Friday, February 21, 2014

Spiral Stripes

My surgery went OK and I am walking with a cane and driving but it will be another 4 weeks until I am done.  I certainly am capable of doing my blog.

I was able to go to the photo shoot on February 4th.  It was a bit of a thrash dodging snow and ice storms but it went quite well.

Here is a photo of the skirt and jacket (thanks Sadie for the photo).  This is not the photo that will be in the magazine.  The pattern for the skirt is in the current issue.  The jacket will be in the summer issue.


I did get a few lessons to review.  I didn't look at anything the first two weeks after surgery as it took just about that long for the anaesthesia to work its way out of my system.  I was quite loopy.  Since I didn't take any pain medicine it had to be the anaesthesia.  Those that completed lessons during that time are listed to the right.  If I missed anyone, please let me know.  


Continuing on with stripes, the tip this week is about spiral or helix stripes.  I first discovered this in Montse Stanley's Knitter's Handbook quite a few years ago.  I thought it was just about the neatest trick I had seen.  If you knit in the round, you know that you work in a spiral.  By that I mean you don't complete a row and then jump to the top of the next row as you do in flat knitting.  This is why there is a jog when the end of the round joins the beginning of the round.  For spiral stripes you use this to your advantage.  

How it works is that you first determine the number of stitches in the piece...let's say you are making a hat with 100 stitches.  You then count the number of colors for the stripes.  In the example I knit, there are 4 colors.  It may look like three but it is cream, red, cream and gray.  I then divide the number of colors into the total number of stitches which gives me 25.  To work the spiral stripes I work 25 stitches in the first color, cream.  I then drop that yarn and work the next 25 stitches in the next color, red.  I drop that color and then work the next 25 stitches in the next color, cream.  I drop that color and work the final 25 stitches in the last color, gray.  I am at the end of the round.  The stitches on the needle to be worked next are cream.  In spiral knitting you work the stitches at the end of the round and then stitches at the beginning of the next round in the same color so I work those next 25 stitches in gray.  Now I drop the gray and pick up the working yarn (the cream from the first 25 stitches) and work the next 25 stitches.  I just keep doing this.  Clear as mud?  Check the video:  Working Spiral Stripes 

This is one of those things you really have to try to see how it works.  It is very easy.  A few caveats...This is more difficult to work on double points as you have several strands of working yarn and it is very easy to start in the wrong spot.  I prefer doing this technique on circulars.  The other problem is that when you pick up a new color you have to be VERY careful not to pull it too tightly or the tension is just terrible.

There is no limit, other than your patience, on the number of colors you can use.  As with any colorwork, yarn management is a pain.  

If you look at the bottom of this photograph, notice that the red stitches just start in the middle of nowhere.  You can see how the stripes spiral.

This photograph shows why you might want to use this technique.  There are a total of 8 yarn tails to weave in.  With stripes, you would expect a lot more.

Again, I love stripes.  This technique is a great way to use up stash yarn for hats, mittens and socks.

Salon will be on Sunday this week from 1:30 to 3:20.  I will be going back to work.  We shall see how that goes!  

The night before surgery I started on this chevron shawl with Zauberball yarn.  Chevron shawls are my go to project for mindless knitting.  I knew I wouldn't be able to do anything too complicated.  It isn't blocked yet and I haven't woven in the ends yet.

I also knit a pair of socks for Stephanie's birthday which I neglected to photograph.  Maybe she will take a photo for me.

The next selection meeting is March 4th and I am putting together my proposals.  The stitch anatomy lesson is slip stitches.  The Fashion Framework is designing Arans.  I plan to do a hat and mitten set with slipped stitch cuffs.  I'm going to size the argyle vest I did for men for children's sizes (special request) and I'm going to do a tunic.  Details to follow later.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Arenda,
    I learn so much from reading your blog! May I ask a question? What is the best solution for knitting two-colour one-row stripes in the round? I believe that helix knitting requires a minimum of three colours. I had wondered about a camouflaging heel stitch.
    Regards, Sarah