Sep 092014
 

Short Rows tutorial using the shadow wrap method | The Knitting Vortex

The final post in my series of tutorials for working Short Rows demonstrates the Shadow Wrap method, promulgated by Socktopus. As in the German and Japanese methods, an extra loop is made from the row below to disguise the turning point; the extra loop in this case is a stitch worked into the stitch below just before turning, creating a twinned stitch at the turning point. Later both loops of the twinned stitch are worked together to close the gap.

The Shadow Wrap method on a knit row:

1. Knit to the turning point, then knit into the stitch below the next stitch on the left needle, creating a twinned stitch.

SR shadow wrap tutorial1 | The Knitting Vortx

2. Slip this twinned stitch to the left needle without twisting it.

SR shadow wrap tutorial2 | The Knitting Vortex

3. Turn the work, and purl the next row.

SR shadow wrap tutorial3 | The Knitting Vortex

The Shadow Wrap method on a purl row:

1. Purl to the turning point, then slip the next stitch purlwise to the right needle.

SR shadow wrap tutorial4 | The Knitting Vortex

2. Insert the left needle tip into the stitch below the slipped stitch on the right needle, lifting the front leg; purl into this stitch with the right needle, creating a twinned stitch.

SR shadow wrap tutorial5a | The Knitting Vortex

SR shadow wrap tutorial5b | The Knitting Vortex

SR shadow wrap tutorial5c | The Knitting Vortex

3. Slip this twinned stitch to the left needle without twisting it.

SR shadow wrap tutorial6 | The Knitting Vortex

4. Turn the work and knit the next row.

SR shadow wrap tutorial7 | The Knitting Vortex

To work the twin stitch on a knit row:

1. Knit to the twinned stitch, which is easy to see, and knit both loops together as one.

SR shadow wrap tutorial8a | The Knitting Vortex

SR shadow wrap tutorial8b | The Knitting Vortex

To work the twinned stitch on a purl row:

1. Purl to the twinned stitch, which again is easy to see, and purl both loops together as one.

SR shadow wrap tutorial9a | The Knitting Vortex

SR shadow wrap tutorial9b The Knitting Vortex

I like that the twinning is done prior to turning the work, and that the twinned stitch is very obvious to see later on when it’s time to close the gap. The actions are pretty basic, although making the twin on the purl side takes a bit of manipulation. For me, the result was a bit messier than the Japanese and German methods, but the procedure overall was simpler; as ever, the choice of methods will depend on the yarn and gauge, and where the short rows are being used. Next up will be a recap post evaluating the results of all five methods I’ve presented.

For the other tutorials in the Short Rows series, see:

Short Rows using the wrap & turn method

Short Rows using the yarnover method

Short Rows using the German method

Short Rows using the Japanese method

 

 

Sep 072014
 

This weekend was New Jersey’s 20th annual fiber fest, and although it’s small, I like to think of it as powerful. There are four barns full of animals, fleece, spinning, shows and vendors – just enough for a good half day, with the added bonus of being local for me.

Almost everything is under cover, which worked out nicely this year in the feels-like 100 degree heat, followed in the afternoon by drenching thunderstorms. I left before the actual rains came, but felt like I had been soaked anyway by that time from the humidity.

The shade helped them, but the animals were hot too; the sheep that were getting sheared seemed pleased to lose the extra insulation. This guy was a blue ribbon winner, and he looked totally over it.

Sheepbreeders Festival 2014 ram | The Knitting Vortex'

The angora bunnies were alert, but keeping motion to a minimum.

Sheepbreeders Festival 2014 angora rabbit | The Knitting Vortex

There were kids leading sheep around the show ring, the local spinners’ guild doing their thing, lots of fibery crafts (SO many felted things!) and a super array of booths from indie dyers. I even ran into some friends unexpectedly, so ended up re-touring the entire festival with them. The heat did sap my energy eventually, but not before I enhanced my stash; it turned out to be a romantic, plummy, red sort of day.

Sheepbreeders Festival 2014 yarn | The Knitting Vortex

Sep 052014
 

Short Rows Japanese method tutorial | The Knitting Vortex

The fourth in my series of tutorials for working Short Rows demonstrates the Japanese method. As in the German method, an extra loop is pulled up from below to disguise the turning point; instead of pulling it up with a YO, the working yarn is marked when the work is turned and later pulled up to create the extra loop at the time of closing the gap. This method requires a removable stitch marker, bobby pin or scrap yarn to mark the loop to be pulled up.

The Japanese method on a knit row:

1. Knit to the turning point, and turn the work; slip the next stitch purlwise.

SR Japanese 1 | The Knitting Vortex

2. Place a removable stitch marker on the working yarn at the front of the work.

SR Japanese 2 | The Knitting Vortex

3. Purl the next row as needed.

SR Japanese 3 | The Knitting Vortex

The Japanese method on a purl row:

1. Purl to the turning point, and turn the work; slip the next stitch purlwise.

SR Japanese 7 | The Knitting Vortex

2. Place a removable stitch marker on the working yarn at the back of the work; knit the next row as needed.

SR Japanese 8 | The Knitting Vortex

To close the gap on a knit row:

1. Knit to the gap; the stitch marker is at the back of the work.

SR Japanese 4 | The Knitting Vortex

2. Pull up a loop of yarn by pulling on the stitch marker, and place the loop on the left needle.

SR Japanese 5 | The Knitting Vortex

3. Knit the loop and the next stitch together as one; continue knitting.

SR Japanese 6 | The Knitting Vortex

To close the gap on a purl row:

1. Purl to the gap, where the stitch marker is at the front of the work, and slip the next stitch purlwise to the right needle.

SR Japanese 9 | The Knitting Vortex

2. Pull up a loop of yarn by pulling on the stitch marker, and place the loop on the left needle..

SR Japanese 10 | The Knitting Vortex

3. Slip the stitch on the right needle back to the left needle without twisting it.

SR Japanese 11 | The Knitting Vortex

4. Purl the stitch and the loop together as one; continue purling.

SR Japanese 12 | The Knitting Vortex

The Japanese method in my opinion is the tidiest on both the RS and WS, since the absence of wraps and YOs means that there’s very little excess yarn. It does take a bit longer to work because you have to place and remove the marker that indicates where to pull up a loop, but it’s simple to do. With some experience, and depending on the yarn texture, size and color, you might even be able to see which loop to pull up without marking it.

The next tutorial will demonstrate another way of pulling up a stitch, with Short Rows using the shadow wrap method.

For the other tutorials in the Short Rows series, see:

Short Rows using the wrap & turn method

Short Rows using the yarnover method

Short Rows using the German method

Short Rows using the Shadow Wrap method

 

Sep 022014
 

SR german method tutorial | The Knitting Vortex

The third in my series of tutorials for working Short Rows demonstrates the German method; this is another technique which uses a yarnover instead of wrapping the turning stitch, but instead of the yarnover itself becoming the extra loop, it’s used to pull up a stitch from below to disguise the turning point.

The German method on a knit row:

1. Knit to the turning point, and turn the work. Note that when using this method, you will work up to and including the turning stitch. In the w&t method, you’re technically working to one stitch before the turning stitch.

SR German method1 The Knitting Vortex

2. Slip the next stitch purlwise.

SR German method2 The Knitting Vortex

3. Bring the working yarn to the back over the right needle, and pull upwards so that the stitch below the slipped stitch is pulled partially up onto the needle. This creates what appears to be an odd-looking double stitch, but it’s not a mistake.

SR German method3 The Knitting Vortex

4. Bring the working yarn to the front again between the needles; purl the next row.

SR German method4 The Knitting Vortex

The German method on a purl row:

1. Purl to the turning point, and turn the work.

SR German method5 The Knitting Vortex

2. Bring the working yarn to the front between the needles.

SR German method6 The Knitting Vortex

3.  Slip the next stitch purlwise.

SR German method7 The Knitting Vortex

4. Bring the working yarn to the back over the right needle, and pull upwards so that the stitch below is pulled partially up onto the needle creating what appears to be a double stitch.

SR German method8 The Knitting Vortex

5. Knit the next row. On this side, the work is sometimes a little bit tighter because the yarn is already at the back and so has less distance to travel.

SR German method9 The Knitting Vortex

To work the double stitch on a knit row:

1. Knit to the double stitch, which is very obvious in the row.

SR German method10 The Knitting Vortex

2. Insert the right needle tip knitwise under both of its front legs.

SR German method11 The Knitting Vortex

3. Knit both legs together as one.

SR German method12 The Knitting Vortex

To work the double stitch on a purl row:

1. Purl to the double stitch, which again is obvious to see; insert the right needle tip purlwise under both of its front legs.

R German method14 The Knitting Vortex

2. Purl both legs together as one.

SR German method15 The Knitting Vortex

 

To me, the German method looks great on both the RS and WS, and it’s easy to work. The double stitch is very obvious, once you get used to how wonky it looks. The next tutorial will demonstrate another way of pulling up a stitch, with Short Rows using the Japanese method.

For the other tutorials in the Short Rows series, see:

Short Rows using the wrap & turn method

Short Rows using the yarnover method

Short Rows using the Japanese method

Short Rows using the Shadow Wrap method

Aug 282014
 

SR YO tutorial | The Knitting Vortex

The second in my series of tutorials for working Short Rows demonstrates the yarnover method; this technique uses a backwards yarnover instead of wrapping the turning stitch, and then works that extra loop to disguise the turning point.

To yarnover on a knit row:

1. Knit to the turning point, and turn the work.

SR YO1 The Knitting Vortex

2. Make a backwards YO by bringing the yarn to the back between the needles . . .

SR YO2 The Knitting Vortex

3 .  . . . and then over the right needle to the front again; purl the next row. Purling that first stitch may be a bit fiddly with the yarnover coming over the needle, but it helps to hold it in place with your finger.

SR YO3 The Knitting Vortex

To yarnover on a purl row:

1. Purl to the turning point, and turn the work.

SR YO6 The Knitting Vortex

2. Make a backwards YO by bringing the yarn to the front between the needles . . .

SR YO5 The Knitting Vortex

3.  . . . and then over the right needle to the back again; knit the next row.

SR YO6 The Knitting Vortex

To work the yarnover on a knit row:

1. Knit to the YO, which will be mounted backwards on the left needle; slip the YO knitwise to the right needle, correcting the stitch mount.

SR YO7 The Knitting Vortex

2. Return the YO to the left needle without twisting it.

SR YO8 The Knitting Vortex

3. Knit the YO together with the next stitch.

SR YO9 The Knitting Vortex

To work the yarnover on a purl row:

1. Purl to the YO, and slip the YO knitwise to the right needle, twisting it.

SR YO10 The Knitting Vortex

2. Slip the next stitch knitwise to the right needle, twisting it.

SR YO11 The Knitting Vortex

3. Return both the stitch and the YO to the left needle; both are mounted backwards.

SR YO12 The Knitting Vortex

3. Purl the YO together with the next stitch through the back loops.

SR YO13 The Knitting Vortex

I find the yarnover method to have a bit of a sloppy result, especially on the purl side. For a better way to use yarnovers to disguise the turning point, the next tutorial will be Short Rows using the German method.

For the other tutorials in the Short Rows series, see:

Short Rows using the wrap & turn method

Short Rows using the German method

Short Rows using the Japanese method

Short Rows using the Shadow Wrap method

Aug 182014
 

Going bicoastal, and international as well, we followed my daughter’s Pacific Northwest leanings and visited Victoria, British Columbia and Seattle, Washington. It was ALOT of travel the first day, but then we woke up to this.

Victoria Harbor, B.C.

And traveled outside the old-timey sort of city for the nature part of the trip – beaches and trees.

Vancouver Island beach

Avatar grove, Vancouver Island

Repatriated once again, it was Seafair week, with ships and the Blue Angels.

Seafair fireboat, Seattle harbor

The entire trip was uncharacteristically sunny and hot (except for the last morning’s ride back to the airport), so we had great touristing.

Seattle

Which means we probably need to go back to experience the greyness.

All images courtesy of my panorama-loving spouse, Gary Karlsrud. Yes; used with permission.

 

Aug 082014
 

Tarry | The Knitting Vortex

Stop and smell the roses; linger with the sunset, and tarry awhile. This relaxed tee is meant for lazy mornings, long lunches, and walks in the gentle moonlight. Worked seamlessly from the top down in a cotton and linen blend, it features lacy saddle shoulders for a touch of pretty whimsy, and a smooth stockinette body with matching lace panels at each side, knit seamlessly to the rounded hems. Wear it on gentle, warm days wherever you wander.

Techniques & Skills Used: knit/purl, increasing/decreasing, longtail CO, backwards loop CO, short rows, picking up stitches. The lace stitch pattern is both written and charted, and a link to my short rows tutorial is included.
Size: 32 (35, 38, 41, 44, 48, 52)” bust; shown in third size with 3” of ease. For a slightly oversized fit, choose a size with several inches of positive ease.
Yarn: Knit Picks Cotlin (70% tanguis cotton, 30% linen; 123 yards/50g), shown in Swan; 6 (6, 7, 8, 8, 9, 10) balls, or approximately 625 (700, 775, 875, 975, 1100, 1200) yards of dk weight linen/cotton or linen blend yarn.
Other Materials: US 5 (3.75mm) 32” circular needle or size to match gauge; US 4 (3.5mm) 16” circular needle or 32” circular needle if using Magic Loop method, for neckline and armhole edging; Stitch markers (4); Stitch holders (2); Yarn needle.
Gauge: 22 st and 28 rows/4” in stockinette st; 20 st and 32 rows/4” in Lace pattern; after blocking.

See it on Ravelry, to read more or purchase the pattern. 

Tarry side lace | The Knitting Vortex   Tarry shoulder lace | The Knitting Vortex   Tarry tee | The Knitting Vortex

Jul 232014
 

Shadow Dial | The Knitting Vortex

Light as a whisper and soft as a shadow, this simple tank top is knit in stockinette stitch with flutter cap sleeves. Laceweight yarn on larger needles creates a fabric with beautiful drape, while gentle waist shaping and simple details keep the look uncomplicated. The body is worked seamlessly from the bottom up with a scooped neckline and narrow purl edgings; stitches are picked up around the armholes then rapidly increased and worked in short rows to create the focal flutter sleeves. Shadow Dial is pretty and light, and just right for summer.

Shadow Dial is a new version of the Sundial Tee, which was published in Knitscene Summer 2013. It has more drape and an improved fit at a slightly more relaxed gauge of 24 st and 34 rows/4”, with an expanded range of ten sizes, which all include added length and a reshaped upper body with better strap coverage and a more deeply scooped front neckline. Additional detailed instructions for the upper body and flutter sleeve shaping have also been included, with a link to my new short row photo tutorial.

Techniques & Skills Used: knit/purl, increasing/decreasing, short rows, picking up stitches, 3-needle bind off.
Size: 30 (32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 48, 52)” bust; this top may be worn with negative ease for a fitted look, or a bit of positive ease for a more casual effect; sample shown in fourth size with 1” positive ease.
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Lace (100% baby merino wool; 470 yards/50g); 2 (2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4) skeins, shown in Violetas, or approximately 800 (850, 900, 950, 1050, 1100, 1150, 1200, 1350, 1450) yards of laceweight yarn.
Other Materials: US 6 (4mm) 24” circular needle or size to match gauge; Extra US 6 needle or dpn for 3-needle BO; Stitch markers (1 each colors A & B, 2 color C); Stitch holders (3); Yarn needle.
Gauge: 24 st and 34 rows/4” in stockinette stitch, after blocking.

See it on Ravelry, to read more or purchase the pattern.  

Shadow Dial side view | The Knitting Vortex  Shadow Dial | Last Look The Knitting Vortex  Shadow Dial flutter closeup | The Knitting Vortex

Jul 232014
 

Sundial Tee | The Knitting Vortex

Originally published in Knitscene Summer 2013, my Sundial Tee pattern is now available as an individual download from The Knitting Vortex. I’ve added just a bit of length, but other than that the pattern remains a close-fitting tank as it first appeared in the magazine. I’ve also included expanded shaping instructions for the neckline and the short row flutter sleeves, as well as my short row tutorial. For a slightly more relaxed fit knit at a larger gauge, I’ve also reworked the design and expanded the size range to ten sizes as Shadow Dial, also newly released. Whichever you choose, the soft and luscious laceweight yarn makes a pretty, romantic tee for the summer.

A splash of color flutters in the breeze, drawing the eye . . . like a poppy in the field. This simple tank top is knit in stockinette stitch with short row flutter sleeves. Laceweight yarn worked at a small gauge creates a wearable and figure-conscious fabric, which hugs the body in this fitted top. Gentle waist shaping, a scooped neck and narrow shoulders further define the shape, while the cap sleeves add softness and romance. The body is worked seamlessly from the bottom up with narrow purl edgings; stitches are picked up then rapidly increased and worked in short rows creating the fluttery sleeves. Sundial is a summer tank that is simple but special.

Techniques & Skills Used: knit/purl, increasing/decreasing, short rows (with link to tutorial), picking up stitches, 3-needle bind off.
Size: 28.5 (32, 35.5, 39, 42.75)” bust; this slim tank is designed to be worn with some negative ease for a fitted look. Sample shown in smallest size with 4” negative ease.
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Lace (100% baby merino wool; 470 yards/50g); 2 (2, 2, 3, 3) skeins, shown in Bergamota, or approximately 725 (825, 925, 1050, 1200) yards of laceweight yarn.
Other Materials: US 5 (3.75mm) 24” circular needle or size to match gauge; Extra US 5 needle or dpn for 3-needle BO; Stitch markers (1 each colors A & B, 2 color C); Stitch holders (3); Yarn needle.
Gauge: 27 st and 34 rows/4” in stockinette stitch, after blocking.

See it on Ravelry, to read more or purchase the pattern.  

Sundial back view | The Knitting Vortex  Sundial Tee | The Knitting VortexJPG  Sundial side | The Knitting Vortex

Jul 162014
 

Layercake cover | The Knitting Vortex

A delicious cropped cardigan worked seamlessly from the top down, Layercake features raglan construction and narrow stripes. Long ribbed cuffs end three-quarter length sleeves and match the wide hem which defines the waist. The matching buttonband is picked up and worked along the deep V-neck. In confectionary hues or your favorite color combination, this sweet cardi is a light layer over any outfit.

Techniques & Skills Used: raglan construction, knit/purl, increasing/decreasing, cable CO, backwards loop CO.
Size: 30 (32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 48, 52)” bust; shown in fourth size with 1” of positive ease
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (100% superwash merino wool; 420 yards/100g), shown in Alizarin (MC) and Sugar Plum (CC). 2 (2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3) skeins MC and 1 (1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2) skeins CC, or approximately 600 (650, 700, 750, 800, 850, 900, 950, 1050, 1150) yards MC and 300 (325, 350, 375, 400, 425, 450, 475, 525, 600) yards CC of fingering weight yarn.
Other Materials: US 5 (3.75mm) 32” circular needle or size to match gauge; Stitch markers (10); Stitch holders (2); Yarn needle; ½” buttons 8 (9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 11, 11); Matching sewing thread and needle.
Gauge: 22 st and 32 rows/4″ in stockinette stitch, after blocking.

See it on Ravelry, to read more or purchase the pattern.  

Layercake | The Knitting Vortex  Layercake back view | The Knitting Vortex  Layercake buttoned | The Knitting Vortex