Tag Archives: tutorial

Day 12 of Winter

For the last installment of our blog series on our 12 Days of Winter Kit Collection, we’re unveiling the Twining Vines Cowl Twining Vines features Amphora. It is a perfect yarn for colorwork because its gorgeous halo blends the fibers together seamlessly. The effect is almost like an impressionist painting.

In addition to carrying two colors throughout this pattern, you’ll also need to trap your floats. It’s simpler than you might think. This tutorial is useful for any stranded project. If you’d like a closer look at the images, simply click on them.

Notice the large number of white stitches between the blue stitches. This is an area you’ll want to “trap” or “catch” your float to prevent any snagging.
Begin by knitting across your row as usual. Continue until you reach the section that requires trapping a float. Usually, an area that requires trapping floats will have more than five stitches.
As a rule of thumb, I trap my floats every five stitches. I’ve knit across four stitches, and I will trap my float on the fifth stitch.
Simply place your non-working yarn over the right-hand needle, but do not knit with it.
Wrap your working yarn around the right-hand needle to knit. Make sure your non-working yarn (the blue yarn) is over the needle and the working yarn (the white yarn).
Begin to knit the stitch. Notice how I’m holding the blue yarn. It is still above the white yarn, but it is not wrapped around the right-hand needle. Take care not to pull the non-working  (blue) yarn through the stitch. 
Knit the stitch. As you can see, the blue yarn is still at the back of the work. You can continue knitting as usual after this. That’s really how simple it is!
When you peek at the wrong side of your work, you’ll be able to see where you trapped the float. Notice the blue bump in the middle of the white stitches? That is where I’ve trapped the blue yarn underneath the white yarn.

Just like that, we’ve released all 12 of the patterns featured in our 12 Days of Winter Collection. We sincerely hope you’ve been enjoying our blog series highlighting each pattern. You can find the Twining Vines kit on our website here.

Now that you’ve seen them all, I’d also like to emphasize that tomorrow is Small Business Saturday. What better way to show your support for your local yarn shop than by stopping by to pick up one of our kits on Small Business Saturday?

Day 9 of Winter

It’s hardly winter without stockings, amiright? Three balls of yarn make three stockings in the Stripe Stockings kit. Knit in Deluxe Bulky Superwash, these will virtually fly off your needles.

The knitting in these is relatively simple – mostly stockinette with a bit of garter and an i-cord bind-off. There are enough details to keep a seasoned knitter entertained, but are simple enough that they would also make a good first sock project.

One feature that I’d like to explain more in detail is the afterthought heel. Unlike the common short-row heel which is knit as the rest of your sock is knit, an afterthought heel is added later after the rest of the sock is complete. There are various reasons for choosing this type of heel. My reasoning for doing so in this project was both to keep my stripe sequence uninterrupted and also to make the most of my yarn.

Grab your needles and yarn and let’s get to learning!

First, knit a stockinette swatch. I am knitting my swatch in the round just like the stockings, but this technique can just as easily be done worked flat in rows.
Next, get ready with your waste yarn. This waste yarn is temporarily going to hold the place of where your heel will eventually be.
Leaving your working (green) yarn where it is, knit across the heel stitches with the waste yarn. Your pattern will specify how many stitches this is. Typically, it is half of the total sock stitches.

Continue to knit the rest of the sock/swatch. Knit across the waste yarn stitches and on around.

Bind off your swatch.
Next, we’re going to place the stitches from the row above and also the row below onto separate needles. I like to use a smaller needle for this step. Pick up stitches with the tip of your needle, going through the front leg of each stitch. By doing this, the stitches will be oriented correctly when you go to knit the first round.
My 10 stitches from the row above the waste yarn are now on a needle.
Insert a second needle through the front leg of each stitch below the waste yarn.
Now we’re ready to remove the waste yarn.
With a spare needle, carefully pick out the waste yarn.
Waste yarn be gone!
Now it’s time to knit the heel, and return to your larger dpns. This first round is usually a plain/knit round.
This photo shows what happens in that gap where the waste yarn was if you simply knit across and ignore it.
Pick up a stitch from the side of the row where the waste yarn was. It’s best not to pick up the very outermost part of this loop, but to pick up the half of the stitch just inside the opening.
Place this picked up stitch on the needle and knit it together with the next stitch, closing the gap. Depending on the pattern and yarn, I might do this twice at each side of the gap. It’s best to experiment and see what looks best with your particular yarn and stitch pattern.
And here’s what that gap will look like now. No holes!
Knit the rest of the heel as instructed. It’s like a heel magically grew out of your knitting.

I also like this technique for set-in pockets on a top-down sweater. It’s not as hard as you thought it was going to be, right?

Day 5 of Winter

Today we’re introducing the Nutmeg Hat and Mitten Set. The neutral set is incredibly wearable for men and women alike. Personally, I love working with undyed wool. It is rustic in appearance and goes with nearly anything. While I’m a lover of color, I equally adore the natural shades of wool. You can see more of our Deluxe Worsted Naturals collection here.

This set features all over cables and a contrasting cuff. I wanted to give this set a professional finish, so I used the long-tail tubular cast-on method.

I can easily recall a time when I felt intimidated by the Tubular cast-on method. Like many things in knitting (and in life), we often perceive new things to be more challenging than they really are. This cast-on method is one of those things. If you look at the Nutmeg set, you’ll notice that the 1×1 Ribbing seems to run seamlessly from the right side to the wrong side. Notice the lack of a cast-on edge in the photo below. You can’t tell where it was cast-on. That is the beauty of a tubular cast-on.

It takes more time than most other methods and it feels a bit fiddly at first, but it’s well worth it. It’s by far my favorite method when I’m using 1×1 Rib.

If you’d like a closer look at each photo, simply click it.

To begin, place your yarn over the needle, leave a long tail as you would with a traditional long-tail cast on. You can use a slip knot, however; I do not so that the cast-on stitches are as invisible as possible.
Hold your yarn in place with your index finger.

Separate your tail and working yarn with your thumb and your index finger. You’ll do the same way you would for a regular long-tail cast-on.
Notice that I’m tensioning my yarn the same way that I would for a regular long-tail cast on.
Working from front to back, bring your needle under the yarn around your thumb.
Bring the needle up through the center.
Working from front to back, bring the needle over the yarn around your index finger and dip underneath it, then underneath the yarn around your thumb.
Correct the tension in your yarn. You now have two stitches. Notice how there is not a bump across that stitch? This will be a knit stitch.

The motion for a purl stitch mirrors the knit stitch.

Working from front to back, bring the needle over the yarn around your index finger, dipping below it and bringing the needle back through the center.
Working from back to front, bring the needle over the yarn around your thumb, dipping below it and then below the yarn around your index finger.
Correct your tension. Notice that this stitch has a purl bump. This is a purl stitch.

Continue in this manner, alternating between knit and purl stitches until you have the required number of stitches.

Notice the difference between the knit stitches and the purl stitches.

Once you have the correct number of stitches, carefully turn your work. I highly recommend using your index finger to hold the last stitch you cast on in place. Now you’ll begin working the first foundation row.

Once you’ve turned your work, grab your working yarn and slip the first stitch purlwise with your yarn in front.
Bring your yarn to the back.
Knit the next stitch through the back loop. This will untwist the knit stitch.

Continue to slip the purl stitches with your yarn in front and knit the knit stitches through the back loop to the end of your work. Turn your work. Now you’ll begin the second foundation row.

Just as in the previous row, slip the purl stitches purlwise with yarn in front.
Knit the knit stitches normally–there is no need to knit them through the back loop because these stitches should no longer be twisted.

Repeat the last two steps to the end of the row

On the next row, simply work in K1, P1 ribbing by purling the purl stitches and knitting the knit stitches.

This is what your finished cast on should look like.

Once you’ve finished casting on, you can join your work in the round (as would be the case for the Nutmeg Hat and Mitten Set). There will be a small space you’ll want to seam. Typically I do this just before weaving my tail into the project.

This method works for projects that are knit flat or in the round. It gives your projects such a neat finish. It’s also much more stretchy than a traditional long tail cast-on.

You can find the link to the Nutmeg Hat and Mitten set here.

Summit Scarf – Triple Knotted Fringe

The Summit Scarf from our Colorful Commute e-book features triple knotted fringe. It is an easy way to add a lot of visual interest to your project. It may look complicated, but it’s really quite simple and doesn’t take much more time or effort than plain fringe. Today I’ll show you how to do it!

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Step 1: Begin as you normally would when adding fringe to a project, for this scarf I cut 21” strands of yarn. Then, holding two strands together as one, I attached groups of fringe to the edge of the scarf, about one group every other stitch.

Step 2: Take half of one group of fringe knot together with half of next group of fringe 1” below first row of knots. I did not split the first and last groups of fringe.

fringe1

fringe2

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Step 3: Repeat for another row of knots. To finish, trim fringe evenly.

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That’s all there is to it! You can keep adding more rows of knots to create some really amazing  and intricate looking fringe, use longer strands of yarn when increasing the number of knotted rows. Beads can be placed above the knots (or even in place of the knots) to add some sparkle – there are so many possibilities.

 

 

Trade Street Cowls and Hat – Applied Crochet Lines

Today, I have another tutorial involving a crochet hook  to go along with our In Transit e-book.  The Trade Street Cowls and Hat pattern uses contrasting applied crochet lines to create vertical stripes. The  lines are added to the purl columns in the finished pieces.

The Trade Street Hat and Cowls feature an applied crochet stripe. No carrying colors on the back side! The pattern comes with both long and short versions of the cowl.
The Trade Street Hat and Cowls feature an applied crochet stripe. No carrying colors on the back side! The pattern comes with both long and short versions of the cowl.

It can be a lot of fun choosing the color for the applied crochet lines, and there are a few options, depending on the look you would like to create. Using a solid color in Uptown Bulky that also appears in the Main Color produces a plaid-like effect. With Classic Shades Big Time as the Contrasting Color, there are a ton of options – choose a highly contrasting section of the color repeat to make the stripes pop, use a section that is neutral or similar to the Main Color for more subtle stripes or choose a section with quicker color changes for gradient stripes.

Let’s get started!

Once you have finished and blocked your cowl or hat, you are ready to add the applied crochet lines.

Step 1: Holding yarn beneath work, insert crochet hook through the center of the first purl st in a column.

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Step 2: Pull a loop of yarn through to the front of the work.

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Step 3: Insert hook through the next st up in the same purl column, pull a loop of yarn through to the front of the work (2 loops on hook), pull the second loop through the first loop (1 loop on hook); repeat along entire column.

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Step 4: When entire column is complete, break yarn, leaving a 3 to 4 inch tail and pull through last loop.

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Step 5: Pull tail to wrong side and weave in ends.

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Keep going until all of the purl columns have applied crochet lines.

Will you go for subtle or bold stripes on your Trade Street Cowls and Hat?

 

 

 

New Bern Cowl – Faux Cable Fundamentals

Have you seen the New Bern Cowl and wondered how I created that faux cable look? Today, I’ll show you how, step by step!

So easy! The New Bern Cowl calls for just two balls of Big Time and a US Size 15 (10mm) needle.

It is a very simple technique, but brace yourself knitters…it does involve a crochet hook! Don’t worry though, if you can do a simple chain, you can do this.

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Pretty easy, right? I can’t wait for you to try it out on your very own New Bern Cowl!

Free Pattern – Wee Pumpkins

Okay, it’s not Free Pattern Friday yet, but we just couldn’t resist sharing this free pattern.

Poems Pumpkins blog

These are the Wee Pumpkins.  We’re sharing them now so you have plenty of time to work one up by Halloween!  Or what about Thanksgiving ?  Wouldn’t these look great on a dining room table?

They’re made in self-shading Poems 100% wool, which has some great fall colors.  The purple/green one on the left is 577 Bramble and the orange-toned one is 585 Autumn.

Poems Pumpkins bottom shot blogThe pumpkins are knit sideways, with short rows making up the wedge sections.  Take a look at the bottom and you can see how it all comes together.

Never done short rows before?  This is a great project to get your feet wet.  Amy Gunderson shares a video in how to do the wrap and turn.

Also of interest in there is the SSP (slip, slip, purl).  I’ve made things with short rows before, and inevitably had one side look seamless and one side marred with a big bump.  I’m delighted to learn a technique to make both ends of my short row look smooth.

Often, we’ll loan our knits to local yarn stores for them to share in trunk shows, but it’s going to be hard to part with these.  They’re just so pretty!

Happy knitting!