GRRRR!

When you are knitting lace and there are obvious demarcations between sections, it’s so simple to take a few minutes to put in a safety line … it’s so simple! So, why in the world did I go zipping on by? Laziness is my only excuse.

The Shape of a Bay by Bristol Ivy in Cashmere People Yarns Fingering Weight

So, I’ve been knitting along on my The Shape of A Bay shawl by Bristol Ivy and I’ve been right on the stitch count all along. Until section 7. I learned this 12 rows in when the pattern wasn’t working. I counted my stitches and, if I am counting stitches correctly, I should remain at 523 stitches througout. I had 403. That’s a difference of 120 stitches. Yikes!!! No way to fudge through 120 too few stitches (and I have no idea why that happened.) I had no choice other than to frog back the 12 rows to where section 7 begins and start over and knit more carefully!

A safety line will help. When I get to the 523 spot again, I’ll put in a safety line. A safety line is a long piece of, in my case mint flavored dental floss, thread or yarn that is the same weight of the yarn you’re knitting with or finer. Thread the long piece onto a sewing needle with a blunt tip so as to not pierce the yarn and bring it through the bottom of the stitches on the needle. On the first row after installing the safety line, be careful not to knit the safety line into your pattern. Let the safety line hang out until you are finished or reach another milestone or stitch count that is correct. You can put on in every couple of rows if you want. Or not. The purpose of the safety line is so that, God forbid, you make a mistake and have to frog back (again?!) you can just rip back to the safety line, put your stitches back on your needle and start again. It’s much simpler, especially when knitting a 2-sided lace pattern like mine, than finding all of your stitches, making sure you’ve not dropped any, etc.

As of this afternoon, I’m back to 523 stitches on my needles and I’ll restart section 7.

Humulus by Isabell Kraemer in Ella Rae Classic Wool, sleeve #1

But for the rest of the day, I’m going to work on my Humulus sweater’s sleeve and see if I can get it finished and ready to block. It’s pouring rain and thundering and lighting … I have a very frightened BBD here by my side … so anything that gets wet will likely stay wet for awhile!

Gone knitting!

How to Weave in Ends as you Knit!

I just completed a pair of wonderful striped Christmas stockings. They are beautiful – but they had a bazillion ends that needed to be woven in at the end of the project

At least a bazillion loose ends!

… unless you knew this trick!

You can weave in the ends as you go and avoid the drudgery at the end! (It’s a bit like avoiding seaming by learning to knit in the round!)

So, “how do you do it?” you ask? Here’s how.

When you’ve knit to the place where you need to change colors or yarns, you can make your first stitch with the new yarn. And what you’re going to do is ” carry” the yarn to be woven in (the old color of yarn) across the next row of stitches by alternatively bringing the old yarn tail up and over your needle and knitting a stitch and then bringing the tail down and knitting a stitch.

Here are a couple of illustrations:

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On right is first green stitch. Making stitch #2

Making the second stitch of the first green row of stitches by inserting right hand needle into the second stitch knit-wise.

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Carry the yarn tail

Bring the yarn tail to be woven in (the black yarn) across the stitches. First bring the tail up over the needle and then wrap your new yarn around the stitch to be made.

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With tail over the needle, wrap your new yarn around the needle to make the next stitch (green)

Bring the tail back down and then finish your stitch.

IMG_0820Make the next stitch “normally” with the tail being held down so that your yarn is carried over the tail yarn (black) when you make the stitch.

Alternate bringing the tail yarn over the needles and holding the tail yarn down while you make the next four or five stitches. That should be enough to hold the tail. You can finish your row and cut the tails close to your stitches.

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The tail is woven in and doesn’t even show – unfortunately, I chose black yarn so you really can’t see the tail!

I hope this helps!

Gone knitting!