The Big Picture Keeping Track of Where You

You don't knit a sweater in one sitting. No matter how much you love to knit, eventually you have to put it down. For this reason, I highly recommend that you develop a system to remind yourself of where you are at the moment you put down your knitting and where you're going when you pick it up again later. Our favorite method for tracking a sweater in progress involves making a diagram of whatever we're working on. We're indebted to Gertrude Taylor's America's Knitting Book (Simon Schuster...

The tools

In the 1600s, men's waistcoats were knit (by men) in fine silk thread on steel needles no thicker than wire. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the women of the Shetland Isles turned out several sweaters a year, knit on fine needles while they walked and between chores. Today, you can use the same width of needles the knitting forebears used, or you can knit with yarn as thick as rope on needles that measure an inch or more around. So the two knitting supplies that you absolutely can't...

Knitting Supply Sources

These suppliers of yarn, knitting books, and accessories also publish catalogs showcasing their products. You can find others through the Web sites listed in the Online Resources section earlier in this appendix. Phone 800-341-0282 or 207-442-7909 Web site www.halcyonyarn.com 6899 Cary Bluff Pittsville, WI 54466 Phone 800-968-5648 Wooly West (specializes in socks and other small projects)

General rules for successful Fair Iste knitting

To knit Fair Isle, you begin with the square in the bottom right corner of the chart. This square represents the first stitch on your needle. Then you read and work the chart from right to left, knitting it in whatever color the chart tells you to and working as many stitches in the first color as the chart shows. Then you switch to the next color and work the number of squares given in that color. What you do at the end of that row or round depends on whether you're knitting flat or in the...

Knitting and purling Continentalstyle

How a knitter goes about holding the yarn and needles while working stitches varies. Some knitters hold the yarn in the right hand and wrap it around the RH needle as they create stitches. This style, called wrapping or English, is the one the majority of knitters in the United States learn, and it's the method we explain in the preceding sections. Other knitters hold the yarn in the left hand and pick the stitches through each loop. This style is called Continental. How do you decide which...

Following Written stitch patterns

Written instructions give you row-by-row directions for a single repeat. They follow certain conventions and use lots of abbreviations (see the preceding section). The key to understanding written instructions is paying attention to commas, asterisks, and brackets or parentheses they mean more than you may think. Here's a punctuation translation i Single steps are separated by commas. The instruction Sl 1 wyif, k5 tells you to slip a stitch with the yarn on the front side of the work, and then...

Things that affect gauge

Gauge varies depending on the yarn, the needle size, and the stitch pattern you use. i Yarn Yarns of different weights produce different gauges. A bulkier yarn produces a larger stitch, for example, while a finer yarn produces a smaller stitch. Head to Chapter 2 for detailed information on yarn weights and the effect weight can have on the knitted fabric. i Needles and stitch size The same yarn knitted on different size needles will have different gauges. Because you make a knit stitch by...

Horizontal pickedup bands

The key to knitting attractive horizontal picked-up bands is to find the right number of stitches to pick up along the front edge of your sweater. Too many and you have a droopy band that stretches the sweater front too few and the band draws up the sweater at the center front. Sweater patterns tell you how many stitches to pick up along a cardigan edge in one of two ways They give you a pick-up rhythm, something like, Pick up 3 out of every 4 stitches, or they give you a total number of...

Twisting Stitches Knitting through the Back Loop

When stitches are lined up in the ready-to-work position, they have a front and a back. The front of the stitch is the part of the loop on your side of the needle. The back of the stitch is, well, on the side of the needle facing away from you. When you knit in the usual fashion, you work into the front of the loop you insert your RH needle into the stitch from left to right, lifting and spreading the front of the loop the side of the loop on your side of the needle when you insert your needle...

Knitting Fair Isle

When you work color patterns using more than one color in a row, you can work with two strands of yarn, carrying them along the back of your work and picking up and dropping them as you need them. This is Fair Isle knitting, or stranding, and it's the technique you use for working small repeating color patterns. For designs involving large areas of color or picture knitting with several colors, it's best to use a different strand of yarn for each color group a technique called intarsia. You can...

Make Your Own Knit Journal

Every knitter needs a way to keep track of patterns, ball bands, swatches, notes, and all the other ephemera accumulated at the bottom of one's knitting basket. A knit journal is the solution. Sure, you could buy one ready-made, but making one is so much more fun i One three-ring binder or notebook with a cardboard or hard cover i Hot glue gun or sewing machine with coordinating thread see directions for options i Swatches, knitted fabric, an old sweater, or other knitted piece sufficient in...

Teaching Yourself to Knit from a Book

Everyone learns a new skill in a different way. If you're not confident that you can teach yourself to knit from a book, you can do the following things to make the process easier and help to ensure success i Study the illustrations carefully and compare them with what your own hands, needles, and yarn are doing. l Use your right hand not your left if a right hand is pictured. l Notice the path of the yarn in the illustration and see whether yours is doing the same thing. For example, does the...

Table of Contents

1 About This Conventions Used in This What You're Not to Foolish How This Book Is Part I Getting Ready to Part II Knitting Part III Techniques for the More Experienced Knitter 4 Part IV Making Part V The Part of Part VI Icons Used in This Where to Go from Part I Getting Ready to Chapter 1 Two Needles, a Ball of Yarn, and a Little Know-how 9 Why Knitting up good A feeling of Keeping your mind and hands Creating a one-of-a-kind What Knitter's The An understanding of the An understanding of...

Catching floats

The strands of yarn carried on along the back of your knitting are called floats. If your pattern has too many stitches between one color change and the next, your floats will be long and sloppy and easily catch on rings and fingers when you take your sweater on and off. You can carry yarn for stretches longer than 5 or 7 stitches, but pushing the traditional limits requires another step catching the float. If you're knitting with one rather than two hands, you secure the float in the...

Yarnover increase and decrease symbols

Like other charts for knitted stitch patterns, charts for knitted lace picture the patterns they represent. As you may expect, the two symbols you find most often in lace charts are the one for a yarn-over increase usually presented as an O and some kind of slanted line to mimic the direction of a decrease. Take a look at Figure 12-1 for an example. It shows the chart for the cloverleaf lace pattern you can find instructions for this pattern in the later section, Knitting Different Kinds of...

Picking up stitches on a diagonal or curved edge

Most curved edges are made by a series of stepped bind-offs followed by decreases that give a far-from-smooth curved line. Not to worry. The picked-up band saves the day with an attractive continuous curve. MJEfl When you pick up stitches along a curved edge, avoid working in the very edge stitch. Instead, work into a stitch or between stitches at least 1 full stitch in from the edge. Your aim is to make a nice-looking line for your border to begin on, not to see how close you can work to the...

Charting the Fair Istes

Fair Isle charts read like stitch pattern charts. Each square represents a stitch, and the symbol or color given in each square represents the color in which to work the stitch. The pattern chart includes a key listing the symbols used and the colors they represent for more information on reading charts, refer to Chapter 3 . Beyond these basic rules, here are some points specific to Fair Isle charts The first row of the chart shows the first right-side row of your knitting and is worked from...

Crocheting a steek

How Crochet Steek

To make a steek with yarn, crochet two vertical columns of stitches an inch or more apart using a slip stitch see Figure 8-5 . Fold the sweater at the line you plan to stitch so the vertical column of stitches looks like the top of a crochet chain, then insert your hook into the first V, yarn over the hook, pull the new loop through the V, and move to the next stitch on your left, repeating as you go. Be sure to work only your crocheted stitches on the same column of knit stitches if you veer...

Software

Depending on your needs, there's knitting-related software just for you. Some are available for free online, and others range in price up to several hundred dollars. Check out some of these options i To print your own knitter's graph paper to the exact gauge of your chosen yarn, use the form at www.tata-tatao.to knit matrix e-index.html. This graph paper is great for making your own charts. i To design your own socks or sweaters, use programs such as Sock Wizard and Sweater Wizard. You can find...

Open cable

Knitting Open Work With Description

Not all cables are worked on the same stitches over and over. Using basic cabling techniques, you can cross stitches over the background as well to make open cables sometimes called traveling cables . Picture the strands of a basic rope cable separating and moving away from each other and then returning and twisting around each other again, as in Figure 11-3. Get used to counting the rows between cable crossings and you won't have to rely on your memory. It's always good to have an alternative...

Natasha Scarf

Are you impatient Then this is the scarf pattern for you. Using super-ultra-chunky yarn and large needles, you can make one of these scarves in less than an hour if you concentrate. If you make this scarf a little on the tight side, it makes a great ski headband. Materials and vital statistics I Measurements 18 inches in diameter x 6 inches I Yarn Ultra-chunky yarn 50 yards Brown Sheep Burly Spun is a good choice of yarn, or if your local yarn store stocks spinning supplies, you can also knit...

Practicing onehanded Fair Isle knitting

Fair Isle Knitting One Handed

To practice one-handed Fair Isle knitting, choose two colors of yarn MC and CC. With the MC, cast on 21 stitches and use the charted design in Figure 13-1. You can repeat the two colors throughout, or reverse or change them after every four rows. It's worth trying out the chart both ways to see how a simple color sequence change can completely alter the effect of an easy two-color pattern. Start your row with the MC and knit the number of stitches called for. If you're following the chart in...

Mattress stitch

Faggot Stitch Steps

Mattress stitch makes a practically invisible and nicely flexible seam for joining pieces side to side. You can't use it successfully, however, on pieces that don't have the same number of rows or a difference of only 1 or 2 rows. It's worth keeping track of your rows when working backs and fronts to be able to join them at the sides using this wonderful technique. To join knitted pieces with the mattress stitch, lay out your pieces next to each other, right sides facing up, bottom edges toward...

Reverse stockinette stitch stripes

Reverse stockinette stitch rev St st is just one example of how to make textured stripes see Figure 10-1 . This stitch pattern uses rows of reverse stockinette on a plain stockinette background. Try the following pattern for a basic reverse stockinette stitch stripe Cast on any number of stitches. Rows 1, 3, and 6 Knit. Rows 2, 4, and 5 Purl. Here's what's happening As you work Rows 1, 2, 3, and 4, you create your stockinette stitch the smooth background . Then at Row 5, because you purl again...

Basic Techniques for Joining Pieces

After you block your sweater or project pieces, it's time to put them together. You can choose between techniques that mimic and work with knitted stitches or traditional sewing methods. i If you choose the more knitterly techniques, the ones you use will be determined by how the stitches are coming together head to head, side to side, or head to side, all of which are shown in Figure 16-8. i If you opt for the sewing method, the section, Sewing seams with backstitch, later in this chapter...

Counting rows

When you knit stripes, you count rows or if you're knitting in the round, you count rounds . Why Because it's an easy way to keep track of the stripe's width. For example, knowing that a stripe spans 7 rows and counting as you go is easier and more accurate than getting out the tape measure. Here's the thing you need to know about counting rows, especially if you're using only two colors Odd and even rows affect where the yarn ends up whether it's right there where you want it or at the...

Twisted Rib and Garter Stitch Check

Knitting Stitches

This pattern see Figure A-5 consists of two stitch patterns that you're already familiar with if you read Chapter 5 1 x 1 rib and garter stitch. The difference is that in the ribbed section presented here, you work the knit columns on the right and wrong sides with twisted stitches for a sharp, crisp look. Cast on a multiple of 10 sts, plus 5 sts. Rows 1, 3, and 5 RS K5, kltbl, p1 twice, kltbl, k5 rep from to end of row. Rows 2, 4, and 6 K5, pltbl, kl twice, pltbl, k5 rep from to end of row....

Advice for making sleeves easy

Here are some tips for knitting sleeves l If you work the increases 2 stitches in from the edges, seaming your sleeve is a breeze because you have a straight line of undistorted stitches to work with. To do so without throwing off your pattern, add 2 selvedge stitches border stitches that add stability on both sides of the piece. Then knit these 2 stitches at the beginning and end of the rows, working the increases and pattern stitches between them. l Using two balls of yarn and one circular...

Your First Sweater Easy Top Down Raglan

Sweater Chart Diagram

This Easy Top-Down Raglan sweater pattern simply couldn't be any more basic. In fact, it's probably one of the easiest sweater patterns you'll ever follow. You don't even need to worry about gauge. If you can knit in the round and do increases, you can make this sweater. Figure 18-1 shows the schematic for this top-down sweater.

Now Youre Knitting and Purling

Knitted and purled stitches are made by using a continuous strand of yarn and two needles to pull new loops through old loops. That's it. The following sections explain how to create both stitches. Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind as you learn how to knit I Finish working an entire row before putting down your knitting. It's too easy to stop midway and pick up your knitting later to find you can't tell the LH from the RH needle. Here's an easy way to tell The yarn is always hanging...

Faggot lace

Net Pattern Knitting

Faggot patterns basic lace are really a category unto themselves. They're composed of nothing but the simplest lace-making unit a yarn over followed or preceded by a decrease. A faggot unit can be worked over and over for a very open mesh-like fabric, as shown in Figure 12-8a. Or a faggot grouping can be worked as a vertical panel in an otherwise solid fabric or as a vertical panel alternating with other lace or cable panels, as shown in Figure 12-8b. Faggot lace by itself a and combined with...

Working a make

To work the make 1 increase abbreviated ml , you create a new, separate stitch between 2 stitches that are already on the needle. When you get to the point where you want to make an increase, pull the LH and RH needle slightly apart. You'll notice a horizontal strand of yarn, called the running thread, connecting the first stitch on each needle. You use the running thread to make the new stitch. The increased stitch will be a twisted stitch that crosses to the right or to the left and leaves no...

Online Resources

As knitting has become more popular, the number of computer- and Internet-based resources for knitters has grown exponentially. And because most sites link you to other sites, you can spend days visiting yarn country via cyberspace. The following knitting Web sites provide not only quality patterns and articles but also online forums to discuss knitting, tools to organize your needles, projects in progress, yarns, and much more I knitty.com A Web magazine about knitting, complete with free...

Making double decreases

Double Decrease Vertical

Pass the slipped stitch over the decreased stitch. To work a left-slanting double decrease on the knit side, follow these steps 1. Slip the next stitch on the LH needle as if to knit. 2. Knit the next 2 stitches together. Refer to the earlier section, Knitting 2 stitches together, to find the instructions for doing so. 3. Bring the slipped stitch over the decrease stitch as if you were binding off. To work a left-slanting double decrease on the purl side, do the following Flip back to the...

Garter stitch stripes

Garter stitch stripes have a different texture than the stripes made in reverse stockinette stitch. Whereas reverse stockinette stitch stripes create a rolled bump, garter stitch stripes create a flat ridge see Figure 10-2 . Follow this pattern to create the garter stitch stripes shown in Figure 10-2 Rows 1, 3, 5-11, 13, 15, and 16 RS Knit. By alternating knit and purl rows, you create the stockinette stitch. When you work knit rows in succession, you create the garter stitch stripe. To change...

Reading Lace Charts

Knitted lace makes use of two simple knitting moves a yarn over an increase that makes a small hole and a decrease to create myriad stitch patterns. Every opening in a lace fabric is made from a yarn-over increase, and every yarn over is paired with a decrease to compensate for the increase. When you understand the basis of lace's increase decrease structure, even the most complicated lace patterns become intelligible. Of course, you can follow the instructions for a lace stitch without...

Ridged ribbon eyelet

You can thread a ribbon through these eyelets or use them in a colored stripe pattern. Figure 12-3 shows both a chart and a sample of this pattern. Knit on right side, Purl on wrong side Purl on right side, Knit on wrong side IXI Knit 2 stitches together k2tog Cast on an odd number of sts. Rows 1 and 3 RS Knit. Row 2 Purl. Rows 4 and 6 Knit. Row 5 K2tog, yo rep from to last st, k1. Cloverleaf eyelet Figure 12-4 shows a three-eyelet cloverleaf arranged over a stockinette background. This...

Reading charted stitch patterns

Charts use a square to represent each stitch and a symbol inside the square to indicate how to work the stitch. Although there's no universal set of symbols, each pattern that uses a chart also provides a key to reading it. Always begin by finding the key to the chart. The trick to reading chart patterns without getting confused is to remember that you don't read them from top to bottom and left to right as you would a book. Instead, you read a chart from the bottom up because it shows the...

The essentials

For the most part, knitting gadgets are small and portable. Keep the essentials in a little zippered bag, and you can carry them anywhere your knitting goes. Small portable scissors are a must. In a pinch, you can break certain yarns with your hands, but others have to be cut with scissors. Collapsible scissors that fold up and don't leave any sharp points exposed are great. You can find them in most knitting stores. Other small scissors come with a little sheath that covers the tips so that...

Organizing Your Equipment

When you're new to knitting and have only one or two pairs of needles and a few balls of yarn, you can organize your equipment just by finding a place for it on your mantle, in a drawer, or in one of those pretty knitting baskets that sits beside your couch or chair. When you have a bouquet of straight needles, a tangle of circular needles, enough yarn to cover a city block, and lots of itty-bits jangling around the bottom of your storage space, you may decide that you need to organize your...

Making a double increase

There are occasions in knitting in certain stitch patterns or when working a raglan sweater from the neck down when you need to increase 2 stitches in the same place. This is called working a double increase, and it often uses an existing stitch as the increase point. Doubling your increase with a yarn over Doubling your increase with a yarn over results in 3 stitches being made from 1 stitch. To use this technique, work to the stitch in which you plan to make the increase and then follow these...

Not necessary but nice to have

You can get by without buying the gadgets in this section, but you may find some of them worth the small investment. For example, after years of using strands of yarn tied in a circle for yarn markers, we marvel at how much we prefer the little rubber rings and find ourselves using those markers in ways we never thought of before. Figure 2-12 shows some of our favorite knitting gadgets. Non-essential but handy knitting accessories. Non-essential but handy knitting accessories. A stitch marker...

Reading cable charts

Most knitting patterns give cable instructions in chart form. These charts show the cable stitches, turning rows, and often some background stitches. Depending on how complicated the cable pattern is, the chart may show you one repeat of the cable or an entire piece. Although chart symbols aren't standardized, every pattern has a key to the symbols used. Figure 11-1 shows a chart for a 6-stitch left-twisting cable. The chart represents the front side of your knitting. Each square in the chart...

Stitches Every Knitter Should Know Garter Stockinette and Seed Stitches

Knitting and purling, which we cover in Chapter 4, open the door to all sorts of patterns that just involve alternating between knit and purl stitches. But as a beginning knitter, you only really need to know two the garter stitch, which you create simply by knitting or purling every row, and the stockinette stitch, which you create by alternating a knit row with a purl row. Another stitch all knitters should have in their repertoire is the seed stitch. Although a little more complicated than...