Posts Tagged ‘tutorial’

Snowed In Collection

It’s cold out there! Have you been snowed in yet? Need a quick project or three to get you through until you can go outside again? Do I ever have the collection for you!

My Snowed In Collection is an e-book of 3 patterns each designed to be knit in the stretch of time you might be stuck inside during or after a storm. The neckwear patterns come in a range of estimated times and difficulties:

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Snowzilla is the fastest and easiest of the patterns. Very beginner-friendly, it requires only knits and purls with no shaping or fancy pattern stitches. It’s also a great way to use up some handspun or that unpredictable art yarn you bought at a show.

 

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Storm Cloud is the next easiest pattern in the collection, and due to its chunky-weight yarn likely to take about as long as Snowzilla. It does introduce a new-to-may technique, fishermen’s rib, with a photo tutorial. This extra stretchy, extra warm stitch is surprisingly easy to learn, and a good precursor to learning brioche.

 

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Cabin Fever is likely to take a bit longer than a weekend – you may want to save this one for a monster storm! When the cabin fever has set in, and you’re about to lose it, learning a new technique can be a great distraction! This beautiful two-color scarf pattern serves as a great introduction either to two-color brioche, or to brioche overall. The written instruction are accompanied by both a photo and video tutorial, if either technique is new to you. If you’ve already learned the stitches needed for fishermen’s rib with my Storm Cloud, you’ll have a head start!

All 3 patterns are available for purchase separately on Ravelry, but now through December 31 you can get the whole collection for the price of one pattern when you buy my e-book!

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Some Hints

So you’ve already seen hints of the fabulously green sweater design currently on the needles.

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But I’ve got some other goodies in progress too. Here’s a pair of hints for an upcoming e-book full of patterns that double as tutorials:

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And then there’s the design that’s ready for test knitting! I’ll be posting a call for testers in my Ravelry group next week, but if you’d like to get in early on a little springtime lace knitting, please let me know in the comments!

many pins

3-Needle Bind Off

The 3-needle bind off is one of my favorites for shoulder seams – it works well with short row shoulders and produces a sturdy seam without too much bulk. It’s also really simple! To begin, you’ll need live stitches on your two working needles, plus a third, larger needle. The larger size is important to keep your bind off from getting tight and puckering.

Step 1

Step 1

To begin, you’ll need an even number of stitches on each working needle. Hold the needles together with the wrong sides facing outward.

Step 2

Step 2

Insert your needle through both stitches as if to knit.

Step 3

Step 3

Wrap your yarn as for a normal knit stitch and pull it through. You will have one stitch on the right needle. Repeat steps 2 and 3, so you have two stitches on the needle.

Step 4

Step 4

Using one of the needles with live stitches, pull the second stitch over the first – just like a normal bind off.

Repeat steps 2 through 4 until you have one stitch left, then finish as normal. Easy!

Need a project to practice on? Try my Hyacinth.

Quick Fix: Missed Decreases

Last night, mid-hockey game, I realized I’d forgotten to decrease on the previous row of a WIP. Being way too lazy to rip back an entire row of a seamless cardigan, I simply “unknit” the relevant stitches and fixed them in the current row. I’ll let you in on how if you promise not to tell the Knitting Police! 😉

Observe:

mistake

Should have done an ssk on the previous row!

Here is the first mistake – a missing ssk. I am also missing a k2tog on the other side of the marker.

pulled

Pull it out!

I dropped the 2 stitches that should have been knit together, and pulled loose the little bit of yarn I used in the previous row to knit those 2 stitches.

ssk

Ssk those stitches!

Then I slipped both stitches onto the right needle like a normal ssk and used the bit of yarn I’d pulled loose to knit them together. This stitch will be a little looser than it would have been if I’d done it correctly the first time, but as long as you’re not doing it too often, the difference is slight enough that it won’t be noticeable at all after blocking.

Grafting Non-stockinette

I’m a big fan of Kitchener stitch, and like to use it to make nice, seamless joins in my stockinette. However, like most knitters I don’t always use stockinette. What if you’re doing sometime more complicated, where the fabric switches back and forth between knits and purls? Something like ribbing, or cables? Can you still graft? Absolutely!

First, a word about garter-stitch grafting. If you can already graft stockinette (click the link above if you need a refresher), you can easily graft garter. All you do is work the back needle’s stitches exactly the same as the front. So, your chant would go “knit, purl, knit, purl” rather than “knit, purl, purl, knit”. Both of your set-up stitches would be identical (as if to purl) as well.

Now, on to the “fancy” stuff.

Set-up Step: Look at the first stitch on the front needle. If it is a knit stitch, slip the needle into it as if to purl, and pull the tail through. If it is a purl stitch, slip the needle into it as if to knit and pull the yarn through. Basically, you will do the opposite of whatever the stitch on the needle is. For the first stitch on the back needle, match your yarn needle to the stitch (if the public side of the yarn is a knit, move as if to knit. For a purl, move as if to purl.)

set up

The order of your next steps will vary based on what you’re knitting. Pick the one that matches what you see on the public side of the next two stitches for each needle. This means that garter stitch and reverse stockinette are both treated as purls.

If your next two stitches are knits:

Work standard Kitchener stitch. Knit, purl, purl, knit.

standard Kitchener

If your next two stitches are purls:

Work as for the garter instructions above. Knit, purl, knit, purl.

garter graft

If your next two stitches switch from knit to purl:

This is the only situation you will work differently than if you were grafting stockinette or garter.  Both of your back needle stitches will be worked as if to purl. So, knit, purl, purl, purl.

knit to purl

If your next two stitches switch from purl to knit:

This is like working in stockinette. Knit, purl, purl, knit.

standard Kitchener

You’ll notice that your treatment of the front needle never changes – you always move as if to knit, then purl. Only your treatment of the back needle ever changes. Additionally, there’s only one specific situation where you don’t work the back needle as you would for stockinette or garter, and that’s when you’re moving from knits to purls. It’s really not at all as complicated as it looks. Try it with the step-by-step a few times, and once you’ve seen yourself do it once or twice it will quickly become intuitive. Go on, try it!

Need a project to practice on? Try my Brambleton.

Cabling Without a Cable Needle

I used to think cabling was an obnoxiously slow process, and I could never find the darn cable needle when I needed one. Then I discovered that I don’t actually need one, and my knitting life was changed forever. Cabling is one of my favorite knitting techniques, and since I’ve been on a serious cabling kick lately, I figure I’ll share the magic. Here are two simple cables you can make without a needle:

Right Leaning 4-Stitch Cables

Step 1

Step 1

Skipping over the first 2 stitches in your cable, insert the right needle into the front of the 3rd and 4th stitches as if to purl.

Step 2

Step 2

This is the heart-stopping part, at least the first couple times you do it. Pinch your first 2 stitches tightly, then pull the left needle out of all 4 stitches. As long as you’ve got a good pinch, I promise your stitches will not unravel.

Step 3

Step 3

Slip the 2 pinched stitches back onto the left needle as if to knit.

Step 4

Step 4

Slip the other 2 stitches back onto the left needle (also as if to knit), then knit all 4 as normal.

Left Leaning 4-Stitch Cables

Step 1

Step 1

Skipping over the first 2 stitches in the cable, insert the needle into the back of the 3rd and 4th stitches as if to purl.

Step 2

Step 2

Pinch the stitches tightly and (gulp!) pull the left needle out of all 4 of them.

Step 3

Step 3

Slip the pinched stitches back onto the left needle as if to knit.

Step 4

Step 4

Slip the remaining 2 stitches back onto the left needle (also as if to knit) and knit all 4 as normal.

Et voilà! Cable needle, thou art obsolete. 😉

Need a project to practice on? Try my Crush.

Tassels

I have worked late every day this week (and will work late again tomorrow), so forgive me if my posts are a little short lately. Since I’ve done next to no knitting this week and have little to post, here’s a little tutorial on how to create tassels for your scarves, blankets, i-cords, etc.

wrap

First, wrap the yarn around your hand a few times. If you’d like a larger or smaller tassel, you can cut an index card or bit of cardboard to the length you’d like. The more times you wrap your yarn, the fatter your tassel will be. When it’s as large as you like, break the yarn.

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Next, snip the bottom of your yarn loop. You may want to pinch the top to keep the yarn from sliding around.

hook

Next, cut another length of yarn and hook it under the center of your yarn arc. This is how you will attach your tassel to the knitted piece.

wrap

Wrap an additional length of yarn around roughly the top quarter of your tassel. You can either knot the ends of the wrap together and tuck it into the center of the tassel, or weave the ends back and forth through the wrap and hang them down with the rest of the tassel. The second option is easier to make pretty, but the first option is more secure.

That’s all there is to it! Attach your tassel securely to your knitted object via the loop at the top and enjoy!

Need a project to practice on? Try my Aeration.

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