Friday, August 19, 2016

Double Decreases, Knit and Purl

It has been a rough couple of weeks.  It is a lot of work starting an organization from scratch.  Things are going very well and I think our members are going to be pleased with the new website.  I've been working on the Winter issue of Cast On and it hasn't been easy.  First of all, there are no funds to pay designers for their work.  I didn't even bother to send out a Call For Designs.  I am relying on the fabulous talents and goodwill of our committee members and others.  The magazine will be shorter than in the past but we will be in good shape for Spring.  We had some devastating new last week that our wonderful photographer, Kyle Baugh, died suddenly.  He was only 38 and leaves behind a wife and two daughters.  (His wife and oldest daughters are the models for the Fall issue which is at the printer now. )  Kyle had agreed to do the photography for the new TKGA so I am mourning doubly.  He will be missed. 

It must be getting close to fall!  I've been getting more lessons to review.  Keep them coming!

The tip this week is different ways to make double decreases on both the knit and purl sides.  The photograph below shows the three types.  (Ignore #4 for a minute)

#1 shows a central double decrease.  There are a variety of abbreviations for this--CDD, s2k1p or s2k1psso and probably more.  They all refer to the same technique.  You slip two stitches AS IF YOU ARE GOING TO KNIT THEM TOGETHER, you knit the next stitch and then pass the two stitches over the stitch you just knit.  A very common mistake is to slip the two stitches one at a time.  If you do this, you get #4.  The center stitch should be on top and slipping the two stitches together places the center stich in the correct location. 

#2 shows a different type double decrease.  This is generally abbreviated s1k2togpsso.  I am sure there are other ones as well.  Every designer seems to use a different one but they all refer to the same decrease.  To make this one, you slip one stitch, knit the next two stitches together and then pass the slipped stitch over the stitches you just knit together.  I've seen this decrease used a lot in lace when it is a floral design.  If you are not careful when making this decrease, it can look a bit sloppy.  Single slipped stitches tend to get stretched out so you should be careful with it when passing it over the other stitches.  Notice that the center stitch is underneath the stitches to the right and left.

#3 shows K3tog.  I've rarely seen this used in lace.  About the only place I've used it is in itty bitty bobbles.  When I did this swatch, I noticed that #4 mirrors this.  Good to know if you ever need to mirror a K3tog.

The vast majority of patterns call for decreases to be made on the RS of the work (in most projects the knit side) but in rare occasions you may need to know how to make a double decrease on the WS of the work (the purl side) and that decrease needs to look like the ones above.  Some patterns don't let you know how to do this. 

Making #1 on the purlside is a bit tricky.  I suggest you look at the video if you have any questions.  The first thing to do is to change the orientation of the first two stitches on the needle.  To do this, you slip them one at a time and then return them to the left needle.  This ensures that the decrease won't be twisted.  Next you need to change the orientation of this two stitches AGAIN.  To do this you slip the two stitches together as if you are going to purl them through the back and then return them to the left needle.  Please look at video to see exactly how to do this.  The final step is to purl the 3 stitches together. 

Making #2 on the purlside is not as difficult.  You basically reverse what you do on the RS.  Purl the two stitches together, return this stitch to the left needle and then pass over the stitch to the left. 

To make #3, just purl the three stitches together. 

Here is the video:  Double Decreases, Knit and Purl sides

Salon will be on Sunday, August 21, from 1:30-3:20. 

I've been working on a chevron shawl using some RedFish silk I bought years ago.  I'm going to do a multicolor chevron for the winter issue of Cast On using these colors.  Elff has put together some wonderful color packets.  I'll do it in 3-ply so I can use larger needles.  I'm using 2.25 for the blue one.  I'll have to put it aside soon.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Double Increases

It has been a busy couple of weeks.  Starting an organization from the ground up takes a lot of work.  We have a great board and we have divided up the necessary tasks.  Christina and Mary Beth have great business skills. It looks like our non-profit status will come through by the beginning of next month.  That will be a relief as we can start fund raising.  Our main expense is going to be a website and computer system that actually works.  Anyone who has tried to navigate will tell you that this is much needed.  I'm working on the next issue of Cast On.  The first issue will have to be small due to the financial realities.  Designers do expect to be paid so I imagine we will have mostly "donated" designs.  I've got several in mind.  The good news is that we can make the organization what it should be -- for serious knitters, by serious knitters.

I've had more lessons to review that I expected.  Summer is generally a slow time.  Again, nothing is going to change for the correspondence courses.  I like to remind my students that I do not enforce a time limit but this is NOT the case for the other courses.  The deadline is a year.  

I used double increases for the skirt part of the dress I just finished (see below) and I started to think of the ways to work double increases.  Also whenever I teach eyelet/yarnover buttonholes, dealing with a double yarnover always causes problems.  I decided to group them all together.  

Double yarnovers can be used to create a double increase.  The problem will be that there will be a hole but depending on the project, this might be just fine.

This photo shows three ways of dealing with double yarnovers.

The first step in working any of these double increases is to make a double yarnover.  You don't have to decide what to do until the next row.  The examples assume you are working flat so if you make the yarnovers on a RS, you will work them on a WS row.  Most instructions for the bottom one state to knit into the first yarnover and then into the back of the next yarnover.  I've seen lots of variation on this one.  Sometimes you knit the first stitch and then purl the next.  It really doesn't matter, the results are similar.

This increase is used in the Monkey Socks by Cookie A.  (Some of you may remember when this pattern appeared in Knitty.  I really didn't like the way the double yarnover looked so I did a variation, the one at the top of the swatch.

The next two show a variation where you treat the yarnovers like you would the horizontal strand between two stitches when you make an M1 increase.  You can have them all slant int the same direction or you can mirror them as shown in the photograph.  The video shows the difference when working them.  The hole is smaller with those methods.

This type of double increase works well when you have an even number of stitches as you are making them between stitches.  The next technique works better when you have an odd number of stitches as the increases are on either side of a stitch.

The one labeled A is a central double increase.  I've seen this used in lace patterns.  The instructions for this one are a bit confusing.  You knit into the back of the stitch, then into the front of the stitch, and then you find the vertical strand running up to these two stitches and you lift it onto your needle and then into the back of it.  The videos shows this one, if that sounds confusing.  It does produce a nice increase, sort of the reverse of the central double decrease.

The one labeled B is created by working a right slanting lifted increase on one side of the stitch and a left slanting increase on the other side of the stitch after you've worked the stitch itself.  It does leave a bit of a hole.

The ones labeled C and D use mirrored M1 increases on either side of a central stitch.  If you look close you can see that they are slightly different, depending on the order of M1L and M1R increases.

Here is the video:  Double Increases

Salon will be on Sunday from 1:30-3:20.  See you then!

Yes, I finished it.  It hasn't be blocked yet.  I'm waiting for a day without rain in the forecast.  I can't say this was fun to knit but I am looking forward to wearing it.  Yes, this is for me and No, I am not writing a pattern for it.  

I'm enjoying having time to knit for myself again.  I know I will be doing lots for the winter issue as I know I am cheap, as in free, until our financial situation is more on track,