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Posts Tagged ‘color changes’

As most of you know, I love knitting something challenging.  That is why I am “into” knitting relief sculptures.  To that end, I thought I might share my thought process in planning for this type of knitting.

sparky pillow finished

 

The above pillow design (Sparky) has become the number one attraction in my home.  Everyone who comes has to pet the “dog.”  I can see that I will be sending this one to the groomer quite often.

As a result of the reaction to the realism of this design, I took on the project of creating another”doggie” pillow for one of my singing companions.

This is Angus!

angus chart plan

This time I will not only raise the dog, but I want realistic folds in his favorite blanket.

relief sculpture fans

So-besides adding an extra ply of yarn to the areas of the dog that I want to raise, I will create increases on one side of the ridges (solid black lines) which will allow me to create life like folds in the blanket surrounding the subject. Fans A,B, and C will be folded under, and the ridge will be on top. Fan “D” is just the opposite. The additional stitches forming the out side edge of the fan ( dotted line) will fold up to resemble the natural fold of the mounded fabric. The areas immediately adjacent to the fans will be filled to soften the incline to the folds.

* To see how I fill these areas, go to my post,”One Doggie Pillow, Done!”

OK! Now how will I mark the chart? Humm????

I will designate the ridge stitches with a solid circle.   I will place a marker on the each side of the ridge stitch.  As I add stitches I will move the fan side marker. to indicate the added stitch.  This way, I won’t have to mess with the chart, as these stitches will not be counted, I will simply knit the next stitch in the color indicated on the chart.   All the additional stitches will be added in the color of the ridge stitches.   I plan on keeping my fan width at no more than one inch, or 9 stitches at its widest part.  I will post the results of my experiment when finished.

Another possibility is to pick up stitch along the side of the head and knit the ear separately.  Hummmmmm…???????

I have ordered a  “fudge” colored kid mohair to be worked in with the varied colors on the dogs coat, and will use white mohair to add his graying hair on the face.  This should be a fun project.  I can’t wait to get started.

 

Just sharing-  KT

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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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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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As I was working on my second Nordic Rose stocking I decided to experiment with some Armenian knitting in the sole area.  Below are the results.

The first picture is of the area I constructed by “stacking the floats.” What’s that?  I make sure that I weave the  alternate yarn in at the same place( vertically) every round.  The result is a ridge of stacked stitches that are slightly raised above the stitches on either side.

armenian knitting - stacked ridges

As you can see the ridges are quite visible.  Now, this could be a problem if you want a smooth finish, but it could also be used to form a ridged textured fabric if so desired.

The second method, or alternate floats, give you a much more even texture.  This requires that you recognize how to set up the first stitch of the round to off set the floats.  I will see if I can draw up an illustration soon, but for now, the results are in the photo below.

armenian knitting -  alternate floatsYou can see in this (not quite so clear) photo that it is much smoother than the one above.  The alternate floats eliminate the ridges.

Now compare the above methods with using Fair Isle with long floats. Not as sturdy, but definitely the smoothest.

fair isle with long floats

Why did I use Armenian knitting on the sole?  Simple.  It makes a very sturdy fabric.   It provides a way for you to construct your socks so that the areas that have the most wear are reinforced.

Just passing this on-

Happy Knitting!

KT

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This is actually post script to my last post as I realized that it might be advantageous for me to share my” re-arranging the needles” ritual.

1) Leave yarns lying between the needles.

nordic rose - rp needles 1

2) Pull right needle through, allowing stitches to rest on cord.

nordic rose - rp needles 2

3) Select point of needle exit, usually between the 12-13 stitch, or where the stitches change colors. Pinch needle together to form a small loop between the stitches.

nordic rose  - rp needles 3

4) Pull the right leg of the cord through to form a loop.  Release it.  Pull you needle back to the right to allow the chosen stitches to rest on the needle. Turn work counter clockwise.

nordic rose - rp needles 4

5) Next, bring both yarn over the top and to the back of the right needle, so they are out of the way.

nordic rose  - rp needles 5

6) Now it is time to adjust the left needle.  As it is already resting on the cord, select the section of the pattern you want to work on, then pinch the cord together at this point and gently pull the cord through to form a loop.

nordic rose  - rp needles 6

7) As before, you will pull the metal part of the needle through to the left, so that the chosen stitches now rest on the working part of the left needle.

nordic rose  - rp needles 7

8) Gently push your stitches on both needles into the “go” position.

nordic rose  - rp needles 8

Now you are on your way again.

This is my ritual, I am sure you all have your own.  I hope it helps!

One more thing- I always turn my work clockwise.

Happy knitting!

PS- I uploaded a practice chart on my last post for you to work with.

KT

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While working on my Nordic Rose stocking I did a little experimenting.  Why?  The pattern for this stocking has large areas of one color, and kind of stretches the Fair Isle method to its limits.  How to handle this problem became my challenge.

The first chart section I constructed using the Fair Isle method with short floats, say at least every 3/4 inch, and established breaks on my one circle needle for NA(needle A-front) and NB(back).

The second portion of the chart I changed my needle positions to suit the pattern, allowing me to work across the design portion without any ladders to worry about.  I also did not weave in my alternate yarn color as before.   The results were stunning.

fair isle comparison

The upper section of the above photo was done in the second method, repositioning the needles as I worked around the chart.  Of course, another benefit of this method is that you yarns don’t get tangled as they remained in the same place all the time(black on the right, red on the left).

The lower section of the example where the floats were kept shorter, shows slight dimples( see photo below)in the surface. This happens no matter how loose you leave the float.

fair isle with short floats

If you use the second method and leave your float too loose, the stitches at the opposite ends of any section of the color can loosen and affect your gauge.

fair isle with long floats

The remedy-

By securing or capturing the alternate yarn at the change of the new color, and then again one stitch before the change at the other end, the float will stay in its proper place.  To make the capture of the alternate yarn on the far end of the float smooth, first stretch out the stitches to the right, then bring your yarn(black) firmly across the expanse-

1) wrap as to knit,

2)wrap main color(red) as to knit

3)unwrap alternate color(black)

4)complete stitch with main color (red).

The next stitch will be the new color (black).  Now the float will stay in place and lay horizontally(with no discernible dip) across the back of the red stitches.  I always tip the work forward to check the tension of the float before proceeding to the next section.  I make sure that everything stretches out equally.  Taking the time to do this will save you lots of headaches later.

You will notice that the diamond above is very smooth.  The long floats on the inside that I deem might pose a problem when sliding on the stocking will be tacked down with a needle and one ply of the background yarn ( in this case, red).

The process of moving the needles as I go has  eliminated the need to deal with the “ladders” of  circle needle knitting.  One thing that makes this easy is that this pattern always has a center back pattern, and the last stitch of the round completes the right side border of this section.  This lets me know where the round starts without using a marker.

Below is a photo of a new needle position, as I retain about 10-12 stitches on my right needle, and prepare the left one to knit across the rose diamond section.

nordic rose-repositioned needles

It works for me!  Give it a try. Below is a practice chart for you to try.

Nordic Rose float Practice Chart

Of course, I could do this pattern in Intarsia, as the center back stitches make an excellent point for a turn around.  Hummmmm????

Happy knitting!

KT

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