Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Hints and tips

I have to remind myself that this is not a book that is complete when published, but that it is a blog that develops in time. I always have the feeling I miss something that I need/want to say. Anyway, here are the first hints and tips I can think of that might be helpful. I will add to this list whenever new issues come to mind.

* I call the O and X actions shortly “back” and “front”. That goes well with “knit” and “purl” in my head when knitting according to a chart.

* For knitters experienced in slip-stitch and mosaic knitting it is worth noting that here the slipped stitches are not always of a colour different to the working thread. It is also not always so that the even row can be knitted as it appears. It is also difficult because slipped stitches appear as knit or purl stitches where the thread from the previous row is out of view in the even row.

* Tension can build up after some rows so that the pattern appears wrong. In such case there are other rows that release this tension again. These are also the rows after which casting off is best done.

Preventing mistakes:

When knitting a sample swatch one gets a feeling for the pattern, nevertheless mistakes can happen, e.g.

- Using the wrong coloured yarn: This is mostly noticed quickly. Knit back and take up right coloured thread.

- Knitting or slipping two stitches together so that the pattern becomes distorted: This is usually noticed at end of row when last stitch doesn’t fit with chart. Knit back until you find the culprit.

- Forgotten which row next to knit: by looking at the selvages it is possible to reconstruct at which point in the chart you are. Or look at the last stitches in the previous row. In many charts a certain combination of stitches appears only once (but not in all).

- Where a mistake is noticed only after several rows: Unravel. Unravel the mistake row bit by bit and carefully take up the stitches. They do stand quite well in most cases.

* Crossing threads at selvage: It is not always necessary to move the yarn bobbles to achieve the crossing. Turning the needle with the fabric anticlockwise, and with yarn hanging down, achieves this for me. For example in a 2rowsA/2rowsB sequence I do this before every second colour comes into use again, with 3 colours before the third one. It can be useful to do it in between, where colours are not used for many rows. Try it. You will find your own best way.

* Uneven selvages: At the selvage where the yarn is carried up, check that it doesn’t pull the fabric together vertically. On the other selvage, which often tends to be looser, knit the first 2 or 3 stitches tightly. One gets a feeling for it when sampling a structure.

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