Monday, June 28, 2010

My Progress

As I continue to enjoy this knitting project I keep putting the work down to watch as the circle grows. I am almost finished with this part, only a few more inches. I am still trying to figure out how much yarn I will actually use, I am working in Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton and I have just started my 6th ball and that should complete this part of the sweater and I might have some left over. I am making the small size but I like to start each new ball on an outside edge so I have some long pieces of yarn left over as I end a ball and I am saving them to use for sewing the parts together. The balls of yarn have 96 yards each so that means I will use about 576 yards for this part. The rectangle uses less stitches but may use about the same amount of yarn because it doesn't have the short rows. I am thinking that the yardage required will be about 1200 for the size small. I am keeping good notes because I think i might knit this again in another yarn after I finish this one.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Classic Rounded Jacket my summer project

I was searching though my patterns trying to find an interesting knitting project to start when a friend showed me a sweater that she had just started. The pattern is free from Zaol. Click on Classic Rounded and then to print the pattern click on the icon on the lower right. It took me a while to figure that out since the comapy is Korean.
Knit in just two pieces, what caught my attention was that one of the pieces was a circle, the other being a rectangle and the joining of these two shapes forms a circular jacket.
When I looked at the diagram and then read the instructions I really could not visualize how this was going to work. I thought that maybe I would be knitting a tube but in fact the knitting does forma a circle as you can see in the picture of my knitting.

The pattern tells you to start with the rectangle but I was just too curious about the circle so i started with that piece and have attached a picture. I am working with Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton. I love the softness of this yarn and it gave me the stitch gauge that I needed. The pattern was written for using a thin wool held double so the yardage shown is more than you need if you work in a single yarn that gives you the correct gauge. The circle is formed by knitting short rows and repeats the pattern every 12 rows.

The cast on method suggested, because of the design of the sweater, is the chain cast on, done with both a knitting needle and a crochet hook. I had never used this cast on but the result is that the edge is the same as a bind off. I had to search the net to see exactly how it is done but here is a link that will help.

I made several attempts at starting this project and finally decided that I would use Cat Bordhi’s method of short row knitting but that I only liked the way it looked if I did the wrap in the second Knit stitch of the k2,p2 rib and then turned. Because of this I made an adjustment in the stitch I do the wraps. I am doing them on 17, 33 and 51 instead of what the pattern suggests. I also quickly figured out that marking the stitches for the wraps by placing a stitch marker and using a pin marker on the first row after the wraps are picked up means I can easily keep track of what I am doing.

This is turning out to be and easy and fun project and simple to carry along on your summer excursions.

Happy knitting

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tunisian Crochet

If you haven’t yet tried Tunisian Crochet which used to be called Afghan stitch you are missing out on a fun experience. Completely different from either knit or crochet you form the fabric by picking up and then working off all the stitches and the fabric formed has a very interesting pattern and thickness. When I first learned this stitch many years ago I made a wonderful afghan but the only needles available looked like traditional straight knitting needles with a crochet hook end. You only work with one needle. I am one of the people who find working with a long straight needle very tiring for my hand and also a bit difficult if I am sitting next to someone when I travel or (don’t tell!) knit in the movies or a show. The art of Tunisian crochet technique seemed to be lost for many years and now it is having resurgence. Check out the "Sunset Ruana" project on the cover of Interweave Crochet, Winter 2009
The Denise needle company had designed a set of Tunisian needles that attach to their flexible cords and are as comfortable as their needles to work with. I love that they snap together and if you have problems with your hand a simple paper clip slipped into a hole on the needle helps you to snap them together. Once joined they do not become undone. You can also use the needles to pick up your stitches around a neckline or border band or collar of a sweater more easily and then twist off the crochet end and change to a knitting end if your plan is to knit you border.
The other exciting news is that the Denise company has produced a number of u-tube videos, 12 that I see so far including how to do Tunisian crochet, the simple stitch, the twisted simple stitch and the honeycomb stitch as well as condo knitting and several other examples of why using Denise needles makes for a wonderful knit or crochet experience dues to the flexibility and easy of changing needle sizes. Jut to whet your appetite they are offering a free simple pattern to make a free pattern for a little bag worked in Tunisian crochet that might tempt you to give the technique a try. It takes just one skein of chunky yarn, 99-120 yards in 100 grams, plus a Denise hook in Size L/11 or 8 mm