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I am the master of my cables… March 23, 2011

Filed under: Knitting Projects — cydknits @ 9:04 am

Or at least I would like to think I am. I have begun to knit a cute jacket from a free pattern from Knitting Daily downloaded directly to my nook color. It is knit from the bottom up, I knitted along, following the pattern closely, and soon got the repeat down where I had no need to consult the pattern again until i get to the 13 inches required. After about 5 inches I held my work out in front of me, and there is was, my cable was pointing the wrong direction in three places, none of them on the cable row I had just completed.

First let me start out by explaining how cables are produced, by slipping the first  stitches as required by the pattern onto a cable needle and holding them in the back produces a right angle turn, holding them in the front causes the work to turn to the left. Combine holding your stitches in the front, Cable Front (CF) and back, cable Back (CB) you can create any number of twists and turns, some looking more tedious than others, but all created by simply moving the order of stitches on one row in the row repeat.

The cable stitch that I am working on is CB2, K2, Knit 2 off of cable needle, CF2, K2, knit 2 off the cable needle. This creates the cable pictured to the right. Each turn takes four stitches, so the first step is to identify the stitches that make up the wrong turn.

Then here is the toughest part, drop the 4 stitches off the needle. I can hear the collective knitting community gasp, as we all do everytime one of those pesky loops fall off even though we realize that the stitch will very rarely run away from you.  Then you must pull out the rows down to the mistake.

You now have what looks to be massive damage to the fabric, but worry not, we will fix it. You will have latters down the back and four live stitches. Slip the four stitches onto the left needle. You are now ready to fix this mess you have made.

The first step will be to repair the cable twist, taking the first latter at the bottom of the section, hold the yarn in your left hand,  place first 2 stitches on a cable needle, knit the next two, then knit the held stitches off the cable needle. Now you slip the stitches back onto the left needle for the next row.

Continue to the top, following the pattern repeat as you make your way up the fabric. And there you have it, I may not be the Master of Cables, but I can fix them so you will never know I’m not.


Traveling Sweater January 20, 2011

Filed under: Knitting Projects — cydknits @ 1:57 pm
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Shortly after my Mom taught me to knit I started to gather knowledge and experiment with techniques in books. My Parents are retired and travel, so much of the year they are somewhere warmer then snowy Utah. Only after a few lessons I was left to my own devices. Admittedly, not all my attempts at greatness were successful, but all of those attempts made my knowledge  of knitting grow.  On the next visit from my parents, I was able to start teaching my Mom some of the things that I had learned. That continues to my Traveling Sweater, the pattern and the yarn, a soft Merino and bamboo, was given to me by my mother, with the intent of me making it, so I can help her through hers, but it truth, I think she knew I could never afford the beautiful yarn the pattern called for.

I took the yarn home and started the body/collar. I had a bit of an issue with the wrapping stitches to make the curve of what essentially turns into a flat donut. Wrapping stitches at the end of short rows prevents holes developing in the fabric when you turn and head back. Wrapping a stitch, also called a wrap and turn, consists of moving the yarn to the front when knitting and the back when purling, slipping said stitch, and putting the yarn back to the original position and slipping the stitch back to the left needle. With a turn of your work you are the knitting back on the stitches you just knit. The issue comes for me when you knit all the stitches across, the pattern says to work the wraps for a knit stitch by putting your needle through the wrap then the stitch was wrapped, then knitting them together.  For Purl stitch you bring the wrap onto the needle and purl the 2 together. After many attempts to work the purl wraps, it would leave a loose loop on the back, and since this sweater body has no wrong or right side after it is assembled, I simply modified the pattern, putting all my wraps on a knit stitch by decreasing or increasing the stitch count between wraps, solving the problem.

The sleeves were quick to knit up, and soon I had all the pieces washed and laid out to be blocked.  The sleeves, sewn to the body while leaving the center open to create a seem by a 2 stitch i-cord bind off that creates a bumped out seam down the back.  The pattern was confusing to me when describing this seam, but after a quick email to the Blue Moon Fiber Arts, the sent me a picture of the back, clearing up any confusion I had.

I did alter the seam to the sleeves by adding thumb holes and extending the sleeves to be a comfortable length as the pattern describes leaving the stitches on the sleeves live so that you can adjust the length to best fit you.

The sweater came out beautifully, if i do say so myself, though one problem arose after i completed it. It didn’t fit. I guess my next goal for 2011 it to fit into it!


There is a knitter at the beginning of all great things. January 19, 2011

Filed under: Knitting Projects — cydknits @ 12:18 pm

Here at the beginning of the year I want to start something new, and I hope an interesting read for knitter and crafter alike. I will be writing about many other things then just Knitting, I am a crafter to the core.  My projects are numerous at any given time, including dying yarn and silks, sewing, beading, polymer clay, photography, crocheting, and I am sure there are a few more that I have absentmindedly omitted.

I was raised in a house that valued the arts, my Mother is the one who taught me to knit, but not as a child. I was never interested in anything like that. Of course I did make the crochet chain that went halfway to China before I gave up, but never thought about turning around and crocheting back.  It was only 7ish years ago that I learned to knit, my mother instructed me on a simple blanket that started in the corner, and increased up, then down. That was September, and by Christmas I had knitted 6 blankets for Christmas gifts, my love of knitting was born!

I am a selfish knitter. I have since gotten over the insane urge to knit for gifts, it always starts out like a good idea, “Sweaters for all!” then you go yarn shopping, and that just feeds the crafting high, you become bold and pick out patterns that include massive amounts of color work, and perhaps patterns that look good to you but send your loved one running for the door, but of course, you don’t notice the futility of this massive project you have taken on until you approach your deadline and you only have 3 of the 10 sweaters done.  In my situation, I get frustrated and stop all together, running out to the store to buy gift cards.

I have sold my work. I have given up on that, mainly because the obligation made me hate every stitch I produce. I send my time thinking about all the other things that I could be knitting, except knitting the one thing that I committed to!

In 2010 my goal was to knit for myself. I found that, though knitting for quite a few years, I had yet to knit anything for me besides my trademark fingerless gloves. You would never know I was a knitter if you didn’t catch me in the act.  I feel that I accomplished that task, my closet now contains 2 camisoles, 2 sweaters, a shrug, hat and scarf, bags and more fingerless gloves.

In 2011 my goal is to document my continuing struggles in knitting, and introduce myself to new things in the process, while finishing all the UFO’s (Un-Finished Objects). I hope you knit with me.