April Knit Along!

KPHKALyarn-opt3

April KAL – Kaika

Join me April 2nd for a delightful toe up sock pattern featuring Japanese stitches.

KPHtemplate_materials

  • Wolkenspiel dyed by Schmutzerella, “Let’s Make a Teal”, 80% Extrafine Superwash Merino Wool, 20% Nylon, 437 yards/100g, one skein
  • US #1 (2.5mm) or size needed to obtain gauge. Pattern may be knit with double points or 32” circular needle for magic loop method.
  • Removable pins or markers (bobby pins may be substituted). Small – 18 pins, medium – 22 pins, large – 24 pins.

KPHtemplate_gauge

Approx. 8.25 sts = 1” in stockinette.

KPHtemplate_size

Women’s Small, Medium and Large.

Small – leg circumference measures approximately 6 1/2” unstretched and stretches comfortably to 11”.

Medium – leg circumference measures approximately 8” unstretched and stretches comfortably to 14”.

Large – leg circumference measures approximately 9” unstretched and stretches comfortably to 16”.

Posted in Kaika, KAL News | 26 Responses

Endgame – Part 4

endgame7

The cables were successfully inverted in Part 3 and it is time to complete our reversible scarf.  Typically, it is rather easy to distinguish the cast on edge from the bind off edge.  However, in Endgame, you will need a magnifying glass to tell the difference between the two.  It is truly a bit of wonder!  (See photo below.)

endgame8

Before we get to the bind off, I hope you remembered to end Part 3 after working Row 5. This brings us to the Wrong Side of the scarf where a Decrease Row is worked.  After the decreases, the stitch count is returned to 42 stitches.  At this point, change back to the smaller needles for the ribbing.  Work the ribbing as in Part 1 for 3″ ending after a Wrong Side Row.

Now for the fabulous bind off!  Endgame concludes with the Tubular Bind Off – an invisible edge that you will want to incorporate into many future projects.  As usual, I have a detailed video to help you with every step but I will give a quick synopsis here.  See Tubular Bind Off  video.

To begin the Tubular Bind Off, start with Right Side facing and separate the stitches onto two needles.  Double points are handy for this, but are not necessary.  (You can use your spare needles and I demonstrate this in the video.)  Hold the two needle tips parallel.  Place the knit stitches on the front needle and the purl stitches on the back needle.  The last two stitches of the row are both knit stitches.  Place the first stitch of this pair on the front needle and the second stitch of the pair on the back needle.

Cut the yarn tail at least 24″ in length and thread onto a tapestry needle.  Graft the stitches together using the Kitchener Stitch.  You will quickly see that the edge has the same qualities as the Tubular Cast On – the stitches just seem to roll over the end!  I demonstrate the Kitchener Stitch in the Tubular Bind Off video, but a more detailed lesson is given in the Kitchener Stitch video.

The Tubular Bind Off has many useful applications.  Not only does it work beautifully for k2, p2 rib, it is also a perfect bind off for k1, p1 rib and double knitting.

In reversible fabrics, I prefer to weave in my ends with the Duplicate Stitch.  This extra step will expertly hide your tails to preserve the reversibility of the scarf.  Watch the Duplicate Stitch video for a tutorial.

The final step in Endgame is to block the scarf.  There are many reasons to block and I can’t sing its praises enough.  Most importantly, wet blocking will soften the fibers in Kenzie and release a soft halo to the stitches.  The blocking will plump the stitches and even out the stitch work.  Blocking can straighten the piece and even mask mistakes.  I strongly encourage you to give your scarf this essential treatment.  You can expertly block Endgame with either pins or blocking wires.  I have videos for both choices – Blocking and Blocking with Wires.

Here are my blocked scarves, short in Kiwi (left) and long in Boysenberry (right).

endgame short  endgame long

For your convenience, I have a condensed version of the entire pattern available for download in my Pattern Shop or on Ravelry.

I hope you enjoyed the KAL and are pleased with your scarf and the new techniques learned along with it.  With so many choices available, I am honored that you choose to knit with me.  I had the best time following your progress and celebrating your successes!

I am so excited for the next installment of the Progressive Needles Knit Along!  We return in April with Kaika, a toe up sock pattern that features Japanese-inspired stitches.  Also included are a heel and bind off new to the series.

KPHKALyarn-opt3

Best of all, I am so proud to announce that Kaika will be knit with a yarn especially created for our KAL!  The minds at Skacel teamed up with the dyeing expertise of Schmutzerella to bring you this unsurpassed sock yarn.  The soft and lofty yarn was specially dyed to create the sumptuous color way, “Let’s Make a Teal!”  This limited edition yarn will be available while quantities last.  I can’t wait to share the yarn, techniques and stitches with you this spring!  Scroll to the bottom of this post for a complete supply list.

Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to receive an email reminder before the KAL.

Until April, happy knitting!

Michelle

Part Four

Click here to download printable version

KPHtemplate_abbreviations

k2tog – knit two together. See K2tog Video

sl – slip. See Slip Stitch Video

wyif – with yarn in front.

KPHtemplate_instructions

Decrease Row

With WS facing:

K2, k2tog, k1, p2, *k2, p2; repeat from * to last 5 sts, k1, k2tog, sl 2 wyif. (42 sts)

 

Rib

Switch to smaller needles.

Row 1. (RS) *K2, p2; repeat from * to last 2 sts, sl 2 wyif.

Row 2. K4, *p2, k2; repeat from * to last 2 sts, sl 2 wyif.

Repeat above two rows until ribbing measures 3” ending after Row 2.

 

Tubular Bind Off – See Tubular Bind Off  Video

Cut the yarn leaving a 24” tail and thread onto a tapestry needle.

With right side facing, divide the stitches onto two double pointed needles as follows:

  • Place the knit stitches on one needle and hold in the front.
  • Place the purl stitches on a second needle and hold it parallel and behind the front needle.
  • For last two I-cord stitches, place first stitch of the pair on the front needle and the last stitch on the back needle.

Using tail, bind off stitches using Kitchener Stitch. See Kitchener Stitch Video

Weave in ends using Duplicate Stitch. See Duplicate Stitch Video

Block to desired dimensions. See Blocking or Blocking with Wires Video

KPHtemplate_confessionsKnit

Reversible knitting –

it’s how knitters look good from every angle!

April KAL – Kaika

KPHtemplate_materials

  • Wolkenspiel dyed by Schmutzerella, “Let’s Make a Teal”, 80% Extrafine Superwash Merino Wool, 20% Nylon, 437 yards/100g, one skein
  • US #1 (2.5mm) or size needed to obtain gauge. Pattern may be knit with double points or 32” circular needle for magic loop method.
  • Removable pins or markers (bobby pins may be substituted). Small – 18 pins, medium – 22 pins, large – 24 pins.

KPHtemplate_gauge

Approx. 8.25 sts = 1” in stockinette.

KPHtemplate_size

Women’s Small, Medium and Large.

Small – leg circumference measures approximately 6 1/2” unstretched and stretches comfortably to 11”.

Medium – leg circumference measures approximately 8” unstretched and stretches comfortably to 14”.

Large – leg circumference measures approximately 9” unstretched and stretches comfortably to 16”.

Posted in Endgame | 5 Responses

Endgame – Part 3

 

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I hope you had a grand time knitting the center section of Endgame!  Isn’t it amazing how a few simple modifications can create a whole new cable?  I’ve always said that cables are the best bang for your buck in knitting – not a lot of work, but big results.

Did you guess that the next section of our scarf will be a reversal of Part 1?  You are correct!  Part 3 turns the cable in Part 1 upside down for a horseshoe cable that points downward.  This 180 degree turn gives the scarf complete reversibility and identical ends.  The cable inverts by changing the order of the cables once again.  In Row 3, work the C8F followed by the C8B.

Chart C is a twelve row repeat with the cables worked on Row 3.  To keep the ends identical, the number of repeats is slightly different for this end because it borrows a cable from the center design.  (Have faith – it works out!)  The short version will work the repeat 9 times.  The long version will work the repeat 11 times.  Both versions will then knit an additional 5 rows, ending after Row 5.

Once this is complete, rest your needles and get ready for a beautiful bind off to match our invisible cast on.

Happy knitting,

Michelle

Part Three

Click here to download printable version

KPHtemplate_abbreviations

C8B – slip next 4 stitches onto cable needle and hold in back of work. Over next four stitches on left hand needle, k1, p2, k1. Work the four stitches from cable needle, k1, p2, k1. See Cables Video

C8F – slip next 4 stitches onto cable needle and hold in front of work. Over next four stitches on left hand needle, k1, p2, k1. Work the four stitches from cable needle, k1, p2, k1. See Cables Video

sl – slip. See Slip Stitch Video

wyif – with yarn in front.

KPHtemplate_instructions

Work Rows 1-12, 9 (11) times using written instructions or Chart C (below). Then, work 5 additional rows, ending after Row 5.

Row 1. (RS) K2, p3, k6, p3, k1, (p2, k2) 3 times, p2, k1, p3, k6, p3, sl 2 wyif.

Row 2 and all wrong side rows. K5, p2, k2, p2, k3, p1, (k2, p2) 3 times, k2, p1, k3, p2, k2, p2, k3, sl 2 wyif.

Row 3. K2, p3, k6, p3, C8F, C8B, p3, k6, p3, sl 2 wyif

Rows 5, 7, 9, 11. Same as Row 1.

endgameC

 

Posted in Endgame | 7 Responses

Endgame – Part 2

I hope you are quite pleased with your Endgame progress!  Have you turned the scarf over to admire the lovely wrong side?  How can this side be “wrong” when it is so pretty?!?  One of my test knitters actually prefers the wrong side.  I just love that no matter how I wrap the scarf, it will show off some gorgeous cables.  The cables are reversible because they are comprised of a 1 x 1 rib (k1, p1) which is a reversible stitch pattern.  Non-reversible cables are worked in stockinette with purl stitches on the wrong side.  Below is my scarf with right side (pictured on left) and wrong side (pictured on right).

endgame4  endgame5

Besides an obsession with reversibility, I also love when a cable flows gently into another design.  Notice how the ribbing works itself neatly into the cable pattern above.

Part Two transitions the cable design in Section A into a new cable that will grace the center of the scarf.  In Section B, the number of pattern rows are doubled to 24 rows.  The pattern continues to work cables on Row 3 but adds a new cable on Row 15.  The cable in Row 15 is worked nearly the same, except the first cable is held to the front (C8F) and the second cable is held to the back (C8B).  By reversing the order of the cable stitches, we are able to completely change the design.   Section A gave us a horseshoe cable, while Section B creates beautiful cable rings.  It’s magic!  Scroll down to the bottom of the post if you would like to see the center cable design.

When I am knitting from a chart containing multiple cable stitches, I color code the chart to help me work the correct cable.  You can highlight the C8B cables in one color and C8F cables in a different color.  Note the colors in the Chart Key for easy reference.  This tip keeps mistakes to a minimum.

The shorter version will work Section B five times and the longer version will work Section B seven times.

I have designed Endgame with ample yardage.  I am confident that each of you will have enough yarn to complete the scarf – that assumes that you worked a gauge swatch!  I recommend that you assess your remaining yarn at the halfway point of the scarf.  Halfway for the short version is after 2 1/2 repeats of Section B.  Halfway for the longer version is after 3 1/2 repeats of Section B.

The easiest way to determine yardage is to weigh the scarf.  (A digital food scale is very handy for this task and is available at most large stores.)  At the halfway point, the short version should weigh approx. 65g and the large version approx. 83g.  If your weights are similar to mine, forge ahead.  If you are using considerably more yarn, you may want to eliminate a repeat of Section B.  Most knitters will have plenty of yardage remaining at the end of the scarf – especially the long version.  You are welcome to add another repeat of Section B if you care for an even longer scarf.

The center of the scarf knits up surprisingly quick.  The pattern is familiar so you can zip on through.  Remember to keep careful track of your rows and pay strict attention to the cable directions!

I’m on the move again today as I travel to Phoenix for The Needle Arts Trade Show (TNNA).  If you are attending, I will be in the Skacel booth all weekend so please stop by. I’ll be checking in on your progress between planes, trains and automobiles!

Until next week, happy knitting!

Michelle

Part Two

Click here to download printable version

KPHtemplate_abbreviations

C8B – slip next 4 stitches onto cable needle and hold in back of work. Over next four stitches on left hand needle, k1, p2, k1. Work the four stitches from cable needle, k1, p2, k1. See Cables Video

C8F – slip next 4 stitches onto cable needle and hold in front of work. Over next four stitches on left hand needle, k1, p2, k1. Work the four stitches from cable needle, k1, p2, k1. See Cables Video

sl – slip. See Slip Stitch Video

wyif – with yarn in front.

KPHtemplate_instructions

 

Section B

Work Rows 1-24, 5 (7) times using written instruction below or Chart B (below).

Row 1. (RS) K2, p3, k6, p3, k1, (p2, k2) 3 times, p2, k1, p3, k6, p3, sl 2 wyif.

Row 2 and ALL wrong side rows. K5, p2, k2, p2, k3, p1, (k2, p2) 3 times, k2, p1, k3, p2, k2, p2, k3, sl 2 wyif.

Row 3. K2, p3, k6, p3, C8B, C8F, p3, k6, p3, sl 2 wyif.

Rows 5, 7, 9, 11, 13. Same as Row 1.

Row 15. K2, p3, k6, p3, C8F, C8B, p3, k6, p3, sl 2 wyif.

Rows 17, 19, 21, 23. Same as Row 1.

Chart B

endgameB

 

endgame6

Posted in Endgame, Uncategorized | 21 Responses

Endgame – Part 1

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Happy New Year and welcome to the January 2015 installment of the Progressive Needles Knit Along sponsored by Skacel Collection!  Is it your New Year’s resolution to grow your knitting skills?  Well, you’ve come to the right place.  I’m proud to announce that this is my 5th year of leading these educational knit alongs.  I’m excited to work with our devoted followers along with so many first timers as well.

We kick off 2015 with Endgame, a beautiful unisex scarf knit with the tweedy luxury of Kenzie.  I have some fabulous techniques included in the pattern and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Before we begin, here’s a quick overview of how the KAL works:

  • A portion of the 4-part mystery pattern is revealed here on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Thursday in January.  The weekly pattern, video resources and lots of helpful tips are included in each post.  An abbreviated, pattern-only version is included to download.
  • All techniques are supported with video instruction at knitpurlhunter.com
  • All questions and comments are monitored daily both here and in the Knit Purl Hunter group on Ravelry.  It’s like having  your own private knitting tutor!
  • Projects completed by February 15 are eligible for the monthly prize drawing – first prize is a set of addi Clicks!  See skacelknitting.com for all the info.

We start our scarf with the invisible beauty of the Tubular Cast On worked in K2, P2.  You may have noticed in previous projects that the cast on edge leaves a defined line which can detract from the ribbing.

Below is a k2, p2 rib cast on with the Long Tail method.  The Long Tail Cast On actually adds a row of work to the piece.  After the casting on for flat knitting, the work is turned and reveals a row of purl stitches.  Notice the purl bumps that are visible under each knit stitch along the ribbed edge – these are the cast on stitches.

endgame1

For an invisible edge in rib, I recommend the Tubular Cast On.  Below is the same k2, p2 rib, but cast on with the Tubular method.  The knit and purl stitches just seem to flow to the bottom giving a nice rounded edge. (Click image to enlarge)

endgame2

I have a fabulous video to walk you through all the steps of this cast on, but I will briefly describe them here as well.  This process will yield a beautiful rib with two knit stitches on each end, providing a neatly symmetrical edge.  See Tubular Cast On – K2, P2 video.

  • With smooth, contrasting color waste yarn, cast on 21 stitches, half the number of required stitches,  using any method you prefer.
  • Work four rows of stockinette.
  • Cut waste yarn.  Join project yarn and work three rows of stockinette ending after a knit row.
  • With wrong side facing, *p2, pick up the first loop of the project yarn situated three rows below (purl bump just below the last row of waste yarn) place the loop on the left needle and knit the loop, pick up a second loop and knit it in the same manner. Repeat from * to last pick up loop (one stitch remaining on left needle), work a kfb into the last pick up loop, purl the last stitch on left needle.  The stitch count is now doubled to 42 stitches.
  • Work several rows in k2, p2 rib.  (Note that Endgame’s k2, p2 rib includes an I-cord edge, described below.)
  • Remove waste yarn to reveal tubular edge.

In addition to the cast on edge, every end in Endgame will be gorgeous.  We give the vertical edges the star treatment with a two stitch I-cord.  This trim helps the scarf to lie flat and eliminates those wonky stitches often found at the sides of a scarf.

To work an I-cord edge, simply slip the last two stitches of every row with yarn in front.  The two stitches in the I-cord are slipped as if to purl, but by keeping the yarn in front, we create a small tube on the ends.  You will begin working the I-cord edge in the first row of k2, p2 that starts after the stitches are doubled.  (The I-cord is not worked in the stockinette rows of the cast on.)  The two slipped stitches are included in both the written and charted instructions.  It takes a few rows for the tube to emerge, but I think you will be pleased with the results.

While working the ribbing, I recommend pinning a marker to the Right Side to help distinguish it from the nearly identical Wrong Side.

Work the the ribbing until it measures 3″, ending after a right side row. Work the Set Up Row on the wrong side to increase the stitch count to 44 sts.

Don’t forget to change to the larger size needle to work Section A of the Body.

Now the cable fun begins!  Endgame features magically reversible cables made possible with ribbed stitches.   I encourage you to read the directions for the cable stitches carefully.  The cables are executed in the usual manner, but the cables include both knit and purl stitches.  Slip 4 stitches and hold them to either the front or back of the work (the pattern will direct you). Over next four stitches on left hand needle, k1, p2, k1. Work the four stitches from cable needle as k1, p2, k1. These stitches create a reversible rib within the cable, giving you a scarf that is good looking from every angle!  If you are new to cables, watch my Cables video for a quick tutorial.

I have included both written and charted instructions for the body of Endgame.  If you are unaccustomed to knitting from charts, try your hand at them after watching the Charts video.  Follow whichever style of directions you prefer, and work the twelve-row repeat 10 times for the shorter version and 12 times for the longer version.  After a few rows, you will find that the pattern is fairly easy to memorize.  ALL wrong side rows are worked the same.  ALL right side rows are identical except for the cable row – Row 3.  In Row 3, be sure to hold the stitches in the first cable to the back (C8B) and to the front in the second cable (C8F).  As in all cable patterns, the work is simple making it is easy to zip along and lose track of your row count.  Use sticky notes, hash marks or a row counter to prevent this mistake.

It’s always a good idea to put a Lifeline in your knitting.  This safety net protects your work and allows you to unravel safely past any mistakes.  Consider placing one after completing a successful twelve-row repeat.  You won’t be sorry!  Watch the Lifelines video to learn this essential knitting technique.

While Endgame is a mystery pattern, I have chosen to include a photo of Part One to help you knit with confidence.

endgame3

I will be spending today’s holiday at my sister’s wedding!  I will be online less than usual today to join in the celebration.  I’ll be back in full force tomorrow:)

Happy knitting,

Michelle

Endgame – Part One

Click here to download printable version

KPHtemplate_materials

  • Kenzie by HiKoo, 50% New Zealand merino, 25% nylon, 10% angora, 10% alpaca, 5% silk noils, 3(4) skeins
  • Waste yarn -contrasting color in a similar weight to Kenzie, 10 yards
  • US #6 (4mm) straight or circular needles or size needed to obtain gauge
  • US #7 (4.5mm) straight or circular needles or size needed to obtain gauge
  • Cable needle
  • Tapestry needle

KPHtemplate_size

Approximately 6 ½” wide, Short 56″ and Long 70” long.

KPHtemplate_gauge

20 stitches = 4” in stockinette using larger needle.

KPHtemplate_abbreviations

C8B – slip next 4 stitches onto cable needle and hold in back of work. Over next four stitches on left hand needle, k1, p2, k1. Work the four stitches from cable needle, k1, p2, k1. See Cables Video

C8F – slip next 4 stitches onto cable needle and hold in front of work. Over next four stitches on left hand needle, k1, p2, k1. Work the four stitches from cable needle, k1, p2, k1. See Cables Video

kfb – knit into front and back of stitch. See Kfb Video

M1 (Make One) – With left needle tip, lift running thread between needles, inserting the needle tip from front to back. Knit the lifted strand through the back.  See Make One Video

sl – slip. See Slip Stitch Video

wyif – with yarn in front.

KPHtemplate_instructions

 

Directions are for Short version with Long version in ( ) when necessary.

Tubular Cast On for K2, P2 – See Tubular Cast On (K2, P2) Video

With smaller needle and waste yarn, cast on 21 sts using any method.

Work four rows in stockinette:

Row 1(RS) – Knit. Row 2 – Purl. Row 3 – Knit. Row 4 -Purl.

Change to project yarn (Kenzie) and work three rows in stockinette, ending after a knit row:

Row 1(RS) – Knit. Row 2 – Purl. Row 3 – Knit.

On the next row (WS), *p2, pick up the first loop of the project yarn situated three rows below (purl bump just below the last row of waste yarn), place the loop on the left hand needle and knit the loop, pick up a second loop and knit it in the same manner. Repeat from * to last pick up loop (one stitch remaining on left needle), work a kfb into the last pick up loop, purl the last stitch on left needle. (42 sts)

Work several rows of ribbing (below) and remove waste yarn.

 

Rib

Row 1. (RS) *K2, p2; repeat from * to last 2 sts, sl 2 wyif.

Row 2. K4, *p2, k2; repeat from * to last 2 sts, sl 2 wyif.

Repeat above two rows until ribbing measures 3” ending after Row 1.

 

Set Up Row

With WS facing:

K3, M1, k1, p2, k2, p2, k3, p1, k2, (p2, k2) 3 times, p1, k3, p2, k2, p2, k1, M1, k1, sl 2 wyif. (44 sts)

 

Body 

Section A – Change to larger needles.

Work Rows 1-12, 10 (12) times using written instructions (below) or Chart A.

Row 1. (RS) K2, p3, k6, p3, k1, (p2, k2) 3 times, p2, k1, p3, k6, p3, sl 2 wyif.

Row 2 and ALL wrong side rows. K5, p2, k2, p2, k3, p1, (k2, p2) 3 times, k2, p1, k3, p2, k2, p2, k3, sl 2 wyif.

Row 3. K2, p3, k6, p3, C8B, C8F, p3, k6, p3, sl 2 wyif

Rows 5, 7, 9, 11. Same as Row 1.

Chart A

endgameA

 

Posted in Endgame | 62 Responses