Friday, February 24, 2017
What's wrong with this picture? It is February 24th, that's what is wrong with this picture. It looks and feels like mid March. (By the way, this isn't my yard but a neighbors.) I feel responsible for the weather. If I hadn't knit all those gloves, mitts, and hats, there would be snow on the ground.
I've got quite a few new students and lessons are slowly arriving for me to review. I've had some lovely lessons lately which has been very nice.
TIP OF THE WEEK
I decided to do a tubular cast on for the sweater I'm knitting for Cast On. There are several ways to do a tubular cast on but I get the best results when with the crochet chained method. The problem with this is that most sources will tell you that you can only work it on an uneven number of stitches. If you are doing K1P1 ribbing and it will be seamed, this means you have to either add or remove a stitch since the pattern won't line up if you have an uneven number of stitches. I decided to try and add a stitch while doing the cast on. It was mindlessly easy. I just made an E loop at the end of the cast on. I thought it might not look very good but it fit in just fine.
Most instruction will tell you to work the first stitch as a knit stitch and then with the yarn held to the front slip the next stitch. Does it really matter if you knit the first stitch? No. I decided for this sample to purl the first stitch since the loop from the crochet edge sort of looked like a purl bump. The world did not come to an end.
If you've worked a tubular bind off before you know that you continue to work one stitch and slip the next for at least two rows. I decided to work this for three rows. Again, the world did not come to an end. Here's a photo of the waste yarn removal.
Here's the final product. Notice that there is a slight bump at the lower left edge where I made the e-loop. This will be enclosed in the seam.
Here is the link to the video: Tubular Cast On with Even Number of Stitches
Salon will be on Sunday from 2-4 pm. I'm finally getting to one of the Met Simulcasts. They are doing Dvorak's Rusalka which I have never seen. While everyone in Lexington will be at the game I'm going to be in the theater!
I finished up the vest and skirt. I just finished blocking the skirt yesterday. I still need to weave in the yarn tails, etc. but it was finished enough to put on the mannequin. I decided to do a tubular cast on for the sweater I'm knitting for Cast On. I still need to steam it out a bit in places (look at the skirt!)
The sweater is almost finished. I'm using Baah Sonoma in California Poppy. This color reminds me of my mom. She loved bright colors and she always had California Poppies in the yarn. They are such a sweet flower. The body is finished. One side has a lower neckline and I designed it so you can wear that in the front or the back. The sleeves will be picked up and the cap will be shaped by short rows. They'll be 3/4 length. I used a tubular bind off for the necklines. This is the front (or back). I think I like the lower neckline in the back myself.
Friday, February 10, 2017
All of the yarn for my Cast On projects has arrived. I spent a lot of item getting the yarn to the other designers. It can take multiple emails and lots of follow up emails. I think one designer (in Canada) has not got her yarn yet but she should have it soon.
George and Petipa tolerated each other a few days ago to enjoy a rare spot of sun.
I didn't get many lessons to review this week. It has been fairly slow. I did get several new students, however. I'm thinking of changing my policy for non-US students. Postage has got so expensive. What Naima, my French student suggested was to hold of mailing the swatches back until the course was complete. We do add a bit onto the cost of the course for non-US but it doesn't really cover the postage costs. I'll keep you posted.
TIP OF THE WEEK
This week's tip, again, is self serving. The designs Binka and I are doing both require stitches to be cast on at the beginning and end of a row so I decided to do a video on how to do this. The most common reason for this technique is adding stitches when a thumb gusset is complete. I rarely add stitches for this as any method you use adds too much space. I generally just work from one side of the opening to the other and then use the slack yarn between them on the next row to create loops for the stitches on the next round.
When knitting flat this isn't an option; stitches have to be cast on at the end and beginning of the rows. No matter what technique you use, the cast on edge is going to be either sloppy or a bit bulky. The good news is that in the majority of projects, this cast on edge is either going to be seamed or used for stitch pick up so its appearance doesn't matter.
E or Loop Method
This is the most common method. I'm not going to discuss HOW to do this (the video shows how to do it) but rather the results. Anyone who has ever used this method knows that you get a lot of slack yarn between the stitches as you work the first row no matter how tight the loops are (that just makes it harder to work that first row). The photograph below shows this method.
The advantage of this method is that it is easy and it isn't bulky. The disadvantage of this method is that loops can be very sloppy and oversized. It won't provide much stability to the edge. Notice how large the selvedge stitches are at the join. Again, this edge is generally finished so it won't be noticeable.
Knitted Cast On
Another method you can try is the knitted cast on. It provided a bit more support to the edge but it is still fairly sloppy. It is easier to work the first row with this method than the E cast on.
Cable Knitted Cast On
This technique produces the best looking and most firm edge. This is the method used for horizontal buttonholes for that reason.
Here is the link to the video demonstrating these techniques: Adding Stitches
Salon will be on Saturday from 2:30 to 4:30 this week. I realize that this will conflict with the game (if you are coming you know what game I am talking about) but I am driving to the airport on Sunday.
While waiting for the Cast On yarn to arrive, I knit another texting glove. I made a pair earlier but I decided I wanted the fingers to be as long as my fingers. This way they won't get cold but I can push down the glove fingers if I want to type. By the way, Maris, I do plan to write this up as a pattern once I finish up my Cast On patterns.
I'm doing a vest and skirt in Shibui Rain (the color is Pollen which seems a perfect choice for Spring). I've finished the body, I just need to do the bands. The stitches on the neckline will be picked up first and then a wide band with mitred corners for the front and bottom bands. Stay tuned for the completed project. Doesn't look like much now. You can see in this side view that the back is longer than the front and the sides are vented.
Her is the front.
I'm using Baah yarn for the next sweater I am doing and when I talked to Mira, the dyer, at TNNA I was wearing the Decoration Day sweater I designed years ago. Mira said she'd love a stranded project and I told her if she sent me the yarn I'd work something up. She sent two different types of yarns. I'll work on this when I finish the stuff for Cast On.