Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Socks, Cast Ons, and Ladders

Monday is for Meida's Socks.

At least until they're done! I made quite a bit of progress on the first sock last night. Amazing how much more you can get done without a bunch of other projects gazing at you so imploringly from the many knitting bags piled up next to your bed.

I really need to get this sock outside and get a good photo of the yarn. It has such lovely shades of pinks, blues, and greens in it, and they just don't photograph well indoors.

I got a couple of comments on my post yesterday about having only 11 projects LOL. I've actually got more than that on the needles, but only had that many piled up in the bedroom. The rest were, and still are, down in the craft room waiting for their turn to be in the knitting rotation.

Speaking of comments, I've neglected answering a few questions. Most often, I can't reply to comments via email because Blogger doesn't always give me an address.

Kellistarr asked how I did the cast on with the fur for the fingerless mitts. I used the crochet over the needle method and it worked out well. If you're not familiar with this method, it is very similar to the provisional crochet cast on, only instead of just chaining x stitches, you actually chain over a knitting needle.

A quick tutorial in pictures:

1. Make a slip knot and place the resulting loop on a crochet hook. Hold the tail and knitting needle together with your left hand. Tension the working end of the yarn with your left hand, making sure it is fed under the knitting needle as in the below photo.

2. Take the crochet hook over the knitting needle, yarn over, and draw through loop on crochet hook as in below photo.

3. The working end of the yarn will wind up on top of the knitting needle as in below photo.

4. Take working end of yarn around knitting needle so that is once again under the needle as it was when beginning your cast on. You should now have one stitch on the needle, and a loop on the crochet hook ready to cast on the next stitch. Repeat these steps until you have one less stitch than is needed. Your final stitch will be the loop left on the crochet hook. Place this loop on the needle, and you are ready to start knitting.

I love the edge this cast on gives. I believe it resembles most closely the look of a bind off, and use it quite frequently on items such as scarves or stoles where I want both ends to look the same.

Kellistarr also asked for some advice on preventing ladders in knitting, and said that she thought my knitting looked neat and tidy. LOL I always thought I was the queen of ladders. I guess photos help hide that little quirk in my knitting!

I normally don't stress overly about ladders unless they are really really bad. Most times, a good blocking once the item is finished gets rid of the ladder effect. I get ladders when I use double points most often, but I also get them sometimes in cabled items. They show up between the cable and the following purl stitch. I find these even themselves out in blocking too.

If you find that you are getting ladders in ribbing and are knitting flat, this little trick might work. When you do your purl stitches, wrap the yarn backwards around the needle (clockwise insead of counterclockwise. When you do your next row, knit all the knit stitches through the back loop. Wrapping backwards creates a tighter stitch, and knitting through the back loop untwists the twist you put into the stitch.

This method can be used anywhere you get ladders, including knitting in the round. Just be careful that you are untwisting the stitches on the following row. Or not! You might like the look of the twisted stitches.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! I understand the crochet cast on as well as the wrap method now. also, my ladders that I get when using dpn's has vastly improved. I love the magic loop method, plan to learn the two circular method, but don't want to abandon the dpn's because it's a traditional method that I don't want to lose! Your help/tutorial is really appreciated.