Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Add a Garter Stitch Border to Knitting



HERE is the Seed Stitch Border

I sometimes mention in my stitch videos that a stitch has sloppy edges, and you may want to add a border depending on what you plan to use the stitch for.

I've often been asked exactly how to add a border - so here is a series of videos showing how I do it.

I almost always use a seed stitch border, but a garter stitch border is also attractive.  A border not only neatens up the edges, but it can also help a curly stitch lay flat (think stocking stitch).  There may still be some curl left, but a border can help.   You may also want to consider slipping the first stitch for an extra neat edge.

All you really have to do is cast on extra stitches to be used on either side, and knit a few rows in the same stitch before beginning the stitch pattern, then a few more rows before binding off.  It really is that simple.

I do recommend you swatch before starting your project, to make sure you like how everything looks.  Let's say you want a garter stitch border along the sides that is six stitches wide.  Your stitch pattern, however, has you knitting the first two stitches on both the RS and WS.  Those two stitches are going to add to the six stitches you have designated for your border, making it look wider.  Or, on a stitch I swatched around with recently, there was one stitch along the right side of the fabric that was knit on the RS and purled on the WS, which created a line of stocking stitch.  It looked a little funny, so for that example I would probably add another stitch to the left side of the fabric, to recreate that line of stocking stitch so both edges look the same.   Or maybe, your stitch pattern has a few rows of garter stitch at the beginning of the pattern, that isn't repeated for the last few rows.  That would make the border wider at the bottom than at the top; in that instance, you could add more rows of garter stitch to the top before binding off.  Don't be afraid to play around with stitches to achieve a look that you like.  It's also ok to try omitting a stitch or two if it won't change the look of the overall pattern.  Again - this is why swatching is important before starting your project.  It is never fun to put hours of work into something, only to realize that it doesn't look quite right and you have to rip back and start over.

At this point, I have three videos in mind.  I may add one or two more in the future, though.  The thing I like about these, is they look the same on both sides, so there is now worry about what side your stitch pattern starts on.

Here is the first one - Garter Stitch Border

I just used a yo-k2tog pattern for this example.

Cast on 16

Row 1: k1 *yo, k2tog* Repeat between * to last st, k1

That is repeated for all rows, and makes for some pretty sloppy edges as you can see in the picture above.

To add the Garter Stitch Border, I added 8 extra stitches - four for each side, plus I knit three plain rows before starting the stitch pattern and three plain rows before binding off.

Cast on 24

Set up:  Knit three rows of plain knitting

Row 1: k5 *yo, k2tog*  Repeat between * to last five sts, k5

Repeat Row 1 for desired length

Finishing: Knit three rows of plain knitting, then bind off

Here is the video  - Happy Knitting!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Cables and Ribs Chunky Cowl

I love this cowl!  It is thick, dense, bulky and knit using reversible cables!  I know summer is upon us, but I am already looking ahead to the cooler days, and this will be so nice when the cold weather comes back!

You can purchase this pattern from my Craftsy store by clicking on the picture below.

Weave in Loose Ends

Weaving in loose ends, the final step in completing a project!  My least favorite part of the process.  Some knitters work in tails as they go - me, I put it off until I absolutely have to do it.

I am not too particular with this part of the process, but others are.  Look around, and you will see many different ways knitters weave in their tails.  For instance, Purl Bee has some excellent weave in methods - I am just usually too lazy to be so particular.

Here is how I do mine - usually with a crochet hook, I just weave in and out along the cast on  and bind off edges.  If I am feeling ambitious, I will break out the yarn needle and carefully weave along the stitch pattern.  Other times, I will just weave along the edge as I would with a crochet hook.  Sometimes, I work right under the edge.  Any way you do it, if it looks good to you, then don't worry about it.  There is no wrong way to do it :0)

Monday, June 3, 2013

How to Knit from a Chart

If you have never knit from a chart, or are afraid of charts - I encourage you to at least give it a try!  It really isn't hard at all.  When I first started knitting, I stayed far away from anything with a chart.  However, one day I decided to try, because I really wanted to knit a shawl, but the pattern was only charted.  Turns out, there was nothing to be afraid of, and I found that I actually like knitting from charts.

In this video, I will go over two charts - what they look like, symbols, and how to decipher them.  This is just a guideline which can be used for lace charts, color charts, flat knitting, and just about any knitting chart out there.  I do want to say that it is important to read all of the information that comes with your pattern, so you know how to interpret the chart and especially what the symbols in your chart mean.  Not every designer will use the same symbols to mean the same thing.  This video will show you how most charts are typically set up to work - but again, make sure you read through your pattern completely since there could be a particular way the designer intends the chart to be read.

I will also knit a small piece of lace in the video using the first chart.  You can get the chart below if you would like to try working from a chart.  I promise, it is really easy, even if you have never knit from a chart before.

The sample in the chart is for Fern Leaf Lace.  You will need to know how to make the following stitches:

sk2po (slip a stitch knitwise, knit 2 together, pass the slipped stitch over the k2tog)
skpo (slip a stitch knitwise, knit 1, pass slipped stitch over the knit stitch)
k2tog (knit next 2 stitches together as if they were one)
yo (yarn over)

If you don't know how to do any of the above, I have videos for all of them on my YouTube Channel.  Check the Knitting Basics and Beyond the Basics Playlists for these videos.