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I idea of having to taking out stitches because of a mistake you can’t live with, or maybe just changing you mind, can be a daunting task.  However, it can also be an instructive one.

I have been sharing the process of knitting my English Rose tablecloth with you in the previous posts, so I thought I would share the “tinking ” lessons I learned when  I decided to extend the double rose leaf portion of the pattern.  I had to take out my extended rose leaves, and then about 12 rounds of the previous pattern to restart an additional set of the double leaves pattern.  I also knew that I would have to adjust the pattern as there were only five sets of the double leaves in the original version.

Tinking Lessons– Lay your work on a table where it will have no stress on the stitches, especially if you have not done this before.  As for me, I pulled my coffee table up to my favorite chair to share the weight of the work.

Take it out from the wrong side, working right to left, holding the thread/yarn in your right hand as you would for knitting English style(throwing the yarn).

  1.  Use your left index finger and thumb to pinch just below the stitches or stitch groups to prevent them flying off the needle.
  2. Use the index finger of the right hand to gently lift the thread/yarn up to release the knitted stitches.
  3.  Use a clockwise rotation of the right needle tip to pick off the stitches.
  4.  Use smaller size circle needles.   I knitted with a 2.75, so I used 2.0 or below to tink with because it allowed me to see the stitches and the path of the thread/yarn more easily.
  5.  Remove the 2 legs of a “knit 2 together” by inserting the needle from back to front, lifting the index finger of the right hand slowly, as you pinch the base of the group of stitches with the left hand thumb and index finger. (See photo below)
  6.  Stitch groups such as YO, Sl 1, K 2 tog, psso, are processed the same as a K 2 tog, except that when you release the stitch group you need to rotate you left have forward to pick up the third stitch of the group.
  7.  Stitch groups as SSK, Sl, 1 K 1, psso;  Sl 2, K 1, psso, (left leaning) just require you to insert the right needle from back to front before you lift the yarn with the right hand to release the group.
  8. Relax, don’t look at the clock.  When you finish your project you will be proud of it.

In this photo I am getting ready to pick up a K 2 tog.

Above, I have identified a sl 1, K 1, psso.

In this photo, you can see that I inserted my needle from back to front.  I will proceed by placing my thumb and index finger below the stitch group and then gently raise the yarn up with my right hand index finger.

  •  If for any reason the stitches come off out of order, you can simple keep the pressure on the “pinch” you have in your left hand, then fix the position of the stitches.  As long as you have secured the base, the stitches are not going anywhere.
  • If you are in double about the needles position, tip the area of concern toward you with the left hand.  At a look at the right side.

Happy “Tinking”  – KT

One more thing-  I found that dividing my tablecloth into smaller segments and knitting my circles in rounds( knitting off one end to the other), allowed me to deal with less bulk at a time.  Also, the stitches were not crammed together on one 60 inch needle.  I now have the tablecloth on three 60 inch needles.  It also gives me the opportunity to lay it out on the table to see the results of my additions to the pattern.

And, yes…… I am writing it down.

 

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Since I didn’t want this tablecloth 72 ins, I decided to work it until I thought I had about 60 inches.  However, the only true way to know when I reached that point, or near it, was to block it.

I learned how to do this when working on the Princess Shawl designed for the Queen of England.  The lady who published the pattern advised checking out what the final blocked edging looked like.   Her advice was, “When in doubt, block it out.”  The only stipulation is to have all your stitches on needle cords, and secured with stoppers.

*Even, if your project is rectangular, the circle needle cords work great.

For this project, that meant using my other 47 inch circles needles, from 2 on down.  Since I have an abundance of them, this wasn’t an issue.   I just dunked, squeezed, toweled and dropped it on my bedroom floor, which I had covered with a heavy cotton quilt, and used the burgundy sheet to create contrast.

**I did put my attached working thread in a Ziplock bag to keep it dry.

The carpet, and pad underneath gave me a perfect base for pinning.  I also used different colored tips for the original 60 inch needle, so when it is dry, I can just pick it up and start knitting the stitches off the other needles.

Since I now have the right measurements, I know exactly how much further I want to knit.  I also like the scalloped edge, so I will add the stitches necessary to maintain the stitch count to make that possible.

Don’t be afraid to try it.  You can do this with any size project.

When I do my final wash and block, I will use the tape measure to ensure that each point is exactly the same distance from center to outside edge.

 

Happy knitting- KT

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At this point of my knitted English Rose tablecloth, the stitch count seems daunting.  So I opt for thinking of it in units, or pattern repeats, which in this case equals 40 per round.

With this in mind, I decided to share some of my tracking tips, especially for those who are intimidated by this kind of project.

First, I think about only one repeat at a time.  I always have a colored piece of thread of yarn placed at the beginning of each round.  I also place a piece of contrasting yarn in the location of each addition of thread, just in case I need to do some work on them later.  Doing this also lets me know how far a ball of thread/yarn will go–  I am using Knitpicks Curio on this project.

Secondly, in this pattern, I am creating rose leaves.  Each leaf unit has a prescribed number of stitches.  In the photo above, I have illustrated this leaf top.  Each end of the leaf has 2 stitches knitted together, one leans left(slip one, knit one, lift slipped stitch over knitted stitch);  the other leans right(knit 2 together).  In between these two stitch combinations, 7 stitches are knitted, altogether making a count of 9 stitches in the leaf unit.

Why is this important?  When I finish a leaf, I always count the unit to make sure I have the appropriate stitch count.  If I don’t, then something is wrong and now is the time to check it out, not after I have knit 2000 stitches.  

Another check point, is paying attention to the divisions in the repeat.  In the photo above you see the division between the two leaves leaning in opposite directions.  That division always has a center stitch.  

I pause here again to make sure the appropriate stitch lands in the center of this unit, if not, I count back to see what is wrong.  Most of the time it is that I have forgotten a yarn over.  If this happens in an even round, I simply pick up the bar between the adjacent stitches and knit one to erase the error.  If it is in the present round, I tink back and put it in.

 

This photo shows the unit that divides the set of rose leaves.  Here again there is a line of center stitches that you can use for a guide to make sure your stitch count is right.

I often take just a few seconds each repeat to check all my stitches before I advance to the next repeat.  Trust me, it saves you lots of stress and headaches.

My next test will be placing the entire tablecloth on many circle needle cords.  Why?  I am not sure I want the cloth to hang down more than 6 inches from the top of the table, so I will stretch it out, with it still on the needles, then I will get a better idea how I want to finish it.  I am not enamored with the finishing rows of this pattern, so I am toying with the some alternative ideas of my own.

 

Happy knitting- KT

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As I have been working on the English Rose tablecloth,which I posted a few days ago, I realized that one of ways that I save myself a lot of frustration is to highlight different portions of each unit repeat.

In the photo clip above I have highlighted the beginning of the “new leaf” in green, and the “old leaf” in yellow.  This helps me know where I am in the pattern repeat, should I lay my work aside.  The un-highlighted portions are the connecting patterns and divisions.

If it is something you haven’t already tried, you might find this method useful if you have trouble keeping your eyes focused on the proper line of instructions in your pattern, especially a lace pattern.

Just thought I would share.

 

Happy knitting- KT

 

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I am sorry to say that I do not like working with double pointed needles.  That is not to say that I haven’t been successful knitting with them, but I did not enjoy it.

I recently remodeled my home and put new windows in the music room, so with all that new woodwork framing those beautiful windows, I just had to have a new white round tablecloth for the  table that sits in front of the window.

I found just the pattern in “Modern Lace Knitting” by Marianne Kinzel.  The pattern I chose was called “English Rose.”

Of course, the first instructions were to pickup the double pointed needles to start the center.  However, my inclination was to make a crocheted Magic Loop-which I did, replacing the DP needles with a 47 inch circular needle.

Here is a photo of my work in progress.  In the photos below I hope I can explain the process I used simply enough that you will be encouraged to try it, if you haven’t already done so.

Create your Magic Loop.

Insert tip of circle needle into crocheted loop.

Using the crochet hook, insert hook through Magic loop, yarn around hook and draw through to front, yarn around hook again and draw through loop on hook.  Place this loop on the knitting needle.  I repeated this process 10 times, as this pattern calls for 10 stitches to be cast on.

Take up slack in the Magic loop.

Once all the stitches are on the knitting needle, I pull the needle all the way to the left, leaving only a small amount of cord to my right.  Next, I divide the stitches up as instructed in the pattern.  In this case there were 3 sections, 4, 4, and 2.  I simply bent the cord and pulled it through, allowing a loop to form.  I did the same for the next 4 stitches, then the two that remained were my last unit.

Once this was completed, I closed the Magic loop to form the center ring.

To begin the first round, pull the left needle into the “start position.”

Pull the right needle though and make a clockwise circle, positioning the needle in the start position to begin knitting off the needle in your left hand.  Be sure to make the first stitch snug to the cord of the right needle..

Personally, once I have knitted all the stitches off the left needle, I pull my right needle through so that the stitches rest on the cord.  Next, I pull the left needle back so that it is in position to knit the next group of stitches.  I adjust my loops for comfort, before I begin the next section.  I have never lost a stitch doing it this way.

When you first try this it is best to work on a table top.  It helps you to keep the work from twisting.  I admit it takes a bit of practice, but I think it is worth it.  I also don’t have to go back and fix the center.

Here you can see the loops as they have diminished in seize.  Once the needle is full, I changed to a 60 inch circle to finish the project.

 

Happy knitting-  KT

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This hat is a combo of knitted lace on the crown, crocheted Magnolia for accent, and crocheted braid for the inside brim trim.

I made this for a friend who loves to wear hats.  It gave me the opportunity to explore different techniques, one of which was securing  20 gauge wire to the under edge of the brim with the “Fagot” stitch.

Secondly, it was the first time that I knitted lace for a crown trim.  I liked the delicate look of it.  It is also very light weight, and that really counts when it’s on your head.

Thirdly, I learned a new way of keeping track of where I am in my knitting charts.  I am surprised I didn’t think of it before.

010Yes, a “post it note.”

I used 7 repeats of this pattern to encircle my 24 inch hat.

Crown Lace Chart

Here is the tutorial for the Magnolia

Magnolia tutorial

The Brim trim was a simple crocheted braid.

Chain 1, chain 3, work 2 dc in base chain, ch 2, work 2 dc in base chain.  Chain 3 , turn.  Work 2 dc in chain 2 space, chain 2, work 2 dc in same space. Chain3, turn.  Repeat until you have braid long enough to cover the circumference of the hat brim.

The one thing that really helped was having my “head” available to work on.  I thought I had a post that gives you instructions on how to make one for yourself, but alas I can not find it.  So…………………

Measure you head!!!!

I took a foam head and cut it down the center from top to bottom through the center of the nose and insert an 1/2 inch sheet of foam into the space, then I cut  the head again, across the ears and down, and added another 1/2 inch piece.   I shaped it with a grated and smoothed it off.  You may not need a whole 1/2 inch.  I do believe you can get 3/8 inch at the craft store.

 

Enjoy!  KT

 

 

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Since I have been into lace knitting lately, I have been perusing the net for all the lovely patterns available.  One of my favorites is the Estonian Star Flower.

I worked up a swatch from one of the available charts; however after blocking it I had the desire to open it up a bit.  To that end I  added yarn overs to the section between the flowers.  The result was a more smooth knit, that didn’t have to be blocked out as much to really see the design.

As I have in mind a project that needs to be washed more often than a curtain, or table cloth, or simply needs to be more user friendly for the person I am making it for, I came up with the version below.

 

001

The one on the bottom in gray, is my own swatch, which I have written instructions for and will share with anyone who wants to try it.  My swatch includes a half of flower at the sides- I like things even.

Click here if you would like to have the instructions.

Expanded Estonian Star Flower Pattern

Happy knitting- KT

 

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It has been a while since I knitted lace, but I got inspired this week.  My daughter needed something to throw on quick for a instant “dress -up” affair.  The first think I thought of was a lace tunic to throw over a tank top.  It’s light, but elegant.

As I searched the net for ideas I ran across a beautiful diagonal lace tunic from Europe.diamond lace tunic

Perfect!  It even had a chart for the lace pattern below the picture.  The only problem was the symbols.  They were not at all familiar, so I went on the web and search for all the international knitting symbols.  I found them on “Knitting Fool.” However, when I match them to the pattern I knew something was wrong. How?

As any seasoned knitter will tell you, if you add and extra stitch or yarn over and you want to keep the stitch count even, you have to balance the count by knitting together two stitches somewhere in the course of the row, or the stitches won’t add up right.  When I looked at the chart carefully there was no doubt that the stitch count had to be maintained.

Now what?

The yarn overs were represent be a large “U”, but the K 2 tog, looked like a symbol that indicates to make 2 stitches in one stitch, thus adding an additional stitch besides the yarn over- that wasn’t going to work.  Then I notice in a close up that the ridges between the yarn over holes were more raised and defined than usual, so I sat down to work it out myself.  I love this pattern.

008

Here is what I came up with.  It involves a new stitch (for me, at least).  I created the raised ridge by knitting deep and slipping the next stitch(right or left) over the top to achieve a SSK, and a K 2 tog.

The knit 2 tog (deep) is created by knitting in the stitch below, then placing that new stitch back on the left needle. Next, slip the stitch to the “left” of the new stitch over the new stitch and to the right, releasing it to lay at the base of the new stitch.  Return the new stitch to the right needle and proceed with the chart.

When an SSK is required, the first stitch is slipped( knitwise) on to the right needle, next; knit deep(into the stitch below)into the next stitch to the left.  Pass the slipped st on the right needle over the newly made stitch.  It is not hard, just take s a bit of getting use to.  I really like the affect.

knit deep

Knitting “deep.”  I learn this term from a German pattern that I had a while back.  It simply means to knit into the stitch below the one you usually knit in.  When you do this you can see that it makes a more defined hole in the lace, as it releases the stitch made in the previous row.

I have cleaned up the chart and have uploaded here. This swatch has 3 added edge stitches on each side.

Russian Lace tunic Design

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

 

Happy knitting- KT

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Waynes snake sox 3

These are the snake skin socks that I have been working on for my brother.  In previous posts I have given you the chart for the leg portion.  In this post I will share with you my method of keeping these socks up where they belong all day long.  And he said that they indeed stayed up all day long.

One of the secrets of making knee highs stay “up” is making them big enough at the calf so that they just lay nicely on the skin.  Once past the calf portion I worked a 2 by 2 rib for about  1 1/2 inches or until I reach the indent at the back of the knee, putting in lifelines to mark my casing stitches that I would pick up later.

Since this pattern is establish for 121 sts, I have 3 knit stitches as my center back.  I will be making a yo buttonhole for the 1/4 inch elastic to be inserted when done. As my gauge for these socks were 8sts to 11 rows, I calculated that a 5 or 6 rounds(rows)would be close to, or slightly over 1/2 inch.

In the photo below you can see the gray lifeline (#1) that I established at round 7 using #10 crochet thread, picking up the purl bumps only, on the back side of my knitting. These were picked up after I knitted round #8, so that they would lie directly under my needle cord.

Once this is done work another half inch, then repeat the same process.

008

Once you have finished you 1 1/2 inch rib, now you need to complete the inside casing.  Knit 2 rounds.  Beginning at the center back 3 sts; knit 1, yo (twice), K 2 tog.  This YO will make your buttonhole opening for the elastic.  Next round , center three stitches; K 1, k YO, K 1. Finish ribbing round.  Continue your rib until you are a little more than one inch from you from you top(second) life line.

Next, using a smaller circle needle(I used a #o circle needle) pick up the sts from your second life line from bottom top, beginning at the center back, where you have 3 purl bumps.  Line up both needles, placing about 1/4 of the total sts on the steel part of the needles. Your knit sts on the front side should line up with the purl pairs on you pick up needle.

waynes sock top 1

Work rib across as before, but this time knit the knit stitches from the front needle with the purl pairs on the back needle.  Purl the next 2 sts from the front needle only.  Repeat, until all sts are knitted for this round. Release the pick-up needle.

Work the next half inch as before, making buttonhole opening for elastic in center back.  Pick up the next stitches off the next life line.

waynes sock top

Line up the needles.  This time bind off the knit stitches with the purl stitches on the pick-up needle.  bind off the next purl stitches on the front needle by themselves. Repeat on all stitches are bound off.

014

Now they are finished and ready for the elastic to be inserted into the button hole at the center back.  I have found that 1/4 inch elastic works very well.  I like it better than the round elastic, as it seems to hold up better.

Below is a detailed description of this process using my gauge.

I knitted 17 rounds of rib to my desired height.  My life lines were put in on round 7, and 12.  Rounds 18-19 were worked even.  At round 20, I made my YO opening in the center back 3 stitches. Worked 3 more round even, then stopped and pickup the stitches off my nearest lifeline.  Next I worked 2 more rounds. Next round ,worked buttonhole(YO), then worked next 2 rounds even.  Picked up stitches off last lifeline, and cast off.  I inserted elastic, overlapped it one inch, and stitched it by hand. My brother had previously sent me the measurement for the elastic, so I knew I was in the ballpark.

 

Happy Knitting- KT

 

 

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I know that it has been a while since I posted, but the holidays have kept me busy with singing and composing for my local community choir; however, I have been busy working on a pair of Tabi boot socks for my brother.

As he is a hiker, he wanted me to design a rattlesnake motif for the outside of the leg portion the upper sock, and opted for a purl textured diamond design on the inside of the leg.  Very interesting challenge.

Because I wanted it seamless, I opted to use my “seamless cables” technique for the back closure.  Just a hint of a cable of 5 stitches plus the 2 outside purls for the frame.  It worked great.  Here are some photos.

You can see that the cable is very subtle, so is the diamond design on the inside leg.

 

rattlesnake-sock-chart-upper-leg

Working chart

The above is just a sample of the chart I worked up to knit the  upper leg portion.  On the right side I have charted the 7 stitch cable for the center back of the sock.   The connection is made at the first purl stitch stitch of the cable.  If you are interested take a look at the “Seamless Cables” using the search box at the top of the page.

You can work any kind of cable pattern for this purpose, just keep it to 5-9 sts.

Just thought I would share.  KT

 

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