Saturday, February 20, 2016

Picot Bind Off

I have designed several shawls with a Picot Bind Off.
So I decided it was time to assist others in using the Picot Bind Off.

I always use the next larger needle for the bind off.
For this example I am using the Audrey's Shawl.
It is a worsted shawl designed for a child.
The shawl is knit with a US8 (5 mm) and I used a US9 (5.5 mm) for the bind off.

Even when knitting a shawl with fingering weight yarn, 
I use one size larger needle for the bind off.

First you bind off 2 stitches as you normally would.
Then you slide the stitch from right hand needle to the left hand needle.

Insert the needle between the two right most stitches on your left needle. 

Pull the yarn through.

Place on the left hand needle, without twisting. 

Repeat to add the second cast on stitch. 

Should have 3 loops separated from the other stitches on the left hand needle.

Bind off 5 stitches. 

I give the picot a tug. 

Place the remaining stitch on the left hand needle,
repeat the process until you bind off all the stitches.

When I am sitting I am knitting.
I hope you will join me in the Ravelry Heirloom Goods
knitting group.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Leedra's Edge and Bind Off

 I designed my first shawl in 2011.

I design bottom up shawls and I design top down shawls.  But it seems no matter whether it is bottom up or top down I prefer to use a seed stitch edge for the border.  I have designed a few shawls without this seed stitch edge, but not many.   For the top down shawls the seed stitch is started as a neck tab which just continues down the edge on both sides as you knit the shawl.  In the photo below you can see the first stitch is always slipped.  I slip this stitch purlwise.  The working yarn is then taken in front of the work and between the needles to the back of the work, ready to work the next stitch.  If you take the yarn behind the needle to the back it will not look the same, so you need to be consistent in the way the yarn is taken to the back.  With a top down shawl the seed stitch is always six stitches.  With the bottom up shawl the seed stitch can be either four or six stitches.
Because I like the seed stitch for most designs I needed to come up with a good way to continue the edge around the neck when designing a bottom up shawl.  So I designed what was quickly named Leedra's Edge and Bind Off  by my test knitters. 

I have designed several shawls ending with Leedra's Edge and Bind Off, they are

The edge stitches are the same whether working the right side and wrong side rows.
At the beginning of the rows my six stitch seed stitch edge is worked as follows:
Slip 1, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1.
The end of the rows are worked as follows:
k1, p1, k1, p1, k2.

After a shawl is complete except the neck is when Leedra's Edge and Bind Off is used.
Leedra's Bind Off is completed with one size needle smaller than the shawl is knit with.
This is accomplished by changing to the smaller needle and knitting the last wrong side row immediately before the beginning of the bind off with the smaller needle.
With the right side facing Leedra's Edge and Bind Off is worked as follows:
Notice in the photos one side is still on the circular needle used for the shawl,
And I started using a double point needle for the other end.
Slip 1, (k1, p1) x2, k3tog, 

(k1, p1) x2, k2, 
Repeat until there are a total of 12 stitches remaining.
(6 stitches on each needle)
End with the k3tog, without turning.
 When there are 6 stitches on each needle the 6 stitches on the circular needle can be moved to a double point needle.  Turn the two double  point needles so the wrong sides are facing each other.  This places the yarn on the back needle on the right side.  This is the correct location for grafting the 12 stitches together using the Kitchener Stitch method.
For convenience I have added instructions for the Kitchener Stitch at the
bottom of this blog post.
Due to the k3tog stitches,
after the Leedra's Edge and Bind Off is completed you can see a small hole.  
With shawls the hole is just another design element.
The photo below shows the side edge as it curves at the front of the shawl.
And this last photo shows the curve created for the neck of the shawl.

Kitchener Stitch Setup:  

Attach your yarn to a darning needle and thread the yarn through the first stitch on the front needle as if to purl and leave the stitch on the needle.  Then thread the yarn through the first stitch on the back needle as if to knit and leave the stitch on the needle.
Kitchener Stitch:  

Step 1:  
Thread the yarn through the first stitch on the front needle as if to knit, and slip the stitch off the needle.

Step 2:  

Thread the yarn through the next stitch on the front needle as if to purl and leave the stitch on the needle.
Step 3:  

Thread the yarn through the first stitch on the back needle as if to purl and slip it off the needle.
Step 4:  

Thread the yarn through the next stitch on the back needle as if to knit, and leave the stitch on the needle.
Repeat steps 1 thru 4 until all the stitches are off both needles.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Adding pocket to purse

This blog post is about adding a pocket to a hand knit purse,
after finishing the knit of the purse but before felting the purse.
For this demo I am using a purse with a different color stripe to assist in the addition.

First, you need to find the middle 27 stitches (or the number you wish to use)
and mark with stitch markers.  If you mark to the right of the most right stitch and
to the left of the most left stitch you will have 28 stitches marked.

From the inside of the purse, using a crochet hook, pull the yarn through
a space one row up and 1/2 stitch toward the middle of the purse.

Pull about 24 inches of the yarn to the inside of the purse.

Go to the right side of the purse and directly below the
stitch marker you placed insert the crochet hook. 

Pull the yarn through to the outside of the purse.

Place the yarn on a double point needle,
the same size needle as your original project.

Continue in this manner.
As you continue be careful to move over a full stitch and not a half stitch.

After I have about 10 stitches on the double point
I transfer them to a 24 inch circular needle.

I continue until I have all 28 stitches on the knitting needle.
Notice the original pull through is above the row.

Turn the purse.

Purl the first row, and all the odd number rows.

Knit the even number rows to create stockinette.
40 to 50 rows is a good number of stockinette rows.
End with a WS knit row, RS knit row, and WS knit row.
Bind off knitwise.  Sew the pocket to the purse before felting.
Height of pocket before felting was 9 1/2 inches.

And the photo after felting.
This pocket I knitted 50 rows of stockinette;
ending with 3 rows of garter stitch.
Height of pocket after felting was 5 1/2 inches.

I do felt my items to the point of no stitch definition showing.
When I design felted items I use US10 (6.5mm) needles 
with one strand of yarn.
I used a H (5mm) crochet hook for this demonstration. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sea the Waves Shawl

The inspiration for this shawl came from the beaches along the Gulf of Mexico.  For my second knit of the shawl I used Three Irish Girls Congdon Merino Silk yarn, in the exclusive colorway of Gulf of Mexico only available at A Good Yarn - Sarasota; in Sarasota, Florida.  This colorway really is the color of the water on the Florida Gulf of Mexico coast.
(Modeled by Lindsey Harrell)
The bottom border is representative of the waves and the intricate lace section
is representative of the palm trees and shells along the shore.
My first knit of the shawl I used Peppino by Rhichard Devrieze.  With the color (Fondly) of this yarn the intricate lace portion of the shawl really reminds me of my favorite seashell (Vanhyning's Cockle), found along the shores of St Pete Beach.  Which, by the way, is my very favorite place to vacation.
Modeled by me.

Kelly Ramsey also was nice enough to model the shawl for me.
This shawl is now the store sample at A Good Yarn - Sarasota.
This is my 19 design to release in my Ravelry store.
Sea the Waves pattern is available  to purchase, and is
also available in my ETSY store. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Smoky Mountain Moebius Cowl

I find the moebius cast on to be very addictive.  
When I knit a moebius cowl I want to knit another one.

As you can see I did knit this one several times,
even before I handed the design over to test knitters.
I designed this one with a simple eyelet that gives it 
a lacy design without much concentration while knitting.

 Some of my test knitters made more than one also.  
The ones here were all knit by me and 
are being modeled by my daughter-in-law, Lindsey.

The hardest part to learn about Moebius cast on is that the knitting is growing from the middle of the design out.  You are not knitting from one end or the other.  Another tip for the first time moebius knitter is to be absolutely sure you have gone around the moebius the full circle.  To assure this it is best to add a marker and until the marker is back at your needle tip you have not completed the design.  This was the hardest for me as a new moebius knitter.  I thought when I got back even with the marker, although it was on the cable below my knitting, I had completed a full repeat of the design.  After having to remove stitches ( a LOT of stitches) I didn't make that mistake again.   

I named this pattern, the Smoky Mountain Moebius, because I live so close to the Smoky Mountains.
The pattern is available in my Ravelry store.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The fun of designing hand knits

I hope this post isn't too long, but it is my knitting history, for anybody that is interested.

Let's start with my knitting background.  I learned to knit around 1967.  But I did so many other crafts through the years I would only knit on occasion.  I would knit a blanket and then not knit for a couple of years.  Over time I forgot what I learned in those original lessons.  I just knitted basic blankets, but I did have a Debbie Bliss learn to knit book, and I would pick out a knit and purl design for the blankets.  So I guess all along I wanted to design a little. That book had a section on Entrelac and I would flip right past it thinking there was no way I could ever do that.  In 2009 I took several basic classes and became obsessive in my knitting.  When I figured out I really could read a pattern and follow it on my own I went back to that Entrelac section in the book.  You have to remember this book isn't really a pattern book, but a book of a library of stitches.  I had do "something" with that Entrelac I was half afraid of.  So I decided it would be a felted Entrelac purse.  My first attempt was a joke.  I didn't knit in the round and I did the wrong number on each tier, so when I sewed it together it didn't come together correctly.  Add to that with felted most real "boo-boo's" are not known until the felting process is completed.  I had several failed attempts.  Hence the beginning of actually writing what I was doing as I went so when it failed I knew to trash that design, but more so when it worked I kept it.  I was totally fascinated by Entrelac, and the 3 or 4 Color Entrelac Felted Purse was my first purse design to release.  I now have 4 different felted purse designs being sold.

Although the Entrelac purse was the first purse design I released it was actually my 5th design to release.  My first and third were both lace fingerless gloves with asymmetrical thumbs.  Then I was asked to design a cowl, then somebody else took that a step further and asked that I design a cowl with a Moebius cast on.  I didn't even know how to do this myself.  So I took the link and sat in front of the computer and figured out the cast on.  Then I designed a cowl with the same lace I used in one of my glove patterns.  The glove and moebius cowl can be purchased as individual patterns, or an ebook, Heirloom Goods Eyelet Moebius and Fingerless Gloves.

My first granddaughter was born in 2010 and naturally I started knitting for her.  It seemed like all the little dresses were knit flat and then sewn together.  When something can be knit with circular needles and eliminate the sewing together step I just don't understand why a person would design a pattern that way.  Plus a little girl needs some special designs just for her.  She got several, and one became my 2nd design to release, naturally as Audrey's Sundress.  Her bear also received a matching dress, it is truly a One Of A Kind, because I didn't keep the info as I knit it.  Audrey was able to wear her sundress for close to two years.  It started as a dress below her knees and she was able to wear it until it was a top with jeans.

I guess I design in a different way than most people.  Most designers for hand knits have some type of design software.  I don't have any software, I use Word and Excel.  If I purchased software I am not sure I would know what to do with it.  So I continue to design the same way.  Naturally I have to have some knowledge of what I am wanting to design, as with the fingergess gloves.  The first fingerless mitts I knit were symmetrical, then I took a class on something else entirely, but in the class I learned asymmetrical thumbs, and I was hooked.  For me it was just natural to design with lace.  So I went to reference books and excel and worked up a lace design for the gloves.  The first lace gloves I released were Drooping Dayflower Fingerless Gloves, being modeled here by my dear friend Loretta Ball.

Then along came my first real lace shawl.  It was a Faroese style shawl and again I was hooked.  Love the way the shoulder shaping of the Faroese shawls make the shawl stay on your body without shawl pins or tugging all the time.  When it came to designing a Faroese shawl I changed the shoulder shaping 4 times before I got it to what I wanted it to be.  It was a very slow process because as I was knitting the first one I was diagnosed with stage 3A breast cancer.  My treatment began with chemotherapy instead of surgery due to the aggressiveness of the cancer.  I completed the 4th shawl, with numerous changes in each knit of the shawl, about the same time my chemotherapy was completed.  I handed that 4th design to test knitters right before my surgery and released the Scottsdale Faroese Shawl in May 2013.  November 2013 the sales for the Scottsdale passed sales of my other patterns to become my number one pattern.

Right after the release of the Scottsdale Faroese Shawl I began radiation treatments for my cancer.  While taking the radiation treatments I designed another shawl, but this design was totally different for the Faroese style.  I knit this as I designed, not even sure what I was going to come up with.  I actually finished the design during the 6 weeks of daily radiation treatments, so naturally I named it Celebration, because I was celebrating not having to go for those daily treatments any more.  This design wraps around and I feel more dressed up when I wear it.  This shawl can be knit in two sizes, which is determined by which needle size you knit with.  The photo is the larger design.  I have also knit this one 4 times, but I made no changes from the original design.  This shawl has 201 beads added as you knit, if you don't want the beads you can knit it without using the beads.

I currently have my 3rd shawl design with test knitters.  It is named Joann Elizabeth Faroese Shawl, named for my mother.  I also added beads to this design, but can be knit without the beads.  It is being modeled by Karen Keene in the studio below the Smoky Mountain Spinnery in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  Be sure to click on this photo to enlarge so you can see the lace design.

I do have to say more time than I want is spent in front of the computer while designing, but it also has me knitting a lot of the time too.  I truly enjoy designing, and enjoy working with my test knitters as they are the first to knit my new designs.  They have encouraged me along the way and I know they have helped me toward the success I have had with my patterns.  I currently have 12 patterns for purchase in my Ravelry store or at several local yarn stores.  These 12 designs have sold over a total of 580 patterns.

Happy Knitting to all!!!