The instalment this week is a wee bit late. Let's blame Easter for that.
Did you have a lovely Easter break? We did. We spent it with family, which was lovely but it did involve a two and a half hour drive home with two kids on a chocolate come-down (not pretty) and a dash to get back in time for an out-of hours doctors appointment for my husband (not cheap) followed by a trip into the city to find a pharmacist open to dispense his antibiotics (not fun). He has an infected ear, but is now on the mend. The kids are back at school today after a big sleep, so once again it is quiet and peaceful, albeit a bit messy.
Today's non-clue involves a little tricky-ish part (not really that tricky) followed by some lovely stocking stitch knitting. As we've finished the yoke it's now time to knit the body and the sleeves. To do this, we're going to separate the body stitches from those that we'll use to knit the sleeves. You will need the two pieces of waste yarn that the Needles and Notions section mentioned.
For those who have not knit my patterns before or are newer knitters, I want to emphasis that there are four kfabs in the row where you separate. These are worked either side of the sleeves stitches that are put on hold. Please make sure you remember to knit them. These kfabs tighten the stitches either side of the sleeves where often slackness appears due to the separation process. They also help to prevent little holes under the arms, which can be quite common with top down garments. I believe you should never have to darn up underarm holes, the pattern should prevent them. This is the first step in doing so.
About waste yarn
Waste yarn can be any scrap yarn that you have left over from other projects. A piece about 12"/30cm long is a good length. The best yarn to use for waste yarn is one that will not felt, so cotton or a superwash yarn is ideal. I like to use a waste yarn that is a different colour from the yarn I'm knitting with.
I have to confess that I don't actually use waste yarn very often anymore. I slip my sleeve stitches onto a Clover Circular Stitch holder and the needle I'm going to knit the sleeves with. You can sort of see them in this photo.
Integrated button bands
Once we've split the stitches into the body and sleeves, we will keep knitting the body, as pictured above.
You may have noticed at the bottom of the yoke the instructions that had you working 3 knit stitches and then slipping a stitch at each edge of the front. This continues to occur in this section.
The instructions read as:
Body row 1: (WS) k3, wyib sl1 purl-wise, purl to last 4 sts, k4.
Body row 2: (RS) k3, wyif sl1 purl-wise, knit to end of row.
You will notice that this creates a garter stitch edging on each of the fronts which continues down from the garter yoke. You may notice that where the slipped stitch is worked you get a long elongated stitch on one of the insides but it is barely noticeable on the other side. Like this:
You may have even wondered if you'd done something wrong as they weren't the same. You can probably guess the reason I'm showing you this photo is to let you know that they're not meant to be the same. These slipped stitches are purely functional.
What do they do?
Stocking stitch and garter stitch create stitches that are different in height. The stocking stitch is much taller than the garter stitch. Now imagine you're stacking two rows of blocks of different heights side by side. This is effectively what is happening when you knit garter and stocking stitch side by side. The garter stitch edging does stretch out vertically to accommodate the stocking stitch but one of the side effects of this is that the garter stitch edge will flip inwards. You may have knit a cardigan before with garter stitch edges where this happened. Sometimes blocking can prevent the flipping but not always and even when blocked the flipping can still happen.
Working a slipped stitch between the garter and stocking sections works as a transition stitch by creating a stitch that is taller than the garter stitch yet shorter than the stocking stitch. It helps to prevent this flipping. Even unblocked this way won't flip as much, when blocked it's foolproof.
You can work this little trick into any garter stitch edging you come across in any other pattern. Neat huh!
I posted a photo on Instagram and Facebook on Friday showing the best place to measure the yoke length. It reminded me that I should included one for the length of the cardie this week. When measuring, it's best to do it on a flat surface and make sure the front and back of the neckline are lined up. Having said that, I will admit that I often measure in the car or the park, neither of which provide terrifically flat surfaces. I love that knitting really is quite adaptable like that. A wee bit out in length for the body is not going to be too drastic.
My wee cardie in Augustbird Pebbly Beach and White Gum Wool Everlasting is all done. I cheated a bit and knit ahead. I'm now working on the sample garment for the bigger sizes for the full pattern. I'm knitting it in White Gum Wool Gum Grey and Hawthorn. You can see the colours above. Below is my finished baby size cardie In the 3-6 month size awaiting buttons and blocking.
Last night I also knit the leftovers from my wee cardie into a square in my mitred blanket. It's now up to 76 squares. Almost a fifth done.
And below that is this week's pattern instalment.
Any questions? Comments? Concerns?
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Textile artist, knitwear designer and teacher.
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