Announcing: Ring out the Old, Ring in the New!

It is that time of year again – to reflect on the past year, to clear up loose ends and to plan for the year ahead. In that skein, we have a few thoughts to share and plans to kick off the new year…


Thank you for making the launch of Knit 1, Take 2 so successful. This idea of a supportive, creative environment started with 3 people in August and has blossomed into a group of 40 people with 2 meetings per week. We are amazed, inspired, encouraged, challenged and loving every minute of it! We deeply appreciate you.

Next meeting

Our next meeting is January 3rd. Knit 1s (Beginner/Intermediates) will be from 12:00 – 1:30 pm. Take 2s (Intermediate/Advanceds) will be from 2:00 – 4:00 pm. The discussion topic will be any last minute questions/comments before we start our new projects. Both groups, please bring the swatches that were to be ready for our last meeting.

Party – you’d better get ready!
Well, we are going to ring out the old and ring in the new – knit style. Our party will be on January 10th (directions to location to follow). There will be no meeting at Waves that week. We have a great group of volunteers to help with the preparation. Here is what we have planned:
– Yarn swap: Chances are you have some yarn that has been sitting in your stash, longing to find a purpose and you haven’t gotten around to using it. Now is your chance to clean out your yarn box(es) and find a good home for all the yarn you won’t use. 
Please bring one yarn for our gift exchange. You may package up and bring other yarn that you would like to sell or swap.
– Resolutions: Our show and tell will be one project that you would like to commit to finishing by the end of the year. This can be a brand new idea or one that has been waiting in your project pile for a while.
– Making amends: Our topic for the discussion time will be about fixing knitting mistakes. Feel free to bring a project that you need some help/encouragement on fixing.
You will be receiving an evite to our party to help us plan for the food and refreshments. The cost will be $5. Please respond to the evite – you may also add friends to the invitation list. This is a joint event for Knit 1s and Take 2s – look out!

We hope you like what we have planned – and look forward to your continued feedback to make Knit 1, Take 2 a place where you can Knit, Laugh, Learn and Share.

Yarn over and out,

Wrap-up: Block and Knock It Off

This week we named our two groups! The Beginner/Intermediate group will be referred to as Knit 1s and the Intermediate/Advanced group will be referred to as Take 2s. Yay…

This week, Sylvia showed the Knit 1s some basic finishing techniques. She started with a demonstration of darning in the ends of yarn. She reminded everyone that on pieces that are going to be worn, it is important that there is give in the darning to allow for body movement. She then taught everyone how to crochet two pieces of knitting together. For our new knitters, this was a huge accomplishment – learning how to knit and crochet in one month!

Take 2s were lead by Janet in a discussion about blocking and finishing techniques. 

Blocking: Janet brought a sample of two sweater sleeves that she had made from silk. Interestingly, the silk relaxed when lightly steamed. It was a powerful visual reminder that blocking/steaming doesn’t always reduce the piece size – it can sometimes cause some natural fibers to relax. Janet suggested that tension swatches should be blocked before proceeding with making a garment where gauge is essential and that it also very important to check the yarn label. If you use a steamer/iron, DO NOT contact the piece with your iron. Another way to block is by soaking the piece in a top loading washing machine. DO NOT agitate. Then put it directly on the spin cycle to remove the water. Roll it in a towel and step on it to remove excess water. Then pin to a firm surface. Knitting suppliers sell special blocking mats. Janet suggests using foam squares available at most dollar stores. Another note of caution: do not put pressure on any pattern that is textured (e.g. cables) as this will ruin it.

Finishing: Janet taught everyone how to crochet two knitted pieces together. She matched the ends of the pieces and also the half way points to guide the spacing. She clipped them together with Knit Clips, cool little clips available at many knit shops that slip through two layers of knitted fabric and hold them together.

Bonus: Janet showed the group how to do a provisional cast on using crochet. This is very handy if you have a piece (e.g. scarf) where you want both ends to be identical.

A big thank you to Sylvia and Janet for helping with our lessons this week. And also thank you to everyone who used their new crocheting skills to start on joining our blanket squares.

Janet’s tip of the day:To block smaller pieces, try using a salad spinner to remove the water after soaking.

Announcing: the end is in sight…

This week we will work on finishing techniques in both groups. Please bring a 4.5 mm crochet hook, if you have one.

Beginner/intermediates: we will look at casting off again as well as how to join two pieces using crochet.

Intermediate/Advanced: we will talk about blocking (why it is important and how to do it), joining with crochet and also a review of Kitchener stitch, time permitting.

First group, please also bring your 4.5 mm needles and worsted weight yarn.

See you Sunday,

Wrap up (Beg/Int): Knit1, Purl 2, Repeat …

This week we had to go old school in a big way to design our own blanket squares. Here are the instructions. 

Using worsted weight yarn, your gauge will be approximately 5 stitches per inch (most will get this with 4.5mm needles but adjust if necessary). Since we need an 8 inch square, you will need to cast on 40 stitches (8 inches x 5 stitches/inch). We are also adding a selvedge edge on both sides so you will need two extra stitches. This brings our total to 42. The selvedge edge is worked by slipping the first stitch and knitting the last stitch on every row.

Now for calculating your pattern. Once you have chosen or designed your particular stitch pattern, you will need to fit it into the 40 stitches. If your pattern repeats over a number of stitches that divides into 40 evenly, you’re set. For this square design, stitch patterns of 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10, 20, and 40 are ideal. If not, don’t worry. You can still center your pattern in the following manner. I’ll use an example where my pattern is worked over 5 stitches +3. The +3 is necessary to establish the pattern repeat (5 stitches). There are two possibilities when working with +n stitches. Either they are at the beginning of the row or at the end. Let’s look at each separately.

Example A
Here is a sample pattern where the repeat is at the beginning:
The first thing you do is subtract the +3 from 40. This leaves you with 37. Divide the repeat into this (5) and you have 7 with 2 stitches left over. If you want to center your pattern over the 40 stitches, you need to divide those two stitches. This is how your pattern would look in notation:
Your right side rows (odd numbers) would look like this:
Selvedge st – last stitch of repeat –  repeat (done 7x) – 1st stitch of repeat – +3 – selvedge st
Your wrong side rows (even numbers) would look like this:

Selvedge st – 1st stitch of repeat – repeat (done 7x) – last stitch of repeat – +3 – selvedge st

Example B
The method is almost the same when the repeat is after the +3 (or n stitches).

Everything is the same until you get to the knitting. Here is how your notation might look for this pattern:

Your right side rows (odd numbers) would look like this:

Selvedge st – +3 – last stitch of repeat –  repeat (done 7x) – 1st stitch of repeat – selvedge st
Your wrong side rows (even numbers) would look like this:

Selvedge st – +3 – 1st stitch of repeat – repeat (done 7x) – last stitch of repeat – selvedge st

The important thing to note is that the first and last stitch change position depending on which direction you’re knitting. This is necessary since we read from left to right, but knit from right to left. It may sound a little confusing, but once you do a few rows you’ll realize  why.  
Yarn over and out!