Friday, October 14, 2016

Carrying Yarn for Stripes

The transition date is getting closer and closer.  The website is progressing along nicely and soon I will be able to start work on loading patterns for the online version of Cast On.  I've been getting finished garments from the designers.  I just need to find a photographer!  Our fundraising is progressing nicely as well.  The support of our members is very gratifying.  It makes all of this work worth it.

I was out of town for a few days early this week and I came back to several lessons.  The transition to the new system is not going to change how students order courses except in one way.  When the course is ordered online, the student will be able to download the first lesson immediately.  In the past, they had to wait until the management company notified me.  That could take a few days.  This is a better arrangement.

As it often happens the tip this week is inspired by projects I am working on.  Also, this question often comes up with those working on Level 1 of the Masters program.  For the Winter issue of Cast On, I designed a garter stitch shawl that uses two row stripes and I offered to do the sample knitting for one of our designers who has some family issues which were limiting her knitting time.  Her design is for a scarf (or cowl) that uses single row stripes with three different yarns.  When you work stripes you have to decide whether you want to carry the yarn up the work or if you want to cut it.  My rule is to never carry it over more than two rows.  Maintaining even tension is very difficult if you carry yarn for more than this.  Another issue is the long strands.  If the piece is to be seamed, these strands will make the seam very thick.  If it is something knit in the round, it is very easy to snag the strands.

Even when you are carrying the yarn up just one or two rows, you have to watch your tension.  When you start using the yarn you previously dropped, there is a tendency to pull the yarn tightly to snug up the first stitch.  If you aren't careful, you also pull stitches from the row previously worked in this color.  The photos below show where the yarn has been pulled too tightly. 

The arrow at the bottom of this photo shows where the yarn has been pulled too tightly.  The arrow at the top shows where the tension is too loose. The video shows how this happens and how you can fix it if you notice it immediately.  Carrying Yarn for Stripes

Something else you need to be aware of when carrying yarn for stripes is the effect this has on the appearance of the selvedge.  For the garter stitch stripes, two rows are worked in each color.  This means that the working yarn always returns to the right side of the work.  The yarn is never carried on the left side.  If you look carefully at the photograph below, you can see the carried yarn on the left side (this is the WS of the work).  It looks different from the right side.  For the shawl this is barely noticeable since the yarn is so fine but in a heavier yarn, it would be much more noticeable.

For the scarf I am knitting which uses three colors, the yarn is carried up both sides so the selvedges will match but the strands on the WS are quite noticeable.  (This isn't a problem for the scarf I am working on as it isn't stockinette but seed stitch.  See the photo below.)

Again, I find carrying yarn for more than two rows to be problematic.  It is a pain to weave in yarn tails but the final result is generally worth it.

Salon will be on Sunday from 1:30-3:20.  I wasn't able to have salon last week as Saturday was the first Metropolitan Opera simulcast. I spent 5 hours enjoying Wagner's Tristan and Isolde.  Last year I wasn't able to see many of the performances.  I plan to change that for this year.  Sunday I left for Washington, DC. 

I finished up the scarf length of the chevron shawl.  There was enough yarn to knit both the shawl and the scarf.  I like this length as well.  It isn't as dramatic but looks pretty good wrapped around the neck.

While I was waiting for the scarf yarn to arrive, I started on a project I got the yarn for several years ago.  I am going to make a coat from Shibui Linen (for me).  I got started on the back.  I love that the resulting fabric is so light and slightly see through.  Notice how you can see the chair through the fabric.

I got started on the scarf.  I wound up changing one of the colors from those we originally selected.  What can I say?  I like grays (and black).  I love this pattern.  It looks so complex and it is SO SIMPLE.