I'm still plugging away on the Design Class for Mackinac. My policy for my handouts is that they include everything I say in class so that they can be used as a reference later. This takes some time. The students will design a hat, a mitten and a simple sweater. It takes some time to present the key information you need to be able to do that!
I reviewed several lessons this week. I am starting to get more lessons from the new courses which is exciting as the work is so good. I am particularly happy about the Finishing Class. When I was on the Masters Committee as a reviewer and Co-chair, I notice that those doing the Masters Program had the most difficulty with the finishing swatches. It is not unusual for most of them to be resubmitted. I think the reviewers will be happy with the work submitted from my students.
TIP OF THE WEEK
I'm going back to finishing tips this week. I heard from one of my students that she was having difficulty with the Kitchener swatch so I did a video for it. There are many, many references for how to do the Kitchener stitch. The trick is to find a technique that makes sense to you. Some of the references I've seen suggest taking the live stitches off the needle. Yes, it does make the orientation of the stitches easier to see but this makes me nervous. I prefer the method I first learned. I think it was from Vogue Knitting.
The first thing to remember is that when you are doing the Kitchener stitch, you are NOT knitting. You are sewing. It doesn't matter where the working yarn is or if the next row would be a RS or WS row. I generally transfer the stitches from whatever needles I used to knit the pieces to DPNS. You then position the needles together so that the RS are facing out and the WS are together. One needle is on the top (needle 1) and one needle is on the bottom (needle 2). You can see this in the video. Kitchener Video .
To begin the Kitchener you have to take care of the selvedge stitches first. You do this just to begin. (In the course, I want you to use a different color of yarn for the seam but in a "real" project, you can use the working yarn from Needle 2--the needle on the bottom.)
- Thread up a tapestry needle and insert it into the first stitch on Needle 1 as if you were going to purl the stitch. Pull the yarn through.
- Insert the tapestry needle into the first stitch on Needle 2 as if you were going to knit the stitch. Pull the yarn through.
- Insert the tapestry needle into the first stitch on Needle 1 as if to knit. Pull the yarn through. Drop this stitch from the needle.
- Insert the tapestry needle into the next stitch on Needle 1 as if to purl. Pull the yarn through.
- Insert the tapestry needle into the first stitch on Needle 2 as if to purl. Pull the yarn through. Drop this stitch from the needle.
- Insert the tapestry needle into the next stitch on Needle 2 as if to knit. Pull the yarn through.
When you get to the selvedge stitches:
- Insert the tapestry needle into the last stitch on Needle 1 as if you were going to knit the stitch. Pull the yarn through.
- Insert the tapestry needle into the last stitch on Needle 2 as if you were going to purl it. Pull the yarn through.
What can go wrong? You must have the same number of stitches on each piece. If you get off from the Knit, Drop, Purl, Purl, Drop, Knit rhythm you can wind up with purl bumps. My recommendation is to allow yourself enough time to finish the entire seam. Don't watch television, talk on the phone or do anything that can distract you.
Salon will be on Saturday from 1:30-3:20.
Here are the final photos of the sweater. I love how the neckline worked out with the clasps. I really took my time with the finishing to make sure it was perfect. Finishing anything knit on Size 0 needles in navy yarn isn't easy!
I still have some things to do for the next issue of Cast On. A comment we hear frequently is that we need some easy designs. Since the issue will focus on designs for men, I decided to combine the two. After my husband (who never wants anything I've knit) snagged a hat I was knitting for myself, I thought it would make a nice design for this issue. Since I don't have an off switch I decided to do samples for all of the sizes since Berroco Ultra Alpaca comes in such nice colorways.
After working on Size 0 needles, this hats have gone very fast. I'll block them when they are all done. I'm doing a garter stitch scarf to match. Nothing easier than that!
Answers to Last Week's Quiz