Since my friend LouAnn got sick I’ve been knitting. I hadn’t knitted anything in 30 years and now I’m knitting all the time. I’m doing a lot of technical stuff which I share on Ravelry. I’ve got a YouTube channel for the videos I’ve done.
So . . . I come up with this ingenious thing and before the ink dries on the “how to”, I come up with something better. Such is the life. What has gone before now needs and update . . . before anyone can even assimilate what I’ve done. *sigh*
Here are the videos on Conti-something. Updates to follow. Watch these videos in order and while you watch, pause the videos as you work. As always, email me if you have any questions.
This week I’m diving back into programming. It’s been so long much has changed. The latest iteration of PHP is so different much of what I knew before must be rediscovered. What fun!
For months I’ve had in mind a program to produce conti-something stitch and row counts based on the user’s gauge and measurements. Paired with a database in which the data resides, the program will make all the necessary calculation to produce a garment that fits the way the knitter envisions.
I got a good start yesterday. From the initial start a few months ago I polished up the database tables and got the program started. I now have an accurate caston calculation, something I hadn’t done in my spreadsheet. Woot! Let the good times roll!
I started knitting when I was very young. I made a sweater for my son when he was a toddler. It was raglan, but that’s not why I hate raglan. I hate raglan because it can never fit properly unless the body wearing it is very slope shouldered and the wearer keeps their arms out at a 45 degree angle to match the hang of the sleeves. Raglan is always loose at the neckline and tight at the shoulder with bunched fabric under the armscye. Sure it’s easy to knit/sew but it’s always a bad fit.
But here’s the thing. It is SO easy to knit it gets used all the time by knitwear pattern designers because they know people buying their pattern can mindlessly knit the result. Dolled up with attractive patterns or yarn and it has so much appeal people don’t notice the horrible fit or choose to ignore the horrible fit. Too many years of couture sewing has ruined me. I just can’t do it.
What brought on this rant? For the last two weeks I’ve been wearing good fitting sweaters in blissful comfort. Yesterday I washed them and while I’m waiting for them to dry I am wearing a poorly fitting commercial sweatshirt that bunches under my arms and is damned uncomfortable. Spending time trying to adjust my clothes to be more comfortable just pisses me off. It is wasted time. Ugh.
Contiguous is a great shoulder technique but to my eye it has two problems. Because the shoulder line on a top down contiguous garment cramps (effect of the series of increases in very close proximity), and the narrowness at the top of the sleeve causes the armscye to crawl onto the top of arm at the shoulder, it isn’t an appealing fit. It fits better than raglan but the aesthetics are still problematic.
The shoulder I like is a marriage between raglan and contiguous, separating out the increases between shoulder line and raglan. This solves the cramping caused by clustered increases, solves the problem of the raglan fit, and when paired with short rows on the sleeve cap completely eliminates any fabric folding under the armscye. The problem . . . it’s more complicated to knit. It’s more of a shoulder master class, unsuited to beginning or basic knitters. The technique has a lot going for it, it’s just not simple enough for everyone.
I ordered more yarn yesterday. I clearly don’t have enough sweaters if I have none to wear while they are being washed. Four sweaters is clearly not enough. Not nearly.
My goal is to have a sweater I can knit without seams or picked up stitches. I truly think I’m there with my latest iteration using an icord caston and icord edge to form the neck. There’s a lot going on here, and there will probably never be a pattern for this, but regardless, here it is.
Here’s a video of one of the testing steps that got me to this result.
German short rows are tricky. There are lots of YouTube videos showing different ways to do German short rows but there aren’t any videos showing how to do them if you are a mirrored knitter. Well shoot, we can sure fix that.
I knit in a style that’s just a bit unique. I knit continental style, which refers to how the yarn in held (opposite hand from the needle making the stitches). I don’t “pick” the yarn to form stitches I throw, which is unusual for continental knitters. I also knit so stitches to be knitted have the leading leg in back and stitches to be purled have the leading leg in front. This is called combined knitting and refers to how the stitches are mounted on the needle. And I don’t turn my work, which is called mirrored knitting. So, to someone who knows about knitting style I can just say I knit thrown continental combined mirrored. There’s a lot of extra stuff going on but for those of you who do not knit, you now know way more than you ever wanted to know about knitting . . . or you’re scratching your head and wondering what in the heck I just said.
So, here it is, thrown continental combined mirrored.
It’s sock knitting season again. I need a couple more pair to fill out my wardrobe and I’m revisiting the sock heel. Because my feet are so short I can make a whole pair of crew socks out of a single skein of Paton Stretch Sock if I use a contrasting color for toes, heels and cuffs.
This particular heel is build from knit-into-the-bump-below short rows and a strange combination of k2tog-pick up short row wrap stitch-drop the next stitch over it and knit. The decrease series nearest the back of the heel is a k3tog which includes the picked up short row wrap. This morphed into the decrease mentioned above which produces a more smooth decrease.
The bit I want to document is what happens between the series of increases and decrease, that lovely set of rows that separate the two. This short row section incorporates an additional 4 stitches toward the front of the sock with each row end knit in the bump below and slipped to the other needle.