A different way to combine knitting and crochet

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!

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Disappearing loop as a flat knitting cast-on for shawls

Disappearing loop as a flat knitting cast-on for shawls

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 how.

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Linkety-link, part 21

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.

Knitting

Crochet

The parts of a stitch pattern

These are fairly basic instructions. They aren’t meant to explain how to combine multiple stitch patterns in a single shawl or the fine details of designing something fitted like a sweater, but they should get you started.

Things might change, but I expect this to be a three part series:

  1. The different parts of a stitch pattern and what they mean.
  2. Using a gauge swatch to figure out how many stitches to cast on.
  3. Converting a pattern written to knit flat into one for knitting in the round, and vice versa.

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Green: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

Green: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

This month, the random number generator chose green, suggested by Nim. It’s my favorite color! So this makes me happy. Also, it’s spring in the northern hemisphere, so that seems entirely appropriate.

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.

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Omega: a free stranded knitting pattern

Omega: a free chart for stranded knitting

Omega is a Greek letter, used as the scientific symbol for the ohm, the unit for measuring electrical resistance. This makes it a useful symbol for resistance in general, and so I’ve made it into charts for your craftivism needs.

There’s one version that’s a single letter, useful for duplicate stitch or cross stitch. There’s another version that’s for making a band of stranded knitting around a hat or anything else you like.

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Étude no 18: noodling around with Granite Stitch

Periodically I blog about some of my knitting experiments – I call these études, after the kind of musical exercises.

I recently joined Instagram (@gannetdesigns) and have been joining in with the @yarnlovechallenge, which provides photo prompts on a given yarny handcraft theme. The theme for this week is texture, which made my brain fizz.

I’ve been meaning to fool around a little with Granite Stitch just to see what I could see, because much as I love lace and cables, I think there’s a lot of other textured knitting stitches to play with and turn into other stitch patterns.

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Braid stitch socks, finished.

A year and a half ago, I wrote a blog post about a pair of socks I was knitting for myself, talking about my design decisions and how I messed around with a stitch pattern called braid stitch from a stitch dictionary to make it sit correctly on the top of the sock. I knit the first half of the second sock and then other projects became shinier. The braid stitch socks went into hibernation until a couple of weeks ago, when I picked them out of the bin. I need more socks, and the stitch pattern was freshly attractive to me. 

I finished the second sock last night, and I thought I’d share my conclusions so as not to leave that blog post hanging. 

Finished braid stitch socks
First, I still like the way they look — I really like the way the stitch pattern looks when stretched out on the foot. However, the stitch pattern is stiff enough that I really should have increased enough stitches at the toe to put in another 7-stitch repeat. I can get the socks onto my feet, but it’s a close thing. Fortunately, they are not so tight that I can’t wear them comfortably. 

Or, wait. Now that I look again, I can see that I should have added more gusset stitches to make the heel flap longer. This would have let me add in one more stitch pattern repeat in the cuff, which would have made the socks easier to put on. I think I like this solution better, since it would have solved two problems at once. 

I should have taken better notes about how I worked the gusset – I think it might be slightly different on the two socks. 

Something I didn’t mention in the previous post – I didn’t just slap a standard k2p2 ribbing on the cuff. For one thing, it wouldn’t fit nicely in 63 stitches. For another, I like my ribbing to flow out of the stitch pattern that’s being used. One obvious choice would have been k5p2 ribbing, but I wanted something a little stretchier. So I put a purl column above the p3tog part of the stitch pattern, making the ribbing into *k2, p1, k2, p2; work from *. I like the effect. 

In any case, I have another pair of hand knit socks I like, and that’s always a good thing. I still need more socks, but I’m going to work on destashing some self-patterning yarn. I’m just going to knit plain socks in alternation with my design knitting for a while.