Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Converting Flat Stitch Patterns for Round Knitting

This is just a little tutorial I put together to help you out if you would like to knit something in the round, but aren't sure how to get the stitch pattern to work out.  I will be perfectly honest - this is not an easy thing for me!  It does take me a little while before I "get it" with some stitch patterns.  So, you are not alone if you aren't able to convert stitch patterns easily.  I do get a thrill when I finally figure out some of the trickier ones, which is what makes me keep trying different patterns.  Practice makes perfect - so don't get discouraged if something doesn't work out the first time.  Keep trying!

Of course I did not come up with this information on my own.  This all can be found in Barbara Walker's Second Treasury of Knitting, as well as various other places on the web.  Also, Margaret Radcliffe has a new book due out in just a few short weeks, called Circular Knitting Workshop: Essential Techniques to Master Knitting in the Round.  I pre-ordered this back in December and have been so anxious to get it, I keep checking to see if maybe it will be released sooner!  This book is supposed to have information on converting stitch patterns for knitting in the round, which is the reason I want it.

Below are instructions along with a few stitches for you to try out to get your needles going if you have never converted flat to round knitting.  You can print this tutorial out so you can have it in your hands - which I find is a lot easier than having to constantly looking at the computer.  There is also a free hat pattern using Star Stitch for you to print out too.  Last but not least, there is a video briefly going over the tutorial and I will show you the stitches given in the tutorial.

I hope this tutorial is helpful, and that you like the hat pattern.  Happy Knitting and Enjoy!

Converting Flat Stitch Patterns for Knitting in the Round

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2012 and Piecework March/April 2012


I recently received both of these magazines in the mail!  You can click the images above for more info, or visit the websites via the links in the "Magazines" tab at the top of the blog.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Interweave Spring 2012

This arrived in my mail box not long ago.  I can't wait for the weekend to wrap up in a blanket with a cappuccino and read it from cover to cover!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Quite Contrary Scarf Pattern

I am pleased to offer this lovely scarf pattern for sale over on Craftsy!  Click HERE to go to the pattern.  It is $3.50 to download the pattern.  The scarf is knit with Cascade Ultra Pima, which is a soft, luxurious 100% cotton yarn that comes in a rainbow of beautiful colors.  The color pictured is Periwinkle.

There is also a video to help with some of the techniques used in the scarf you may not be familiar with.

Pick Up and Knit or Purl

I thought I would do a brief post about how to pick up and knit stitches, since the technique is used on the Quite Contrary Scarf to add ruffles.  Pictures and a short video follow.

You will see this instruction in sock knitting when working on the heel, or perhaps along the cast on or bind off edge of a scarf to add ruffles, or along the long edge to make a hooded scarf.  There are other instances when you may need to pick up and knit, of course.

While you can pick up along any knitted edge, I find it easiest to use the crochet cast on if I will be picking up along the cast on edge, and slip the first stitch of each row if stitches are to be picked up along the sides.  A standard knitted bind off will be just fine if you need to pick up along the cast off edge.

I recommend always inserting your needle under two strands, if possible, for more stability; you can just pick up under one strand of yarn though.  Since the new yarn you are picking up is not anchored to anything, I always wind the tail end around one of my fingers to hold it in place until a few stitches have been knit.  On the return row, the loop is going to be loose; simply pull to tighten it up and knit the tail along with the working yarn into the first couple of stitches to help keep it in place.

To pick up and knit, hold the yarn as you would when you normally make a knit stitch.  Insert your right needle from front to back under the first two strands as near the edge as you can get, wrap the yarn around the needle as normal and pull it through.  Continue picking up as many stitches as directed by the pattern.

To pick up and purl, make sure the yarn is in front of the work, and  insert the needle as you normally would when purling, from back to front and wrap the yarn around the needle, and pull yarn through.  Continue picking up as many stitches as directed by the pattern.

Written word is not often clear.  Here are some pictures and a video.  Hope this helps!

This is my cast on edge.  I used the crochet cast on which gives a clean edge that is easy to pick up.  The highlighted loops are where you want to pick up.

A close up of the picked up stitch

Wrap the yarn as you normally would - this picture is a knit stitch.  You would simply hold the yarn in front and make a purl stitch if the directions say to pick up and purl.

The yarn has been pulled through - the stitch has been picked up and knitted.

This is just a picture once all of the stitches have been picked up.

This is a picture of a picked up stitch along a non-slipped side of the fabric.  It is much easier to pick up slipped stitches - a slipped stitch edge looks like the crochet cast on edge above.  

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pittsburgh 2012 Knit and Crochet Festival

I had a great time yesterday!  So glad I was able to go.  I got some beautiful yarn that I can't wait to use.  I also got two Japanese Stitch books that I have been drooling over for quite some time now.  If you'd like to see pictures of the show and yarn I got, go here to my FaceBook page.  (There are other pictures in this album, for some reason I keep getting an error when I try to move them to the Knitting album)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Lacy Ruffle Scarf

Lacy Ruffle Scarf

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Knitting Ruffles

There are many different types of ruffles that you can add to your knitting in many different ways. I'm just going to cover a few simple ruffles here. If you like ruffles, you may want to check out Knitting on the Edge by Nicky Epstein

First up is the simplest and most basic ruffle. It is just a gentle ruffle - nothing too frilly or over the top.  

All you have to do is cast on twice as many stitches as you plan to use for your main pattern. Knit a few rows - I like the look of a stockinette ruffle, but you can certainly use garter stitch if you like; or experiment with different stitches such as seed stitch.  After a few rows, you will need to decrease. Just work a row of K2tog - or P2tog even. So for instance, if you plan to work with 10 stitches and you've cast on 20, you will be removing 10 stitches on the decrease row and be left with the 10 you need for your project. 

Next is a more ruffly ruffle.  This one simply expands on the above idea. Cast on three times as many stitches as you plan to use for your main pattern, work a few rows, then decrease. You can simply work a row of K3tog or P3tog as the decrease, or you can flex your knitting brain and calculate how to work the decreases over the next two rows instead of just one. Knitting or purling 3 together can be a little tight/tricky, so you may opt for spreading the decreases out over two rows. For instance, let's again say you want to work with 10 stitches. You have 30. You could work the decreases this way: Next row, *K1, K2tog* along the row. This should leave you with 20 stitches. Next row, K2tog across the row, and you should have left the 10 stitches for your main pattern. 

Finally, you can pick up and knit along the edge of a finished piece to make the ruffle. You want to add the ruffle to a finished edge, not live stitches. Ruffles need a nice, firm edge to hold on to. If you add a ruffle to live stitches, the ruffle will spread the fabric out. 

Say you are knitting a scarf and want to add a ruffle to each end after the fact. To make the picking up easier, you may want to use the crochet cast on so that the cast on stitches are clearly defined and easy to pick up. Your standard knitted bind off also created a nice edge easy for picking up and knitting. I'm sure there are other cast ons and bind offs that will give you a nice edge to pick up, but since I typically just use the ho-hum knitted bind off and crochet cast on or long tail, I couldn't give an example of any others. 

In this particular sample, I picked up 14 stitches along my cast on edge, then knit a few rows in stockinette, then increased big time. I knit into the front and back of each stitch in the next row, as well as making a yarn over between each stitch, totaling 42 stitches. I next worked a plain row and then bound off.  This gave me a very ruffly, eyelet edge. 

You can knit the ruffle as long as you like, but the longer it is, it will turn to a flounce as opposed to a ruffle. It's really all a matter of personal taste.  So get out your yarn and needles and start playing. You might like the same method of making a ruffle in one type of yarn but not another.  Experimenting is part of the fun of knitting. 

Here is a video of the ruffles in this post.  Happy Knitting!