Friday, March 25, 2016

Reversing All Shapings...

The video we did at the Winter 2016 TNNA show was finally uploaded to the TKGA website this week.  TNNA is the major trade show for the needlework industry.  The major yarn companies have booths to show off their product lines for retailers.  We used to review new products in Cast On but we decided not to do this anymore.  We are going to produce a video with this information and review some of the yarns used for garments in the magazine.  This year we reviewed needles from Hiya Hiya and yarns from Baah, Shibui, Anzula, Mountain Colors, Jade Sapphire, and others.  Here is a link to the video:  TNNA Winter 2016 Product Review (Scroll down the page a bit to see the link to the video).

It has been slow.  I've noticed that March is always slow.  I don't know if it because of Spring Breaks, tax season or March Madness (a bit of a sore spot here in Lexington right now.)  I'm ready when you are!

This week's tip is a special request.  I had an email from someone requesting help on this topic.  It can be confusing for a new knitter or someone who always works in the round.  Patterns often use a type of shorthand to save space and the knitter was puzzled by a particular phrase.  

The instructions for Left Fronts typically are spelled out but when you get to the instructions for the Right Front, the pattern generally says "Work as for Left Front, reversing all shapings".  The knitter was working on a baby sweater and was very concerned about the armhole shaping.  I remember having this same difficulty with the first sweater I knit.  

The first thing to know is that Left Front refers to it being on the left WHEN WORN, not as you are looking at this while knitting it.  The instructions for shaping the armholes generally state to bind off X number of stitches X times at the armhole edge and then to decrease a stitch every other row or so.  When you do this on the left side, you will be binding off on the RS of the work.  When you go to bind off the armhole opening on the right side, you will be binding off on the WS of the work. The problem the knitter who contacted me had was that this meant that the Right Front would have one row more or less than the Left Front up to the armhole opening and was that a problem.  No. That is just how it is.  If you look at the photograph below, the Left Front is on the right.  Notice that it has more rows before the bound off stitches.   The problem will be reversed when you shape the neckline.  On the Left Front you bind off on the WS.  

In this photograph, this problem is exaggerated since it is such a small sample.  I can assure you that in an actual project, once sleeves are sewn in and bands are picked up, you will never notice this.

The other thing to be aware of when reversing all shapings is to mirror your decreases and increases. 
In the photograph below SSK decreases are used at the left armhole and K2tog decreases are used at the right.  Symmetry is important in knitting.  You could reverse this if you prefer it, but don't ever just use K2tog for all of the decreases on both sides.  I did this on the first V-neck sweater I knit.  It took me forever to figure out what was wrong!  Here is the video:  Reversing all shapings

I won't be having salon this week as I will be out of town.  The next Salon will be on April 3rd.  

I'm still working on the sweater for Elff.  The front is almost finished.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The stars go much quicker than the trees or fish.  The sleeves won't take that long.  I need to remember to order clasps!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Yarnover Buttonholes in Seed Stitch

I spent last week adding the projects for the Summer 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016 and Spring 2016 to Ravelry.  The person who had been doing this left the office and I didn't notice for awhile.  After discussing who should be doing this, I just decided to get it done.  I have to say it was a TON of work but I'm glad I did it.  Now I will do it as soon as the magazine is published or maybe a few days before.

This week we discussed the events for the conference since registration will go live next week.  We will, of course, do the yarn tasting again this year but instead of the goody bags we will be doing several door prizes.  It is very expensive shipping that yarn all over the country, both for us and for the sponsors and putting together those goody bags was a massive effort.

Just a reminder, please let me know when you send a lesson and include a tracking number.  By the way, I had a request to change the color of the video links.  I am trying out red.

I hadn't planned on discussing this topic but I reviewed a swatch from a student of my Finishing class where this occurred.  Since Level 2 of the Masters Program requires buttonholes in seed stitch, I thought I'd discuss this.  

When you work a buttonhole in any type of stitch pattern, it is important that the stitch pattern not be interrupted after the buttonhole is made.  Seed stitch can be used as an example of stitch patterns.  I've seen many knitters who go into a the default mode of always working a K2tog after a yarnover but this may not work for all stitch patterns.  In the photograph, notice that the stitch pattern is continued. after the buttonhole.  In the photograph below, this is not the case.

Notice there is a column of knit stitches to the left of the buttonhole.  As you work the buttonholes, if you plan to make the yarnover and then a K2tog, pay attention to the second stitch after the yarnover. In the example above, the first stitch after the first stitch after the yarnover was a purl stitch and the second stitch is a knit stitch.  When you work these two stitches together, the second stitch is on top which disrupts the pattern.  (If you work a P2tog in this situation, the pattern is maintained.)  The videos demonstrates this.  Yarnover Buttonholes in Seed Stitch

Someone asked me about yarnover buttonholes in garter stitch.  There is no stitch pattern to worry about so you just have to place them.  I've used yarnover buttonholes in garter stitch before and the only problem I have noted is that they can be hard to see.  I generally work vertical buttonholes in garter stitch.  (I've stretched the swatch in the photo below.) 

Salon will be from 3:30-5:30.  

For the past two weeks I've been my Summer Nights sweater for Elff of Redfish Dyeoworks.  In a weak moment I said I would knit it for her so she can wear it to shows.  Believe it or not, this is mindless knitting for me.  The next call for designs is due on April 1st so I should have time to finish this up.  I just have to remember to order clasps!  The original sweater is here Summer Nights...