Swatch blocking experiment

You might have noticed that I knit a lot of swatches. I’ve been getting fussier about how carefully I block them, and have been getting more consistent about using a short blocking wire (or skinny metal knitting needle) along each edge. Recently I’ve been pondering my swatch selvedges, and thinking about how to make it easier to thread the blocking wire through them. I remembered coming across a selvedge that uses yarnovers at the very edge, and decided to try that, at least for swatches.

It does make for easier blocking; I’m not yet convinced I like the look of it, though that doesn’t matter so much for swatches. I might try the yarnovers on every other or every third row instead.
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Using a stitch pattern: converting from flat to round and vice versa

Using a stitch pattern: turning a flat pattern into a round one.

This is the third and final part of my very basic series about how to use a stitch pattern. Here are the first two:

  1. The parts of a stitch pattern.
  2. Using gauge to figure out how many stitches to cast on.

Stitches in stitch dictionaries are usually written to be worked flat, but they can usually be converted to be worked in the round. This post discusses how. Occasionally, you’ll find a stitch pattern written to be worked in the round; the instructions here will work for those, too.

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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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Three 2-to-3 increases

Three 2-to-3 increases

Christine Guest has been posting an interesting set of round ups about double increases, and in it she made a challenge to create a corresponding increase to the 3-to-2 decrease that’s also known as Bunny Ears Back.

A side note – the Stitch Maps system now has that decrease as an option. This blog post shows two stitch patterns using that technique – I really like the Little Hearts stitch pattern in particular.

Anyway! So my mind immediately started turning over the question of a symmetrical 2-to-3 increase. In some sense, the obvious thing is just two stitches with an increase in between: lifted increases, a YO, or the kind of m1 that involves lifting a bar. But if you don’t want a hole, you have to twist the increase. I am generally happy enough with the invisibility of lifted increases and don’t worry about their asymmetricality.

Still, I’m always up for challenges like this. Even if I don’t succeed, I often find interesting things along the way. I tried out three different methods that I think could genuinely be called 2-to-3 increases.

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Linkety-link, part 20

It’s been a while since I did a link round-up!

Knitted Borders and Corners – some different ways of approaching corners when working a knitted-on border.

Learning, Practicing, Perfecting – Sara Lamb writes here about the learning process in respect to weaving and leatherwork, but the process itself is universal to handcraft. Well worth reading.

Non-roll Stocking Stitch Edge? – well, not exactly. This post tells how to use twined knitting to make what looks like a stockinette hem that won’t curl.

Bunny ears decreases– I’ve talked a little about the 3-to-2 decrease I like to use, that some people call Bunny Ears Back. It produces a symmetrical single decrease that doesn’t appear to lean to either side. They are now accounted for in Stitch Maps, which makes me happy. The linked blog post also shows a couple of stitch patterns making use of them – I really like Little Hearts a lot and am planning on making use of it. A more complex stitch pattern of mine that uses them is Beloved – and I can see that I’ll need to go edit the stitch map!

Taming long floats via the STUART method for color-knitting – an intriguing trick from TECHknitter (so many of her tricks are intriguing) for dealing with long floats. This looks like it might be the key for knitting more of my code grids as colorwork even with long floats. Hm!