Monday, June 29, 2020

Grafting in Stitch Patterns

I am appalled that my last entry was in October of 2019!  It seems like yesterday.  I have the same old excuses...writing Module 2 of the Professional Knitter Certification, the Winter (and Spring and Summer!) issues of Cast On, the holidays, surgery, pandemic, etc. etc.  I've finally realized my schedule isn't going to improve as I'm now working on Module 3 of the PKC program and the Fall issue so I have to make time.

Student News
Another thing that has kept me busy is the number of lessons I've received to review.  I continued to review during the stay at home orders and I'm glad I did.  There would be such a backlog.  I am going to change where I post new students and completions.  From this entry on I will be posting this only in Ravelry in the TKGA forum.  There are just too many to list!

Tip of the Week
My tip this week is about how to graft stitch patterns so that the pattern is not disrupted at the seam.  How strange that this is also the topics of the Special Topics in Finishing for the Fall 2020 issue of Cast On.  Coincidence?  I think not. I discussed this in an earlier blog entry when you are grafting the TOPS of both pieces, say shoulder seams or the toe of a sock.  Here is that link:  Grafting in Pattern (at the Top of Both Pieces) When you use this technique there will always be a half stitch offset. 

If you are grafting the cast on edge to the top of a piece (say for a cowl) you can use a technique where there is no offset stitch.  In the discussion that follows my assumption is that you are familiar with Kitchener Stitch.  If not, it might be rough going.

To use this technique you must use a provisional cast on.  If you don't have a favorite method, you can check the index of my blog as I've discussed several ways to do it.  The photo below shows a swatch with the crochet chain at the bottom.  There is a 24 row pattern repeat and since the graft will provide a row of stitches, only 23 rows have been worked.

When you use a provisional cast on the stitches there is always one stitch less in the cast on edge.  There must be the same number of stitches on both ends.  You will need to create a stitch on one side of the cast on edge by pulling a loop from the selvedge to the needle.   Look at the close up of the cast on edge below.  Notice that there are 4 stockinette stitches on the sides but on the right side there are only 3 stitches on the needle below the column of four.  That is the side you need to "create" the stitch.

The procedure from here on is similar to Kitchener stitch.  You orient the needles with the stitches at the top of the piece on Needle 1 (the needle on top) and the cast on edge on Needle 2.  Note that there are now four stitches at the right side where I picked up the stitch.

Thread up a tapestry needle with yarn.  The preliminary steps are different from Kitchener.  Begin by inserting the needle purlwise into the first stitch on Needle 1.  Then insert the needle purlwise into the first stitch on Needle 2 and drop it (Purl Off) and then into the next stitch knitwise (Knit On).

After that you have to look at the stitches as pairs.  There are only four possibilities: two knit stitches, two purl stitches, a knit and a purl and finally, a  purl and a knit.

From this point on, you look at the first stitch on Needle 1 and at the stitch to the left to determine what type of stitches they are. The shorthand for the each procedure is below.

Knit Next to Knit
Needle 1: Knit Off, Purl On
Needle 2: Purl Off, Knit  On

Knit Next to Purl 
Needle 1: Knit Off, Knit On
Needle 2: Knit Off, Purl On

Purl Next to Purl 
Needle 1: Purl Off, Knit On
Needle 2: Knit Off, Purl On

Purl Next to Knit 
Needle 1: Purl Off, Purl On
Needle 2: Purl Off, Knit On

You repeat these procedures, depending on the stitches encountered, until the grafting is complete. The photograph below shows the completed graft. Notice that the stitch pattern is maintained.  Here is a link to the video showing the process:  Video


Knitting Salon
It will come as no surprise that I haven't had salon since February.  I had surgery in early March and as soon as I could get around again, the stay at home order was issued.  I'm very hesitant to have people over.  I couldn't live with myself if someone got sick. I'm firmly in the camp of Mask Wearers.  

Current Projects
I've knit so much since October, I wouldn't know where to start!  I've posted them to my designer page in Ravelry.  The Social Distancing Coat nearly killed me.  So many stitches, such small needles!  I'm currently finishing up my things for the Fall issue.  We had to make some changes since it was so hard to get yarn from yarn companies.  I decided to add a section for designers using stash yarn.  That was fun!  I may have to do it for the Winter issue as well.  I'm also working on the sweater students will knit as part of Module 3 of the Professional Knitter Certification.  I won't every photograph it as the students will knit it a part of a scenario of doing a sample knit.

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