Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cast Ons and Seed Stitch

So last night I played around with cast-ons from Knitter's Handbook : A Comprehensive Guide to the Principles and Techniques of Handknitting which came in the mail yesterday. I ordered it for the TKGA Master Knitters Program.

Who know there were so many cast ons?!? This book has more techniques then any of the other knitting reference books I have including Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book. Unfortunately, it is lacking in enough illustration of the cast ons. For most it has one, at best 2 illustrations, for each cast-on. So only one or two of the steps can be seen visually. I gave up on a couple of cast-ons just because I couldn't visualize in my head the un-illustrated steps.

I'm going to look on the web for video of cast-ons and see if that helps.

I also practiced doing seed stitch for swatch #3. I read that you should do this swatch first because the fabric needs to be dense without holes. The needle and yarn you use for this swatch has to be used by 3 other swatches so if you have to change needle size you have to redo those swatches.

As you can see, my practice seed stitch has holes. I'm knitting it on a size 8 needle. I think I'm going down to a 6 next and see how that turns out.

The other thing I learned while practicing the seed stitch is that I had been doing it wrong before. I tried seed stitch early on in my knitting "career" and it was hard to knit the purls and purl the knits. I think I must have had the stitches twisted, because last night it wasn't hard to do that.

Also, I'm practicing purling the conventional way by going over the top rather then in the combined way I've been purling which is to go under. This creates a stitch that has to be knitted through the back stitch when doing stockinette. I don't mind that but sometimes it is hard for me to figure out other stitch patterns because my stitch is laying different on the needles then they are in the illustrations. That may have been my original problem when I was trying to teach myself seed stitch.

I'm not sure I like the yarn I picked out for my swatches, Shepherd 100% Wool. It is kind of fuzzy and I'd like to use a smoother yarn for my final swatches. I may return it and exchange the skeins for another brand. Or I may just keep the yarn for other knitting projects.

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