Knit in the Park this week

Our annual Knit in the Park & Anniversary party is this Sunday. Please meet at Queen’s Park (and NOT Waves). If you haven’t been out in a while, we’d love to catch up. If you’ve never visited, why not make this your first week… you’ll get to meet the lovely people from both groups. Here are the details:
Knit 1 Take 2 Second Annual Knit in the Park and Anniversary Party 

When:  Sunday, September 18th from Noon to 4:00 pm

Where:  Queen’s Park
We will try to get a place on the east side of the band shell.  Attached is a map on roughly where that will be (where the purple pin is)

If you are driving, enter Queen’s Park at 3rd Ave.  Drive through the parking lot and turn left at the road after the Arena and before the field under construction.

Continue on until the road splits. Follow the road on the left.

There are 2 parking areas on the right hand side of the road, one after the other.  It’s closer to park in the second one.

The band shell will be on the left hand side and so is where we will set up.

Yarn Steal
We will be doing a yarn steal.  If you want to participate please bring 100 grams of yarn, wrapped.  Please select a yarn you’d enjoy knitting.
Pot Luck:
We will also be doing a picnic pot luck. Since this is a picnic please choose food that’s easy to serve and doesn’t need heating or refrigeration.  Please bring enough food to serve 5-6 people.
To be more environmental this time, please bring a reusable plate, cup and utensils.

We will meet, rain or shine.

To recap, bring:
– Potluck item to feed 5-6 people
– Reusable plate, cup and cutlery
– Wrapped 100grams of yarn
– Something to sit on (blanket or chair)
– Probably a sweater, given this weather. Hmmmm… a chance to show off something you’ve made???
Note: the Terry Fox Run will be in the park as well. It looks like they will wrap up by noon but parking may be tough in the park. Plan extra time for parking.
We can’t wait to celebrate with you.

– The Yarn Harvest Yarn Crawl is creeping up on September 24th. This is a great value! For $5, you will be able to save 15% on your purchases at participating stores in the Lower Mainland. It looks like there are about 18 participating retailers, including New West’s Shan’s. Thank you to Susan for sending the info:
– We are working on confirming our Vancouver location. We hope to launch in the Broadway/Cambie area within the next 2 months. Please let your friends know who might be interested in joining this group. Same stitches. Same motto. Double the fun. (well, not double the fun that New West has. Just a second location so double the number of groups…)
– Learn to Knit will start after Thanksgiving. If learning to knit has been on your to do list, you won’t want to miss this series. You could take lessons for about $100 or you could make time to come to our group and learn for free! Plus, we think you’ll have more fun. Just sayin.

Our yarn bombing project from Knit in the Park 2010

Pack your bags, we’re travelling!

Travelling Cables
There are a few things in life that people can’t seem to get enough of. If you’re a knitter, two of those things may be cables and traveling. Luckily, as a knitter you can combine both of those things in one – well, kinda. You’ve already done cables and know how much they can add to a garment so let’s take it up a notch and teach you about traveling cables. Traveling cables are simply cables that start off at one point in your work and then seem to magically snake their way across your background (usually reverse stocking stitch) and entwine themselves across your garment. Just like with regular cables, this may look magical and difficult at first but once you learn the secret, they’re a snap!

So how do we actually get a cable to shift position on the garment? Well, that’s done with what is referred to in knitting as a twist. A twist is just a cable that uses both purl and knit stitches and is denoted in the pattern by the letter T. A twist in the pattern would be written something like T3F or T4B. Just like with cable notation, the T stands for Twist, letting you know you’ll be working with purl and knit stitches, the 3 (or whichever number) tells you how many stitches you’ll be working with, and the F or B tells you that it will be a front or back (left or right) twist. If you see a B, you will be placing purl stitches on your cable needle and putting it to the back, which will travel your cable to the right. If you see an F, you will be putting knit stitches on your cable needle and holding them in front, which will travel your cable to the left. The knit stitches are always overlapped on top of the purl stitches since the purl stitches are your background.

By using a series of Twists and Cables you can create intricate braid patterns that are stunning. You can also travel your cables over your work and create serpentine patterns in your fabric. When creating traveling cables, you will usually have either a Cable or Twist on every right side row. When you have multiple knit stitches meeting up, you cable them. On other rows you will create a twist to bring the knit stitches together. Here is a diagram of a Saxon Braid: a very common traveling cable braid that demonstrates this technique. You can practice with the pattern below.

Here is the pattern for the above Saxon Braid. 
T3B –  slip next st onto cable needle and hold in back of work, k2 from left needle, p1 from cable needle.
T3F –  slip next 2 sts onto cable needle and hold in front of work, p1 from left needle, K2 from cable needle.
T4B –  slip next 2 sts onto cable needle and hold in back of work, k2 from left needle, p2 from cable needle.
T4F –  slip next 2 sts onto cable needle and hold in front of work, p2 from left needle, k2 from cable needle.
C4B – slip next 2 sts onto cable needle and hold in back of work. k2 from needle, k2 from cable needle.
C4F –  slip next 2 sts onto needle and hold in front of work, k2 from left needle, k2 from cable needle.
Panel of 24 sts on a background of Reverse Stockinette Stitch.
Additional materials: cable needle. *
Row 1: k2, p4, (k14 p4) twice, k2.
Row 2 (right side): p2, C4B, (p4, C4B) twice, p2.
Row 3: (and all alternate rows) knit stitches as they appear.
Row 4: p1, T3B, (T4F, T4B) twice, T3F, p1.
Row 6: T3B, p3, C4F, p4, C4B, p3, T3F.
Row 8: k2, p3, T3B, T4F, T4B, T3F, p3, k2.
Row 10: (k2, p3) twice, C4B, (p3, k2) twice.
Row 12: k2, p3, T3F, T4B, T4F, T3B, p3, k2.
Row 14: T3F, p3, C4F, p4, C4B, p3, T3B.
Row 16: p1, T3F, (T4B, T4F) twice, T3B, p1.
Rep Rows 1 – 16 for pattern.

Needle-less Cabling

Here is a link to a video that shows you how to knit cables without a cable needle. 
The actual process isn’t as complicated as you may think. Let’s look at it with a C4B cable. Normally for this cable you would slip 2 stitches on a cable needle and hold at the back of the work, k2, then k2 from the cable needle. If you don’t have the cable needle, here is what you do:
Take your right hand needle and going from the front, slip the 3rd and fourth stitch onto the right hand needle. Slide all the stitches off the left hand needle, being careful not to allow the first two stitches to drop down on the rows below (or unravel). Using the left hand needle, pick up the 1st and 2nd stitch that are dangling. Now place the two stitches that are on the right hand needle on the left hand needle. You have already cabled the stitches and now simply have to knit them. Have fun practicing!
Yarn over and out!

Announcing: Marching On….

This Sunday is our first meeting in March and you know what that means: check in on our Resolutions project for the year. For those of you who are new, each member has chosen one project that they would like to complete by the end of the year. On the first meeting of the month, we check in  on our progress to keep each other accountable and on track.

This is also the week to pick up any yarn that you need for our community projects. We need 18 more squres to finish our 2nd blanket – what can you whip up?

Knit 1s: This week we will finish our hat project. Please bring your supplies and hat completed to 5″ of seed stitch. The pattern was sent out 2 weeks ago, if you need it.

Take 2s: This week will be open knitting.

Coming up next week: Cables…

Announcing: Knitting Olympics Photo Opp

Can you believe how quickly the last two weeks have flown by? If you were participating in the Knitting Olympics (cast on a challenging project with the opening ceremonies and knit your way through the competition), be sure to bring your completed projects this week and we will post a picture to the blog!

As a side note, we will be posting pictures from Northern House where they featured qiviut, or muskox yarn, and gorgeous pieces with fine detail. Qiviut is known for its soft texture, extreme warmth and rarity as it used to be gathered by hand from bushes.

This week, the Knit 1s are taking up the challenge of learning a basic cable. We will be working on a simple cable pattern in an 8×8 square. We will have some cable needles available for sale if you don’t have one. Please bring 4.5 mm needles and worsted weight yarn.

Take 2s will have open knitting this week.

Go for gold!

Yarn over and out,

Just Bead It!

This week we had the pleasure of welcoming Shirley from Swallow Hill Creations to our group. Shirley bought the company from the previous owners in October (roughly the same time Knit 1, Take 2 started) and met one of our members on the ferry shortly after. She was delighted to hear about our group and even more delighted to come by and do a quick workshop on beaded knitting. 

Both groups enjoyed her demonstration of beaded knitting and seeing her beautiful products. Bead knitting looks complicated however with a few tips, can be done fairly easily. The secret is in your preparation. Your yarn  must be strung with sufficient beads for the project before you start your knitting. This process may take some time depending on the number of beads you are going to be using in the pattern. Shirley has her husband do this part of the work for her! Once the beads are strung on the yarn, the only tricky part is to keep your work untangled. Shirley suggests using a small bowl to hold your work.

Shirley demonstrated a simple scarf pattern but the results were spectacular. The pattern created a simple mesh fabric with beads on every other row. While Shirley used a rayon for this scarf, you can use any fiber that is thin enough to allow you to string the beads. The beads that Swallow Hill carries come in three sizes – 6, 8, and 10. The number denotes how many beads you get to the inch – just like your swatch gauge – and the smaller the number, the larger the bead. Shirley also recommended using circular needles for your work as you can slide your stitches to the nylon in the center and not worry about losing them. 

When you’re ready to actually place a bead onto your work, slide it either onto the stitch or between them, depending on what the pattern calls for. The stitches themselves will hold the bead in place. This is why it is necessary to string the beads in the beginning. Since you are creating a series of inter-connected loops, it would be impossible to string beads once you have cast on your first row of stitches. Once you get the knack of working with the beads, you could use them anywhere in your knitting. You could have a project where the beads are the main focus or one where they are an accent on a neckline or sleeve cuff. 

Shirley also showed examples of using beaded knitting to create jewelery. She had a very clever necklace/bracelet combination that could make a necklace and bracelet or a long necklace. If you are interested in finding out more about beaded knitting and the endless possibilities with it, you can click on the link at the top of this post to go to the Swallow Hill website. The site is being re-designed and updated with new patterns in the very near future so be sure to check back often.

Yarn over and out.