Weaving in ends as you go

I abhor weaving in ends. I will go to great lengths to avoid having to weave ends in. It is so tedious especially in stripes where you have to break your yarn after each colour change. Most of the time I just a spit join but that doesn’t work when  you need a sharp transition between to colours.  My most recent project with this problem is the Follow Your Arrow MKAL. I’ve heard mumurs of a technique that allows you to weave in ends as you go with colour changes but I’d never figured out how. I was extremely happy when I found this video. Another tool in a arsenal to avoid weaving in ends!

 

Deciding on Buttonholes

I haven’t made too many cardigans. When I do I typically follow the given instructions for any buttonholes but now I face a conundrum. I want to add buttonholes on my Rocio Cardigan. The buttons are small but not tiny and the yarn is reasonably delicate. This rules out the easiest two buttonholes I know: using a yo as a button hole and binding off a few stitches one row and then casting them on the next row. So I did the responsible thing and swatched. I’ve been relying less and less on published patterns so I need to decide what buttonholes I like. There is no time like the present to start finding out what works.

The buttonholes I’m testing are TechKnitter’s tulip buttonhole (the dark purple) and Knitting Daily’s one row buttonhole (the light purple).

rociobuttonholetrial

 

Both of these buttonholes are worked over three stitches and both are a good fit for my buttons. I think the one row buttonhole is a bit neater and tighter. The tulip buttonhole uses a crochet hook and is slightly more fiddly. I think when it’s done well it looks better than the one row buttonhole. However, I would need more practice to get it right and I’m happy with how my one row buttonhole looks. So I found out what I will use: the one row buttonhole!

Picking up Stitches

I hate picking up stitches. I have such a difficult time making sure that I pick them up in the right ratio to be both even and the correct number of stitches. When I don’t have to worry about getting a certain stitch count I’m fine. For those of you who don’t know my pain this is a tutorial from Knit Picks on picking up stitches.

Right now I’m trying to persuade myself to stop procrastinating and pick up stitches for the second sleeve on my Rocio Cardigan. My gauge is different than the designers so her ratio for picking up stitches won’t work for me. Instead, I mark the halfway point and check to see if I have half the stitches by that point. In other words trial and error. I believe the winning ratio on the first sleeve was 2 stitches per 3 rows with an occasional extra stitch thrown in closer to the top of the sleeve. I’m going to stop typing now and get to work.

How to Place Beads with Waxed Dental Floss

I’ve beaded a few projects and most of them have used beads placed on individual stitches instead of prestrung beads. I am cheap and I don’t have a tiny crochet hook to place the beads (something that I really should change) so I have always used dental floss. This is how I do it.

Tools: 

floss1

Waxed non-flavoured dental floss cut in 3 – 4 in (8 – 11 cm) sections

Knitting to bead (this swatch uses BC Garn Babyalpaca 10/2 a thick lace weight on 4 mm needles)

6/0 seed beads

Instructions:

When I get to a stitch I want to bead I thread the floss through it.

When I get to a stitch I want to bead I thread the floss through it.

Fold the floss in half

Fold the floss in half

Take the stitch off the needle

Take the stitch off the needle

Thread the bead on the floss

Thread the bead on the floss

And push the bead from the floss onto the stitch

And push the bead from the floss onto the stitch

Replace stitch on the needle

Replace stitch on the needle

Remove floss

Remove floss

Knit the beaded stitch

Knit the beaded stitch

After you work the next row this is how it looks.

floss10

This method is good because you don’t have to spend any money on any specialized tools. Unfortunately using floss takes forever. If you are making something heavily beaded it can really slow you down. I’m hoping next week I’ll be able to purchase a crochet hook I can use for beading and compare it to dental floss.

Mosaic Stitches

This weekend I started a new pair of socks with Crazy Zauberball. I didn’t want to just have the slow colour changes in the sock, so i turned to one of my favorite colourwork techniques. Mosiac stitch. It’s also easy. You stripe two colours and slip stitches to produce an intricate pattern. No floats like in stranded colourwork or bobbins to manage like in intarsia. Here are some really interesting patterns that use this technique. Click the image to go to the Ravelry page.

Courtyard by Melissa Thomson

Azulejos by liZKnits

Kiyomi by Barbara Gregory

And finally the pattern I’m using for the socks:

Pucker by General Hogbuffer

I’ll show you my socks tomorrow but until then have fun looking through all the possibilities for this technique. I know I will!

Making Repairs

Darning is one of the techniques I have yet to master. Unfortunately this year was mothmagedon and when I came back from holiday I discovered a hole in my Cloudette Cardigan. A rather large hole.

I saw this and cursed all moths everywhere

I saw this and cursed all moths everywhere

I had been wearing this top a few days before I noticed the infestation so apparently it the moths loved it. A word of advise: if you live in an area with moths and like to wear a particular top  wash it after every wear in moth season! There are seven stitches affected and 5 rows missing. The first thing I did when I saw the hole was secure the stitches as best I could. The second was grab a drink while throwing the sweater in the freezer to kill any potential baby moths. Now it is out of the freezer and I’m trying to figure out how to fix it. I figure the best way to do this is to re-knit.

I cut a really long (approximately 4 metre) strand of the yarn I used in the project and worked duplicate stitch for 10 stitches before the hole drawing the yarn through so only a short tail was left at the beginning. Then I knit across the row of live stitches and worked duplicate stitch for 10 stitches after the hole. I repeated this across the rows of the hole and then grafted the top and bottom stitches together. This is the result:

atemptatdarningfinish

The grafting ended up with a purl ridge on the knit side and the boundary between the repair and the rest of the garment shows a little. I’m not completely happy with  how it turned out but I think it’s wearable for the moment. If it continues to bother me I can always rip the sleeve back and re-do it. For a first attempt at darning with a dark slippy lace-weight yarn I don’t think I could have done any better.

Short Rows

For a long time short rows were my nemesis. I could never properly hide the wrap and it just looked odd and pulled when I had the wrap mostly hidden. Then I discovered a technique that actually works for me: German Short Rows. It’s like magic and so much less work. These are the videos I found to learn this technique.