Archive for November, 2012

Reverse Long Tail Cast On

A quick video tutorial I made for the reverse long tail cast on. This is perfect if you want your first row after casting on to be a right side row.

 

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My Take on Short Rows

After studying the different kinds of short rows, I’ve picked them apart and came up with my own way of working short rows. I borrowed elements from Wrap & Turn short rows, Japanese short rows and Shadow Wraps (which are really just a form of increase/decrease short rows). I also mirrored the purl side wraps so they look nearly identical to the knit side wraps. Here are the notes:

Knit Side/Right Side Wrap:

Knit up to the stitch you need to wrap. Make a right Lifted Increase (aka KRL). Instead of pulling the stitch below up on to the left needle to knit, just insert the right needle through the loop where it is and make a new stitch. This reduces unnecessary stretching and keeps things tidier. Once you’ve made the increase, you can place the new stitch on to the left hand needle where it will sit snuggle next to the right of the original stitch. The original stitch and the newly made stitch will be treated as one single stitch from here on out and are fairly easy identify from the wrong side because it appears that they both come from the same purl bump in the row below. Once you’re new stitch is in place, turn your work and start purling.

A second option, if you’re so inclined, is to slip the newly made stitch on to a bobby pin or paperclip instead of the left needle and let the pin or clip will hang from the front of the work. This isn’t absolutely necessary but it does cut down on the bulk on the wrong side of the short rows, particularly if you are doing things like short row toes or heels where you will need to make two wraps on each of the turning stitches. When you’ve got the new stitch on a pin or clip, turn the work, pull the yarn snug (not tight – your pin or clip should still point downwards, not straight out) and start purling. Do NOT slip a stitch like you do with Japanese short rows. It’s not necessary.

Purl Side/Wrong Side Wrap:

Purl up to the stitch you need to wrap.  Re-orient this stitch so it is sitting eastern style (with the right leg of the stitch on the back of your needle) by slipping it purlwise to your right needle and then uncrossed back on to the left needle. DO NOT TWIST the stitch. Once the stitch is sitting eastern style on the left needle, insert the right needle through loop below the eastern style stitch as if to purl. Wrap the yarn COUNTERCLOCKWISE around the needle (opposite of the way you normally purl) and pull the new loop through. You should now have two eastern style loops – your original stitch on the left and your newly created stitch to the right. Again you can either place this newly made stitch on your left hand needle or you can put it on a bobby pin/paper clip that will hang from the front of the work. Turn work and knit.

Picking Up Knit Side/Right Side Wraps:

When you come to the wrapped stitches, knit the original stitch and the wrapped stitch that goes with it together the same way you would k2tog. If you used bobby pins or paper clips, pull them a bit and transfer smaller yarn loop untwisted on to the left needle and k2tog in the same fashion.

Picking Up Purl Side/Wrong Side Wraps:

When you come to the wrapped stitches, purl the original stitch and the wrapped stitch that goes with it THROUGH THE BACK LOOP the way you would for a p2tog tbl.

Double Wraps (for Things like Short Row Toes and Heels):

After you’ve short rowed “in” to the narrowest part of your toe or heel and need to start short rowing back “out” to the original edges of your work, the process is the exact same. You’ll pick up the last wrap you made and then go to the next wrapped stitch in line and pick up a new stitch through the exact same place you picked up the first loop. This will result in the original stitch and two shadow stitches to the right of it. When you pick them up, you’ll work them as a k3tog for the front side row and a p3tog tbl for the purl side rows. I really do suggest using paperclips in this sort of situation because it makes for good looking front side but more importantly results in less of bulk on the back side of the I also suggest using two different colored paperclips to help keep track of which increase loop was made first. You need to put them on the left needle in order to avoid twisting the stitches.

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3 Needle Full Stitch

So I’ve come up with something I’ve tentatively named the 3 Needle Full Stitch and I thought I’d post a link to a quick video I made and include the instructions to see if any of you guys have seen something like it before or would like to give it a go. It’s a knitting technique I based off of Tunisian Crochet Full stitch. The end result isn’t crochet but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything knit this way either. It makes a really interesting, dense, double-layered fabric. I’d dig any input.

This technique requires three straight needles or DPNs of the same size. You’ll want to use one of your “sticky” kinds of needles and you’ll want to use a size or two larger than you usually would for your yarn. For my swatch, I used size 8 bamboo DPNs.

To start, take one of your needles (the left needle) and, using the longtail technique, cast on any number of stitches you’d like.

Wrong Side Row: Pick up a second needle, this will be your right needle. Use your right needle to purl the first stitch off of the left needle. Then, take a third need and hold it against the back of your work (on “right” side of the work) at a spot between your left and right needle. When that’s in place, take your active yarn and wrap it around the third needle once counterclockwise. Then take your right needle and purl the second stitch off of the left hand needle. Now bind off one stitch on the right hand needle by passing the older stitch on the right hand needle over the newer stitch, leaving one live stitch. Then you’re going to wrap your active yarn around the third needle, use the right needle to one stitch off of the left hand needle, and then bind off one stitch on the right hand needle by passing the oldest purl stitch on the right needle over the newest purl stitch. Continue in this fashion until the end of the row. When you have worked all of the stitches, you will be left with one live stitch on the right hand needle. Transfer this to the third needle without twisting it. This will give you a slip stitch selvedge and also maintain the stitch count for each row. You will now have the same number of stitches as you originally cast on sitting on your third needle. You’ll have worked the right and left needles free.

Now, for the right side row. Turn your work. The needle all your stitches are sitting on (which was the third needle in the wrong side row) is now your left hand needle.  Pick up a right needle and knit the first stitch off of the left needle. Now hold the third needle at the front of your work (on the “right side”) between the right and left needles. Wrap the yarn around this third needle and use the right needle to knit another stitch off of the left hand needle. Bind one stitch off of the right hand needle and continue the same way you did for the wrong side row. You will wrap the third needle at the front of the work in between each knit stitch you bind off. At the end, you will be left with one live stitch on your right hand needle. Transfer it to the third needle without twisting it and turn your work.

Continue working these two rows until your work reaches desired length. End on wrong side row and bind off. You’ll want to use something elastic like a sewn bind off (I suggest Elizabeth Zimmerman’s bind off or the Outline Stitch Sewn Bind Off).

Annotation:

3 Needle Full Stitch

-Cast on any number of stitches

-Wrong Side Row: P1, *wrap yarn around third around needle held behind the work, P1 off of left hand needle, pass first P over new P and off of right needle* repeat until end of row ending in one lived stitch on right needle, slip stitch onto third needle without twisting it, turn work.

– Right Side Row: [The third needle from the previous row is now your left hand needle] K1, *wrap yarn around a third needle held at the front of the work, pass firs K over new K and off the right needle* repeat until end of row ending with one live stitch on right needle, slip stitch onto third needle without twisting it, turn work.

– Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until work reaches desired length. End on wrong side row. Bind off knitwise on the front of the work.

Some notes:

The directions look more complicated the actual process is. I had a hard time finding a way to describe

it with usual knitting pattern terms but really all of it can all be broken down into parts that knitters should already be familiar with.  After only a few rows, there is a definite rhythm that makes this go by faster than you’d think. It’s sort of like you’re just doing a yarn over bind off all the way around but you keep your yarn overs on a third needle rather than work them with your main needles.

Be careful how you wrap the yarn around the third needle. Whether you are wrapping the left needle for knit stitches or purl stitches or you are wrapping the third needle, you will ALWAYS wrap the yarn counterclockwise (this is assuming you are working western style stitches, for eastern style stitches, you’ll wrap everything clockwise).

The third needle is always held against the right side of the work because this is where the new loops need to be. The binding off stitches will always be on the wrong side of the work.

As for how to hold the third needle, for the first few wraps of each row, I suggest holding the right needle and third needle together with your left hand. After this, the third needle will be fairly anchored by the wraps and you can let go of it while you work with the right and left needles.

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The Relationship between Knitting and Crochet: Swapping Tools

Just some more fodder concerning the relationship between knitting and crochet. In this particular instance, I show you how to crochet using knitting needles. It becomes apparent after only a few stitches that crochet hooks are indeed more apt to the job, but I find the fact that it’s completely possible to be fascinating. I feel this could be used somehow to combine the two mediums.

The following is a list of common crochet stitches converted to the best of my ability to knitting notation:

-Starting Chain: CO 1 (tie slip knot on to left needle), *K1, slip stitch back to left needle (untwisted)* repeat until desired length

-Chain Stitch: *K1, slip stitch back to left needle (untwisted)* repeat until desired length

-Slip Stitch: pick up 2 stitches, pass first stitch over second, *pick up stitch, pass right stitch over left stitch*

-Single Crochet: *pick up one stitch, k2tog tbl* repeat to end of row

-Half-Double Crochet: pick up one stitch, *yo, pick up stitch, k3tog tbl* repeat to end of row

-Double Crochet: pick up one stitch, *yo, pick stitch, slip 2 stitches to left needle, k2tog tbl, slip one stitch to left needle, k2tog tbl* repeat to end of row

-Treble Crochet: pick up one stitch, *yo twice, pick up stitch, slop stitch and one yo to left needle and k2tog tbl, slip second yo to left needle and k2tog tbl* repeat to end of row

Conversely, crochet hooks can be used to knit. Many Portuguese knitters in fact use knitting needles with very small hooks on the end. Additionally, though usually used by themselves, a pair of Tunisan crochet hooks could easily be used together in the same fashion as a pair of straight knitting needles. The hooked ends even have a slight benefit with certain techniques such as purling Continental or knitting Portuguese.

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The Relationship between Knitting and Crochet: Horizontal vs. Vertical Construction

Knitting and crochet tend to be very segregated techniques despite the fact that they really aren’t that different fundamentally. One element that knitters and crocheters are both acquainted with is the V. This is, of course, the visible shape made by interconnected loops of yarn. For knitters the V is the tell-tale marker of the knit stitch, an attractive slip stitch selvedge, the braided look of a simple cast off, and of course a V on the back of the work means a purl stitch on the front.  For crocheters the V is the front of a starting chain and the loops through which most crochet stitches are made. The biggest difference is that knitting makes Vs one at a time horizontally across several columns, holding live stitches on the needles when not being worked. Crochet, when thought about from a knitter’s prospective, instead makes one V at a time vertically, completing one column at a time before moving on to the next. There are only a few live stitches at a time (generally one through three for slip stitch through treble crochet) which are all worked together before moving on to the next V, which is why there is no need for another needle. Interestingly enough, if a knitter sits down and slip-stitch crochets a flat piece of work through the back loop, after a few rows he might notice a striking resemblance between the fabric made and 1×1 rib knitting…rotated 90 degrees. The same can be said for a seasoned crocheter who sits down to knit 1×1 ribbing. That is of course if you can manage to wrestle their preferred fiber art out of their hands first.

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Hand Knitting Methods 3: Portuguese Knitting

This method, also called Turkish Knitting, Incan Knitting, Andean Knitting and Around the Neck Knitting, originated among Arabic knitters and spread north from Africa and the Middle East to the  Mediterranean, the Balkans (Bulgaria and Greece in particular), the Iberian Peninsula and subsequently to South America through Spanish and Portuguese colonization. It is sometimes seen performed with hooked needles in these countries though this is by no means a necessity as many American knitters have picked up this method of knitting and use standard needles.

Portuguese knitting requires a slightly different set up than English and Continental knitting. Rather than running from the ball directly to your work, the active yarn instead is strung either over the back of the knitter’s neck or through a pin on the front of the of the knitter’s shirt (there are pins made specifically for this purpose but a partially unbent paper clip can work as well).  This allows the yarn to be tensioned in a way that the wraps for knitting can be executed with one movement of the left thumb.

Portuguese Purl Stitch:

This is the golden attribute to Portuguese Knitting. Portuguese purling is extremely requires only a small movement of the thumb to wrap the yarn around the needle. Purling is so easy that items worked in the round such as hats are often worked inside out so they consist only of purl stitches.

 Portuguese Knit Stitch with Yarn in Front:

Because the yarn comes to the work from the front, Portuguese knit stitches are slightly different than their than their English and Continental counterparts. To knit with the yarn in front, the right hand needle must be inserted into loop on the left hand needle so that the right needle is closer to the front of the work than the left needle. This process is similar to the Norwegian Purl in Continental Knitting.

Portuguese Knit Stitch with Yarn in Back:

A second way to make knit stitches is with the yarn at the back of the work. This can take a little experience to get used to but is no harder than the basic Portuguese knit stitch. If you knit Eastern or Combination Style, it is nearly impossible to knit an eastern style stitch with the yarn out from and you’ll find a modified knit stitch preferable.

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