Showing posts with label tutorial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tutorial. Show all posts

Whale Done Socks KAL: Reading a Stitch Chart


This lesson is the third in the Whale Done Socks skill building KAL. If you need to review any lessons, links are available in the KAL Introduction. If you would like a printable copy of the entire pattern, the Whale Done Socks Pattern is available in my shop.

Lesson 3: Reading a Stitch Chart

For visual learners like me, stitch charts make knitting much more understandable. They are just a graphical representation of the stitches. Each stitch is shown with a specific symbol.

The numbers on the side of the chart correspond to your row or round number. If the number is on the right side of the chart, it means you work that row or round with the right side of your knitting facing you. If the number is on the left side of the chart, it means you work that row with the wrong side of your knitting facing you.

For our sock, the 32 instep stitches (the top of the foot) are going to be worked in two repeats of the Whale Tails pattern and we're working in rounds with the right side of our work facing.

One repeat of the The Whale Tails pattern is written out:

Rnd 1: p1, k3, k2tog, k1, yo, p2, yo, k1, skpo, k3, p1
Rnd 2: p1, k6, p2, k6, p1
Rnd 3: p1, k2, k2tog, k1, yo, k1, p2, k1, yo, k1, skpo, k2, p1
Rnd 4: p1, k6, p2, k6, p1
Rnd 5: p1, k1, k2tog, k1, yo, k2, p2, k2, yo, k1, skpo, k1, p1
Rnd 6: p1, k6, p2, k6, p1
Rnd 7: p1, k2tog, k1, yo, k3, p2, k3, yo, k1, skpo, p1
Rnd 8: p1, k6, p2, k6, p1

In chart form, one repeat of the pattern looks like this. Do you see the whale tails?
If you need a quick refresher on abbreviations:
  • k - knit
  • p - purl
  • k2tog - knit two stitches together
  • skpo - slip one stitch knitwise, knit one, pass the slipped stitch over
  • yo - bring the yarn forward between your needles then over the right needle

Foot Pattern

As you begin the foot, it may be helpful to either divide your stitches evenly around four dpns or use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of your rounds.

Rounds begin and end at the side of the sock.

The first 32 stitches for each foot round are the sole of the sock and worked in stockinette (all knit), the second 32 stitches are the instep and worked in two repeats of the Whale Tail pattern.

Rnd 1: K32, [p1, k3, k2tog, k1, yo, p2, yo, k1, skpo, k3, p1] twice.
Rnd 2, 4, 6, and 8: K32, [p1, k6, p2, k6, p1] twice.
Rnd 3: K32, [p1, k2, k2tog, k1, yo, k1, p2, k1, yo, k1, skpo, k2, p1] twice.
Rnd 5: K32, [p1, k1, k2tog, k1, yo, k2, p2, k2, yo, k1, skpo, k1, p1] twice.
Rnd 7: K32, [p1, k2tog, k1, yo, k3, p2, k3, yo, k1, skpo, p1] twice.

Repeat Rnds 1-8 five more times.

Share Your Progress


Here are my socks so far. Post a picture of your sock on Facebook and/or Instagram with #thechillydog and tag me @thechillydog. Then share a link to your post on the KAL Giveaway page to earn entries for a chance to win a knitty treat.
In the next lesson (available August 22, 2017) we'll learn How to Knit the First Half of a Shadow Wrapped Short Row Heel.
Whale Done Socks KAL Tutorial: How to read a knitting stitch chart

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Whale Done Socks KAL: Star Toes


This lesson is the second in the Whale Done Socks skill building KAL. If you need to review any lessons, links are available in the KAL Introduction. If you would like a printable copy of the entire pattern, the Whale Done Socks Pattern is available in my shop.

Lesson 2: Star Toes


Many knit sock patterns use banded or paired decrease toes. When possible, I prefer knitting star toes because they have a more rounded, natural shape and since the increased stitches are evenly spaced around your work, the toe feels sturdier and is less prone to laddered stitches at the sides.

The increase rounds for star toes have eight, evenly spaced increases. To create the rounded toe shape, you work:

  • one increase round then one round even
  • one increase round then two rounds even
  • one increase round then three rounds even
  • one increase round then four rounds even
  • one increase round then five rounds even

Continue increasing in the same pattern until your sock is the desired circumference.

The increase stitch is abbreviated m1 and just means, make one stitch by lifting the strand between the needles with the left needle tip and knit the strand through the back loop.


After our first lesson we had cast on and worked one round, eight stitches, of the toe. The next round is an increase round, so we are going to increase eight stitches, one between each stitch we knit.


First knit one stitch.


Next, find the strand of yarn that's leading into the next stitch. On this first round, where the stitches are kind of tight, it's easiest to lift this strand with the right needle tip and place it onto the left needle tip. In later rounds, you will be able to immediately lift it with the left needle.


Make sure that your left needle goes under the lifted strand from the front to the back.


Knit one stitch into the back leg of the lifted strand.


You have just increased one stitch!


Knit one.


Find the strand that leads into the next stitch and lift it with your right needle and slip it onto your left, making sure that your left needle goes under the lifted strand from the front to the back


Knit one stitch into the back leg of the lifted strand.


Now you have increased two stitches. Finish the round by working k1, m1, k1, m1... until you have 16 stitches on your needles.


Turn your work so that the first stitch of the next round is on the far right of the back needle. You may notice that your cast on stitches have stretched out again. Simply tighten them as shown in Lesson 1. Working from right to left use your needle tip to lift and tighten the first strand that slants up and to the right.


Then lift and gently tighten the strand that runs beneath it.


Continue across the cast on row until all the cast on stitches have been tightened.


Continue working the toe as the pattern indicates. When it's comfortable you can divide your work evenly around 4 dpns. (If you prefer using the magic loop method to knit socks, that is perfectly fine, but be aware that all of the tutorials for the KAL are shown on dpns.)

Toe Pattern


The cast on and Rnd 1 were completed in the first lesson, so continuing on...

Rnd 2: [K1, m1] 8 times.
Rnd 3: K16.
Rnd 4: [K2, m1] 8 times.
Rnd 5-6: K24.
Rnd 7: [K3, m1] 8 times.
Rnd 8-10: K32.
Rnd 11: [K4, m1] 8 times.
Rnd 12-15: K40.
Rnd 16: [K5, m1] 8 times.
Rnd 17-21: K48.
Rnd 22: [K6, m1] 8 times.
Rnd 23-28: K56.
Rnd 29: [K7, m1] 8 times.

Share Your Progress



Here's my sock so far. Post a picture of your sock on Facebook and/or Instagram with #thechillydog and tag me @thechillydog. Then share a link to your post on the KAL Giveaway page to earn entries for a chance to win a knitty treat.

In the next lesson (available August 15, 2017) we'll continue with the Whale Tail Stitch for the Foot.
Whale Done Socks KAL Tutorial: Learn how to knit star toes for toe up socks

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Whale Done Socks KAL: Figure 8 Cast On

Video Tutorial: Figure Eight Cast on Method for knitting toe up socks.

Are your ready to start knitting your Whale Done Socks?

Before we begin, make sure you have read the KAL Introduction and have your materials ready to go. If you would like a printable copy of the entire pattern, the Whale Done Socks Pattern is available in my shop.

Lesson 1: Figure Eight Cast On

Knitting toe up socks may feel a little awkward at first, but it has a few very nice benefits that you don't get when working socks from the leg down.
  1. It's easy to try the sock on as you go to make sure it is perfectly sized.
  2. You don't have to play "Yarn Chicken" when you are knitting socks with leftover yarn. After the foot of the sock is made, you can simply make the leg longer or shorter to suit your needs.
  3. There's no toe grafting.
Like anything, this method takes a little bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it, it only takes a few seconds to cast on and knit the first round of your socks.

Here's how it works.



Now it's your turn!

Toe Pattern

Cast on 8 sts using a Figure Eight cast on.

Rnd 1: K8.

In the next lesson (available August 10, 2017) we'll continue and learn How to Knit Star Toes.

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Whale Done Socks KAL


I am so excited to announce my first ever knit along (KAL) here on The Chilly Dog. A lot of bloggers and pattern designers do mystery knit alongs, where the finished design is a surprise and you get a new clue each week. I am taking a different approach by doing a skill building KAL.

We'll be making my Whale Done Socks and I am going to walk you step by step through the entire pattern with helpful tutorials.

Required Skills

There are a few things you should be able to do before you tackle this KAL:
  • work in both rounds and rows
  • use dpns (or circular knitting needles if you are already familiar with magic loop sock knitting)
  • knit and purl
  • increase a stitch by making a yo (yarn over)
  • decrease a stitch with k2tog and skpo (knit 2 together and slip, knit, pass slipped stitch over)
That's not so bad, is it?

KAL Calendar

Each week, I'll focus on teaching you how to knit a specific section of the sock, starting from the toe up. Here's the schedule (the links won't be active until the date listed next to them):

Week 1 - The Toe
Week 2 - The Foot
Week 3 - The Heel
Prizes

If you would like to receive reminder emails, with links to each week's tutorials, make sure to sign-up for notifications at http://eepurl.com/bcCQTv.

Materials

As far as materials, I'm going to be using

  • one skein (1.75 oz/50 g, 220 yd/200 m) of Skacel CoBaSi by HiKoo Yarn
  • US size 2 (2.75 mm) dpns

The KAL pattern makes a medium women's size sock (sock circumference = 8 inches, sock length = 9 1/2 inches). I'm going to knit my socks with short ankles (as shown in the photo above). If you would like the leg of your socks to be taller, you will definitely need a second skein of the recommended yarn.

You can also use a different (1-super fine) yarn, if you prefer. Just make sure that your yarn/needle combo gives you a gauge of 32 sts or 42 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch. I know you don't want to, but take the time and CHECK YOUR GAUGE before you start knitting your socks.

The Pattern

If you would like a printable version of the pattern as you work, you can find the Whale Done Socks Pattern in my shop.

Oh Yeah, Did Somebody Say Prizes?

Finally, I would love to see your progress throughout the month, so if you share pictures of your work on Facebook or Instagram, make sure to use #thechillydog and tag me @thechillydog, so you can enter my Whale Done Socks KAL Giveaway (August 3 - September 15, 2017) for a chance to win a little treat.

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How to Make a Niddy Noddy to Skein and Measure Yarn

A pvc niddy noddy costs less than $5 to make and helps you measure yarn as you skein it.

Until I recently started spinning, I never really had the need to skein my own yarn. (Unless, of course, you count that time I had to rewash a cake of indie dyed yarn that was bleeding.)

There is a simple tool called a niddy noddy that can help you quickly wind up a skein of yarn. You may be able to purchase a niddy noddy at your local yarn store, or even online, but making one ridiculously easy and costs less than $5.

I did a little math when I was making my niddy noddy so that I could use it to measure my yarn, as well as skein it.

Materials

  • 5 feet of 1/2 inch pvc
  • 2 - 1/2 inch pvc T connectors
  • hacksaw or pipe cutter (optional)
  • ruler (optional) 

Directions


If you have a hacksaw or pipe cutter, it's easy to measure and cut your own pvc. If not, your local hardware store can usually cut it for you for a small fee.

Cut four 5-inch lengths of pvc for the ends of the niddy noddy.

The shaft length of the niddy noddy determines how long your skein will be.
  • 7 1/4 inch long shaft = 1 yd skein
  • 13 1/4 inch long shaft = 1 1/2 yd skein
  • 16 1/4 inch long shaft = 2 yd skein

I cut one of each length. If you only want one of the sizes, you'll be able to purchase a shorter length of pvc.

Dimensions to make a niddy noddy to measure and skein yarn in 1, 1.5 and 2 yd lengths

The 5-inch pieces slide into each side of the top of the "T" and the shaft goes in the middle. Then twist the ends so they are perpendicular to each other.

Wind your yarn as close to the center "T" connector as possible remembering not to pull you fiber too tightly. Secure the yarn ends and twist your yarn into a neat hank.


Happy spinning!


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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!


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How to Rescue Bleeding Yarn

How to Rescue Bleeding Yarn: What to do when your indie dyed yarn is bleeding

Late last year I participated in #getyouryarnwishesgranted on Instagram. I wished for a skein of something indie dyed and within minutes I had two perfect strangers offer to send me some yarn. I love the fiber community! One of the skeins even fit perfectly into my favorite colorways, turquoise and lime. It was love at first sight.

Then I started knitting a gauge swatch and my hands turned blue. I was heartbroken. I hid the yarn at the bottom of my stash for nearly 6 months. It was so pretty that I couldn't throw it away, but I didn't want to use it for fear it would lose all its color as soon as I washed it.

Luckily, there is a great LYS, Grandma's Spinning Wheel, on our side of town. Vicky, the owner, talked me through the process of how to save my yarn. I set to work as soon as I got home.

My yarn was already wound into a ball, so the first step was to skein it to maximize the surface area of the yarn. I'm not a dyer, so I don't have a fancy tool to do this. Instead, I taped the end of the yarn to the top of a dining room chair.
Then I wound the yarn around the chair back and when I was done I used a couple thick pieces of string to secure both yarn tails and hold the skein together.
As you can see, after doing this, my fingers were blue.
My skein looked pretty good, though.
Next I soaked the yarn in a mixture of very hot (almost boiling) water and white vinegar until the water cooled completely.

I was a little worried when I lifted the yarn out because the water was still crystal clear.
I gave the yarn a good rinse with cool water.
After rinsing I used a towel to blot out as much moisture as possible.
Then the skein sat overnight on my sweater drying rack.
Once it was completely dry I wound it back into a ball.

Even though I have a yarn ball winder, I don't have a swift, so I resorted to another low-tech solution. I draped the skein over my studio trash can to keep the yarn from tangling as I wound.
And finally the true test. I knit up a swatch and this time my fingers weren't blue. Now I can happily knit up my next favorite pair of socks.

How to Rescue Bleeding Yarn: What to do when your indie dyed yarn is bleeding

So thank you Vicky for your advice and helping me rescue my bleeding skein of yarn!


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