Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Picking up sts from a cast-on edge

Here's an alternative way of picking up stitches from a cast-on edge. The main advantage to this technique is that it can be done in pattern -- in this case, a "k4, p3" pattern.

The easiest cast-on edge to pick up from, using this technique, is a single (or backwards loop) cast on. The single cast on has less bulk as well. (The long-tail cast on would work as well since it looks exactly like a single cast on followed by a row of knitting.)

I'll be illustrating the technique for the bottom of an armhole for a raglan worked from the top down. The first picture shows the bottom of the armhole half done. The other half will be picked up after knitting around the rest of the armhole -- so that rounds will begin and end at the middle of the underarm.

The first step is to identify the 2 loops of yarn over the first stitch to be picked up -- in this case, a knit stitch.

One of these loops starts out as the right-hand-side of the stitch and then travels left over the stitch. The other starts out as the left-hand-side of the stitch and then travels to the right.

The second picture shows a crochet hook ready to pull yarn through the top of a knit stitch.

Once the loop is pulled through, place the yarn over the waiting needle so that the free end of the yarn (as opposed to the loose end) lies behind the needle. The part of the yarn nearest the loose end lies in front of the needle.

The next stitch to be picked up is also a knit stitch. The 3rd picture shows the progress after 2 knit stitches have been picked up.

The next stitch to be picked up is a purl stitch.

For purl stitches, the technique is a bit different.

Bring the yarn to the front of the work. Draw the yarn from front to back through the 2 loops at the top of the stitch. (The loops can be seen more easily from the back of the work.)

The last picture shows the progress after 3 sts have been picked up. The next 2 sts to be picked up are also purl sts. So, the yarn should remain in front while picking up the stitches.

The last 2 sts to be picked up before working the sides and top of the armhole are knit stitches. The yarn should be moved to the back before picking up these stitches.

For the corner of the armhole, I haven't made up my mind whether or not to pick up one more stitch before knitting sts off the cable. Sometimes I pick up one more stitch from the same row; sometimes I don't.

Whichever, ..... I like to knit together the last picked up stitch with the nearest stitch on the cable (and also the first stitch to be picked up on the opposite side of the armhole with the nearest stitch on the cable).

To start working off the cable, of course, remove the cap on the cable and replace it with a needle (the same size or a smaller size than the one used to pick up sts). Slip the nearest stitch from the cable onto the needle used to pick up stitches. Then pass the second st on the needle (the last one picked up) over -- (or else, ssk). Work around, in pattern -- except, slip the last stitch on the cable onto the working needle. Pick up 1 st from the unworked side of the armhole. Place these 2 sts on a spare needle, pass stitch over, return the remaining st to the working needle (or else, k2tog)-- a mirror image of what was done on the opposite side of the armhole. Pick up the rest of the stitches at the bottom of the armhole, and begin working in the round.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bamboo waves sock

This sock is worked from the toe up. It uses a variation of the September 2008 stitch pattern by Gail Dennis aka Sockamaniac and has a Widdershins heel.

edited: Whenever, I reknit something, I can't help but change it a little. A new version of the pattern is available for free on Ravelry. It is now sized in multiple sizes, has a different way of making the leg increases, and has an eyelet cuff. Here is a pic (in Knit Picks Stroll yarn):

Bamboo Waves Socks

The original (shown below) is knit from yarn courtesy of a lady from the knitting group I belong to and owner of
My Small Wonders (which is where the yarn in the pic comes from). She wanted to see what her hand-painted yarn would look like knitted up into sock. The yarn was a pleasure to work with. Here's the pattern that resulted:

1 skein (100g) sock yarn
two size 1 circular needles

Gauge: 8 sts and 12 rows per inch (Row gauge is not important.)

Pattern (5 sts by 12 rows):
All even rows: Knit across
Rows 1, 3, 5: yo, k1, yo, ssk, k2tog
Rows 7, 9, 11: ssk, k2tog, yo, k1, yo
Reverse Pattern (5 sts by 12 rows):
All even rows: Knit across
Rows 1, 3, 5: ssk, k2tog, yo, k1, yo
Rows 7, 9, 11: yo, k1, yo, ssk, k2tog
The pattern is abbreviated "patt". The reverse pattern is abbreviated "rev patt".

Cast on 7 st on each needle using Turkish cast on.
Knit around.
Increase every round to 13 sts per needle.
Increase every other round to 31 sts per needle.
Knit even to about a 3" length (about 14 rounds)

On needle 1: k2, patt, k2, patt, k3, rev patt, k2, rev patt, k2 (31 sts). On needle 2: k across.
Continue until the length is about 2 1/2 " (30 rounds) shy of the total desired foot length. For where the 30 rounds comes from, look at my post on the Widdershins heel.

Make gusset increases every other row to 53 sts on Needle 2. Meanwhile, keep following the pattern on Needle 1. The last pattern row on Needle 1, before turning the heel, should be an even row. Do not knit across on Needle 2. Instead .....

Turn heel:
Place markers 15 sts in from either side of Needle 2, leaving 23 sts between markers. The stitches between markers are the heel sts. The sts outside the markers are the gusset sts. Then, working only on the heel sts:

Row 1: k to 4 sts before marker, kfb, k1, turn
Row 2: s1, p to 4 sts before marker, pfb, p1, turn
Row 3: s1, k to 4 sts before gap, kfb, k1, turn
Row 4: s1, p to 4 sts before gap, pfb, p1, turn

Repeat Rows 3 – 4 until there are 31 sts between markers.
(On purl rows, s1 – slip 1 purlwise with yarn in front. On knit rows, s1 - slip 1 knitwise with yarn in back.)

Heel flap:
Row 1: s1, k to last heel st, ssk last heel st and 1 st from left gusset, turn
Row 2: * s1, p1 * to last heel st, p2tog last heel st and 1 st from right gusset, turn

Repeat Rows 1 – 2 until there is only 1 st to be picked up, a right gusset st. (You'll be ending with Row 1.) Do not turn. Work the next pattern row on Needle 1. When you reach Needle 2 again:

k2tog (to get rid of the last gusset st), * k1, s1 * across.

The heel is now finished.

Continue working in the round. Work same pattern row on Needle 2 as was worked on Needle 1. To increase, change an ssk or k2tog to a k2.
1st pattern repeat, increase on row 11 between side zig-zags.
2nd pattern repeat, increase on row 11 on outsides.
3rd pattern repeat, no increase
4th pattern repeat, increase on row 1 in the middle and then on row 11 between side zig-zags
5th pattern repeat, increase on row 11 on outsides.
6th pattern repeat, no increase
There are now 41 sts on each needle.

The cuff has k1, p1 ribbing. But, to get the purl stitches over the yo's, there are three p2tog's.
Next round:
k1, p2tog, (k1, p1) twice, k1, p2tog, (k1, p1) 8 times, k1, p2tog, (k1, p1) 5 times -- on each needle
Next 9 rounds: (k1, p1) around
Bind off.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I-cord cast on

I've made an i-cord cast on once before but wasn't entirely happy withthe result. So, this time, I decided to look for another method. Ifound one that used M1 into the first stitch instead of kfb. But, Iwasn't entirely happy with that one either. So, I asked myself "whydoes the M1 have to be into the first stitch?"

Here is my new and different way of making an 3-stitch i-cord cast on:
1. Cast on 4 stitches.
2. Slide the stitches to another dpn or to the other end of a circ (just as you would to make an unattached i-cord).
3. k3
4. Wrap the yarn around the LHN (left hand needle) as in the picture by wrapping the yarn over the needle from the back and then under the needle again. The yarn starts out in back and ends in the back of the work.
5. Slip the 3 stitches on the RHN (right hand needle) back to the LHN purlwise.

Repeat steps 3 - 5 until there are the LHN has on it the desired number of stitches to be cast on plus 2.
To end, you can then k2tog, k1, return the stitches to the LHN, k2tog, and then return this stitch to the LHN.