Thursday 31 December 2015

Double Cast On

It's the beginning of a brand new year. What's on your knitting resolution list? Do you have one? Any other resolutions are not happening here. I'm not going to resolve to loose weight, eat better, exercise more, in general be a better person because, well, you know what those resolutions cause: guilt and anguish. Not going there.

My knitting resolution is to learn new things and pass them on to you. A win-win. Here's the first one. I learned a new cast on, a variation of the Longtail Cast On. If you're Not familiar with longtail cast on already this will be greek to you but ... if you want to try something new here it is.

Double Cast On. It's nicknamed My Way, Your (new) Way or Regular Way, New Way. In essence you are casting one 1 stitch in the regular longtail way and a second stitch in a new way. The only thing that's different is the yarn over the thumb.

The first stitch is your slip stitch. That counts as stitch#1 (the regular way).

That means the second stitch is the New Way. It starts with the thumb. Swing your thumb to the front and under the front strand of yarn, coming up through the middle of the strands from the bottom.
Bring your needle down to the front of your palm. It looks a little different from the regular longtail cast on. If you think of your thumb as a needle, your stitch is sitting backwards.

 Continuing to think of your thumb as a needle, insert your needle into the back of the stitch (under the back strand on your thumb).

 Take your needle over the strand on your index finger.

 And bring your needle back through the stitch (loop) on your thumb.
 Snug it up to the needle. One stitch cast on. You can see a bar is produced across the front of the 2 stitches.

 Stitch#3 is your regular longtail cast on and stitch#4 is the new way. Two more stitches cast on with a bar holding them together.
 Getting into the swing of it? Old way, New way, Old way, New way.
Join in the round and work 2x2 rib.
Here's a very amateurish video (also part of my learning resolution) of the process with no sound, sorry, new camera needed.
Happy New Year,

Thursday 24 December 2015

Deadline is reached

All you Christmas knitters, it's here. I hope tonight you're just sewing in ends and everything is done. All my boot sock knitting went to pre-Christmas December birthdays and although I thought I might do more for the big day, it didn't get done. So I started some socks for myself just because I don't want to panic-knit. I'm so taken with this spiral stripe business I started a new sock in sock yarn. Merry Christmas to me. One sock done.
I started with my bag of odd balls of sock yarn.
I narrowed it down to 4 colours.
Decided to stick with 3 colours: the pinkish variegated, semi-solid purple and green.
Three colours, divide my sock into two sections, front and back of leg and away I go. I'll write this out in a future post. You might find yourself with a few more odd balls in your stash.

Have a wonderful Christmas Everyone,
Deb & Lyn

Friday 18 December 2015

Spiral Hat

Our knitting guild is involved in the 25,000 Tuques initiative. One hat for every refugee coming to our cold country. I can't imagine having to endure a first winter here when you come from a hot country. Let alone all the other problems they are facing. So I'm taking up Jed's suggestion and applying spiral stripes to my hats. I am diving into my stash for all those little odd balls of yarn that are left over from previous projects.

Here it is:  get 4 colours of yarn, small odd balls, 5.0mm/US8 circular needle (40cm/16" long).
Small Child sized Hat. It works for any size of hat.

With Colour 1, Cast On 72 sts with Worsted weight or Heavy Worsted weight yarn. Place Marker and join in the round.

Work a Brim in 1x1, 2x2 rib or whatever you like. I knit 4 rounds and then purled 1 round.

In next round place 2 more Markers. You need to divide your work into 1 less section than you have colours. I have 4 colours so divide my hat into 3 equal sized sections with the Markers.
Next Round: K24, Place Marker, K24, Place Marker, knit to end of round.

Here we go. DO NOT TWIST stitches as you change colours. I finished here with light gray, now I'm picking up the Dark Gray which was waiting there for me.
I'm going to knit with the Dark Gray. The colours are not twisted around each other.
Here's my latest hat:
And at the change of colour:
Here we go:
Round 1:  With Colour 2, knit to first Marker, slip Marker, with Colour 3 knit to next Marker, slip Marker, with Colour 4 knit to end of round.

Round 2:  With Colour 1 knit to first Marker, with Colour 2 knit to next Marker, with Colour 3 knit to end of round.

Round 3:  With Colour 4 knit to first Marker, with Colour 1 knit to next Marker, with Colour 2 knit to end of round.

Round 4:  With Colour 3 knit to first Marker, with Colour 4 knit to next Marker, with Colour 1 knit to end of round.

Every time you come to a Marker the colour you need to knit next is right there waiting for you. You will not be able to see where the colour changes are made. It's a fun knitting trick!

Work the Crown in your normal way. If you don't have one, here's one:
Divide your knitting into 8 sections and place markers. For this hat, 72 sts divided by 8 is 9 sts.
Marker Round:  *K9, Place Marker; repeat from * to end of round.
Decrease Round:  *Knit to 2 sts before Marker, K2tog; repeat from * to end of round.
Next Round:  Knit.
Repeat last 2 rounds until 8 sts remain. Cut yarn and thread through 8 sts, cinch up and secure. You're done.


Wednesday 9 December 2015

Can't Stop Spiral Stripes

Having fun with stripes. I've done 3 pairs now and I can't seem to stop. Help!
First pair.
Second Pair already given away to a grateful sock wearer. 
Third pair, have run out of most of light gray so picked up some blue. This system of spiral stripes works much better with a traditional heel flap. Happier with these.
Since I can't stop I'm scrounging around for more part balls of worsted weight yarn. But I'm going to switch to hats for charity. I can use even more little bits of yarn. Yay.
P.S. Thanks CathyK.

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Spiral around and around.

No more snow but now I'm hot on the trail of Christmas knitting. I'm knitting socks. No not in sock wool, that would be crazy! I'm thinking worsted weight boot socks are much more practical to be knitting with only 23 days to go. And after all I can't be 100% sure my daughter's boyfriend will wear them. But if you're going to be part of our family, wearing knitting is required. One men's pair done.

Now I'm working on a pair of coloured socks in 3 colours. All the colours spiral up the sock.

This is what I did. I divided my sock into 2 sections, the Top of foot and the Bottom of foot. First I knit across the Top of the foot in Dark Gray, dropped the wool. Knit across Bottom of foot with Pink, dropped the wool. Knit across Top of foot with the 3rd colour, Light Gray. All  3 colours are now engaged. (On the Top of foot I have a Dk Gray stripe and a Lt Gray stripe.)
At the end of this needle, I drop the Lt Gray wool I just knit with. The Dk Gray wool is very conveniently waiting there from the previous stripe. Pick up the Dk Gray wool and knit across Bottom of foot. On and on, around and around, picking up the new colour wool that is conveniently sitting there to knit across the next needle.
The trick, and you know there always is always a trick, is NOT twist your colours when you change colours.
I want the Dk Gray stripe to continue across the new needle for a stripe above the pink. This is way more confusing than it is to work. This is where I changed colours. No break in the stripe. No jog because the stripes just continue to spiral around. I think I love this.

I've done these socks from the toe up but it would work much better from the cuff down because of the heel. So for the next pair I'm coming down from the top with a traditional heel flap and gusset. I think I could use up a lot of odds and ends this way.