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Archive for March, 2014

nordic rose knee high finish 1

When I finished these “Nordic Rose” knee highs, I found that they were a bit loose for me.  At first, I just washed them in the washer and put them into the dryer to shrink them a mite.  That helped a little but they were still a tad to big around the ankle.
To compensate, I pulled them up higher, which left me with a ribbed band that was a bit long.   The fix-fold it over, encasing  1/8 th inch elastic bands to secure them around the top of the calf.

nordic rose knee high finish 2

Because I had striped the ribbing, I was able to use a crochet hook to slip stitch the opposing purl bumps  that formed the black strips together (top of photo) to form a casing for the joined  elastic band.  The next step was to slip another elastic ring over the sock in into the area just under the first casing.  Using the crochet hook again, I slip stitched the top edge of the stocking to the base of the ribbing.

The real lesson here is that because the stockings are a bit looser, and they have the elastic rings in the top to pull them in, they stay up all day.

The next time I make this design, I will plan my casings in the ribbed( using #2″s)  area, use the #3 needle for the calf area before the decreases, then return to the #2 to finish the stocking.  That extra stitch per inch in the calf area, allows the knitting to move with you, without seeking a path of least resistance to the ankle- just like water flowing down hill.  The secret is to make them long enough to have the elastic ride above the largest calf portion, so that it pulls in just below the knee.

Below are the charts for this stocking.

Nordic Rose Knee High Pattern

Nordic Rose Knee High Chart

Nordic Rose Heel, Toe, and Border Charts

Happy Knitting-

KT

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While waiting for the postman to deliver my gorgeous yarn to make the evening purse I have planned, I decided to play around with this intriguing stitch.  But first, I had to come up with a cast on method that would allow me to work in the round from the get-go.

First, I tried my usual provisional crocheted chain.  It worked OK, as I made the first  hand bag of my design, but it still wasn’t what I was looking for.  It was very difficult to properly align the main “V” design in the pattern when knitting the first row of stitches picked up from the provisional chain.  I did it, but I was still looking for an easier way to begin.

After playing around for hours, I finally think I have something workable.  Below is a photo of my efforts.

honeycomb stitch -two color

This sample I did using a #9 needle and Sports yarn.  I wanted to see the stitch definition.  You will notice that I gradually tried using two colors.  This affect was really simple to create, as all I had to do was use the purple on my purl rounds.

Now to the cast on-

honeycomb stitch -cast on set up for purse

The photo above is the bottom edge of my sample.  I accomplished this by beginning with a knitted cast on, plus one extra stitch.  When I had 21 stitches cast on the needle, I knitted across the 21 stitches, then pulled out the cord of my circle needle between stitch 20 and 21.  With the right side up, and the cast on edge away from me, I began picking up 19 stitches in the loops at the bottom edge.  Once on, all I had to do was set up for knitting magic loop in the round, with the wrong side facing up.  For this sample I just began my first round on NA, knit 1, knit in st below, then repeated this sequence across.  the second half of the round on NB, was a repeat of the first section on NA.   The effect was that there was no definite seam line and the pattern seemed to flow right out of the bottom of the sample.

If you have never attempted this stitch before, you might want to check out the illustrations in the pdf I have uploaded for you.  I hope my drawings help.  They are an attempt at helping you to recognize that long strand that makes this pattern stitch so great.

Honeycomb Stitch Illustration

Happy Knitting

KT

Here is a photo of the purse I finished for my grand-daughter.

butterfly handbag

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Since my last post, I have been playing around with the idea of double knitting the handbag. Below is a sample of my efforts.

Double Knit Hand bag Sample

Right side- Honeycomb

Wrong side = Stockinette

double knit honeycomb sample

Above is the outside (or right side) knit in the honeycomb stitch.

double knit  hand bag inner lining

Here you can see the lining of the handbag in white.  It is knit in  the stockinette stitch.  It really wasn’t as hard as I thought it might be.  You only have to work with both yarns every other round.  The second and fourth rounds require that you work the yarns separately, as the honeycomb stitch is purled in those rounds.

The Stuffed I-cord

Now, the next sample is the result of working out the idea of a “stuffed” I-cord.  This creates a true cording that will stand up along the edge, and is worked from the back side of the fabric.  In this sample I cast on 3 extra stitches, connecting the 4th st with the 5 fth by knitting them together through the back loop.

stuffed I-cord

*I just knit this up on the spur of the moment so I knitted the I-cord onto a swatch I had been working on, so that’s why you see the wrong side of the fabric.

Before bringing the yarn across the back I inserted 3 strands of the purple.  To keep it in its proper place, I only had to make sure to bring the working yarn(white) under neath the 3 strands before pulling it across to knit the next section of the I-cord.

stuffed I-cord - 2

Here is a top view.  You can see that the tube is nicely rounded.  I am definitely going to try it on one of my pillows.

I will also use the same color yarn to fill the center, that way nothing will show through.  You could also use commercial cotton cording if you prefer.

Just thought I would share.

I can’t wait to get the yarn for the final version of my handbag.  🙂

KT

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honeycomb handbagThe photo above is in the development stage.  I have combined the Honeycomb stitch, I-cord, and stockinet to come up with this design.  The purpose is to create a small bag for just my wallet and lipstick, etc, to take with me when going out for an evening.

honeycomb handbag- inside

As you can see, I knitted the inside in white.  Why?  I want to find what I am looking for without having to turn on the lights.:)

This bag has no seams, except the inside join in the bottom, and that was accomplished by flipping the edges to the backside (purl), joining them with a three needle bind off.

The rolled edge on the flap and the strap are created with an I-cord.

The flap has the honeycomb stitch on the right side and with stockinet stitch as the liner-constructed in the round.

The basic bag construction incorporates provisional chains of waste yarn,  short row shaping for the corners at the bottom of the bag, and knitting the Honeycomb stitch in the round, as well as back and forth.

At present, I am trying out a double knit version, so as to eliminate the need for knitting the lining separate.  By separate, I don’t mean detached.  Why?  Because all additions in this pattern come off those “great” provisional chains, so I have live stitches to begin the next section.

If you have been following this website for a while, you know that I always use this method when possible, as I base my pattern engineering on the short row heel and toe idea, and working in the round when ever possible, as to avoid seams.  I used the I-cord method described on this website for the strap.  If you want to see that, just type in “I-cord” in the search box.

I will be making a final copy of this model in black Galileo sports yarn from Knitpicks.  I will be using a silver for the lining.  The model above was made from leftover sports yarn, (from different dye lots) using a #5 circle needle.   I used about 1 1/2 skeins of the main color for this mock up, but I will probably use the full 2 skeins of the black, as I will be making the strap longer( about 30 inches).

I will post the complete pattern for you to upload as soon as I finish the final copy.

I am sending this one to my grand-daughter to play with.  I think I might even add on of my Pansies…….?  Hummmm??????  or a Butterfly………..? I think she will love it- that is if mom doesn’t snatch it first.

It has been a fun project.  I can just imagine making one of these for each one of my “evening out” outfits.

KT

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Finishing up a project is very rewarding, and for me, is not a “get it done” thing, but more of a “see how neat you can make” thing.  I have learned to take my time, concentrating on the details.

In the case of this Fair Isle design, this means securing those long floats we discussed in my previous posts.  So before proceeding with this part of the task I have a couple of things to remember-

1)  check to make sure that all my loose stitches have been secured

2) check the end stitches of the long float areas to see if they have become loose.  If they have then I will pull the float in the back toward the center of the diamond to take up the slack and secure it close to the beginning or ending of the float first before attempting to secure the middle.

3) use only a single ply or 2 of the background color for stitching down the yarn floats.  In the case of this sock yarn, I am using 2 plies of the red.

Below is a photo of one of the large rose sections that I am presently working on.

long float tie down

Using a sharp needle, I pick up a few thread of the red background yarn, then stick through the middle of the black float, repeating this move across the desired area, pulling the tie down strand just tight enough so it lays smoothly and stretches with the knitted fabric.

I usually begin at the bottom to the top of the diamond, working about 3/8 inch from the left edge.  After weaving in the ends of my thread, I repeat the process for the right side.  Once the sides are secure then I work on the center area if needed.  Below is a photo of one diamond that I have finished.

long float tie down finished

You can see that it is very hard to see the tie down yarn, but every black float in the picture is tied down securely, yet will move freely with the stocking.

In step #2– if you find that after you have secured your floats about 3/8 inch in from its beginning and end, and still have loops in your float as in the photo below-

loose loops 1

Here is what to do.  First, if possible using a dp needle, carefully equal out the excess across the span.  Next, lay the work across you leg, give it a bit of a stretch, then using your needle and single(or two) yarn ply begin weaving across the middle of the affected area, as in the photo below.

loose loops 2

Repeat this process with with each span. You will notice that this time I am using the black yarn.  Why?  I ran out of red. 🙂  But I’m not concerned because I am only picking up a tiny bit of the red yarns in the background, so it will not show through.

Below is a picture of the finished diamond.

loose loops 3

The extra yarn in the loops has been secured and will not be moving back to form loose stitches at the color change on the right side.

Happy Knitting-

KT

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In my last post I illustrated in photos my understanding of one-handed  double knitting- meaning carrying both yarns in one hand.  That say,  today I wanted to share with you what other little gem I observed as I was in the middle of finishing up my double knitted heel.

I noticed that if I was careful to move my wrist and index finger as one unit when “throwing” the yarn (English), my yarns stayed in place, making the purl stitch much easier to complete.

keeping the yarns in order 1

As you can see in the above photo, I have just completed making my knit stitch in red.  You will also see that the alternate (black) is to the right, as it should be.  Now in order for this to be in the same order when I bring my yarns forward between the needles, I must lift my index finger up and to the left to go around the needle, but at the same time I need to turn my wrist and follow it, instead of just giving the yarn a toss.

keeping the yarns in order 2

In the photo above you can see that not only my finger, but my whole hand is turned toward the left.  Now when I come down between the needles the yarn is still in the same place, and ready for me to purl the second half of the double knit by slipping the needle tip between the yarns as I demonstrated in the previous post.

I also tried this using Continental style knitting while carrying both yarns in the left hand.  The only difference is that the primary or MC needs to be the one on the bottom.  And… in this case you only need to move straight forward between the needles to pick up the back yarn to create your purl.  Either way, with practice, the even tension in my double knitting has become very evident.

One more thing- if the pattern requires a change in colors, I reach under the previous MC, to retrieve the new one.   In doing it this way, the alternate color falls into its proper position.

It works for me.

KT

 

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While double knitting the toe and heel on my Nordic Rose stockings, I decided to try holding the yarns in one hand.  Why?  Because, all methods so far, have always yielded an occasional uneven stitch.  I don’t like that. 😦    There are  instructions on the net for holding the yarns separated on one hand, but for me it was very awkward.

After thinking about this problem for a while, I started really paying attention to how the yarns lay in my right hand, and I discovered that if I made sure that my main color(black) for the knit stitch was to the left of the alternate color on my right index finger(or on top), I was able to move right along, smooth transitioning from knit to purl, while maintaining an even stitch tension.

Below are some photos of the process I used.

dk knitting-setting up for new row

In the photo above I have just slipped the knit and purl of the short row of my heel, and am preparing to work on the right side row.

dk knitting with one hand -1

Since black is my main color, I made sure when I picked up the yarns with my right hand that black was to the left of the red, or on top.

dk knitting -knitting the first stitch

You can see in this photo that I am picking off the black for the first stitch.

dk knitting- setting up for purl stitch

Now that the knit stitch is completed, both yarns have been moved to the front in preparation for the purl stitch in red.

dk knitting -picking up yarn for purl

To pick off the red yarn to complete the purl stitch, the right needle tip passed between the two yarns, as my right hand move to the left to wrap it on the needle to complete the purl stitch.

dk knitting - finishing purl stitch

The purl stitch is now completed.  Once done, both yarn are moved to the back, between the needles.

Also- I decided rather than working with the balls of yarn in each pocket of my stranded knitting bag (see free pattern page for upload), I opted for single strands about 2 yards long.  Why?  It makes it easier to refresh your yarn position in the right hand (English), or left(Continental).

When your strands are not attached to their respective balls, they get less tangled, and it only takes a few seconds to pull out a single strand to straighten everything out.  Then the strands get down to about a foot left, I simply “spit” splice on another addition.

*Note- the one thing I noticed when using the “one handed” method is that you need to make sure that the yarn from your knit stitch (MC) is laying over the purl yarn when they are swung to the back in preparation for another set of stitches. If not, then you caught the MC when you attempted the purl stitch.  The solution-take it out and do it over.  I have done this many times.  Now I quickly glance at the yarn position before I move on.

Hope this is of some help.

KT

PS-thought I would upload the photo of my results.

dk knitting - results from one hand method

Quite often when knitting double knitting with two hands, every other row is tighter, resulting in ridges in your knitting.  To me, the method above seems to bring a much better result.

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