Friday, March 28, 2008

Selvage Edge

The alternative to a slipped stitch edge is a selvage edge. This firm edge is generally used when the edge is hidden in a seam. It is considered a finished edge, so can be left visible. It is called a selvage edge because the yarn is doubled back on itself, the same as with woven fabric.

To make a selvage edge, the end pegs are knit on all rows.

For example,

Cast on to 10 pegs.
Row 1: Knit pegs 10 - 1.
Row 2: Knit pegs 1 - 10.
Repeat rows 1 - 2.

Since the selvage edge of a knit item is usually hidden in a seam, you generally wouldn't need to put a garter stitch pattern on the sides, as the seam eliminates the need to prevent curling. But to be consistent with the post on slipped edges, here is what the piece would look like with a garter pattern edge:

Cast on to 10 pegs.
Row 1: Knit pegs 10 - 1.
Row 2: Purl pegs 1 - 2, knit pegs 3 - 8, purl pegs 9 - 10.
Repeat rows 1 - 2.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Slipped Stitch Edge

Questions lately have been about the slipped stitch edge. This technique gives a pretty finished look to the sides of your knitting. If you are making a scarf or afghan or other project where the edges of the knitting will show, the slipped edge is definitely worth considering, since it looks like a smooth braid.

Making a slipped edge is a simple as skipping the first peg on each row.

Let's say your knit piece is 10 stitches wide. You would cast on to 12 pegs, because the slipped stitch at each edge doesn't contribute to the width of your piece. For each row, you would skip the very first peg, then knit to the end of the row.

Cast on to pegs 1 - 12.
Row 1: Skip peg 12, knit pegs 11 - 1.
Row 2: Skip peg 1, knit pegs 2 - 12.
Repeat rows 1 - 2.

If you are alternating knit and purl stitches in any sort of pattern, even just a garter stitch pattern at the edges to prevent curling, you always want to knit the very last peg in every row. The knit edge loops make the braid along the side of your knitting.

The sample is knit as follows:
Cast on to pegs 1 - 12.
Row 1: Skip peg 12, knit pegs 11 - 1.
Row 2: Skip peg 1, purl pegs 2 - 3, knit pegs 4 - 9, purl pegs 10 - 11, knit peg 12.
Repeat rows 1 - 2.

A well written pattern will indicate if the edges are slipped or not, either by stating so in the notes, or in the instructions themselves, such as above (skipping the first peg of each row, knitting the last peg in each row). If the pattern doesn't have a slipped edge, you can always add one by casting on to two more pegs and skipping one peg at the beginning of each row.

The name for this technique comes from the similar technique when knitting with needles. The first stitch on the left needle is slipped onto the right needle without being knit or purled.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Michaels is Discontinuing Classes

I'm so sorry to have to spread the word that Michaels stores are discontinuing their classroom programs effective the end of March. The word has been out for a few weeks, but I wanted to wait to say anything here until all the instructors received their lay-off notices.

I've been teaching at the Michaels in Maple Grove MN for 2-1/2 years. I've created and refined curricula for different levels of loom knitters and for the various looms that ProvoCraft developed. I've shared the craft of loom knitting with countless customers while giving demonstrations in the store, and gotten many people hooked on knitting with looms in the classroom. Not only have I taught technique classes, but also project classes, from hats and scarves to mittens and felted purses and slippers and so much more. Many of my students took multiple classes from me, and some travelled quite a distance. I will truly miss sharing my passion for this craft in-person, one-on-one in the Michaels store.

It's not just Knifty Knitter classes that are discontinued, but all knitting, crocheting, beading, scrapbooking, flower arranging, painting, etc. classes. (The only classes that are staying are the Cake Decorating classes through Wilton.) This is not the first (or second) time Michaels has stopped offering classes, so chances are that classes will again be offered at some time in the future. After all, the Kids Club program has already been replaced by The Knack. You can make your opinion known by calling 1-800-MICHAELs.

Friday, March 07, 2008

My book at Michaels

Woo hoo! The store where I teach is finally carrying the book that I wrote! And it's on an end cap at eye level. :)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Loom Knitting Meme

This is making the rounds. I saw it first on Denise's blog.

What are you loom knitting?

Just for fun...a loom knitting meme. What have you made with your loom? What do you do knitting/fiber related? Copy and paste the following meme into your blog and link back to me by commenting to this post.

What I've made on my knitting looms and what I have done knitting/fiber related:

Afghan - several

I-cord – many, of different thicknesses

Garter stitch - absolutely

Knitting with metal wire - no

Shawl - several

Stockinette stitch - yes, constantly

Socks: top-down – yes, singles

Socks: toe-up – singles here too.

Knitting with camel yarn - nope

Mittens: Cuff-up - plenty

Mittens: Tip-down - no

Hat – More than I can count

Knitting with silk a fine strand with wool for socks - no

Moebius band knitting - yes

Participating in a KAL – A few

Sweater - yes

Drop stitch patterns - yes

Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn – oh yes

Slip stitch patterns - definitely

Knitting with banana fiber yarn – hmm, where do I find that?

Twisted stitch patterns – e-wrap counts

Knitting with bamboo yarn – yes, very soft

Charity knitting - some

Knitting with soy yarn – yup

Cardigan – no, but I should

Toy/doll clothing - some

Baby items - some

Knitting with your own handspun yarn – Spinning used to be a dream, but it’s fading as I get older

Slippers - Definitely

Designing knitted garments – uh, yeah.

Cable stitch patterns – done that for years

Lace patterns – simple ones, they’re a bit challenging on looms but getting easier with the sliding peg thingies

Publishing a knitting book - check

Scarf – uh huh

Teaching a child to knit – Just how many Girl Scouts have I worked with?

Knitting to make money – I don’t think I’ve ever sold a knit item…

Buttonholes – uh huh

Knitting with alpaca - yup

Fair Isle knitting - no

Dying with plant colors – not for knitting, but I’ve smashed flowers onto fabric…

Knitting items for a wedding - no

Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies…) - yes

Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) - yes

Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn - yes

Holiday related knitting - yes

Teaching a male how to loom knit – yes, but not many

Bobbles - yes

Knitting for a living – You can support yourself by knitting? Sign me up!

Knitting with cotton - yes

Knitting smocking – not really

Dying yarn - no

Knitting art - no

Fulling/felting - yes

Knitting with wool – how else do you felt?

Textured knitting - yes

Kitchener stitch - yes
, without knitting needles!

Purses/bags - yes

Knitting with beads – both knitting a strand of beads and stringing beads along the yarn and placing them in the stitches

Swatching – All the time

Long Tail CO - yes

Knitting and purling backwards – let's see, would that be going the opposite direction on the loom?

Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegated yarn - yes

Stuffed toys – working on them

Knitting with cashmere (mmm, cashmere!) – I’d like to

Darning – ugh. When I was a kid I’d darn socks using a plastic easter egg on the inside. 

Jewelry – yeah, knitting with beads.

Knitting with synthetic yarn – that would be the cheap stuff, acrylic, right?

Writing a pattern - yes

Gloves/mittens – Both

Intarsia – not a lot

Knitting with linen - no

Knitting for preemies - no

Short rows - ya betcha!

Cuffs/fingerless mits/armwarmers - yes

Pillows – they’ve never held much appeal, though my Grandmother used to needle knit gorgeous patterned ones.

Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine – does knitting a pattern FOR an online magazine count?

Rug – no, but I want to

Knitting on a loom – Duh!

Knitting a gift - yes

Knitting for a pet? – I’ve threatened, but dh would draw the line

Shrug/bolero/poncho – two out of three

Knitting with dog/cat hair accidentally or on purpose? – Cat hair all the time. Mine too. And horse hair sometimes.

Hair accessories – yes

Knitting in public – Absolutely!

Knitting with buffalo yarn - no

Knitting with pygora – hmmm, goat hair, sounds fun

Dyeing with food dye/drink mixes - no

Dyeing with chemical dyes (acid, etc) - no