Page 1

KNITmuch * all about knitting flags * 4 cast ons for knitting circular lace * adding a picot edging to a lace stole * knit a stronger splice join * best bind - off for cotton yarn * design your own knitted lace tank top

Issue 3


.com K, is to

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, ART DIRECTOR Carla A. Canonico ADVERTISING SALES John De Fusco PUBLISHER A Needle Pulling Thread PHOTOGRAPHERS John De Fusco, Carla A. Canonico, Alessia De Fusco BLOGGERS/CONTRIBUTORS Cynthia MacDougall Michelle Nguyen Charles Voth GRAPHIC & WEB DESIGN Carla A. Canonico Sondra Armas SOCIAL MEDIA Chris Wokral Alessia De Fusco WEBSITE / BLOG : Like us on Facebook : KNITmuch Follow us on Twitter : @KNITmuchmag WHERE TO GET YOUR COPY KNITmuch is a quarterly eMagazine published by A Needle Pulling Thread. It is available free for personal use online at A limited number of printed copies of KNITmuch are available for purchase at select yarn shops and specialty stores. Ask for it at your local shop. KNITmuch is not available by subscription. YARN SHOPS If you are interested in carrying KNITmuch in your store, please email

{ { { { { { { { { { { { {{

daily blog weekly giveaways monthly newsletter quarterly magazine Facebook page Pinterest page ALL of the above!

EDITORIAL Bloggers, designers and other contributors who would like to be considered for future issues please email with a brief description of your work and your proposed project.



©2016 A Needle Pulling Thread. All rights reserved. Issue 3. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. All designs, patterns, and information in this magazine are for private, non-commercial use only, and are copyrighted material owned by their respective creators or owners.

fi nd a shop! l oc a l

9 listings 9 reviews 9 events 9 new products 9 free patterns 9 blogs

Visit and download our free ebook:


Cynthia MacDougall's Knitting Essentials! KNITmuch | issue 3





6 8 10 12 14 16 20 24 26 27 28 30 32 36 37 38 40 41 42 44 46 48

3 projects to knit with Bamboo Pop yarn How to knit wrapped stitches Knitting with Universe, an elegant linen blend yarn Best bind-off for cotton yarn 4 cast ons for knitting circular lace Adding a picot edging to a lace stole or shawl Design your own knitted lace tank top The thick and thin of Bamboo Bloom yarn Exploring gauge with thick and thin yarn 3 reasons to use larger needles with thick and thin yarn How to avoid pooling in knit fabric Bamboo Bloom yarn makes knit cowl unique to you Cordial yarn is perfect for knitting a shopping bag Red Heart's Heart & Sole makes a comeback How to knit a heel flap 5 tips to maximize your knitting time with Heart & Sole yarn The 'sole' of color-work in knitting The 1 knitting cast on you can't live without Alter the knitted Any Day Beret for cold days ahead Taking 'weaving in ends' from home made to couture Knit a stronger splice join when starting a new ball of yarn Fun with Flags

c o n t e n t s KNITmuch | issue 3


hooked on books

Sarah Keen

Knitted Fairy Tales

Susan B. Anderson

Kids’ Knitting

Animal Hats to Knit

Magical fairy tales brought to life. Knitted Fairy Tales invites you to knit the fabled characters from the land of make-believe, creating your own endearing versions of princes and princesses, giants and witches, including: Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Puss in Boots, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Little Red Riding Hood and more. Easy-to-follow knitting patterns. All of the information on techniques, tools, and materials is included to get you started off right. In fact, it is suggested that washable, readily available yarns are used to ensure that these knitted characters stand the test of time. A nicely illustrated techniques section ensures newer knitters can easily work their way through these 15 adorable projects.

Beloved knitting instructor Susan B. Anderson presents her first book targeted at a young audience. This accessible introduction to knitting in the round includes easy-to-follow illustrated tutorials on techniques from casting on and binding off to joining colors to make stripes, and 17 progressively challenging knitting projects, beginning with simple infinity scarves and hats and building to super sweet toys and decor. Step-by-step text and photographs that kids can read and follow on their own mean they will be knitting independently in no time! Includes stocking your toolbox, sourcing yarn, advice on starting a knitting group, connecting with local knitting communities, charity knitting.

Knit the ferociously fun animal hats featured in Animal Hats to Knit. You will love this menagerie of 20 adorable knitted hats in a whole range of delightful designs, from silly to fierce, to help express your animal instincts. Wildly amusing projects to knit will appeal to the young and young at heart: rabbit, zebra, cat, dog, ladybird, mouse, penguin, eagle and more. Easy to follow projects clearly laid out with sizes included for children and adults, comprehensive techniques section with over 30 illustrations, adorable photographs (147 in all!), easyto-follow pattern, concise step-by-step instructions to provide you with all the know-how you'll need.

176 pages, ISBN 978-1-86108-969-4 The Guild of Master Craftsman

200 Pages, Hard cover spiral, ISBN 978-1-57965-590-7 Artisan

Refined Knits

144 Pages, ISBN 978-1-86108-989-2 The Guild of Master Craftsman

New Heights in Lace Knitting

Jennifer Wood

Judith Durant

Andrea Jurgrau

Knitted lace and cables can be incredibly beautiful on their own, but there is something graceful, even magical, about combining the two. Jennifer Wood's designs unite classic and modern styling with beautifully detailed patterns for a contemporary, romantic feel.

A popular design element in many of today's garments and home dec items, as well as an iconic part of many different knitting traditions, cables add drama and texture to knitted fabric. Cable Left, Cable Right takes the mystery out of how to create and design them, for all levels of knitting skill. From standard ropes to squiggles and complex pretzels, cables bring life to any project.

Set against the backdrop of the world's tallest peaks, New Heights in Lace Knitting shows how to stitch a beautiful collection of lace shawls and accessories. Load your pack (or your knitting bag) with the right supplies before heading out on this trek into lace knitting. Andrea Jurgrau sets you out on a journey of 17 lace projects by detailing exactly what you need, setting you up for a successful finished project each time.

Refined Knits offers garments and accessories to reproduce using timeless techniques. The results are sure to impress. The 18 projects are divided into three chapters, with a variety of captivating projects: enduring cables, timeless lace, and elegant aran lace. 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-63250-068-7 Interweave Books


Cable Left, Cable Right

Louise Roberts

KNITmuch | issue 3

216 Pages, ISBN 978-1-61212-516-9 Story Publishing

Beads are tastefully and lightly sprinkled in some projects, and a double yarn-over ground is featured in many of them. 144 pages, ISBN 978-1-63250-231-5 Interweave Books

editor's letter REMEMBER WHEN


'm always pleasantly surprised at the amount of yarn we have at our disposal today. We, knitters, are so very lucky. We get to choose from a plethora of fibers and fiber blends to make pretty clothes and accessories.

When my mother was a young girl, (as some of you might remember that era when everyone was knitting for necessity and for a cause) wool was readily accessible. Nice wool. But even that wool wouldn't compare to today's manufacturing process of how wool looks and feels today. Even within the group of 100% wool yarn, there's quite a range of textures, and I haven't even started talking about cotton, flax and silk!

Synthetics came into the picture for commercial purposes at the beginning of the twentieth century, which have also come a long way as well in terms of texture, sheen and 'wearability'. It has offered other warm options for those allergic to wool yarns, besides cotton, flax and silk. The color palettes of today's yarn are so engaging it can happen I'll buy the yarn just for its name! It's all so yummy. In this issue, we asked Cynthia MacDougall, Charles Voth and Michelle Nguyen to pick the project for the yarn highlighted and reviewed here, of which they did an excellent job. With the multitude of yarn out there it's important to know what yarn is suitable for children's clothes, accessories and which one to use for such endeavors like knitting a flag. Like I said, we are very lucky to be able to knit so many items including items that are for the sheer fun of it.

Share the love of knitting. Own the obsession.


Enjoy the issue.

follow me



projects to knit with Bamboo Pop yarn Project 1 The first item I would knit with Universal Yarn’s Bamboo Pop would be a market bag or a purse (I would have to sew a lining for it, though) with this fabulous diamond lace stitch pattern. The bamboo and cotton is a sturdy yarn and this diagonal lace stitch is sturdy and beautiful at the same time. It almost looks like Tunisian crocheted lace, but it’s true to goodness knitting. I think a market bag out of this yarn would be a really classy item to take with me to the farmers’ market on the weekends.

Charles Voth

Diagonal Lace Stitch Pattern

Cast on an even number of stitches and add 2 stitches, one for each side as a selvedge stitch. You can use the selvedge stitches to seam up the sides of the bag. Row 1 (RS): K1, *insert RH needle into front leg of 2nd st on the LH needle to knit, wrap the yarn around the needle twice, and knit, then knit the first st on the LH and slide all sts to the RH needle; rep from * across to last st, k1. Row 2: K1, p1, *insert RH needle into front leg of 2nd st on the LH needle as if to purl, wrap the yarn around the needle twice, and draw through, then purl the first st on the LH needle dropping the extra wrap; rep from * across to last 2 sts, p1, k1. Row 3: Rep Row 1, dropping the extra wraps when working those stitches. Rep Rows 2 and 3 for pattern.

Diagonal lace knit stitch


KNITmuch | issue 3

Project 2 I didn’t have enough time to make one, but I would definitely knit a men’s sweater from Bamboo Pop. It has a great drape and would fit well on a male form. It would be cool to wear in the winter if the guy is hot-blooded, yet I know it would really look high-end because of the drape and stitch definition. I know some would think the bamboo too shiny, but there isn’t enough shine to look like your wearing sequins or glitter. Any textured stitch pattern would really show well with any of the solid colors. My yarn label says 20 sts to 4” on US4 [6mm] needles, but I think that my particular label has a typo on it. That should be 4mm needles are a US6. So it’s officially a DK weight (CYC#3), but I knit with a US3 [3.25mm] and there was still lovely drape at 30 sts to 4”. To me it’s a very versatile yarn if it can span so many different gauge possibilities and still knit up well. Project 3 I would make ALL kinds of baby garments and items out of Bamboo Pop. It’s extremely soft. There are many great colors for any kid’s wardrobe, and the fabric washes and wears very well. It holds stitch definition well, too. I did have enough yarn and enough time to knit a little top for a 9-month girl. I haven’t found the right buttons for it yet, but I think some plain white pearl ones will do great. What do you think? How would you change the pattern? The pattern will soon be available in my Ravelry store in 4 or 5 sizes. I still have a lot of math and pattern writing to do to get it just right. No, those edgings and color pattern work is not crochet. It’s a lovely little stitch pattern that involves extra yarn wraps and then wrapped stitches. I will share how to make this wrapped stitch pattern on the pages that follow.

Photos by Charles Voth

Baby sweater out of Bamboo Pop with special wrapped stitches

Baby jacket knit with Bamboo Pop

KNITmuch | issue 3


w How to w knit wrapped stitches

Charles Voth

This little jacket features a cute wrapped stitch pattern, and the Bamboo Pop yarn I used to make the jacket is just perfect to show off these stitches. You’ll want to avoid fuzzy or tweedy yarns because the stitches won’t show that well, and your efforts will be slightly invisible.

Baby sweater with wrapped stitches

One tricky aspect about this stitch pattern is that the term “wrapped” is used in two different ways as you work through the pattern. But we’ll soon clear this all up with some step-by-step instructions.

Wrapped Stitches Pattern

Cast on a multiple of 6 plus 1 (for symmetry) stitches, and then 4 more so you have 2 edge stitches on each side.These 2 pairs of edge stitches stabilize the pattern so the edges don’t pucker or flare.

So let’s look at these a little closer. Here’s what it looks like to wrap 3 times before knitting the stitch.

Knit 6 rows in stockinette stitch.

Then the third stitch is a straight knit. The fourth stitch is a double wrap, and the 5th is a triple wrap. When the whole row is done, it’ll look like you have way more stitches on the needle than you do in the row below the needle, but this isn’t a problem.

Row 1 (RS): Sl first st knitwise, knit to last st, p1. Row 2: Sl first st knitwise, knit to last st, p1. And now we’re going to work on the other kind of wrap with a contrasting color. Row 3: Sl first st knitwise, k2, *when knitting next st, wrap yarn around needle 3 times, knit next st wrapping yarn 2 times, k1, knit next st wrapping yarn 2 times, knit next st wrapping yarn 3 times, k1; rep from * across to last 2 sts, k1, p1.

3 wraps before knitting the stitch

Then the next stitch is wrapped twice, like so.

Wrapped twice


KNITmuch | issue 3

Many wrapped stitches

Row 4: Sl first st knitwise, k2, *bring yarn forward, slip next 5 sts onto RH needle allowing extra wraps to drop, take yarn back, sl 5 sts back to LH needle, bring yarn forward, sl 5 sts to RH needle, take yarn back, sl 5 sts back to LH needle, bring yarn forward, sl 5 sts to RH needle, knit next st on left needle; rep from * across to last 2 sts, k1, p1.

Yarn Sheaves Stitch Pattern

Group of 5 sts wrapped fully twice

Each bundle or what looks to me like a sheave of wheat (or yarn) is then nicely wrapped and separated by a stitch on each side of it. Row 5: With main color, sl first st knitwise, taking care to work into each of the 5 sts in the bundles separately, knit across to last st, p1. Row 6: Rep row 2. Row 7: With contrasting color, sl first st knitwise, k4, *knit next st wrapping yarn 3 times, knit next st wrapping yarn 2 times, k1, knit next st wrapping yarn 2 times, knit next st wrapping yarn 3 times, k1; rep from * across to last 4 sts, k3, p1. Row 8: Sl 1 knitwise, k4, *wrap next 5 sts twice as in row 4, k1; rep from * across to last 4 sts, k3, p1. Rows 9 & 10: Rep Rows 5 & 6.

Another way to make the little sheaves is to slip the five stitches with extra wraps onto a cable needle or spare double pointed needle dropping the extra wraps as you do. Then take the yarn and wrap it around the 5 stitches twice, and then return the stitches to the RH needle and proceed across. It’s a lovely stitch pattern and with the crispness of Bamboo Pop, it looks really great with excellent stitch definition. I hope you try it and think of a use for this stitch pattern in your exciting knitting projects.

KNITmuch | issue 3


Knitting with Universe an elegant linen-blend yarn

I have the opportunity to knit with Universe, a lovely, elegant light linen yarn by Universal Yarns, designed to honor their 10th anniversary. This linen blend is perfect for knitting items that you can wear during the transitional times between spring and summer and summer and fall, and throughout the whole summer as well. You'll find the items that you can knit with Universe will be romantic and have an understated glamour to them. When used for shawls and wraps, it is ideal for holiday glamour. Let’s look at how this yarn is designed and a few ways how it looks knit up. Universe linen-blend is classified as a super-fine (#1 according to yarn, equivalent to sock, baby or fingering weight. It comes 10

KNITmuch | issue 3

in 10 colors, 1 for each of the 10 years of the Universal Yarns company. I love how they named each color according to the traditional gifts that are given for successive wedding anniversaries. The colors are subtle and muted, and really bring an elegance to the yarn itself. The fiber content of Universe consists of 42% linen, 41% combed cotton, 9% glitter and 8% polyamide. Each element of this yarn adds to its overall effect once it is worked up, making Universe everything you’d want in a stellar summer yarn. One of the most challenging photographs to take is of anything that glitters. For some reason, camera lenses don’t want to catch the glints and sparkles of items that aren’t moving. So even if you cannot see it in the

Charles Voth

photo, believe me that Universe yarn has fabulous glitter that isn’t overwhelming. Think of a demure Diana, Princess of Wales, not a garish Liberace. Each ball has a strand of glitter that is flat like a microscopic ribbon and one side is silver and the other side is gold. As the glitter is spun with the other plies, one or the other side of the ribbon shows on the yarn and catches the light. Universe has just the right amount of sparkle for a summer wedding shawl: pretty, but you won’t outshine the bride! I received the 5 colors above to sample. In the back row of the photo above, from left to right, are Tin and Bronze. Tin is a warm charcoal gray with rose and olive undertones. Bronze is a warm mocha brown with warm bronze undertones. In the front row, also from left to right, are Pottery, Silk, and Crystal. Pottery is a pale lichen green which reminds me of a very light white clay with a tinge of green glaze. Silk is the color of champagne, a pale creamy yarn with the smallest blush of pale rose. And Crystal is a wintery white, crisp and clean.

One of my dream jobs would be designing yarn itself. I think the team who developed Universe yarn had a blast! If you look at the above picture of a “dissected” strand of yarn, the leftmost white strand is a thick and thin slub ply of linen. When linen is spun, it is often the case that these slubs (or wider segments) are allowed to stay in the ply. Then there are 5 plies of combed cotton which is evenly twisted and doesn’t have slubs.

Universe yarn in the Crystal colorway

alongside them. It has some elasticity and adds that to the final yarn to a small degree. If you look carefully, you can see that the wrap of the black binder thread isn’t completely even; there are even times when it is wrapped about 10 times around the same millimeter of yarn, creating a little black dot. Universe is a very pretty yarn and it knits up into very pretty things. In the following pages we'll explore how to cast off when knitting with non-stretchy yarns, and designing your own summer shell. We’ll also look at some other tidbits related to using Universe.

5 of the 10 colors of Universe linen-blend yarn

The 2-sided glitter tape became very fragile when I poked at it with pins and tried to separate it from the other plies, so it looks frayed in the photo, but when intact, one side is silver and the other gold. It is the topmost strands in the close-up. The last ply consists of the black polyamide. This is an extremely fine black thread that acts as a binder and is wrapped around the other plies rather than twisted

Elements of Universe Yarn and how they are combined

KNITmuch | issue 3


Best bind-off for cotton yarn In exploring the Universe, by Universal Yarns, I wondered what the best bind-off or cast-off to use with a yarn like this. Universe is a glammed-up linen and cotton blend that's perfect for lace knitting and warm-weather knits. I love how it reflects colors from its surroundings. One characteristic of Universe is that it isn’t elastic. The good thing about this is that when knit, Universe makes a light, airy fabric with a lot of drape. It's important to use the right bind off for this type of yarn. The type of cast-on to use with Universe is equally important, but I think that it depends on the kind of edging your piece needs to have. I used the longtail cast-on and size 0 [2mm] needles and the cast on was snug. I was just making a swatch, so it didn’t matter, but a kniton cast-on or cable-cast on would be good to use with the bind-off that I finally decided would be the best; But I’ll talk more on that later. Let’s start with the swatch I made. I tried garter stitch on small needles. It created a lovely, structured edging for the swatch that still has drape and movement.

Close-up Universe yarn

Uneven tension in stockinette stitches

A close up of my best bind-off for cotton or linen yarn

Tight bind-off edge


KNITmuch | issue 3

Charles Voth

I then changed to size 5 [3.75mm] needles and worked in stockinette stitch. In my opinion, this was one or two sizes too large for this yarn, at least for the way I knit. It was challenging to keep my tension even. Yarns made of linen and cotton, have no stretch or memory, so when a stitch comes out a little looser than its neighbors, there’s nothing pulling it into a size consistent with those around it. I think 3mm needles (nearest US equivalent is size 3) would be best for me to achieve a nice, consistent tension. That said, if I was knitting lace with lots of yarn overs, I would for surely use 3.75mm needles. The evenness of each individual stitch isn’t as crucial when there are yarn-overs as it is in stockinette stitch. So which bind-off is the best one to use with a non-stretchy yarn like Universe’s linen cotton blend? I first tried what I would call the “normal” bind-off where you knit 2, pass the first stitch over the second one; then you knit one, and pass the previous stitch over the one just knit and so on. However, just for fun, I bound-off on the purl side. This resulted in that ever-so-frustrating puckered edge. You may have done this on a neckband only to have your eyebrows (and, in my case, beard) shaved by the bound-off edge.

I then tried the following bind-off: I knit 1 stitch and returned it to the left needle and then it and the next stitch together (k2tog). Then, I returned that stitch to the left needle and knit 2 together and so on. This created a slightly looser bindoff and what I would describe as a slight bouclé edging. Finally, I tried the following and I do believe that it is indeed the best bind-off to use with non-elastic yarn. I knit the first stitch and returned it to the left needle purlwise (or Garter stitch edging in Universe yarn basically through the front loop of the stitch on the right-hand needle with the needle points facing each other). Then I knit 2 stitches together through the back loops, returned this stitch to the lefthand needle (purlwise, again), and knit 2 stitches together through the back loops.

Eventually, I developed a rhythm which involved fewer movements because, as I returned the stitch to the left-hand needle I also inserted the right-hand needle into the back loop of the next stitch, making everything set to knit the 2 stitches together through the back loops. As you can see above, this bind-off doesn’t pucker – it lies flat and has a nice finish. I would recommend this bind off for any project using cotton or linen or any other nonelastic yarn. When you encounter a characteristic about a yarn that at first gives you grief, don’t give up on it: look for a solution to the challenge. In upcoming posts, we’ll look at how great Universe looks as knitted lace, something that it comes by naturally.

KNITmuch | issue 3


4 cast ons for knitting circular lace Charles Voth

As we explore the beautiful projects that you can knit using Universe, a lovely linen-cotton yarn by Universal yarns, I’ll draw your attention to 3 ways to start your circular knits from the center out. Universe is perfect for lace knitting, and we’ll see a few examples of what that looks like today. Center-out cast-on techniques are great for any type of circular project that either comes to a point, like a hat, or needs to lay flat, like a circular washcloth.

This neat cast-on, which allows you to cinch up the stitches at the center of the circle, has been explained at length and illustrated by blogger TechKnitter (who prefers to stay anonymous). She calls it the disappearing loop method. And while it may feel a little awkward the first time you attempt it, this cast-on is one of my favorites.

A third center-out cast on that works is the famous Magic Caston for toe-up socks that was developed by Judy Becker. For most toe-up socks you would be casting on at least 18 to 26 stitches using this method, which leaves a nice, seamless, no-ridge toe. If you use this method to cast on 6 or 8 stitches, and you start the lace pattern right away,

Well, it’s tricky to see, but in this unblocked piece of circular lace, I started knitting from a center-out cast-on – a nice neat one that cinches up tight and neat. Here’s a better picture of what this piece looks like on the blocking mat. 14

KNITmuch | issue 3

She mentions a different centerout cast on which is based on crochet. So for any of you whose fingers dabble in both (or even more) crafts, Emily Ocker’s cast on is quite straightforward. It’s not the same thing as crochet’s “magic ring”, so don’t get the two confused. This is more of a situation where Tunisian crochet meets regular crochet to benefit knitters.

Circular lace, pinned for blocking

there’s no horizontal line of stitches. Instead a nice circle forms. If you already know this cast on, it’ll be a simple transition to use it for knitting circular lace. A fourth option for starting a circular lace project is the garter stitch tab. The garter stitch tab often appears in older triangular shawl patterns, but it’s well-suited to circles as well. In the photo above, you can see that I’ve cast on 3 stitches and knit 7 rows. This creates 3 garter stitch ridges. To make the circle, you leave the 3 sts on the needle, then pick up and knit a stitch in each garter ridge edge (that’s 3 across one side, 6 sts altogether). Then you pick up 3 stitches from the cast-on ridge, and 3 more from the garter ridges on the other side (12 sts in total). I use 2 circular needles for my circular projects, but if you prefer double-pointed needles, you could have 3 stitches on each of 4 needles and knit with the 5th around. If you prefer the magic-loop method, you would put 6 stitches on each circular needle. Amy Gunderson of Universal Yarns has designed 11 beautiful snowflakes that feature Universe yarn. These projects would be a good way to practice using any of these 4 center-out cast-on techniques.

Close-up of a garter stitch tab for lace knitting

Close up of the garter stitch tab center

I think these snowflakes are just magical! Hmmm, there’s the magic cast on, the magic ring, the magic loop…as knitters, we’re really enthralled with what we do, and yes it sure can be magical. I hope you find some time to knit some magic with what we covered.

Pictures from “A Universe of Snowflakes”

KNITmuch | issue 3


Adding a picot edging to a lace stole or shawl Charles Voth

There are many different edgings that designers can add to their knit lace shawls or stoles. In this article, we’ll explore 2 simple solutions to adding easy picot edgings. We’re working with Universe yarn, a beautiful mix of cotton, linen, polyamide, and a touch of glitter.

Knitted Lace patterns: Whimsical Wrap (left) and Starry Road Scarf (right)


KNITmuch | issue 3

Right off the bat, and on a little side note, you may notice that the yarn on the skein in the photo is unruly and falling off the ball and making a bit of a bird’s nest. Every ball of Universe is wound on a paper core and comes with a rubber elastic around it and a paper ball band to keep it neat and tidy when displayed or stored in your stash. But when knitting with this yarn, I did find that several strands of it wanted to spring off the ball and into my knitting faster than I could keep up. I solved this two ways. I kept the rubber elastic around the ball and released several meters at a time. It didn’t tangle this way, and I was able to tame the yarn constantly. A friend of mine at knit-night is knitting a shawl and he re-wound the yarn into a cake with a ball winder and has a rubber band around it, but as it’s a center-pull ball, the yarn is coming from the inside and behaving itself.

For those of you who are multi-craftual/ cross-crafters, crocheting a picot edging may be the first course of action you choose because it’s faster than knitting and you can have your lace stole or shawl ready to wear much sooner. For the non-crocheters reading along with us, I’ll give several knit options later on. A crocheted picot edge is great for rectangular stoles because they are worked the same on both ends, and like beads, they add a little extra weight, so the lace remains taut and lovely. Crochet stitches don’t necessarily match up with stitch gauge in knitting, so to start with, you’ll need to swatch both a little of the crochet and a little of the knitted lace pattern of your stole. Find a favorite knit lace pattern in a stitch dictionary and work up a little swatch with 20 or so stitches. Knit enough rows to get a decent row gauge. For the crochet edging part of the swatch, I’d recommend that you ignore the ball-band recommendation. If you used 3mm (no US equivalent) for the knitting, go up to a 3.5 or 3.75mm (US E or F) crochet hook, so that the crocheted lace balances the knitted lace, and isn’t tighter than it.

Here are the instructions for the crocheted picot edging pictured.

Crocheted picot edging

Abbreviations (US terms): ch=chain, sc=single crochet, tr=treble crochet, lp=loop, rep=repeat, sl st=slip stitch, st=stitch

Chain a multiple of 4 until your foundation chain is 5″ to 6″ long [13 to 16cm].

Picot Edging worked in crochet with Universe yarn

Crocheted picot edging

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across, turn–you’ll have 1 less sc than you did chs, an odd number. Row 2: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn. Row 3: Ch 5, sk first 2 sc, tr in next sc, *ch 1, sk next st, tr in next st, rep from * across, turn. Row 4: Ch 1, sc in first tr, *sc in next ch sp, sc in next tr; rep from * across, turn. Row 5: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn. Row 6: Ch 1, sc in next st, *sc in next st, ch 3, sl st in front lp and front vertical leg of sc just made, sc in next 2 sts; rep from * across. Fasten off.

Knit picot edging

KNITmuch | issue 3


The next thing to figure out is how many stitches to pick up to knit across the other side of the foundation chain. For example, if your swatch tells you that you need to knit 20 stitches across 4″ [10cm] but your crochet swatch has 18 stitches/chains across 4″ [10cm], you’ll need to pick up 2 extra stitches in every 4″ [10cm] section of the stole. To do this, make 2 stitches out of one crocheted stitch. I do this by inserting the needle in the back loop of the next stitch and knit, then inserting the needle in the front loop of the same stitch and knit. If you need fewer knit stitches than you have along the crocheted edge, then simply skip a stitch or two (or as many as needed) over each 4″ [10cm] span until you have the right number. Jot down the number of stitches on Row 2 – you’ll need this number at the other end of the stole. At the opposite end of the stole, bind off, preferably with the bind off we looked at on Tuesday. Then, use your crochet hook to make the same number of stitches as in row 2 of the crochet edging evenly across the end of the stole and then work Rows 2 to 6.


KNITmuch | issue 3

Knit picot edging

In the above picture you can see a pretty bind-off technique that finishes up your knitting project and adds a lovely knit picot edging as well. To make this finish symmetrical on both ends, cast on with scrap yarn. Then after the stole is finished and you have cast off the last row using this knitted picot edging, undo the provisional cast on, returning the stitches to the needles and work the knitted picot edging across the first edge. With this edging, it doesn’t really matter how many stitches you have on the needles. When you get to the last few stitches, if you can’t work one more picot, just bind off (cast off ) in your preferred method. To work this picot edging, you need to now how to do the following: Knit cast-on: Insert hook in stitch on the left hand (LH) needle and knit but without removing the stitch from the LH needle, rotate the right hand (RH) needle to twist the stitch and place it on the LH needle.

Instructions: K2, pass right-most stitch on RH needle over first st. Return this stitch to the LH needle. *Insert the RH as if to k2tog, but instead knit-cast on 1 st. Knit cast-on another st. K2. Pass the right-most st on RH needle over the first st. K1. Pass over. K1 through the back leg of the next st, Pass over. K1. Pass over. Rep from * across, ending with K1 pass over 1 or 2 times to use up all stitches. Amy Gunderson and the Universal Yarn design team bring us four great free knitted lace patterns to try. The first two, Starry Road Scarf and Whimsical Wrap don’t have a picot edge, but the Starry Road Scarf on the right could easily be made using either technique we looked at. The other two designs, Going Places Shawl, and Planetary Shawl, have dramatic dramatic, knitted on edges already written into the instructions. These four patterns feature Universe, our yarn of the week, and really show off the subdued elegance that this yarn brings to knitted fabric. The free patterns from Universal Yarns show how well Universe yarn takes aggressive wet-blocking (soaking the finished piece in water, pinning out the points and any internal lace features and allowing to dry), and how lovely the finished drape is. Let us know if you try any of these patterns.


Design your own knitted lace tank top

Charles Voth

Do you ever go through your yarn stash and find a lovely summer yarn you were going to knit and you never did? By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to cast on and knit a cool, sophisticated knit lace summer tank-top. The one in the photographs is knit with our yarn of the week, Universe, which comes in 10 elegant colors that each have a little bling bling in them to make your summer evenings sparkle.

Eyelet Lace knit with 2 different needle sizes

I’m knitting this summer tank top out of Universe for Pam (my wife), and I thought it would be an excellent project to share with you. I have 5 different colors of this linen-cotton yarn that has a little glitter in it, and I thought it would go perfect over a camisole and under a jacket shrug or evening stole on a late summer’s evening out to the theater. I started with the darkest color I had (Tin) and changed the colors gradually as I worked up to the top. Below is a shot of it from the top down.


KNITmuch | issue 3

to work the first row that builds the eyelets. Each eyelet consists of 5 stitches that are worked together when you knit 7 stitches into each one. A single stitch flanks the eyelet on either side and separates the eyelets from each other. Work on a multiple of 6 stitches, plus 1. Eyelet lace from the top-down with gradient changes in color

I was inspired to develop this lace because of my love for Broomstick Lace, which is usually crocheted. I thought of the traditional knit sea-foam stitch, wherein extra wraps are made in certain stitches and then dropped to achieve an open lacy look. I played around with different increases and decreases till I got what I wanted. Then I threw in a change in needle size and voila…it was perfect.

Two rows after the eyelet row, you’ll need to get rid of the extra stitches that were worked into the eyelets. This is achieved with a double decrease right above the flank stitches (circled in red above).

Eyelet Stitch Instructions

Abbreviations: K=knit; tog=together; sl2togkpsso=slip next 2 sts as if to knit them together, knit 1, pass both slipped stitches over stitch just knit; sl=slip; ssk=slip each of next 2 stitches knitwise, return to LH needle, knit 2 together through back loops; LH=left-hand; RH=right-hand; rep=repeat. Cast on a multiple of 6 stitches, plus 1. For a decent sized swatch you’ll want 31 or 37 stitches.

Structure of Eyelet Lace

To knit eyelet lace for your summer top, use a fine lightweight yarn, like Universe, and a needle size that’s perhaps one size (0.5mm) bigger than what is recommended on the yarn label. The pattern is made by working an even number of garter stitch rows between the eyelet lace rows. Change to a larger needle

I used size 5 [3.75mm] needles for the main part of the stitch and a 7mm needle (closest size US 10 ½) for the eyelet row. Rows 1-8: Knit with smaller needles. Row 9 (RS): With size 7mm needle (or larger needle of your choice), k1, *[knit 1 by wrapping needle twice before drawing through stitch on LH needle] 5 times, k1; rep from * across.

Row 10: With smaller needles, k1, *[sl each of next 5 sts, dropping extra wraps, return to LH needle, through the 5 back loops together work (k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1)], k1; rep from * across. Row 11: Knit. Row 12: K2tog, k5, *sl2togkpsso (see below), k5; rep from * across to last 2 sts, ssk. Rows 13-18: Knit. Row 19: With larger needle, k4, *[knit 1 by wrapping needle twice before drawing through stitch on LH needle] 5 times, k1; rep from * across, ending with k3. Row 20: With smaller needles, K4, *[sl each of next 5 sts, dropping extra wraps, return to LH needle, through the 5 back loops together work (k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1)], k1; rep from * across, ending with k3. Row 21: Knit. Row 22: K3, k2tog, *k5, sl2togkpsso; rep from * across to last 5 sts, ssk, k3. Rows 23-28: Knit. Repeat rows 9-28 for pattern.

Designing your own Tank Top

Now that you have knit a swatch, you’ll want to measure how many stitches are worked over 4″ [10cm]. This will be your gauge. Second, you’ll need just a few measurements. You can have a friend take your measurements while you’re in a bathing suit, but another easy way to get the numbers you need is to lay your favorite store-bought tank-top or t-shirt on a flat surface with the seams at the edges and measure from there. You’ll really only need the following to start, your bust measurement (at the widest point without adding any give or ease) – A on the schematic. Your cross-back measurement, B on the schematic, which is the distance from your left shoulder bone to your right shoulder bone. On a t-shirt this is the distance from one sleeve/ shoulder seam to the other. On your body, be sure to ignore any soft tissue or muscle and go from the knobby part of the shoulder bone to the other outer knobby part. On the diagram you’ll see that the shoulder straps are a little bit in from the outer limits of measurement B…and that’s because you want the straps to cover bra or camisole straps.

A few calculations to design your tank top

Take your bust measurement and subtract ½” [1cm] from the total and then divide by 2. Round off any numbers to the nearest ¼” [0.5cm]. Example: 46″ – ½” = 45½”, divided by 2 = 22¾”.

Eyelet Lace is knit on a multiple of 6 stitches, plus 1.

will knit the Front first, and then the Back separately. If you have a gauge of 26 sts over 4″ [10 cm] then you insert that value into this formula. A ÷ 2 ×26 ÷ 4… and that’s the number of stitches to cast on. in my example, that would be: 22.75 × 26 ÷ 4 = 148 stitches. I also need a multiple of 6 plus 1, so. 148 ÷ 6 = 24.666667 so I’ll ignore the numbers after the decimal point and multiply that number by 6 again. 24 × 6 = 144, + 1 = 145 stitches. Because we’re knitting a tank top we want to fit snugly, it’s better to round down than to round up. In your case, you will need to change 26 for the number of sts you have in 4″ and the value of A to get the right number. If I were using centimeters, my example would look like this: A = 114.5cm and my gauge is 26 sts per 10cm. A ÷ 2 × 26 ÷ 10 = 148.85…which when divided by 6 would be 24 as well, so I would cast on 145 stitches. You can cast on this number of stitches and knit the Eyelet Lace pattern until the piece is as long as you want it from under your arm (the beginning of the armhole shaping to the bottomdistance G on the schematic.

The bodice of the tank top

This tank-top design is simple to design yourself, particularly once you get to the armhole shaping. Use the cross-back measurement B and then use your gauge again.

A is the whole bust measurement on the schematic. Half of A is the width of the Front or Back of the Tank Top you are making. And we KNITmuch | issue 3


My example

If my wife’s cross-back measurement is 16½”, then I take 16.5 x 26 ÷ 4 and get 107.25… do the math to see how many multiples of 6 I get. 107.25 ÷ 6 = 17.875…that’s pretty close to 18, so I’ll round up in this case. So that’s 18 x 6 + 1 = 109 stitches.

Schematic for a summer lace tank top

Now I need to get rid of some stitches on both sides of the bodice panel, so I will take my original 145 and subtract 109… that gives me: 145−109 =36 stitches . However, I don’t want the shoulder straps to sit right at my wife’s shoulder bone, so I’ll bind off about another inchworth of stitches. To start my armhole shaping I would bind off 18 sts (half of 36) plus another 6 (to adjust the location of the strap edge). That’s 24 sts cast off at the beginning of the next 2 rows. When I bind these off, that may land me in the middle of an Eyelet lace repeat, so I would just work enough stockinette stitches over to begin an Eyelet lace repeat. Then I’ll continue in the Eyelet lace pattern as established until I reach the point that my wife wants the neckline to begin. At that point, I’ll just figure out how many inches wide she’d like each strap (see the little notches on line B on the schematic) and knit

up of Eyelet Lace on the needle cable


KNITmuch | issue 3

that many stitches on each side of the bodice panel, casting off the middle ones for the neck opening (D on the schematic). The depth of the armhole (C on the schematic) is also a personal choice. Knit the straps until the bodice panel from the beginning of the armhole shaping is your desired depth. If you are knitting for someone else and it’s a gift or a surprise and you don’t want to try it on until it’s done, you can use the measurements provided by the Craft Yarn Council as a guideline. For women, men and children, there are charts which indicate what the standard armhole depth is for different sizes. The Back piece is worked just like the front except you can choose to raise or lower the neckline – the straps can start right at the beginning of the armhole shaping which would change their length in the Back (E on the schematic), or the neckline can be placed higher than the front, or even the same height. I hope you’ve enjoyed this articles about Universe yarn and that you feel inspired to try knitting with this excellent yarn.

Two Knitting Tours, Multiple Departure Dates!

Choose to discover knitting & craft in the North & Northwest of Ireland or the South and West of Ireland. Both tours include workshops and craft based sightseeing as well as general sightseeing. Toll free 1877 298 7205 Local | Flexible | Trustworthy


T he t hick a nd t hi n of Bamboo Bloom yarn Charles Voth A perfect yarn for the inbetween seasons of spring and fall, Bamboo Bloom is a lovely textured fiber that lends itself to garments and accessories that have a shabby-chic look. I’d like to introduce you to this thick and thin yarn and highlight its inner beauty and qualities.

Bamboo Bloom thick and thin yarn

Bamboo Bloom is a thick and thin yarn developed by Universal Yarns and produced in Turkey. Each hank contains approximately 154yds [140m] and 100g of yarn. The fiber content includes 48% rayon made from bamboo strands, 44% wool and 8% acrylic. Rayon from Bamboo is a very slippery fiber with long slippery individual strands, so acrylic that has a bit of tooth (or grip) to it and comes in shorter strands is blended together with it to act as a bit of a binder to keep the yarn from untwisting. Both bamboo and wool are light weight fibers, and for a yarn that’s labelled bulky (or chunky), it’s not heavy or bulky in feel at all. 24

KNITmuch | issue 3

Bamboo Bloom comes in 12 solid colors and 22 multi-colored hand-paints. Items knit from this thick and thin yarn will be on trend in two ways. You can knit at a chunky tension or gauge to get that big and bold look, or you can use smaller needles and achieve a closer knit fabric that still has a lot of drape and movement for that shabby-chic ‘drapey’ feel.

The puffy sections of the yarn feature wool mostly. The wool sections have slightly less twist to them, but they are sturdy enough that it’s not that easy to pull or tear the yarn at the thick sections. The wool is very soft and fine and after rubbing it against my neck or inner elbow, I would give it an itch factor of 0 to 0.5 on a scale of 0 to 10 where 10 is so scratchy that I’d have to wear 2 layers of clothing under it to be comfortable. So that’s soft.

Thick and thin strands of Bamboo Bloom

These are strands of the Bamboo Bloom thick and thin yarn in Rice color. The yarn is spun before it is dyed. When it’s immersed in the dye bath, the different types of fibers take the color in at different amounts of intensity. You can see that there is a champagne pink hue to some of the yarn and much fainter version of champagne in other sections. The thin sections of the yarn feature the bamboo fiber mostly. It’s a one-ply yarn, so all the fibers are combed to be parallel and then spun tightly. There’s no binder thread spun around the single ply to hold things together. The way Bamboo Bloom is spun requires no extra support. It can stand on its own.

Close-up of thick-n-thin Bamboo Bloom yarn

In this close-up of Bamboo Bloom, you can see how the bamboo rayon strands gradually give way to the puffy wool fibers. To me it looks like a tree branch that’s keeping a tight grip on some Spanish moss. You can also see the color differences clearly between the wool, which has taken in more of the dye, and the bamboo, with just a slight blush. Keep reading we’ll look at how this thick and thin yarn knits up at different gauges or tension.

don't miss these projects & tutorials online!


.com K, is to 2 skein project: toddler sweater pattern




easy 2 color knitted mock HOUNDSTOOTH pattern

Creating knitted accents with R ozetti Cotton Gold yarn

and there's so much more! KNITmuch | issue 3


Exploring gauge with thick and thin yarn Basically you can knit with thick and thin yarn at any gauge, but you’ll need to experiment a little to see how the yarn behaves for you on different needle sizes and on the tension you usually apply to yarn. Each knitter’s feeding tension (how much yarn is fed to the needle and the strain being put on the yarn by the knitter’s hands) is unique, so even though a yarn label recommends a certain needle size to achieve a specific gauge, it doesn’t always work out. Bamboo Bloom has a recommended needle size of US9 [5.5mm] and states that 15 sts and 22 rows per 4″ [10cm] will be achieved. A US9 [5.5mm] needle size is what is usually given for a chunky yarn, but what is interesting to me is that the thinnest sections of Bamboo Bloom are more like DK weight and the thickest parts are like extra-chunky. Universal Yarns must have come up with an average gauge based on what most of the accompanying patterns look like.

Thick and thin yarn


KNITmuch | issue 3

So, it would be good for us knitters to take several needle sizes and swatch to see which size works best with the yarn, or the way I prefer to think of it, which effect is created by the different needle sizes and which effect is the one I want. Let’s look at a comparison of some swatches. In the above swatch, I knit across 30 stitches with size US7 [4.5mm] needles. On the knit side of this stockinette stitch swatch you can see how the puffy segments of yarn fill up the space they have and really compete with neighboring stitches beside them, and a little with those they’re worked into. The right leg of each stitch is slightly receding to the back of the fabric. The push and pull play of these stitches also creates a waviness in the fabric that is interesting. This swatch has little drape and is quite stiff, so it wouldn’t work for a loose-fitting garment needing a lot of softness and movement. But I really liked how it looked on the purl side.

Bamboo Bloom in stockinette stitch on US7 [4.5mm] needles

Charles Voth

I was REALLY excited by how the purl side of this swatch looked, however. The ridges of puffy stitches were really evenly distributed across and up and down this 30-stitch swatch. I really liked the valleys and ridges that were formed. As a design element, I would probably use this yarn at this gauge in a sweater that was worked side to side so that the ridges would be vertical and slimming. The reflection of the ‘shininess’ of the bamboo sections really create an interesting play on movement with the sheen coming from valleys as well as the crests of the ridges. A quick one-skein project would be side to side wrist warmers, fingerless mitts, or boot cuffs.

Purl side of Bamboo Bloom in stockinette stitch on US7 [4.5mm] needles

3 reasons to use larger needles with thick and thin yarn While knitting thick and thin yarn with smaller needles certain has advantages, and also results in a certain look in the knit fabric, knitting thick and thin yarn with larger needles will yield different results. The first advantage to knitting with larger needles is actually a matter of practicality. When knitting on finer needle sizes and encountering a thick, puffy section of yarn, you’ll immediately find it’s a bit of a struggle to draw the yarn through the stitches on the needle. It’s easy to split the puffs and to lose the smaller stitches. So by knitting with bigger needles, you’ll have larger loops on the needles of the finer segments of the yarn as well, which will allow easy passage of the puffy parts. A second advantage to knitting thick and thin yarn with larger needles is the strain on your hands. Fighting with the thicker yarn and tight loops on fine needles would be fine for a quick small project, but it would get tiresome quickly if the project was extensive.

Thick-n-thin Bamboo Bloom yarn

Right side stockinette on size 6.5mm needles

A third advantage of using larger needles is that the fabric has a lot of drape and movement and delightful texture that really pops out. I love the bamboo rayon in Bamboo Bloom because of its sheen and its hand when knit. I really like the wool tufts in Bamboo Bloom because of the lofty airiness it adds to the fabric. However, just as multicolored or variegated yarns do, thick-n-thin yarns can “pool”. Pooling means that there’s a concentration of the thick segments all in one area of the finished fabric. In the swatch above, it was just happenstance that all these tufts were stacked above each other. To solve this, I would knit on more or fewer stitches if possible. If not, I would use two different hanks of yarn and alter every 2nd row so that the pooling would be broken up. Next, we’ll look at another way to break up pooling when knitting with thick and thin yarns.

Purl side stockinette on size 6.5mm needles

KNITmuch | issue 3


How to avoid pooling in knit fabric

Charles Voth

Slipped stitches with thick yarn in back of work.

In the swatch above, you can see that there are no instances of row upon row of the thicker tufts stacking on top of each other directly or slightly an angle, which would cause a bias in the fabric. Instead, it’s a fairly even distribution of thick rows and thin. There are 2 strategies I used to achieve this. First, whenever a thicker segment of yarn worked its way up into my feeding hand (it’s my right because I’m a thrower, aka English style knitter), I changed my stitching. I worked: [K1, sl 1 purlwise with yarn in back] across the next few stitches until I was back to knitting with the thin yarn. Then on the return row, I knit across and only purled the stitches I had slipped on the previous row.

Reverse side of slipped stitches.

As you can see in these 2 photos, the slipped stitches interrupt the puffy bits on the one side of the fabric and enhance the bumps on the opposite side. You have to be flexible and work these slipped stitches only when necessary and perhaps on either side of the fabric, making a truly reversible fabric.

The second strategy was to use garter stitch throughout, except for when I worked the slipped stitches I just explained.

Rough edges with thick and thin yarn


KNITmuch | issue 3

Not everyone will be enamored with the edges that can result from knitting with thick and thin yarn, because, short of cutting the yarn, there’s really no way to avoid the placement of the puffs at the edges. There is a quick fix for this though, which doesn’t completely do away with the bumps, but does train them and calm them down.

Crocheted edge

To lessen the uneven edges of knitting with thick and thin, you can simply use a crochet hook that matches the weight of the thinner sections of the yarn and using a long segment of the thin segment, crochet a simple single-crochet stitch edge, like that pictured above. Read on as we look at a cowl pattern that will be completely unique, and a simple way to create a fun, textured accessory.

KNITmuch | issue 3


Bamboo Bloom yarn makes knit cowl unique to you First, I’ve got to say that I love how these photos turned out. I finally managed to catch the sheen of the bamboo rayon in Bamboo Bloom yarn. It doesn’t hurt that the texture of this yarn really shows as well. I’ll explain how I make a very randomly textured fabric by using a bit of number fun…NO MATH really…well, I lie, 1 addition equation, but then it’s just patterning after that.

Bamboo Bloom Cowl


KNITmuch | issue 3

My Centennial Cowl I call this a centennial cowl because it’s based on my birth year, 1967, Canada’s centennial year. The fun part of this cowl pattern is that it’s based on a pattern sequence determined by the birth year of the knitter or the recipient of the cowl. My birthday is August 10, 1967. For this pattern, I need to use all the numbers of my birth date: 08-10-1967. If you have zeroes in your date, you’ll need to ignore them, as did I, so my new number sequence is: 8-1-19-6-7. This number sequence is used for two types of pattern and stitch repeats.

To knit this cowl out of Bamboo Bloom thick-n-thin yarn, simply cast on about 100 stitches on size 6mm or 6.5mm needles. You can cast on more or fewer stitches, but you just want to make sure that the number of stitches you cast on IS NOT a multiple of the sum of your birth date numbers. For example: 8+1+1+9+6+7 = 32, so I would NOT want to cast on 96 or 128 sts, because those two numbers are multiples of 32. With 100 sts, I’m guaranteed that my stitch pattern will be fairly random every round.

Top view of cowl with textured knit and purl stitches

So back to your pattern. Cast on your desired number of stitches and join in the round, making sure you don’t have a twist in your cast-on stitches. The first way that the number sequence applies to your knitting is on the rounds I knit for the cowl. In my case, I would knit 8 rounds where the first stitch of the stitch sequence is always a knit, then 1 round, where the first stitch of the sequence is a purl, then 1 row as a knit, then 9 rows as a purl, then 6 rows as a knit and 7 rows as a purl. The second way that the number sequence applies to the pattern is the combination of knit and purl stitches. In my cowl my first row was: *k8, p1, k1, p9, k6, p7; rep from * around. Because I don’t have a multiple of 32, when I get to the end of the round, I’ll be somewhere in the middle of the sequence. That’s fine, I don’t interrupt the sequence, I simply mark the join with a stitch marker and finish the sequence till I’ve done the p7.

Then I begin the sequence again with k8 p1, etc. I do this for a total of 8 times. Then the next time I start a sequence past the beginning of round stitch marker, I begin the sequence with purl: *p8, k1, p1, k9, p6, k7; rep from * around. But I do this just once, because according to my row sequence, I now need to work another row that begins with a knit stitch. And so on. This semi-random sequence of numbers eventually creates an evenly distributed series of ridges and valleys in garter, stockinette, and reverse stockinette stitches.

by knitting a little meaningful code that represents them right into the fabric. Bamboo Bloom is a great yarn for this type of project as it’s not scratchy, but it’s warm enough for those in between seasons. One hank makes a cowl that’s between 23½ʺ to 27½ʺ [60 to 70cm] around and 4½ʺ to 6″ [12 to 15cm] wide, so two hanks would make a nice substantial cowl or an infinity scarf.

I’m not into numerology or anything like that, but I do think it’s a fun way to personalize a knitted gift for a friend, just

Charles Voth

Close-up of random stitches in cowl

KNITmuch | issue 3


Cordial yarn

is perfect for knitting a shopping bag

Michelle Nguyen

Re-usable Shopping Bag in color Neon

Re-usable Shopping Bag in color Neon


KNITmuch | issue 3

A fresh take on the re-usable shopping bag Re-usable shopping bags are becoming commonplace, since charging for plastic bags almost everyone has similar re-usable ones. Red Heart’s Cordial yarn has the strength to stand up to a large grocery trip and the style to look good at the mall. Cordial yarn is perfect for knitting a shopping bag.

materials • 3 balls of Red Heart Cordial in Neon • 1 US 10.5 [6mm] 16″ circular needle • 1 set of US 10.5 [6mm] double pointed needles Cast on 100 stitches, join in the round, place marker and knit in stockinette stitch until the bag reaches 10″. Begin the decrease rounds as follows and switch to double pointed needles when the stitches no longer fit the 16″ circular. Row 1: *Knit 5, Knit 2 together* Repeat until end of row. Row 2: Knit all stitches Row 3: *Knit 4, Knit 2 together* Repeat until end of row. Row 4: Knit all stitches Row 5: *Knit 3, Knit 2 together* Repeat until end of row. Row 6: Knit all stitches Row 7: *Knit 2, Knit 2 together* Repeat until end of row. Row 8: Knit all stitches Row 9: *Knit 1, Knit 2 together* Repeat until end of row. Row 10: *Knit 2 together* Repeat until end of row.

I-cord handles

The decreases on the bottom of the bag.

The bag stretches to encompass your expanding shopping list.

You should be left with 8 stitches on your needles. Cut the working yarn leaving a long tail. Using your tapestry needle, thread the working yarn around through your live stitches and pull the needles out. Then pull these stitches tight using the working yarn you have just threaded through the other stitches. For the handles, cast on 4 stitches and work an i-cord for 12″. Do this twice to end up with two handles and sew them onto the bag. Sew each end of the handle approximately 4″ apart, then fold the bag and sew the other handle on the opposite side. By folding the bag, the handle will be precisely on the other side instead of ‘approximately’. Red Heart’s Cordial yarn is perfect for knitting a shopping bag and it comes in a lot of fun colors, which keep these bags fresh and fun. If you’re looking for a larger bag simply add some length to the body of the bag; make sure you accommodate for the extra yarn needed too!

Photos by Michelle Nguyen KNITmuch | issue 3


Cordial yarn

is ideal for a knitted market backpack The knitted market backpack using Red Heart’s Cordial is easy to use and stylish too!

Cordial yarn takes us to the market again. This time giving the option to knit a bag to sling over your shoulders rather than carry with one arm, especially useful when at the market. With people jostling on each side and trying to find the best fruits and veggies, you want something easy to carry. Backpack with the flap open and the drawstring still tied.


KNITmuch | issue 3

materials • 3 balls of Cordial in color Greyscale • 1 ball of Cordial in color All-Star • 1 set of 16″ circular needles in US 7 • 1 button • 1 tapestry needle Cast on 20 stitches and knit in stockinette stitch for 10″. You’re going to have a rectangular piece of knitting now and with the RS facing you pick up stitches along the outside edges. Knit up for 5″ of plain stockinette to create the body of the bag. Then do one decrease round, k8, k2tog, k one round plain, k7, k2tog, then continue to knit in plain stockinette until your bag reaches 10½ʺ from the crease of the rectangle you made for the bottom. Now you cast off. In order to make the edge of the super stretchy, cast off using Jenny’s Super Stretchy Bind Off.

Use a crochet hook to thread the yarn for your drawstring. I also used it to secure the top of the backpack to the body of it.

This is going to allow the bag to stretch and flex with the contents you put inside. In order to keep everything inside thread a length of yarn around the top, like a draw string and knot the ends. Knit the cover for the top in your contrasting color. Cast on 30 stitches and knit in garter stitch for 6½ʺ, then create a button hole. K13 stitches, BO4, k13. On the return row k13, cast on 4 stitches using the backwards loop method. Continue in garter stitch for half an inch after the button hole. For the straps, cast on 7 stitches and knit in stockinette stitch. To determine the length of the strap, measure from your wrist to your armpit. For me, that is 18″. Cast on 20 stitches and knit in stockinette stitch for 10″ which will make a rectangular piece of knitting. With the RS facing you pick up stitches along the outside edges. Knit up for 5″ of plain stockinette to create the body of the bag. Then do one decrease round, k8, k2tog, k one round plain, k7, k2tog, then continue to knit in plain stockinette until your bag reaches 10½ʺ from the crease of the rectangle you made for the bottom.

The cover for the backpack is literally a square with a button hole in one end. If you leave a long string on your cast on edge, you can use that yarn to sew it to the bag.

Putting it all together. Sew on the flap to cover the drawstring first, then sew the button in place. I know there is controversy in sewing with thread in your knitting, but this time I think you’re going to have to. The yarn won’t fit through most standard button holes and Cordial yarn is sturdier than most. Make sure your straps have the smooth side against your shoulders and the rougher side facing out. That way if you’re wearing a tank top, the straps won’t chafe against your shoulders. I hope you enjoy this version of the market backpack and play with the color variations. With all the interesting colors Cordial you’ll be able to pick some exciting color combinations to take to the market.

After all the stitches have been picked up

KNITmuch | issue 3


Red Heart’s Heart & Sole Red Heart has sent me Heart & Sole. If you didn’t catch onto the play on words in the title, this is a sock yarn. Sock yarn is one of the yarns I’ve been using more and more frequently, so I’ve found many uses for it. It’s becoming my new go-to yarn. First thoughts when I was unboxing this yarn was “YES!!! I got purple!!!” It’s my favorite color and I think these clever people are catching onto it… My second thought was about the texture. This yarn is a wool and nylon blend, it’s all very smooth, which gives it the tactile appearance of softness without giving up any of the hardwearing capabilities sock yarn so desperately needs. After this, my eye was drawn back to the colors. They’re all solid colors, as in not tonal; the solid colors are the same color the whole way through, it doesn’t get lighter or darker in anyway. Available colors have a good mix of solid colors and variegates. On the Red Heart website there’s a page with the old version of Heart & Sole, this was purely variegated colors. Now there are a lot more solids as well as color shifts. All the links in this article are for the re-released Heart and Sole.

makes a comeback ... to mark your socks for machine wash or hand wash, but I find I don’t have the time to hand wash a whole lot of socks. I end up not wearing them as much as I would like because of the washing instructions. I make a point now to only make socks that can be machine washed. This is a huge bonus to me personally.

One of the only things I could complain about is the name of the solid colors, but I love those cheeky color names.

There’s something about this photo that’s oddly pleasing to me. Those perfect skeins all lined up. Red Heart Heart and Sole Sock Yarn

Since the composition is 73% wool and 27% nylon, washing is a breeze. Machine wash in warm water and lay flat to dry. There are a lot of different ways


Purple and Skyscraper, it’s going to be my favorite color combo!

KNITmuch | issue 3

I know this might be something inane, but I really like that this yarn comes in a skein. Most of the sock yarns I have had experience with come in a hank. That means it has to be balled, so I have to drag out the swift and ball winder, set them up, keep the cats away from it, and make myself a yarn cake. I usually do a few at a time so I don’t have to get everything out again in a couple days. Aside from the process of balling the yarn, it can come apart in a project bag, especially if you’re anything like myself. Just throw it in a bag and swing it along as you go. The skeins are much more durable than a cake; less start up work as well! Overall I’m very pleased with this yarn; a good range of color, excellent fiber composition, and soft! I’m pleased to announce that you guys are in for quite a treat. I’m very passionate about sock yarn and by the end of these articles, everyone will be emailing with recommendations on 12-step programs to help me. Stay tuned!

How to knit a heel flap Getting Comfy with a Dreaded Sock Technique My last post was about the amazing properties of knitting socks with Red Heart’s Heart & Sole yarn, anywhere and how they’re really not that intimidating. The question I’m asked the most about sock knitting is the heel flap. This is my favorite heel technique and I highly promote it, but many people find it confusing. I think this is because, to read it, it looks mind-bending. When you’re in the moment, it makes sense though. A heel flap is what makes the sock turn at a 90-degree angle in order to accommodate your heel. It involves leaving half of your stitches ‘un-knit’ and held on another needle and working on the other half. You literally leave those stitches just to hang out on the other side of the sock. That’s the top of the foot. The other half are knit back and forth to make a flap.

Purl until you’re 13 stitches from the end. P2tog, p1. Turn work even though you’re in the middle of a row. Slip rest stitch purl-wise and knit across until you’re 13 stitches from the end. Ssk, k1. Turn work again.

SSK happening right here!

This is what your heel should look like when you’re done! A little rounded and ready to fit snug around a heel.

The heel turn is really where people get confused. You have to turn the heel so you get a nice rounded heel. Your heel is not square and even if you make a square heel you’ll get blisters from the little corners of extra fabric in your shoe. It’s usually written like this…

Michelle Nguyen

There will be a little space between the two stitches you need to knit or purl together.

Purl until there are 12 stitches left p2tog, p1; turn. Knit until there are 12 stitches left ssk, k1; turn. Purl until there are 11 stitches left p2tog, p1; turn. Knit until there are 11 stitches left ssk, k1; turn. Purl until there are 10 stitches left p2tog, p1; turn. Knit until there are 10 stitches left ssk, k1; turn. Purl until there are 9 stitches left p2tog, p1; turn. Knit until there are 9 stitches left ssk, k1; turn. Purl until there are 8 stitches left p2tog, p1; turn. Knit until there are 8 stitches left ssk, k1; turn. Purl until there are 7 stitches left p2tog, p1; turn. Knit until there are 7 stitches left ssk, k1; turn. I know, ‘what the heck are they talking about there?!’ You’re knitting the middle stitches more than the others and decreasing them in a uniform fashion. Thing is it makes the edges of the heel flap naturally gravitate towards each other. The perfect project to practice is the stocking pattern we put up here. It’s a heel flap construction, but tiny! That way it isn’t a huge investment and much less intimidating! Please share my total and complete infatuation with heel flaps and give it a try!

KNITmuch | issue 3


5 tips to maximize your knitting time with Heart & Sole Yarn by Red Heart Michelle Nguyen The one thing it makes sense to knit with Heart & Sole sock yarn, is socks. However, there are many people out there who are a little bit timid to start socks. The light weight of the yarn puts them off and they are nervous about it taking forever. This is not the case! Socks are the easiest thing to knit once you get the hang of them and are one of the most portable pieces of knitting I’ve ever come across.

Sorbeto is the perfect summer color. It makes me think of ice cream and a hot boardwalk.

I’m going to start with the portability of socks because that’s a huge selling point for myself. I’m a busy person and am constantly running from one thing to another. I’m also compulsively early. I keep a pair of socks in a project bag in my car, that way when I’m early for something and have 10-15 minutes to kill, I can sit in my car and knit. It’s also perfect when I have someone else driving. Our lives in general these days consist of a lot of waiting. If I’m headed to the doctor’s office, dentist, anywhere I’ll be sitting for an undetermined period of time, I bring a project bag with the

Love the Purple and Skyscraper combination. Getting out those bright colors for spring and summer!


KNITmuch | issue 3

needles to start socks. If you’re having a hard time thinking about all the times you’re waiting for something, think of the times when you’re on your smart phone scrolling through facebook or instagram in a public place. Socks are the perfect project to just pick up for a couple rows here and there as well. If you’re doing an easy pattern, such as a K3P1 or plain stockinette, you can pick it up for one or two stitches here and there. While you’re making dinner, waiting for your coffee to brew, waiting for that last 10 minutes on your laundry, etc. The only part you really have to watch out for is when you’re getting close to putting in a heel, but depending on the type of sock you’re comfortable doing, you might not even have to worry about that! An afterthought heel goes in when you’re done the rest of the sock. You can either use waste yarn to make the place for the heel or snip a small stitch in the middle and unravel stitches for the heel. At that point you’re just knitting a long tube!

I actually love that this yarn matches my needle case!

You’ll know exactly how many stitches to cast on once you’ve knit a sock a couple times.

When you first start sock knitting, you have to check your gauge, needles, yarn, technique, and basically figure everything out. Once you’ve done this though, you’ll know what you need to make socks for yourself. I know that if I have a sock yarn and 2.25mm needles I need to cast on 64 stitches to make a sock for myself. I knit from the toe up for 7″ (from the tip of my middle finger to my wrist crease) then put in the heel. BAM, there’s my sock, just like that. You’re obviously not going to get this the very first time, but after you’ve knit one or two, you’ll easily have your numbers straight.

Lastly, one can never have too many socks! Sock yarns are one of the more plentiful yarns I have seen. There are lots and lots of colors, variegated, patterns, and textures out there. You can knit the same sock pattern 1000 times, but if you use a different yarn every time, it will always look different. If you grab a ball of Heart & Sole on your way out the door with your chosen needle size, you’ll be able to knit wherever you go. I’m not even above keeping some knitting needles in my purse. Just so that you’re never stuck without knitting when you have the spare time.

KNITmuch | issue 3


The sole of color-work in knitting Have a mentioned that BLUE is a relative of PURPLE? They’re practically family!

One thing I’m really looking forward to with Heart & Sole yarn is the color-work you can do! The solid colors are perfect for doing stitch work and using lots of colors. This can create some really interesting patterns. I saw a pair of socks that was completely made from colorwork and they were, without a doubt, the coolest socks I’ve seen in my entire life. I have really been meaning to knit a pair up, and with this yarn thrown into the mix, I’m going to get back on the bandwagon with sock knitting. There are also optical illusion patterns online that this yarn would really highlight. When you’re doing really busy patterns you don’t want a lot of color variation in your yarn. The result would look way too busy and more like something exploded. I may have mentioned before but I love color-work, 40

KNITmuch | issue 3

when you put that and socks together, it’s pretty much my ideal project! One other thing that’s really in right now are slouchy hats. I’ve only just started getting into these, but they’re a natural progression from socks. Hats made from sock yarn! I enjoy these slouchy hats because they’re thin enough that you can wear them as a fashion statement and not overheat, but they’ll also keep the wind out of your ears. There are a lot of very cute patterns online for free, but if you were looking to do something specific, a piece of grid paper and come pencil crayons would not go amiss either! I’ve created a few pattern repeats by just looking at graph paper and going with the creativity. I know that sounds a little wishy-washy, but once you look at a few of these patterns you’ll understand. There’s a pattern repeat, which is a grid, and after the ribbing you just repeat that X number of times (X depends on the pattern and length of the repeat).

All of these colors are complementary to one another. If used in color-work the variegated ones will set off the plainer ones.

If color-work in sock format scares you then the sock yarn hat should not be too scary. Limit the amount of colors to cut down on any anxiety as well. Something with five colors is naturally going to be more complicated than something with two. I truly hope everyone tries this out and becomes completely addicted to color-work as I am. Not to mention that you would need to make a hat to accent any scarves you made from this yarn. Now, if you’re the adventurous type, this yarn would be absolutely perfect for a light sweater. Many sweaters I see are knit with thicker yarn. I can completely understand, they’re quicker, easier etc, but the light weight sweaters are more flattering on any figure. Add in just a touch of body shaping and the amount of work you put in will be well paid off. Hopefully everyone has taken inspiration in this post and is very excited to cast on a new project. With winter in the air I feel ready to cast on several things and just keep knitting!

A row of color-work using Skyscraper with Purple.

The 1 knitting cast on you can’t live without

Casting on is one of the most crucial skills a knitter will learn, and the backwards loop cast on is one of the most versatile cast ons there is. It can be used as a very basic, beginner’s cast on or as a technique to cast off stitches in the middle of a row. This is a very easy technique to learn and you’ll never be able to go back.

yarn untwists and falls off, then you twisted it the wrong way.

Wrap the yarn counter clockwise around your thumb and slide the needle from the bottom up, transferring the yarn loop from your thumb to your needle. That is it! The whole cast on is a repeat of this technique.

This is going to be an important technique in our pattern tomorrow so give it a try. I think this is one of the most utilitarian, save-the-day techniques that I have ever used. Just don’t confuse it with an increase. You want to use a ktbl or kfb if you’re trying to make a stitch. This is a cast on method and will leave a horizontal boarder under the stitches you have cast on.

If you don’t like wrapping it around your thumb you can make a loop with the yarn and twist it backwards. To find out if you have done this technique correctly just let the loop go after you put it on the needle. If the

You need to make sure the strand of yarn closest to you (that has come around the back of your thumb) is underneath the other strand, so they cross.

Another way to use the backward loop cast on is when making button holes. Bind off the amount of stitches to cover your button, and on the return ‘trip’, use the backward loop technique to cast on the same amount of stitches you bound off in the previous row.

If it’s really not working for you, try wrapping the yarn the other way around your thumb, it might fit the mechanics of your personal cast on better.

Michelle Nguyen

Backwards loop cast on using With Love in the color Cerulean

Put the needle underneath and bring it up through that little space between the yarn and your thumb.

KNITmuch | issue 3


Alter the knitted Any Day Beret

for cold days ahead The photo from the pattern in a beautiful pink!

The Any Day Beret is something that really caught my eye when I was scrolling through Red Heart’s patterns. I decided to knit it up in With Love yarn. It’s a nice light hat perfect for the autumn wear (and spring too!) Knit it now, and be ready for those cold days ahead.

The pattern going up leaning to the left.

The headband creates a bit of interest by switching the direction of the stitches half way through the hat. It almost looks like a Brioche stitch with all the definition happening in the ‘arrows’. This hat is suited to a plainer yarn a solid color in other words. If knit up in a variegated yarn the interesting stitch pattern and the patterned yarn would be too much. You would end up with a ton of excitement on the top of your head.

And there is the switch! The pattern heads back to the right!


KNITmuch | issue 3

The Strata yarn, also by Red Heart, would also lend itself well to this hat. Because of the bulk, it would end up being slouchy and you would (of course) have to adjust the amount of stitches you cast on. This is something easy enough to play with.

I would suggest putting stitch markers after each repeat of the pattern if you’re like me and can’t keep track.

I changed up the needle size and the amount of stitches I wanted to cast on With Love because I wanted the hat to be a bit more summery and wear it in the sun. I took the stitch count down to 64 and the needle size up to US10 [6mm]. This allows a lot more air space so the wind can blow through without making it look too loose. I’ve said it before and I’ll said it again, With Love is the perfect all-purpose yarn, you can make anything from it; hats, mittens, sweaters, rugs, blankets. Simple patterns look great with variegated yarn and complex ones are accented by the true solid colors. Michelle Nguyen

How ™ sweet it is.

NEW! SweetTM is a super-thick, jumbo weight chenille yarn that is perfect for making quick blankets, pillows and fashion accessories. The plush velvety texture is ultra-comfy to wear next to your skin as a cowl or scarf. And you’ll love its coziness as a baby blanket or throw. Available in 8 great solids perfect for fashion and home decor.

7 OZ. / 200 G BALL

ART. E823

0370 Bark

0415 Grey

0013 Ivory

0725 Mauve

0855 Navy

0645 Olive

0905 Rust

0520 Teal

Heavenly Throw LW5347 AD 16-033 © 2016 Coats & Clark. All rights reserved. Coats & Clark is a registered trademark.


Taking 'weaving in ends' in knitting from home made to outure


One of the great joys in my knitting life is knowing I have finished a project to the best of my ability. Some knitters dislike sewing up and weaving in ends, but I embrace them as part of the process.

Over the years, I have gone to great lengths to get my yarn ends woven in as undetectably as possible. I even weave in the ends on almost all of my project samples. The practice of weaving in ends can elevate the quality of your knitting project from ‘home made’ to ‘couture’ level.



The photo on the left shows the excess drawn to the middle stitch after the excess yarn has been pulled in. This excess will be taken to the stitch to the left and tamed into place. The result is the three even stitches shown in the right photo.

KNITmuch | issue 3

Different yarns weave in differently, and, depending on the thickness of the yarn, ends should be treated in different ways. It’s easier to hide a woven-in end on sock yarn, for example, than it is on chunky yarn. When working with a thicker yarn, the ends can be woven in more invisibly by splitting the yarn plies into two or three sections, and weaving the ends off in different directions. This adds strength to the fabric, and it's a useful technique for items such as afghans, socks, and baby blankets that will receive a lot of tugging. When the yarn is sent off in more than one direction, the chances of any end coming loose are substantially reduced. First, let’s look at a bad example of woven-in ends. In the center circle of the sample in photo 1, I had two gold ends to weave in. I did not separate the yarn into sections, and got a bulky result, visible on both sides of the work. There are six ends woven-in in the blue areas surrounding the gold circle, and they’re almost invisible – I can only detect one in the photo.

The lumpy-bumpy woven in ends can be clearly seen in the center of this sample.


Cynthia MacDougall

To do a nearly invisible join, I thread the needle with the full strand of yarn on the back of the work. Then, I turn the work over to the right side – I want to make sure that the stitch is not distorted on the front of the work, and that it gets anchored in a way that won’t result in a hole or a gap. With a knitting needle tip, I’ll coax the stitch to match the others, and then take the excess thread to the back (normally it’s an excess, because the stitches tend to stretch out during the knitting). Photo 2

With all 4 strands, anchor the yarn on the back of the work, following the path of the yarn. Sometimes, I’ll do this once or twice more until I get the yarn end to a spot where I can weave in different directions, as in photo 3.




The sewn yarn is following the path of the knitted stitches.

Each section gets the same treatment, just in different directions. I thread one section into the sewing needle and begin to follow the path of the knitted stitches. Photo 5

Weaving in the full strand of yarn to anchor it to the back of the work.

At this point, I untwist the yarn. If it’s a two ply yarn, I end up with two singles. A single ply, or singles, can be quite weak, and I often need to add twist back into the strand to give it enough strength to weave it into the fabric. If it’s a three ply yarn, I usually split it into one section with two plies, and one section with a single ply. In this case, I’m working with Red Heart Super Saver, which is a four ply yarn, so I have untwisted the yarn into two sections, each with two plies of the yarn in it. Photo 4


The strand of gold yarn has been divided into two strands with two plies in each.

When I’m about halfway through the length, I’ll go back over one of the stitches, wrapping the yarn end right around a stitch. Then, I continue as before, taking the end along the same path as the knitted stitches. Photo 6 For the second section, I thread it, then I carry it away for a distance of a few rows. By doing this, I avoid having a lumpy area where the ends cross over each other. Again, I take the yarn end on a journey that duplicates the path of the knitted stitches, anchoring it over one stitch at about the half way point. When finished, I have two skinny ends to trim off. Photos 7 and 8 Practice weaving in ends whenever you get the chance; it will make a huge difference in the quality of your knits, whether they are hand or machine knit.


Taking the second half of the untwisted yarn to a place where it can be woven in. Note the end of the first strand on the right.

8 The finished weaving, showing the two ends ready to be trimmed off

Photos by Cynthia MacDougall KNITmuch | issue 3


Knit a stronger splice join when starting a new ball of yarn Joining in a new strand of yarn can be done in several ways. The best way to hide a yarn join is to do it at the end of the row on garments so they can be worked into a seam. But, not every garment has a seam, and not every yarn join can be worked into a seam on a garment that does have seams. We can change yarns in the middle of a row of knitting, simply dropping the old yarn and adding the new yarn. In intarsia work, we have no choice but to do this, and in the previous article I talked about how to do it so as to prevent a gap in the fabric and weave the ends in almost invisibly. My favorite way of avoiding a bulky yarn join in knitting, is to stagger the join by making a splice join. Why do I like this join so much? Well, it’s an economical use of yarn – you don’t have to leave an extra yard or two of yarn at the end of a row. You can stretch it out to the last possible few inches. The splice join staggers the yarn over a number of stitches, so there’s a continuous strand right through 46

KNITmuch | issue 3

the join, which makes it strong. And, because the yarn ends have been untwisted, the plies are already situated to weave off in different directions as we did yesterday, which, as I demonstrated, gives further strength to the join. Yes, there’s a downside in that there are extra ends to weave in, but if we are investing time and money to make a garment, isn’t it worth the time and effort to make your yarn joins as strong as possible? Here’s how I do a splice join: I work the first ball of yarn until there is about a foot of yarn 6-8″ [15-20cm] of yarn trailing from my hand for a 2 or 4 ply yarn. For a three ply yarn, I leave at least 12″ [30cm] length. For a 2 or 4 ply join, I separate the yarn into two sections, and treat them the same way as for the 3 ply join, but using fewer of the steps.

Cynthia MacDougall

For 3 ply yarn, untwist the yarn coming out of the knitting into three plies and trim them down so that one is the full 12″ length [30cm], one is about 8″ [20cm] and one is about 4″ [10cm]. Do the same with the new yarn from the ball. For 3 and 4 ply yarn, I untwist the yarn into plies and trim them down so that one is the full 12″ length [30cm], and trim the other plies to 3- 4″ [8-10cm] less. So, for the three ply example in the photo, the plies have been trimmed to about 8″ and 4″ [20cm and 10cm]. Then I overlap the ends so that single ply part of the new yarn overlaps all plies of the old yarn and a part of the next section (which in the photo has two plies

Seven stitches knitted with 4 strands of yarn. The strand coming out of the knitting on the right is ready to weave in. For the photo, I left the strands untwisted so you can see that the next several stitches will be knit with 3 plies of yarn; two from the old and one with the new.

The old and new yarns untwisted and trimmed for splicing. The arrows show the different sections, which will be referenced in the text, below.

of yarn). I add a little twist to the length, then knit a few stitches with the old yarn and the extra ply (section 1 of the photo above).

The start of Section 3: the next approaching loose strand of the new yarn (shown over the needles) is from Section 2. It’ll be dropped,and the knitting will continue with four strands of yarn for several stitches, then the strand in the center of the upper section of the photo will be dropped, and several stitches will be knit with the remaining three strands (section 4).

The strand on the right, just above the knitting is the last strand from the ball yarn. The strand leading toward the top of the page is the remaining strand from the old ball of yarn. It will continue on for several stitches, then be dropped, and the work will continue with the three strands of yarn coming from the top right corner of the photo.

If I need to hold the twist in place, I use a paperclip, clothespin, or a small bag clip.

stitches with four plies. Then, I’ll drop the last free strand, and continue on with the new yarn.

At this point, I drop the strand of yarn that is shortest, and knit several stitches with the remaining plies (in this case, three – see section 2 of the photo).

Sections 1, 3, and 5 ended up being knitted with four strands of yarn, and sections 2 and 4 had the three plies, like the yarn coming off the ball. But, by working only a few stitches with 4, then a few with 3, and a few with 4 and so on, we have spread out the extra thickness over a bunch of stitches, which helps to make it less glaring to the eye. At the same time, we’ve created a join that has yarn from both the old and new ball running right through the join, making our join strong.

The next sections (3 and 4) have two plies coming from each of the knitting, and the new ball. Again, I bring them together and add twist. I knit several stitches with all four plies, then I drop the strand that is shortest in length and knit several more stitches. Only Section 5 remains. The last short strand from the ball yarn will be left at this point (the strand just above the right needle in the photo below), leaving me with all three plies from the new ball, and the last ply from the yarn from the old ball. I could drop both this strand and the last strand of yarn from the old ball, but if I want the maximum strength in my join, I’ll twist that strand with the new yarn, and work several

This is particularly effective when you want to join yarn in fine knitting, such as the lace shawl in the photographs. And, because the strands are already woven in over a span of several stitches, it takes a minimal amount of weaving in to reinforce those ends. The next time you’re working a project, try incorporating splice joins. I think you’ll see their benefits! KNITmuch | issue 3


Knit a flag with

Super Saver yarn Cynthia MacDougall One of my favorite comedy programs on television periodically runs a segment called Fun with Flags. Long before this, I had an ongoing 'affair' with nautical flags, and over the years I’ve collected several books and char ted designs for the nautical flag alphabet. Recently, a very kind colleague asked me to knit him a blanket of a specific flag, the flag of Macedonia – not the new one, the old one.

This made me think about making blankets that represent the flag of a country. It’s a great way to show our patriotism or to display our heritage. So, I set out to have some fun with flags, which, because of my assignment, led to fun with afghans using Red Heart’s Super Saver yarn, and fun with designing (one of my knitting joys). Join me on this knitting adventure. First steps So, we’re having fun with three things – flags, afghans, and design. Where do we begin? They say that when writing an essay, the best way to begin is to draft the closing statement. Sometimes, this approach works for knitting projects, too.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 1 is a scale drawing of an afghan, and Figure 2 is a scale drawing of a flag. The difference between the height and length is referred to as the 'aspect ratio'.


KNITmuch | issue 3

We know that the ultimate objective is an afghan. The standard dimension for an afghan is 4′ x 5′ (48″ x 60″ [122 x 152cm]). The standard size for a flag is 3′ x 5′ (36″ x 60″ [92 x 152cm]). This difference in the standard dimensions of the two items presents our first design challenge. The following scale drawings illustrate the difference. How do you want to proceed? 1. Do you want the whole afghan to be the flag? 2. Do you want the flag to show only in a section of the afghan?

3. If the answer to 2) is “yes”, do you want the background to be a color or a neutral? Let’s take a look at these options: 1. Entire afghan is flag – If you want to fit the height of the flag onto the 48″ [122cm] of the afghan, and keep the same aspect ratio for the width of the flag, the afghan will have to extend to 80″ [204cm]. Most sofas and futons are at least 78″ across the back, so if the afghan will be displayed, this is a viable option. This might also be a good design choice if the recipient is tall.

Figure 3 To maintain aspect ratio of a flag, one option is to extend the length of the afghan to 80"[204cm]. In the diagram, this extension is shown in pale yellow.

Complex flags, such as the Union Jack (Great Britain) or the Jamaican flag, are more challenging to adapt to an all-over design in the standard afghan size of 48″ x 60″ [122 x 152cm]; changing the dimension of the flag changes the angles in the flag’s graphic, which affects features such as crosses and triangles.

Some country flags (Mexico, Ecuador) have a detailed crest featured in the flag. Rather than try to chart an intricate crest, you might want to source out a fabric or embroidered version of the emblem and apply it to the finished blanket.

center motif on a striped or single color background, such as Japan, Canada, or the old Macedonian flag, also adapt well. Flags with stripes give the designer or knitter the option of working the afghan in one piece or in panels.

2. Show the flag on only a portion of the afghan – If you want to keep the aspect ratio of the flag, it can be placed in several ways. You can place it so it takes up the full width of the blanket, either horizontally, or vertically, or you can set into a “frame” of be background color. As with striped flags, the background or frame areas can be made in panels.

3. Designing the background – the background, or frame, could be the color of the recipient’s bedspread, sofa, or futon cover, or it could be a neutral such as black, grey, or white. In addition, a textured stitch design, such as seed stitch or garter stitch, can be used for the background.

Flags that consist of basic stripes (France, Ireland, Germany) can be expanded to cover the entire surface of the afghan. Flags that have a

Take some time to think about how you want your afghan to look, and in our next installment of Fun with Flags, we’ll look at choosing yarn. I’ll give you a hint: it’s by Red Heart, it’s economical, and it’s hard-wearing.

KNITmuch | issue 3


Sampling a flag with

Super Saver yarn Cynthia MacDougall

Here’s why:

Red Heart Super Saver yarn – affordable and durable.

When choosing yarn for a design, I like to consider its purpose as well as the recipient’s interest and ability to care for it. If I’m not sure, as is the case of this project, I will err on the side of wearability and ease of care. For my old Macedonian flag afghan, I chose Red Heart Super Saver.

1. It’s 100 percent acrylic, which means if it gets tossed into a washer or dryer, it’s going to survive. 2. Chances are, this project will have a relatively short life, so I’m reluctant to choose a yarn that will require a large financial investment. Super Saver is affordable. 3. Super Saver is an Aran weight yarn (18sts to 4″ [10cm], which means it will work up quite quickly, and if there’s one thing you want to see in an afghan project, it’s progress. 4. Color range – Super Saver comes in over 120 colors. Many of these are variegated, and not suitable for re-creating a flag, however, the solid color range has an ample selection of the colors found in most national flags. 5. Super Saver is put up in 7oz [198g] skeins each of which has 364yds [333m]. Theoretically, this means that there will be fewer ends to weave in compared with yarns that come in 50g balls.

The vergina sun is a beautiful shape, reminiscent of a mariner’s compass. Accurate tension measurements are essential to ensure that this design’s symmetry is retained when it is translated to a knitting chart. Pins are placed 17 stitches apart, and the rule shows the distance of 4" [10cm] between the pins.


KNITmuch | issue 3

Red Heart also makes two worsted weight yarns – Comfort and Classic Yarn. With a couple more stitches to 4″ [10cm] (20, versus 18 for Aran weight), Comfort and Classic Yarn allow for a slightly more detailed design. If a faster knit is your goal, Red Heart has Comfort in a bulky weight (16sts to 4″ [10cm]), as well as an 80% acrylic, 20% wool line called Heads Up. Both yarns have enough colors to make many popular flags.

Take up the needles The next piece of this design puzzle is to have a very good idea of what the tension of the afghan fabric will be. Take the needles and yarn you plan to use, and make a reasonably large swatch – at least 6″ wide. The goal is to have enough fabric to accurately measure across a 4″ [10cm] span of the overall fabric (usually stockinette stitch for an afghan). To encourage the swatch to lay flat, I always add a few rows in either garter stitch or seed stitch at the beginning and end of the swatch, as well as a few stitches in the same stitch pattern on either side of the stockinette stitch area. An added advantage of framing your swatch is that you get to try a border treatment for your project. Seed stitch was used in the sample above. Once you have a swatch, examine the fabric – Does it feel flexible enough to drape over chilly legs?

Is it too loose to the point where it might stretch out of shape over time? If you aren’t sure you like the result, choose a different size needle, and try again. It may help to tag each sample you make with your thoughts and the needle size used. Leave room on the tag to record your tension. Some knitters like to keep their swatches for future reference – tagging them adds meaning to the swatches. When measuring stitches, I like to count from between “v”s, and when measuring rows, I like to count from the bottom point of the “v”s. If your tension isn’t especially even, or if you get a questionable reading, move to another area of the swatch and measure again. Record your measurements accurately – if you get 19½ sts and 25¼ sts to 4” [10cm], these are the numbers to use. My sample has 17sts and 24½ rows to 4” [10cm]. As we continue, we’ll determine the base numbers for our project using algebra and a spreadsheet (fun!), and design a simple striped flag.

KNITmuch | issue 3


Designing a flag with

Super Saver yarn Cynthia MacDougall

We’re having fun with flags by designing an afghan of a country’s flag using Red Heart Super Saver yarn.

It’s summer and this week I’ve done a lot of my sampling with Super Saver yarn on my front porch swing.

After choosing our yarn, knitted our samples, and accurately recorded their measurements, we’re going to calculate the rough numbers for the project and prepare a simple flag. Creating rough numbers I emphasized the importance of being accurate to the fraction of a stitch and row, especially if you’re doing a flag with a center motif, such as the vergina star or the maple leaf in the Canadian flag, or a complex flag such as the stars and stripes of the United States of America. If you aren’t already comfortable with the metric system, where the increments are smaller and based on a decimal system, this is an opportune time to practice, as it makes both the measuring and the math easier.


KNITmuch | issue 3

Let’s use our stitch and row details to calculate the approximate number of stitches and rows for the finished afghan. This is simple algebra where s = stitches to 4” [10cm] and x = total stitches, and where r = rows to 4” [10cm], and y = total rows. If you’re using the metric system, substitute 10 for the 4, 152 for 60, and 122 for 48 in the equations below. If you’re going to knit your afghan from the long side, the stitch calculation will be: s ÷ 4 x 60 = x and the calculation for the rows will be r ÷ 4 x 48 = y If you’re going to knit your afghan from the short side, the stitch calculation will be: s ÷ 4 x 48 = x and the calculation for the rows will be r ÷ 4 x 60 = y I plan to knit my afghan along the short side. See direction of knitting in the photo top right. Based on my tension of 17 sts and 24½ rows to 4” [10cm], my calculations work out as follows: 17 ÷ 4 x 48 = 204 stitches and 24.5 ÷ 4 x 60 = 367.5 rows.

The old Macedonian flag, featuring the vergina sun. The black line indicates the area to be used for charting, and the grey arrow on the right indicates the direction of knitting.

I use a spreadsheet to do my calculations. I perform my basic calculations as shown in the diagram, but, when using a spreadsheet, the symbols for divide and multiply are different. The figure below shows the formula I used to calculate the number of stitches in the formula box (beside the blue check mark). The result of 204 appears in the cell with the black line around it.

Overall, my afghan will have 204 stitches, and 368 rows.

A screen capture of the spreadsheet showing the calculation for the number of stitches based on the tension sample.

Working a Simple Flag – Design Options If you’re doing a flag that has equal-sized stripes, such as Ireland, France, Germany, or Italy, you can, at this point, simply divide your number of stitches or rows by the number of stripes, then incorporate or add your border stitches to these numbers. Border stitches are important to prevent the flag/afghan fabric from curling. If I were making the entire afghan surface in the flag colors, I would work a deep border of ten or more rows of seed or moss stitch, along with a deep edge (8 or 10 stitches) of the same stitch worked along the left and right sides. If I planned to “float” the flag on a background to maintain its correct-to-scale dimensions, I would choose a color that is not contained in the flag for the borders. I would work the entire border in an all-over textured stitch, and I would do a deep edge along the left and right edges of the flag in the flag’s colors.

Let’s use the French flag in the diagram, and the result from my tension swatch of 204 stitches and 367 rows worked along the short edge. In the French flag, each of the three stripes are equal. To work the afghan in one piece, cast on 204 stitches, work the bottom border, then continue in your chosen design. Change colors at 20″ [51cm], and again at 40″ [102cm]. When the afghan is its full length (60″ [152cm]) minus the depth of the bottom border (at the cast on), switch to the border stitch pattern with the color currently in use, knit a border the same length as the beginning border, and cast off all stitches.

A diagram showing the stripes of the French flag, placed on end so that the flag is knitted from the short edge.

KNITmuch | issue 3


Charting for flags and

Super Saver yarn Cynthia MacDougall

Red Heart Super Saver yarn comes in bold flag colors.

This screen capture from QuattroPro shows the row and column settings to create graph paper to chart a knitting design in the same size as the knitting.

The thin black line shows approximately the area where I taped my knitter’s graph paper to the wall.


KNITmuch | issue 3

In this chapter of Fun with Flags we use technology to help us chart the design for our old Macedonian flag, and do more swatching to ensure our design will execute properly.

Again, accuracy here is important: rounding up or down even five thousandths of an inch will make a difference of about one full inch over the entire piece.

The information given in this post can be used for more than just flags – You can use this method to commemorate your trip to Paris by creating an afghan of an outline of the Eiffel tower. You can extend the legacy of a favorite stuffed toy by knitting its image into a blanket. You can even use this method to recreate digital designs, or a photo of a special flower from your garden. Red Heart’s Super Saver yarn has enough colors to recreate many images in knitting.

For that reason, I often re-do my calculations in metric, to make sure the cells are as close to the actual size of the tension swatch as possible. I took the care to measure the tension swatch accurately, it makes sense for the graph paper to be accurate, too.

I’m going to show you how you can use technology to create a complex chart. Or, at least, how I did it. Create Graph Paper Using my base tension of 17 sts and 24.5 rows to 4” [10cm], I created my own knitter’s graph paper using my spreadsheet software. I calculated the decimal equivalent of one stitch in inches, and the decimal equivalent of one row in inches, then I set the size of my cells to that dimension. Next, I drew lines around the cells. My software won’t accept three decimal places, so I have to round off the numbers.

Knitting graph paper can be found on-line from various sources, however, the products I found didn’t match my tension closely enough. The papers I found had 20sts and 32 rows to 4” [10cm], and 32sts and 40 rows to 4” [10cm]. Once the graph paper was set to the correct dimensions, I printed several sheets of paper and trimmed the margins off of two sides. Then, I taped them together on the back of the pages. When I do this, I lay the sheets face up, matching the lines, hold them in place temporarily with sticky notes, then turn the pages over and apply tape on the back. This way, I can draw in all areas of the chart.

I wanted to chart my vergina sun to its actual size. Because the design is symmetrical, I only needed to chart just over a ¼ of the sun.

The lower half of the vergina sun projected onto the wall, with the graph paper taped on the right side. In the foreground, the image is reflecting off the top of the projector on the left, and the image is on the laptop screen on the right.

Knitter’s graph paper, 22sts and 32 rows to ¼, taped over the right side of the maple leaf of the Canadian flag. The top part has been traced using a pen and ruler, but dots on the lower section can be connected once the paper is removed to minimize any risk of damage.

Other symmetrical motifs, such as the maple leaf in the Canadian flag, would need to have one half of the motif charted – you would knit to the center of the chart, then repeat the other half of the row by reading the chart in the opposite direction. I set my computer projector on a table then hooked the projector to my laptop and brought up the picture of the vergina sun. I wanted my sun to be 34″ across, so I adjusted the image on the computer and the projector until the image of the sun on the wall measured 17″ from the center to each tip. This step was important to ensure that the design’s dimensions are true, and in this case, symmetrical. Using painter’s tape, I taped the graph paper to the wall, positioning it over just more than half of the projected image. Next, I traced out the center and points using my low-tech pencil.

Not everyone has a computer projector – they’re expensive to buy. You can rent one, or a really good friend may loan you theirs. An alternative to using a projector is to trace the image from a computer monitor: Bring up the image on the monitor (you can even hook up your laptop to the TV and project the image onto it), lay the graph paper over it and tape it to the frame of the monitor (don’t apply tape to the screen itself ). Next, lightly trace the design onto the graph paper. Be sure to use a soft pencil or a pen/marker that won’t bleed through the paper. You can always go over the tracing once the paper has been removed. In the lower areas of the maple leaf in the photo, I put a dot at the peak and valley of the leaf. Then, when the paper was removed from the computer screen, I used a ruler and pen to make solid lines. This would be a good technique to use for the stars in the American flag. We now have fairly firm numbers and a chart outline for our project. It’s time to double check our work. Next page: more sampling with Super Saver yarn.

KNITmuch | issue 3


More sampling with Super Saver yarn

We started by thinking about the overall size and layout for our flag afghan. We considered why Red Heart Super Saver yarn is a good choice for such a project, and made a swatch to obtain our base tension. We used this information to refine our numbers and get the information to make a simple, striped flag. Then technology helped us create knitter’s graph paper and chart our design. Now we’ll “block in” our chart, complete a second round of sampling, and talk a little bit more about borders. Testing the Chart I photocopied a section of the tracing of the vergina sun to “block in” my chart. With an erasable highlighter, I colored in the design of the sun’s rays on the graph paper. When the tracing lines intersected a square, I had to decide whether the square should be the gold or red. The guideline is when the line takes up more than 50% of its area in one color, make the square that color. It gets tricky when it’s a close call – you need to use judgment and experimentation. 56

KNITmuch | issue 3

I picked up my needles (US 8 [5mm]) and my Red Heart Super Saver. As mentioned on Tuesday, swatching is a chance to try border stitch patterns. In this case, I opted for seed stitch. I used a “semi intarsia” technique with separate bobbins for the contrast color (gold) and carrying the background color (red) across the back. To my dismay, my center circle came up into an oval, and my stitches looked distorted!

The pulling in of the work across the circle is obvious, and the background yarn peeks through the gold of the design areas.

Detail of the center circle, showing the stitch distortion.

Analysis: when I measured my tension over the red areas, it was fine, but, when I measured across the circle in the center of the sun, I had two more stitches and three fewer rows to 4″ [10cm]. Two stitches over 4″ may not sound like much, but, over 48″, that is the equivalent of casting on 24 stitches too few. At this rate, my afghan could become over 5″ narrower in places! A “tug test” of my sample told me that part of the problem stemmed from having too much tension when carrying the background yarn across the back of the work. In addition, this stranding gave the gold areas of my design an odd-looking texture. I don’t usually “weave” my resting yarn over and under the stitches on the back of the work, as many knitters do; I usually twist the yarn every few stitches.

The moss stitch border worked out well, too. In the full afghan I will make it about double its size (12 rows and 10 or 11 stitches on each side). When I placed my full-size chart over the knitting, the stitches are perfect, and the knitting is only out one row to the graph over 7″ [18cm]. I will tweak this as I knit the blanket.

I could see that wherever I raised the background yarn, it pulled the gold stitch in. Wherever I lowered the background yarn, the gold stitch bulged out, and the red yarn “peeked through” on the right side of the work. This sample offered two valuable lessons. So, I began again. This time, I photocopied a larger area of the chart. I only tweaked it in one place to adjust the spacing of the horizontal ray in the center of the design. This time, I used a marker to block in the diagram, and I chose blue for the background – if I’m going to be making an entire afghan in red, the change was bound to do me good. This time I did a proper intarsia technique using separate bobbins for each block of color. I also tried a different stitch for the borders, as I wasn’t thrilled with the way the seed stitch borders fanned out at the bottom and top, and pinched in along the sides of the red sample. I cast on, again with 8 US [5mm] needles, worked six rows of moss stitch and proceeded to work the chart with a five stitch border of moss stitch on each side. A few rows past the center circle, I stopped to measure and voila – my circle was within ⅛” [3mm] of round. It’s hard to get much closer than that in knitting! I was also pleased with the way the sun’s rays looked. True, I have many, many more ends to weave in, but the results are worth it.

The blue sample’s chart. The dotted lines across the top and down the left, show where the pattern gets worked in the opposite direction. The small numbers in the chart are the number of stitches across each area. This saves counting squares, and, because the chart will be worked back down again, it is a real time saver. For this chart, I used orange numbers for the sun and blue or black numbers for the background.

About eight ends had been woven in before I remembered to take this photo of the back of the blue sample.

Working from a full-size chart is going to be cumbersome. Technology can help here, too, by 1. Taking the full-size chart to a copy shop and reducing it. 2. Using charting software to transfer the chart into a smaller size. 3. Photographing the chart with a tablet or camera and printing out an enlargement of the photo. 4. Using a spreadsheet to create a smaller chart then outlining and coloring in cells. Now that my testing has proven itself, I can happily cast on all 204 stitches and begin my old Macedonian flag. I hope you have enjoyed Fun with Flags. If you design your own piece using this week’s blogs, please write and tell me about your adventures. Cynthia MacDougall Ravelry name: macknitnow

The finished blue sample. The moss stitch border suits the stocking stitch well, and the placement of the chart shows how closely the knitting worked up to it.

KNITmuch | issue 3



To list your business in this space please call 1.866.969.2678.

Brenda Franklin Designs 7570 Mapleton SR 18 RR 1, Alma, ON N0B 1A0  519.638.9958    More than 500 charts available for counted needlework, latch hook rugs, beadwork, beaded knits and knitting patterns. Mail/fax order or ask for our products at your local shop. Contact us for custom designs or needle felted sculpture.

Impressions Embroidery & Engraving #8-449 Mayor Magrath Dr S, Lethbridge, AB T1J 3L8  403.942.3934    Our shop does embroidery and laser engraving. Laser engraving is a beautiful process for fabric, as nothing cuts cleaner and more precisely than a laser. We now carry a nice array of fabric as well to compliment the abilities of the laser.

Brampton Sew & Serge 289 Rutherford Rd S, Unit 7, Brampton, ON L6W 3R9  905.874.1564    Welcome to Your One Stop Sewing Centre! We are authorized dealers of Baby Lock, Husqvarna Viking, and Singer sewing machines and sergers. We also offer a full schedule of sewing classes for everyone.

Joyce's Sewing Shop 325 Wortley Rd, London, ON N6C 3R8  519.433.5344   Our mission is to make sewing fun by providing professional training to teach the benefits of sewing, to provide excellent service and quality products to make your sewing easier and to provide friendly customer service to make you a happy sewer.

Bytowne Threads - Ottawa, ON

 1.888.831.4095  

 Featuring AURIfil® thread from Italy. Extra-long staple Egyptian cotton threads: 12wt, 28wt, 40wt & 50wt - 252 colours. Bobbin threads, black & white: 60 and 80wt. Polyester threads 240 high-sheen colours. Wool threads 180 colours.

Country Concessions 1 Dufferin St, Cookstown, ON L0L 1L0  705.458.4546 or toll-free 1.888.834.4407   Visit our lovely and unique quilt shop in the quaint village of Cookstown. We have over 7000 bolts of cotton fabrics plus a wide selection of patterns, books & notions. You will be so glad you came for a visit. Evelyn's Sewing Centre / The Quilt Store 17817 Leslie St, Unit 40, Newmarket, ON L3Y 8C6  905.853.7001 or toll-free 1.888.853.7001  Evelyn's Sewing Centre in Newmarket is your Quilt Store Destination! The staff here at Evelyn's is always on hand to provide Quilt Wisdom, Quilt Inspiration and most of all we pride ourselves as the place to make... All Your Quilt Dreams Come True! Gitta's 271 Lakeshore Rd E, Mississauga, ON L5G 1G8  905.274.7198    Gitta's, named after owner Gitta Al-Basi, nestled in the east village of Port Credit, is the place where stitchers meet with their stitching friends, shop for stitching supplies and see the new stitching designs from Europe and the United States. Hardanger House 4708 52 St, PO Box 1223, Stettler, AB T0C 2L0  403.742.2749 or toll-free 1.866.742.2749  Patterns from Canadian, American and European designers, linen and evenweave fabrics from Zweigart, DMC pearl Cottons, Caron Collection threads, and all the related stitching accessories are kept in stock. Many additional items can be special ordered. Haus of Stitches 626 Main Street, Humboldt, SK  S0K 2A0  306.682.0772 or toll-free 1.800.344.6024  Our one of a kind store offers everything you need for sewing, quilting, knitting, rug hooking and needlework.


KNITmuch | issue 3

My Sewing Room 148-8228 MacLeod Trl SE, Calgary, AB T2H 2B8  403.252.3711    Canada's Largest Independently Owned Quilting Store with fabric, patterns, kits, notions, sewing machines and more! My Sewing Room boasts over 10,000 bolts of 100% cotton fabric from designers and manufacturers from around the world. Needles & Knits 15040 Yonge St, Aurora, ON L4G 1M4  905.713.2066   Fabulous selection of yarns. Extremely knowledgable and expert help. Cozy and friendly atmosphere. Classes. Guild night every first Tuesday of the month. Tea with Tove, the owner, every Thursday from 6-8pm. Pine Ridge Knit & Sew 17477 Hwy 2 PO Box 68, Trenton, ON K8V 5R1  613.392.1422   We have knitting machines by Artisan and Silver Reed, embroidery machines by Husqvarna/Viking & White. Sewing notions and supplies, books and software. Hands-on lessons and classes. Wide variety of yarns, threads, dress and pant zippers.

The Yarn Guy 15 Gower St, Toronto, ON M4B 1E3  416.752.1828 or toll-free 1.800.836.6536    See us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter! Knitting machines, sewing machines, repairs, parts for Passap, Studio, Singer, Silver Reed, Superba, White. Sewing notions and supplies, books, ball yarns, coned yarns, TAMM yarns, Paton's yarns, Bernat yarns, Phentex yarns, Bernat kits & crafts. Sew Fancy Inc. Guelph, ON  519.824.4127    Your Premier Canadian Source for Specialty Sewing Supplies including Smocking, Heirloom Sewing, Goldwork, Silk Ribbon Embroidery, Needle Tatting, Swarovski Crystals, Sashiko, Quilting and more. Visit the website for the latest in sewing supplies. That Sewing Place 16610 Bayview Ave #10, Newmarket, ON L3X 1X3  905.715.7725    jaret& Introducing That Sewing Place as your sewing source and Authorized Dealers for Bernina and Brother machines. Jaret & Liana focus on placing your sewing needs first, providing outstanding support, service, and training. The Stitching Corner #2, 185 First St E, Cochrane, AB T4C 2E9  403.932.3390    Your Needlework Shop in Cochrane. The Stitcher's Muse 99 Commercial St, Nanaimo, BC  V9R 5G3  250.591.6873     A divine little shop with supplies for all your hand stitching needs! Friendly, knowledgeable, helpful staff. Cross stitch, canvaswork, needlepoint, embroidery, counted thread, lace making and more. Books, patterns, fabric, threads, tools.

Ultimate Sewing Centre 191 Bloor St East, Oshawa, ON L1H 3M3 Ruby Pearl Quilts  905.436.9193    500 King St W, Suite 8, Oshawa, ON L1J 2K9   905.436.3535   For all your sewing needs be sure to call Durham’s  largest one stop shop: Janome and Elna Sewing We are your full service source of professional quilting Machines, Sergers, & Embroidery machines, equipment, products, & courses. Led by 44 years of over 3000 bolts of first quality cottons, Floriani sewing experience & more than 20 years of quilting Embroidery supplies, the latest notions, books, & experience, we have the experience necessary to patterns, year round classes, and so much more! help you push your hobby to the next level! Upper Canada Quiltworks Ruti's Needlebed PO Box 64, Brockville, ON K6V 5T7 10 Thomas St, Mississauga, ON L5M 1Y5  613.345.3956 Fax: 613.342.3327  905.821.9370    Mississauga's Finest Quilting and Knitting Visit us online for a wide selection quilt patterns Store!! Come see our huge selection of yarn, and books. Techniques include felted wool, fusible fabric, supplies, sewing machines and knitting appliqué, punchneedle, rag quilting and printing machines…a local store for all your quilting, sewing, photos on fabric. knitting needs! We offer a wide variety of classes.

Standards & Guidelines For Crochet and Knitting •

Standard Yarn Weight System Categories of yarn, gauge ranges, and recommended needle and hook sizes Yarn Weight Symbol & Category Names Type of Yarns in Category

Fingering, 10 count crochet thread

Sock, Fingering, Baby

Sport, Baby

DK, Light Worsted

Worsted, Afghan, Aran

Chunky, Craft, Rug

Bulky, Roving

Jumbo, Roving

Knit Gauge Range* in Stockinette Stitch to 4 inches

33–40** sts

27–32 sts

23–26 sts

21–24 sts

16–20 sts

12–15 sts

7–11 sts

6 sts and fewer

Recommended Needle in Metric Size Range

1.5–2.25 mm

2.25–3.25 mm

3.25–3.75 mm

3.75–4.5 mm

4.5–5.5 mm

5.5–8 mm

8–12.75 mm

12.75 mm and larger

Recommended Needle U.S. Size Range

000 to 1

1 to 3

3 to 5

5 to 7

7 to 9

9 to 11

11 to 17

17 and larger

Crochet Gauge*Ranges in Single Crochet to 4 inch

32–42 double crochets**

21–32 sts

16–20 sts

12–17 sts

11–14 sts

8–11 sts

7–9 sts

6 sts and fewer

2.25–3.25 mm

3.5–4.5 mm

4.5–5.5 mm


6.5–9 mm

9–15 mm

15 mm and larger

7 to I–9

I–9 to K–10 1⁄2

K–10 1⁄2 to M-13

M-13 to Q

Q and larger

Steel*** Recommended 1.6–1.4 mm Hook in Metric Regular hook Size Range 2.25 mm

Recommended Hook U.S. Size Range

Steel*** 6, 7, 8 Regular hook B–1

B–1 to E–4

E–4 to 7

* GUIDELINES ONLY: The above reflect the most commonly used gauges and needle or hook sizes for specific yarn categories. ** Lace weight yarns are usually knitted or crocheted on larger needles and hooks to create lacy, openwork patterns. Accordingly, a gauge range is difficult to determine. Always follow the gauge stated in your pattern. *** Steel crochet hooks are sized differently from regular hooks--the higher the number, the smaller the hook, which is the reverse of regular hook sizing. This Standards & Guidelines booklet and downloadable symbol artwork are available at:


KNITmuch | issue 3



.com K, is to

Standard abbreviations & terms

60 60KNITmuch | issue 2

alt = alternate approx = approximately beg = begin(ning) BO= bind off CC = contrast colour ch = chain cm = centimetre(s) cn = cable needle CO = cast on cont = continue, continuing dc = double crochet dec = decrease(s), decreasing dpn = double-pointed needle(s) foll = following g = gram(s) inc = increase(s), increasing in(s) = inch(es) k = knit kf&b or kfb = knit into front and back of st (increase) k2tog = knit 2 sts tog (right-leaning decrease) K3tog = knit 3 sts together (double right-leaning decrease) M = marker m = metre(s) M1 = Make 1 stitch: pick up the horizontal strand between 2 stitches from front to back and knit it tbl (lifted increase) MC = main colour mm = millimetre(s) oz = ounce(s) p = purl p2tog = purl 2 sts tog (decrease) patt = pattern pfb = purl into front and back of stitch (increase) pm = place marker psso = pass slipped stitch over RS = right side rem = remain(ing) rep = repeat rev = reverse rnd = round sc = single crochet sl = slip skp = slip one st, knit next st, pass slipped st over knit st (dec) ssk = slip, slip, knit: slip 2 sts knitwise, 1 at a time, insert left-hand needle into front of both sts and knit them tog (left-leaning decrease) Sssk = Slip next three stitches individually, knitwise. Insert tip of left needle from front to back into the fronts of these three stitches and knit them together (double left-leaning decrease) st(s) = stitch(es) St st = stocking stitch tbl = through back loop tog = together tr = treble crochet WS = wrong side yo = yarn over

KNITmuch | Issue 3  

You don't want to miss this extraordinary issue of KNITmuch! Some of the highlights include 7 yarn reviews, how to pattern your own simple k...

KNITmuch | Issue 3  

You don't want to miss this extraordinary issue of KNITmuch! Some of the highlights include 7 yarn reviews, how to pattern your own simple k...