Swatching in the Round with Kraemer Yarns

Tips for swatching hand-dyed yarn from Kraemer Yarns

Hand-dyed Kraemer Yarn, in the skein and caked

A hand-dyed yarn is a thing of beauty! Did you know that Kraemer Yarns carries a wide variety of natural, undyed yarns that can be hand-dyed? Shown above is a skein of Lesley, dyed by Sharon Ivy, in her “African Parrot” colorway. You could jump right in and cast on your next project, but if you take the time to swatch you will learn a lot about the yarn including your gauge and how the colorway works up. 

Crochet swatch and knit swatch of hand-dyed yarn

Washing and blocking the swatch the way you intend to care for the final garment or accessory is an important step to determine an accurate gauge! This is true for both knitters and crocheters! Today we’re focusing on knitting. Many knitters will find that their gauge is different in a piece knit flat versus in the round. There is nothing wrong with that, it’s simply that by making a knit or purl stitch, the yarn is held slightly differently. In a flat stockinette piece, one row is knit, the next is purled. Stockinette in the round only involves knitting the stitches. So, what if your item is to be knit in the round for a sweater, hat, cowl, or socks? You could cast on and begin knitting a tube as your swatch, but there is a shortcut for swatching in the round!

Shortcut for swatching in the round

Cast on your stitches using a long circular needle. 

At the end of the row, do not turn the work, rather slide the stitches back to the beginning of the needle.

Carry the working yarn behind your row of cast on stitches, and begin knitting across the row. 

At the end of this row, do not turn your work, slide the stitches back to the beginning and carry the yarn behind.

If you keep your fingers holding the needle in between the needle and the yarn carried behind, that should help avoid pulling that carried yarn too tightly in back!

If you’ve ever made an i-cord, this will feel familiar! Continue on until you have a sizeable swatch and do not worry about those loose side stitches. 

Treat this the way you would a flat swatch - wash and block! Everything flattens out! If your yarns across the back get twisted as shown above, that is ok. 

Compare a swatch knit flat and knit in the round

Both stockinette swatches were knit using a US2 fixed circular needle. The flat swatch has a gauge measurement of 8 stitches/inch where the circular swatch checks in at 8.75 stitches/inch. You can also see the swatch knit flat shows a simple stripe while the one knit “in the round” shows a simple stripe with subtle flashing. In our opinion, that’s a good gauge and style for socks! We’ll be casting on a pair of summer shorty style socks. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram feeds for the result!

Would you like to win a skein of this beautiful hand-dyed yarn to practice this new technique? Leave a comment below letting us know if you always swatch or never swatch! We will draw two winners on July 8, 2019. 

Don’t forget to pin this post! 

Swatching in the round shortcut with Kraemer Yarns

Beth Aidala
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Tatamy Tweed on The Corner of Knit and Tea Episode 232

Tatamy Tweed on The Corner of Knit & Tea, Episode 232. Check it out:

Beth Aidala
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Janet’s Garden CAL May - Part 4

Janet’s Garden CAL May - Part 4

 Is it time for a break? I know last month’s CAL rounds were a bit…intense. May’s rounds of the Janet’s Garden CAL feature easy crochet eyelet rounds. Made in just one color May gives you a nice break from some of the more intricate sections of this sampler blanket. Next month is going to be a bit more involved, so take the break while you can!

Get May HERE

Find all the details and additional links about Janet’s CAL HERE.

 

Beth Aidala
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Janet’s Garden CAL April Part 3

Janet’s Garden CAL April Part 3

This month we are going to complete 2 sections of the Janet’s Garden Blanket. Both sections feature post stitches, which you can learn more about HERE. The first section gives a knit look, and the second makes a nifty zig-zag. It will be important to block each of these sections to get a nice look on your finished blanket.

Find all the details and additional links about Janet’s CAL HERE.

Beth Aidala
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Janet's Garden CAL part 2

Janet's Garden CAL part 2

 Now that you’ve made the center square of your blanket, it’s time to turn it on its side! That’s right, we’re making the sides into the corners and the corners into the sides. It’s way easier then it sounds, and super fun! Once you learn how to do this, you will be shifting squares left and right!

Find all the details and additional links about Janet’s CAL HERE.

Yarn support for the Janet’s Garden CAL was provided by Kraemer Yarns. You can find Kraemer’s at the following links: WebsiteTwitterFacebookPinterestYouTube, and Instagram. I also highly recommend signing up for their newsletter so you can stay on top of what’s new at Kraemer and be entered in the monthly drawing for a $100 yarn jackpot. You can also find a coupon code for Kraemer Yarn on the January Janet’s CAL Post HERE.

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Beth Aidala
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Kraemer Yarns has You Covered for Festival Season!

Are you counting down the days to warmer weather and outdoor music festivals? Our new Festival Wear pattern collection features garments and accessories that are perfect projects to start now and have ready before the first act takes the stage.

The patterns in our Festival Wear collections are perfect for your warm-weather travel destinations. Shown above from left to right: Garter Stitch Shawl (free!) in Tatamy Tweed Worsted, Large Boho Bag crocheted in Perfection Super Bulky, and Festival on the Dunes crocheted in Tatamy Tweed DK.

Above, from left to right, First Festival and Festival Halter Top both crocheted in Tatamy DK, and the Lattice Prairie Skirt knit in Tatamy Tweed. The Festival Halter Top is available as a kit if you don’t already have the yarn you’d like to use.

In case you missed it, we’ve even made a doll inspired by our favorite festival fan, Busy Philipps!

Doesn’t she look great in the Festival Halter Top? Do we know anyone who knows Busy? We’d love to get this to her!

Tatamy Yarn for Spring and Summer Projects

Tatamy, our American-made blend of cotton and acrylic, is used in our Festival Wear patterns. Available in Worsted and DK weights, and a Tweed Worsted and Tweed DK, you have a wide color palette from which to choose for your knit or crochet cast on! Shop today and enjoy special Festival pricing, as we've lowered the price of Tatamy for the season.

We can't wait to see your show stoppers and encourage you to share your projects with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Ravelry!

Pin this post for your spring and summer project planning!

Beth Aidala
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Short Row Tutorial featuring the Tobyhanna Creek Cowl

Short Row Tutorial featuring the Tobyhanna Creek Cowl

The Tobyhanna Creek Cowl is a new design for Kraemer Yarns by Clara Masessa. You’ll need two skeins of Perfection Chunky, size US 10.5 needles, five 1-inch buttons, and one ½-inch button. This project is suitable for an intermediate knitter or advanced beginner as the pattern includes cables and short rows. Neither technique is difficult, just take it one stitch at a time!


Short Rows Explained

So, what is a short row? The simplest explanation is that you turn your work before you get to the end of the row, then work in the other direction. There are many different variations of short rows and which style you work depends on the desired shape and fabric of the finished item. Short rows are used in sock heels, sleeve caps, and some hats. For the Tobyhanna Creek Cowl, short rows help to contour a curved edge so it sits just right around your neck and shoulders.

Short Rows in the Tobyhanna Creek Cowl

In the Tobyhanna Creek Cowl, you do not begin with the short rows. The first part of the pattern is simple knitting garter stitch with a center cable until you reach the designated length.

When it is time to start working the short rows on the specified rows, the markers you placed to set the cable stitches apart come in handy. Begin by knitting to one stitch before the first marker.

Turn the work (the right side of the work is now facing you), and follow the Short Row instruction to make the yarn over and knit to the end of the row. We are using the yarn over style of short rows and the yarn over is used in the next row to close up the gap that results when you turn your work. In the photo above we’ve exaggerated the gap to make it easier to see.

We are at the edge of our knitting with the wrong side facing. You’ll continue to follow the directions to complete the short row.

Now, back on the right side of the work, the short row is complete! The gap created from turning your work is closed. After a number of short rows are knit you can see the subtle curve emerging in your rectangular piece of knitting.

This diagram, from The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt, shows how repeating a short row pattern will create a curved fabric.

Once all the short-row knitting section is knit to the required length, you continue knitting the following the pattern instructions to complete your cowl.

Short rows are a subtle detail that results in a better fitting accessory. We’d love to see your completed cowl and other short row projects that use Kraemer Yarns. Share them with us in our Facebook and Ravelry groups, or tag us on Instagram!

We hope you’ve found this tutorial useful! Pin it so you’ll have a handy reference!  

Beth Aidala
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The Corner of Knit & Tea

The Corner of Knit & Tea

Knit Me: Kraemer Yarns, Perfection Worsted

A few months ago Kraemer Yarns offered me the opportunity to try their Perfection Worsted yarn. I believe I’ve knitted with Perfection Worsted once before, but I was eager to try more. Kraemer Yarns is a U.S. mill that has been open and continuously running for more than 100 years. They produce sturdy, fine quality yarns and Perfection is their easy care line – perfect for kids!

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Beth Aidala
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Perfection Yarn is the Perfect Choice for Your Next Project

Perfection Yarn is the Perfect Choice for Your Next Project

Crafters looking yarn for their next project have many options. Available in a variety of weights, Perfection is a great go-to choice as a hard-wearing, easy-care yarn with an extensive color palette that will last! Bonus, all Kraemer Yarns are made in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. We source American fibers to support American farmers and workers. As the manufacturer, we can provide our yarns directly to you!

 

Shadow Knit Checkered Hat in Perfection Worsted is a new pattern by Clara Messesa for Kraemer Yarns. Shadow knitting is also known as illusion knitting when you look at the hat from one direction you see stripes, but from another perspective, you see the checkered squares. Pretty nifty, right?

Paula Herbert's Cowl & Snood pattern is a simple, garter stitch cowl, which can be worn as a snood. Did you know that snood is the word for a tubular scarf that sits higher up on the neck and more like a hood? It is attractive and warm, knit flat and seamed in Perfection DK.

Perfection is a great choice for crochet projects too! The Frosty Forest Cowl by Erica Dietz of 5 Little Monsters uses Perfection Worsted and puffy v-stitches to create a nice, squishy texture on this cowl. Four colors arranged from dark to light gives it an ombre type effect. We can’t wait to see the color combinations you select!

We love to connect with you in our Facebook group, Ravelry group, or on Instagram. Share your Perfection projects and inspire others! We stand behind every skein and hank of our yarn. If you are ever not satisfied with the quality of our yarn, we will provide you with a full refund.

 

Beth Aidala
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Cozy and Colorful: Blankets in Kraemer Yarns

Blankets are practical projects that can build skills and mark occasions but do require a big time investment. We have many blanket and afghan patterns to choose from for all skill levels. Knit or crochet, match the local weather and temperatures or to tie together your home decor, we have the perfect yarn for your chosen project: Perfection! This easy-care, machine washable, wool-acrylic blend is available in Chunky, DK, Worsted, and Super Bulky weights. You can even add a touch of sparkle! The color palette is extensive and to top it all off, this yarn is proudly made in the USA!


Temperature Blankets

There are a number of patterns that incorporate tracking a daily data point be it the high or low temperature, percentage of cloud cover, or even your mood. One of the best features of this sort of project is that your finished item is truly unique to you!

(top) Daily Temperature Blanket by Clare Thornley and Temperature Blanket (crochet) by MB Stitches.

(bottom) Persian Dreams Worsted by Jenise Hope and Northeasterly by Melissa Alexander-Loomis

 

Skill Building Blankets

The Janet’s Garden CAL will take place throughout 2019. In this crochet-a-long, each month designer and host Jessie will provide you with the new stitch patterns and instructions. Work along with her each month and by December you will have an elegant square blanket in Perfection DK!


We’d love to hear from you and see your project progress throughout 2019. Share your Kraemer Yarn projects with us on Facebook, Instagram, or in the Ravelry group.

Beth Aidala
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Arrowhead Poncho - Staci Perry - VeryPink Knits


This pattern and yarn kit from Kraemer Yarns is deceptively simple – it’s just two rectangles! Knit in bulky yarn, it’s a quick project that is also good for knitters who want to give cables a try for the first time.

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Beth Aidala
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Janet’s Garden CAL Month One

Janet’s Garden CAL Month One

The Janet’s Garden CAL will take place throughout 2019. We will be making an elegant square blanket. The blanket will utilize many stitches, giving you a chance to increase your crochet knowledge while creating a beautiful work. This first post will tell you all you need to understand how the CAL works and to get ready to make your blanket.
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Beth Aidala
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