Karen Clements the brilliant designer behind Knit 1 LA is up to something interesting on her blog. She has a tutorial going on with step-by-step instructions, along with photos and videos, on how to knit two socks at one time. She doesn’t use the same method that Melissa Morgan-Oakes does in her book 2-at-a-time Socks (i.e. a long circular needle). Karen knits one inside the other with traditional DPNs. I know. Pretty darn clever. Like anything in knitting, it takes a bit of practice, but this handy method can have some serious benefits in terms of speeding up the process. Just imagine how much easier the holiday gift rush can be!
Posts Tagged ‘knitting techniques’
Here’s a great online resource: Smart Knitting-Crochet. Their tutorial on How To Read Knitting Charts is super helpful (that’s a detail from it, above). You’ll find many good tips and a variety of techniques explained very accessibly. There’s an interesting piece on how to make a knit or crochet skirt that fits. A lot of new crochet info has been added recently, check this listing for info. Dina, who created the site, is clearly one of the generous people in the blogosphere.
I always knew that knitting pattern photos could mislead you, but thought schematics were tried and true. As I’ve progressed in my knitting, I spend more and more time contemplating schematics before I choose a pattern. When I realized that I liked to knit seamlessly on circular needles, it was easy enough to spot those— look for a circular arrows in the drawings, like Pioneer by K-Bomb, and not multiple pieces as seen in Norah Gaughan’s Wedgette. Then I confirmed that I preferred top down rather than bottom up construction when I knit (badly) Soleil by Alexandra Virgiel. (Note that schematic doesn’t have circular arrows, even though it’s knit in the round. Oops.) As I was pouring over Wendy Bernard’s genius book, Custom Knits, I realized that I was looking for schematics like this one for Ingenue (above). However, not every book and magazine is depicting the top downs like this, i.e. upside down, but that’s the way they should be since you start knitting in the bottom right corner of the schematic. Or have I got that wrong?
I’ve been working on the finer points of finishing up my cardigans. Mr. Greenjeans is all pinned down after my first attempt at blocking. Now I’m just waiting for it to dry thoroughly. I redid the button band on the little boy cardi, Keep On Truckin,’ picking up more stitches and that looks a whole lot better. Now I’m thinking about doing a buttonloop on it. The photo (left) from The Rainey Sisters’ blog shows what they look like. Ysolda and My Fashionable Life both have simple tutorials on making them.
It’s clear to me that I need to go to one of those finishing school classes. I completed my purple Mr. Greenjeans, and just about finished a second Keep On Truckin’ baby cardigan (above) and have run in to the same set of problems. I suck at picking up stitches. Unless the designer spells it out for me, I apparently can’t do the math. Both sweaters have the bad puckering which I believe comes from too few stitches being picked up. The bigger issue is that these button bands are too short, again, a function of not enough picked up stitches? Maybe, but I’m not sure. In the case of Mr. Greenjeans, it may just require blocking, which I have never done. The green sweater is awful Red Heart acrylic yarn, so no blocking possible there. I also murdered the buttonholes yet again. I understand how to do this by following Euny Jang’s advice, but I just did an ugly job.
OK, repeat after me: yarn has knots. Good yarn, bad yarn, cheap yarn, and really expensive yarn— all of it can have a knot or two in the skein. Why are knitters so surprised? And why do I read endless posts about how bad and horrible the yarn companies are for daring to join the yarn mid-skein? Enough. Deal with it. That’s why I always ball my yarn before knitting to find any knots. I just untie them and rejoin the yarn with a smooth tie that has 2 long tails I can weave in. Any project of any size is going to mean joining a new ball of yarn, so just handle the manufacturer’s knots the way you would with your own joins. Where’s the problem?
Not sure if this is a good idea or not because I envision sharp cutting edges, but Disney’s FamilyFun website/magazine has a how-to on tin can knitting. So does eHow (image, above) and Unplug Your Kids. It’s essentially the same concept as using a Knitting Nancy or spool knitter, which are mini versions of those popular plastic circular looms. Here’s how to control the gauge by spacing the pegs on your loom. Definitely check out Loom Knitters Circle magazine, Anne Bipes’ Loom Knitting blog and some FREE loom patterns here and also here.
Sometimes you mismatch without meaning to. Like when you use those variegated yarns and think you’ve got the color sequencing just right, only to discover a few rows later that you didn’t quite nail it. How about knitting mismatches on purpose? It’s a great strategy for using up that leftover yarn. Barbara Albright even wrote a book, Odd Ball Knitting, that might inspire you. The Socklady has a whole collection, and Patternworks is offering Argyle Mismatched Sock Kits. Kooky idea that just might work. A key factor in getting the mismatch to work well is a pleasing interplay of color. Check Kristin Roach’s Craftzine piece for good information. By the way, Klippity, complains that her cute socks (above) don’t quite match on her Flickr, but I think it gives them a quirky personality. Search Klippity on Ravelry to see some truly amazing knitting!
Does anyone else need this tutorial as much as me? Knitting Daily gives us a Buttonholes 101 tutorial. I could’ve used this a week or so ago when I was working on a baby cardigan. I did a work around given the construction of the sweater neckline band instead, because my attempt at the yarn over variety of buttonholes specified looked like a yucky unfinished mess. Anyways, Vicki Squares’s 5 stitch buttonhole method (diagram above) is featured in the tutorial. Also included, Eunny Jang’s video for making a one row buttonhole. Finally it all makes sense! I swear, I can stare at diagrams for days, but a video like this just makes things instantly clear.
It turns out that I have a bunch of Fashionistas for friends. The idea of having their own Rodarte piece is pretty tantalizing, maybe even enough to pick up knitting needles. Since a Rodarte sweater costs about $3,500, a DIY version gets very very interesting. Here’s a Fauxdarte tutorial at Park & Cube, from Shini Park, the fashion blogger /graphic designer who was born in Seoul, raised in Warsaw, and now lives in London. What a great blog. Amazing photos. By the way, Park’s shawl tutorial was featured in Vogue Girl Korea. Just in case you missed it, make sure to check out Yarneteria’s Fauxdarte posts for more tutorials and some funny writing.
(Many thanks to Christine for sharing the Park & Cube link. Such an interesting fashion blogger!)