An even better symmetrical knitted lace chevron.

An even better symmetrical lace chevron

A bit over a year ago, I posted a way of making a lace chevron with completely symmetrical decreases, followed shortly thereafter by an improvement based on a reader suggestion.

Apparently I was still unsatisfied, however, because last week a thought popped into my brain: yes, use the three-to-two single decrease to compensate for the single yarn over at the bottom of the chevron, but not on the same row as the yarn over.

And it was good. The bunny ear decrease I talk about in my older post is what I now prefer to call a 3-to-2 decrease (because it’s descriptive of the action). Here’s the instructions for how to do it.

Yes, this makes the stitch count vary.

If doing the more densely packed chevrons, end after a row that has a 3-to-2 decrease if you want to end with the same number of stitches that you started with.

And here’s the chart and written instructions for my swatch above. better symmetrical lace chevron Row 1 (RS): *k5, yo, k5.* (11 sts)

Row 2 and all even rows: purl.

Row 3: *k3, k2tog, yo, k1,     yo, ssk, k3.*

Row 5: *k2, k2tog, yo, 3-to-2 decrease, yo, ssk, k2.* (10 sts)

Row 7: *k1, k2tog, yo, k4, yo, ssk, k1.*

Row 9: *k2tog, yo, k6, yo, ssk.*

Row 11: *k5, yo, k5.* (11 sts)

Row 13: *k3, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k3.*

Row 15: *k2, k2tog, yo, 3-to-2 decrease, yo, ssk, k2.* (10 sts)

Row 17: *k1, k2tog, (yo, k2) x 2, yo, ssk, k1.* (11 sts)

Row 19: *(K2tog, yo, k1) x 2, yo, ssk, k1, yo, ssk.*

Row 21: *k2, k2tog, yo, 3-to-2 decrease, yo, ssk, k2.* (10 sts)

Row 23: *k1, k2tog, (yo, k2) x 2, yo, ssk, k1.* (11 sts)

Row 25: *(k2tog, yo, k1) x 2, yo, ssk, k1, yo, ssk.*

Row 27: *k2, k2tog, yo, 3-to-2 decrease, yo, ssk, k2.* (10 sts)

Row 29: *k1, k2tog, (yo, k2) x 2, yo, ssk, k1.* (11 sts)

Row 31: *(K2tog, yo, k1) x 2, yo, ssk, k1, yo, ssk.*

Use this chevron variation wherever you’d like.

This sunny-colored yarn brought to you by a sweater my great-grandmother knit for my mother. It wore out in spots, and  I unraveled it for the yarn at a time when I needed yarn and had no money for it. It’s been cloudy and cold; I needed something bright. Also I’m a bit sentimental about it.

Some of the kind of work that your Patreon donations would support.

Two Patreon updates

The smaller update is that the next word to be encoded has been chosen: eclipse. It’s looking like it will be a lot of fun!

So far I’ve been very pleased with how things are going on Patreon. I’ve made my first three goals and have started to follow through on them.

  1. I’ve paid to remove ads from my blog.
  2. I’m still trying out making videos, so the fruits of that will be a little slow to appear. I want them to be right, and it’s the sort of thing that takes practice. I hope to be able to post a test video soon to see what you think.
  3. I’ve been able to pay for a premium subscription to Stitch Maps so I can publish high-quality stitch maps on my blog as well as regular charts.

I’m going to get a little more ambitious now. Writing my stitch pattern and technique blog posts is a lot of work. I enjoy doing it, but have begun to realize that I would like to earn something from it. I dislike the idea of ad revenue for a range of reasons. I have reason to hope that a number of you find my blog helpful or interesting. If you have a little to spare, would you be willing to chip in? Either way, would you mind letting your friends know about my blog?

My plan is to set four milestones, so that the first goal will cover a living wage for one blog post per month, the second for the second blog post per month, and so on.

Many thanks. The journey so far has been a heartening experience.

Designer Interview: Barbara Benson, designer of unexpected combinations of knitting techniques.

Designer Interview: Barbara Benson

I’ve been following Barbara Benson’s design work for a while now, and was delighted to see her involved with the Giftalong. She has a knack for combining techniques that I wouldn’t have guessed would go together, such as mosaic knitting and lace. (Who knew!?)

These are her patterns that are on sale this week.

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Designer Interview: Justyna Kacprzak

Designer Interview: Justyna Kacprzak

Justyna is primarily a toy designer – she has a lot of really cute crocheted amigurumis (and a few knit ones) and measuring tape covers, among other things. Her blog is full of delightful adventures – her crocheted “mini-me” took an international trip and she hosted a crochet mystery featuring the evil villain, Dr. Hookenstein.

These are her patterns on sale for the GAL.

Continue reading

Designer Interview: Sarah Jane, crochet designer of nifty things.

Designer Interview: Sarah Jane

To celebrate the Giftalong, I’m going to be blogging four interviews with other designers who have patterns in the sale. Because the sale is only a week long, I’ve decided to give you all a chance to get their discounted patterns – the interviews will all be published this week!

First up is Sarah Jane, a really creative crochet designer, whose work I’ve admired for quite a while now. If I could still crochet, I’d be making one of her patterns for the giftalong in a snap!

Designer Interview: Sarah Jane's lingonberry tam

Lingonberry Tam, perhaps.

Designer Interview: Sarah Jane's frostberry hat

Or Frostberry Hat, though that’s not on sale.

Or… well, I’d have trouble making up my mind! Maybe some of her Steampunk collection?

Here’s a link to the bundle of patterns that are on sale for the Giftalong. (Coupon code giftalong2014, good through Friday, November 21, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST.)

1. Please tell us a little about yourself.

Well I don’t really know what to say…I am a 47 year old mother of 8…..7 live at home ☺ I like to say that it’s organised chaos but truth is there is probably not so much of the organised about it.
Crochet was the first craft I ever learned and even though I’ve dabbled in lots of other crafts I always seemed to come back to crochet….with so many kids crochet is portable and leaves less mess than most other crafts (if you don’t count the stash and the UFO’s). Also it’s more difficult for babies to poke holes in themselves or others with hooks than it is with needles.

Aside from crochet I love to read and occasionally knit. Housework seems to have become an optional extra around here!

2. Somehow you manage to combine crochet stitch patterns in ways that are really fresh and different. Can you name any particular influences that inspired this, or is it the stitches themselves that catch your eye?

Thank you, I really appreciate you saying this. The stitches themselves always catch my eye, I love the textures and seeing how they work together. Colour and yarn is a big influence too…certain yarns and colours seem to call for different types of textures and stitches. I love certain styles, like steampunk and a romantic gothic type style and I think you can see this influence in some of my designs……reality is it doesn’t really take much to inspire me, it can be anything from the shape of a leaf to a combination of colours I notice somewhere.

3. What attracted you to joining in with the Giftalong?

I participated in the giftalong last year after noticing it mentioned on the Designers board and I had a ball. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet and interact with both designers and crocheters/knitters. I didn’t expect it to become so big but this year it looks like it’s going to be even bigger. I have been really excited about it this year, for me it is all about the interaction. Here in Australia there aren’t too many opportunities to meet other designers so this is great fun.

4. What are a few patterns from the Giftalong that you’d really like to make?

Goodness there are so many…I wish I had unlimited time and cooler weather ☺…..I love a lot of Darleen Hopkins crochet patterns but I just adore her Patchwork baby kitty throw. If I could I would make anything by Julia Trice (Mind of Winter on Ravelry) especially Loden. I love this shawl Leventry and I think this Minimissimi coat is truly spectacular even though I’d never be able to wear it over here. I could go on and on…..

5. Is there anything about crochet that you wish more people knew?

That it’s easy…you can make anything if you work through it a stitch at a time and also that it doesn’t have to look like something from the 60’s or 70’s, crochet can be fashionable and modern as well as a bit different.

Here are some of the places you can find Sarah Jane online!
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SarahjaneDesignscrochet
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/sjack44/
Ravelry – http://www.ravelry.com/designers/sarah-jane

(All photographs used by permission.)

Inside-out sewn bind-off: a slight variation on a classic technique.

Inside-out sewn bind-off

Despite a lot of new and interesting inventions of bind-offs, my favorite remains the sewn bind-off or backstitch bind-off, as learned from Elizabeth Zimmermann’s writing. It’s stretchy and it looks the same as the longtail cast-on, so it’s good for making the two ends of a piece of knitting match.

As many of you know, I tend a bit toward the idiosyncratic. In this case, I prefer what most people think of as the back of this bind-off (and also the back of the longtail cast-on). The texture reminds me of decorative braid.

There are lots of instructions out there for the regular sewn bind-off, but I’m not sure if there are specific instructions for the inside-out version.

There’s a photo of a tiny swatchlet at the top of this page with the wrong side of the longtail cast-on showing at the bottom and the wrong side of the sewn bind-off at the top.

Here’s how it’s done. First, measure out a length of yarn about 3.5 times as long as the knitting is wide, then cut or break it. If you’re working with a really wide piece of knitting, then measure out a length that’s manageable; this bind-off can be done with multiple pieces of yarn, though it does mean more ends to work in. A darning needle is already in play; what’s a few more ends to work in?

Thread a yarn or darning needle with the yarn that’s still attached to the knitting.

The first and last parts are slightly different when working flat and when working in the round.

If working in the round:

Inside out sewn bind-off, worked in the round.

1. Bring the needle forward through the first stitch of the round. Pull up the slack.

Inside out sewn bind-off, worked in the round.

2. Move one stitch to the right and insert the needle through that stitch from front to back (knitwise) but don’t pull it through yet.

IMG_4510

3. Skip behind the next stitch to the left and bring the darning needle forward through the next stitch that hasn’t been sewn at all yet. (purlwise) Pull the needle and yarn through.

If working flat:

Inside-out sewn bind-off, worked flat.
1. Take the needle behind the first stitch of the row and bring it forward through the second stitch (purlwise). Pull the needle and yarn through.

Inside-out sewn bind-off, worked flat.

2. Move one stitch to the right and insert the needle through that stitch from front to back (knitwise) but don’t pull it through yet. Slip that stitch from the knitting needle to the darning needle.

Inside-out sewn bind-off.

3. Skip behind the next stitch to the left and bring the darning needle forward through the next stitch that hasn’t been sewn at all yet. (purlwise) Pull the yarn through.

Inside-out sewn bind-off, worked flat.

4. Go back one stitch and insert the needle through the first stitch on the knitting needle. Slide that stitch off the knitting needle before pulling the sewing needle through the rest of the way.

Repeat the last two steps until the last stitch of the row or the round.

5a. If working flat, after sliding the next to last stitch off the needle, bring the needle forward through the last stitch one more time.

5b. If working in the round, when all stitches have had the sewing needle pass through twice, the bind-off is done. The last stitch of the round was half-worked at the very beginning of the bind-off.

I tend to be a tight knitter, so I find myself surprised by one oddity about the way the sewn bind-off works for me: it’s too loose and a little sloppy. I always have to go back and tighten it up loop by loop so it matches my cast-on. (It’s still plenty stretchy after I do this, so when I say loose, you know it’s excessive.) Your experience might be different, but I’d recommend swatching this the first time you try it to see how it works for you.