Friday, November 21, 2014

Cable Cast On

It has been a fairly boring week which is nice for a change...I have been dragging my feet getting my proposals ready for the next issue of Cast On.  I know what I will  be doing next week!

I only received one lesson to review this week.  I guess everyone is in holiday mode.  I got a request from someone who had signed up for the Basics course a while back.  Again, as long as I am the instructor of the course, you can continue with it even after a year has past.  When I first started teaching the course I would mail the materials but now I email them.  This has allowed me to keep the cost the same.  

The tip this week is how to work the cable cast on.  This is a very simple cast on, one that many beginning knitters learn as it uses knitting needles.  It produces a very firm, non-elastic edge.  (Hint:  This isn't a cast on to use if you want a stretchy edge, say for a baby hat.)  About the only time I use it is when I am making one-row horizontal buttonholes.    As for many cast ons, there is a smooth side and bumpy side.  This photo shows the smooth side.  

This is the bumpy side.

When you are using a cast on with smooth and bumpy sides, be consistent within the project as to which side you select for the right side of the work.  Which you choose, doesn't matter as long as you are consistent.

This photograph shows the smooth side of the cast on for the right side of the work.

This is the wrong side.  Notice how well the bumpy side of the cast on blends in with the reverse stockinette.

Here is the link to the video:  Cable Cast On

This week's salon will be on Sunday from 2:00-4:00.  The Met auditions are on Saturday and I am hoping to get there for at least part of it!  It is always a great event.

I am making good progress on the gift front.  I had quite a bit of time to knit this week.  If I could only stop ripping things out I would get more done.  I decided to make chain mail shawls for Cynthia and Jordan.  They live in Dallas.  I used Berroco Elements which is a metallic yarn.  It is perfect for this project.  The photograph doesn't do the yarn colors justice.  They are gold and silver.

This slouch hat needs to be blocked which I haven't done yet.  You can't really see the pattern.  I will do the finishing on all of this stuff later.

I decided to put a blue stripe in the hat so that it will match the mitts.

I am making a pair of cashmere mitts for Martha to give to her sister-in-law.  Yes, I can be very nice when I want to be.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Tubular Cast On, Part 2

I spent the early part of the week in Zanesville.  On Monday we had a meeting about conference in San Diego in July.  I am very excited.  We have lots of fun things planned.  The Yarn Tasting will be even bigger and better than last year.  Stay tuned.

On Tuesday we had the photo shoot for the Spring issue.  It was a very windy and sunny day.  Luckily, the cold front hadn't moved in yet or we would have had a miserable time.  This photo more or less sums up the day.  We were avoiding the sun like vampires.  (The garment is a linen top...very cute.)  The model is Julia who is a dream to work with.  Sadie and Susan, the stylist are trying to provide some shade.

Very few lessons arrived which was fortunate since I was gone several days.  I spent the better part of the week working on a curriculum we are planning to announce soon.  I'm excited about it!  More to follow...

I've decided to do just one more tip about tubular cast ons.  There are quite a few techniques out there.  I've even done one myself where you use Judy's Magic Cast On (most frequently used for toe up socks).  Tubular cast ons are basically double knitting for a few rows.  In this technique you cast on directly to the needle all of the stitches you need.  (If you remember, when you use the crochet chain method, you have a chain stitch for half the number of stitches plus one.)  It is basically the same cast on you use for a provisional cast on.  

If you look closely, you can see that some of the stitches look sort of like knit stitches and the others purl stitches.  When you turn the work, you knit the "knit" stitches and slip the "purl" stitches with the yarn in front.  You knit the selvedge stitches.  You turn the work and work several rows (from 2-4 depending on how rounded you want the cast on) 

If you are working in the round, you don't need the selvedge stitches and you have to reverse which stitches you slip and work on each round.  I used this technique on a watch cap (photo below) I am working on.  You have to be very careful not to twist the first round.  It is essential to use much smaller needles for the cast on as you can wind up with a lot of slack at the end.  I worked only two rounds of the slipped stitches as I didn't want it very rounded.  Here is the video:  Tubular Cast On Part 2

Salon will be on Saturday from 1:30-3:20.  If you need an incentive to come out in this cold weather, I picked up some Goumas chocolates in Granville which I am going to share!

I thought I'd share one more photo from the shoot.  This is the jacket I did a few months ago.  

My nephew wants a hat for Christmas and black is the color choice.  I used a skein of Berocco Ultra Alpaca.  I didn't notice until I had worked about 5" that I was using Size 5 needles instead of Size 6.  Oh well, he lives in Utah and a dense, warm hat will work.  I used my pattern for the Confident Beginner pattern.  

My niece wants a scarf.  The yarn is a DK Madelinetosh and it is yummy.  I have a skein left and if I have time, I will make a hat as well.  I'd like to use the sawtooth edge as well.

I had enough Seahawk Green to make a hat.  This yarn isn't the easiest to work with and after several experiments I determined a simple watch cap would be the best thing to do.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Tubular Cast On Part 1

This was a very slow week...only 3 lessons to review.  I got a start on my gift knitting.  Our photo shoot is next week and usually at this time I am frantically trying to finish things up but I've made a real effort the last few issues to get things to the office sooner so they can do styling.  This gives me more time for personal knitting.

I've noticed that the number of lessons I receive to review really goes down starting in November.  I think everyone is gearing up for the holidays.  Wouldn't your family member prefer swatches demonstrating increases instead of a hat?  I guess not.

Since Cast On is now digital I have made more references to videos demonstrating techniques.  For the garments I have in the Spring issue, I mention in the patterns that they can find videos for certain techniques so I guess I better to those videos.  This week will be how to work a tubular cast on which I use for the top down raglan striped dress.

A word about the name...I am using "tubular" which is what we call this in the Masters Program.  This technique has quite a few names.  Some refer to it as "invisible" which it is but this term is also used for provisional cast ons.  As far as I know "tubular" is only used for this technique.  The edge is rounded.  This is what the final product looks like.  

You may want to take a look at my blog entry for September 19th of this year where the tip was about provisional cast ons if you haven't used a crochet chain.  I have a photo of where to pick up the loops.  

For the tubular cast on, you work a chain of half of the number of total stitches plus one.  I generally make far more chains than I need as I am too lazy to do the math!  The difference between the tubular and provisional technique is that you pick up one stitch for each crochet bump for the provisional and for the tubular you make a yarn over between each stitch you pick up.  In the photograph below you can see the stitch/yarn over pairs.  When you are working this flat, you will have an uneven number of stitches as you need a selvedge stitch at the end.  If you are working this technique in the round, you can have a yarnover at the end of the round.

The next step is to work several rows where you work one stitch and slip the next.  You need to work a minimum of two rows.  The more rows you work, the more rounded the cast on edge becomes.

If you are working flat, you knit the knit stitches and slip the purl stitches on all rows.  If you are working in the round, you need to alternate this each round.  You knit the knit stitches the first round and slip the purl stitches and on the next round you slip the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches. After 2-4 rows, work in K1P1 ribbing.  Notice that the stitches are overlarge.  When you use this technique work the tubular cast on with smaller needles that the size for the rest of the ribbing.

The final step is to remove the crochet chain.  Be sure you start at the end, not the beginning.  This photograph shows the crochet chain partially removed.

Here is a video showing the process:    Tubular Cast On

Salon will be on Sunday from 1-4 pm.  I am going to a football game on Saturday.  There is still quite a bit of yarn available if you missed out last week.

Some posted a question about the salon....It is just a get-together I host at my house on either Saturday or Sunday every week for friends.  There is absolutely no formal agenda or instructional component.  If you are in Lexington KY over a weekend, send me an email and I will send you my address.  For obvious reasons I don't post personal information in this blog.  It is always fun to have someone drop by.

I had a special request for fingerless mitts in lime green (Seattle Seahawks color).  I generally do mitts with sock yarn but since the only yarn I had was a worsted weight I decided to keep them simple.  I couldn't resist adding the L and R, which I outlined in another Seahawk color.

Last week I wrote up a pattern which we will give to new members of TKGA.  Mitts seem to be what people are requesting this year.  I used the pattern I just did to test it out.  Here are two I have finished for birthday gifts.