Friday, March 29, 2019

Selvedge Tension Issues

To distract me from all the knitting and writing I am supposed to be doing I decided to sort my button collection.  A month or so ago I bought a large box of buttons from a woman who was selling her mother's odds and ends.  I figured this was a good time to sort through all of those I've bought over the years primarily from Dusty's Vintage Buttons (if she has a booth at a show, definitely visit).  The photos represent the tip of the iceberg.  The first box is a SMALL part of my mother of pearl  buttons and the others are bakelite.  I've got quite a few boxes and many more to go.

Student News
I've reviewed quite a few lessons and received many course orders.  It seems a lot of knitters plan on working on their skills over the spring.

Tip of the Week
Again, what I've been seeing in the lessons has prompted this discussion.  I've reviewed many lessons where the knitters' overall tension is very nice but there is a problem at the sides only. This is a different issue that the entry I made last year about ugly selvedge stitches (link).  This tension issue is where the stitches next to the selvedge stitches vary in size.  It is very unattractive particularly if the edge is to be seamed or is next to a band.  

I've been working with non-wool fibers for the Summer 2019 issue and it is more of an issue with inelastic fibers.  In the sample below, worked in 100% cotton, the lower part of the swatch shows what this issue looks like.  The first photo is the RS and the next photo is the WS.  Note the gutters at the bottom of the swatch.  

There is an easy fix you can try.  For most knitters, if you tighten up at the beginning of every row and loosen up a bit at the end of every row, you will eliminate this problem.  However, you must be careful when beginning the row.  I've seen knitters who tighten up so much BEFORE beginning the row that all they do is draw the yarn from the previous row making those stitches even smaller.  What I generally do is work the first two stitches normally and then work the next three stitches more tightly.  When I get to the end of the row I use just the needle tips to work the last three or four stitches and I try not to slip them too far down the needle barrel.

Here is a video showing this technique:  Tension issues at the side

Knitting Salon
I was thinking of having Salon on Saturday but the Metropolitan Opera's simulcast is Die Walkure so I'll be at the theater for 5 1/2 hours.  Salon will be on Sunday but I'm not sure of the time yet.

Current Projects
I finished up a few late Christmas gifts before starting on the Summer 2019 projects.  I made a skirt and top set with 100% hemp.  I can't say it was fun to kit but the drape on the skirt is amazing.

Here is a closeup of the puntas edging.

Here is the top.  I CLEARLY need to steam it before the photoshoot.  (I used some of my vintage buttons...)

Next up was the Confident Beginner project which accompanies Binka Schwan's Skill Building article.  This one was on double decreases worked on the RS and WS.  I used the yarn left over from the Intarsia Top in the last issue.  I found an interesting stitch pattern with a 5 row repeat which meant that the rows would alternate on the RS and WS when worked flat.  It was perfect for the scarf.  I used a provisional cast on so that I could work one side with CDD decreases and the other with S1k2tog psso decrease.  

The colors in the photo above are more accurate but here is what it looks like at the cast on.

I've finished the baby sweater but I'm still working on the child size.  Then I'm done.

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