Basic Stitches Youll Use Again and Again

Practicing common stitch patterns Using popular rib stitches to add interest and stretch MMJ hen you know how to knit and purl (refer to Chapter 4), you can combine these stitches in a seemingly endless variety of textured stitch patterns. The stitch patterns in this chapter make a good starting repertoire. (You can find more stitch patterns in Appendix A.) The best way to understand how knit-and-purl patterns work is to knit them up yourself. Using a medium-weight, solid-color yarn, cast on a...

Twisting to the right or left

A cable can twist to the right or left, depending on where you hold the suspended stitches. I To make a cable that twists to the left, hold the suspended stitches in front of your work while you knit from the LH needle. I To make a cable that twists to the right, hold the suspended stitches in back. Cable instructions typically tell you whether you hold the stitches in front or back. Consider these instructions, which create a 6-stitch left-twisting cable Sl next 3 sts to cn and hold in front,...

Switching needles when its time

Many sweaters use smaller needles for cuffs, hems, and necks, and larger needles for the body. The instructions tell you when to change to the larger or smaller needles. At the change row, simply knit the next row with one of the smaller (or larger needles). Here's an example from a pattern With smaller needles and the MC, cast on 101 (107, 117, 125) sts. Work k1, p1 rib for 3 2 inches. Change to larger needles and work in St st until piece measures 12 2 (13, 13, 13 2) inches from beg. In this...

Garter stitch

Garter stitch is the most basic of all knitted fabrics. It's made by knitting every row. (You can create garter stitch by purling every row, too. Neat, huh ) You can recognize garter stitch by the horizontal ridges formed by the tops of the knitted loops on every other row (see Figure 5-1). Garter stitch has a lot going for it in addition to being easy to create. It's reversible, lies flat, and has a pleasant rustic look. Unlike most knitted fabrics, garter stitch has a square gauge, meaning...

Double Basket Pattern

This pattern combines ribs and ridge patterns, as shown in Figure A-4. Cast on a multiple of 18 sts, plus 10 sts. Row 1 (RS) * K11, p2, k2, p2, k1 rep from * to last 10 sts, k10. Row 2 P1, k8, p1, * p1, (k2, p2) twice, k8, p1 rep from * to end of row. Row 3 * K1, p8, (k2, p2) twice, k1 rep from * to last 10 sts, k1, p8, k1. Row 4 P10, * p1, k2, p2, k2, p11 rep from * to end of row. Row 10 (P2, k2) twice, p2, * p10, (k2, p2) twice rep from * to end of row. Row 11 * (K2, p2) twice, k2, p8 rep...

Binding or Casting

To finish your knitted piece, you have to bind off, which is securing the stitches in the last row worked so that they don't unravel. It's easy to do if you follow these basic steps 1. Knit the first 2 stitches from the LH needle. These become the first 2 stitches on your RH needle (see Figure 4-17a). 2. With your LH needle in front of your RH needle, insert the LH needle into the first stitch worked on the RH needle (the one on the right, as shown in Figure 4-17b). 3. Bring this loop over the...

Hole in One Buttonholes

Unless you plan to tie it, snap it, or leave it hanging open, you need to add buttons and buttonholes to a cardigan. Knitted buttonholes are rarely gorgeous, but with a little thought and planning you can make buttonholes that don't sacrifice good looks to workaday function. The appearance of a buttonhole has a lot to do with how it fits into the background stitch on which it's worked. A buttonhole that looks great on stockinette fabric may look clumsy on a ribbed band, for example. Take the...

Making a gauge swatch

To find out whether your gauge matches the pattern, you begin by making a gauge swatch. A gauge swatch is a small sample that you work using the same pattern, yarn, and needles you intend to use for your project. It's important that you use the same yarn for your gauge swatch as for your project, not the same brand in a different color. Different dyes can affect how a specific yarn knits up, and believe it or not, a yarn in one color can give you a different gauge from the same yarn in a...

Ribbed Stitches

Knit ribs are textured vertical stripes. Ribbing is made by alternating columns of knit stitches with columns of purl stitches. Instead of alternating knit rows with purl rows, as you do when you make horizontal stripes, when you make a ribbed pattern, you change from knit stitches to purl stitches within a row. Ribbing is the edging par excellence on most sweaters because of its elasticity it stretches to let you in and out of cuffs and neckbands and then springs back into place to hug you....

Working Increases

Being able to increase (abbreviated inc) or decrease (abbreviated dec) stitches along the edge or within the body of a knitted piece enables you to create knitted pieces with edges that taper and expand. When you increase stitches, you add them to your needle. When you decrease stitches, you get rid of stitches on your needle. As with everything else in knitting, there are several ways to increase and decrease stitches. Some methods are almost invisible, and...

How Going in Circles Can Be a Good Thing

When you knit in the round (often called circular knitting), you work on a circular needle or double-pointed needles (dpns) to knit a seamless tube. Years ago, circular knitting was a technique associated with more-experienced knitters. These days many popular patterns for beginners are written in the round. Many knitters beginner and advanced prefer knitting in the round because of its benefits, which include the following 1 The right side always faces you. If you're averse to purling for some...

The Fundamentals Casting On Knitting Purling and Binding

Casting stitches on and off your needles Getting the hang of basic knitting techniques Changing things up with basic purling techniques Giving Continental style a whirl o here you are, a ball of yarn in one hand and two knitting needles in the other. To be a successful knitter, the first things you need to do are figure out how to get the one (yarn) onto the other (the needles) and, after achieving that, how to make the thing grow. The answers Casting on and knitting and purling. Knit and purl...

Steam dunk or spray Deciding which blocking method to use

The best blocking method for your project depends on the fiber of your yarn, the amount of time you have, and the stitch pattern you've used. You can wet block just about anything that's colorfast with superb results. Steam blocking is faster than wet blocking and is fine for sweaters in stockinette stitch and that were worked in a yarn not susceptible to steam damage. But don't use it on acrylics or for stitch patterns with texture you want to highlight especially cables. Read the following...

Picking up A reality check

Picking up stitches is relatively simple when you get the hang of it. The rub comes when you painstakingly pick up a cardigan border or neckband according to your pattern instructions. You pick up the exact number of stitches called for, knit the correct number of rows given in the stitch pattern, and bind off the last stitch. Then, after all your effort, you find that your otherwise lovely cardigan has a stretched and droopy button band or that you can't squeeze your head through the neck of...

In This Chapter

Putting your new knitting skills into practice Knitting a sweater, a baby's layette, and a jacket Varying a pattern aking accessories is a great way to develop your knitting skills and explore creative possibilities, but making a soft, attractive garment to wrap yourself in is another kind of satisfaction entirely. The sweaters in this chapter use simple shapes and garment construction to introduce you to sweater-making and enable you to apply the techniques and skills you've picked up in this...

A feeling of accomplishment

A skein of yarn can be anything, but it's nothing despite how beautiful the color or how soft the feel until someone gives it shape and purpose. So when you knit, you use your skill, your imagination, your patience, and your perseverance to create something from nothing. Turning skeins of yarn, stitch by stitch, into hats, afghans, socks, bags, sweaters, cardigans, and more gives you a feeling of competence and accomplishment that few other hobbies can offer. And it's a sense that grows with...

Cornucopia of Cables

The patterns included in this section are designed to give you an idea of the many ways you can use this simple crossing technique to create a rich variety of cables. Although standard or rope cables are the most basic cables, you aren't limited to those. You can also create A double cable that looks like a horseshoe. Open cables, where the cable strands separate. A braid cable using three, rather than two, cable strands. Allover cable patterns, like honeycomb cable. Practice the cable patterns...

Graphing sleeves its worth it

Once in a while, you may run into a glitch in sleeve-making if the pattern tells you to increase every so many rows and your row gauge is different from the designer's. Your sleeve may measure the correct length before you've worked all the necessary increases, but you end up with a sleeve that's the right length but the wrong width at the armhole. If you're working an angled or shaped-sleeve cap, the top of your sleeve needs to fit exactly into the carved-out shape in the sweater body. To...

Putting the front and back together

If you take the time to count rows as you knit up the back (which we recommend in the earlier section, Knitting the back) and you make the front the exact same number of rows, you can use the nearly invisible and fun-to-do mattress stitch to seam them together. If, on the other hand, you rely on measuring your pieces to check their sameness, you don't necessarily have the exact same number of rows in both front and back pieces, and you have to seam up your sweater by using the...

Lace edgings

Dress up any sweater by adding a lace edge at the bottom of the sweater body or sleeve (see Figure 12-12). Knitted lace edgings are borders designed with a scalloped or pointed edge. Frequently, they're made in garter stitch to give body to the edging and to ensure that it lies flat. Some edgings, such as hems and cuffs, are worked horizontally you cast on the number of stitches required for the width of your piece, work the edging, and then continue in stockinette or whatever stitch your...

In this part

Fter you have the basics down and you're comfortable making knit and purl stitches and increasing and decreasing, you're ready to move on to more challenging techniques. In this part, you find out how to create stripes and how to make basic and not-so-basic cable designs. You also discover how to do lacework. And because part of the joy of knitting comes from working with beautifully colored yarns, we include detailed instructions for working repeating Fair Isle patterns and larger intarsia...

The stuff theyre made of

First mass-produced in steel, knitting needles have been made in ivory, tortoiseshell, silver, whale bone, and more. Today you can find them made in ebony and rosewood, sherbet-colored pearly plastic, Teflon-coated aluminum, and 14-carat gold-plated (we kid you not). And that's only the beginning. Whatever your needles are made of, the material will contribute more or less to your knitting comfort, speed, and the quality of your stitches. Here are some recommendations i If you're new to...

Shaping the front neck

To shape a neckline, you begin by binding off a group of stitches at the center of your sweater piece. Your pattern tells you join a second ball of yarn before you begin to bind the stitches off. You need two balls of yarn to work the remainder of the neckline, one for each side. To join the second ball of yarn, simply start knitting and binding off with the strand from the second ball. When you return to shape the left side of your neckline, pick up and use the yarn from the first ball.

Knitting Colorful Stripes

Gorgeous yarn colors are the primary appeal for many knitters. When scanning the jewel-colored skeins in a yarn shop, who can resist gathering together a palette to take home and knit up Who can walk by the odd topaz- or hyacinth-colored ball in the sale bin Who can give away the remaining bit of rose and the tail end of periwinkle from the last project Not us. But what do you do with a basket of single skeins You knit in color, that's what Knitting colored stripes is a quick and easy way to...

Knitting up good karma

Ask knitters why they knit and you'll get a variety of answers. But the one you'll hear from nearly every knitter, regardless of the other reasons they may give, is It's relaxing. The repetitive movements of needles and yarn truly knit up the raveled sleeve of care. Have you ever noticed a knitter's face while working away on the needles Did you see the expression of relaxed alertness The rhythmic movements of knitting, together with the mental focus needed for building fabric stitch by stitch,...

Knitting into the stitch below

Knitting into the stitch below is a technique often used for increasing stitches. If your instructions tell you to knit (or purl) into the stitch below, often abbreviated klb or k-b (or plb or p-b for purling), follow these steps (adjust them to purl into the stitch below) 1. Insert your needle into the stitch directly below the next stitch on the LH needle (see Figure 6-11) then wrap and knit as you normally would. 2. Knit the stitch on the LH needle. You now have two stitches where one used...

Choosing Needles for Circular Knitting

Circular and double-pointed needles are designed for knitting in the round and, as Chapter 2 explains, come in the same sizes as regular knitting needles. When you select circular or double-pointed needles for your projects, keep these things in mind 1 Circular needle The needle length you choose for your project must be a smaller circumference than the tube you plan to knit otherwise, you won't be able to comfortably stretch your stitches around the needle. For example, to knit a hat that...

Standard rope cable

Standard, or rope, cables have the same number of plain rows between turning rows as there are stitches in the cable. If the cable is 6 stitches wide, for example, you work the turning row every 6 rows. These cable patterns generally cross stitches predictably up a single column of stitches. You can make a rope cable over almost any even number of stitches. Here's the pattern for a 6-stitch left-twisting cable, where the first and last 4 stitches make up the background and the 6 central...

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...

Measuring Gauge in the Round

Knitting stockinette stitch in the round can give you a different gauge than if you were knitting the same stitch flat (back and forth on straight needles). Here's why A purl stitch is very slightly larger than a knit stitch. When you work stockinette stitch on straight needles, every other row is a purl row, and the difference in the sizes of your knits and purls averages out. However, when working stockinette stitch in the round, you always make knit stitches, which can result in a slightly...

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...

Deciphering Knitterese Common abbreviations and shorthand

In order to save space, patterns are written in a condensed form with many abbreviations and a lot of shorthand. As you work with patterns, you'll become familiar with the most common abbreviations for example, RS right side , WS wrong side , beg beginning , and rep repeat . Pattern instructions explain any unusual abbreviations or ones that may vary from pattern to pattern. Table 3-1 presents some of the most common pattern abbreviations. Table 3-1 Common Knitting Abbreviations Table 3-1...

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...

Grafting head to side

Grafting head to side makes a smooth and weightless seam. As in head-to-head grafting, you make a mock knit stitch, but instead of going in and out of stitches lined up head to head, you graft the heads of stitches on one piece to the sides of stitches on the other piece. Actually, as in the mattress stitch, you pick up running threads when you're joining to the sides of the stitches the next section covers the mattress stitch. It's a great method for joining a sleeve top to a sweater body on a...

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...

Fancy Ribs

Ann Fancy Trims

Cast on a multiple of 4 sts, plus 3 sts. Work every row K2, p2 rep from to last 3 sts, k2, p1. The interrupted rib pattern looks different from each side, but both sides are handsome, making this a nice pattern for projects like scarves and afghans because both the front and back are visible. Figure A-13 gives you an idea of what it looks like. Rows 1-3 K1, p1 rep from to end of row. The ribs in this fabric slant in one direction when viewed from one side and slant in the other direction when...

Attaching a sleeve to a sweater body

Attaching Sleeve

How you attach the sleeves to your sweater body depends on the design of your sleeve cap and armhole. If you're making a dropped-shoulder sweater or one with an angled armhole and straight cap, you can use the head-to-side grafting technique explained in the Grafting head to side section earlier in this chapter. If you're making a sweater with a set-in sleeve, you need to use the backstitch for seaming see the earlier section, Sewing seams with backstitch, for instructions. To attach a set-in...

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...

Nostitch symbol

A lace chart sometimes has to show a changing number of stitches from one row to the next. To keep the stitches lined up on the chart the way they are in the fabric, the chart indicates that a stitch has been eliminated temporarily from the pattern by using the no-stitch symbol in the square that represents the decreased stitch. This symbol repeats in a vertical row until an increase is made and the stitch is back in play, as shown in Figure 12-2. The chart in Figure 12-2 shows a pattern in...

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...

Materials and vital statistics

I Yarn Heavy worsted-weight yarn our favorites are Malabrigo and Brown Sheep Bulky 800-1200 yards I Needles 16-inch and 24-inch size US 10 6 mm circular needles tapestry or yarn needle for weaving in ends I Gauge Not important. The key is to get the sweater to fit around your chest. Basically, you increase until it's big enough to fit around your chest. From there, it's straight knitting. Measure yourself around the chest under your arms armpit level , or measure a favorite sweater that fits...

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...

Ten Plus One Unkinking Exercises for Knitters

Loosening up tight neck muscles Soothing sore shoulders and arms Letting go of tension in your hands and wrists itting in one position and concentrating on your knitting for long or even short periods of time can make you stiff in your shoulders and neck. Not to mention that holding needles and making small movements with your hands can cramp fingers and wrists. The exercises in this chapter they're so helpful that we couldn't stop at just ten will keep your body's knitting parts loose,...

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...

Cable caston cable co

The cable cast-on, or knitting on, is less elastic than the two-strand cast-on. Use it when you need a sturdy, not-too-stretchy edge or when you need to cast on over buttonholes see Chapter 17 . If you're making a brand-new cast-on row, start with Step 1. If you're adding on at the beginning of an existing row or making new stitches over a buttonhole, start from Step 2. 1. Make a slip knot on your needle, leaving a short tail. Refer to the previous section for help making a slip knot. 2. Knit...

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...

Ripping out lace

If you make a mistake in a lace pattern and have to rip out stitches, take your time when picking up the recovered stitches. Yarn overs and decreases can be tricky to catch. See Chapter 7 for information about ripping out and picking up recovered stitches. When you've ripped out as far back as you need to in order to fix the mistake, slowly take out one more row, pulling the yarn gently from each stitch one at a time and inserting the empty needle into the freed stitch before it has a chance to...

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...

The Story on Stripes

Far from being a single thing, stripes are many-splendored. They offer great variety in scale, balance, sequence, color, and texture. The following are only a few ways you can arrange stripes I Balanced stripes One of the most common types of stripe is alternating stripes of equal width. I Wide stripes If you want a stripe pattern that's easy to read that is, recognize , use a wide stripe. There'll be no mistaking your intentions, and then you can make it...

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...

Blocking Equipment

Blocking is the process of using steam or water to smooth out and gently uncurl and flatten your knitted pieces so that you can easily join them together. Blocking equipment makes the difference between a tiresome, awkward task and an easy, streamlined one. The basic blocking equipment includes the following Iii Steam iron You probably already have a steam iron. The more steam the better. ii Blocking board A blocking board is not your ironing board. It's a flat surface made from a material that...