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).

 

Girasol

Girasol by Jared F

Girasol by Jared Flood

I’m so in love with this project that I want to marry it!

Three of us in the Wednesday night knitting class (plus our teacher) decided to knit the Girasol Shawl in the worsted weight version which makes an afghan. I really (REALLY!) loved knitting this and it wasn’t difficult. I loved knitting it so much that I absolutely will knit another one.

Girasol by Jared Flood is written for fingering/lace weight or worsted weight yarns. I think you could knit it in any weight of your choosing with appropriately sized needles. And they will all be gorgeous! The pattern is available on Ravelry.

The pattern itself is clear and well written and a cinch to follow. The most “difficult” part, in my opinion, is the cast on which is Emily Ocker’s Circular Cast On. I’m sharing Jimmy Bean’s Wool’s tutorial with the ever delightful Jeanne. Watch it a couple of times before attempting this cast on. It’s a beauty – for starting any project in the middle of a circle (hats from the top down, lace shawls, etc.) Sheer genius and it sits flat when pulled closed.

This cast on is originally in Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitter’s Almanac (a wonderful book, by the way. EZ had a most unique and visionary knitting technique.) It’s available on Amazon.com … click on the image below and you’ll be magically transported! (You’re welcome, of course!)

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If you’re serious about knitting, you have to read EZ. Seriously! Anyway, back to Girasol …

I used Cascade 220 Superwash (because who wants a huge, wool-stinky, wet afghan to dry? Although, truth be told, I’m thinking of using wool for the next one. I may be crazy!) in a light grey tweed-y colorway. I love grey as a neutral and this will, theoretically, live in my atelier where I can throw it over my legs or fold it in half and wear it over my shoulders on a cold evening. Mine took nine balls (the pattern asks for eight and I may knit a bit loosely.) The edge stitches were (a little bit) boring – it’s knitted on the edge as you bind off and three stitches are “eaten up” when you knit six rows. There are 640 stitches. Got it? 🙂

The pattern calls for a US 9 circular needle and DPNs. I started with the DPN and then went to a 24 inch wire and then to a 32 inch wire and ended up with a sixty inch wire which was really a little bit too long. But it worked. I used my fabulous Dreamz interchangeable needles by Knitters Pride. I love them.

If you choose to knit this gloriously beautiful shawl/afghan, watch out and be aware when you start the edging. Just saying. I was in the car and everything was all bunched up and I started with the wrong side facing me and the edging on my blanket is “backward”. I think it’s very fitting, actually, and I chose to leave it that way.

Knit this pattern. I’m not kidding. You’ll love it. I can’t wait to see what mine looks like after it’s blocked … which will have to wait until our house is finished and furnished. Soon enough and I will be using it unblocked until that time. My knitting group is doing a Girasol for one of our members’ mother-in-law who recently lost her husband. I’m looking forward to my turn knitting!

Gone knitting.

No More Knotted Ear Buds

Knitted I-cord Ear Buds by Queen Bee Knits

Knitted I-cord Ear Buds by Queen Bee Knits

It’s been awhile since I saw knitted ear buds somewhere on the Internet. I’ve thought about knitting a little “sweater” for mine (so they don’t always get tangled into knots) but, frankly, it hasn’t been high on my to-do list.

But today I guess I needed something brainless to do since I’ve been working so hard on class planning and samples for the classes that I’m teaching in Louisiana. SO … I started work on my ear buds. It’ll be helpful when I’m driving for two days because I don’t like to drive with my phone in my hand.

Basically, I am knitting an i-cord around the ear bud cord. I found this free tutorial on the blog Wonderfully Awkward and I know that there are patterns out there as well if you want to search.

I’m using my Lorna’s Laces Sport in the Spats colorway – it’s left overs from the Jimmy Beans Wool Downton Abbey Mystery Knit Along. I’m using a US 2 DPN which makes my stitches tight enough that I can’t see the white cord through the knitted fabric.

Casting on 4 stitches and started at the bottom of the cord near the plug, I’m just stitching an i-cord all the way up to the split. There I will increase a couple of stitches and then hold half the stitches on a stitch holder for one side while I wrap the other side. (Very simple. If you’ve never knitted an i-cord, I’ll have to write a post about that some day soon but for now you can Google some help! There are several decent tutorials both written and video to help you.)

There you go – that’s what I am up to today!

Gone knitting (i-cord!)

 

Casting On!

I’m casting on another new project. I probably shouldn’t be doing it, but I am. So there! 🙂

I saw a wonderful cowl pattern on the internet and just HAD to know what it was. Wouldn’t you know it was a Purl Soho/Purl Bee pattern (I’ve never seen a project that I didn’t like from that site!) called the Fluted Cowl (FREE pattern! Click here.)

It calls for 300 yards of a bulky weight wool. So, into my (beautifully organized) stash I went to see if I had what I needed and, sure enough, there it was. Sitting there looking back at me. Begging me to take it out of the bin and knit with it after all these years. Well, not really, but it sounds good doesn’t it?

Years and years ago I bought Some Jo Sharp Silkroad Ultra in a colorway called “Seafoam”. Five skeins of it. Why five? Because there were only five left and I really liked the color and the hand of the yarn. It was also at least 50% off because the shop was closing.

I’ve made an executive decision to use a US #13 needle because I don’t have the size that the pattern asks for. And since it’s a cowl not a sweater, the gauge isn’t as much a strict rule as a guideline. The cowl will be a bit smaller than the one in the pattern but that’s ok.

First cast on effort (yes, first means that I have had more than one!) was using a long tail cast on. I usually use this method and generally it works if I plan for approximately an inch of yarn per stitch. So, since the pattern asks for 196 stitches, I gave it three generous “wing spans” and then some figuring that my wing span is about 5.5 feet (I counted 60 stitches). Wrong. I got 169 stitches on my needles.

So, on round two, I decided to do a more “sure thing” cast on and used the knitted cast on. If you’ve never done it, it’s really simple.

Start with a slip knot on your left hand needle. Knit into the stitch (just like normal knitting) on the left-hand needle knit-wise.

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Insert the right-hand needle knit-wise

Now you can go ahead and wrap the yarn around the back needle and pull it through the “old” stitch. (Good grief, my hands and fingernails look awful! That’s what I get for trying a gel manicure with no intentions to continue to have them done!)

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Wrap the yarn around the needle and pull through to create the new stitch

Pull the stitch through the old stitch and you have one new stitch on your right-hand needle.

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Here’s your new stitch! You’re almost there!

Now, slip the new stitch from the right- to the left-hand needle and tighten the stitch down. Important note: when you’re slipping the stitch to the left-hand needle, twist your right-hand needle a quarter turn clockwise … make sure your two needle points are facing the same direction and then you’ll be passing the stitch the right way. Don’t just pass the stitch from right to left with the needles pointing opposite ways. I know it’s a bit confusing, but if you try it, you’ll see what I mean!

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Now just slip the new stitch back onto the left-hand needle and tighten it up.

Knitted Cast On

Voila! You’ve added one stitch. Now insert your right-hand needle into the new stitch on the left-hand needle knit-wise … and off you go!

You’ve cast on one new stitch. Now just start over again from the first step and repeat for as many stitches as you need for your project.

This way, you’re adding stitches with your working yarn rather than using the tail for your new stitches. This way you won’t get to 169 stitches and have three inches of yarn left for a tail (and nearly 30 stitches short of what is required!)

A new cast on method for you. I now need to go cast on another 190 stitches!

Gone knitting!