Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Useful Information

First, thank you to everyone who left comments about my Halloween costumes. I love your comments! Especially on those days that I don't get out much, having a blog makes me feel like I have a party going on in my living room, and we're all in there talking about our projects, and there are people there who get it, and care about my little stuff.

Thank you thank you thank you!

So, I was lucky enough to actually be at a little knitting party this weekend, which was wonderful, (Hi Carla! Hi Jodee!) and I was knitting away on my Willow, and someone noticed that I was cabling without a cable needle. I was thrilled to find several people to whom I could demonstrate how awesome and easy it is. I learned a few years back, at Wendy's site. Definitely go there and try it, you will never use a cable needle again (except for stirring coffee, or poking people).

And then, I was knitting at home on the armhole decreases, and I remembered this really useful piece of information that I learned a few years ago from the knitlist, and I thought it might be a handy thing to share here.

Most people know by now, when doing decreases on the armhole or neck, to make a SSK for the left-leaning-decrease, and a K2T for the right-leaning decrease.

And most of the time, you will have instructions (for one side of a cardigan) like, say:
(RS) Bind off 5 stitches
(WS) K one row
(RS) dec. 1 stitch at the armhole edge this row and every alternate row 4 times.

Fine. You are always decreasing on the right side of the fabric, and so you know to do a SSK or a K2T, depending on what side you are on.

But what if it says this:
(RS) Bind off 5 stitches
(WS) K one row
(RS) dec. one stitch next 3 rows.
Then dec. one stitch alternate rows 3 times.

When you have to decrease one stitch next 3 rows, you will be decreasing sometimes on the wrong side of the fabric, so what do you use? You are decreasing on the wrong side, and you want the stitch to lean a certain way on the right side. Well, you could do what I did for awhile and fudge it, so it looks like crap.

Or, you could learn these 2 more decreases:

For the K2T side, it is easy, you always pair it with P2T on the wrong side, and it will lean the same way.

For the SSK side, it is trickier. You need to use a Purl 2 together, through the back loop. I attempt to show with my crappy close up photos:

Here I am after binding off the 5 stitches, and I've done one SSK on the right side, I'm purling across the back, ready to do a P2TBL (but I'm showing you what it looks like on the front, so far):

Here I am at the last 3 stitches:

The trick is, you really have to turn that fabric around, and go in from the opposite side, (the front, in this case) first through the 2nd stitch on your LH needle, then the 1st stitch, both as if to purl:

Here I am scooping my yarn and purling it through:

This is what it looks like from the front--see how there are 2 rows of leaning stitches?:

Now I have done the third row of decreasing, another SSK on the front side:

And I had to do the same thing on the neckline, see those decreases traveling up the neck? Those are K2Ts paired with P2Ts on the backside:

I expect you can understand it better from my words than from the photos. I just think that this is one of the most helpful pieces of knitting information I ever learned, and I wanted to pass it on.
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Blogger Lauren said...

About Survivor, this season keeps surprising me but I'm going to go with Judd. I have no idea what I'll be knitting!

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Jan said...

Aren't you playing anymore? Come on, Emily! Who's leaving tonight?
I have to say, this year's not grabbing me. I still have to go to the site to see who's left before I vote. It didn't help that two that I KNEW got voted off last week.
Anyhow, I've been voting for Judd, but I think he strengthened his position last week so I think I'll vote for Amy. And I'll be knitting on some socks.

3:26 PM  

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