This month, the random number generator chose gardens, suggested by Cathy. In this hemisphere, it’s time to think of gardens, so it’s entirely apt. Also, I see alternating fronds in this stitch pattern.
Each month, my Patreon backers have the chance to suggest words for me to encode as knitting stitches. A random number generator helps me choose the word of the month, and then I get to work, first turning the letters into numbers, then charting the numbers onto grids in various ways. Finally, when I make the chart into lace, I turn the marked squares into yarnovers and work out where to place the corresponding decreases. (I usually make lace; occasionally I make cables instead.) I also make a chart for any craft that uses a square grid for designing; this goes in a separate post
Several years ago, I was playing around with combining knitting and crochet, and I hit upon a way of doing so that made me really happy. I was going to write more about it “later”, but then my wrist stopped allowing me to do crochet, and “later” never came. (No, really, I tried a bunch of things. Please don’t offer me advice.)
Anyway, I recently came across some old swatch photos I took with a cell phone, and thought I’d write about it in hopes that it would spark someone’s interest. I’d love it if someone else were to play around with this!
I wrote recently about a start for a top-down triangular shawl I’d come up with, but there’s another that I’ve used in several shawl designs (most of them not yet published): modified disappearing loop. You can see it in use in Sycamore Creek.
Disappearing loop is generally used as the center of a shawl or something else to be worked in the round from the center outward. However, there’s no reason it can’t be used in cases where you need to cast on a small number of stitches for a shawl to be worked flat.
Here’s links to a bunch of techniques and tutorials I’ve collected since the last time I posted one of these link lists. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did! I’ve included some crochet links even though I can’t use them myself, just because I thought they were interesting.
This is part 2 of a series about how to use stitch patterns. (Part 1: the parts of a stitch pattern.) It is extremely basic, and is meant to help get you started. It will not help with sweater design, or with combining multiple stitch patterns in a single object, or other more complicated things.
The first step is to figure out how many repeats of the stitch pattern you want in your object. Yes, this will take arithmetic. Or you can guess and rip out multiple times. That works too, but I personally find it more frustrating. It’s also harder on the yarn.
Ideally, you’ll knit a gauge swatch in the stitch pattern (at least 7 inches/ 18cm square) and wash it so you can measure how many stitches and rows there are over 4 inches / 10cm. This is especially important for something that needs to fit a particular way. Sometimes you can instead start by making a good guess, knitting on your scarf for a while, and then washing it while it’s still in progress to see if the gauge is right. Using the object itself as a gauge swatch is a fairly common practice for small objects. (I use it for mitts all the time.)
For a scarf, you might be able to get away with a rough estimate, based on the gauge listed on your yarn label. For anything really large, or for anything that requires a good fit, I would really recommend the gauge swatch, because any errors in guessing will be multiplied by a lot to make your item too large or too small.
So, here’s how to calculate your number of stitches to cast on based on your gauge swatch.
The word of the month is Gardens, suggested by Cathy on Patreon. This version is encoded in base 8.
I usually develop a complicated knitting stitch pattern for each word, but I also like to provide a basic chart for any craft that’s worked on a grid: beads, cross stitch, whatever.
I’ve been working on rewriting my instructions for turning words into lace, and the example word I’ve been using is Peace. This chart and swatch will go into the instructions, but I also wanted to pull it out as a blog post of its own. Peace has been on my mind lately, and perhaps it’s been on yours, too.
In the end, the “obvious chart” I was using for my other swatches turned out not to work so well for lace; this is often the way. (The lace turned into creepy, grinning faces, which is all very well and good if you want creepy, grinning faces. But that’s not very peaceful to my mind.) This is from the code grid I labeled “Method 4, 6 columns”.
If you like my stitch patterns, but you don’t want to figure out your own pattern for a finished object, you’re in luck! There are several designers who’ve used them in patterns you can buy, including me.