Posts Tagged ‘technique’
While you might be under the impression that I am a Master Knitter (TM) that knows everything there is to know about everything, that is not the case. In actuality, I don’t know that much about anything but I can give you really good directions to the pedestrian crossing of the Williamsburg bridge (stay on South 6th for three blocks and turn left at Bedford) and I have a fairly extensive knowledge of Mad Men story arcs. I know a thing or two about knitting as well. But there is still more to learn!
New year, new skill, right? I’m torn between two things that I really want to learn but I’m having trouble deciding which to tackle first. I’ve sworn I’d learn to crochet for the past two years. Maybe 2015 is actually going to be the time that I make my first granny square. I’ve also been dreaming of making a brioche scarf for a long time but I’ve been way to scared to try it.
So I need your help! Voting ends Friday 11:59pm EST! Help me pick!
Tags: brioche, brioche cowl, brioche stitch, granny square, how to knit brioche stitch, learn, learn how to knit, learn to crochet, learn to knit, meet me at mikes, Purl Bee, skill builder, technique, two color brioche, vote
The weather is getting mellow here so I’m starting to have those dreams of sweaters and cardigans. It started early this year! I really hate to jinx it since last winter was so rough, like, so very very terrible, but I’m craving pumpkin pie and apple cider and it’s still August! I can almost taste Rhinebeck and it’s making me go crazy for big sweaters. When I saw the Blackberry Stitch and Cable sweater designed by True Brit Knits for Debbie Bliss magazine, I just fell in love. It looks so deliciously comfy yet sophisticated. And that color is just gorgeous. Welcome to the queue, Big Pink Aran!
>> Lion Brand’s blog has some handy instructions on carrying vs. cutting yarn at the end of rows. I had a huge debate about this when I was working on the Hurrication sweater since there were so many colors but also a ton of rows to carry them over. Sometimes, you just have to throw all of the rules out the window and make it work.
>> Stevie Nicks is holding a shawl-design competition. Will you be making a mystical shawl for the legend to use on stage?
>> I’ve written a lot about how I want to do stop motion video with knitting. Miho Yata’s stop motion film is absolutely amazing. Can you imaging knitting all of those frames? Fantastic!
>> Olek might be in some trouble for her latest installation piece. Underwater crochet is pretty cool, though!
>> This beautiful photo of French sheep in 1930 is from the New York Times’ tumblr featuring photos from their basement archive. I love looking at old photographs and it’s really cool that they are sharing these pictures in the digital age. (I’m also a big fan of this photo. #yesallwomen, am I right?) This blog is a very fun place to get lost for an afternoon.
>> Design Sponge is tackling one of my favorite subjects: conscious consumption. Some really beautiful points and good ways to talk about handmade vs. store bought (are they really that different?) to those who are not makers.
What a week it’s been! I came down with a bit of a cold which has really made for a rough few days. Good excuse for a weekend of tea and knitting, though! I’m finishing a pair of mittens I started in November! Are you working on any UFOs this weekend?
I will admit that blocking has only recently become my favorite thing ever. I used to really hate it. I’ve mentioned that once or twice before. But it’s the best. THE BEST. When I finished knitting up the Poolside top, I was really excited to block it. The lace definitely needed a little relaxing and I was hoping that the stitches would lay a little bit neater.
Here’s the thing. I’m still not the biggest fan of cotton yarn. It was fun to try out a top in this fiber and the Blue Sky Alpacas really does cotton justice. It made me re-think the way that I feel about cotton. That being said, the stitches are VERY defined. It’s a nice, crisp look but it also highlights wonky parts were weaved in and where new skeins were joined. And basically if my tension varied at all, you could tell. So this guy needed a blocking.
Here’s a before shot. Don’t mind the dramatic shadows…
It’s all pinned down but you can kind of see what I mean about the stitches being defined in the left sleeve. It’s not really meshing and smooshing together the way that wool does, the stitches just kind of sit next to each other telling all of the other stitches to bugger off.
Anyway, when I went to block this, I wanted to make sure I was doing everything properly. I think I’ve only made dishtowels out of cotton yarn and those really don’t need to be blocked. That just sounds silly. Anyway anyway, I turned to this helpful guide from Knitty. Remember, kids: Different fibers need to be treated differently! You can’t just dunk everything into a basin of warm water and Soak.
Cotton needs to be steamed. This is how I did it since my iron is a piece of crap and I don’t have a steamer.
I took an old pillowcase and soaked it in the sink. I wrung it out a little and placed it over my sweater which was laid out on a blocking mat. (I pinned it down since I wanted the lace to stretch out a bit. Whether you pin your blocking is up to you and the way you want the fabric of your sweater to turn out. Think about that!) Then I ironed it out and removed the pillowcase.
Another pro tip: Ask someone else to take a photo of you ironing. It’s really hard and probably dangerous to photograph and iron simultaneously.
Ta da! That’s it! There’s what it looked like immediately after ironing. I tried it on after it dried for 24 hours. Cotton is tough. It doesn’t want to stretch out the way other natural fibers might but the neckline did kind of lose its shape. The lace, though, looks really beautiful in this color and fiber.
I’m really pleased with how it turned out and it’s always fun to try some new blocking techniques! More photos of the FO coming soon!
Have you ever blocked cotton yarn? Any tips?
I’ve got some photos from the early development on my faire isle sweater. I was able to finish a sleeve while I was on a week of hurrication. Since then, progress has slowed down. I’ve only had about an hour to spend on it every day. And, with the holidays swiftly approaching, I can see it being on the needles a little while longer.
Now, faire isle is a technique that, despite my years of knitting and lack of intimidation, I am still perfecting. I realized only recently that I was not carrying my contrast colors correctly. I’m admitting it here so please don’t judge me. Nothing was laying flat and the gauge was a mess. I since have mastered that part.
My biggest problem was the debate between carrying the CCs up the sides or cutting and rejoining. While rejoining is ridiculous (so many ends! SO MANY ENDS!), I have to carry them up more then ten rows between their uses. I consulted Twitter and my lovely friends gave me the advice to carry them losely. I think that’s working out well besides leading to massive tangles. After a few wears, it should felt down a little.
I wish I’d adjusted this pattern to be knit in the round. I don’t know what I was thinking. It should be in the round. Why is it not in the round, Debbie Bliss Magazine? There are a few odd things about the pattern that are pretty specific and I’m not sure if it’s worth explaining them. My only helpful adjustment was to add stitch markers to the beginning and end of the pattern repeats so that it’s not completely confusing when increasing on the edges.
I am very pleased with the color combination. I agonized over the selection for a while since I was shopping online. It’s so tough to decide when you can’t see or feel the yarn! My only regret is that I wish the lavender/grey was switched with the eggshell blue. I didn’t buy enough blue to swap them which was bad of me but I still love the way it looks so it’s not even worth mentioning. Don’t worry. I’m sorry I brought it up.
Now it’s just a lot of repeating patterns. My gauge is about half a stitch too big which I am hoping will work in my favor since I think the sweater might be a little snug. (The small is something like 35″ bust where the medium is 39 1/2″ which is a big difference and I’m somewhere in the middle.) I’m excited to get more pictures when more things are complete. But, like I said, there is holiday crafting on the horizon. Stay tuned, more on that later!
Do you have issues with faire isle? What’s your biggest knitting challenge?
ps. Stay tuned! There is a KYC video coming up tomorrow! Have you subscribed to the channel yet?
Obviously when I was being all snarky and telling you “I know how knitting works”, I didn’t actually know. Meghan, who has an awesome quarterly out now, I can’t wait to get my hands on it, was nice enough to shoot me a message on Ravelry and share this amazing tip with me for doing intarsia in the round. And I’d love to share it with you. Even though now I’m embarassed and I’m starting to think this is something everyone might know about…
Well if you’re like me, listen up!
When knitting intarsia in the round, turn your work, purl and slip the stitches. Here’s a video that is a little more complicated but it explains the concept pretty well:
It’s so simple yet so brilliant and such a game-changer. I hope I’m not the only one that didn’t know this existed. Though, if I’d put my mind to it, maybe I would’ve figured it out myself. (Probably not.) I guess this is one of the things that keeps me loving this craft. Although I’ve been knitting for years and I like to consider myself a pretty advanced knitter, there is always something new to learn, some little surprise is out there to make life easier.
Thank you for actually explaining to me how knitting works, Meghan. You are free to judge me now.
I’m going to go re-knit those socks!