Associate Professional, Crochet Guild of America                            CGOAlogotiny.jpg

Also a member of CGOA local chapter, The Happily Hooked on Crocheting Club8bc2.jpg

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Getting Closer!!

I've been doing a lot of crocheting for some designers this past couple of months, so I haven't had a chance to sit down and finish my Silver Nights Jacket lately!  But I think I'm getting closer to doing so!  :D

I did get the sleeves re-done, and you know what?  It works out pretty well when you follow the directions the way you're supposed to!  lol 

I did figure out a way of doing the wrap and turns so they're not so "visible" and I'm liking the effect so far.  Both sleeves curve the same way now and don't spiral around on me like the first one did when I had everything going on on the one side instead of both sides.  I'll have to get some pics taken of that part.  I also got started with the back section and got about half way done with the left side when I started doing some model making.

Today I get to take Missyboo out trick or treating with some friends at the mall.  That'll be a first!  I didn't know we could do that!  Should be fun.  I even get to get dressed up!  Missyboo and Hubby made me get a costume too!  Haven't done that in ages!

I'll also have to get back to my blankets I'm making as part of the Land's End Warm Up America campaign.  The yarn is soft, but it does have a tendency to be on the splitty side!


Knitting Lesson #4

More on Wrap and Turns.

This knitting stuff can get complicated in a hurry!  I now know that there are almost as many ways to do wrap and turns as there are for casting on and off!  Eesh!  In knitting, the wrap and turn is used for doing short rows.  The wrapping of the next stitch is supposed to keep holes from forming in the fabric for the next time you come back across that stitch with a new row. is a great site for finding videos/tutorials, but it's also a great site for finding "errors" and a multitude of variations of the same thing you're searching for. 

This is what I have so far on my Silver Nights jacket.  The big area on the left is the first sleeve done in all it's "wrong" glory.  The first mistake I made with this sleeve it to not read the directions correctly.  About the midway point, I'm supposed to increase a stitch at the ends of Rows 1 & 3 of the repeats, to give a slight curvature to the inside edge, closest to the  center "V" shape.  That will be the underarm area of the sleeve. 

I did make my increases, but got it backwards.  I started with the increases, so all the shortrows and shaping were done on the same side of the work, the cuff area.  WRONG!!  lol  (Looks almost like the shape for Superman's chest shield, doesn't it?)

So now I get to take the sleeve apart and get it done correctly, with the increases where they're supposed to be.  Why?  Because after the sleeve seam is sewed together, the seam does this spiraling act so it ends with being on my inside wrist instead of staying to the outside.  Because I did not get the shaping correct at the underarm area, it pulled the fabric around and out of kilter.  But that's ok, it will give me the chance to work on my wrap and turns better!

I had watched one video on youtube prior to doing my first wrap and turns on the center V shaping, did my cast off, and forgot to grab the wrap into the cast off.  Re-did the cast off with the wrap included, and it turned out MUCH better.  (pictures posted in Lesson #3.)

I can see exactly where each wrap was done.  I'm not sure yet if that's the way it will always be, no matter what, or if it's just my lack of experience in doing them.  Some don't look too bad at all, others are a bit wonky, and others yet are "holey".  Because the wrapped stitch and the wrap itself are supposed to be knitted (or purled) together, did I not pick up the right piece of yarn?  Or did I do the wrap itself incorrectly to begin with?  But I will tell you, it gives me a much better appreciation of the simple slip stitch we use in crocheting!!!

I continued doing the wrap and turns for the sleeve's shortrows, and this picture gives a pretty good idea of what it looks like.  Most are visible, some more so than others. Can you see the "wonkies"?  There are two vertical rows of them in this picture.

So back to youtube I went.  I found one that was doing the wrap and turns specifically for garter stitch, which is my stitch pattern for this jacket.  That's my next practice session - to see if I can get better looking results using that method, rather than the one I did use!  So all and all, I guess I really don't mind that I have to take the sleeve apart.  Again.  

Oh yeah, did I mention that this will be the third time doing the sleeve?  The first time I was doing the shortrows on alternating sides of the sleeves because I didn't know then that the wrap and turn is a two parter, kind of like Tunisian crochet.  The first part is working X amount of stitches and making the wrap.  The second part of that is turning the work and stitching back to the beginning of previous row.  What' that old saying about "third time's the charm"?  lol

Have a good day.  :D



Knitting Lesson # 3

Casting off stitches.  There are sooo many different ways to do this!!!  How does one decide which is best if it's not mentioned in the pattern?  Beats me, I know how to do three of them. 

  1. I call it Simple Castoff.  Proper name for it might be something else, but.......  I knit (or purl) the first two stitches, then slip the first off the needle by passing over the top of second.  Knit one more, slip the previous stitch over the new stitch, and so on until I have no stitches left, then tie off that last one.
  2. No name, but....... knit (or purl) the first two stitches together, slip it back on to other needle, knit that slipped stitch together with the next one, slip it back to the other needle, etc. to the last stitch and tie that one off.
  3. Finally, the three needle bind off when I'm attaching two pieces together.  Both pieces are on their own needles, held together with the points of those needles facing the same way, then I use a slightly larger sized needle to knit first stitch from each of the pieces together, knit the next stitch from both needles together, then slip the first "stitched together" stitch over the top of the second "stitched together" until the last stitch.  Knit those together and tie off.

This knitting stuff is getting complicated!!  lol  With crochet, there's only one live stitch at a time to deal with.  The rows are "finished" with each stitch completed, only needing to tie off the very last one.castoff too tight

On to the jacket I'm making.  I finished my big V shaping for the center back area, and needed to cast those stitches off before moving onto the sleeve sections.  Which castoff to use?  The pattern didn't specify any one particular over the other, so.........I decided on my "Simple Castoff" because I knew that later in the pattern I would "attaching" new sections to the sides of the V, and didn't want a big bulky seam right there.

Since I learned how to do the "Wrap and Turn" while doing this V shaping, and all 66 stitches were still on my needles when I got the point of the V, I was very glad that I had this going on circular needles rather than straight sticks!  Otherwise I'm thinking I probably would have had myself another mess trying to keep them all on, what with the shape of the V and all!  The circulars don't care what geometric shape you have going on.  It's flexible, not rigid.  That cable bends in so many different ways at the same time I'm surprised I don't get myself all origami-ed into it!  And that's even after doing castoff just right :-)the hot water treatment to the cable to get the "package bends" out.

So I did my 66 stitches worth of casting off.  Did I remember to use a slightly larger needle for making those castoff stitches?  No.  Even with making sure I did the casting off loosely, it still seemed a bit too tight for me, as the fabric didn't lay truly flat when I was done.  As you can (maybe!) see in the above  picture, my point is bent, and there are wrinkles on the right side of the fabric.

Back to the beginning of the cast off by "tink"-ing.  (notice that tink spelled backwards is "knit"?)  I had to dig in the back of my supply closet to find where I had hidden stashed my other needles to find a bigger sized one to use.  This time it was a success!  The stitches are cast off, the piece lays flat!  Hurray!  I didn't loose even one! 

All done thought I.  But then I got to looking at it some more.  When I did the "wrap and turns", the wrapped stitches stretched a bit while doing the V shaping.  In the youtube video I watched to learn how to do the wrap and turn, the lady was doing heel turning for socks, and when she got to the wrapped stitch, she picked up both the wrap and the stitch to knit them together.   Now I'm wondering if I should have done the same.  Bet you can guess what I'm going to do now, can't you?  ;D

castoff stitch without the wrap caught up in castoffboth stitch AND wrap caught up in cast-off

Have a good day!  :D


Knitting Lesson # 2

Wrap + T. 

I was itching to get back into this jacket pattern since it was my day off from work, Missyboo was out with Hubby, so the house was MINE, and mine alone!  But I couldn't do it.  I was thinking that this V shaped center back section would be easy - just working decreases to get to the "point".  But that was not the case.  Each row ended with the original 66 stitches I started with, and some foreign language I couldn't decipher: Wrap + T.

What is that?!  I searched in my pattern for a definition of the term.  Didn't find one.  Did a bit of poking around online to see what I could, and found nothing.  I searched for knitting stitches, knitting definitions, knitting glossary,  nada.  I sent out quick emails to LynAdell, the designer, on Ravelry, taking her up on her "if you have any questions, ask me", and to a couple of knitting expert friends.  Everyone was busy/out/not answering.  Didn't they know I needed to pick their brains?! :(  lol 

SO I posted on Facebook that I was stuck, anyone know the answer to "what does Wrap + T mean"?  My friend, Renee' Barnes held the key.  She could read it, but didn't know how to do it.  I was on my own for that, but she did pass on a youtube link for me.  Hurray!  I could get back to "work" shortly!

After watching the video, I was pretty sure I could fly through this.  There was one problem though.  The video showed the wrap and turn being done in stockingette stitch.  My jacket is done in garter.  So.... is my wrap and turn actually a double wrap? 

According to the video, "x" amount of stitches were knit.  The yarn is brought from the back to the front, and the next stitch is slipped from the holding needle to the working needle as if to knit, the yarn brought from the front to back side of the work, the stitch slipped back to the original needle, then the work is turned.  Now the yarn is on the correct side to do purl stitches, in front of the work.  As I'm working in garter stitch, which is just plain knit on every row, I had to move the yarn to the back again to keep working the next row.  So you tell me, does that constitute as a "double wrap"?  Hmmm.....questions, questions! 

Have a good day!  :D



Knitting Lesson Pre #1

Casting on.  How many ways to cast on?  Let me count the ways.  No not really, there's too many of them!!!  lol

I used to cast on by just bringing the working yarn through a crossed loop strung between my forefinger and thumb.  Then when working that first row, the length of yarn between stitches kept getting longer and longer.  And longer.  I had no idea why.  So I would just go on with it, then use the excess tail to make more stitches when I reached the end of what was cast on.

Then I met a lady at work who did BEAUTIFUL knitting, and since I'm a crocheter, we struck up the conversations about yarning.  I was working on a scarf for a Christmas present that was being done with knitting, and got the brilliant idea to ask her why I kept getting such big gaps between my stitches on the first row.  That was how I learned to do long-tail cast-ons.

But I had no idea how to estimate the length of yarn needed to get started when doing long-tail cast-ons until I took Galina's knitting class at the conference in Manchester, New Hampshire last month.  She covered this exact thing by saying that whichever body part was to be the start of the knitting, you would loosely wrap the yarn full circumference around that body part, then pull off approximately 3 times that length to start the cast-on with.

So I tried exactly that when I started this jacket, and I was so proud of myself!!  When all 254 stitches were on the needles, I had a leftover tail of about 12"!  I could live with that quite nicely!!  lol