Pick Ups!

A couple of posts ago, we learnt all about Wrap & Turns which are super good when dealing with socks and anything else that requires a gentle curve, HOWEVER ….. the eagle eyed amongst us will notice that once you’ve completed the W&T’s there are tiny gaps between the stitches. To rectify this, we need to pick up the stitches and make them ‘live’ again. Here’s how  …..

Picking Up Knit Side 

  1. With the right hand needle (working from front to back), pick up the wrap 
  2. Immediately after, insert the right hand needle into the wrapped stitch as if to knit
  3. Knit both the wrap and the stitch together.

Picking Up Purl Side 

  1. Insert the right hand needle into the wrap from back to front
  2. Using the right hand needle, lift the wrap up and over the wrapped stitch on the left hand needle
  3. Purl both the wrap and the stitch together.

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Wrap and Turn

Have you ever seen the term ‘w&t’ in a knitting pattern and thought ‘what the …..’ ? It’s not there because someone fell asleep with their head on the keyboard, it stands for Wrap and Turn which is the technique for working short rows. Short rows are a brilliant way of adding a gentle curve to knitting work such as socks or shoulders and if you knit you really should learn how to ‘w&t’ 🙂

Wrap and Turn Knit Side

  1. Insert the right hand needle purl wise into the next stitch on the left hand needle.
  2. Slip the stitch onto the right hand needle and bring the yarn round to the front as if to purl.
  3. Slip the stitch back onto the left hand needle and bring the yarn round to the back. Turn the work ready to work a row of purl stitches.

 

Wrap and Turn Purl Side

  1. With the yarn already at the front, insert the right hand needle purl wise into the first stitch on the left hand needle.
  2. Slip the stitch onto the right hand needle and bring the yarn to the back as if to knit.
  3. Slip the stitch back onto the left hand needle and bring the yarn back to the front. Turn the work ready to complete a row of knit stitches. 

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Seed Stitch

Probably my all time favourite stitch when it comes to knitting, seed stitch is one of those things that looks really complicated but is actually super simple. It provides texture and density to what could otherwise be a fairly bland pattern. Add to that that seed stitch is an incredibly versatile stitch, suitable for all sorts of projects and whats not to like?!? 🙂

Wondering if you could work the seed stitch? Well, if you can knit and purl (I’m going to presume you can!) then the answer is yes! It’s as simple as this …..

  1. Cast on an even number of stitches.
  2. Row 1 – k1, p1 to the end of the row.
  3. Row 2 – p1, k1 to the end of the row
  4. Repeat until the end of the project.

The end result is a beautiful texture of little tiny bumps that look as though they were scattered by the wind.

Enjoy the seed stitch! 🙂

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#socktober

A little late to the party with this one but it’s still October so it still counts right?!? 🙂 Socktober is one of those things that has been slightly hijacked by Instagram so everyone could be forgiven for thinking that this is where it all began, however there’s slightly more to it than just flashing a picture of your latest woolly offering. Let me explain …..

Originally launched by Brad Montague four years ago, the aim of Socktober is to provide an easy yet effective way of helping the homeless by simply donating a pair of socks! Not just one pair mind, Socktober is not the time for stinginess, so the idea is to start a sock drive. Whether it’s at your place of work, your school or a group from your neighbourhood, the aim is to collect as many pairs of socks as you can, gather them all up and donate them to a local homeless shelter. This is where #socktober comes into play because these days nothing spreads something like wildfire quicker than putting a hashtag in front of it 🙂 Instagram, Facebook, Twitter ….. go mad and share the love for Socktober on them all! Of course, people don’t just need socks (although they do help on a cold day), there are plenty of other items that homeless shelters could benefit from such as donations of toiletries, bedding, clothing and tinned / dried food but socks definitely help.

Sometimes it’s the smallest acts of love that help make a difference so whether you buy them or make them, donate some socks to this worthy cause and help make someones day a little nicer 🙂

  • Visit the following sites for more details …..

http://www.happysocktober.com

http://www.soulpancake.com/socktober

 

  • For a list of homeless shelters in the UK …..

http://www.crisis.org.uk

http://www.shelter.org.uk

http://www.salvationarmy.org.uk

 

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It’s good to be square!

Knitting squares and joining them together to make a blanket is something so basic that everyone can do it. However sometimes, although you want to enjoy the simplicity of such a blanket, it just needs something that little bit more. This is where mitred squares come into play. Incredibly basic but yet they look so oh so good 🙂

Mitred squares can be made with any yarn and any corresponding size needles so they make for a really great stash buster and they really are as simple as this …..

  1. Decide how many stitches long you want one side of you square to be and cast on said number. Place your stitch marker on to mark the middle point and then cast on the same number of stitches again.
  2. Row 1 – Knit all the way across, slipping the marker when you get to it.Row 2 – Knit to two stitches before the marker. K2tog, slip the marker, ssk and continue to knit to the end of the row.

3.  Repeat the above two rows until you have 4 stitches left.

4.  Working on the right side, knit the first decrease and remove the stitch marker. Knit the second decrease which will leave you with two stitches.  Working on the wrong side, bind off using a basic bind off method.

You’ve now got one mitred square which you could admire lovingly or perhaps do something a little more substantial with such as knitting some more and joining them together to form an afghan 🙂

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Kitchener Stitch

Kitchener stitch, possibly named after Earl Kitchener during World War 1 but then again, possibly not. It seems no one is too sure of exactly where or how it originated. One things for sure though, its guaranteed to cause palpitations in all but the truly seasoned knitter but whether it’s socks or shoulders the Kitchener stitch comes in super handy for seamless, well, seams! 🙂

Used as a finishing technique in knitting, Kitchener, or Grafting as its otherwise known, is a way of invisibly joining two sets of live stitches. Contrary to public opinion the Kitchener stitch really isn’t all that tricky. Once you’ve done it a couple of times, it’ll be like riding the proverbial bike and you’ll be wondering what all the bother was about.

So, lets get to grips with this right now. You’ll need two pieces of ‘live’ knitting (you can just knit two small samples to practice with if you like), a darning needle and some scrap yarn.

  1. Hold both pieces of knitting next to each other, wrong side to wrong side and put the threaded darning needle through the first front stitch as if to purl. Pull it nearly all the way through but leave enough of a tail to weave in later. 
  2. Still holding the knitting pieces tightly, push the needle through the first back stitch as if to knit
  3. Bring the needle round to the front and pull it through the first front needle as if to knit. Pull the yarn all the way through and take the stitch off of the needle. 
  4. Push the needle through the first front stitch as if to purl but this time, leave the stitch on the needle. 
  5. Take the needle all the way through the first back stitch as if to purl and take the stitch off of the needle. 
  6. Pull the needle through the first back stitch as if to knit but leave the stitch on the needle.

Now, you need to repeat steps 3 – 6 until all of the stitches have been worked. Remember to keep  tightening the new stitches every now and again to ensure an even tension.  The tricky bit is keeping track of where you got to after the initial first two steps so remember –

KNIT – front – OFF

PURL -front – ON

PURL – back – OFF

KNIT – back – ON

It really is as simple as that 🙂

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