Friday, March 2, 2018

Better Bar Increases

All of the designers finally got their yarn and are busy working on their designs, including me.  I've got to pick up the pace if I am going to finish everything. My New Years Resolution was to write pattern as I go along and so far, so good.

I've heard from quite a few students who have wanted the updates.  Again, I'm willing to send off the materials to any former or current student.  If you are working on Level 1 of the Masters, you may want to take a look as I've provided links to my blog on quite a few topics where you need sources.

This week's tip is prompted by what I've been seeing in swatches I'm already getting for the revised materials. In the earlier version bar increases are only worked in ribbing.  I added an extra credit swatch where they are worked at the sides of a swatch as you would for sleeves.  A very common problem is that the knit stitch next to the bar is oversized.   Look at the photograph below where I have placed a label to the left of 5 bar increases and compare a and c to b, d and e. Notice that in a and c the stitch next to the bar is closer in size to the stitches below and above.  In bd and e the stitch next to the bar is overlarge.  They aren't very attractive and are far more noticeable.  What causes this?  When knit the stitch, if you do not tighten up a bit before you knit into the back of the stitch, the knit stitch gets overlarge.  Now look at c, bd and e and see how the stitch below the knit stitch to the right of the bar is pinched.  It isn't as pinched for a.  Why?  I stretched out the stitch when I knit into the back of the stitch.  This made the stitch smaller.  If you tighten up when making a bar increase AND use just your needle tips when knitting into the back of the stitch, you can produce a much better bar increase.  When you are using this increase in ribbing it is not as noticeable.

Here is the link to the video:  Better Bar Increases

I've heard from quite a few students who have wanted the updates.  Again, I'm willing to send off the

Salon will be on Sunday from 1:30 - 3:20.  I'm really hoping I will have the sweater I've been working on finished by then. 

I've almost finished the Baby Butterfly Duster.  If you look at the photo below you can see I'm working on the sleeves.  When I work top-down short row sleeves I work one cap and then do the next sleeve to make sure they match.  No, those aren't pom poms hanging off the sleeves but small yarn balls.   There is a deep pleat in the back.  Am I a lousy photographer!  I guarantee this looks much better in person.

I worked gauge swatches for the next projects while I was blocking the fronts.  (I block the pieces before I put in the sleeves.  I'll have to redo it after I get the sleeves in).  The gray swatch is for a dress and the striped swatch is for a a French fisherman sweater to go with an article on single row stripes with circular needles.  I tried out M1 increases near the top.  I still haven't decided what increases to use.  I have a bit of time to decide.


  1. Great info! I do have a dumb question. You mention "salon" in all your posts and I have no idea what is happening there. Can you enlighten?

  2. I have a group of friends that come over and knit every Sunday. If you are ever in the Lexington, KY area on a Sunday, contact me by email and I'll let you know the address.