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.

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

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.

Salon will be on Sunday from 2-4 pm.

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.)

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

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.

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

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.