A year to remember …

Our yarn bombing project from Knit in the Park 2010

An excerpt from Joie …

OMG!!!!!!
I remember it as if it was only yesterday……..my house the day after meeting on some show at Riverview ( which by the way,there is no river view ).  Who would have ever thought that one year later an idea nurtured by the love and hard work of you both,would end up with a one year celebration.
…this idea,with the love,laughter and learning to people that would have never noticed one another on the streets is something to really be proud of.
so here on this day,Sunday,October 17th,2010,I will rise a glass to celebrate knit 1 take 2 and the wonderful people who have weaved their way into your hearts.

Yes,looking back I think we are all stunned and impressed with the difference a year can make in our lives. It’s hard to believe we’re a year old today. So much has changed and we have all accomplished so much. We started with a simple plan to knit,laugh,learn,and share. And as Anne so eloquently put it,we have evolved into a group that “meets about knitting and connects about community”. We’d like to take this time to thank all of you for coming out to our meetings and allowing us the opportunity to knit,laugh,learn,and share with you. We truly appreciate it.

We have seen so much happen in a year …good times and not quite so good times,we’ve had members go and more come to replace them,we’ve had a marriage and even a birth (and our future youngest knitter),and we’ve had someone go from casting on their first stitch (literally) to completing two sweaters for her children. We have completed four blankets (and continuing to work on more) and donated a few dozen individual items (hats,sweaters,scarves) to local charities and people in need. It’s great to see what can happen when a community of strangers united by a common thread (or yarn) can accomplish when they get together. Here’s looking forward to the next year and all the stitches it will bring! Here’s just a very small sampling of some of the memories forever knit into our hearts …

Yarn over and out!

JAS :-)

 

Content Continental …

Your mother might have told you not to pick at your food,but hopefully she didn’t tell you the same thing about your knitting. You see,in knitting,picking is a good thing. There are actually several methods of knitting,and one of the most common is called Continental knitting. It’s also referred to as “picking”,because you use your needle to pick at the yarn in order to form the stitches. This may sound a little strange at first,but once you get used to the technique,you realize that it’s an apt description of what you’re actually doing. This week we’ll look at the knit stitch using this method and next week we’ll cover the purl stitch.

For both stitches,it all starts with preparation. The wrap is important as it gets you ready to start picking. When you’re picking,the yarn is wrapped on the left hand instead of the right as it is for Traditional knitting,or “throwing”. It is a personal preference whether or not you want to wrap it around your baby finger,but I have found it to be helpful in maintaining a consistent tension. Here are a few pictures and explanation showing how it’s done.On a short or circular needle,cast on 16 –20 stitches with a yarn appropriate for the needle size. Worsted weight yarn and 4.5mm needles are a great place to start.

1. With the palm of your hand facing forward,place your yarn between your pinky finger and your ring finger and send it to the back of your hand.

2. Bring it up to your index finger and wrap it around it twice with the yarn traveling towards you while you do it.

You should now have a strand of yarn between your two bottom fingers,along the back of your hand,and then around your index finger twice. This yarn is attached to the last cast on stitch on your left needle and leads to your ball of yarn. Check to see that the length of the yarn from your index finger to the stitch on the needle isn’t too long. It should be between 2 -3 inches for now –the shorter the better when you’re first learning. Hold the left needle (the one with the cast on stitches) in your left hand,and take the other needle in your right hand.

3. Using the right needle,go into the first stitch just as you would to knit it –from front to back.

4. Using the right needle,pick the yarn that is leading up to your index finger with the tip. Use your middle finger to push the yarn forward while at the same time hold the stitch on the left needle in place. This creates a larger hole for you to pick the yarn through.

5. Using the tip of the needle,pull the yarn back towards you and through the hole that is there. It is important to work below the left needle at this point. If you allow the work to go above the needle it gets a little cumbersome and is more difficult to work with.

6. The knit stitch is on your right needle now. Slide it completely off your left needle and repeat steps 3 –5 for each stitch on your needle. This the the technique for working the knit stitch picking or Continental style. The best way to get good at it is like with anything else –practice! Luckily,since we are making blanket squares,you have the perfect opportunity to do so. Cast on 42 stitches onto 4.5mm needles and work in garter stitch (knit all stitches) continental style until the work is a row shy of 8 inches. cast off loosely in pattern and remember to leave a long tail with your cast on and cast off for sewing the squares together.

Yarn over and out!

JAS

Keeping you on your toes …

The T2′s were in the final week of sock work today and so had to learn the toe decreases and the Kitchener stitch. Since there is no need to reinvent the wheel,here are two links that show how to do each part. Once you have the concept of the toe decrease down,you can customize the shape of the sock by working your decreases accordingly. If the sock is for you you can customize the fit exactly and even make a left and right sock by varying the decreases on each side of the foot. Remember to try them on as you go to make sure the fit is exact. When working with socks it is a good idea always to try them on when possible as they stretch when you put them on. If you’re measuring only,you won’t get an accurate measurement. Here are two links to a post I created a while back in a previous sock knit along.

Wedge Toe Decrease

Kitchener Stitch

When doing the Kitchener stitch,remember the mantra after the setup –Knit –Off –Purl –Purl –Off –Knit. If you finish your socks bring them next week for the show and tell. We’d love to see what you did!

Yarn over and out,

JAS

Sock it to them ...Sock it to them …

* UPDATE –After the second group on Sunday,Anne came up with a way of knitting on 2 circulars that is quite a bit easier than the one in the links below,and that was shown. Here is a video by Cat Bordhi demonstrating the technique …

Ever wanted to make yourself a pair of socks? Not just the $2 you can pick up at the store,but really cool,funky,comfy,warm,socks? Well,yesterday,Carol started the Take 2′s on a journey to doing just this. The group will continue with this for 4 weeks,with 3 actual weeks of instruction. Purely by coincidence,here is a website that is doing a sock KAL (Knit ALong) that goes over the information that Carol presented yesterday. Rather than reinventing the wheel and rewriting out all that information,here is the link to the site with the sock info.

Sock KAL 1 Sock KAL2 Sock KAL3

If you are just starting or missed Carol’s session yesterday,you are still able to join in. We are working on the cuff and leg of the socks right now and will be continuing this through this upcoming Sunday. Make sure you do a swatch to get your gauge!

Yarn over and out.

JAS

CHEART It ...cHEART It …

When you first begin to read knitting patterns,they may seem a little daunting. It’s like a recipe –you eventually learn that separate two eggs means extracting the yolk from the whites,not putting them in separate corners of the bowl. Just like with recipes,knitting patterns become easier to understand as you read more and become familiar with the terms. After you get familiar with the written word,there’s one more hurdle to jump over to make life even easier still –reading charts. Charts are a picture representation for a particular pattern that is easier to depict through symbols than words. Originally,knitting charts were used to represent color changes,but over the years,symbols have been created to represent specific stitch textures that are used when making cables,lace,and other complex patterns. They are also used to represent no so complex patterns as well. Let’s jump right into reading charts …

If you think of the chart as a piece of fabric that you are going to knit it might be a little easier to understand. Imagine yourself looking at it from the right side of the knitting (the side facing outward) and think about how you would create it. You would start at the bottom right hand corner and work the stitches from right to left. When you get to the end of a row in knitting you turn your work and do the same thing again. If you look at the chart you’ll notice that instead of turning it,all you have to do is read the next row from left to right. When you get to the end of that row,you start over again with going from right to left. You continue in this back and forth manner to read a chart correctly. When you are reading a chart,the first row (Row 1) and all alternate or odd rows,represent the right side of your work. The second row (Row 2),and all alternate or even rows,represent the reverse side of your work. This is true on all charts unless otherwise stated.

Charts represent your pattern stitch for stitch. That means that each square on a chart represents one stitch on your knitted fabric. This also means that you can count the number of stitches on a chart to know how many stitches you have (or should have) in your knitting. Charts also come with a key,or legend. The key tells you what each symbol on the chart represents. The chart is practically useless without a key as there is not yet a universally accepted key for making charts. That being said,there are a few commonly used symbols that you will see repeatedly in the future. The knit stitch for one is usually represented by a blank square. When you see it it means to knit that stitch on the right side of the work,and purl it on the reverse. You will recognize right away that this will produce a stocking stitch texture. It is also sometime depicted as a vertical line,but the blank square is more common. A purl stitch on the right side (and knit on the reverse) is usually shown as a dot or a horizontal line,with the dot being more common. Here is a chart for a cable pattern,with a picture of what the knit fabric looks like.

Here is the same pattern written out …

Glossary:

T3F:Twist 3 Front. Take 2 stitches and place on your cable needle,hold at the front of work. Purl 1 stitch from your left needle,and then knit 2 stitches from your cable needle.

T3B:Twist 3 Back. Take 1 stitch and place on your cable needle,hold at the back of work. Knit 2 stitches from your left needle,and then purl 1 stitch from your cable needle.

T4F:Twist 4 Front. Take 2 stitches and place on your cable needle,hold at the front of work. Purl 2 stitches from your left needle,and then knit 2 stitches from your cable needle.

T4B:Twist 4 Back. Take 2 stitches and place on your cable needle,hold at the back of work. Knit 2 stitches from your left needle,and then purl 2 stitches from your cable needle.

Row 1:p2,C4B,p4,C4B,p2

Row 3:p1,T3B,T3F,p2,T3B,T3F p1

Row 5:(T3B,p2,T3F) twice

Row 7:k2,p4,C4F,p4,k2

Row 9:(T3F,p2,T3B) twice

Row 11:p1,T3F,T3B,p2,T3F,T3B,p1

As you can see,the chart takes up much less space than the written word. It is also easier to follow along than reading,knitting,and counting all at the same time. This chart (and pattern),don’t show the even rows,which is quite common when dealing with some textures. In this instance (and/or when told),you would work the stitches as they appear –you knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches. Here is the chart pattern we worked on yesterday showing all the rows. Notice that there are “dots”on the even rows. These dots represent purl stitches when on the right side (or odd rows),BUT, on the even rows they are knit stitches. I know you’ve already figured out that this will give you a garter stitch texture! If you missed us yesterday,see if you can knit this 8×8 square for the blankets we’re making …

The blank squares  –knit on the right side/purl on the reverse

The dots –purl on the right side/knit on the reverse

Did you also notice how the charts give you a better idea of how what you are knitting is going to turn out? If you create your chart n a grid that is equal to your gauge,it will give you an excellent idea of how your work will look –especially when dealing with pictures!

Yarn over and out!

JAS