Posts Tagged ‘stitches’

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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Well- I promised I would work on this, so here it is.

cake pan jacket

I used cotton yarn(Peaches and Cream), and 1 inch elastic (non-roll).  I also opted for a variegated MC (main color) and used a solid black for my CC(contrast color).

In the process of working on this I also discover how to make a alternating color cable cast on, which is match on on the top with and alternating color cast off, both edges mirroring each other.  I think it is pretty cool.

The main body of the knit is done in double knitting, which forms the casing for the elastic.  The elastic band is knitted right in, so when you are done-your done!

Below I have uploaded instructions for this project, in which I have included instructions for the “alternate color cable cast on, and off.  There is a swatch practice for you to use for establishing your gauge and practicing both the cast on, and cast off.

If you are not sure why you should make one or two of these “pan jackets”  then check out this post


Cake Pan Jacket

Happy knitting- KT

PS-Because of my discovery, I also can use this method to make straps for my purses.  Having the casing open on both ends will allow me to insert a piece of ribbon into the strap, stabilizing the stretching, and…..I will have two pretty edges to boot.  Yeah!!!!

Oh,just an observation-

I washed my jacket, squeezed it out, put it on my pan, blocked it out and let it dry.   Then  I  observed that the cotton yarn holds the moisture quite a bit longer than wool, so  I finally, tossed it in a low dryer.  It didn’t hurt it a bit.  I can’t wait to bake with it.  I will let you know the results.

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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.


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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!


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I just finished knitting a pair of infant socks for our expected arrival in about 2 weeks.  Since my daughter’s theme is “Jungle Pets,”  I decided to do an elephant head on the leg portion of the sock.  Below is the right foot.  I flipped the head chart for the left foot, so that they face each other.  If you noticed the color variation in the photo, it  is due to the fact that the sock is not quite dry yet. 🙂

elephant sock

I used the same method as I described in the “Seamless Cables Tutorial”   to join the outside edge of the design, so as to not have a seam in my sock.  The inner ears of pink are one area that I chose to use the Fair Isle approach, as it eliminated the need to add additional yarn strands to the design, thus cutting down the number of yarn ends having to be woven in at the completion of the project.   On this particular sock, I chose to interlock the rows at the color change on the right edge of the design.

cropped elephant sock

I have also discovered that it is advantageous to leave a longer tail when adding an additional yarn, as these shorter strands(double or single ply) can be used to add duplicate stitches for detail(such as the eye or added grey stitch at the bottom that opens his mouth a bit).

POINT!!  I don’t like to have any more yarn strands to weave in than is absolutely necessary.

When I find the time, I will try to write up a row by row tutorial for the charted design so you can become better acquainted with the technique, but for now, I just wanted to give you a sneak peek at what I did with it.

Happy knitting – KT

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The other day I was working on an idea for a new Mocassin slipper.  After turning over the one I was wearing, I decided to try and duplicate the shape of the sole.  How?  With short rows.

Dividing the sole shape lengthwise, I charted the short rows to achieve the upper half which ends at the toe edge.  Next, I flipped my chart and designed the other half, ending the final row at the back of the heel.  If you will notice there is a blue line of loops down the center;  that is the provisional cast on row.  Once the first half is finished, the provisional chain is released and the stitches are picked up to complete the second half.  Below is the result of my playing around.

If it looks a bit textured, it is.  The entire project is Twine Knitted.   The wonderful double layer will keep my feet warm and toasty.  🙂

The finishing round of this part of the slipper was a purl row, as it made a clean transition before starting the short row shaping for the sides.

After working about 5 even rounds, I marked off the front tow section and began to shape the back part of the slipper sides with short rows.  Once the short rows were complete, I closed the gaps, continued around to the toe section and ,decreased stitches at the front to create a much nicer fit.  The next section will be the top of the toe and a flap that lays up on to the instep.  I am thinking about doing a Fair Isle design for that.      Humm????????

It was during the process of creating the flap for my toe section that I decided to share the process I used .

This double layered(or lined) flap is knitted with straight sides, and single and double stitch portions to form the shape.

I have completed a tutorial with written instructions as well as a chart.  The idea is to get you imaginations going.  Short rows are not limited to sock heels, shoulder seams, and sleeve cap shaping.  This tutorial is a swatch practice that I hope will help you feel more comfortable with closing all sorts of short row gaps.

Below is a result of repeating the chart three times on the same original cast on.

I feel a hand puppet coming on!!!!!!

Short Row Closure Practice Tutorial

PS:  I will be uploading the slipper pattern when its finished.

This morning I added a PDF that might help you understand the way I design these short rows-at least I hope it does.

Short Row Designing

Happy Knitting


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I just finished a pair of socks for my husband.  He claims they are the best he ever had, and the first ones that he didn’t have to pull up after he wore them a while.  Wow, that is an accomplishment!  With that endorsement, I thought I would share my design with you.

First off, credit where credit is due.  I recently visited Cat Boudhi’s Sweet Tomato heel demo,  and… as always I can’t leave anything alone but had to see what variations I could do with the presentation.  As  result of my dink’n around, I came up with this variation on her heel design.


In her video, she works all her short rows in pairs of stitches, and in the first two wedges I did as well.  However, I began the second wedge several stitches to the left of the first, to spread out the stress.  The third wedge began to the left of the 2nd as well, but this time I use intervals of 3 stitch groups for half the wedge and finished up with 4 stitch groups (this flattens out the curve).   Varying stitch groups allowed me to shape the wedge to fit my husbands foot better.  Play around with this and you will see what I mean.  I also shaped my Twine Knitted toe cap with the same process.

As you can see I opted for a 2 by 2 rib to finish it off.  It worked very nicely.

Below is a PDF of the entire process.   If you have any questions, you know how to reach me.

Chuck’s Sock

Happy Knitting


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While working on a new set of moffit designs for a Ski Sweater, I decided to include a pine cone in my winter scene on the chest area.  To make the pine cone 3D, I used two tones of brown yarn, light brown for the tips of the seed and a darker brown for the inside portion.  You can see the results below.

Here is a photo of my “pine cone” bobble.  It uses the two colors I mentioned.

The Pine Cone Bobble

Unlike the normal method of making a bobble, each bobble is completed in one row and in one stitch.  You can vary the size of your bobble by simply adding or subtracting the number of loops picked up in the base stitch.  These bobble can also be made on knit or purl rows.  The method I use for making the loops is K 1, YO, K 1; or P 1, YO, P 1.

To make this bobble,using the light color,  pull up the number of loops desired (I used 5 here, 3 loops allows more of the dark color to show through), leaving the original stitch on the left needle, bring the second color(dark) under the first (as in Intarsia) and knit in the back loop of the stitch.  Next, using the tip of your left needle, lift all the light colored loops over the top of the dark colored stitch.  Now, knit at least one dark stitch before you make another bobble.  That’s it.

By varying the stitches (dark color)between the bobbles you can create the appearance of the closed or open cone, as cones open in response to the moisture in the air.   And.. in this case, at least, you are the weatherman.  Experiment!  Play a little!!!

When my winter moffit set is complete I will let you know.  It will be added to my “Patterns” page and will be available in my Etsy Shop.  The moffit set will include a chart for the bottom edge of sweater and sleeves, using Fair Isle, an Intarsia design for the chest area, and an combo of Intarsia and Fair Isle for the shoulders and top of sleeves.  I am very excited about it, and can’t wait to share it with you.

The Leaf Bobble

In the photo above, I used my “Cable Chains” (see my tutorial) to create the stem and a (special) bobble to make the leaf.  You will notice that the leaf bobble has been cabled to the right.  Cabling this bobble to the right or left during the 6 row process allows you to shape the leaf anyway you want.

To make the leaf bobble ,beginning on the knit side

Row 1 – Pick up 7 loops of green.

Row 2 – On the next purl row, slip all the green loops, cabling them in whatever direction you want your leaf to lie.

Row 3 – Divide the bobble into 3 parts as follows:  SSK 3 loops, K on loop, K 3tog.  Finish row .

Row 4 – Slip all loops (here again, cabling them in whatever direction you want this portion to go).

Row 5 –  Knit all three loops together.

Row 6 – Slip the single leaf stitch left and  cable leaf in whatever directions you want it to lean, and purl it with the background color.

Make a swatch and try it.  Once you get the hang of it, you can put them anywhere.

The neat thing about the”bobble” is that you can vary the length of your loops, carry (or slip) them over more than one row to elongate them, divide them, as in the leaf above, and cable them to make various shapes.  It is fun, and will peak your creative juices to find more ways to use them than I will describe here.

Have fun – Knit-tweaker


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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.


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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