Friday, August 30, 2013

Eyelet Buttonhole Version 1

I must be living right...  I thought my computer had decided it had had quite enough and refused to turn on.  Of course, I had not backed up my working files for quite some time.  I do have PDF copies of all of my course handouts.  Luckily, it was just a glitch so I spent a few days meticulously doing backups.  I think it is time to upgrade anyway...better to do it when I am not in a crisis mode.

When I started this blog I indicated I would have the obligatory photos of my cats and I have been very neglectful.  Here is George. 

You can't see what he is staring at so intently.  He was looking at Petipa.

She is giving him the evil eye as well.  Her new favorite place to hang out is the basket which a very nice house guest brought filled with farm fresh goodies.  Maybe I should knit her a cushion for it.

It was a very slow week until yesterday (which was a good thing since I was having computer problems).  I expect that things will pick up after Labor Day.

I decided to do a tip about a variation of the eyelet buttonhole as I had already done a video a while ago for a student.  (Computer Problems, Again.)  This variation produces a larger buttonhole that the standard eyelet and can be used in any stitch pattern.  I show it in stockinette.  In an upcoming tip I will show it in K2P2 ribbing which requires a bit more planning.  (By the way, there are a lot of variations of the eyelet.  I am just going to cover the ones I do in my course.)

Working this buttonhole is easy.  You work up to two stitches before the location for the buttonhole.  You work a K2tog, then a double yarnover, then an SSK.  The tricky part is on the next row.  Generally buttonholes are worked flat.  I can only thing of a couple of instances where you might work them in the round...perhaps a pillow where you wanted a buttonhole closing at the top?  Anyway, since they are worked flat, you generally start them on a RS row.  What you have to do next is worked on a WS row which complicates the process. 

In the standard instructions for this buttonhole, you knit into the first yarnover and then purl into the back (basically a bar increase).  As soon as you knit into the front of the yarnover, it more or less becomes one big yarnover which can cause some confusion.  Remember you are on the WS of the work so when you knit the first yarnover, it is a purl on the RS.  The purl stitch you make on the WS is a knit on the RS.  For some reason, I really don't like the way this looks.  I don't know why this should matter as it is a buttonhole but it does.  What I prefer to do is to work an M1R and M1L (as shown in the photograph). It produces a better looking buttonhole. Is this necessary?  Absolutely not!

One of the students taking my Finishing Course suggested I do a tip of the week about purlside increases.  I've done one on purlside decreases so I will probably do this next week (computer willing!).  These aren't difficult.  Basically you just work the increases as a purl instead of a knit but I will go into more detail when I do the tip. 

Here is the link to the video:  Eyelet Buttonhole--Variation 1

I will be driving to the Cincinnati airport tomorrow so Salon will be on Sunday from 2-5.  Football and the opera are resuming soon so most likely Salon will be on Sundays. 

I am making progress on my Pepe Le Pew skirt.  I'd like to have it done in time to wear at the meeting in Charlotte.  That shouldn't be a problem.  Nothing makes you want to go on a diet more than knitting a skirt from side-to-side!

I put together my proposals for the Spring issue of Cast On.  The selection meeting is next Friday. 



Friday, August 23, 2013

Eyelet Buttonholes in K1P1 Ribbing

It was a very nice SLOW summer week.  I was able to catch up on everything that piled up while I was out of town. 

I received only one lesson for review but from the emails I have been getting I suspect more are on the way.  Don't be shy about asking me to do a video for you if there is something you are having trouble with.  I can always do one on pretty short notice.  They tend to be a little too long to send via email so I have to post them on Youtube but if you have a problem with something, no doubt someone else will as well.

This week's tip is about simple yarnover buttonholes in ribbing.  I thought I was finished with seaming but I figured out this morning I had skipped over seaming a horizontal (bound off) edge to a vertical (selvedge) edge.  I'll do that next week.

When you are deciding what type of buttonhole to work there are several factors to consider.  It first has to be the right size to fit the button.  Some types of buttonholes, like a simple eyelet, do not produce a very large hole.  It also has to work with the stitch pattern.  For example, you can work an eyelet buttonhole in garter and seed stitch but they can be a bit hard to see (and find).


The good news is that they are very easy to make in most stitch patterns.  Just YO, K2tog or K2tog, YO.  It really doesn't make that much of a difference.  The problem comes when you work this type of buttonhole in K1P1 ribbing.  If you don't place the yarn over properly, the buttonhole can look really ugly.  As always with anything in knitting, the goal is that the stitch pattern is not interrupted.  It will look better if you place the yarnover over a purl stitch and then use the correct decrease.  If you look closely at the buttonhole below, you can see that there is a purl bump at the base.  When you work any type of single decrease, one stitch will be on top of the other.  K2tog decreases place the second stitch on top of the first.  In this case, the second stitch is a purl stitch.  SSK decreases place the first stitch on top.  For this particular buttonhole, an SSK decrease would have worked better or the yarnover could have been worked first, the the K2tog. 

This photograph shows some eyelet buttonholes worked in K1P1 ribbing.  Notice that the pattern has been maintained.  The columns of knit stitches are continuous.  If I had worked the wrong decrease, this would not be the case.  Can you tell what type of decreases I used for each?  Probably not unless you look very closely.

I've stretched the swatch and labelled each type.  It really doesn't matter which you use.  The important thing is to select the decrease which will cover the purl stitch. 


The video shows how to make each.  Eyelet buttonholes in K1P1 ribbing

Salon will be on Sunday this week as I have to drive up to the Cincinnati airport on Saturday. 

I got the photograph from the photo shoot last week of my coat.  I think it turned out very nicely.  I hope they use it in the magazine. 

At TNNA, Schact Spindle Company had distributed their new product, Zoom Loom to all of the yarn companies.  Most put some of their yarn on the looms which was very intriguing.  They sent one to Penny to be reviewed and I took it home with me to try out.  I have had so much fun using up leftover sock yarn.  I have no idea what I am going to do with all of these squares.  They are the perfect size for coasters.  Since my surgery I like to vary what I do with my hands.   I've had so much fun I bought a Cricket Loom last weekend.  I managed to warp it with no problems but I am such a perfectionist I can see that what will drive me crazy is developing a consistent looking fabric.  The yarn they sent with the loom really shows you how inconsistent you are...bright red and blue.  I am having fun with it.

I have had time to work on my skirt.  I'd love to finish it in time to wear to the meeting in Charlotte.  We shall see.  I do like it but I am not wild about the white stripes.  I think it has a "Pepe La Pew" feel to it (for those of you who love Looney Tunes like me).  The skirt will be so full that I think the drape will mitigate this so I will continue on.



Friday, August 16, 2013

Seaming Seed Stitch

It is nice to be home.  I had a lovely trip.  This photograph shows the view from 11,000 ft in the Rocky Mountain National Park.  I must admit I do miss the west.

Within days of getting home, I had to go up to Ohio for the photo shoot of the Winter issue.  We had some lovely garments.  They held my Summer Nights sweater for the Winter issue so we shot it again.  I wish it looked as good on me as it does on the model!  We shoot the Caduceus Coat outside and it was a windy way.  When we did the back, a gust of wind caught the bottom and opened it up.  I've asked for a copy of the photograph.  I'll post it when I get it.

Quite a few lessons arrived while I was gone but I managed to get them all reviewed within a day.  Several people signed up for courses while I was gone which isn't a problem. I am able to process the orders on my iPad.

While I was on my trip someone requested that I do a video for seaming seed stitch.  I did an article in Cast On recently on the topic but here we go.

The goal when making any vertical seam is to be sure that the stitch pattern continues on either side.  Seed stitch is a good example of this type of seam.  If you are using a pattern which includes a specific stitch pattern, don't assume that the designer has done the work for you.  It may be that the stitch patterns line up for one size but not for another.  As I am a visual (not a math) person, I generally use graph paper to make sure it will work BEFORE casting on a single stitch.  You can't fix this one the pieces are knit.

For seed stitch, you can use the mattress stitch if you have an even number of stitches.  Each piece will begin with a knit stitch and end with a purl stitch.  This lines up perfectly for the seam.  The mattress stitch uses the horizontal bars between the first column of stitches and the selvedge stitch.

This photograph shows the pieces seamed.  The pattern is continued over the seam.

If you have an uneven number of stitches, you cannot use the mattress stitch.  Each piece will begin and end with a knit stitch. 

The mattress stitch was used to seam the piece in the photograph below.  Notice that the knit and purl stitches are next to each other disrupting the pattern.


If you discover too late that you have an uneven number of stitches, you can use the same technique used for reverse stockinette to seam the pieces.  You use the "smile" from one side and the "frown" from the other.  The resulting seam is not as invisible as the mattress stitch. 

The video does not show this technique.  It shows how to seam an even number of stitches.  If you notice that you have an uneven number of stitches you can always add or subtract a stitch.  Seaming Seed Stitch

Salon will be on Sunday from 2-5pm.  It is the Crochet Tournament at Ashland at that time but somehow I don't think parking will be a problem. 

When I got home from my trip I had to put the finishing touches on the Caduceus Coat.  I didn't take it with me as it is a bit bulky.  I've never been a fan of steaming knitwear as I had only done it with a steam iron.  I had mixed results.  Suzanne convinced me a steamer is quite useful for finishing touches.  I got one before I went to Indianapolis and I am a believer now.  I will still wet block pieces but I used the steamer on the seams and the rolls in the front. 

Here is a closeup  of the back.

I took the collegiate hat kits with me on the trip. It was quite an experience.  I haven't used a pattern in about 20 years.  I am happy to report these patterns are well written.  I didn't have time to get to the mittens.  Here are the hats blocking.

I've started a short row garter stitch skirt for me using Kauni but I haven't photographed it yet.  I will next week.