I stopped writing in this blog years ago, but kept thinking that I may come back. It’s become clear to me that it’s just not going to happen. I just lost interest. I will keep the site up, at least for the foreseable future, as an archive.
If you help Ravelry reorganize their pattern library, you could win some nice prices. Here are the details (from their newsletter):
For a long time, weâ€™ve been talking about improving the pattern information so that we can provide a better search and more ways to find patterns. Weâ€™ve been working hard on new categories and attributes, and we need you to help reclassifying patterns that are still missing information by using the Search Party Tool: http://www.ravelry.com/searchparty.
We know that going over the 166,000+ patterns in our database is going to take a lot of work, but we have some incredible donations from some fantastic companies to help reward your efforts! For every pattern you reclassify (that is not your own design), you will be entered for a chance to win one of the sweet prizes listed below (http://blog.ravelry.com/2010/07/09/its-time-for-a-ravelry-search-party). There are 17 amazing prizes with a total retail value of over $5,000, and each one is absolutely drool-worthy! …
If you are learning to knit or crochet, and you have an iPhone or iPod touch, here’s an application that give step by step instructions. I haven’t tried it, but some of you may find useful:
I found through Ravelry a site where you can design your own amigurumi, and the pattern is generated automatically.
I haven’t tried it, but it’s worth a look:
A reader (thanks Feli) sent me a coupld of excellent links that explain how to translate Japanese amigurumi (or crochet in general) patterns.
I know it’s been a while, and I apologize, but I’ve been enjoying the summer!
Some people have asked me to do some knitting tutorials, similar to what I did for the Amigurumi tutorials. So here’ the first instalment: basic techniques. I tried to keep things as simple as possible. I chose a cast-on, increase and decreases that I thought would be very easy to someone trying to first learn how to knit.
Just keep in mind that I knit Contintental style, which means I hold the yarn on my left hand (non-dominant), unlike in the English way, where the yarn is held in the right hand. Also, I’m right handed, so if you are a lefty, you’d have to do things with the opposite hand. Here’s a video showing how to knit left handed.
The first thing you need to do is to cast on. The following video shows you the easiest way to cast on, the twisted loop cast on. This is a very flexible cast on (too flexible for some projects). I don’t usually cast-on this way, but all others require more practise, and I figured someone just learning would want to get started right away, and to see results fast. If you are interested, KnittingHelp has videos on other cast on methods.
The Knit and Purl Stitches
There are two basic stitches, the knit an the purl. If you do a row of knitting, and then a row of purling, you create stocking stitch.
Here’s how to do them:
Once you finished knitting all the stitches, you simply turn the work over, so all the stitches are now ready to be purled (to make the stocking stitch).
Tip: To have nice and even edges, cast on 2 extra stitches and at the begining of each row, pass the first stitch without knitting/purling it. Technitting has a great article about it.
Increases and Decreases
Unless you want to do nothing but squares, you’ll have to increase and decrease at some point to give your fabric some shape. There are many, many ways to increase and decrease. The following way to increase is my favourite (feel free to disagree). It doesn’t leave a gap, a bar or anything else:
To decrease, there are two main ways (although there are many more): k2tog (knit 2 together) and ssk (slip, slip, knit). Why the two? Because after decreasing, the resulting stitch will slant to the right or left, respectively. We’ll start with k2tog:
And here’s ssk:
Also known as cast off is he way to finish a project. Once you are done, you need to “close” your work. Here’s the most common way to do it:
In the next tutorial, I’ll explain how to follow patterns, but if you are itching to start, here’s a link with some easy dishcloths.
Some time ago I bought Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmerman. It’s not a book for beginners, but if you already know how to knit, it has good advice, and interesting techniques. One of them is what she calls the “Afterthought Pocket”, in other words, a pocket added to a garment after said garment is finished. This technique is used for those occasions where you finish a sweater, pullover, cardigan, vest, etc. and once you try it on, you wish you had added some pockets.
This technique is for the brave, since you have to cut your fabric! THE HORROR! I have to admit I haven’t tried this technique in an actual garment, but maybe you will. Make a test like mine first!
The following video shows how I made this first attempt. I did it with contrasting colors so the pocket would stand out more. Sorry for the poor quality of video and audio, but I think you’ll be able to see what I’m doing.