Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Cables, from Flat to Knit in-the-round

Let's jazz up a knit-in-the-round stockinette sweater by adding a Cable panel. There are many stitch dictionaries to check out various cables.
Here are a couple of things to consider before working in-the-round with a cable pattern:

1.  Most stitch dictionaries are written for flat knitting. There is a right side row where the cable crossing action is and a wrong side row worked back in knits and purls which amounts to "knit the knits and purl the purls".

2.  The symbols used in charts are meant to convey what the pattern will look like on the Right Side of the work. This is a bonus to in-the-round knitting since you are always looking at the Right Side.

A Simple Rope Cable written for flat knitting.

Worked Flat
Row 1, 5 & 7: (RS) P2, K4, P2.
Rows 2, 4, 6 & 8: (WS) K2, P4, K2. (You can see the chart is awkward to read on the wrong side rows. "-" is a knit stitch and the white box is now a purl stitch.)
Row 3:  P2, 2x2cross right, P2.

Worked in-the-round (all rounds read from Right to Left)
Rounds 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8: P2, K4, P2.
Round 3:  P2, 2x2cross right, P2.

How easy is that. The in-the-round version has every round exactly the same, except for the cable cross Round 3. You can see how the pattern is going to look on your sweater with those purl stitches at the side. Your knitting will look exactly like the chart.

3.  Cables pull in your fabric. If you are going to do your own designing and place a cable in a stockinette fabric garment you need to compensate for the pull-in or your garment will end up smaller than you want and with a ruffle effect at the top of a panel of cables and again at the bottom.
The rule is to increase 1 stitch for every 3 sts of a cable. This cable is a crossing of 2 over 2, total of 4 sts. I would increase 2 sts for this cable to compensate for the pull-in.

Now, when to work the increases and where?
You have to work the increases before the first cable crossing takes place*. This cable crossing is close to the beginning so I would work the increases as follows:
1.  You can work 2 increases in the knit round before you begin your cable panel. Say you are placing this cable down the centre front of your sweater, over the centre 6 sts work K2, M1(make one stitch), K2, M1, K2. Now you have 8 centre stitches and on the next round you can begin with Round 1 of the cable panel.
2.  You can work the 2 increases into the first round of the Cable Panel itself. This is what I would do. If you are working this cable down the centre front of your garment, work to the centre 6 sts, then I might work P2, M1(make one stitch), K2, M1, P2. Now I have 8 sts and Round 1 completed.
M1: With left needle lift the horizontal bar between the stitch just knit and the next stitch, from front to back, knit into the back of the resulting loop.

*If the first cable crossing is several rounds down the panel you can work the increases in the round before the first crossing takes place.

When you are finished working the desired length for your Cable panel, you have to decrease away the added stitches to get back to your original number of stitches. For this cable decrease 2 sts evenly across the panel so it's back to 6 sts again.

Next: Cables from the Top Down.
Stay tuned,

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Westward from Stephen West

I have been distracted away from my UFOs. Work towards finishing some garments deserves a reward.
I've labelled this year, a year of learning. I actually started late last fall. This has included knitting other designer's patterns if I see something really interesting that I would like to try. I am really interested in shawlettes or scarves to wrap around my neck. Not the big ones which would swallow me whole but the smaller ones I can roll up and keep in my purse.

I find it works best to learn by doing so I signed up for the Shawlscapes class by Stephen West which I really enjoyed. This class is based on his older shawls, which are still very popular as they should be, but I see from Ravelry that he has definitely moved on from this material into brioche and other things. I am working on my own rendition of a shawl according to his rules. He begins in a fairly standard manner with a garter stitch tab and increases at the edges and centre.
Then he shifts to, what I am calling a second tier with added increases. He has several ways of proceeding at this point and it's all great fun. It means before you have a chance to get really bored and wondering how long this flippin' shawl is going to take, you get to shift into something else. Fun, fun, fun.
 Since I am really fond of reversible scarves, so much less twiddling when you get dressed, I chose a  1x1 rib based pattern that looks different when it's knit across the side or purled.This side of the shawl is the rib where it's ribbed on one side and purled on the other.
 This side of the shawl is the same 1x1 rib which is knit across on the return row.
I've also worked it out so that the RS and WS rows are exactly the same. I loved working out this little knitting nerdy idea.
Stay tuned I've started a 3rd Tier with two more wings on the sides just to see what would happen.
T_a, thanks for the suggestion for a tutorial on Cables from the Top Down. I'm working on it.

Monday, 13 February 2017

2 circular needles

Knitting on my UFO from the summer. I might just get it finished for this spring. That's a long time for a project to sit and still generate any interest but every time I work on it someone says they love the colour, that keeps me on track. I'm working down my second, that's right the second sleeve! I'm using 2 circular needles. The first sleeve was knit with double pointed needles and I thought this would be easier and ... it is. The sleeve has a wide pattern panel which with 2 circs I can keep it all on one needle.
It's helpful to have 2 circular needles that look different. The red wired needle has my entire 32 stitch pattern on it.
The bamboo tipped needle has the plain back of the sleeve on it where I'm working the decreases to taper the sleeve.
Have you used 2 circs before? It works by knitting half of the sleeve onto it's own needle. So the front stitch panel stitches are always on the red wired needle. All you do is push the stitches onto the needle tip and grab the other end of the same needle and knit. Really that simple. Drop that needle and pick up the other circ and work the other set of stitches with it.

The other circ not in use just swings away as you knit.

I can do this right down to the cuffs which I intend to get done this week. You heard it first here.
How are your UFOs going? Progress?
P.S. Yes t_a I think top down is really popular. YAY. The no sewing aspect seems to tip people over to it.
Hi Sharon, I was really glad I took my long circ needle and worked my sock with magic loop method. I can't imagine how many times I would have been chasing my needles since they do seem to want to jump away.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Knitting in public

I was away last week watching my daughter curl in the Ontario Provincial play downs where they made it as far as a tie-breaker to the playoffs and then lost so they didn't make it through. It's a roller coaster ride for parents and knitting helps.
All those people there for 5 days and I was the only knitter except for one afternoon where there was one young man sitting by himself knitting with big needles. That was it. It always surprises me to be the only knitter in a large crowd. Do you knit at public events?

This year I'm trying to learn some new things so I knit a sock using a 40" circular needle. Magic Loop is new to me and I found out that I like it for socks.
 It did mean that I didn't have to worry about that little tinkling sound a falling double pointed needle makes as it bounces on a cement floor. My ball of wool did jump out of my bag once and roll under the seats in front of me. One of the hazards of knitting in public and slightly embarrassing.
 I can't tell you which pattern I used for this sock because I just read several patterns and took what I wanted out of them. This is a new heel for me. You start with the cuff and just above the heel begin to work increases on either side of two central stitches.
 Then you work a very standard V shaped short row heel. I will add this method to my sock knitting repertoire.
I liked what the stripes did. I don't know if this heel has a name. Do you?
P.S. Thanks Sharon. I do love a red sweater and recently found another one partly done so hopefully soon I will have 2 red sweaters to brighten my days.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Longer is good

While contemplating what I'm going to do with my red sweater I have been working on my green sweater. Yes this is actually green.
Even though it seems to have morphed into a new colour, it is longer and very close to a final length which is the important part for my UFO month of knitting. Yay. UFO month is unfortunately going to leak into February but there are worse things to do in the dark days of winter than finish up some sweaters. This spring I am going to have several sweaters to wear. I feel like I should be thinking of knitting some summer stuff since it will be here before we know it. Yes, spring is coming. There are still a few things you can count on.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Red Done

This is proof that I finished my red sweater. Well, almost finished. The knitting is done so I'm doing a happy dance (I'll leave that to your imagination). 
I have to find buttons and sew them on. I have to sew in all the ends but I'm celebrating anyway. This is one UFO that's almost there. Whoo, hoo.
This is the basic V-neck from the Button Up Your Top Down book with a couple of modifications. I've knit from this book several times so mixing it up is fun and keeps my interest to the very end.

I made the buttonband 8 sts wide, just because I could.Then I played with it some more (see last post).

I made it an A-line by increasing stitches at the sides. I also played with the ribbing on the sleeves and at the bottom by starting the ribbing (p2) and working extra (k2,p2) every 8 rows. I also did this starting in the centre back. No photo because for some reason this red is very difficult to photograph. I'll try it in another room and see if that works better.

This is 100% wool (Naturally Nazareth Worsted by Kraemer Yarns) , not a superwash, so I knew that if I worked the bottom ribbing with the body-sized needle I could block it out flat and it wouldn't pull in. My figure does not need that!!

I'm so happy to get one done. I have a great big smile every time I look at it. Enthusiasm is spilling over to my next UFO, the green pullover.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

not going to the pond

Took a sweater off my UFO list and was going to frog it but ... I didn't. I kept looking at it trying to figure out why I wanted to throw it in the pond. I love the colour. It's cherry red although you wouldn't know that from the photos. I also thought it was too plain looking. But everyone needs a regular everyday sweater to throw on last minute as you run out the door, right? So I'm naming it the Everyday V. And that's what it's going to be for me.

But I had to make it a little more interesting to knit. So I played with the button bands. With my trusty crochet hook I undid a set of stitches and rehooked them up like this.
It is more interesting and will look even more so once the buttons are on. I have to pay attention at the beginning and end of every row to get it right. That keeps me engaged. It should also keep the bands from wanting to fold under when not buttoned.

The second reason I was having difficulty continuing was that I was worried about running out of wool. I think I have enough but not enough to be really confident. What is really important for this sweater for me? I want long sleeves and a long sweater too but the sleeves are the thing. So I've deviated from my regular routine and worked the body until I got to the end of a ball and started the sleeve.

Once they are both done I can make the sweater as long as I have wool to knit. Hopefully nice and long but I can live with a shorter length.
How are your UFO's going?
P.S. Thanks Brenda and t_a. The "grandfather" type sweater was just what my son asked for. I think he's wearing it regularly which makes me very happy.