Tag Archives: knitting

Knitting with Slip Stitches – and another free pattern

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cowl-8-768x1024With this blog in mind, I often bookmark articles I’ve found online, to share with you.  This one, which I have edited slightly, comes from Interweave and was published on September 09, 2015 by Joni Coniglio

What is a slip stitch? Pretty much just what it says: you slip a stitch from one needle to the other without working it. In knitting, there are many reasons to slip a stitch intentionally. In colorwork knitting, slipping stitches makes it easy to achieve the look of more complex colorwork techniques with little more effort than when working simple stripes. If you’re working a color stripe pattern and you slip stitches on the first round of a color change, the color from the previous round will be drawn up into the current round and it will look as if you’ve worked with two different colors on the same round. But you can do much more than imitate other colorwork techniques. You can also create effects that are unique to slip-stitch knitting.

When you slip stitches without working them, the yarn must be carried from one worked stitch to the next, spanning one or more unworked stitches. The resulting yarn strand, or float, is carried either behind or in front of the slipped stitch (or stitches). If you slip a stitch with the yarn in front, the floats that are carried across the front of the work become a decorative element. (Just make sure to bring the yarn to the back of the work again when you’re ready to knit the next stitch or you’ll end up with a yarnover increase.)

If you’ve never tried slip-stitch colorwork, start with the simple polka dot pattern above. Before you know it, you’ll be hooked!

TRY THIS PATTERN FOR A POLKA DOT TUBE COWL – it will make a useful scarf for this winter.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS PATTERN DOES NOT TELL YOU WHAT SIZE NEEDLES TO USE, OR WHAT YARN TO USE – YOU CAN MAKE IT UP FOR YOURSELF!

HOWEVER, TO CONTROL THE SIZING – IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO TRY KNITTING A SMALL SWATCH WITH YOUR CHOSEN NEEDLES AND YARN FIRST!

The polka dot pattern is a great introduction to slip-stitch knitting. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 16″ circular needle
  • at least two colors of yarn (but use as many as you like), a main color (MC) and contrast color (CC)
  • stitch marker

Note: Slip stitches purlwise with yarn in back.

With MC, and using a provisional method, cast on a multiple of 4 sts. Place marker and join in the round.
Rounds 1 and 2 With CC, *slip 2, k2; rep from * to end.
Rounds 3 and 4 With MC, knit.
Rounds 5 and 6 With CC, *k2, slip 2; rep from * to end.
Rounds 7 and 8 With MC, knit.
Repeat Rounds 1-8 for pattern, ending with Round 6.

Block and join the ends of the cowl using three-needle bind-off or Kitchener stitch and MC.

NB:  You can also try this sequence without using circular needles – to make a ‘flat’ scarf.  Choose the width you want the scarf, and double it – so that you can sew the two edges together.  The pattern above can be adapted in any way you want, and don’t worry about the ‘technical’ names of  knitting stitches – you can choose the way you like to cast on and cast off!

Start knitting this now and you could easily finish making your cowl or scarf in time to give it to someone as a Christmas present.

And – if you are looking for Christmas presents – have a look at my shop on etsy, and my listings on ebay.  If you are not registered with either of these sites, you are welcome to buy direct.

A couple of free xmas knitting and crochet patterns you might like

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Courtesy of Sheila Dixon’s Hand Spinning News for this month, I thought I’d pass on these FREE patterns she found!

strick-muster-Nikolaus-Stiefel-knit-pattern-Christmas-socks-013-3-1100x1100This one is to knit your own Christmas Stocking.  Of course the pattern is free because you are supposed to buy the exact wool from the German (I think) company that is giving away the pattern, but, as the final size is not all that important, I think you could easily use any 2 ply wool combinations, especially if you have spun them yourself.  The pattern on the socks is apparently Latvian.  You can find the pattern HERE.  You have to fill in a form to get it, but it is FREE!

The second free pattern is for making this rather interesting leaf garland.  If you crochet you will find it very easy – if you don’t, its worth having a look because there are very full instructions on how to make each piece, and you could probably make it yourself anyway!

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You can find the instructions on Lucy’s blog here, and the overview and background info HERE.  If you do make it, let her know, I’m sure she’d love to see your version!

A STEAL! – How to knit vertical buttonholes ….

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I don’t suppose knitting daily  will object to me stealing the latest offering I found in my email box just now – smile.  They are part of the Interweave Group, which covers spinning & weaving as well as knitting and other crafts.  You may find their books, e-books and tutorials useful, altho’ you will have to pay for them.  This is one of their rare freebies!

 

Learn It: The Vertical Buttonhole
Kathleen Cubley
Editor, Knitting Daily
KnittingDaily.com
16ButtonCardi2
Sixteen Button Cardigan
by Cecily Glowik Macdonald

We’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of Knitscene, and I’ve had the pleasure of looking through my collection of back issues in preparation for writing this newsletter. I discovered a well-loved copy of the spring 2009 issue, featuring a wonderful tutorial on buttonholes, by technical editor Karen Frisa. It also contains a pattern called the Sixteen Button Cardigan. Yeah. That’s a lot of buttonholes. But it’s so cute!

I have a love-hate relationship with buttonholes, leaning a little more toward the hate than the love. Mine tend to be too loose, which is a bummer when the buttons slip out of the holes. For one cardigan, I had to resort to sewing up parts of each of the buttonholes to make them tighter, and they ended up too tight, so the cardigan is now a pullover. Not the best solution.

In her article, Karen talks about vertical buttonholes, which intrigue me, especially for buttonbands with vertical ribbing. Here’s an excerpt of that article for you.

Working a Vertical Buttonhole

What did you think of your last buttonholes? Were they a little loose? Too tight? Didn’t work well with the stitch pattern on your band? Maybe you haven’t even made a buttonhole before.

Knitters can take two approaches when it comes to pairing buttons and buttonholes: choose the button first, then create a buttonhole that works with it; or choose the buttonhole first, then choose a button that works with it.

1Vertical-buttonhole
Vertical Buttonhole

In either case, aim for a hole that is a little snug for your button, so that the button won’t slip back through the hole unexpectedly. Here’s how to make one of the lesser used but very nice buttonholes, a vertical buttonhole.

The vertical buttonhole can be sized to fit your button, but the opening is vertical rather than horizontal. This variation can be nice when working in ribbing or another stitch pattern with a strong vertical line, but it is a little fiddly to work. The vertical split for this buttonhole is made by working up one side of the buttonhole, then breaking the yarn, rejoining it at the bottom of the buttonhole, and working up the other side.

Make this buttonhole as follows: Work to the buttonhole location. *Turn, work to end of row, turn, work to buttonhole location; repeat from * until buttonhole is the correct height. Break yarn. Rejoin yarn to bottom of buttonhole. Work to end of row. *Work to buttonhole location, turn, work to end of row; repeat from * until buttonhole is the correct height. On next row, work across all stitches. This last step closes the top of the buttonhole.

The yarn ends can be used to reinforce the top and bottom of the buttonhole.

—Karen Frisa, Knitscene Spring 2009

The topic of buttonholes brings up buttonbands. Here are some tips for knitting great buttonbands.

Buttonband Tips

• Use a knitting needle one or even two sizes smaller than the one used for the body of the garment. This smaller size will make a firmer band that is less likely to droop.

• When picking up stitches for a band, consider the stitch gauge of the band pattern versus the row gauge of the garment. For example, if your band stitch pattern has five stitches per inch, and if your garment has seven rows per inch, then pick up five stitches for every seven rows on the garment. You could do this as follows: *pick up 1 stitch in each of next 3 rows, skip 1 row, pick up 1 stitch in each of next 2 rows, skip 1 row; rep from * for length of band. This sequence makes a band that lies flat.

• Buttons don’t need to be evenly spaced. Clustering buttons in groups of two or three along a band can be pretty and unexpected.

• Choose buttons that complement your garment in terms of size and weight as well as style. Too many heavy buttons on a lightweight garment can pull it out of shape; tiny buttons on a heavier garment can be lost. Shank buttons create some room for the knitted fabric behind the button. If you have a delicate fabric, place a backing button (a small, thin button) or a piece of felt on the wrong side of the band (inside the garment) behind the visible button.

• Traditionally, buttonholes for a woman’s or girl’s garment are on the right band (as it’s worn); for a man’s or boy’s, they’re on the left.

These are the types of articles you’ve come to expect in Knitscene , along with fashion-forward designs and styling. We’re offering a terrific collection to celebrate Knitscene‘s 10th birthday: a collection of every issue of Knitscene since it’s debut, plus all of the Accessories issues. Get yours today, in print or digital.

Here’s to better buttonholes, and to 10 years of Knitscene.

Cheers,
1KCsig

Lets create a Gallery of Your Work! Please Contribute …..

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a scarf what I wove!

a scarf what I wove!

Just a quick note to say that quite a lot of things got sidelined whilst I was doing the A-Z challenge – it was very distracting to write & research a daily post during April!

However, some of the posts I put together were quite useful, and I am going to spend a bit of time tidying up this blog, and will add the information entries to the Information Sheet – i/sheet – Archive.

I would also like to be able to use this blog to host some of my readers work!  If you look at the Show & Tell Archive – which I will also be tidying up! – you will see that I am always happy to showcase your work.  A full ‘article’ about their work has been promised from various craftspeople, but it involves quite a bit of work, so they are slow to come in.

In the meantime, lets create a more general gallery during May.

I have just sent out an invitation to all the customers on my mailing list, to contribute to a Gallery of Your Work, and am also extending the invitation to anyone who happens across this post – smile – and of course to my loyal followers.

how to enter

A lot of us work at home and never get to share our work – but its great to be able to see  what others are doing and sharing a picture of your work here, may inspire others, or give you ideas for new projects – so please contribute to this gallery – whether you are a professional, amateur, or you are just starting up – its always great to see what people are making!

All I need from you is a good photograph of work you have done, any time, that you would like to share.  Just one from each contributor.  If you don’t have my email address, please use the “contact me page” and I will send you an email you can attach your contribution to.

Please add your name, a short description of the work, your blog or website address, if you have one – which will be published, so that others can get in touch with you if they like your work.  Please also add your email address – which will not be published – so that I can pass on any other enquiries to you.

This is a craft orientated blog, any craft work in any discipline is welcome, as are other media – not videos tho, cos they take up too much room!

The gallery will be be open to contributions during the whole month of May.

I will start putting them up as soon as I have enough contributions to start a new post, and will add to it, as they come in.  The link to the Gallery will be on the Show & Tell Archive, so that you can find it anytime, and as that Archive is a permanent page – your work will be available for others to see for the duration of julzcrafts.com – which will, hopefully, be for many years to come!

Look forward to seeing some interesting stuff!

julz signature

W is for Wonderwool

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W I went to Wonderwool yesterday and thought I’d share my day out with you.

Wonderwool?  Its a ‘trade show’ (or as they call it ‘A Festival of Welsh Wool & Natural Fibres) for spinners & weavers and other crafters, and was held at the Royal Welsh Show grounds in Builth Wells.

The forecast was for rain, and it looked like it was right on the drive there, but by the afternoon it was a brilliantly sunny day!

I found some new suppliers, and bought some lovely silk fibres, which I will be putting up on etsy & ebay in the coming weeks, but this post is just about some of the people, and animals (!), who I came across during my day out.

Apologies to the others who haven’t got featured, it was a big show and I didn’t get around it all, and I kept getting distracted by all the nice stuff there, and forgot to get my camera out!

So here is a gallery of the photos I DID take – hover over the pictures to see the caption, or click on them to get a slide show – you may need to do this to read the full descriptions – I have given the contact details for all those featured.

And look out for the May/June issue of Yarn Maker whose editor I met several times in my meanders, and who was also taking pictures for a feature. (www.yarnmaker.co.uk)

K is for knitting – the history of

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K Knitting, in fact all the textile crafts, are ancient arts, they go back so far in our history that I doubt you could fix the date – and unlike pottery and metal work, wool, linen and flax, the first fibres to be used to make cloth – ie clothes – are bio-degradable, so there are not that many artefacts to be found in archaeological digs.

Oddly enough, having just done a search for ‘the history of knitting’, the trawl is very sparse – this is from Wikipedia – the never failing first place to go!

Nalbinded socks originally thought to be knitting. Can you tell the difference? Circa 250 – 420 AD (Victoria & Albert Museum)

Nalbinded socks originally thought to be knitting. Can you tell the difference? Circa 250 – 420 AD (Victoria & Albert Museum)

“The oldest artifact with a knitted appearance is a type of sock. It is believed that socks and stockings were the first pieces produced using techniques similar to knitting. These socks were worked in Nålebinding, a technique of making fabric by creating multiple knots or loops with a single needle and thread. Many of these existing clothing items employed nålebinding techniques; some of them look very similar to true knitting, for example, 3rd-5th century CE Romano-Egyptian toe-socks. Several pieces, done in now obscure techniques, have been mistaken for knitting or crocheting.

Most histories of knitting place its origin somewhere in the Middle East, from there it spread to Europe by Mediterranean trade routes, and then to the Americas with European colonization.[2] The earliest known examples of knitting have been found in Egypt and cover a range of items, including complex colorful wool fragments and indigo blue and white cotton stockings, which have been dated between the 11th and 14th centuries CE.[3]

51V3CW-QCSL._SL500_AA300_PIaudible,BottomRight,13,73_AA300_There is a tantalising listing for an audio book ‘A History of Hand Knitting’ on Amazon, that says “this product is not available in your region”, and several reviews that refer to a well illustrated hardback book published in 2003, which seems to be utterly  unobtainable.

I listened to the audio sample given, and heard enough to know that the author Richard Rutt, has delved into the subject with true academic rigour, and if it was available, I’d buy it like a shot! I can’t image why it is out of print!  Are you listening out there?!

I did find some interesting information in a post published in February 2014, on Sheep & Stitch,.  The unnamed author has found some great photos in various museum collections, which I have shamelessly copied here – smile.

These cotton socks found in Egypt are some of the earliest knitted pieces. From L to R: Textile Museum, ca. 1000 – 1200 AD; Victorian & Albert Museum, ca. 1100 – 1300 AD; Textile Museum, ca. 1300 AD

These cotton socks found in Egypt are some of the earliest knitted pieces. From L to R: Textile Museum, ca. 1000 – 1200 AD; Victorian & Albert Museum, ca. 1100 – 1300 AD; Textile Museum, ca. 1300 AD

 

This is the one of the the sample of Egyptian knitting, mentioned above.  It is very reminiscent of FairIsle knitting – see my i/sheet on this – and seems amazingly advanced!

egyptian knitting

egyptian knitting?

 

There is also what appears to be a stone carving, that was taken by a tourist in London, probably in one of the museums, but it doesn’t say which one.

I highly recommend you have a look at both parts 1 & 2 of the Sheep & Stitch posts, if you are at all interested in knitting or history!  Part 2 has some lovely medieval images of knitting, and then onwards, to the present day.

14th century painting of Madonna knitting!

14th century painting of Madonna knitting!

It’s difficult not to take the feminist stance about the lack of documentation on the History of Knitting – and I normally avoid any involvement in feminist politics!

It feels like ” knitting was always considered to be ‘woman’s work’ it wasn’t taken very seriously”. It has always been a very practical craft, and before machine knitting came in, was the only way to provide the family with warm clothing – something that was a necessity in cold climates – so why wasn’t it valued?

And before you men shout out loud at me, yes, many men knit and have done so far back into history – there is a proud tradition of seamen knitting to pass the time on long voyages!

tricoteuse - image from http://www.allaboutyou.com/craft/knitting/knitting-how-it-all-began-52451

tricoteuse

However, the majority of modern knitters are women, so why haven’t we valued it enough to give it a place in history?

With the introduction of mass production machine knitting, hand knitting seemed redundant, and gradually fell out of fashion after the 2nd World War. This also led to a huge fall in the price of wool, and a lack of choice for those who continued to knit.

However, there has been a heartening resurgence in the popularity of creative hand knitting in the last few years, and its great to see so many people on sites like Ravelry!  There is now a serious market for all kinds of yarn, and thankfully, hand spun yarn is particularly valued, and it is now worthwhile for home spinners to sell their yarn and even make a living out of spinning.

the mohair jumper I made, showing the repeat pattern detail

the mohair jumper I made, showing the repeat pattern detail

I was taught to knit by my grandmother, when I was a child, and have knitted on and off ever since.   At one time, when mohair jumpers were all the rage, I actually gathered a few knitters around me and paid them to knit some of my own designs, which sold quite well – until fashion moved on to something else – smile.

This is one of my favourite designs, which I knitted up for myself.  I still have it in the wardrobe, but sadly, it no longer fits!

Its really quite easy to adapt a standard pattern to add your own design, so all you knitters out there – be adventurous, and try making something that is truly individual!

Happy Knitting!