Results tagged “Knitting mistakes” from Fabric.com Blog
When designing your own knit project you may go around and around trying to decide which stitch pattern is the correct one. I have had this battle many times. Either I have a distinct vision in my head of what I want my stitch pattern to look like (herringbone, small cable or twisted stitch) or I know how I want the garment to hang but no vision of the texture. In either case I turn to my collection of Stitchtionaries, a dictionary of stitch patterns that show a swatch of the completed pattern with instructions on how to complete the pattern. In these books you can learn a lot of each pattern just based on the small amount of info given and it can help you determine the best stitch pattern for your project.
Most stitchtionaries will only provide you with a picture of the swatch and pattern instructions. On the surface this may seem unhelpful when trying to determine the drape of the fabric created from the pattern or how durable or delicate it is. But this is not always the case. If you look closely you can determine the drape by noticing how the fabric changes from the bound off edges to the middle. If the fabric nips in at the middle then it is a dense fabric that pulls its stitches tight making it hang heavy. If the swatch appears to be the same width from bound off edge to bound off edge than you can guess that it is a lighter fabric that can be easily adjust to hug a shape or hang nicely. The lightest fabrics will be airy laces or eyelet patterns followed by simple textured stitches- like stockinette, twisted stockinette and seed stitch- finishing with some dense stitches like linen, double knit and transverse herringbone.
Be sure you consider not only the drape or density of the fabric a stitch pattern will make but also how well it will play into the overall design of your project. If you are creating a sweater that features many details like ruffles, an interesting neckline or dramatic sleeves, chose a stitch pattern that is simple. This will keep the focus on your main elements. If your overall design is simple like a blanket, dishcloth or sock, go bold or dramatic to spice it up or make it interesting. You can also consider combining stitch patterns to emphasize elements you want noticed. For example you can create a sweater with a simple body shape featuring a bold stitch pattern (like a lace emblem or thick cable pattern) coupled with a simple pattern on the sleeves to keep all the focus on the body. Or you could create a lap blanket with a basic garter or moss stitch center and an attention-grabbing chevron or picot border.
When selecting your stitch pattern make sure you consider the main elements of your design- drape and density, focus and overall look. And finally don't forget to swatch, swatch, swatch!!!!
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One of the first tools you will learn to use as a knitter is the stitch marker. They come in many shapes, sizes, colors and designs. You can purchase them inexpensively, have them custom made or make them yourself. In the course of your knitting career you will use many different kinds of stitch markers depending on your yarn and needle size (Remember my mohair blog post, I recommend not using jump ring based stitch markers). Fortunately all stitch markers will work the same when it comes to using them in your knitted projects. There are basic uses and creative uses as well as desperate uses. I will cover all the basic uses and attempt to cover all the creative uses. As far as the desperate uses, I can simply recommend that you carry plenty in your notions bag. To move a stitch marker as you knit simply slip it as you would a stitch; don't work it just slip it (pass it from your left needle to your right).
Basic uses of Stitch Markers:
The most common and basic uses of stitch markers are to mark your stitches so you do not have to count every row or count to where your pattern changes every time. If you are knitting in the round you will place a marker between the last stitch of the previous round and the first stitch of the new round so you will know when a round has been worked and you can count how many you have worked. You can also use it to highlight where a pattern change is occurring such as a sleeve increase, bodice decrease or cable pattern. Place the marker at the beginning of this change and at the end so you will know where to work your changes and when to stop. This helps so you don't have to count over to a certain spot on every row. You can just work to the marker then work the change to the next marker and then continue on your way.
Markers can also help you count rows. I love to use them when working cables. With cable you must work the twist after a certain number of rows. With the stitch marker I count the number of rows from the marker up and then move the marker up when I work the next twist. The twist of cables can skew the rows a bit making it difficult to determine which row the twist was worked on and then throwing off the size of your cable. Using the stitch marker eliminates the guess work. You can also use them when you begin a decrease or increase and then count the rows since the marker instead of searching your project for signs of the beginning of the increase/decrease.
Creative uses of Stitch Markers:
I have been known on occasion to use my stitch markers to hold dropped stitches in check until I can repair them with my crochet hook. The stitch marker keeps the stitch from unraveling more and holds it in place if I don't have time to address it at present. I can also use my stitch markers to plan changes in my project before actually making the changes. If I am working on a sweater and I want to insert a dart or increase/decrease for shaping, I can slip in some stitch markers where I think the change should be made and then I can step back and determine any pattern disruptions, determine how the placement will look or try it on to see if the placement sits on my frame where I anticipated that it would. Also, when finishing a hat and I have gotten to the last few stitches and just need to weave in the tail and pull it tight, if I find myself without a tapestry needle I will slip the stitches to a stitch marker until I find a needle to finish.
My last and most creative use of a stitch marker is as a sock monkey earring for this great Sock Monkey Hat!
For a long time, I avoided any project with buttons holes for one reason: I could not make them neat. As hard as I tried buttonholes always threw off my projects. I could spend hours knitting something perfectly but when it came down to the buttonholes, it ruined the whole piece. Happily, I was not alone in my dislike for buttonholes and they have come a long way since I began knitting. Let me share with you some of my favorite methods to create great looking and hard working button holes.
Above I used Vertical Buttonhole for my French Press Pattern
When I pick up a button band or I need to knit horizontal buttonholes into a project, I go with this method. It is fast, easy and secure. The finished look is very clean and symmetrical. I love that it is all done in one row since I have a past of forgetting to cast back on for 2 row button holes and so I spend lots of time unknitting. One Row button hole: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EY4vBzLo-Xs.
Amy, from Knittinghelp.com has helped me through many issues with her helpful videos and no less so with this one. She recommends you write down the instructions but I have found a printable version here http://www.knittingdaily.com/glossary/one-row-buttonhole.aspx
Above is a 4 st One Row Buttonhole that is sturdy
enough for my homemade toggle buttons.
Eunny Lang, editor at Interweave Knits, demonstrates a more precise and slightly complicated (involving more tools than the above method) One Row Buttonhole here. I would recommend this buttonhole method when working with fine yarn, lace or when you need an absolute perfect buttonhole. This is the Rolls Royce of buttonholes, only to be trotted out when you need to show some pomp and splendor. For every day, the previous One Row Buttonhole version is your best bet. http://www.knittingdaily.com/blogs/daily/archive/2010/05/31/a-better-buttonhole.aspx
Now, sometimes a knitter needs a vertical buttonhole and horizontal will not do. In that case try JeshKnits pictorial tutorial. Her pictures are crisp and clear and show you from just the right angle how to go about achieving a great vertical buttonhole. I love these for sleeve bands and cowls. Vertical Buttonholes: http://jeshknits.wordpress.com/2010/01/06/vertical-buttonholes-a-tutorial/
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My previous Yarn Subbing post dealt with yarn weights and how to double or triple your yarn to match weight. This post will deal with another aspect, picking the right fiber. Once you have the weight squared away you need to be sure that you are swapping the right fiber to compliment your project. To do this you need to keep in mind three rules: Drape, Texture and Style.
Drape: When substituting one fiber for another it is necessary to consider the drape of the recommend yarn and the drape of your yarn. Is the recommended yarn (RY) light and airy or thick and stout? Does it clingy or fall straight. If it is a light mohair or silk blend, you want to stick with other yarns that will mimic their draping tendencies like light alpaca or angora. If your RY is thick ply cotton and you want to change it up to wool for warmth, pick wool with poly blend for density. You can judge a yarn somewhat by sight or use Ravelry to see other projects made from your chosen yarn. If it looks light and fuzzy, sleek and clingy or, tight and stout, stick with other yarns that share these draping characteristics.
Texture: Will your project feature loads of texture- neat cables or stunning bobbles- then choose a yarn that will let these features stand out. If your project will be all about color and less texture, then feel free to go with a novelty or lofty yarn (Think Ribbon or Mohair). Try to balance your texture with your yarn, the more textural detail you have going on the more toned down your yarn should be. The less texture going on, the opposite: go crazy with your yarn choice.
Style: You want to match the style of your pattern with your yarn. If you are making a really luxe looking car coat, you don't want a cheap looking yarn. If you are just whipping up a t-shirt, you don't need cashmere (unless you REALLY want it). The same goes for everything in between. Match your personal style to your yarn choice as well. If you aren't going to wear camel colored cashmere, don't get it because it is recommended or will sub well. Branch out a little but stay in your comfort zone. You know what you like and stick with it. I am not a mohair person, though I really want to be. I know deep down in my heart I am not and am not likely to wear it so I don't buy it or use it. If a pattern calls for it, I reach for baby alpaca, cashmere or llama instead. All have the delightful softness and fuzziness but I enjoy them so much better than mohair. Subbing is worth the work to find the right fiber for you!
There is always some point in a knitting pattern that I have realized that I'm missing a stitch from a row below. Usually this is with a substantial pattern will 300 or so sts per row (Murphy's Law and all). Not a piece you relish un-knitting, going back finding/fixing the problem and knitting again. Once you have figured out where the problem is it can be easy to fix an increase or add an increase without a lot of frogging and reknitting. Some increases are easier to fix than others.
YO (Yarn over)- this is an open increase that creates an eyelet. To fix a yarn over you just need to pick up the ladder between 2 stitches and put it on your left needle and knit it. Depending on how many rows down you need you increase to be you pick up the ladder from that row put it on your crochet hook (or 3rd needle, if you like) and fix your stitches back up the correct row.
M1 (Make one)- this is a relatively invisible increase. To add or fix a M1 increase you will pick up the ladder from the desired row just like a YO but you will then twist the loop and the place it on your fixing tool and work back up to your working row.
Kf&b (Knit front & back)- this creates a bar or a purl like stitch that adds a decorative or textural detail good for sleeve increases. Fixing a Kf&b can be tricky but with my video tutorial you will have it down in no time!