Friday, September 27, 2013

Using a Tapestry Needle to Improve Increases and Decreases

I am ready for the conference next week.  I have everything packed and ready.  I did do three sets of homework for both of the finishing classes.  That was a lot of knitting.  I feel like I should apologize to my students!  Day 1 in particular had so many swatches.  If you are going to seam swatches, you do need two.

I even have the candy for my classes.  I always provide chocolate for my students to help keep them awake.  No, the candy is not a bribe for good evaluations!

Since I will be in Charlotte next week, I will not be posting a blog entry.  I will be traveling quite a bit in October but I should be able to post a blog or two.

Three students completed Lesson 3 of the Basics Class this week.  They all came on the same day.  If you send me a lesson and you want me to email you a copy of my letter the day I review the lesson, I am happy to do so.  Just let me know.

As always, I cannot review lessons if I am out of town (I can process new orders, however.)  This is my travel schedule for October:

October 1-6--Charlotte
October 12-18--Arizona
October 26-November 1--Texas

My house sitter will take in any lessons that arrive during those times and I will review them the day after I get back.

This week's tip was a special request.  I frequently tell my students when I review their increase and decrease swatches that they can use a tapestry needle to clean up the increases or decreases when the swatch is finished.  This tip applies mainly to those who are working on the Masters Program or who are perfectionists! 

When you work increases or decreases the goal is that they don't stand out like a sore thumb from the rest of the fabric.  Most knitters are just happy that they can make increases or decreases, not that they are inconspicuous.  The best way to approach this is to work on the techniques so that the increases and decreases are an appropriate size, particularly if they are mirrored.  I have addressed these issues in prior blog entries.  No matter how you try, there are times when one or two of the increases/decreases stand out.  When that is the case, you can use a tapestry needle to work excess yarn from the increase/decrease out to the selvedge. 

The first step is to stand back three or four feet from the fabric and look at the increases and decreases to see if any stand out.  When you are working on something you may not even notice.  I always try to step back and take a quick look at my work.  You notice mistakes as well. 

The video (Using a Tapestry Needle) shows how to do this.  Do this before you block the piece.  The excess yarn at the selvedge will be hidden in any seams or edges with a band.  For swatches you are submitting for the Masters Program, WORK ON THE TECHNIQUES to make the increases/decreases an appropriate size.  Use this technique sparingly.  If you have half an inch of excess yarn at the selvedge in a swatch, it will be noticeable.

The two techniques which seem to produce larger stitches is the SSK and the left slanting lifted decrease.  I have several suggestions for ways to produce smaller results in the Tips I have done on those topics.

Salon will be on Saturday this week as I want to have all day Sunday to complete my packing for the conference.  It will start an hour earlier so those who are going to the football game will have time to get ready. 

I feel like I spent most of the week knitting homework swatches but I did have time to work on the shell for the twin set.  I've finished the back and am on the home stretch for the front.  I decided to do a placket at the back.  I don't want a wide neck opening.  I'm hoping some button vendors will be at the conference.  I envision some sweet antique pearl buttons.

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