Slip Stitches, different effects

Slip stitches are easy to work. You’ve probably done them to work decreases and maybe a selvage or two. Have you used them to work a decorative 2 colour pattern? If you haven’t here’s how it works on a garter stitch scarf.

Tech notes: Slip stitches are always worked purlwise. That means insert your needle into the stitch as if you were going to purl the stitch and transfer it over to the right needle without working it. It’s simply a transfer of a stitch from left needle to right needle. The yarn, while working the slip stitch, is always carried across on the Wrong Side of the fabric. OK, that’s it.

When using 2 colours in a standard garter stitch stripe (2 rows in colour 1 and 2 rows in colour 2), slipping one stitch pulls the colour of the stitch you slipped up into the row you are now working. So working [K1, Slip 1] makes every other stitch a different colour. In this first pattern the white yarn works K1 and the blue yarn is slipped. The blue yarn from the previous row is pulled up into the white row. On the wrong side row the white yarn is knit and the blue yarn is slipped again (with the yarn in front – the wrong side of the fabric). The working yarn (white) moves back and forth between knitting and slipping, much like when you work a 1×1 rib. A bit of a pain but I think it’s worth it.

Rows 1 & 2: With blue, knit. Row 3 (RS): With white, work [K1, with yarn in back SL1]. Row 4: (WS) Work [with yarn in front SL1 (the blue stitch), K1 (the white stitch)]. The white stitches are in garter stitch (knit on both the RS and WS). The blue stitches look like stockinette stitches but they aren’t, they have been slipped over two rows.

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If we can work this as [K1, SL1] we could also work it as [K2, SL2]. Why not? That’s easy enough, right?

This time the first two knit rows are white and the slipped stitch rows are worked in blue. Rows 1 & 2: With white, knit. Row 3 (RS): Work [K2, SL2]. Row 4 (WS): Work [with yarn in front SL2, K2]. You can see the difference from the 1×1 pattern below it. Cool, eh? Just a little change and it looks quite different. Switching which colour works the first 2 knit rows also makes it look different.

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Why stop here. What if on Row 4 (WS) we purled instead of knit. What would that do? This is the first 1×1 stitch pattern worked as: 2 knit rows in blue, Row 3: With white [K1, SL1]. Row 4: (WS) Work [with yarn in front SL1, P1]. On this wrong side row you are keeping the yarn to the front of your work, on the purl row side, all the time which makes this quite a lot easier to work. None of that back and forth business, yay. But a little harder to see clearly. Can you see that it now looks like there are 2 stockinette rows worked between the blue garter ridges?

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Now that we’re on a roll let’s do the 2×2 stockinette version. Work 2 knit rows in white. Row 3: (RS) With blue, work [K2, SL2]. Row 4: (WS) Work [with yarn in front SL2, P2]. It’s easier here to see the blue stitches are knit on the right side and purled on the wrong side. It looks like the white garter stitch rows are floating on top of a blue stockinette stitch fabric or maybe I’m being a bit fanciful here, ha, ha.

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One, two, three, four. Here’s the total affect.

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Stay safe and happily knitting,

Deb

Gauge-Free and Any Gauge patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew pattern by Deb & Lyn

Eyelets 4 ways

I’m working on the beginning triangles of a new scarf pattern. The triangles get larger and larger until you have the depth of scarf you desire. These triangles will form one of the tails which will hang down the front of the body. I don’t like to have a colour pattern on the tails of a scarf because then I am always fussing to keep the right side of the pattern showing. I decided to try different ways of working eyelets since they look good on both sides.

I put my scarf in the sink while still on the needle and hung it out with my laundry. I wanted to see how deep the scarf was going to be. The white hand-spun really bloomed. Good to know that as I go forward. 20200707_132839

Triangle One (on the far left) has eyelets worked on the wrong side of the fabric. This is a 4 row pattern more or less based on a stockinette stitch background:

Right Side Row 1: Knit.  Wrong Side Row 2: [YO, P2tog] repeat.  Right Side Row 3:  Knit.   Wrong Side Row 4:  Knit. This last row creates a ridge on the Right Side.  I really like that the eyelet holes sit between 2 Right Side knit rows. I think the holes look bigger and more defined.   

Why bother working the eyelets on the wrong side row? I find that the needle position for working P2tog makes more sense to me and is easier to work than the K2tog. But I get that P2tog may not be your favourite stitch.

So I made Triangle Two with the regular eyelet pattern worked on the Right Side rows with several garter rows in between.

RS Row 1: [YO, K2tog] repeat.  Rows 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6:  Knit.  This pattern places the eyelet holes between two garter ridges.

Just to try that again I worked Triangle 3 with Eyelets worked on the Right Side, every other row. This is one you are probably quite familiar with.

RS Row 1: [YO, K2tog] repeat.  WS Row 2: Knit. 

One more triangle, Triangle Four, and back to the beginning with the P2tog eyelets because, well I’d had enough of the other ones. This time I added a second colour. Same 4 row pattern though.

With Main Colour, work  RS Row 1: Knit.  WS Row 2: [YO, P2tog] repeat.

With Contrast Colour, work  RS Row 3: Knit.  WS Row 4:  Knit. 

I have to say I loved this last one and was sorry when the triangle was finished. I’m going to have to use this again somewhere soon. Do you want another look at my laundry?

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There are many ways to use eyelets. These were a couple of easy combinations. Enjoy.

Stay safe and happy knitting,

Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns by Deb & Lyn

 

A Counter for a 3 row repeat

How would you handle a stitch pattern with a 4 round repeat with increases worked every 3 rounds. Whoa, working a 4 round/3 round combo is very complicated. How would you keep track? Do you have a system? I found one that worked perfectly for me.

The Bartholomew’s Tantalizing Socks from the New Pathways for Sock Knitters has just this set up for the gusset shaping. Do not fear, Cat Bordhi has written out every row for her knitters. But as I seem unable to follow line-by-line instructions faithfully I had to find another solution. Could I keep track with a counter on my phone, put little ticks on a page, write out a long list of row numbers and cross them off? If you’ve been in a class with me you might be laughing here.  I hate the tick method. I urge knitters to look at their knitting and use it to keep track. But in this case the stitch pattern makes it really hard to see the increases. So the laughs on me.

During one of my walks a solution came to me. My friend Dana had, many years ago, told me how she keeps track of sleeve increases. Now was the perfect time to try her system out. Are you ready? It’s really high tech.

Take a piece of yarn and tie 3 knots in it so that you have 3 loops.20200702_104438

Put loop 1 on your needle somewhere convenient. I put it one stitch before the marker where I will work the first increase and start the stitch pattern. Loop 1 means work an increase at the beginning and at the end of the stitch pattern on this round.20200629_085444

Next round insert your needle into loop 2 and work stitch pattern. Next round pick up loop 3 and work stitch pattern. Next round pick up loop 1 and work increases again along with the stitch pattern. Repeat.20200703_093234

I found the stitch pattern easy to keep track of. It was getting the increases in the right place that was difficult. You could also make another 4 loop string for the 4 row stitch pattern if you needed it.

I have a couple of suggestions for improvements.

  1. A smooth yarn would have worked better. The loops would have been easier to find quickly. I grabbed a piece of  yarn that was within reach but it would have been better to get up off my chair and find some smooth cotton to make my looped string.
  2. Tie a bead or button to the bottom of the string. This will make it hang like a fancy stitch marker on the needle since the bottom would be weighted. I’m going to try this next time. I’m sure I have a bead or two in my button jar. If you use this for more than 3 loops this would help to keep track of the last loop in the sequence.
  3. A high contrast colour would have helped too.

This is a game changer for me. You’re never too old to learn a new trick.

Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns by Deb & Lyn

 

Contrast colour angst

Are you a good colourist? I find choosing a contrast colour difficult. I’m learning, I hope, but not without lots of confusion, doubt and in the end, much ripping back and starting over.

I chose this Scheepjes Our Tribe sock wool (Cypress Textiles colour) to knit a pair of socks. It’s a blue/green in a light shade and I though a stitch pattern would show well. After getting my socks started I decided that, although it says it’s superwash, it was not spun tight enough to stand up to my rigorous wearing and washing.cypress textiles wool

When I knit socks I have fun with the colours. I knit orange socks, yellow socks, purple socks, green socks and many muli-coloured socks. But this colour, although fine for socks, would not have been my usual colour choice for any other garment.

This then was a learning challenge. My new scarf starts with triangles which, this time, I’m working in different Eyelet patterns. The first two triangles are made with this wool. You can see the slow colour change happening.(It’s greener than this photo shows.)20200628_203305

Now I need to choose a contrast colour. How do I bring the green out? It’s rather pale so any strong colour didn’t look right. Any of the blue yarn I tried didn’t look right either. I tried a taupe colour since there is some in the shading of this yarn.20200627_114135

The overall result is very dark and on this gloomy day I just couldn’t take it. 20200627_110255 - Copy (2)

It didn’t last long. Rip, rip, rip. Back to my stash and more head scratching. When stumped, go the other extreme. I chose the creamiest winter white I had. It lightens the scarf and at this point it seems like the best I can do since my needles are itching to continue.20200627_133338

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Better? It’s not gloomy anyway. This may or may not turn out as I expected, probably not, but …  I won’t know unless I carry on.

Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns by Deb & Lyn

 

New to me Socks

Socks are made so many different ways now that it’s hard to keep up. I’ve decided to give some of my summer knitting over to non-traditional sock making.

To get started I looked through my stack of knitting books to find a book I bought but never got around to using: Cat Bordhi’s New Pathways for Sock Knitters, Book One. Whoa, I’m really late to this party. This was published in 2007!!

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I can attest to it being weird and wonderful. I have completed a pair of Coriolis socks (top left on the cover). Toe-Up with a heel flap. I have always found it difficult to get the length from toe to heel flap correct in this style of sock. The instructions were excellent and these are the correct length. YAY.

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I love the swirling line which breaks up the stripes of the Heritage Paints wool. I worked these from the Master Pattern for any gauge of yarn because my yarn didn’t fit any of the line-by-line patterns. I think there is an option for more swirl lines and I would like to try that next time. Because there will be a next time.

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Next I thought I would try out a cuff down sock. I chose the Bartholomew’s Tantalizing Socks and followed the pattern, as closely as I ever get to following exactly. I love the slip stitches and what they do to the variegated yarn. (Same Heritage Paints yarn because I love it and at one time bought a whole bag.)

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Don’t you love the stitch pattern? Here’s a close up. K1, with yarn in front Slip 1. A little bit of manipulating, bringing the wool back and forth but totally worth it.

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Of course it was a little more confusing when it got to the heel with the standard Heel Stitch: K1, with yarn in Back Slip 1. There was a bit of “ooops, rip back and start again with yarn in Back this time”. I expect to experience the same fun now that the heel is finished and I start working the original pattern on the foot. Yarn in front, yarn in front, yarn in front.

I have never tried working the reinforced Heel Stitch on the bottom of the heel. Have you? Some of my knitting guild friends highly recommend it. I guess I will see if I like it when these are worn. Something to look forward to when it’s not 28 degrees (celsius) outside.

Hope knitting is keeping you happy and sane,

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns by Deb & Lyn

Someone New

We have a brand new, bright light in our life. Max is 8 days old today and after isolating for the last 3 weeks we are so happy to be part of his household. I’m in Nana heaven.20200617_103813 - Copy

I don’t think he knows yet but this little guy has a big job ahead of him. He’s going to keep his parents and his grandparents going over the months to come.20200616_155853 - Copy

If you’ve guessed by seeing the headscarf, you’re right, my daughter Morgan has breast cancer. She found out in early April (yeah, just 2 weeks after the lockdown started) in her 7th month. She started chemo treatments while pregnant, had this little guy and then started treatments again yesterday and will continue into the fall and beyond.

This has been our pandemic, too far away to visit but hey, we’re here now and loving every minute of it.

Have I been knitting like a crazy person? I finished the first prototype of this new scarf and a matching shawl, 3 baby sweaters and a baby wrap with letters, a pair of socks and a sweater for my daughter which she can’t wear until the fall but I just really needed to knit her something. I started a summer sweater, ripped it out and started again. I cut large chunks off 2 more sweaters (a destructive phase, short but felt good) and … I’m sure I’ve missed something because there was more.20200616_122301 - Copy

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Knitting has helped me through these last months and I hope your knitting is helping you too. Cheers and hope you are all doing well and enjoying the sunshine,

Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-free patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns by Deb and Lyn

A Letter Wrap

My mantra at the moment is Modifications R Us. Although I have been reading and paying attention to world events, I have also been busy knitting. I don’t know what I would do without yarn and needles in my hands.

My project is a wrap, a modification of this All You Need scarf pattern by Heidi Kirrmaier which, by the way, I would highly recommend.

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I began with a provisional cast on for the letter L because I never intended to knit a scarf. The letters are the really fun part after all. The letters are modular, join-as-you-go. Ms. Kirrmaier suggests that when working the O, in garter stitch in-the-round, to join up the L and V that you might want to go down a needle size. Excellent advice for loose purlers but I’m an excellent purler so of course paid no attention. OK you guessed it, I had to rip back because, hello, she was totally right.Love wrap

My idea was to make a wrap with a decorative edging. I usually don’t do much in the way of fancy stitches, a deep rut that I need to crawl out of, but this was a project that needed a little something. The stitch pattern I chose is from a pair of socks I designed called Pine Cone Sock. It seemed best to start with a pattern I am a little familiar with. 

I changed it from a 9 row pattern to a 10 row pattern and I think it looks pretty good as a border. The pattern is based on Twist Right and Twist Left stitches which are favourites of mine.Love wrap (3)

The wrap is 17″/43cm deep and 48″/127cm long. I might block it one more time for a tiny bit more length. Now back to sock knitting while I think about what’s next on my modifications list.

Cheers, hope you are well and happily knitting,

Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns by Deb & Lyn

Re-working Knits Works

All that knitting and there it sits, a sweater I never wear. After looking at it and putting it on it seemed obvious that with some changes it just might become a sweater I would enjoy wearing. Why not try it? I’m not wearing it anyway so …

This is the one of my Gauge-Free Raglan Pullover samples. I wanted to show it in a heavy wool with a big cable down the centre front and back. It also has a smaller cable down the centre sleeves. So all in all it’s a good design which I never wore.

I made a plan: shorten this pullover and add some more height to the neckband.

gauge-free raglan (3) Mods

Getting started required a bit of cursing. This is mandatory before going into the kitchen to get the scissors. I sewed the tail end in at the bottom of this sweater too well!! Ha, that will teach me. One little snip and a big rip back, around 4 1/2″, with my fingers crossed. It worked. It feels much lighter. I hope it looks cute and jaunty now instead of a big heavy pullover.

gauge-free raglan (4)

Next the neckband. Because it was picked up around the neck opening and worked up, I think this will be a fairly easy fix. I undid the cast off, put the stitches on a smaller needle and worked 3 sets of short rows to raise the back of neck. Because I was only doing a few short rows with big chunky wool, I worked the short row Turns on the Front itself starting just past the Front raglan line. Usually I might start the short row turns at the centre sleeve and work them towards the Front and down into it a little way. But, hey, I’m taking risks anyway so why not up the ante. (That big cable you can see on the right is the centre front.) Thick wool really makes the short rows do their work quickly.

short row gauge-free raglan

Ta, da, here it is. I’m so happy with it now. I had it on yesterday and it feels light and fun.

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Now I’m rummaging around my pile of knits to see what other magic I can work. How about you?

Cheers, Deb

Gauge-Free and Any Gauge Patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns by Deb & Lyn

Why don’t I wear this sweater?

Spring has sprung and it’s time to wash and then put away the heavy woollies. As I take out sweater after sweater, I wonder why certain ones never got worn. I liked it when I knit it. I like everything while I’m knitting. I thought at the time I would wear it.  Why didn’t I? Maybe it’s time to find out and do something about it.

Here is one of my Gauge-Free Raglan Pullovers. This was one of the last ones I knit as a sample for the pattern and I took a couple of short cuts or at lease didn’t give it the time and consideration I could have. I pick it up and put it down a lot. I even get as far as putting it on and then take it off. Hmm, I wonder why? It’s time to find out.gauge-free raglan (2)

I like the woolly feel of it. I like the big cable down the front and back and the little cable down the sleeves. It was fun to knit. The fit is fine. It’s totally worth the time and effort to get right. Time to investigate. I put it on one more time. What’s bothering me?IMG_3898

  1. I think it would be more attractive if it was shorter. It feels heavy when it’s on so making it shorter would make it feel lighter.
  2. I think the neck opening looks too wide for me. I would like to fill it in more.
  3. I wish the neckband was raised at the back of neck. I can feel the edge of it lower down on the back of my neck than I would like. Making the neckband wider will help but I think I’ll do some short rows to raise the back of the neck this time.

 

I’m feeling better already. I have a plan. It starts with ripping. I know ripping can be painful but this is in a good cause and seems right.gauge-free raglan (3) Mods

  1.  Rip back to a shorter length. This is knit top down so all I have to do is snip one stitch of the cast off and start ripping until the length seems best and then re-knit the bottom ribbed edge.
  2. Rip out the neckband. Since it was picked up around the neck opening and cast off at the top edge of the neckband, I have another easy rip back.
  3. Use the yarn I took off the bottom of the sweater to reknit the neckband to deeper length with short rows to raise the back of the neck.

Now I’m getting excited. This is sooo going to work.

Do you have some sweaters you need to rework? Have you done this before?

Cheers, Deb

Gauge-Free and Any Gauge patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Symmetry vs Asymmetry

How attached are you to symmetry? When I try to work asymmetry into my own designs they seem to work hard to revert to something symmetrical. I’m trying to work against this tendency. Sometimes it works.

The other factor in favour of asymmetry is that my mind and maybe yours, is restless and easily distracted. The thought of working too much of the same thing is not appealing right now.

So I’m working on a scarf or shawl in 3 sections where I, and eventually you, will be able to change it up.

It starts with triangles that begin small and get larger and larger, worked join-as-you-go to your desired depth of scarf, in this case about 8″/20cm deep.20200517_091914

Then there is a straight centre section worked on the bias. This is a simple 2 row repeat so you will be able to play. I tried 3 different stitch patterns: stripes, eyelets and the daisy stitch. Do you have some other favourite stitch patterns that could work?

I didn’t do this for long as you can see. I made the first section very long. I was afraid if I kept going I would have to wind this scarf around my neck several times as if I was a giraffe. But hey, if that’s a good look for you, go for it. I took the scissors to my prototype, snip, snip, first two triangles are gone and now it’s a much better shape for me.

Then for the final section I worked a scalloped edge which can go on forever, OK not forever but certainly until you run out of yarn, stitches or patience.20200517_092104

 After surgery, my scarf is 66″/168cm long and weighs 125g.20200517_110131

What do you think? Would you like the option to make both ends match? Where do you stand on the symmetry/asymmetry question?

Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sewpatterns