Friday, September 29, 2017

Flat Tubular Bind Off


I've been knitting like a fiend to make the deadline for the photo shoot.  What on earth possessed me to propose a poncho!  It is done and I am making good progress on the tunic but it will be a close thing.

STUDENT NEWS
Please photograph your swatches, front and back, before sending them.  There are two reasons for this.  I will email you my letter as soon as I review your work and, depending on where you live, it will take awhile to get the swatches.  Also, sometimes the swatches just don't arrive. 

One thing I've noticed lately in many of the swatches is how the selvedge stitches curl under and for the Masters Program we want them flat.  There are a lot of reasons for this.  It is a very good habit to develop.  Flat selvedges make finishing MUCH easier.  For the Masters swatches, it helps the knitter (and reviewers) see if there is a tension issue at the selvedges which is a common issue.  If you can't see it, you can fix it.

I took a close up photo of one of my current projects as it was blocking.



Notice that I've flattened out the selvedge stitch and pinned them at an angle so the edges will dry that way.  By the way, dental elastics mark the locations of decreases.  I am so bad at taking notes when I design that I've learned that writing the pattern is much easier when I "annotate" like this.

TIP OF THE WEEK
The poncho uses the tubular cast on and bind off techniques.  When I went to do the bind off I couldn't think of how to get started.  I checked my own videos and realized all of them show how to do this in the round since I use this technique mainly for socks or necklines.  This tip rectifies that omission.

The preparation for a tubular bind off is basically the same for both circular and flat knitting.  The stitches in two to four rows are alternately slipped.  If you are working flat, you generally work the knit stitches and slip the purl stitches with the yarn in front (provided you are working an even number of stitches) for all rows.  You can't do that for circular knitting.  On the first round you work the knit stitches and slip the purl stitches and reverse this for the next round.  Here is a link showing how to do this:  Preparing for Tubular Bind Off.

When you do the bind off in the round, you begin with a purl stitch and you can adjust your stitches so that a purl stitch is first.  For flat knitting the first stitch is generally a knit stitch and you can't just shift it to the right.  You have to work it separately.  To get started (after you've cut the yarn and threaded up a tapestry needle) you insert the tapestry needle knitwise into this stitch, pull the yarn tight and drop this stitch off the needle.  From here on the process is the same as for circular knitting.

Step 1--Insert the tapestry needle knitwise into the purl stitch.  Pull the yarn tight.


Step 2--Insert the tapestry needle purlwise into the knit stitch you dropped and into the knit stitch to the left of the purl stitch and pull the yarn tight.


Step 3--Insert the tapestry needle purlwise back into purl stitch and pull the yarn tight.  Drop the stitches from the needle.  You just repeat this until the end.




The video shows how you begin and end the bind off.  Here is the link:  Beginning and Ending Flat Tubular Bind Offs


KNITTING SALON
I won't be having salon again this weekend.  Hopefully soon!

CURRENT PROJECTS
I finally finished the poncho.  You can wear it two ways.






I've finished the fronts and back of the tunic I'm doing.  It is going to have a duplicate stitch design so I'm not going to seam it until I've done that.  The sleeves will be picked and worked from the shoulder down.




Friday, September 8, 2017

Left Slanting Decreases

I had a nice visit with knitters working on the Masters Program at Stitches Midwest back in early August.  It was a longer drive than I thought, particularly since I only went up for one night.  I broke up the drive on the way there and back with a stop at the Albanese Candy Outlet in Indiana.  I have a weakness for Gummi Bears.  I have a few left from the 5 lb (!) bag I bought.

STUDENT NEWS
The official start of fall for me is when I start getting more lessons to review and new students signing up for courses.  Things have definitely picked up since the first of September.

TIP OF THE WEEK
The tip this week is prompted by what I have seen in several lessons.  Lesson 2 of the Basics class discusses decreases. Several students have had difficulty spotting the differences between left and right slanting decreases.  I've discussed this quite a bit in the past.  Here is a link to an earlier entry: Left and Right Slanting Decreases.

Another thing covered in the lesson is how to make left and right slanting decreases "match".  This is a problem for many knitters.  K2tog produces a small, neat decrease that slants towards the right.  The problem is with left slanting decreases.  They will NEVER EVER truly match a k2tog but you can work to make them as small and unobtrusive as possible.  To make this decrease you have to reorient the stitches to be decreased on the needle so that the decrease will not be twisted.  This is done by slipping them back to the needle which stretches them out.  An SKP decrease requires slipping one stitch and an SSK requires slipping two.  If you use just your needle tips you can minimize how much the stitch is stretched out.  In the photograph below, I have done that to make the decreases.  Notice that the SKP is larger than the SSK.  



A few years ago I was experimenting with this and it occurred to me that if you wrap a stitch the wrong way (under the needle for a purl stitch), this reorients the stitch on the needle.  I tried doing this to the two stitches to be decreased on the row before.  The trick is to remember to do this.   The other thing to avoid is wrapping the stitches too tightly.  This will make the decrease look pinched.  On the decrease row, knit the two stitches together using just the needle tips.  In the photograph I did this for the decrease on the top.  It is a bit smaller.  Here is a video showing all three methods:  Making Left Slanting Decreases

By the way, if you are doing the Masters Program, do not use the method where only the first stitch is slipped.  The stitch underneath is twisted and yes, this is visible.

KNITTING SALON
I won't be having salon this weekend.  Stay tuned.

CURRENT PROJECTS
I've been working on a poncho for the Winter Cast On.  At TNNA this summer, they were showing a lot of cabled sweaters and ponchos/ruanas.  I decided to do a cabled poncho.  What was I thinking?  It is a lot of knitting.  I am almost finished with the first piece.  I'm using Kelbourne Fibers Arranmore Light which is wonderful to work with.  Here is a partial view.  The cables are meant to look like snakes.  They are random and asymmetrical.



Friday, July 28, 2017

Make 1 Increases

The last time I posted was the day before our photo shoot.  Since then (besides a very short vacation) I've been chained to my computer uploading the patterns and articles to WordPress.  All I need now is the photographs and we can go live.  I'm looking at the first week of August.

I've decided to go to Stitches Midwest next Friday.  Some TKGA people are meeting at the Gather Bar on Friday at 5:30.  Stop by if you are there.

STUDENT NEWS
Lessons are starting to come in, I'm glad to say.  Keep me busy!

TIP OF THE WEEK
This week's tip was motivated by a comment on my last entry.  A couple of things first...if you have a question, it is far better to send me an email directly (just click on the Contact Me choice and I'll be happy to answer but the one thing I don't do is answer questions about other people's patterns. It can take quite a bit of time to do so.  The biggest problem is that it is usually a pattern from Ravelry. I love Ravelry as much as the next person but a problem with many of the patterns is that they are not tech edited and I've found that many times when someone has a question about the pattern, it is an error. Contact the designer when you have an issue. If the pattern is from a book or magazine, it should have been tech edited and there should be glossary or index of terms.  If there isn't that is a sign it isn't a very good book.  If you've knitted for any time at all you've discovered that there is very little consistency in abbreviations and that brings up this week's topic...Make 1 increases.

I've seen patterns where the designer uses "M1" as a generic abbreviation for any increase and many of my Basic students are surprised to discover that there is more than one way to increase. In the Masters Program we mean very specific things when we refer to M1 increases.  There are three different types of M1 increases, open, right-slanting and left-slanting.  We use the abbreviations M1o, M1R, M1L to distinguish them.  M1 alone generally means you can choose between the left or right slanting.  

All M1 increases use the horizontal bar between two stitches.  In the photograph below, there are examples of M1 increases.  A is the open form of the M1.  It is the easiest to make.  You just lift the horizontal bar between the two stitches and knit it.  It leaves a small hole.  B is a yarnover.   M1o and yarnovers are related but a yarnover will leave a much larger hole.  C identifies a left slanting M1 increase.  (On the other side you can see the right slanting.)  To make these increases, you twist the horizontal bar so that the leg slants to the right or left.  I'm not going to describe this process as it is much easier just to demonstrate it.  Make 1 Increases

One of the problems with M1 increases is that when you draw up the horizontal strand between the two stitches, it pulls yarn from the stitches on either side.  It seems to be more of an issue for M1R increases.   D shows a solution for this.  If you make a TIGHT yarn over on the row before the increase (generally on the WS) you can use that excess yarn to make the increase.  You can see that the hole is slightly larger in the D increases.


When you are looking at a pattern that specifics M1 increases, look at it to see exactly what it means. Should it be an M1 increase or would another increase work better.

KNITTING SALON
Salon will be on Sunday from 2-4 pm.

CURRENT PROJECTS
I have not been knitting much as I've uploading the Fall issue of Cast On.  I have been working on this double knit buff for Sandy (RedFish DyeWorks).  I'm almost done.  Then I'll start on gloves for holiday gifts.




Friday, July 7, 2017

Gloves and Fingers

To say I'm a bit stressed would be putting it mildly.  Trying to get ready for the photo shoot tomorrow has been a bit much--all my own fault.  (See Current Projects for a visual explanation of why I'm stressed.)

STUDENT NEWS
My students, clearly, have been as busy as me.  I've had very few lessons to review the past few weeks.  THANK YOU!

TIP OF THE WEEK
All I have been doing for the past week is knitting texting gloves for the Fashion Framework article in the Fall issue.  I decided to to 3 pairs in different weights of yarn or 30 fingers.  By the time I got to the 20th finger I more or less got it down.  The reason most knitters prefer to make mittens or fingerless mitts is due to the tediousness of knitting and finishing fingers.  Not only are fingers a pain to knit, the results can be mixed.  It is difficult to work them so that there are not holes at the joins.

What I found really worked were two things.  First, most patterns will tell you to use the "e" cast on to bridge the gap when knitting the individual fingers.  The problem with this is that this cast on results in an excess of yarn no matter how tightly you work it.  This creates large stitches and ladders at the join.  Second, when you pick up stitches at these cast on edges, there is always holes at either side of the finger.  Yes, you can fix this when you weave in yarn tails but it makes the finger joins even more bulky.

To fix the first issue, instead of casting on any stitches I started working tight yarnovers at the join shown in the photograph below.



On the next round you use the strand created by this yarnover to work two M1 increases, taking care to twist the strand.  Does it matter whether they slant to the right of left?  Not at all.  This is shown in the photograph below.  Notice that there isn't much excess yarn.



Now for the second problem.  If you look at the photo above it shows the location for the thumb.  To work the thumb the stitches on the holder are transferred to needles and it is necessary to pick up two stitches in those cast on.  The is always a gap where the finger joins the hand.  The solution I found was to do something I have devoted many blog entries to NOT doing when picking up stitches in a bind off or cast on edge.  That is to pick up more stitches than you need.  The rule for picking up stitches on a horizontal edge is to pick up ONE stitch for every stitch.  When picking up stitches for fingers I recommend picking up four stitches in those two stitches.  Pick them up in the stitch below and between the stitches but NOT in the holes.  (Picking up a stitch in a hole just makes it bigger.) The photo below shows these 4 stitches.



On the next round you close these holes by working decreases but not with each other but with the stitches BEFORE and AFTER the stitches you picked up.  On the right side of the finger, work an SSK with the stitch before the new stitches, then knit the center two stitches.  Then work a K2tog with the final new stitch and the stitch after the new stitches.  If you look closely at the photo below you can see the decrease but what you don't see are holes.



There are two videos for this:  Part 1 and Part 2.

KNITTING SALON
I won't be having salon this week.  I've got way to much writing to do.  (See below!)

CURRENT PROJECTS
I won't be having salon this week.  I've got way to much writing to do.  (See below!)

I finished the bee sweater.  I didn't mind knitting it at all but the finishing nearly killed me.  The combination of the color and the size of the stitches made it hard.  To quote Danny Glover's character in Lethal Weapon, "I'm getting too old for this."  It did turn out OK.  Now to write the pattern and redo the charts....






Here are the gloves.  Notice I haven't woven in any of the ends.  Sigh.


When I proposed the gloves I also decided to do a pair of arm warmers in a worsted weight.  The Stitch Anatomy lesson is on the basketweave stitch.  In the TNNA fashion show there were lots of ponchos.  Arm warmers would be fun with a poncho.  All of the yarn is from Anzula.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Grafting K1P1 Ribbing

Last weekend was TNNA in Columbus.  It was one of the better shows.  There were lots of new vendors and plenty to see.  I showed great restraint in the Cash & Carry department but I did bring home a few things.  I spent most of my time thanking companies that have supported us the past year. I have had to do quite a bit of follow up on the yarn for designers.  I don't know what is going on but it took much longer to get the designers the yarn.  I'm still waiting for one more delivery but the yarn is coming from Canada which is the problem.

STUDENT NEWS
I think most of my students are on vacation!  I've reviewed a few lessons but not many.  It has given me time to work on my bee sweater.

TIP OF THE WEEK
My last entry was about grafting in pattern.  That technique really doesn't work for K1P1 ribbing since the half stitch offset cannot be hidden.  If you absolutely have to graft single rib and you want it to look good, there is really only one option.  There are several drawbacks to this technique.  It is a major pain to do (more about that later) and it doesn't produce true ribbing.  You have to lower your expectations.  If you are expecting it to be as elastic as regular ribbing you will be disappointed.

Basically how it works is that you place the knit and purl stitches onto separate needles and you first graft the knits stitches on one side together and when you finish that, you turn the needles over and do the same for the other side.  The photograph below shows this preparatory step.


Notice that you have to use four needles.  I recommend using needles which aren't slippery.  I used carbon needles and even then stitches were slipping all over.

In the photograph below I have grafted one side and have turned over the needles to graft the other side.  The area of the graft will be a bit puffier than the surrounding stitches and will not be as elastic.  The photo also demonstrates a potential issue.  You have to be careful when you transfer the stitches to separate needles.  It is very easy to split a stitch and then you have to contended with that when you graft.  I wish I could say I intentionally split that stitch as a demonstration but, alas, I didn't mean to split it.




Here is the final product and you can see that the "graft" is a bit puffier.  I'm not wild about this technique and I have only used it when I have worked the bands on a sweater as part of the fronts.  When you finish the front necklines, you work the band stitches separately, seam them to the back of the neck and have to either seam them or graft them at the center of the neck.  This isn't terribly noticeable so it isn't the end of the world that it isn't perfect.  Here is the link to the video:  Grafting K1P1 ribbing.


KNITTING SALON
I won't be having salon this week as I have weekend plans, very rare for me.

CURRENT PROJECTS
I am still working on the bee sweater but the end is in sight.  I forget what a lot of work a project like this is.  I'm almost done with the first sleeve.  Here is the RS of the body. 


I always get flak from knitters who think I should knit these things in the round.  Here is a photo of why I knit them flat.  My stranded tension is so much better when I work them this way.



I'm hoping to have it finished by my next posting.  I still have to knit 3 pairs of gloves for the next issue!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Grafting in Pattern

As predicted, I've spent the last two weeks acquiring yarn for the designers of the Fall issue of Cast On.  Of all of the things I now do for the magazine, this is the one that has surprised me the most.  It takes so much time!  I'm still waiting to hear from two companies.  Since TNNA is just a few weeks away I think they may be preparing for it.  Since they've added Cash and Carry to the event, many companies haul a lot of yarn to Columbus.


STUDENT NEWS
I didn't get that many lessons to review but I did get my first MiniCourse lesson.  I don't teach many but I did develop one last January for knitting Fair Isle Flat.  I only developed this class to answer the questions I get about how to do it since it is my preference.  More about that under Current Projects.

TIP OF THE WEEK
I have successfully avoided this topic for years for a variety of reasons.  First of all, I find teaching grafting (or Kitchener Stitch) to be a pain.  I've never found a great way to explain it.  Some students get the whole Knit Off Purl On, Purl Off Knit On thing but many don't.  Then there is my general dissatisfaction with the results of grafting in pattern.  (A bit of a side note...I can spend hours and hours trying to find a solution to a knitting problem that can not be solved.  For example, when I knit my first sweater I had trouble getting over the fact that the armhole on the right side was longer since you bind off on the RS of the back and on the left side you bind off on the WS.   I eventually got over this.)

I put grafting in pattern in that same category since it always results in a half stitch offset which just drives me crazy.  I've learned to get over this as well.  I was working on an infinity scarf for a birthday gift that required grafting in pattern and I stumbled across a video that had the clearest and simplest description of grafting I'd ever encountered.  Jodie Gordon Lucas has a video in her website which I think will click for many knitters.  (QueenieKnits).   It covers any combination of stitches you might encounter (except for K1P1 ribbing or garter which are special cases).

Most Kitchener instructions begin with positioning the stitches to be grafted on two needles, one in front of the other with the wrong sides together.  Jodie's explanation is to look at the stitches as pairs. If they are the same type of stitch (two knits or two purls), you go into the first stitch in the same direction as the type of stitch (knitwise into a knit stitch), then you go into the second stitch in the opposite direction.  If the two stitches are different, a knit followed by a purl) you go into the the stitches in the same direction and the first stitch determines that direction.

Note the length of the paragraph above.  It is short.  That is why I like this method.  It is so simple and easy to remember.  Here is my video:  Grafting in Pattern

Now for the disclaimers about grafting in pattern.  I can't say I've done a ton of research on the topic but most do not mention at all the half stitch offset.  TECHknitter is the exception.  Just how big of a deal is this?  Well, most of the time you are grafting in pattern you are working with some sort of cable pattern or ribbing.  The good news is that the texture of cables and ribbing tend to hide those nasty offsets.  If you look at the photos below you can see that the offset isn't visible in the first.  You only see it in the second if it is stretched.


In an actual project it is barely noticeable.

Here is a photo of the infinity scarf I knit. I haven't woven in the ends yet.  Do you see the offset?



Here is a closeup of the area I grafted.  Can you spot the offset here?



I've just decided this doesn't bother me.

As I said above, two stitch patterns which require special handling in grafting are K1P1 ribbing and garter.  I'll do a video in my next entry on K1P1 ribbing.

KNITTING SALON
Salon will be on Saturday for a change.  The time will be 1:30 to 3:30.  Hope you can make it.

CURRENT PROJECTS
I finished up another birthday present (except for weaving in yarn tails.)


I love this stitch pattern.


I'm finally getting a start on my project for Cast On.  I'm using RedFish 3 ply and size 2.25mm needles.  This is the bottom border.  Beehives are above the bees.  The colors will reverse for the top part of the sweater and the bee design will change.  The honeycombs will interlock.  The photograph doesn't do the colors justice.  I'm knitting this flat as I find it easier to maintain good tension on the floats.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Ugly Bind Off Stitch--Tip of the Week--05/12/17

I'm a week late making posting but it has been a busy couple of weeks.  Getting the magazine out is really a lot of work.  It was released on May 11.  The due date for Fall proposals was the 10th so it all starts again today.  We've selected the designs so I'll spend next week working to get the yarn to the designs and sending out contracts.  We are back on schedule after the reorganization so Winter should be easier!

STUDENT NEWS
Lessons are arriving more regularly which makes me happy.   Reviewing knitting is a break from the publishing work.  Keep up the good work.

TIP OF THE WEEK
I've discussed this topic before but I have more insight on the topic due to some research done by a former Co-Chair of the Masters Committee.  Suzanne Bryan is the most analytical knitter I know. She did a very thorough discussion of the topic in her blog.  My tip is the shorthand version.  

I don't even have to put in a photograph to demonstrate what an ugly last bind off stitch looks like since there isn't a knitter I know that doesn't have this problem.  If you don't have this issue you can take a peek at the last blog entry I did on this topic.  I have a good example there.  Ugly Bind Off
The suggestions I made do work but a better and easier solution is to wrap the first few stitches on the row before the bind off the "wrong" way.  This tightens them up and solves the problem.  This video shows the basic technique:  Avoiding the Ugly Bind Off Stitch

Here is the final result.



I recommend you look at Suzanne's blog on this topic for the complete discussion.  Knitting Suzanne's Blog Entry 

KNITTING SALON
Salon will be on Sunday.  Yes, I know it is Mother's Day but the final Metropolitan Opera is tomorrow.  It is my favorite opera...Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss.  It will be a blissful 4 hours and 40 minutes.  

CURRENT PROJECTS

I'll be doing the Fashion Framework Lesson for fall.  It will be on texting gloves.  I'm also doing a stranded sweater with RedFish yarns.  It will be a bee motif. I can't leave the bee chart alone.  I've redone it about 10 times.  Hopefully each redo is an improvement!  I haven't got any of the yarns yet so I've got time to finish up some things.  This extremely boring garment is for me.  It is made with Shibui Linen in my favorite color.  It is replacing a sweater coat I've had for close to 15 years which is looking just a bit ratty.


This is a birthday present for a friend whose birthday was in March.  Yes, I am that far behind.  It will be an infinity scarf.  The yarn is Anzula Luster, color Iris...heaven to work with.





Friday, April 21, 2017

Weaving in Ends at Selvedges


George has been enjoying the nice weather.  He's too big to fit in the windowsill. Other than lounging he has been busy getting into my yarn.  He had left a trail of cashmere all through the house.  I've been getting ready for the photo shoot tomorrow.  This was a very short design cycle and I am still waiting for two boxes.  They are supposed to arrive today...fingers crossed. 

STUDENT NEWS
The lessons are starting to arrive.  I reviewed three yesterday.  I have blog entries for everything in the lessons.  You might want to check them before starting to knit.

TIP OF THE WEEK
The tip this week was a special request.  When you are weaving in ends into a project which won't be seamed, you have to figure out how to work them in so that they will not be noticeable.  (If you have seams or an edge where stitches are picked up, bury the ends there.)  Scarves, blankets, shawls and swatches for courses or the Masters Program are the type of projects where this is a concern.  I've already done an entry on weaving in yarn tails at the Cast On or Bind Off edge but if you are adding a new skein or changing colors, this can be a problem.

The rules for weaving in yarn tails is that they don't show through to the RS, they stretch with the fabric and they don't pull free.  This photograph shows several ends.  There is a color change in ribbing and in the stockinette.  


What you do not want to do is to just run the tail up the selvedge stitch.  It can pull free and it isn't elastic.  Weaving in ends in ribbing is easy.  I've done a blog entry on this topic as well.  Weaving in Ends in Ribbing.  If there is stockinette stitch, use the duplicate stitch method.  


Here is the RS of the work.  The tails do not show through to the RS even where the yarn is a different color.  Here is the video showing the technique.  Weaving in Yarn Tails.


KNITTING SALON
Salon will be on Sunday from 2-4pm.  Tomorrow morning we are having the photo shoot.  I'm hoping I can still get to the Met's Simulcast of Eugene Onegin.  

CURRENT PROJECTS
I finished up the infinity scarf for Mira at Baah yarns.  I really like how it turned out.




I also finished the Buff for Elff at Redfish.  It is double knit.


I spent a day last week charting a design for the Fall issue.  I haven't done a stranded sweater with Redfish for awhile.











Friday, April 7, 2017

Picking Up Double Bands

Since my last posting, we managed to get Cast On uploaded.  This time it went a lot smoother so I am hoping this trend continues.  We are trying to get back on the previous publication schedule so I've been working on Summer at the same time.  The good news is that all of this hard work will pay off for Fall.

STUDENT NEWS
It is odd but I haven't received many lessons to review in the past two weeks but I've got quite a few new students.  I imagine things will pick up soon.

TIP OF THE WEEK
I got a message a few weeks ago from someone wanting my advice about how to improve the looks of an applied I-cord edging.  I had to laugh.  This is something I have failed to masters.  I've never been satisfied with my ability to do this type of edging and being the person I am, I've spent hours researching it.  My solution is to replace an I-cord edging with a double pick up band.  I like them better.  Again, this is a personal thing.  I'm not trashing I-cord edgings, just my ability to do one I'm happy with. 

Quite a few years ago, I was working on a baby sweater as a gift and I thought it would be nice to have the band look as nice on the WS as it did on the RS and after research I discovered Katharina Buss' method in Big Book of Knitting.  The problem with her method was that you picked up the stitches as normal and then got a second needle and found the bumps of the band on the WS.  Since the sweater was knit on Size 2.5mm needles and was in a dark color, I found that if I wrapped the yarn around not only my project needle but also a smaller needle held behind the fabric that I had stitches on both side of the neckline.  I teach this is a finishing class and students really love it and find all sorts of uses for it.  I've used it for a band similar to an I-cord for many projects. 

The following photos show a variety of ways to finish off the double band.  These two photos show the RS & WS of a double pickup.  To complete the double bind off you have to work the stitches on the front needle with those on the back.  In this case, a three needle bind off is used. 

If you want something that more closely approximates an I-cord, you can use a Kitchener stitch to close the stitches between the front and back needles.


In this sample, the stitches have been bound off purlwise.



The basic technique is very simple but any time you are using multiple needles it seems more complicated.  This video shows how to work the technique:  Double Pickups

SALON
Salon will be on Sunday from 2-4pm. 

CURRENT PROJECTS
I finished the skirt and top.  I haven't blocked the top yet.  If you look closely you can see all of the stitch markers still in the top.  I haven't written the pattern yet.  I don't really take notes.  I write the pattern from the markers.  Now I have time for other projects!


Friday, March 24, 2017

Hems and Waistbands

I had a wonderful trip up to teach at the Dayton Guild.  It was my second time there.  I really enjoyed myself although it was a long day.  I've spent a lot of time uploading patterns to the Spring issue.  Is should go live early next week.  We just need to put the finishing touches on it.

STUDENT NEWS
My students let me have an easy week.  I only got two to review!  I made good use of the time.  I feel like I have been chained to my computer.  I figure it takes about 3 hours per pattern and article.  That doesn't include the time spent on emailing designers and yarn companies.

TIP OF THE WEEK
Another self-serving tip... I actually thought ahead to the Summer issue.  I'm doing a skirt, top down, and I wanted to do the waist band so I can try it on.  I might actually keep this one.  When you do the waistband of a skirt you have to make it elastic enough so that you can put it on.  There is no way you could just cast on (or bind off) for the waist band.  I learned this the hard way the first time I did a skirt without an opening.  I generally knit skirts from the bottom up and just graft the live stitches during the finishing process.  This time I used a provisional cast on and when the waistband was done I put the stitches on a needle and did a three needle bind off without the bind off.  This is very elastic.  As I knit the front to the back I inserted the elastic.  That is another thing I learned the hard way.  It is a miserable experience if you try and insert the elastic when the waistband is almost done.  

The first step is to do a provisional cast on.  I generally do the crochet chain method.  The photo below shows where I am putting the live stitches on a needle.  I generally do a turning row.  For baby projects or socks I might do a picot edge.  (I've done videos on picot hems.  Check the index.)



Next you fold it over and knit together the stitches from the front side to the back side.  For my own projects I almost ALWAYS use my super pointy Chiao Goo needles but I tend to use wood needles to do this.  Using three needles is a big pain especially when the stitches slide off.



Here is photograph of the final product.  The photograph after that is inside of the skirt that I am working on.  If you look close you can see the row marker I put in the skirt to mark an increase.




KNITTING SALON
Salon will be early on Sunday...11:30 am to 1:30 pm.  I'm going to the MET simulcast of Idomeneo on Saturday.  It is a treat after all my hard work this past week.

CURRENT PROJECT
Before I got the yarn from Classic Elite for the design, I started on the scarf project with the Baah yarn.  I decided to do a provisional cast on and then leave the top stitches live.  I'm going to knit a second one to match with the colors for the flowers reversed.  I will close both ends with a three needle bind off.  I want matching edges.  The inside piece will have to wait until I finish the stuff for cast on.




 

Here's the skirt.  It will be mid-calf length.  Blocking is very necessary!  It is MUCH fuller than it looks in the photo.