March Show and Share Recap

It was a lovely roundup of knitted beauties this month. Yarn Club members turned out in droves (with a few new members and guests!) for the talk on fixing your knitting mistakes, and you brought some delightful finished projects to share.

Jo brought in her Veronika Cardigan, by Shannon Cook, knit in Berroco Ultra Alpaca (she used colour number 62176).

Veronika Cardigan, photo via K Good Photography, Ravelry

Bogna shared a heavy shawl, Decemberist by Melanie Berg. She made her version in Mary Maxim Northland (which is a discontinued yarn, sorry).

Decemberist, photo via bogworks, Ravelry

Cindy shared her BlueSand Cardigan, a pattern by La Maison Rililie Designs. My favourite part was the colourful pockets – who doesn’t love a garment with pockets?! Cindy made her version with Berroco Remix Light, made from 100% recycled fibres.

BlueSand Cardigan, photo via LaMaisonRililie Designs, Ravelry

Alexis debuted a new pattern and shared her sample with the group, here’s the Comforati Hat! Her versions features an INTERCHANGEABLE faux fur pom pom, which has a snap attachment rather than being sewn onto the hat. Change your pom pom to match your outfit or your mood. The hat is knit in Debbie Bliss BFL Aran (sadly, also discontinued).

Comforati Hat, photo via Alexis Hoy, Ravelry

Roxann shared one of her own designs for a dual lucet braided hat. Roxann used two strands braided at a time to create the hat, and used the large prongs of the lucet for the loose braid over the hat body, and the smal prings for the dense braid at the hat brim. The yarn she used is from G n’ R Alpaca Farm in Lisle Ontario.

Thanks for sharing your finished projects!

Happy knitting,

Victoria

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Fixing Our Own Knitting Mistakes

Our March meeting was a talk all about fixing your own knitting mistakes, or starting down the path to understanding what’s going on with your knitting oopsies. This discussion cannot happen without some knowledge of how to read your knitting. Alexis covered this topic nicely last year, and summarized her notes in a handy blog post – check it out here. This post references another great resource which I used when creating my talk this month, a great series of blog posts from Telana Winters:

Reading Your Knitting Part 1

Reading Your Knitting Part 2

Reading Your Knitting Part 3

Seriously, read them. If you’re at all unsure about what your knitting is telling you, and you find yourself unable to spot what went wrong in your knitting, give them a read.

With some of the basics of understanding what your knitting is telling you covered, we can move on to actually fixing our mistakes. Let’s start with some of the tools you need:

These are great things to keep handy in your knitting bag. I’m guilty of never having a crochet hook around when I need one, and I’d like to point out that all of the techniques mentioned below can be done with a knitting needle (and sometimes a helpful set of fingers to assist). A crochet hook makes it a heck of a lot easier, so it might be worth it to keep one in your bag, or get one of those handy keychain ones.

Our first fixing option is unknitting, literally undoing a stitch in the exact opposite way it was made. One. Stitch. At. A. Time. As you can probably guess, this is great for a mistake a few stitches back, MAYBE even a few rows back, but not for one that you realized you made at the very beginning of the project.


Not at all tricky, and gets the job done. But what about mistakes that are farther back? Well, we can drop a stitch on purpose to travel back to the mistake vertically, and then work our way back up to the current row. If you’re newer to knitting, dropping a stitch is likely your number one fear, but it’s really nothing to worry about. You’re in control here, and your friendly neighbourhood crochet hook gets you back to where you were quickly.


The particulars about working back up to your current row depend on whether you’re recreating knit or purl stitches:

YouTube will help you a lot here if you want a visual guide. Here are the videos I showed during the talk:

Creating Knit Stitches

Creating Purl Stitches

If the level of your mistake calls for something more drastic, you’re looking at ripping out the whole thing. Steps can be taken to make this a little less awful, including picking up the stitches below your error BEFORE you rip out the stitches.

Don’t fret if you just ripped your needle out before thinking about how you would get those stitches back on the needle. You can fix any wonky stitch orientation after you get the stitches on the needle. Here’s a lovely video that shows the mechanics of doing this.

Alexis shared a great technique for unknitting a few rows at a time, rather than having to rip out your work. This technique involves putting your needle into the stitch two or three stitches below the current row, and following the same process described above for unknitting the stitch. The trickiest part to deal with is the “ladder” of yarn that starts to appear as you work your way through the round/row. But once you’re back to the beginning of the round, all the ladders let go and are simply your working yarn again.

A few particular situations were focused on when it comes to fixing errors; miscrossed cables, placing a lifeline (great for lacework!), and mistakes in colourwork.

This one follows the same methods as ladder down to fix a stitch, except recreating the stitches as you ladder back up involves re-cabling the stitches to correct the error. Keep in mind that if your cable has travelled away from the original set of 4 or 6 (or more) stitches in the cable, you need to ladder down from where the stitches have traveled.


Placing a lifeline can be done as you knit a round, or placed in after the fact. Cheryl shared a great tip she’s used, she attaches a sewing thread to the small hole in her interchangeable needles and knits the next round of knitting. The thread comes along for the ride and adds the needed lifeline without the bulk of a strand of yarn and without the extra effort of threading it through each stitch by hand.

This final section was my favourite one of the talk, where it started out being about using duplicate stitch to create faux stitches to cover your mistakes, and turned into a nice little segue on mending and darning your knitting.


Duplicate stitch is a legitimate way to fix your mistakes. Mistake in your colourwork pattern? Duplicate stitch the correct colour later! Miscrossed cable? Duplicate stitch some faux stitches going the correct way!

And my favourite thing from this talk – darning! I love darning, and I didn’t realize there were different ways to darn. I tested out all these techniques on some mittens that needed a patch job.

For more detailed instructions on all of these techniques, check out the resources below.

How to Fix Knitting Mistakes: 3 Stress-Free Solutions to Any Problem

http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter03/FEATwin03TT.html

http://www.twistcollective.com/collection/35-articles/features/1673-darn-it-all

Cubley, K. (ed.) Free Guide to Fixing Knitting Mistakes for All Knitters. Knitting Daily.

 

 

Happy knitting,

Victoria

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February Show and Share

Alexis shared her recently completed set of three hooded cardigans for her boys (and none of them have outgrown them yet!). The pattern is Sibling Revelry by Meghan Jones, published in Little NutMeg Productions. She used Patons DK Superwash (in colours selected by the kiddos) for the body of each sweater, with a coordinating variegated yarn for the hood from Kat’s Riverside Studio.

Sibling Revelry, photo via Meghan Jones, Ravelry

Roxann let us know that the newest issue of Piecework magazine (January/February 2018) has a great feature about socks. This is the magazine’s historical knitting issue, and the article focuses on handknitted socks and stockings from around the world.

Liz shared her #21 Oversized Cardigan, a pattern by Cathy Payson. She knit her version in Noro Silk Garden.

#21 Oversized Cardigan, photo via SoHo Publishing, Ravelry

Sandy showed a WIP project, her Wolkig cowl, by Martina Behm. Her version uses Wellington Fibres‘s Canadian Shield colourway in a 2-ply.

Canadian Shield Cowl, photo via SandhillCrane, Ravelry

And without even realizing it, I brought along my recently finished Broken Seed Stitch Socks for Show and Share, and they got to double as convenient demonstration items for the blocking talk. I was totally mesmerized by watching the crinkly and stubborn heel section of my socks lay flat and become smooth when I steamed them. Just like magic!

The pattern is really more of a basic set of instructions with the stitch pattern, so this would not be an ideal sock pattern for a new knitter. Broken Seed Stitch Socks by Hanna Levaniemi.

Broken Seed Stitch Socks, photo via handepande, Ravelry.

Happy knitting,

Victoria

 

 

 

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Block Party Revisited

After a few unexpected changes to our planned February meeting, Alexis swooped in to rescue the program for the night with her Block Party talk from December 2016. It turns out many of you hadn’t heard the talk already, so it was a perfect fit to share some new information with the group.

I’m not going to rewrite the lovely work Alexis already did in 2016 to recap her original talk, so click here to go straight to that blog post. There you will find comprehensive information about blocking, why you should do it (it makes your knitting look better!), and a handy set of blocking instructions to match to your blocking needs. No longer will you be left in the dark to figure out the best way to finish your piece when the pattern only tells you to “block”.

During the talk this time around, we had a full crowd in attendance, and some great tips and ideas were shared from the group. Here are some of my favourite “pro tips” from your fellow Yarn Club members:

  • Using a bed or couch or towel to block? That’s cool, but the moisture from your knitted item is going to soak into the surface it’s sitting on, which then causes the whole process to take even longer to dry. Solution: block on top of a garbage bag on the soft surface. Water can’t soak into it, so it only needs to evaporate out of the knitted item.
  • Skip the knitting-specific blocking boards and the price that goes along with them – buy a thin piece of upholstery foam and some 1″ grid/checkerboard fabric. Cover the foam with the fabric and you’ve got yourself a surface you can pin directly onto, with handy and easy to count squares for measuring.
  • Superwash on the label is not necessarily a green light to throw that knitted item in the washer and dryer. Treat your swatch the same way you’ll treat your finished item to be sure you’re OK with the results. Superwash wool might develop a bloom or fuzzy haze after coming out of the dryer (all those wee little fibres get loosened up in the dryer and sprout out). If you’re happier to have the easy washing care of the item and don’t care about the less-than-pristine look of the item over time, this might be a fine solution for you.
  • And I’ll add in my own tip that I forgot to mention at the meeting. If you’re wet blocking, rather than using towels to soak the excess water out of the item, get a dedicated salad spinner for your knitted items. I bought one that I use only for my knits, it lives in my laundry room, and it’s great for getting extra water out if I don’t have a towel handy.

Happy knitting,

Victoria

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January Show and Share

You did not disappoint me in early January, Yarn Clubbies. First of all, I wasn’t expecting such a great turnout for our January 4th meeting, while many folks were still lounging in PJs and enjoying some time off work. And second, you hadn’t given away all your lovely recently finished objects over Christmas, so you were able to bring them to Yarn Club. Thank you on both counts.

Sue brought her Benon Headband, designed by Hazel Tindall. Her version was knit in Brooklyn Tweed Loft.

Benon Headband, photo via Hazel Tindall, Ravelry

Gillian shared her Advent MKAL 2017, which is Janevi by Monie Ebner. She knit her luscious version in Crooked Kitchen Yarns sport weight

Advent MKAL 2017, photo via knitknot56, Ravelry

Liz brought in her Shoreline Vest, by Carrie Bostick Hoge, knit in Patons DK Superwash (and might I add, you can’t go wrong with this yarn, such a classic).

Shoreline Vest, photo via carrie bostick hoge, Ravelry

Roxann’s Twiddle Muff was a big hit with everyone at the meeting, what a lovely idea for dementia patients. The idea behind the quirky item is to provide dementia patients with something to twiddle with their hands to help ease anxiety. Here’s Roxann’s version, which she made using odds and ends from her stash:

Twiddle Muff, photo via beadaddictroxy, Ravelry

Not quite identical, these socks are fraternal! Kris shared her Hiiumaa Mismatched Mates socks by Nancy Bush, a nice simple knit. She used Briggs & Little Durasport

Fraternal Socks, photo via Kristoemily, Ravelry

Looking forward to seeing you January creations at the February meeting, and don’t forget to bring along something the could use a little blocking assistance as we revisit Alexis’s Block Party talk.

Happy knitting,

Victoria

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January Meeting Ravelry Recap

As promised, we carried on from the December introduction to Ravelry with a more in-depth view on some features of everyone’s favourite yarn and pattern database. Catherine started us off with some demonstrations of more advanced search features on the Patterns tab.

Do you find yourself searching by the same criteria again and again in your pattern searches? For example, you’re always scrolling down the page to check off the 5-star rating criteria, so your search results will only include the highest reviewed patterns? Well, stop scrolling! You can click and drag the search attribute boxes in a new order. If the pattern rating, or fiber type, or yardage is always what you use first to narrow down your search, considering rearranging the attribute boxes to suit your needs.

How about when you’re deep in a search for the perfect pattern and you can’t remember all the stellar ideas you saw 5 minutes ago in your search? ‘Remember and compare’ will be your new best friend. When viewing the search results, click the small triangle at the bottom right corner of the project image (called ‘Pattern Options’ if you hover over it without clicking). Click Remember and Compare, and that pattern is automatically added to a handy new page where you can quickly see your top picks from your recent search for the perfect pattern. Don’t forget to clear this when you’re done or you’ll end up with a new massive database of all your favourites to search through!

Have a yarn in your stash that you’re dying to use? Have the pattern search help match it to the perfect pattern! Use the attributes for yarn to narrow down the search – yardage, fibre type, maybe by how many colours are used in the pattern – and voila!

Don’t forget to view the projects made with a particular yarn if you’re on the fence about what the best project for that yarn will be. See what others have done with that exact same yarn, or even that exact same colourway, to help make your decision. Maybe the lovely variegated yarn you have just isn’t destined to be a sock, because, oh man, look at the colour pooling in the project that so-and-so made. Use the community of Ravelry to help you avoid mistakes, especially ones that will feel like a waste of a yarn you really love.

Speaking of projects, Catherine showed us some tips and tricks to help when adding new projects to your notebook. One of the quick little things that will help out the Ravelry community is to link the yarn you used and the shop where you purchased it. When you think back to the example above about seeing projects made with the same yarn, this wouldn’t be possible if Ravelry users skipped this step on their project page.

One of the big requests Catherine received while preparing her talk was for a demo on adding photos to Ravelry. This process has changed a lot since Ravelry first started, where you needed a Flickr account to link to Ravelry to add pictures. I can tell you I only created a Flickr account to be able to add my pictures to Ravelry. It’s great that this isn’t so limited now – you can add photos from your phone, and adding images from your computer is easier than ever with a handy drag-and-drop feature. Simply locate your pictures on your computer (I keep folders on my computer for knitting projects completed by year), and then drag the image to the photo uploader space on your photos page on Ravelry.

Catherine finished out the talk with information about commenting and sharing with others on Ravelry. Inspired by the project from a fellow crocheter on Ravelry? Maybe their project notes or photos helped you decide what to do with that, ahem, colourful variegated yarn you bought on a whim. Tell them! Send that Ravelry user a message or a comment and be part of your fibre community! You can direct message them, using the built-in mail system in Ravelry, or publicly comment on the project so others can see your kudos.

I have a feeling we only scratched the surface of Ravelry features this month, so please keep your Ravelry questions coming. I bet we can put together another talk all about Ravelry again soon.

Happy knitting,

Victoria

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November and December Show and Share

The Show and Share slips for the last two months got shuffled together, so forgive us for combining them into one summary post. It still means you can find the patterns and yarn details for all those lovely things you saw at Yarn Club, so I’m calling this a win.

Catherine shared some challenges she encountered while using up yarn scraps to make a pair of mittens. Something didn’t sound quite right about a mitten that is only 5″ long, but it works for her as she has very dainty hands. The pattern is The World’s Simplest Mittens by Tin Can Knits.

The World’s Simplest Mittens, photo via Tin Can Knits, Ravelry

Roxanne shared another one of her designs for a shawl, this one featuring Georgian Bay Fibres in the “Henrietta’s Pie” colourway.

“Amelia” Flying with One Wing, photo by beadaddictroxy, Ravelry

Valerie shared her stunning Oscar Rectangular Shawl, knit in Madeline Tosh Merino Light, the colourway is “Blood Runs Cold”

Oscar Rectangular Shawl, photo via RioBioBio, Ravelry

Liz brought in her Emma Version C  by Julie Weisenberger, knit in Estelle Yarns Big Alpaca Bulky. Love that pop of colour from the pocket!

Emma Version C, photo via Cocoknits 2017, Ravelry

Gillian brought in a few lovely finished items:

Arboreal by Jennifer Steingass, knit in Madeline Tosh DK Twist in Saffron and Dr. Zhivago S Sky.

Leafy Yoke, photo via Knitknot56, Ravelry

3 Colour Cashmere Cowl by Joji Locatelli, knit in The Plucky Knitter Primo Sport, in Flannel, Wintry Mix, and Lincoln.

3 Colour Cashmere Cowl, photo via Knitknot56, Ravelry

Rolling in the Deep, a test knit for SweaterFreak Knits. Knit in The Plucky Knitter Plucky Rustic in Lonesome Highway. If memory serves me right, this was a beautiful reversible cardigan.

Rolling in the Deep, photo via Knitknot56, Ravelry

And finally, I shared a few of my gift knits for this year:

Teddy Sweater by Terri Kruse, knit in Cascade 220 Sport for my wee nephew Benjamin

Teddy Sweater, photo via Terri Kruse, Ravelry

Everglade by Wooly Wormhead, knit in Loop Alpaca Tweed (Loop London). Great slouchy hat, with a nice long brim that can be work folded up for a toque-style hat.

Everglade, photo via Wooly Wormhead, Ravelry

Bough Set by Leila Raabe, knit in Berroco Vintage DK, with a matching pair of mittens I made using the chart from the Bough hat, following the general pattern and shaping from the Druid Mittens by Jared Flood.

Bough, photo via Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood, Ravelry

And while I didn’t share it at the December meeting because I hadn’t even started it yet, I have since finished a lovely little knitted dress/tunic for my baby neice. The pattern is Anikka by Vivian Aubrey, and I knit my version in Berroco Vintage.

Anikka, photo via Vivian Aubrey, Ravelry

P.S. I made the sweet little baby legwarmers too.

Happy knitting!

Victoria

 

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A Ravelry Intro and Your Knitting Inspiration

We had a sudden change of plan at the December meeting when our guest speaker was unexpectedly caught in a blizzard and unable to join us. With some quick shuffling of topics, and drawing on the knowledge of our lovely members, we pulled together a great meeting where I think we all learned a lot.

Catherine started things off with a piece of her upcoming January 2018 meeting talk about Ravelry. She’s been working hard and practicing new Ravelry skills to share tips and tricks next month, so she was able to start a portion of that talk at this month’s meeting. Catherine chose to only cover the basics of navigating your Notebook in Ravelry, pointing out features of the tabs at the side of the screen that we maybe haven’t explored in detail before.

First of all, your Ravelry profile matters. Speaking from experience, I’ve clicked on many profiles on Ravelry to learn more about my fellow fibre fans and I’ve been disappointed with the lack of information. The point Catherine really hammered home is how much Ravelry is a community, and how it relies on the input of community members to make it the wonderful resource it is. Go ahead, fill out that profile! Share some fun details about yourself, log your projects, upload your photos, and be engaged with this community. You get what you give to Ravelry, meaning you can help make it a better source for knitters and crocheters and spinners by adding details of your projects, the yarns and the patterns you use.

One of the biggest discussion points of the night was regarding how everyone uses the Queue feature on Ravelry. Some members were mystified about it altogether, so we’ll start with the basics. The Queue is your way of organizing the projects and patterns you want to make next. Think of it as a to-do list. Once you add a project to your queue, you can add as much or as little information as you like. Ravelry prompts you to add the yarn you plan to use (by linking it to the Ravelry database of yarn, so other users can see when someone uses the same yarn in their stash for a project), the order in which you want to knit your queued items, a deadline, and notes or tags. For those of us with an *ahem* ambitious queue, the tags especially can help you find something you queued long ago. You can add a project to your projects page directly from your queue when you’re ready to starting knitting, with all of your notes and yarns details already entered.

Catherine will be giving us a detailed walk-through on advanced search features on Ravelry next month, but she stumbled on a topic that generated lots of questions – the Library feature. Any pattern you buy or download from Ravelry is saved to your library, but don’t forget you can add your existing books and published patterns too. It’s a step that can help you narrow your pattern search later when you realize the exact pattern you want to make is already sitting in your house in that Vogue Knitting magazine from 2008. We all keep our knitting magazine forever, right? Not just me?

And another often overlooked section of your Ravelry Notebook is the Stash, where you can organize your yarns and fibres. It’s helpful as a way to see what you have on hand in one convenient place, but it can also assist other Ravelry users. Every buy a yarn online? Not sure of its true colour? Try searching for the yarn and seeing photos of it in someone’s stash, in a variety of lighting conditions. Need an extra half a ball of some discontinued yarn? Maybe someone on Ravelry has half a ball sitting in their stash that they’re willing to sell and send you. Problem solved!

Catherine’s final advice for the night was to just go in and play around with Ravelry. Try out some of the features you’ve never used before. Contribute to the greater community of yarnies around you and you will surely benefit too.

After our break, Alexis made a special guest appearance to lead a sharing of ideas, resources, and your favourite sources for all things yarn. Here’s a list of links, as promised:

The Knitter’s Review by Clara Parkes – author of Knitlandia, the Knitter’s Book of Yarn, the Knitter’s Book of Wool, and many more wonderful resources

The Grocery Girls podcast -check out their YouTube Channel for recent videos

Off Your Needles – hosted by Craftsy, video episodes on YouTube

A Wooden Nest – it’s a podcast and a blog

The Gentle Knitter poadcast

Espace Tricot – great free patterns, a podcast, a shop in Montreal, and an online store

Fruity Knitting – a podcast, with great guests

Kristy Glass Knits – YouTube channel

The Knitmore Girls podcast

Kate Davies – designer with a blog and online shop

Fringe Association blog

Very Pink Knits – knitting patterns and video tutorials

The Yarn Harlot – author and blogger

Tin Can Knits – great tutorials, simple and beautiful patterns

There. That should keep us all up to our ears in great knitting information until we meet again in January.

Happy knitting,

Victoria

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Finishing Techniques Revisited

I started my presentation this month by referring back to the techniques covered by this topic a year ago. Yarn Club members who were at the November 2016 meeting may recall some great techniques tucked in at the end of the meeting, shared by Alexis. As mentioned in September, with our change in meeting format, we’re now getting more time to really delve into each meeting topic. The finishing techniques shared last year included pre-planning your edges, seaming, and weaving in ends, so we touched on each of those again, and then took it a few steps further.

Before getting into any knitty gritty details (ha!) we took a moment to appreciate WHY finishing your pieces with care is so important. For many knitters, the knitting is the fun part, and picking up a darning needle brings all the fun to a halt, and your sweater pieces sit in a basket unseamed and unfinished. Don’t let this be the case! Give your knits the respect they deserve with thoughtful finishing.

In the pre-planning discussion, I focused on choosing the correct selvage edge for your piece. The slipped stitch selvage that many knitters swear by for their pieces is not always the most appropriate choice. In general, follow these simple guidelines:

  • if it’s going to be a FINISHED edge, use garter or slipped stitch edging
  • if seed/moss/textured stitch, use this stitch or slipped stitch
  • if edge will be SEAMED on stockinette, use stockinette selvage

There is a truly wonderful Craftsy class by Sally Melville that every knitter should watch, called Essential Techniques Every Knitter Should Know. That seems like a bold title, but oh man, they aren’t kidding. Go and watch this. Take notes. Use the resources that come with the class. Incredibly useful and practical tips. You won’t look at your knitting the same way again.

We discussed weaving in your ends, including some handy techniques to avoid picking up the darning needle, if you’re so inclined.

When you’re darning in your ends, take care to do it securely. This picture nicely summarized the DOs and DON’Ts:

Finishing Knitting Techniques: How to Weave in Ends
Photo via Interweave Knits

But there are some other great techniques I learned while researching for this talk. You can knit in the tails, weave in the ends as you go, or splice them.

Knitting in the Tails:

  • knit old yarn together with the new yarn for 5 or 6 stitches
  • treat double stitches as one stitch on the next row
  • no bulkier than weaving in the ends on the WS
  • stitches cannot sit beside each other, one will move to the back
  • will NOT work with fine, lace work – open work will show the worked in tails

Weaving in the Ends as you Go (also known as Knit-Knit-Unknit, or locking in long floats in colourwork):

  • introduce new yarn by lightly draping new working yarn over the needle and knitting with the old yarn
  • when knitting the next stitch with the new yarn, wrap the old yarn around the needle, then wrap the new yarn, and unwrap the old yarn as you knit the stitch
  • lock the old yarn in place on the WS of your work for 5 or 6 stitches

This is best illustrated with a video to see it in action.

Splicing

  • no “wrong” side, can be used on reversible items
  • splicing guaranteed with wool, acrylics or superwash wools may not work
  • break the wool, don’t cut it, as it leaves a tapered end
  • pull apart the plies and taper them, or untwist the singles
  • layer the two ends on top of each other, add a bit of moisture, and rub them between your hands to felt them a bit

Seaming was the next chunk of our discussion, where I spent most of the talk on the different situations for seaming, and less time discussing the technique itself. You can seam using whipstitch, backstitch, or mattress stitch, my preferred method is mattress stitch. You can find loads of tutorials on mattress stitch, here’s a great one with clear and easy to follow pictures from Purl Soho – https://www.purlsoho.com/create/mattress-stitch/

Your three main seaming situations are row to row, stitch to stitch, and stitch to row.

Ok, does this apply to picking up stitches too? You betcha!

Alright, what about the weird situations, like when you’re picking up for ribbing around the neck of a sweater? You bet it does!

After a refreshing break to clear our heads from all the new knowledge, we came back to round out the evening with a look at adding zippers to our knitting, and steeking.

For a detailed and very helpful tutorial on everything zippers, I highly recommend Kate Atherley’s article on Mason-Dixon Knitting. Kate leads you through choosing the right zipper, correct placement, and helpful tips from the experts along with “learn from my mistakes” tips. A great article and a great resource. I tried out the techniques myself with a swatch that I passed around at the meeting, and I can tell you I learned everything I know about adding zippers to knitting from this article.

Steeking certainly got everyone’s attention to close out our meeting. I tried out some different techniques on teeny tiny swatches knit in the round, I tested out hand sewing and crocheting to reinforce the steek before cutting. My personal favourite technique is the crochet reinforcement, but I shared that my very first (and only) steeking project was reinforced with two rows of machine sewn stitches on either side of the steek. I was positively terrified that it would come undone!

I won’t reinvent the wheel to share the knowledge I learned about steeking, so check out the resources below for comprehensive tutorials and tips to try on your next project:

Crochet reinforcing by Tin Can Knits

Steek FAQs by Kate Davies

A steek overview by Interweave Knits

The steek sandwich by Kate Davies

Happy knitting!

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October Show and Share

The name of the game was shawls this month, with guest presenter Mindy from Raven Knits Design.

Roxann shared two of her own beautiful shawl designs, Sweet Angel Wings and Netting a Mermaid:

Sweet Angel Wing, photo via Beadaddictroxy, Ravelry

Netting a Mermaid, photo via Beadaddictroxy, Ravelry

Catherine brought in a few of her shawls to share. Her Hitchhiker was knit with Gobsmacked merino fingering weight yarn:

Hitchhiker, photo via Martina Behm, Ravelry

This is Springtime Bandit, knit in Blue Moon Fibre Arts Twisted DK.

Springtime Bandit, photo via Fruwho, Ravelry

This gorgeous little thing is Haruni, knit in Fleece Artist Merino.

Haruni, photo via Fruwho, Ravelry

And rounding out Catherin’s shawl selection is Aeolian, knit up in Diamond Luxury Collection Foot Loose (not discontinued).

Aeolian, photo via Fruwho, Ravelry

I brought a few of my own shawls to the party, including a slim little crescent shawl, Annis, knit in Indigodragonfly Merino Lace Singles.

Annis, photo via vrock, Ravelry

I also brought along the very first shawl I ever made, Laminaria. The fibre is a seacell merino blend.

Laminaria, photo via vrock, Ravelry

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