Freitag, 22. Mai 2015

Yet Another New Scarf Idea

One of my current knitting projects, the Random Seifenblasen Scarf, is a bit tedious and it needs LOTS of concentration. Furthermore, it's knitted in laceweight yarn and needs lots of (re-)counting, i.e. progess is slow. 

To set a counterpoint I started another new project that's far easier to knit: a garter-stitch-only scarf knitted with heavier yarn. I love the colors, the shape and the fact that I actually can see it grow.

Donnerstag, 21. Mai 2015

Shaped Random Lace Scarf

Since the Random Lace Scarf came out so well, I thought it might be a interesting to explore the random approach a bit further still.

This time, I tried it with the shaping of my Seifenblasen Lace Scarf - but with random lace panels. So far it looks OK, but a bit crumpled. Looking forward to seeing it blocked ... (but this will take a while ...)


Samstag, 16. Mai 2015

Suburban Yarnbomb

As seen in Cologne ... :)

Mittwoch, 13. Mai 2015

Random Lace Scarf

Free Knitting Tutorial: Random Lace ScarfAfter knitting a few e-book sleeves in a random lace technique (see blogpost here), I decided that this could be explored a bit further and with a bigger project - a lacy scarf for summer.

This tutorial explains how to knit a scarf in the random lace technique. The result is a beautiful and unique piece of lace to wear on summer evenings.

Please note that this is not a pattern in the classic sense with detailed stitch by stitch and row by row sequences, but a set of instructions and tips that allow you to knit a scarf and achieve a similar result.

Creative Commons License
This work by Knitting and so on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

What do you need?
  • Some yarn that blocks well, i.e. yarn with a high percentage of wool. I recommend using fingering weight or lighter yarn and knitting needles that are slightly bigger than what your yarn calls for.
    I used about 100 grams fingering weight yarn and 3.75mm needles.
    Since this is meant to be worn in summer I recommend to use anything between lace and sport weight.
  • The ability to count - and the patience to count your stitches again and again. Since everything looks quite similar while you're knitting it, it can be a bit of a boring project ... if you need something to give you instant gratification, this project might not be the right one for you. Furthermore, you really need to concentrate or to recount really often - so it's not a project to take to your local Stich'n'Bitch.
  • The stamina to go on knitting a piece even though it will look really strange and crumpled while you're knitting it ... but it will miraculously turn beautiful when it's on the blocking board.

Free Knitting Tutorial: Random Lace Scarf

Stitches that you should know

I've linked to a few YouTube videos (not mine!) that show how to knit the following stitches.

For RS I used these stitches (stitches with a knit-look)

For WS I used these stitches (stitches with a purl-look, i.e. in order to have a knit-look on RS)
Basically, you can use any stitch that produces a holey increase and any decrease.

Free Knitting Tutorial: Random Lace Scarf

How to Knit the Scarf

CO50 sts and start with a WS row.

Start any WS row by slipping the first stitch purlwise and any RS row by slipping the first stitch knitwise. This will give a nice regular edge

On WS knit the stitches at random that I have listed under WS of the "Stitches that you should know" section - similarly, on RS knit the stitches at random that I have listed under RS of that section.
It is important to make sure that at the end of the row, you have the same number of stitches than you had at the beginnig (50 sts).
  • I counted only the increases and decreases, i.e. starting from zero, adding one for each increase and substracting one for each decrease ... and finishing the row with a total of zero. But even this is a concentration exercise ...
  • If you want a neater pattern, do one increase and corresponding decrease next to each other. For a more organic or slanted look, do a few increases and only then the necessary decreases. I would advise, however, not to do this too much, since then your piece will be askew.
  • To make the pattern as holey as in the pictures, I usually made 10 to 15 yo's per row (and the corresponding number of decreases).
  • I guess it is important to not overthink this technique, i.e. just to try making increases and decreases without any plan - and let yourself be surprised by the outcome.
  • It might be a good idea to try this technique on a smaller object, such as a doily (or a sleeve for your e-book)

Go on knitting until the scarf has the desired length, then bind off loosely.
Please note, that the scarf will grow on the blocking board.

Weave in ends and block! (Blocking is really important here.)

Free Knitting Tutorial: Random Lace Scarf

Motivation Tip: 
While knitting the piece you don't actually see your progress. You can measure it with a tape measure but you don't see it in the number of repeats or anything visible or easily countable. This can be a bit frustrating (... it certainly was for me). To keep myself motivated, when I started for the day I would put in a stitch marker (safety pin) to mark my starting point so that I could easily see my progress for the day.

Free Knitting Tutorial: Random Lace Scarf

This blogpost was featured at Oombawka Design Link & Share Wednesday - Link Party 93:
Oombawka Design

Dienstag, 12. Mai 2015

The Miracle of blocking

Up until recently, I hadn't done much lace knitting. I tried a few free patterns on Ravelry (e.g. enja's scarf stole by Åsa TricosaElla by Wendy Wonnacut and Nori by Carissa Browning - all beautiful and well written patterns that I highly recommend), but I ended up frogging most of them because I was too lazy to count, didn't want to concentrate too much on my knitting or rather wanted a pattern that I could easily remember - thus avoiding to carry the printed out pattern with me. 

About a year ago, I designed a lacy scarf myself (Seifenblasen Lace Scarf), but the lace pattern wasn't too sophisticated (only two different rows, i.e. really easy to remember :).

Just a while ago, I started experimenting with randomly knitted lace and used it to make e-book, tablet and phone sleeves that I really liked (see tutorial here). However, these are small enough projects (i.e. with a knitting time of a few hours), so it wasn't such an exercise in patience to see the crumply piece on the needles and wait for the blocked and lovely looking end-product.  The picture below shows how a small piece of random (or freeform) lace looks before (left hand side) and after (right hand side) blocking.

Moreover, the counting the total number of stitches wasn't much of a problem because there were only about 25 stitches on my needles and I could easily concentrate on the numbers of increases and decreases I had made (the number of increases and decreases needs to be equal in one row to keep the stitch count) or recount the whole row in a jiffy. Plus, there was no pattern to remember, since I made it all up as I went along :)

I really liked the technique and the outcome, so I decided to knit a freeform lace summer scarf or wrap. 

Having found some fingering weight yarn in different shades of red, I cast on 50 stitches and started ... however, I didn't exactly go as I planned. I hadn't anticipated that it would be an exercise in concentration to keep track of the increases and decreases during one row - even though I only counted the difference to the original count (i.e. "minus one" after a decrease and "plus one" after an increase). So I ended up counting each row at least once ...

Moreover, it took quite a while to finish the piece - the random lace pieces I had knitted up until then had measured 40 cm max. A scarf or wrap for an adult of my size must be at least 160 cm long and even though the technique is fun, after a while it got a bit boring and repetitive (this is not an instant gratification project, definitely not), I didn't see much progress ... and while knitting it, it wasn't exactly nice to look at. Here's how it looked about half finished. Crumpled and rather unattractive ... 

But I gritted my teeth, went on knitting and was really (really, REALLY) happy when yesterday I could finally put it on the blocking board. And I do like the look of it now.

The most ironic thing is, that with that kind of freeform lace, I ended up counting MORE than with regular patterns ... and I had to concentrate much more. However, I think the result made it worth its while. I'm looking forward to wear it as a summer wrap and I guess I will publish a tutorial soon.

Montag, 11. Mai 2015

Lovely Gift - Or Swingy Wingspan

If you search for shawl/wrap patterns on Ravelry Wingspan by maylin Tri'Coterie Designs will be among the Top 10 with over 10'000 projects. There are also quite a few variations and adaptaions
of it (as you can see on this Pinterest board).

Some time ago, I received and email from the Designer (maylin from Tricot Treat) with a gift of all her patterns. At the time I was really touched by this gift, because it was so unexpected.
And this morning, I found another receipt email from Ravelry in my inbox - with another pattern gift, her new pattern: a swing knitting version of Wingspan called Rigoles. Again, I am surprised and I honestly think, that it's a lovely, lovely present by a very gifted designer. Thank you so much!

I downloaded it. The pattern is written with much attention to detail, many illustrations and photos, plus there are some diffent versions included.

Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of a finished shawl, but there are some really nice ones on the Ravelry pattern page of Rigoles. I can only show a screenshot of the pattern's thumbnail.

P.S.: Three years ago, when I published the Mixed Wave patterns (cowl and fingerless gloves), I tried to do a wavy (or swingy) version of Wingspan as well. But at that time doing short rows within short rows was a bit to much for me - so I frogged it ... and I haven't tried it since :)

Samstag, 9. Mai 2015

More Modular Knitting

After finishing the Little Rectangles Scarf I thought more about modular knitting patterns and the way they can be used to emphasize variegated yarn. So I tried out some patterns on paper and found that these Xs or crosses could be used as well.

I'm still not sure whether this pattern will work out - especially how to knit some of the crosses, the ones that need to be knitted upside down and then attached to the lower ones. Or maybe I have to think about it again ... But if it works, it will be an interesting scarf or blanket pattern.