Showing posts with label knit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label knit. Show all posts

Knitting Technique: 3 Ways to Weave in Loose Ends

Knitting Techniques: 3 ways to weave in the yarn tails on sctockinette stitch - duplicate stitch, zig-zag and diagonal methods

I have yet to meet a knitter that enjoys weaving in the loose ends. But after spending hours, days or even months creating a knit piece, neatly tucking in those yarn tails is necessary to give your work that finished look.

Although some people would strongly disagree with what I'm about to say, there's no single "right" way to weave in the ends. It depends a lot on what you have made, the stitches in your design and the type of yarn you have used.

No matter how you choose to weave in the ends, there are three important guidelines to consider:
  • The yarn ends must be secure so your work doesn't unravel after the first wash.
  • The yarn ends must be inconspicuous so they don't detract from your design.
  • The yarn ends should be woven in so they do not interfere with the elasticity of your fabric.
When you are knitting a pieced garment, like a sweater, it's not unusual to weave the loose ends into a seam. For items like hats, scarves, blankets and socks, it can be a little trickier.

I knit up a little stockinette swatch to demonstrate three different ways to weave in your yarn tails - the Duplicate Stitch method, a zig-zag method and a diagonal method.

Duplicate Stitch

Many experienced knitters will tell you that using the Duplicate Stitch is the proper way to weave in the ends. The idea of the Duplicate Stitch is to copy the path of one row of stitches, on the wrong side of your knitting, as you weave in the end of the yarn, hence the name.

For demonstration purposes I knit one row of my white swatch in a green so you can easily see exactly which stitches you need to duplicate.

When I stretch my work out a little bit, you can see the path of the stitches. If you look at the non-horizontal strands of the green stitches you can see a pattern, that looks something like this / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ .

Notice there are two (white) rows of horizontal bars between the top an bottom of my green stitches. That's where the magic happens.

Slip your needle diagonally up and to the right
You are tracing the / part of the stitch.
Slip your needle down and to the left.
That's the \ of the stitch.
Again up and to the right.
Another /.
Down and to the left.
So far you have \ /\ / .
Continue in the same pattern for a few stitches until your yarn is secured.

This is the wrong side.
Even though I used a contrasting yarn color, you can hardly see the duplicated stitches on the right side of my sample.

Zig-Zag

The Zig-Zag is my favorite method for weaving in loose ends because it is very inconspicuous and does not add as much bulk as the Duplicate Stitch.

I have placed my needle next to the strands that I'll be working into.
Lifting one horizontal strand at a time, pull the yarn diagonally through about 4-6 stitches.
Then do the same going down in the other direction. In a real piece of work I would continue my zig-zag on a little farther.

Again, this is the wrong side.
And this is the right side. I have framed the zig-zag with my fingers and you can see the contrasting yarn barely shows.

Diagonal

This method is very secure, but it is a little more bulky and noticeable than the other two methods.

Like the zig-zag, you want to pull your yarn diagonally through the horizontal strands.
However, instead of going under every strand on the diagonal, pull the yarn through every other strand.
Now, pull the yarn back through the skipped strands.

The tension of the fabric holds the yarn tail very tightly.
On the right side the weaving is somewhat visible, but this would not be as much of an issue when you are weaving in the end of yarn in the same color.
Now finish up those WIPs and UFOs and don't forget to weave in your ends. Happy knititng!




Stitch of the Month: Brick and Mortar Stitch

Learn how to knit the Brick and Mortar Stitch

This month I'd like to share a simple colorwork stitch that looks almost as cool on the wrong side as the right side.

The stitch is called the Brick and Mortar Stitch, aka Brick Stitch or Brick Wall stitch. It is worked in two colors across a multiple of 4 sts +1.



Row 1 (RS): With Color A, k all sts.
Row 2 (WS): With Color B, [sl 1, p3] to last stitch, sl 1.
Row 3: With Color B, sl 1, [k3, sl 1] across.
Row 4: With Color A, p all sts.
Row 5: With Color A, k all sts.
Row 6: With Color B, [p2, sl 1, p1] to last st, p1.
Row 7: With Color B, k1, [k1, sl1, k2] across.
Row 8: With Color A, p all sts.

Repeat Rows 1-8 for the desired length.
This is what the stitch looks like on the wrong side. There's a very subtle texture.

The "wrong side" of the knit Brick and Mortar Stitch

Ready to try a pattern incorporating the Brick and Mortar Stitch? You may enjoy "1 Sock, 2 Sock, Red Sock, Blue Sock" from my pattern shop.


Happy knitting!



Knitting a No Gap Afterthought Heel

How to avoid unsightly gaps when knitting an afterthought sock heel.

In my last post I showed you how to mark and pick up the stitches for an afterthought sock heel. Today, let's look at how to actually knit the heel so it's neat and tidy with no ugly gaps.

When we left off, you had just removed the piece of waste yarn that marked your heel placement and things looked like this.
The first thing you need to do is divide your stitches.

For my example, I am working my heel around 40 sts. I leave 20 sts on one dpn and divide the remaining 20 sts evenly across two dpns. If you prefer, you can divide your sts evenly across 4 needles or even use the magic loop method.
Usually your pattern will tell you where to join your yarn. For my example, I am going to join between the two 10-stitch needles.

Knit to the first gap. You'll notice the gap is kind of wide. Picking up two stitches in the gap closes that space.

To pick up the first stitch, look at the 'V' stitch two rounds below and one stitch to the left of the stitch you just worked into.
Pick up the right leg of the 'V'
Next, look at the strand exiting the stitch you just worked into and pick it up.
Knit those two lifted strands together.
Instead of 10 stitches on my right needle, there are 11.
Now you need to pick up a stitch on the other side of the gap.

Look at the 'V' stitch two rounds below and one stitch to the right of the next stitch.
Lift the left leg of the 'V'.
Now lift the strand that enters the next stitch.
Lift both strands onto the left needle and knit them together.
Pull the stitch snugly and then continue knitting to the next gap.
 Again, we need to pick up two stitches in the gap.

Look at the 'V' shape stitch two rounds below and one to the left of the stitch you just knit into.
Pick up the right leg of the 'V'
Then look for the strand exiting the stitch you just knit into. (This one can be a little tricky.) Lift the strand.
Knit the two strands together.
Just one more stitch to pick up.

Look at the 'V' shaped stitch two rounds below and one stitch to the right of the next stitch.
Lift up the left leg of the 'V'.
Lift up the strand leading into the next stitch.
Lift both strands onto the left needle and knit them together.
Pull the stitch snugly then knit to the beginning of the heel.
After picking up two stitches on each side of the heel I have 22 sts on one needle and 11 stitches on each of the other needles.
Now that everything is set up, it's time to put a little thought into our afterthought heel.

When you are shaping an afterthought heel you typically use paired decreases. This simply means you decrease two stitches on each side of the heel.

There are a variety of styles of paired decreases that you can choose from. Today let's use a banded, paired decrease.

Knit to 3 stitches before the gap. Knit 2 stitches together and then knit the last stitch.
On the next needle, knit one stitch, slip two stitches individually knitwise then knit them together.
Knit to the last three stitches before the gap.

Knit two stitches together then knit the next stitch.
On the last needle, knit one stitch, slip two stitches individually knitwise then knit them together.
Knit to the beginning of the round.

Knit one round without decreases.
For a longer heel, make paired decreases every other round for the desired length.

I prefer to work the paired decreases every other round until half of my stitches remain and then work the paired decreases every round until 8-12 stitches remain.

Finally, use the Kitchener Stitch to join the bottom of the heel.

Here's both the left and right sides of my afterthought heel.

Sock knitting tutorial: How to knit the perfect afterthought heel

Happy sock knitting!