side dec? I don't want the fabric to gather.

 Debbie

please visit my blog www.amigraineur@wordpress.com

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yarngirl52 wrote
on Jul 28, 2011 2:24 PM

rockync:

I steamed my band and I am marginally happier with it but I am looking for a similar color yarn in something thinner to do the neck and sleeve inserts. Here are photos of my false seam in which is hidden the actual decreases.

Annie, I like the look of your false seams. However, I don't understand the M1 ssk. Why are you adding a stitch and then taking it away? When are you doing the actual decs that are supposed to occur every 1.25"?

Debbie

 Debbie

please visit my blog www.amigraineur@wordpress.com

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JKH44 wrote
on Jul 28, 2011 4:46 PM

rockync:

I steamed my band and I am marginally happier with it but I am looking for a similar color yarn in something thinner to do the neck and sleeve inserts. Here are photos of my false seam in which is hidden the actual decreases.

Anne, your sweater looks great.  I want to do my side seams like yours but I might need alittle instruction from you.  Janet

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rockync wrote
on Jul 28, 2011 5:15 PM

Thank you to all for the kind comments.

Debbie and Janet, here is how I created the seam. Once I had my stitches picked up on the band, which did not come out with the number in the instructions, I subtracted the number of decreases I needed so that I would have the correct number of stitches by the time I got to the point where I had to separate the front and back.

I wanted the decreases to go gradually and I wanted to create a "seam". According to my stitches, I had to decrease one stitch on each side every 4th row. By the time I was done, I was at around row 60 and had to continue to row 72. My blouse is going to be a little longer which is why I have more rows.

This is how I did it: I picked up my stitches and marked the halfway point. Then I knitted row 1 in the main body yarn. I joined on row 2 and when I got to the halfway marker I knit M1, ssk to make a seam stitch without adding a stitch and did it again at the end where row 3 started. Row three was knit all the way through and then on row 4 when I got to my markers I knit ssk to decrease a stitch.

The point was to have a seam stitch on every other row all the way up the side. Every 4th row was an actual decrease until I reached the number of stitches I wanted, then every other row was an M1, ssk at each side until I got my length. I hope I am explaining this clearly.

I have also found a yarn I think will be more suitable for the lacy inserts and I'll be knitting those up to see how they look.

 

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