Friday, April 19, 2013

I'm still working on the handout for the Design Workshop.  It is shaping up nicely.  I've finished up the section on hats and now working on the mitten section.  A project like this forces you to clarify your own thinking.  I've learned a lot as well!

STUDENT NEWS
Another slow week.  I received just a few lessons to review.  Just as well...my allergies are really making me stupid.  EVERYTHING is blooming this week.  It is beautiful but hard on me.  I've noticed in past years that after Tax Day, things pick up . 

TIP OF THE WEEK
This week the topic is how to seam ribbing.  The technique you use is the mattress stitch but the important thing about seaming ribbing is to make sure that the K1P1 stitch pattern is maintained over the seam.  I would like to say designers take this into account in their patterns but I am afraid that is not always the case.  The knitter must examine the pattern BEFORE casting on to make sure that it will be possible to finish the garment properly.  I can't tell you the number of times someone has brought garment pieces to me wanting help with finishing and I have to break the news to them that there will be problems doing this. 

When you look at a pattern with K1P1 ribbing at the bottom of the sweater, check to see that it is an even number of stitches.  If it is, you will have no problem seaming it.  On both pieces (front and back) if the first stitch is a knit, the last stitch will be a purl.  That means that when the pieces are seamed the pattern lines up.  Remember that the mattress stitch uses the horizontal bars BETWEEN the selvedge stitch and the next stitch in (I have some photographs of this in my blog of November 30, 2012). 




If the pattern calls for an uneven number of stitches to be cast on for K1P1 ribbing, you can make adjustments.  When there is an uneven number that means that the piece will begin with a knit stitch and also end with a knit stitch.  If this pattern is followed on both pieces, when you go to seam it, if you use the mattress stitch, there will be two purl stitches at the seam line. 

There are several solutions.  The easiest is to adjust the stitches.  For example, on the back you can begin with a knit stitch.  When you knit the back, begin with a purl stitch.  The pattern will line up.  Another thing you can do is add another stitch so that you have an even number.  You can decreases a stitch after the ribbing.  Unfortunately most knitters notice this after the piece is knit.  There isn't much you can do at that point other than work with what you have.  You can place the seam IN the selvedge stitch.  This leaves half a stockinette stitch on either side of the seam.  The problem with this method is that selvedge stitches are pretty ugly so the half stitches don't quite look like the surrounding stitch.  It is better than nothing, however.  You can see in this photograph that this seam is not as attractive as the seam in the other sample. 



I did a video for this topic.  Please note that the samples were knit on Size 11 needles.  I wanted the stitches large so that you can clearly see the stitches.  Seaming K1P1 Ribbing

Next week the topic will be seaming K2P2 ribbing.

KNITTING SALON
Salon this week will be on Sunday from 2-5 pm.  I'll be driving up to the airport in Cincinnati very early in the morning.   I hope I'll still be awake!

CURRENT PROJECTS
I finished up the hats, or so I thought.  Check the photo to see if you can see what I did wrong.  I finished the matching scarf as well.  I haven't bothered to weave in yarn tails yet.



I was so confident that I remembered how I knit the other sizes, that I didn't bother to check my numbers before starting on the smallest size (the ones with the earflaps.)  There is a 10 stitch difference between the sizes but between the white hat and the one with earflaps there is a 20 stitch difference.  I plan to knit another hat to fill in this gap.  I simply can not let it go.  The good news is, that these hats take no time at all to knit.  As soon as I finish the Man's sock pattern & sample, I will do the hat.

The scarf didn't take much time to knit.  It, obviously, is very easy.





Yes, these are boring socks.  That is the whole point.  The issue will feature knitting for men.  After an exhaustive survey we have discovered that MOST men (there are exceptions) want REALLY BORING knitted garments (which is why I rarely knit for my husband).  These will be boot socks.  The sock form I have is for Woman's Large.  The socks are Man's Large so they dwarf the form.  I am making them in my husband's size, just in case.




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