Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Stretch Your Skills Club: April & May Instructional Videos

Our Stretch Your Skills Yarn Club combines two months so that the cabled band you'll learn to make in the April shipment can be immediately followed up with the May shipment where you'll learn how to pick up stitches and make a hat attached to that fancy band.

(Sock Yarn Lovers Club and Luxury Yarn Lovers Club members -- here's where you'll find the E-Loop Cast On video!)

Below, you'll find instructional videos by Nell to help with the finer points of both shipments:
1) The E-Loop Cast On
2) Making Cables using CF3 and CB3
3) Joining the Knitted Cable Band Ends Together
4) Picking Stitches Up Along a Knitted Edge

The pattern calls for an e-loop cast on, the preferred cast on of the beloved knitting maven Elizabeth Zimmerman. It's a great technique for beginning knitters as well and it produces a thin, loose edge. Nell loves it too - her grandmother taught her when she was a little girl -- and will show you here how it's done!

The e-loop cast on

In this video, Nell interprets the instructions she wrote on how to make cables using a j-hook. You'll learn the meaning of CF3 (cable front three) and CB3 (cable back three) and you'll be turning out cables in no time.

Making Cables using CF3 and CB3

Here we'll look at joining the cast on edge of the cable band onto the needle edge (live stitches) of the knitted cable to close the band into a circle. Once this is done, you'll pick up the stitches on the knitted edge of the band to knit your hat.

Joining the Knitted Cable Band Ends Together

Next, see how to pick up stitches along a knitted edge for a smooth transition to the next section of your project -- in this case, the knitting of the hat.

Picking Stitches Up Along a Knitted Edge

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Habu's Takako comes to Knitch!

Nell and Takako

We had the great pleasure and treat of a visit from Takako of Habu Textiles fame. She taught two sold-out workshops on Wednesday to knitters eager to learn the tricks of reading Japanese knitting patterns (not so hard, really, once you know the drill!) as well as ways of tailoring the garments to fit well. She brought along lots of treasures for her trunk show too.

Attendees got to see and try on garments made from Takako's brilliant patterns and fibers as well as other designers' takes on what to do with the amazing yarns that come from Habu. How we love them!

Takako held the rapt attention of all the knitters with her whimsical smile and astute understanding of how best to show off the Habu fibers. Thanks for visiting Knitch Takako! We can't wait to see you again.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Get Ahead of the Holidays, March Videos

These videos by Nell will assist those of you in the heart-felt Get Ahead of the Holidays Club for March. Here we'll cover Provisional Cast On, SKP (Slip/Knit/Pass) English/American and Continental versions, PSSO (pass slipped stitch over), and How to Pick Up from the Provisional Cast On. These are useful skills for any knitter to know!

A Provisional Cast On, or Open Cast On, is meant to be removed while the knitting project is in progress, or as part of the finishing steps. Use a contrasting color for your waste yarn to make it easy to see. In this video, Nell shows you how to do a Provisional Cast On using a crochet hook.

Provisional Cast On (Crocheted)

Next we'll do a decrease using SKP (Slip/Knit/Pass) in two ways -- English/American and Continental.

SKP (Slip/Knit/Pass) - English/American Style

SKP (Slip/Knit/Pass) - Continental Style

At the heart of this month's project, there's a heart. When you arrive at the point at the bottom of each heart the instructions tell you to slip one, K2tog, PSSO. Here's how it's done -- in both the English/American and Continental styles:

Sl1, K2tog, PSSO - A pointed decrease for the bottom of your heart.

This video shows you how to pick up your stitches from the Provisional Cast On. You'll be working from the "wrong" or reverse stockinette side. You'll see why having a contrasting color for your waste yarn is so very helpful.

Picking Up Stitches (PU) from Provisional Cast On

So, how'd you like the part where you zip out the Provisional Cast On? We love that . . . it's always fun! Oh the joys of knitting!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Skills-Building Videos

Here are your videos, Skills Building Club members!

K3P3-Combining Knitting & Purling
to Make Rib Patter

In this video, Nell shows you how to make a nice wide rib pattern, combining knitting and purling. Using this as a basis, you can create any size rib you want from K1P1 to K10P10 and beyond!

K3P3 - Combining Knits & Purls to make a Rib

K2tog, YO, K1P1
Knit 2 Together, Yarn Over, Knit3 Purl3

Here Nell shows you how to create an eyelet (aka an intentional hole) by decreasing (K2tog) and
increasing (YO) in a rib pattern. Note: You can do this in any pattern.

K2tog, YO, K1P1

Knit 1, Yarn Over, Slip/Knit/Pass

Here is another method of creating an eyelet (a hole on a mission) using an increase (YO) and a decrease (SKP).


Binding Off in Pattern . . . or Not:
The Right Way and the Other Way

When your instructions call for binding off in pattern, there's a good reason for it. Binding off in pattern creates a pleasing edge and the proper amount of elasticity in your finished piece. Here Nell shows you how to do it and also show what happens when you justdo a straight bind off, regardless of the pattern. Granted, you might choose to do it that way for the design it produces, but you'll want to know the difference so you can make the choice that best suits you and your project.

Binding Off in Pattern . . . Or Not

Long Tail Cast On - Two Methods:
With Slip Knot and Without
Nell demonstrates the basic cast on, the one most of us learn starting out. There are lots of ways to cast on and we'll get into more at a later date. This is one you'll want to know. We'll also show you a clever alternative cast on just below this that is fast becoming our go-to cast on.

Long Tail Cast On With Slip Knot

Long Tail Cast On Without Slip Knot

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wrapping up a wonderful year

How time has flown! We see it especially in the changes in our Knitch baby, Sully, from newborn to robust, happy, full-of-personality almost 10-month-old. We see it in our new digs on a charming little stretch of Virginia Avenue (North East!), very close to the bustling center of Virginia-Highland and just far enough away. We see it in bare trees and patches of snow on the ground (highly unusual in these parts!)

We're celebrating it all with a perfect project to welcome the new year: our Artyarns Silk Rhapsody Hug. Some are making it with Silk Rhapsody, some with Silk Rhapsody Glitter and some with Silk Rhapsody with Beads and Sequins. It's truly gorgeous, such fun to make and a great treat to wear as the chilly weather sets in for awhile. Do let us see your creation!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sully and the Quince

yarn is great, but very hungry caterpillars
are more interesting for some people . . .

Sully was in the house for our Quince & Co. trunk show on Wednesday, so happy under his new Kelpie Cap, knit from Quince & Co. Osprey by his mama the night before.

yes? you wanted something? . . .

okay. back to work . . .

Come by and see the yummy samples and revel in the yarn from Quince & Co. If you're lucky, you might even get to meet Mr. Sully.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Over the River Mitts: Comfort & Joy, with a Video!

Oh comfort and joy! We just got in a new shipment of Jade Sapphire Cashmere. It's the perfect thing for making these super warm and cozy fingerless one-skein mitts. The only hard part is choosing just one color! Tough decision, made easier if you decide to make several! We'll leave that to you and, once you've decided, we'll send you the complimentary pattern with your purchase of the yarn.

In the meantime, we've put together a 3.5 minute video that unravels the mystery of increasing with Make 1 Right and Make 1 Left (M1R and M1L) -- something you'll need to know to make the thumb gussets in these mitts. Here Nell shows you exactly how it's done, using a nice bulky yarn so it's very easy to see all the detail. Watch it through a time or two and you'll have this clever (and easy!) technique down!

All you need to make these delicious mitts is one skein of Jade Sapphire 6-ply plus US size 7 needles and a darning needle. Then you're good to go!

Beautiful detailing!