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.

20200717_090106

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.

20200717_090141

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?

20200717_090231

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.

20200717_090306

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

20200717_092258

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?

20200707_132856

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

 

Knit Stripes 3×3

I think 3×3 is the best way to stripe a cardigan or any piece of flat knitting. You may not consider a Top Down Cardigan flat knitting but it is done working back and forth with Right and Wrong Side rows which is where this works. Check it out.

Three colours, 3 rows each. Here are three reasons why you might want to give it a try:

  1. You use all the colours equally throughout.
  2. You carry the yarn up both front edges of the cardigan (or edge of your flat knitting). Both front edges will then be equal in length. If carrying yarn up only one front edge, it may be pulled tighter and then be shorter than the other front edge.
  3. The colour you need for the next stripe is exactly in the right place when you need it.

Reason Number 2 is how I started using the 3×3 stripes on a cardigan. Method Number 3 is why I love to work it. This cardigan which will become a New Any Gauge Top Down pattern some day. It’s early days yet.

20190717_105637.jpg

The 3×3 Stripes work like this:

Work 3 rows in Gold, drop that yarn and work 3 rows in Blue, drop yarn and work another 3 rows in Purple, drop yarn.

3x3 stripe start

Now you want to work the next Gold stripe. The Gold yarn is hanging right there on the front edge you just finished working the Purple on. Pick up the Gold and work 3 more rows finishing on the other Front edge.

3x3 stripes number 4

Hello, there is the Blue yarn hanging out there ready to work the next Blue stripe. Pick up the Blue and work 3 more rows finishing on the other Front edge …

3x3 stripes number 5

where the Purple is waiting. Pick up the Purple and work another stripe. Then pick up the Gold and continue on working 3 row stripes with a big smile on your face.

3x3 stripes continue

Is this a perfect set up or what?!

20190717_105907 - Copy

Not ready to jump in? Try a little person cardigan: Neapolitan (named after the ice cream) where I’ve written out all the rows for you, line by line. Knit in DK weight in Cotton Tweed by Cabin Fever.

Neapolitan P1040395 (2) - Copy

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

Any Gauge patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns on ravelry

Double increase with YO

Where do your “oops” happen? When I make mistakes it’s almost always at the end of the row. The longer the row, the more chance there is that I will completely loose the plot. I spend a lot of time unpicking stitches at the ends of rows to redo what I should have done as I approached the end, frustrating.

That is the explanation for the increase I used on the Magic Symmetry Shawl pattern. I thought it best to do a 2-stitch increase right at the beginning when it’s fresh, instead of a single increase at the beginning and end of the row. Then you can work all those knit stitches with no worries, letting your mind drift to wherever it wants to go.

Double Increase with YO: work [K1, YO, K1] all in the same stitch – increase of 2 stitches. Here is an excellent video by Suzanne Bryan on How to work KYOK.

It makes little consistent holes along the edge.

20190516_135445

This is my favourite of the three Magic Symmetry Shawls I knit.

20190714_105546

20190714_105720

I dove into my stash and collected these bits. The greeny-blue ball on the left was left-over from a cowl. The middle and right balls are small balls of sock yarn (I have small feet so have lots of these little balls). They together weighed 117g. Perfect for a scarf.

20190511_110131

Greeny-blue background with Striped Magic Rows in the darker colourful wool.

magic shawl (2) - Copy

When I ran out of the one greeny-blue I just started with the next one. You might be able to catch where the change is.

20190516_135445

Then I thought it could be a little longer so dove into my odd ball stash again and found a tiny sock ball with a little of that same green in it along with those little black and white blips. You know the kind of sock yarn I mean? The blips add a certain something to the outside edge. I ran out of greeny-blue so finished up with the last of the variegated and had only a couple feet of yarn left, that’s all. Whoohoo.

20190627_100447

Thanks for reading. Hope you’re having fun shawl-knitting,

Deb

Any Gauge patterns by Deb, Magic Symmetry Shawl

Cabin Fever patterns and Books on ravelry

Star Toe Up Socks

Have you tried Toe Up Socks? They are my go-to method. But maybe getting started has you hesitating. The popular way to get started is with Judy’s Magic Cast On, by Judy Becker, which mimics the Cuff Down grafting of the toe, in reverse. I find it challenging to work well. If you have it down terrific. If not, I have an alternative that is easy and totally works.

It’s called the Star Toe (I did a video, have a look) which begins with a cast on of 8 stitches, in your usual cast on method, Phew. Divide the stitches onto 2 double pointed needles or the 2 tips of your circular needle for Magic Loop and start increasing.star toe 2 needle start

Double point users: I only divide my 8 sts onto two double points for the first round because putting 2 sts on each of 4 double pointed needles leads to much dropping of needles and cursing. As soon as I have enough stitches I add in more double pointed needles.

The toe is divided into 4 sections. Right now there are 2 sts in each of the 4 sections and 2 sections are on each of the needles. As soon as you start the Increase Rounds below the 4 sections become obvious.star toe 4 sections

The star toe works by increasing into the first stitch of each section. I use the Kfb increase (knit into the front and back of same stitch).

Round 1:  *Kfb, K1; repeat from * to end of round. – increase of 4 sts (12 sts on needles)

Now you have enough stitches to add in more double pointed needles. Magic Loopers just continue as set up.

Round 2:  *Kfb, K2; repeat from * to end of round.

Round 3:  *Kfb, K3; repeat from * to end of round.

You get the general idea here. Continue to work increases into the first stitch of each of the 4 sections until you have approximately 1/2 your total sock stitches.DSC_0299

Now introduce a Knit Round, alternating a knit round and an increase round.

Next Round:  Knit.

Increase Round:  *Kfb, knit to end of section; repeat from * 3 more times.

Repeat these last 2 rounds until the Star Toe is the correct size.

How do you know it’s the correct size? Measure across the width of the toe OR stick your toes into it. Note: the sock toe is slightly bigger than it appears! That’s because it’s stuck on straight needles so stop increasing when it’s a little tight and it will be correct.

I just finished a sock for my husband. I don’t worry about the exact number of stitches when I start, I just work the toe until it’s the correct width across (4 1/2″) for a 9″ circumference sock for his foot. Then I knit and knit and knit for his size 11 foot.DSC_0295

It turned out perfectly. Onto sock number two.DSC_0302

And the toe fits!!DSC_0308

Hope that encourages you to get started on a Toe Up sock. Thanks for reading,

Deb

ANY GAUGE and GAUGE-FREE patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever patterns on ravelry.

Deb oninstagram

Double Decreases, which one to use

Lace knitting involves lots of awkwardness and sometimes you have to work to make it as pleasant as you can. There is a chart to read and if you screw up there you’re in deep trouble, yarn overs which can be easy to miss and decreases where the slant is important and needs to be kept track of. Lace knitting is beautiful, the more complex, the more beautiful. It’s hard to resist.

img_0284
The lace dress that I almost didn’t wear. My wedding glitch.

Can we remove some of the pitfalls? Knitting Techy Talk begins here.

First of all you need Markers. In the body of this lace sweater I was working 20 repeats of the pattern.  Without markers I could make a mistake in the second repeat and not realize until I didn’t have the correct number of stitches at the end of the round. That would be the end of lace knitting for me, right there, that round. The knitting would be winging it’s way across the room as the air turned blue. I did that with my first lace project. I have learned a few things since then: Use Markers.

dsc_0039

With markers after every 10 stitch repeat, how far wrong could I go? Believe me I corrected quite a few errors within those 10 stitch repeats as I was knitting this top but I didn’t have to rip rounds back. (OK, I admit there was that one section I had to rip back but I was already so far down that I didn’t mind doing it.)

Unfortunately, for this stitch pattern the markers created a problem. Sometimes you just can’t win.

dsc_0091

double decrease blog post, 123

 

The Double Decreases (the inverted V) at the end of the repeats are the problem. Once the markers are placed the Double Decreases used in this pattern are awkward to work. The 3 stitches involved in this decrease are numbered on the chart and you can see that the Marker is between stitch #2 & stitch#3. There lies the problem.

This pattern uses this Double Decrease: Slip 1 stitch knitwise, knit 2 stitches together, pass slipped stitch over. Easy enough until … you add in markers for each repeat.

dsc_0155

double decrease blog post, 123

This is really how it works: slip stitch#1 knitwise, slip stitch#2 purlwise, Remove the Marker, Replace slipped stitch#2 back onto the Left needle, knit 2 sts together (sts #2 & #3), pass first slipped stitch over and Replace the Marker. AWKWARD.

I decided there needed to be a change. You’re allowed, I’m allowed, we’re all allowed to mess with patterns. I changed that Double Decrease to a Center Post Double Decrease.

Center Post Double Decrease:  Slip 2 stitches together knitwise (sts #1 & #2), knit 1 stitch (st#3), pass 2 slipped stitches over.

dsc_0161

With the markers in place this really works as:  Slip 2 stitches together knitwise, Remove Marker, knit 1 stitch, pass 2 slipped stitches over, Replace Marker. DONE.

Yes, it looks different but the ease of knitting made it totally worth the change.

I like the result.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

My patterns on Ravelry

Shawl Tip

I’m always excited to learn of a new tip. I first heard about this at a knitting guild meeting but sometimes it takes me running into something a couple of times to finally give it a try. I tried this one and it totally works.IMG_5863

Continue reading “Shawl Tip”

Vertical Darts Top Down

The holidays are over. Is it time for you now? Are you knitting a sweater for yourself? It’s a long winter. I’ve got a couple started because, as you know, that’s the most exciting part.

If it’s a sweater for yourself how much bust shaping would you like to add to a pattern that doesn’t include any?

Adding a couple of inches to the bust on a Top Down sweater is fairly straight forward. But what if you wanted to add more than 2″ in total across the bustline? Could you start your bust increases in the Yoke while still working the raglan increases and then continue them down into the body? Vertical Darts work from the Bottom Up, why not from the Top Down?

Since I raised this question I decided I had to try it out. I started working the bust shaping increases when I still had 8 rounds left to work in the Yoke. This is the same strategy as the Top Down Easy Bust Darts but this time the bust increases are worked in a vertical line away from the raglan line. The vertical line of increases will allow me to continue to work bust increases until I have reached the largest point of my bust. (This schematic is an approximation – the raglan and bust increases are worked in the same round – dots on the schematic make it look like the bust increases are worked more often, they are not.)

Bust shaping Top Down increases showing high bust

I worked a raglan increase and a bust increase on each side of the Front for the last 4 Increase Rounds before I divided for the underarm. After the Divide I continued to work the bust increases 4 more times for a total of 8 increases on each side of the front giving me 3″ of extra width.bust shaping in yoke

My main concern was what would show.019

While the increase line is visible it is not so noticeable when I’m wearing the sweater (or when my best girl is wearing it) and the extra room is well worth the effort.021

This was easier to do than I expected. It shows but only as a dart which is acceptable. I got quite a bit more bust room because of it. I’m really happy with the result.

How about you? Could you add this into a Top Down raglan?

Thanks for reading. Cheers,

Deb

More reading on Top Down Bust Shaping:

Do I Need Bust Darts?

7 Reasons to Double Up the Increases for Bust Shaping

How Do You Want Your Sweater to Fit?

Bust Dart, Top Down

ANY GAUGE and GAUGE-FREE patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns

Deb on Instagram

Knit to Fit: Bust Dart, Top Down

Let’s get back to my first love, Top Down knitting. One of the things I like best about knitting from the top is that everything does not have to be planned ahead of time. I will decide that I am going to add bust shaping to widen the front of my sweater. As I approach the bottom of the Yoke I can think about how I might do the bust shaping since it can be done in several different ways.

One method to use is Easy Bust Shaping , working the bust shaping into the last couple of inches of the Yoke, above the underarm.

Here is a second method, a Bust Dart. The bust shaping occurs just where you need it, in the couple of inches between the underarm and the largest part of your bust.

NAPC Bust shaping (559x640)

I introduced this method in the Need A Plus Cardigan book where the Front of the cardigans are set up to be 3″ wider than the back. Two inches were added through the bust darts and the third inch in the buttonbands. The extra width is incorporated into the final sizing of all the cardigans.

NAPC Cover

Set up a Bust Marker on each side of the Front and work increases every other round.Bust shaping Top Down increases showing

bust shaping

Could you add more than 1″ worth of stitches? It depends on how much vertical room you have between the underarm and the largest part of your bust.Bust shaping Top Down vertical

Your bra matters here! Put on your best figure enhancing bra and measure. Since you are working an increase every other row you need to check the number of rows you can fit into this vertical distance. You may be able to sneak in a couple more increases. I usually do.

DSC00875
Me, wearing a Lace Panel cardigan from Need A Plus Cardigan book.

Could this method work for you?

Thanks for reading,

Deb

ANY GAUGE and GAUGE-FREE patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever books and patterns

Deb on Instagram

Knit to Fit: 7 Reasons to Double Up the Increases for Bust Shaping

One of the easiest ways to work some extra width on the front of your Top Down Raglan sweater is to work an extra increase beside the regular Raglan increase on both sides of the Front. In the last couple of inches at the bottom of the yoke you can work the EASY BUST SHAPING .Bust shaping Yoke increases Body schematic working EASY

You can add up to about 3″/8cm to the Front this way. Bust shaping Yoke increases Body schematic direction of knitting

I was asked if there were specific circumstances where you would use this method.

  1.  It’s a very straight forward way to add width to the front of your sweater without affecting the upper yoke and neckline.
  2. It’s easy to add these extra increases into any Top Down Raglan sweater pattern that doesn’t have extra width already written in.
  3. A couple of extra inches on the front really helps to alleviate button gap on your cardigan. If you wear your cardigans buttoned up, positive ease at the bust is a necessity. I cringe every time I see button gaping on a cardigan in a magazine.
  4. Nothing shows. No one can see the extra increases since they are almost in your armpit.
  5. Working the increases above the underarm works really well for a bust that is high. More traditional bust darts may be too low when they begin below the underarm.
  6. One of the best reasons is for the well endowed. The Doubling Up of Increases method can be used in conjunction with more traditional styles of bust darts. A couple of inches added at the bottom of the yoke (just above the underarm) plus bust darts in the bust area itself can add 4-6″ extra width at the bust if needed.
  7. If you have a stitch pattern on your sweater, bust darts may interfere. This method can be added where you are already working the raglan lines so they are less likely to interfere.

Could you do a little bust shaping on your next Top Down using the Easy Bust Shaping method?

Thanks for reading,

Deb

ANY GAUGE and GAUGE-FREE patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns

Deb on instagram