Thursday, November 30, 2017

Casting on - with a Braid of two colours

The final video in the serries, is for the decorative two colour cast on. I have seen lots of these - and this is the one I particuarly like. There is a three colour version - but it gets both bulkier and more fiddly.
This cast on isn't very stretchy - and it is a little messy with all the ends. I suggest working this one at a place and time where you can focus without distractions. This cast on is especailly nice as an edge to corrugated ribbing, or small checkerboard colour work.
Again enjoy

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Looks hard but isn't

Left and Right leaning braids are really cool and effective on small knitting projects, I love the way the braids break up bands of colourwork and provide a structural  firm element. I've seen these braids worked to demarkate a sock toe from a patterned instep, a sweater or cardigan hem from the body and like here to pull in and constrain a cuff on a mitten. Here are two videos that I made earlier in the year to teach at Unwind 2017. Udate is I am also teaching and presenting at Unwind 2018.  I am teaching Praxis - where the class will explore colourwork, taking Speed dating, a really fun class to explore a huge variety of yarns, and presenting a talk - I stashed a yarn and I liked it, on Stashing. that last one is an update of a paper I presented at a conference way back in 2011.

As long as you can work colourwork, that is knit with two colours these braids are not that hard. The most important thing is the set up round - working one round of checkerboard stitches so the braid comes out clean.  I know every one knits differently - I usuallly hold both yarns in my left hand, but started my knit life holding the yarn in my right. Some people - cleverer than I  - hold one yarn in each hand. My mind just can't do that for to long unless there is a simple rhythm to the work. Knowing people knit differently - I have made these two videos demonstrating several methods of 'yarn carry' so they should make sense to lots of knitters.
Here is the Right pointing braid - with the set up row already worked, one round of knits in alternalting colours.  The braid can be worked in a single colour but looses its drama.
And here is the matching left braid - if stacking them above each other like I have - I suggest two rounds of plain and a set up round between each braid.
na Stella

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Re group and forgotten things

Hello - its been a long time, this year, and perhaps the last one has seen me blog less, but not knit less. I realised that i had never linked to my most recent knitting videos,
I have a small serries on braids - and in the words of Elizabeth Zimmerman 'unvented' a improved way to knit a Vikkel braid. This variation eliminates the elongated stitches that always occur with this braid.
I taught a class at Unwind 2017, on knitting braids and became completely frustrated with the elongated stitch that working a Vikkel braid produced. I tried knitting into the back to twist and tighten the stitch, i tried using a smaller needle and then an even smaller needle. In the end I wondered what it was about the braid that caused the elongated stitch. I realised the physical act of working the stitch -  of stretching around the working stitches drew more yarn into the work than needed and this created the elongated stitch. This techniqueworks the braid seperately from the  row after the braid and effectively eliminates  the loose elongated stitch. This technique may not be authentic - but it is effective.
The Vikkel video is part of a serries demonstrating braids - I hope to link these here over the next week or so.
Na Stella

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Think it

It's tinking time, not great news just me being a knitting adult and sorting my mistakes in an adult knitter way. I'm knitting a shawl, a lovley lace shawl, in a beautiful cashmere and silk blend hand died and gifted as a present by M of Vintage Purls. I'm up to chart 4c - the last row section of lace before the boarder. And like any contemporary knitter I'm modifying the pattern in a small way - first by using smaller needles so the lace is a little denser - and secondly by replacing the nups with beads.

So far so good, until I realised that one of these things was not like the other, yes I had an'seasame street' moment. This is the lace pattern with beads instead of nupps, it's subtle but clear - each beaded row results in the bead sitting just a little out from the bead on the row two rows down.

It subtle - but there, the yellow oval has two beads sitting diagonal and slightly offset - the green oval shows two beads sitting on top of each other. Clear as day when compared to all the other bead spacing. When I worked that row - I discovered I had missed placing a bead two rows down and tried to repair the mistake - but I failed. Failed miserably - more so knowing that in a single nights knitting - with between 300 and 400 or so stitches I might only do one row of beading and the plain wrong side row.... I dropped down and tried to rework up with the bead in place but I got lost amidst the yarn goers and s1 k2 tog psso's.

This is the yarn from one row of 350 or so stitches after they were frogged, I have two more rows to go .... and then I can begin again making sure all the beads are in the right place.

Because the work is lace with 's1 k2tog,psso' and because there are beads - well it can't be slipped off the needled and ripped back - it's tink tink tink one stitch at a time and tug gently at each beaded stitch to release the bead and retain the stitch. Those beads make tinking slightly more tricky.

My night just got longer - my heart sinks that tonight will be tinking one stitch stitch looking at each one carefully to make sure I pick it up without splitting the yarn and orientate it on the needles correctly. Still it needs doing. Tonight is knit night - but a twist of fate means dinner will be later than usual and this frogging will take place at home ....with good lighting and no knitbased conversation to distract me.

If I don't fix the mistake - when blocked the two beads without a space between will stand out among the rest of the even spaced beads ...or at least at is my fear.

It is supposed to be a fun relaxing hobby - isn't it? In other news the yarn is scrummy- and I finally found a teeny tiny vintage crochet hook in my tool stash to use for beading - one that fits into all the beads.

Na Stella