CDD

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The pattern … see why I was attracted to it?

In the last twenty-four hours I’ve chosen two patterns that called for a CDD. I’m not sure that I’ve ever encountered a CDD before. No, really. It’s the truth.

That said, I do know what a CDD is! It’s a centered double decrease. Essentially, what it does is decreases one stitch on either side of the center stitch in a pattern. And they’re very pretty if used properly!

First up, a dishcloth pattern that I bought a couple of years ago to support the Special Olympics and it’s called Sinkmates by Lorilee Beltman ($2 on Ravelry). I had unrealistic expectations around this dishcloth pattern, having assumed that it was a mitered square. Wrong. It was a CDD! It’s fun to knit and the first thing I’d do next time is to make the i-cord on a larger needle than the rest of the project. Mine came out somewhat lop-sided. But it’s a dishcloth. Enough said.

Next, Hartland Slipper Socks from Berroco Folio, Vol. 4. by Amy Christoffers. I loved these at first glance and knew I had to make them. Thankfully, they’ve got short cuffs and are knitted in worsted weight Berroco Ultra Wool which makes them knit up quickly. And since I had a whole weekend off this weekend, I have spent a lot of time in my studio. I love them and will be making more! There is a CDD in the “flower” design at the ankle. I’m going to show you my sequence of stitches on the dishcloth because it’s on almost-white cotton and you’ll be able to see the stitches really well!

So, here is my photo tutorial on how to do a CDD if you don’t know already …

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The CDD on Sinkmates Dishcloth … rows of CDD straight up the middle!

Knit over to the stitch before the center stitch (the CDD “line”) … see photo below!

Remember, worked stitches are on the right-hand needle, stitches to be worked are on the left needle.

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Knit up to one stitch before the center

You are going to work the stitch before and the center stitch together as if to knit two together (K2tog). (Insert the right needle knitwise into the two stitches at the same time from left to right as if you’re going to knit them together. Don’t wrap the stitches, though … see photo below.

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You can see the ridges on my thumb nail. I need a manicure!

Next, complete the slip. Slip the stitches onto the right-hand needle by pulling the left needle back and out of the stitches, leaving them on the right needle. OK so far?

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Knit the next stitch on the left needle. In the photo below you can see the two slipped stitches and then the knitted stitch sitting on the right needle. You can see them, can’t you?

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Now, get ready! You’re going to slip the two slipped stitches over the knitted one. (Insert the left needle into the two slipped stitches from left to right, holding your working yarn in your right hand and keeping some tension on the working yarn, slip the two stitches over the knitted one.)

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When it’s all said and done, and the stitches are slipped over, this is what you’ll see.

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When the left needle is pulled out of the completed stitch, you will have something like this. Hopefully, it’ll be exactly like this! The CDD is in line with all of its sister stitches below and you’ll have two fewer stitches in total on your dishcloth.

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See how pretty it is?

Go buy the pattern and give it a try! Share pictures with me of your attempts on my Queen Bee Knits by Linda Warner Facebook page! I’m excited for you to try something new!

Follow me on Facebook (Queen Bee Knits by Linda Warner) and Instagram @QueenBeeKnits. I’m also on Ravelry (lindar).

 

The Right Way(s) to Yarn Over

My knitting classes have been asking about the correct way to make a yarn over. I’ve shown them the right way to do one between knit stitches but my answer falls somewhat short because there are several ways to yarn over and it all depends on which stitches the yarn over falls between.

I went searching for a good video tutorial and found this one from Purl Soho (see a picture of me at Purl Soho here!) that explains all of the ways to do a yarn over … between two knit stitches, between a knit and a purl stitch, etc.

This is the best video tutorial I’ve seen! But Purl Soho is one of the best yarn shops I’ve seen, too! (If you get a chance to visit, please do!)

It’s excellent, right?

Gone knitting.

Remembering Why I Love Cables

Sirdar Snuggly Double Knitting Patten #1516

Sirdar Snuggly Double Knitting Patten #1516

Perhaps it’s partly my Irish heritage (the part of my heritage that I feel most connected to) or maybe it has no relation at all but I love, love, love cables!

I have two projects on the needles right now that I am enjoying. One is a little cable-knit poncho for my niece in California (I’ll be knitting a matching one for her little sister, too) the other is an infinity scarf/cowl for my daughter. The poncho has a great cable pattern that I am loving. It’s a Sirdar pattern (#1516), using Sirdar Snuggly Double Knitting (DK) yarn and a size US3 and US6 knitting needle. I’m using my Knitter’s Pride interchangeable needles which have great points for this yarn. You can buy them here or here. I love mine!!!

I’m going to spend this post talking about why cables are so simple and look so difficult and show a few pictures so that, if you’re a newbie to knitting and are a little bit afraid of cables, you’ll jump right in … because they’re really so much easier than they appear to be! Be brave! Go for it! Give it a try! (Rah! Rah!)

What my cable pattern looks like~ complicated, right? Wrong!

What my cable pattern looks like~ complicated, right?  …Wrong!

It really does look complicated, doesn’t it? I promise you that it’s really not complicated at all. All you need to do is lift a couple of stitches off the left needle and then knit a couple of stitches and then knit the lifted/slipped stitches. Follow along with me, I’m going to show you what I mean in a step-by-step tutorial.

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Left needle is holding stitches to be worked next … and we’re ready to make a cable!

I’ve knitted (or in this case, purled) over to where the stitches are that will be my cable (they are the knitted stitches, 8 of them between purl bumps).

If you examine the photo carefully, it’s just like it was sitting in your lap. The right hand needle is the one holding stitches that have already been worked. The left hand needle is the stitches that will be worked next. You can see the stitches several rows below where I am now working that have been cabled already. That’s a helpful hint. In  this pattern, the cables are neatly stacked up on top of each other.

It is time to slip two stitches off the left-hand needle and hold them to the front of my work with my cable needle. I am using a cheap aluminum cable needle that I bought at JoAnn’s ages ago. I lose a lot of cable needles so cheap is good for me.

Slip two stitches from the left-hand needle to the cable needle without twisting or as if to purl.

To the left is a picture of the two stitches slipped onto the cable needle and being “held” in front of my work. If not careful, the cable needle will slip out of the stitches whether you hold it or not. But it’s not a crisis. The only time any damage comes to “dropped” stitches is when you pull. If you don’t pull your stitches, you can slip them right back onto the cable needle (or any other needle for that matter).

Now, I’m goinIMG_5450g to knit the next two stitches on the left-hand needle. And hopefully I will not drop the cable needle. And then I will knit the two stitches from the cable needle.

When that is done, I’m half way there.

I still have one more part of the bigger cable to do and that means slipping two stitches to the back of my work in the same manner that I slipped the stitches to the front. I will knit two stitches from the left hand needle and then knit the two stitches that are held on the cable needle in back of my work. Wait! I’m going to show you …

Just a note about cables – Cables are always either left-leaning or right-leaning. When you hold your cable stitches to the front the cable will be left-leaning (I remember that by thinking about left having the “f” in it which stands for front). And in the same vein, the right leaning cables will always be worked from stitches that are held to the back. (I haven’t got a mnemonic for that, but you have the one for the left-leaning so I hope you don’t need one for the right-leaning …. right?)

Knitted two from the working needle and two from the cable needle held in front. Now it's time to slip two more stitches and hold them to the back.

Knitted two from the working needle and two from the cable needle held in front. Now it’s time to slip two more stitches and hold them to the back.

Here is my work after having knitted the first four stitches (two from the needle and two from the cable needle held in front.)

Now it’s time to finish the cable.

We are going to slip two stitches from the left-hand needle to the cable needle and hold it to the back of our work. (This will be a right-leaning cable … can you see how the first part of this cable that we just finished is leaning to the left?)

 

 

 

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We have slipped two stitches onto the cable needle and they are being held to the back of our work …

Once the two stitches are on the cable needle and at the back of the work as in the photograph to the right, you can knit the next two stitches from left-hand needle … and then knit the two stitches from the cable needle.

Ta! Da!

You’ve just worked a cable! Woo! Hoo!

 

 

 

 

8-stitch cable with one side leaning right and one side leaning left

8-stitch cable with one side leaning right and one side leaning left

My two fingers are marking the eight stitches that we’ve just manipulated to make this “double” cable. The first side we knitted (on the right in this photo) leans to the left and the second side (on the left in this photo) leans to the right. Can you see this??? Under my fingers are two purl bumps … there are purl stitches on both sides of the cable. Purl stitches make the cable pop!

Simpler still, a 4-stitch cable

Simpler still, a 4-stitch cable that leans to the left and to the right

 

 

 

 

The other cable in this pattern is a simpler four-stitch cable.

The process is the same as far as the knitting goes. This cable leans to the left and then it leans to the right. Yup, you guessed it! When making up this cable, one time you’ll bring your cable needle with its two stitches to the front (left-leaning) and then the next time, you’ll bring it to the back (right-leaning).

Every cable pattern has a number of rows that it takes to make the cable happen consistently (and look just right!) This pattern just happens to have an eight-row repeat and the “difficult” rows are the first and fifth. These are the rows where I use the cable needle and cross or twist my stitches. The other six rows are super simple combinations of knit and purl stitches.

So now you’re ready to cast on some stitches and give cables a try, right? I hope this has helped to make you feel more comfortable with the idea of cables … cast on 22 stitches with any plain-colored light yarn and an appropriately-sized set of needles and give this a try! Here’s your “pattern”…

Cast on 22 stitches

Set up Row (wrong side of knitting): K2, P4, K3, P8, K3, P4, K2

Row 1 (right side of knitting): P2, C4B, P3, C4B, C4F, P3, C4B, P2

(remember: C4B means hold 2 slipped stitches to the back of work, knit 2 from working needle, knit 2 from cable needle and C4F means hold 2 slipped stitches to the front of work, knit 2 from working needle and then knit 2 from cable needle)

Row 2 (and all other even rows): K2, P4, K3, P8, K3, P4, K2

Row 3: P2, K4, P3, K8, P3, K4, K2

Row 5: K2, C4F, P3, C4F, C4B, P3, C4F, K2

Row 7: repeat row 3

Row 8: repeat row 2 (obviously)! This is the end of the 8-row repeat.

Give it a try and let me know how you do!

For now, I’ve gone knitting!

 

 

Throw Out the Lifeline!

There is an old hymn that shares the title for my post. I guess I’m older than I think I am because I remember singing it at a hymn sing as a young girl in Tenants Harbor, Maine. As soon as I typed my title, I had to search for the song (to make sure I wasn’t remembering “wrong”!) There it was. What a wonderful memory! (Click here for the link to YouTube.)

In knitting, a life line can be a project saver. I used one just this weekend when I was finishing my Jimmy Beans Wool Downton Abbey Mystery KAL … a lovely shawlette. I was really happy with the project and had a bit of yarn left over that I thought MIGHT be enough to have a third repeat of the lace edge. On Thursday night I expressed my concern to my knitting friends and Kelly suggested that I give it a try but use a life line (just in case)! What a wonderful suggestion.

Here’s what mine looked like when it was being blocked …

My Shawlette in Malabrigo Silky Merino color 856 Azules

My Shawlette in Malabrigo Silky Merino color 856 Azules

Never used a life line? Really!? Well, I have to confess that I hadn’t used one before. But it’s really quite simple. This is all it takes …

Life Line (pink) …

Life Line (pink) … Wow! I need a manicure! 🙂

All you have to do is get a different color bit of yarn. Since I was knitting a lace piece with several hundred stitches, I kept it really long so I didn’t drop stitches off the life line. That would be disastrous!

With your tapestry needle, thread the life line (pink) through every stitch.

With your tapestry needle, thread the life line (pink) through every stitch.

Thread your tapestry needle and  starting on one end of your work, run the life line through every stitch. (Note: do not run the life line through your markers as this will cause trouble when you go to knit! Run the life line under the markers.)

What you need to do before you start knitting again is make sure that the life line is “in the same place” and no wound around the needle. I made sure that my life line was beneath the needle sitting on the bottom of my last row of stitches. Once you start knitting, just make sure that you don’t knit your life line in with your stitches.

I was super lucky this time and I did have enough yarn. I may have been able to knit ONE more row … but I was concerned that I wasn’t going to have enough for the one knit row and then a bind off row. So, my last row was a knit and bind off at the same time.

I’m really pleased with the end result … I can’t wait to wear it!

Gone knitting!

How to Knit i-cord

I-cord is not a difficult thing to knit and it can be used for so many projects.

Recently, I knitted i-cord ears for a Tiny Baby Bunnies pattern and you can see pictures of my projects on my blog, here, or on my Ravelry page, here.

I’ve also used them for embellishing knitted garments like my Senorita Lolita dress and on an original cowl that I knitted and is for sale in my 3 B Street shop.

Senorita Lolita (Copyright 2011 Prima Dogma by Queen Bee Knits

Senorita Lolita (Copyright 2011 Prima Dogma by Queen Bee Knits)

 

Butterscotch Cowl Copyright 2013 Queen Bee Knits Original

Butterscotch Cowl
Copyright 2013
Queen Bee Knits Original

 

I-cord is a spiral “tube” of knitting that is constructed by sliding the working piece from one side to the other side of your DPN.

It’s a great handle for knitted (and felted totes), it’s a great embellishment for knitted garments (and can be formed into flowers or stems or just about anything you can imagine!

It’s also very simple to knit!

 

Here is what you need to know to be successful when knitting i-cord!

Cast on the required number of stitches to be used for the i-cord (in this case, I used 6 stitches.)

Cast on # of Stitches

Cast on # of Stitches

Slide your stitches to the right side of the DPN (do NOT turn your needle!)

Slide stitches from cast on position at the left of the needle to the right side

Slide stitches from cast on position at the left of the needle to the right side

Knit all stitches (to knit the first stitch, you’ll bring the working yarn around the back of your needle and give the first stitch or two or three a good tug to pull the yarn so there won’t be a huge gap but don’t worry too much as the next few rounds will help even it out!)

Note that the stitches will be on the left side of the DPN. Do NOT turn your needle.

Knit all stitches

Knit all stitches (sorry, it’s a little blurry, but you get the idea!)

Slide the stitches to the right side of the needle and knit all stitches again.

Repeat sliding the stitches from the right to left of the DPN and knitting all stitches until i-cord is the right length for your project. It is also helpful to give the “tail” a tug or two to get the i-cord to stretch out & down.

After a few rows, you’ll start to see the tube starting to take form.

After a few rows of knitting (9 here)

After a few rows of knitting (9 here)

 

Queen Bee Knitting Tip

Queen Bee
Knitting Tip

 

Knitting Tip – When you’re knitting circularly (in the round) on double-pointed or circular needles, in order to keep your knitting from getting “ladders” where the needles meet, remember to give an extra tug (gently, don’t break your yarn!) on the first and second stitches as you start working on a new needle. This will lessen the chance of ladders happening which are unsightly in your knitted garments. Trust me, I’ve got plenty of experience! 🙂

So, there you go! Practice this a few times and you’ll have a great new trick in your knitting arsenal!

Gone knitting!

A Weekend with Annie Modesitt

Knit or Knot Group

OMG! She is fabulous!

Day 1 – Friday

Classes on Friday were Embellishments and Heel! Learn Toe UP Socks with Mutt-Luks!

Embellishments Swatch

You can see we did several different embellishments. I, personally, love love love the little dreadlocks! Anyway, you’ll see that there are several rows of garter stitch (just to warm up our fingers!) and then the first embellishment was the “dreadlocks”. Next, bobbles. These are nice perky bobbles with no droop or hole underneath. I love the idea of using these as buttons. Next we did a few rows of cables … without a cable needle. A great technique because, Annie says, using the cable needles stretches the yarn and sometimes makes for a gap or hole in the fabric. This technique will not! Last, but certainly not least, we did a couple of different bind offs … a picot bind off (on the right) and an i-cord bind off (on the left). The picot bind off could be used as closure for a cardigan sweater, for example, with some lovely bobbles as buttons. The i-cord band could include i-cord loops or frogs. I’ll be playing with a few of these ideas. I’ve played with adding i-cord to a flat garment but never edging a garment with i-cord!

(PS) My swatch is sitting on one of the books that I bought at the classes which Annie has written, Confessions of a Knitting Heretic. The second book I bought was this one:

Cheaper than Therapy is a collection of stories that were gathered by Annie. Since I’m a one book at a time kind of girl, I’ve not really dug into either one yet. But I am looking forward to them both!

The second half of our technique classes on Friday was a toe-up sock with a different (and better) toe and a different heel … an after thought heel of sorts, made with short rows. We didn’t really make a sock but we started (duh!) with making the toe and then knitted several rounds of the “sock” before adding some scrap yarn to mark where the heel will go. I still need to go back and finish the “sock” and I’ll show you pictures at a later date … or I’ll add them to this posting.

Day 2- Entrelac Lace

Saturday we did entrelac. Lots of entrelac. Mind-boggling entrelac!

Entrelac Swatch

We started out with our work flat, working back and forth in entrelac. I really like the look of  the entrelac (especially in two colors). It’s such a harlequin look. With the idea that entrelac can also be worked in the round, we then joined our work and then made the squares bigger and worked the top ones in lace. It was fascinating to think about taking a somewhat complicated technique and making it more complicated but the lace skirt pattern that Annie used as her example is really lovely and I would love to make something similar!

Day 3- The Universal Mitered Bag/ Modular Knitting

Sunday we made a small Mitered Bag. Using three colors, we learned how to form the interlocking triangles in different sizes and how to construct a bag (to be felted) using the technique. I found this technique really easy to follow and really enjoyed it. Annie even knitted on my bag to show how to do some of the steps … thus, I have a bright orange and a couple of tiny gray “diamonds” (on the left) which she gave me permission to pull out – but who in their right mind would pull out Annie Modesitt’s knitting? I think it makes my bag all the more special!

My Mitered Bag

This is the bag before felting. Notice the really cool “edge” at the top where the purple and cream yarn are twisted.

Two Rounds of Twisted Edging - Looks like Herringbone!

I originally had gone around again (because this round was done by Annie. Yay!) but it was too wide and I went back, after making sure I could actually DO the technique, and tore it out and bound off. I do think I’ll buy some good wool for felting and make the next size bag because it was really lovely and a good size.

Annie also gave us some tips for felting (and told us about her online classes that she offers … I would encourage anyone wanting to learn more about our craft to check out her classes  … click here to be magically transported to her site! She’s a wonderful and thorough teacher and I learned a lot!)

So, add in a potluck lunch that lasted into the next day, some great knitting women in the Orlando Knit or Knot group – which, by the way, is the local Knitting Guild Association group – and a lot of laughs, and you get the general gist of the weekend.

I had a blast – and I’m still recovering from the mind-bending concentration. I took some notes and will share some of them with you “down the road”. But for now …

Gone knitting (maybe my heel)!