Friday, April 24, 2015

Right and Left Slanting Decreases

I am in a bit of a panic trying to get everything done for the Fall photo shoot.  An unexpected trip out of town  cut into my knitting time.  I think things are back on track now.

Several lessons arrived while I was out of town but I was able to review them right away.  For my non-US students, if you could send me an email when you send your lesson, I'd like to track how long it takes for me to get them and to get them back to you.  I've noticed that it takes forever from some countries.

I've reviewed a few lessons lately where the students have had difficulty recognizing the slant of the decreases.  Since decreases require two stitches worked as one, one of the stitches is on top and then other is beneath.  This determines the slant.  In a K2tog, the left stitch is on top of the right stitch which makes the decrease slant to the right.  In an SSK, the right stitch is on top of the left stitch which makes the decrease slant to the left.  

In the photo below, there are arrows to indicate the stitch that is on top and the direction of the decrease.

I think this is a problem in the lessons when students don't mark the swatches as they work them.  It can be hard to sort them out when all the swatches are complete.  (Although trying to do this is probably the best way to learn to read your work.)  I suggest putting the swatch in a baggie with a tag and keep it there until you are ready to block all of the swatches.  Be very careful to match up the tags to the swatches.  If you are confused, send me a photo and I can help you out.  Here is the video:  Right and Left Slanting Decreases

I've got stuff going on at home which makes it impossible for me to have visitors right now.  Stay tuned.

The Wine Dark Sea is finished.  I wanted the neckline to be wider than a regular crew neck.  All in all, I am very pleased.

I've finished the body of the jacket.  It is blocking.  When it is dry I will do a wide reverse cable band around the neckline.  This photograph is from a funny angle.  I will do a better one next week. 

While this is blocking I started on the Confident Beginner garment.  It is a very simple, unstructured sweater. The yarn is Swans Island.  I know it looks small in this photo but the chest measurement is 36".  It is designed to be the first sweater someone might knit.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


I won't be making an entry this week...see you soon.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Tubular Bind Off in the Round

Spring is finally here...along with the thunderstorms but my basement hasn't flooded for three whole days.

Only one lesson arrived while I was out west.  Several boxes full of yarn for the yarn tasting did arrive.  I must say, it is fun opening them even if I know the yarn isn't for me.

This week's tip is quite esoteric.  It was a request from Susanmarie (on Ravelry).  She was knitting a pair of toe up socks and was using a tubular bind off and was curious as how to finish it off.  I've done lots of videos on the tubular bind off but I'd never discussed how to finish one off.

When you do a tubular bind off in the round, there are a few differences than doing it flat.  The first step in the bind off is to work 2 or more rows where you knit the knit stitches but slip the purl stitches with the yarn in front.  This direction works for flat knitting since when you turn the work, the knit stitches become purl stitches.  When you work in the round, this doesn't happen.  When you work the second round, it is necessary to work the purl stitches and slip the knit stitches with the yarn in the back.  

The technique I use for tubular bind offs is from (I believe) Katarina Buss's Big Book of Knitting (a wonderful book) and after you have worked the slip stitch rows, you position the stitches so that the first stitch on the left needle is a knit stitch.  A purl stitch is the first stitch on the right needle.

For the tubular bind off to look right, you have to go into each stitch twice.  To start, you go into the purl stitch knitwise and then into the left leg of the knit stitch on the right needle and into the right leg of the next knit stitch on the left needle (skipping over the purl stitch).  You then go into the same purl stitch purlwise and drop it and the knit stitch from the left needle.  

The important thing about this is that the first knit stitch is still on the right needle.  It has only be worked on the left leg.  You won't work the right leg until you are almost finished.  The means to finish up the tubular bind off you just have to work the right leg of that stitch and you are done.  That stitch has probably been stretched quite a bit since it is the last stitch on the needle which will require some clean up.  That is what a tapestry needle is for...just manipulate the excess yarn into the surrounding stitches.  You can then weave in the yarn end.  Here is a link:  Yarn tails in Ribbing 

Susanmarie suggested this topic back in February but I didn't have a project which used a tubular bind off until now.  I apologize that the project uses fingering weight and Size 0 needles.  Ending a Tubular Bind Off in the Round

Salon will be on Saturday from 1:30 to 4:00.  

I am almost finished with the Wine Dark Sea sweater.  The back and fronts are finished and I did the neck band.  I like to break up a project like this.  Finishing this requires full daylight sun and it will take several days to seam it.  One sleeve is done and I hope to finish the other tomorrow.  I really love this sweater.  The photographs below show the colors much better.   You can see the dental elastics I have used to mark the increases in the sleeve.  Yes, I could have done it in the round but my stranded tension is MUCH better when I work it flat.  If someone is crazy enough to knit this sweater, they can always knit it in the round.


Here is the back.  I wanted a deeper neckline than the traditional crew.