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Wild Campfire

January 30, 2014

IMG_6665This project has been in the works for….a while. I’m almost embarrassed to say that I cast this sweater on the day before Jones was born, the day after Pacific Knits went to print. It was a crazy couple of weeks and I just had to cast something on for my new wee babe. Well, it’s about 18 months later, the sweater certainly won’t fit Jones, but I did it!

Our original Campfire sweater is knit in a rather subdued palette, beige and browns for a really classic look. It’s a sweater I imagined being passed down in timeless colours and a simple fair isle motif. Once Pacific Knits was finished though, I had a wild craving for crazy colours!

IMG_6667

Wild Campfire Project Details:

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Sport, 2 skeins in Grasshopper, 1 in Chamomile, and 1 in Cousteau

Needles: US #4 / 3.5mm and US #6/ 4mm needles

Pattern: Campfire by Alexa Ludeman

Size: 0-6 months

IMG_6668

One of my favorite things about this sweater has to be the collar. I’m a sucker for a shawl collar and this one is so squishy and lovely. The 2×2 rib and increased stitches create a nice drape to the collar that makes it cozy.

IMG_6672

So I’ve pulled out one of my long lost UFO’s, how about you? What projects are lurking in the back of your closet?

More fair isle from Tin Can Knits:

How to Knit a Button Band

January 24, 2014

button-band-01Located at the centre front of your cardigan, the button band is a crucial detail.  Working your first button band can be intimidating, and even experienced knitters don’t always get them right the first time.

The great thing is, since they are applied after-the-fact, you can easily rip and start over if you don’t get it right the first time.

Basic Steps for Working a Button Band :::

1. Start with the non-buttonhole side, pick up stitches at the rate suggested by the pattern.  Note the total number of stitches picked up.  Work the number or rows or inches specified, and note the total number of rows worked, and the side (WS or RS) and method used for binding off (you’ll want to make the other side the same).

Tip: Once you have completed the non-buttonhole side, you can assess whether you like the effect.  Is the fabric dense enough (sometimes you need to go down an extra needle size or 2 to get a really tidy / tight ribbing, or perhaps you need to pick up less stitches (or more stitches) to get a band that doesn’t flare or pull in relative to the body of the garment).  If you like the look of this band, then you can proceed to working the buttonhole side.

2. Choose the number and kind of buttons you will use.  Lay them out against the completed band to see how they will look.  Buttons can totally ‘make’ a project… we’ve written a whole post on it here!  You must also pick a buttonhole method (or use the one suggested by the pattern) – the buttonholes will be 1, 2, 3, or more stitches wide.

Buttonholes :::
There are many techniques for creating buttonholes.  My preferred method is a simple yarn-over buttonhole (work yo, k2tog), because it is simple, and creates a tidy small hole.  As yarn is quite stretchy, you can fit a surprisingly large button through this hole.  If you are using larger buttons, you will need to use a slightly more complex method to create larger buttonholes.

To make a 3-stitch buttonhole in 1 row:
Slip next 2 sts. Pass the first st over the second (bind off), *sl 1, bind
this st off* twice. Sl st from right needle onto left needle. Turn work
and cast on 3 st knit wise. (If you find this buttonhole is too big or too small, you can work
similar buttonholes by binding off then casting on 1, 2, or 4 sts in the
same manner).

The buttonholes created are, unfortunately, not terribly beautiful, but they are effective.  They are covered up by the button, anyways!  For a slightly ‘tidier’ version of this method, check out this tutorial.  Before you proceed to make your first button band, you may want to test out a couple of these methods on a swatch, and see how they work with your desired buttons.

3.  Now you have decided on the number of buttonholes, the type of buttonhole, and you know the number of stitches and rows in your button band.  You are now ready to do the math.  Work through the example below, using your own numbers.

How to Calculate Buttonhole Spacing :::

For this example I am going to work five 2-stitch buttonholes spaced evenly in a 65 stitch band.  How do I calculate where they go?  I always draw a diagram, because my mind works best that way…

button-band-calca

So you can see that I have a 65 stitch band, with 5 buttonholes in it.  Each buttonhole is 2 stitches wide, so the total stitches used by the buttonholes are 10.  65 – 10 = 55 stitches remaining.

button-band-calcb

Next you must determine how many stitches to work in between the button holes.  There will always be one more ‘space’ than there are buttons.  So there are six in this case.  55 / 6 = 9.1666 but stitches can only be whole numbers.  So you must work back from 9.  9 x 6 = 54.  55 – 54 = 1.  This means that there is one section that will have an extra stitch (10 rather than 9).

button-band-calcc

So now that you know that there are 5 sections with 9 stitches, and one with 10, you can draw out the button band, and double check the math.

button-band-calcd

Lastly, all you have to do is work the button-hole row, in this case you will work as follows:
[work 9 sts in pattern, work buttonhole] five times, work last 10 sts in pattern to end

4. Once you’ve done the math, pick up and work half the rows, work the buttonhole row as calculated, work the following even rows, keeping in pattern, and then bind off!  Your button bands are done.  Sew your buttons on to the band opposite, aligning them with the buttonholes. 

Tip: I like to sew through the button itself 4-5 times, then wrap the yarn around the base of the button (directly between the button and the band), then secure the thread on the back side of the band).  If the yarn I knit with is too bulky to fit through the button, I often untwist it and use one or 2 plies to sew the buttons on; for tiny buttons I use matching thread.

button-band-02

Antler button band with big horn buttons and 3-stitch buttonholes. The edge was bound off knitwise (all sts knit) on a right-side (RS) row, for a tidy vertical line.

Buttons are fun – play!

There are lots of interesting things you can do with buttons… they don’t have to be evenly spaced, for example.  You can button a cardigan just at the top, and let it flare open below, or you can use a single button!  Sometimes high-contrast buttons, or mismatched buttons can add great charm to a garment.

Now that you can work a button band…


Let’s Knit an Antler Cardi

January 16, 2014

finishedantlercloseupWhile the Simple Collection’s Flax sweater carefully chronicles the basics of a top down sweater, the Antler cardi employs our other favorite construction: bottom up! The Antler Cardigan pattern is available here, get your pattern, your materials, and let’s get going!

Before starting any sweater, but especially an adult sweater, you want to make sure you review our tutorial on gauge to ensure your sweater comes out to the dimensions you want, and learn about choosing your size to ensure you get a sweater that fits the way you want it to. Make sure you read the whole tutorial through before you start, so you can pick up our helpful hints!

Antler is adorable on little boys and girls and grown up ladies too! Make a little size to learn the techniques, or jump off the deep end and get started on a sweater for yourself.

::: Sleeves :::

Why start with the sleeves? The best reason to start with the sleeves is to get a gauge swatch without a gauge swatch. Just knit about 5 inches of sleeve and check your gauge and whether or not you are satisfied with the fabric. If you like it and you are on gauge, just keep going, if not you only have a bit of sleeve to rip out.

To knit the sleeves you will be casting on at the cuff and working to the underarm. You can use either double pointed needles (DPN’s) to start, or a long circular for magic loop. For casting on onto DPN’s you can check out our tutorial here, and for more information on knitting in the round on DPN’s look here. For magic loop look here.

So, using the smaller needles cast on the number of stitches for your size. You can either place a marker if you are using magic loop, or distribute your stitches as follows if you are using DPN’s:

Distributing your stitches on DPN’s: I am a die hard DPN fan, but you can’t place a marker on the beginning or end of a needle. So instead I put about 1/2 of my stitches on the first needle, 1/4 on the second and third needles. This way I always know the beginning of my round starts at the beginning of the ‘big’ or ‘full’ needle. No markers required!

completedribbing

Once you have completed the ribbing, you will change to larger needles and start working your sleeve increases. Changing to larger needles is simpler than it sounds, instead of continuing to work with your smaller needles, just start working with the larger ones. No need to move stitches, just start knitting.

changingneedles

All sts are now on the larger needles

All sts are now on the larger needles

Sleeve Increases ::: You can certainly m1 (make 1) any which way you like but my favorite is the paired increase. Once the number of increases for your size have been worked, you will knit each round until your piece measures the specified length or the desired length to underarm. Measure twice!

Next you will put your sleeve stitches on hold using waste yarn. You will be putting your underarm sts on hold on one piece of waste yarn, and the other half on hold with another piece (all will become clear later!).

Helpful Hint ::: How to avoid ‘ladders’ - Ladders look kind of like runs in a stocking. They are loose stitches and gaps in the fabric that sometimes occur between the last stitch of one needle and the first stitch of the next. How can you avoid this? Simply make sure to give an extra tug to your yarn on the first stitch of a needle, this will make it extra tight and prevent ladders.

Making 2 the same ::: There is nothing worse than finishing a sweater and finding out your sleeves are not the same size, so make a few helpful notes along the way!

1. How many rows in your ribbing?

2. How many rows after you finish your increases?

3. Did I knit anything that was NOT according to pattern? Make a note!

If you make these helpful notes you will have 2 identical sleeves just waiting for a body!

::: Body :::

This part is pretty easy peasy. Just cast on using smaller needles, working back and forth in ribbing pattern to specified length. Change to larger needles and work in stockinette (knit 1 row, purl 1 row) until piece measures the length specified for your size or the desired length from underarm, ending with a WS (wrong side or purl) row.

::: Join Body and Sleeves :::

All pieces are ready for joining. The arm sts (except the underarm) have been placed on double points so they are easy to join.

All pieces are ready for joining. The arm sts (except the underarm) have been placed on double points so they are easy to join.

Now for the fun part: Once you join the body and sleeves it will start to look like an actual sweater!

You will be knitting across the right front, placing body stitches on hold for the underarm, knitting across the right sleeve, knitting across the back, knitting across the left sleeve, placing body stitches on hold for the underarm, and knitting across the left front.

When joining you will be placing body sts on waste yarn for the underarm.

When joining you will be placing body sts on waste yarn for the underarm.

Right sleeve has been added

Right sleeve has been added

Sleeves and body have been joined!

Sleeves and body have been joined!

Note: You will have stitches on waste yarn from both the sleeve and the body. These will be joined once the yoke is finished to create the underarm.  They look something like this:

2 pieces of waste yarn, each with underarm stitches. One set from the body, one set from the sleeve.

2 pieces of waste yarn, each with underarm stitches. One set from the body, one set from the sleeve.

::: Yoke :::

Work the specified number of rows in stockinette before proceeding to the cable portion of the yoke.

Next Row: Knit decreasing ____ sts evenly spaced.

This may seem like a complicated instruction but follow along and we will do a little math. What this means is that you have X sts and you need to decrease Y sts for a total of Z sts. So how are we going to do this?

Take the number of stitches you have (X) and divide them by the number of sts you need to decrease (Y):

eg. For the Adult XS size this number is approximately 40. So you will decrease 1 stitch for every 40 stitches. Your decrease row will be: k38, k2tog. Because you need to decrease 5 sts for this size you will work that instruction 5 times and knit to the end.

Although this may seem unnecessarily complicated (why don’t we just do the math for you?!) it’s an instruction you will come across often in sweater patterns. If we wrote out each size every time we had to do a decrease round like this our patterns would be 10 pages long!

Time for cables! Each row has 2 edge stitches on either side and a number of cable repeats with the cables separated by 5 purl stitches. For instructions on how to cable, check out our tutorial here.

setupforcables

After the set up row your work will look like this

On the RS (right side) rows you will be working the cable chart, on the WS (wrong side) rows you will be working your stitches as established. What does this mean? You will be ‘knitting your knits and purling your purls’. In other words, if you see a knit, knit it, if you see a purl, purl it.

Repeat the cable pattern as many times as specified and proceed to decreases. The decreases are shown in the same manner as the cable section, but there are a few new symbols to note: purl 2 together, and the cable 4 back/front decreases.

The decreases that are worked within the cable (c4bd and c4fd) are worked using a knit 2 together within the cable. Read the chart carefully and make sure you double check all of the symbols.

Work decrease chart to specified row, then you will work another decrease row (decrease X sts evenly across the row)

Now you can switch to smaller needles and work in rib pattern for specified number of inches. Bind off.

::: Button Band :::

Button bands are picked up and worked last. You will be picking up about 4 stitches in every 5 rows. This means you will pick up 4 stitches, skip 1 row, pick up 4 sts, etc. and you will want to end up with an odd number of stitches in total.

Tip: make a note of the number of sts picked up on the first button band. You will want to pick up that same number on the other side.

Stay tuned for more on the buttonband! Next week we’ll be delving into button bands and buttonholes in more depth. Check back or follow us on Twitter or Facebook for a reminder when that post goes live

::: Finishing :::

Finishing a sweater can be the most important part. Block your sweater, seam your underarm sts using the kitchener stitch, and weave in your ends. There will be a small hole at either side of the seamed underarm, use your tail to sew that up. Sew on buttons corresponding to buttonholes.

You have put a lot of work into your first sweater so don’t skip blocking, it’s an important step. Blocking will make your stitches even out and lie flat and generally ‘smooth out’ your work.  It’s easy to block a sweater out of proportion if you aren’t careful. Make sure you have your measuring tape handy and that your chest measurements and length are as desired.

finishedantler1


Looking for more ‘how to’ tutorials? Check out The Simple Collection – our 100% free learn-to-knit series.  The 8 fabulous free patterns sized from baby to big, and get started making modern seamless knits for the entire family!  Like our work?  Get our email updates and we will let you know about new patterns, tutorials, and events.

More Bottom-Up sweaters from Pacific Knits

Harvest ::: the final pattern from The Simple Collection

December 24, 2013

The Harvest Cardigan is our gift to the lovely knitters of the world this Christmas, and it is also the final pattern in The Simple Collection, our 100% free learn-to-knit series.

Classic and easy to wear, this simple and seamless top down cardi is perfect to pull on over anything.

Is this your first garment?  We’ll walk you through all the techniques, step-by-step, in our ‘Let’s Knit a Cardigan’ tutorial.

I photographed Harvest as the last golden leaves of fall were dropping from the trees, but now winter is here and a warm, snuggly cardigan is the perfect knit!

Harvest Project Details :::

yarn: Worsted / Aran weight yarn; see the pattern for yardage requirements.  We used Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in ‘glazed pecan’ and ‘smokestack’.
suggested needles: US 8/ 5mm and US 6 / 4mm
sizing: The pattern includes 7 baby-child sizes, and 10 adult sizes!
pattern: Free! Download the Harvest pattern now

::: Cleverly Simple Seamless Construction :::

Harvest is knit seamlessly from the top down, with a construction method that is interesting, yet very simple to work!  The garter stitch collar is the base from which a typical, top-down raglan cardigan is begun.  This wide garter collar flows seamlessly into a deep v-neck, which you can fasten under the bust with a pretty shawl pin for some va va voom!  Or if you prefer buttons, you can work one or more buttonholes in the garter band, and pick a big bold button or three to adorn this simple cardi.

::: Adorable on little girls and boys :::

I love how Harvest suits little ones too!  Hunter looks sweet and sophisticated in a soft grey, but there are many adorable versions of Harvest on girls and boys… check out other knitters’ projects on ravelry for inspiration!

::: The Simple Collection is for Sharing :::

This year, starting with the Wheat Scarf in June, and ending with the Harvest Cardigan this Christmas, we brought you The Simple Collection.  We have invested untold hours and dollars into this project, to share our modern aesthetic, seamless construction techniques, and wide range of sizing with new knitters, and knitters who are new to Tin Can Knits.

Each of the 8 free patterns has the thoughtful details, clear pattern writing, and professional level of testing and tech-editing that you can trust from Tin Can Knits.  And each pattern is accompanied by an in-depth tutorial, and blog posts outlining all of the techniques you need to make the project!  Even if you have never cast on before, you can get started knitting (or teaching a friend) today.

Please Pass on the Knit Love! 

If you have found The Simple Collection valuable, please take 2 minutes right now, and click the buttons below to share this blog post with a friend, your knit group, with your local knitting shop owner, or with a teacher who could benefit from our excellent free teaching materials.

Want More Tin Can Knits?  The best way to stay in touch is to get our email updates, and like us on Facebook!

Let’s Knit a Cardigan

December 24, 2013

This is it! It’s the final installment of our Simple Collection. If you’ve been knitting along with us this is your last project before you go forth and conquer the world of knitting.

If this is your very first garment there are two important things to consider: gauge and fit. Review our tutorial on gauge to ensure your sweater comes out to the dimensions you want, and learn about choosing your size to ensure you get a sweater that fits the way you want it to.

::: Get Started :::

Download a copy of the Harvest pattern (it’s free!) grab your yarn and needles, and let’s get down to business.  If you have been following along and knitting the other free Simple Collection designs: Wheat Scarf, Malt Blanket, Oats Cowl, Barley Hat, Maize Mitts, Rye Socks, and Flax Pullover you will already have learned almost all of the techniques required to make the Harvest Cardigan.  Believe it or not, there aren’t that many complex techniques required to make a simple sweater!

::: Yoke :::

Using larger needles, CO 10 (10, 12, 12, 14, 14, 14, 14, 14, 16, 16, 16, 16, 18, 18, 20, 20) sts provisionally using the crochet chain provisional cast-on method.

Setup row (WS – wrong side): p2, knit to end
Row 1 (RS – right side): knit
Row 2 (WS): p2, knit to end
Work rows 1-2 a total of 39 (46, 49, 52, 49, 49, 49, 59, 57, 62, 59, 60, 58, 58, 64, 66, 70) times; creating the same number of garter ridges. This is a total of 79 (93, 99, 105, 99, 99, 99, 119, 115, 125, 119, 121, 117, 117, 129, 133, 141) rows worked, including the Setup row. Your final row is a WS (wrong side) row.

Basically we are creating a strip of garter with a stockinette edge on one side. This will be the back neck of the sweater.

garterpanel

Ready to pick up stitches and place markers?

The next portion of the yoke involves picking up stitches along the stockinette edge, placing markers to indicate the garter panels, and unzipping your provisional cast on to give you live stitches.

Next row (RS): knit to last 2 sts, PM, k1, m1, k1 (this is the end of the row), next, turn work 90 degrees, and pick up and knit 52 (62, 66, 70, 66, 73, 73, 88, 85, 93, 89, 90, 97, 96, 107, 110, 117) sts along the edge of the collar (pick up at a rate of 2 (2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5) stitches in every 3 (3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6) rows).

When picking up stitches you will not be picking up 1 stitch in every single row, you need to pick up at the rate indicated instead.

Eg. for the smallest size you will be picking up 2 sts for every 3 rows. So you will pick up a stitch in each of the first two rows, then skip the next one. Pick up 2 sts in the next two rows, skip the next one. etc.

Finally, undo the provisional cast on (details here), put live sts onto LH needle, and work across them as follows: k1, m1, k1, PM, knit to end.

When unzipping/undoing the provisional cast on I often find I am one stitch short. This is because the edge stitches sometimes get lost when you undo the provisional cast on. Not to worry. Simply increase 1 stitch on the next row (you can use a m1 or a kfb) to make sure you have the same number of stitches in each garter panel and the correct stitch count overall.

IMG_5959

Stitches have been picked up and markers indicate the garter panel

Now it’s time to place markers (PM), setting up for the raglan increases.

Setup row (WS): knit to marker, p3, PM, p14 (17, 18, 19, 17, 18, 18, 23, 21, 23, 21, 21, 22, 20, 23, 23, 25) sts, PM, p24 (28, 30, 32, 32, 37, 37, 42, 43, 47, 47, 48, 53, 56, 61, 64, 67) sts, PM, p14 (17, 18, 19, 17, 18, 18, 23, 21, 23, 21, 21, 22, 20, 23, 23, 25) sts, PM, p3 (this brings you to the last marker), knit to end.

From now on you will be working paired increases at each of the 4 raglan markers every 2nd row, and increasing at the neckline every 4th row. Always slip your markers as you come to them.

As you work you will start to see the raglan lines forming where the markers are.

As you work you will start to see the raglan lines forming where the markers are.

IMG_6015

Raglan close up

Follow the raglan instructions for your size.  The pattern includes the generic instruction ‘m1′ for increasing, but if you like, you can use mirrored increases at the raglan points: work m1R first, then k1, slip marker, k1, then m1L on the opposite side of the marker.  You can learn more about increases in our tutorial here.

::: Separate Body and Sleeves :::

Now that your yoke is complete you will separate the body and sleeves. The sleeve stitches are put on waste yarn, stitches are cast on for the underarm, and the rest are left for the body. Remove raglan markers as you come to them.

Knit 20 (20, 22, 22, 28, 28, 31, 31, 34, 36, 39, 42, 45, 50, 53, 58, 61) sts (left front), place the next 26 (29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 38, 43, 45, 47, 49, 53, 58, 60, 67, 71, 77) sts on hold on waste yarn (left sleeve), cast on 4 (4, 4, 6, 6, 6, 6, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 10, 10, 12, 12) sts using backward loop method (left underarm), knit 36 (40, 42, 44, 48, 53, 57, 62, 67, 71, 75, 80, 89, 96, 105, 112, 119) sts (back), place stitches on hold for right sleeve as at left, CO sts for right underarm as at left, then knit to end (right front). The sleeves are on hold, and there are 84 (88, 94, 100, 116, 121, 131, 140, 151, 159, 169, 180, 195, 216, 231, 252, 265) body sts on the needles. The first and last markers indicating the garter edges remain in place. Work one WS row: knit to marker, purl to marker, knit to end.

Sleeves have been separated

Sleeves have been separated

Sleeve stitch close up

Sleeve stitches on hold -  close up

It’s time for a lot of knitting! The sleeves are on hold, the body will be worked in rows down to the hem, then the sleeves are each picked up and worked last.

::: Body :::

The body is worked by continuing in pattern as set: garter panels at each side and stockinette in the middle. You will continue to work increases at the neckline as indicated for your size.

Then repeat rows 3-4 until body measures 4 (5, 5.5, 6.5, 8, 11, 13, 12, 13, 13, 14, 14, 14, 15, 15, 16, 16) inches from underarm (or 2 (2, 2.5, 2.5, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4) inches short of desired length to hem).  Work in garter stitch (knit all rows) for 2 (2, 2.5, 2.5, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4) inches, then bind off.

Body complete! Time for the sleeves.

The body is complete! Time for the sleeves.

::: Sleeves :::

To work sleeves you will need to first put all the stitches from the waste yarn onto your double pointed needles.  If you don’t know how to knit in the round on double pointed needles, check out this tutorial. Knit across these stitches. Then you will pick up stitches from the body of the sweater at the underarm, place a marker as indicated, and you will be ready to work the sleeves in the round.

Knit all rounds until length indicated has been achieved.

Decrease round: k1, ssk,  knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1
Knit 8 (8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 7, 6, 6, 5, 5, 5) rounds.
For child sizes: work one more decrease round.
For adult sizes: continue to decrease every 9th (9th, 9th, 9th, 8th, 7th, 7th, 6th, 6th, 6th) round 4 (4, 5, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15) more times. [26 (29, 30, 33, 35, 36, 40, 41, 43, 43, 45, 45, 46, 48, 51, 53, 57) sts]

Continue working sleeve as instructed, you already have all the skills required!

Tip: Making 2 the same

The important thing about knitting sleeves is making 2 the same (sounds obvious right?). So make sure to take notes on the number of rounds you work as you go.

  • how many rounds to the first decrease?
  • how many rounds after the last decrease but before the garter cuff?
  • how many rounds in the garter cuff?

::: Finishing :::

Finishing a sweater can be the most important part. Block your sweater and weave in your ends. There will be a small hole at the underarm, use your tail to sew that up.

You have put a lot of work into your first sweater so don’t skip blocking, it’s an important step. Blocking will make your stitches even out and lie flat and generally ‘smooth out’ your work.  It’s easy to block a sweater out of proportion if you aren’t careful. Make sure you have your measuring tape handy and that your chest measurements and length are as desired.


The Simple Collection is for Sharing ::: This tutorial is part of The Simple Collection – our 100% free learn-to-knit series.  Check out the 8 fabulous free patterns sized from baby to big, and get started making modern seamless knits for the entire family!  And be sure to share this and our other Simple Collection patterns with your friend, fellow knitters, teachers, and knit groups.  If you appreciate this project, please take a moment to help us to spread the word by clicking below to share on facebook, twitter, or by email.

Like our work?  Get our email updates and we will let you know about new patterns, tutorials, and events.

The Simple Collection free patterns:


Backwards Loop Cast On

December 24, 2013

The backwards loop cast on is not recommended as a general cast on, but it works perfectly if you need to cast on stitches in the middle of a row, for example at the underarm of a top-down sweater, or at the ‘crotch’ of a mitten thumb.

Backwards Loop Cast On :::

Step 1: place the working yarn over your thumb
Step 2: the right hand needle goes under the yarn at the base of your thumb (as indicated below) and over the yarn at the top of your thumb.
Step 3: tighten your newly cast on stitch

backwardsloop1

3 Stitches have been cast on
Stitches have been cast on!

Other Free Patterns from The Simple Collection:


Placing stitches on hold on waste yarn

December 24, 2013

::: how to place stitches on hold on waste yarn :::

This technique comes up rather often in knitting. Two popular examples are the sleeves on a top down sweater (like Flax or Harvest), or the thumb stitches on a mitten (like Maize). The example below is a mitten but the principles remain the same.

Thread some spare yarn on your darning needle
Thread some spare yarn on your darning needle
Run the needle through all of the thumb stitches
Run the needle through all of the stitches
Stitches have been placed on hold

Pull your yarn through the stitches, making sure all of the stitches are still on the yarn (don’t pull it all the way through)

Voila, stitches have been place on hold!  You can tie the ends of the waste yarn together (so it doesn’t slip out).  Later on, when you want to continue knitting from these ‘held’ or ‘live’ stitches, simply slip them back onto needles, and pull the waste yarn out.

This tutorial is part of The Simple Collection – a series of 8 free patterns designed to help you knit modern, seamless knits for the entire family.  Like it?  Get our email updates, and share The Simple Collection with your friends!

Free Patterns from the Simple Collection:


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