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Archive for June, 2011

This has been a fun project.  I think it would make a great gift for the Chess player in anyone’s social circle.  It definitely would be different, and portable.  Just roll it up and take it along.

The picture above is my smaller version made with Palette fingering yarn from KnitPicks .   It measures 12 1/4 inches square, with the playing field measuring, 10 1/8 inches square.  Each interior square is 1 1/4 inch.

Here you see the opposite side.

The larger version measures 19 inches square with the playing field squares measuring 2 1/4 inch each.

This version was made with Patton’s Classic Wool.

This pattern is available at my Etsy store.  The pattern includes both versions, chart and instructions.

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As I was working on my new design for a felted Chess Board, I decided to experiment on some tension issues.  Being that the felted project did not require a perfect tension, I decided this was the perfect time to try to examine different way to hold the yarn.  Now, up front, I will tell you that I have a hard time with my left hand as I am loosing the sensitivity I once had to control the yarn.  In the past I have been able to maintain even tension in my knitting simply by making one wrap around my little figure.  It worked for my single knitting, stranded knitting with both hands, and double knitting.  Now, however, it isn’t working as well, and I knew I would have to come up with something more reliable.

Below is a picture of what happened when I used my old system.

You can see the contrast between the tight and loose rows.  This causes what I call, the “wave” affect.  It is not very attractive, to say the least.

The second picture is the result of one extra wrap around the little figure of my left hand.  The tension is more even, and I feel that I am heading in the right direction.  Will it ever be perfect?  Probably not. Ugh!   But…. then, I’m not a machine.

Coming Soon!

Here is a picture of the large version of my felted/ fulled Chess Board

This board was knitted  using Patton’s Classic Wool.  It finishes to about 20 by 20.

The sample at the top with the two shades of blue will full /felt to about one inch squares, yielding a board that will be between 11-12 inches square.- perfect for small Chess sets.

The pattern will include a detailed chart, and instructions.

Here is a sample of the chart.

Check back if you are interested.  I will be putting it on the shelf in my Etsy store soon.

Knit-tweaker

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While dinking around with a DK(double knitting) swatch, I finally worked out a “no twist” yarn edge closure that even I can do.  Now, I will say right off that it is not a new discovery, for I am sure someone has done it.  However, after reading and watching some of the offerings on this subject, I was a bit confused.  So… I decided, that either my ears were plugged, or my brain wasn’t functioning on full tilt when I investigated the subject.

Now, that said, here is what I have to offer.

After you have your set up row in place. tie the CC(contrast color) on loosely.

Row 1. ONLY– Slip the first stitch of the DK pair knitwise.  Bring both yarns to the front. Placing the MC (main color)yarn from the first knit stitch over the yarn(contrast color) of the purl.  Lift the CC yarn, while holding the MC yarn firmly to the left.  Purl the second Stitch of the DK pair with the CC.  Bring both yarns to back.  Continue across the row, working DK pairs till you have one DK pair left.  Knit the first stitch of the pair with MC.

Drop the yarn behind your work (the green one).

  

Pick up purl yarn (CC)and bring it to the left, under the tip of the needle and to the front.

 

Purl the last st.  Turn.

You can now see the captured yarn underneath the white bar.

Row 2–  With yarn in back, slip the first stitch knitwise.  Bring yarn to front and lay it over the needle to the right. Stick tip of right needle into purl st to left. See below.

Pick up yarn CC (contrast color)and purl the stitch.  Move yarn(green) to back.  Move MC(main color) to back.  Now you are set up to work across DK pairs.  Work all pairs to last pair.  Knit first stitch of last pair, drop yarn in back as before.  Pick up CC yarn, bring to left, underneath the needle, and forward.  Purl the last stitch.  Turn.

Row 3– Slip the first stitch knitwise, as before.  Repeat the beginning and ending procedure as for Row 2  throughout your project.  It works for me.  Maybe it will work for you.

 This make a nice slip stitch chain up the side, and secures the CC without any twisting or turning tricks.

OK, here’s the MORE part!

For the last few days I have been trying to figure out how to make a solid color band around a double knitted picture.  However that required that I have the same color yarn on both sides of the bottom, top and side edges of my project.  The bottom and top portions were no problem, as it only takes a separate strand of MC to be worked with the MC working yarn to produce the double sided solid frame of the same color.  The problem was how to connect the picture portion using two different colors to the frame edge stitches.  This method is also helpful if you don’t want all those different colors running down the trench between the two sides, causing extra unwanted bulk.

The problem was solved when I began to think, INTARSIA!   I realized that I could combine any amount of colors if I began to handle them as an Intarsia pattern.  The only difference is that I will be working both sides of the picture at the same time.  So… here’s the fix!

Here’s another of the “more” tips-

Double Knit Tension Problems

Most of the tension problems with DK seem to center around the “purl” stitch being to loose on the backside.  Practice definitely helps, but I’ve discovered that sometimes it take a bit of playing around with how your hold your yarn to tension it.  For me, (since I purl with my left hand and knit with my right hand) that means double wrapping the yarn around the little finger on my left hand.  This seems to keep my purl sitiches much firmer, and evens out my overall tension.  You might give this a try if you find you are having the same problem.

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This past year I was asked by a friend to duplicate a comercial knitted sweater.  Her husband had bought it for her many years ago and it was her favorite, but as all things do eventually, it began to show its wear.  So, I bravely, but reluctantly, said, “OK!”   Boy, was I in for it! 

First off, I had a devil of a time finding a yarn that came even close to the original.  Next, I had to find a stitch that would duplicate the one used in the sweater.  After searching for some time I came across a version of the “Brioche” stitch in an old Burda book that I had.  Now, I had it made- or so I thought. 

So…. what’s the point in this post?  Just because the pattern is in a book doesn’t mean it can’t have mistakes.

This beautiful slip stitch rib pattern instructed me to, ” YO, slip purl, knit two together.”  This basic sequence was to be  repeated every row to form a reversible rib pattern that lies flat.   Well, I did that, but the first time I tried it out on a swatch, the K 2 tog would not lay open like it looked in the picture.  I knew something was wrong, so I changed it to YO, slip purl, SSK.  It worked.  I had it made-well sort of….

Now I don’t know about you but when I see instructions to YO (yarn over) before a knit stitch, I bring my yarn to the front then knit the stitch to the left.  In this case, the instructions were to slip the purl, so I brought my yarn forward and looped it around the needle as I do if the next stitch to the left is a purl.   I will have to tell you that it worked fine accept in this particular case, I had to be very careful that my YO was snug, otherwise the tension of the slip stitch was very hard to control-in other words,  it was definitely NOT a relaxed knitting experience. 

 After finally reaching the arm hole on the back, I began to look carefully, following  the yarn as I knitted,  trying desperately to fine a better way of handling the stitch pattern.   As I did, I realized that the term YO (yarn over) was in error( or at least my interpretation of it), so I tried just bringing my YF( yarn forward), slipping the purl, then working the SSK for one row.  When I turned it around to start the next one, I noticed that the two stitches that were to be knitted together were already in their proper order and I no longer had to SSK them to get them to lay open.  From that point on I was able to yf(yarn forward), slip the purl, then knit the two stitches together.  The tension was also no longer a problem, and the move set me up for the next row.   My nightmare was over.  I could finally relax and enjoy knitting the sweater.

 Why all this blather?  If the pattern you are working on doesn’t look right, it doesn’t always mean that you have made a mistake.  Your knitting instructions could have been written incorrectly.  Terms means things.  Our understanding of them is very important, and I will say that I have discovered that many have different intrepretations of similar terms.  Also as a writer, it is very easy to assume your readers know what you are talking about, and many times the editors don’t catch these things as they are not actually knitting them.    In this case the YO(yarn over) slip purl, should have been written YF(yarn forward) slip purl.   What a difference  two little letters, can make.  Had I only known I would have saved many hours of pulling my hair out. Oh, well, live and learn.

Knit-tweaker

PS:  I also had to figure out how to handle decreases, increases and proper case on for the pattern.  What fun!!!!

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