Showing posts with label Technique. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Technique. Show all posts

30 October 2015

Technique: Integrated Button Bands

When I introduced you to Marianne cardigan on Monday, I realized I hadn't talked in-depth about one of my favorite cardigan techniques: Integrated Button Bands.

I picked up the basics of this technique from Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket. In that pattern she has you work the button bands on both sides of the jacket, since you might be knitting it before the baby is born and would not know the sex of the child. Once the baby is born you'd be able to sew the buttons onto the jacket on the "proper" side.

When I thought about the technique for an adult sweater, I realized that doing both button holes meant that you would know exactly where to sew the buttons on when you were finishing the garment: over the holes, which would line them up perfectly with the buttonholes!

Since small buttons and lots of them are my preference, basic "baby" button holes using yo, k2tog work perfectly. Garter Stitch works nicely as the base, since the fabric is springy and tightens up just enough to prevent the button band from sagging.

Patterns I've published that use this technique include:
Have you ever used this technique? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

13 May 2015

Another great use for 2t-LTCO

This is a quickie post, as I'm busy getting ready for Saturday's Trunk Show (I keep thinking of "Dog Show!" from SNL when I type it):

A useful variant of the 2t-LTCO is for a provisional cast-on. Just tie your working yarn and waste yarn together as the two strands. Then place the waste yarn over your finger and working yarn over your thumb, working the long-tail cast-on from that position. The waste yarn should end up running along the bottom of your needle, while the working yarn goes over the needle top forming the first row of stitches. Remember not to count the slipknot as a stitch and pull it out when you work your way back to it on the first row/round of knitting. When it is time to put the stitches back on a needle and work in the opposite direction, just start pulling the waste yarn out of the stitches and popping those "live" babies onto the needle. If you have cast on a lot of stitches, I recommend cutting the waste yarn every once in a while, so you don't have to pull extreme lengths of waste yarn through the live stitches.

That's my advice for today. Hope to see some of you at Yarns in the Farms this Saturday :)

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

22 April 2015

Video: 2tLTCO

How do you cast on when you have lots of stitches? Do you find yourself running out of yarn before you've cast on enough? Or do you end up with a long-long-long tail of yarn, when you only have that one precious skein? Me, too! Well, "me, too" before I unvented* the Two-Tail Long-Tail Cast-on (2tLTCO, for short).

2tLTCO is excellent because:

  • you won't run out of yarn
  • your yarn tail won't be too long
  • you won't have to measure or guess how much yarn you will need
  • when blending two skeins of yarn (hand-dyes, especially), you'll be ready to start alternating skeins right away

Next time you're casting on more than a handful of stitches, give this one a try, and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

*Mother of modern knitting, Elizabeth Zimmermann, used the term "unvented" quite often as she turned her brilliant engineering brain to the wonders of knitting. There is no way I invented the 2tLTCO, but I have not seen it mentioned in any of the usual places. It grew out of the provisional LTCO that I like to use: Why not use the sameyarn for both strands of the cast-on? Ta-da! Ooh, I just realized it would be great for single-row stripes, too.

P.S. I shared this video with newsletter subscribers last week. Subscribe to the weekly newsletter and get the good stuff first.

25 March 2015

Knitterly Details: i-cord for smarties

Have you ever used i-cord in place of your cast-on? I made some (not pretty, but helpful) videos showing you how to use i-cord as the foundation of a piece - in this instance the Ozark Wrap*, which also uses "integrated i-cord" on the sides to finish off the piece as you go and keep the edges from curling. "Idiot cord" is pretty smart!

  1. provisional cast-on (one of my overall favorite techniques)

  2. picking up stitches from an i-cord (also used for the Mermaid's Cardigan cuffs)

  3. working the first row (once begun is half done)

  4. adding the side i-cord (to work the integrated edging)
Would a video showing how to cast off with i-cord help you? Let me know in the comments. I'd love to make some more (my new camera should make videos of my hands knitting easier to create - I promise my next video will be in better focus!
Happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen
*Want to buy the Ozark Wrap from Interweave? Click here. Want to know when I release my version of the pattern? Sign up for my newsletter here.

05 March 2014

Sweater fix

If you don't follow me on Instagram (you should! I'm @kathleendames of course), you didn't see the little problem I discovered today:

Can you see it? I did an extra round without twisting. Must have been an intense moment in Small Island (love when my dvr records Masterpiece Classics for me that I might have otherwise missed - if you get the chance to watch it, it's pretty good: Benedict Cumberbatch and thought-provoking views on race relations post-WWII in the UK). Anyway, I debated for a few minutes about fixing it. Most likely such a thing would pass the galloping horse test; however, I'm me, and it is front and center on this pullover. My knitting bestie/enabler Annie reminded me that as a Virgo it would drive me bonkers. 

Rather than tinking back the seven rounds, I grabbed some DPNs and decided to see if I could fix them in situ. Pulling the working needle out of the stitches in question, I then pulled the ends of the circular tight (and let them hang to the back of the work) to keep all the other stitches safe from harm. 
I pulled the working strand out of each row until I was a row below the error, at which point I slipped the stitches in question onto a DPN. With a second DPN I used the lowest thread to rework the stitches properly. After a couple of rows I realized that the tension was off (really tight at the right end and loose on the left), which led to dropping back down and doing it again, adjusting the stitches on each row before proceeding wih the next thread. 

Above you can see me working across the row and that the stitches on the left are loose. 

And here it is, all better (although it looks a little wonky a few rows down from my thumb, but that should settle down when the sweater is blocked)!

Forgive the state of my mani. Who knew I was going to be documenting my knitting today?!

BTW, this yarn from The Spinning Mill in Greenville NY is amazing! Undyed merino. I bought it at Rhinebeck. No website info that I have been able to find yet, but I'm pretty sure they are there every year, since Kay Gardiner (Mason Dixon knitter extraordinaire) recently knit a beautiful baby blanket with some that she'd gotten from them at Rhinebeck a few years ago. 

This is what my two skeins looked like when I bought them. Each one is almost 500yds of undyed beautiful squishiness. I can't wait to finish this design and share it with you, but at least now you know how to repair a twist error if you make one like me ;)

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen