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Archive for the ‘lace knitting’ Category

I mentioned in my last post, that I was thinking about designing a different edge, or finishing round for my English Rose tablecloth.  What you see in the about photo is that new design.

I wanted my last rose leaf to be free and overshadowed by the busy background lace. As a result,  I worked out the following method to individualize the leaves.

I began by working each leaf individually, as you would with straight needles, adding the connecting sts to only the right side edge of the leaf.  Using a spare 24 in circle needle of the same size, I then picked up the corresponding stitches for the left side of the leaf, and proceeded working across the “bridge” (connecting pattern stitches), to the next rose leaf.

Even though this is a bit of work, I find that using my extra 47 inch circles of lesser size work perfectly as carrier needles.  I pick up each completed unit on these needles, (about 3 leaves to a needle). This allows me to free up the stitches on the main 60 inch that I am using for the body of the tablecloth.

I do think that this process could be used for various shapes you might want to incorporate into designing an special edging.  As long as the work is supported on the “carrier” needles, they are easy to pick up when you are ready to finish the final rounds.

One thing I did do, was to use a different color needle tips for my needles; blue for the main/working needle, and purple for my  carrier needles; that way there is no doubt which one to pick up.

In the photo above, I am set up with my main (blue) needle tips to begin a new leaf.

When I complete the 40 leaves, I will knit all the stitches back on to my main needle, then finish the edge.

For those who might be interested, I am going to writing up a tutorial for this edging, and will upload it when I am done.

 

Happy Knitting- KT

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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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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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