Sunteți pe pagina 1din 208
“4 J Ww -- i 3 és or DONNA KOOLER'S! " encyclopedia “% os" « knitting | Copyright © 2012 by Leisure Arts, Inc., 5701 Ranch Drive, Little Rock, Arkansas 72223-9633, All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be repro- duced in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. Printed in the United States of America. The information in this book is presented in good faith: however, no warrenty is given nor are results guaranteed Leisure Arts, Kooler Design Studio, Inc., and Donna Kooler disclim any and all lisbility for untoward results, Not for commercial reproduction, ‘We have made every eifort to ensure that these instructions sre accurite and complete, We cannot, however, be rexpon- sible for human error, ypographical mistakes, or variations in individual work. The designs in this book are protected by copyright; however, you may make the designs for your personal use. This right js suxpassee when the designs are made by employees or soli commercially. Library of Congress Control Number: 2011935749 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Kooler, Donna Donna Kooler’ Encyclopedia of Knitting “A Leisure Arts Publication” ISBN-13: 978-1-46470-010-1 contents beginnings a) 10 11 INTRODUCTION. HISTORY OF KNITTING INTRODUCTION. knitting basics 4 26 BASIC KNITTING TECHNIQUES... 38 44 52 KNITTING ESSENTIALS . KNITTING MATERIALS. BASIC KNITTING STITCHES. KNITTING FINISHES... beyond the basics INTRODUCTION. 65 EXPERT DETAILS...0.0. 66 WORKING WITH COLOR........79 SPECIAL TECHNIQUES. 87 projects 62 were DD 102 106 “RIBBED BLANKIE .. CABLED CARRY ALL “PULLOVER, ceasy-coing, patric pittow sampter.... 108 SQUARE LACE SHAWL. 110 PITTER PATTER. 114 “FUN STRIPES .... 116 FLower power parcnwork 118 “V-NECK VEST « 121; 124 126 129 132 se. 136 *PUFFY BLANKET. KALEIDOSCOPE... EMBOSSED FLORAL. BEST DRESSED . FOLIVER WHO vases HOODIE VEST vesseveeevvere IBD REVERSIBLE WRAP . 142 . 148 “CROSSED CABLES KNEE SOCKS 152 “BEADED BRACELETS .. “NEW PROJECTS pattern gallery SIMPLE COMBINATIONS. 158 KNOTS, BOBBLES, & EMBOSSED1OS CROSSED, CABLES, & THREADED 73 SLIP STITCHES ceeseseeeeseee 188 PULLED AND wrarreD....., 193 DROPPED STITCHES ... a ADF Lace. . 198 COLOR CHANGES BY ROW...... 208 COLOR-STRANDING & WEAVING 225 © for your information KMITTING ABBREVIATIONS «04... 22 KNITTING SYMBOLS ..eseseesevee 23 RESOURCES & SUPPLIERS .......233 HISTORY NOTES... csesece+ 233 BIBLIOGRAPHY ....s.sseseonees 235 INDEX « 236 © FOR CENTURIES knitting provided warm clothing in cold climates. But since mass production took over the drudgery. knitting has become a beloved pastime for producing beautifil, one-ofa-kind dothing—and much, much more. Hard co imagine thar the task of yesteryear is now the diversion of movie sta, top executives, and busy young homemakers? Ir is relaxing and practical, of course, But when you sce ingenious and streamlined basics combined with a wealth of decorative techniques, you'll wonder what happened to the knitting you thought you knew. Dust off your imagination and your knitting needles. Welcome to the 2st century Are you looking for a lot of style with your basics? We serve up traditional knitting techniques from all corners of the world and with a heilthy dollop of avant garde. Projects from today's brightest designers inspire you 2s they teach you the latest tricks of the knitting trade. Once you understand how knitting works, you will be able co turn your warmest, woulliest creams inco reality. I'you dream beyond wool, we include beads, ribbons, spangles, lace, flourishes, trims, and cuslicues. Spend the weekend “cusled up with + goad kiting book,” and Monday morning will find you brimming with creativity and accomplishment. This is the reason people the world over keep the knicting tradition alive and well, Come join itting history of kn WHERE KNITTING COMES FROM Imagine getting up and pulling on pantyhose made of ripstop aylon, oF wrapping strips of wool gabardine From toe to knee before stepping into loafers. Imagine a world where all is ‘woven, 4 worli without nylons, socks, tee shies, stretchy lim eric, sweaters, and sweatshirts. Unlike woven cloth, knitted fabric adjusts co a body in motion. Knits make our lives Aexble zations of people have worn woven clothing chat did snot move or stretch with them. Knights in armor wore woven ‘woolen hose with seams that ran from crotch to toe, and were «cranky enough to wage war fora century." (Riding breeches are still cu lke deflated beach balls because woven fabric does not stretch as you straddle « horse.) Ladies have suffered through fitted linen slips thae requited corses, brassires lke rocket nose cones, and panties the size of pillowcases Sill, the question is not “Why didn’t someone invent knit fing sooner?” bur rather. “How did anyone figure i out ara?” ‘Weaving was on the scene in the stone age, tens of thousands of years before knitting, because in the course of observing aru, los of things lead you to think of weaving. Weaving in bird nest and spider webs, Look at your folded hands, with fingers interlaced and palms down; you have before your eyes the inspiration for a abby ora ewill parte, Perhaps you are siting by the fire one prehistoric nigh, playing with a piece of sinew from dinner. You wrap it over and under the fingers of Knitting, on the other hand, mimics nothing in nature There must fist be loops on a stiek, then a second stick 0 draw a new loop dirough each loop just before you drop it creating a flat fabric structure that is fleble in every dieection. Thisis genius, plain and simple. No wonder ic took millennia to figure out; we ace lucky to have it at all. But where did ie come from? Coxythynchus socks, sth-sth c AD. Romano-Egypian) (Victoria & Albert Museum) UNRAVELING THE MYSTERY though we see examples of sophistisared woven cloth even before the Neolithic period, about 6000 B.C. nothing even resembles kniting until the late Iron Age (c. 400 B.C-1 B.C) with a fragment oF needle technique for netting, most com monly known as nilbinding, Nilbinding is a stretchy, looped fabric made by sewing loops of yarn through each other with a blunt needle, ‘The basicnalbinding stitch is formed around the thamb and ewist ed during construction, so che sttcheslook lik stitches knitted through the bick loop. Each loop is sewn through one other fice loop. This differs from offaecmeshes of regular netting, in which the ends of each mesh are looped around the threads of ‘wo separate meshes. Tenth century woolen sock from Coppergate made using the nalbinding techeique. (Property of York Archadogical Trust) Nilbinding is technically a knited fabri odd though the manujacture may be. On closer inspection it differs from modern lenitting at increases and decteaset. Same things pos- sible in nilbinding are unwieldy or imposible with knitting, s0 i is possible co distinguish shaped garments made by the two techniques. Ancient nilbinded items found include small bags, and garments that need 10 stetch and bend atound odd shapes—usually Feet and hands. Because such garments receive hard wear, the technique may be much older chan the eldest extant examples. Nalbinding is generally considered the precursor to modem knitting and still plays a limited role in garment making, usually in 4 folk context. ‘There are examples of nilbinding from the 3rd century found in excavations of the city of Dura-Europos (destooyed in A.D. 247) which was at that ime a Roman ourpost. The fact that Roman officers wore sock-like garments under theit boots? suggests that soldiers in this Roman outpost could have availed chemselves of this functional garment. There are also pre-Llamic Egyptian nilbinded socks from che 4th-Gth centuries, indicating that the technique did not die at Dura- Europos. A 3rd century mitten of nilbinding ako exists from Aste, ‘Vastergérlind, Sweden,’ as well as later examples of nilbinded garments [rom Seandin: sionsinto England introduced the technique there, r00, as seen ina 10th century A.D. sock found in the excavations at Jorvik, a.Nosse seetement that became York. The Roman presence in Dura-Europos Germany, and England establishes a connec tion by which Romans could have introduced nalbinding co northern Europe, but the invention of nalbinding in the two widely separate regions may be independent ofeach other. Nilbinding could also have developed from weaving, Twining (looping) a separate, colored thread around the warp lengthwise) threads, one by one, formed s design while cloth ‘was being woven. Nilbinding isa similar concept: strand of yatn looped through other loops. The invention of rigid hed le loomsallowed decorative threads the lad herween whole sections of threads at once, but it limited artistic spontaneity, so fiber artists did nor abandon che old techniques when they adopted the new ones, Twined weaving was widely used in the and Baltic countries. Norse inva- Egyptian period, and is still used today. In any eas, since the earliest evidence of niting in Scandinavian et the W6th century, ic is more likely chat kniting devdoped from Egyptian than from Scandinavian nalbinding. ntties is fram DIT te ATs eS NL uy Twining creates loops of thread around warp threads in weaving. FOOT NOTES ‘Weaving was remarkably sophisticated even in Neolithic times. As early as 3000 B.C. the Egyptians were picking up Joops of warp ot weft (crosswise) thread on sticks as they wove, making decorative raise-loop designs on fabrics. Bedspreads are often made this way even now. This shows that the basis for kaitting—a row of loope on a sticke—was 4 familiar tech nique in ancient Egypt.® The next step of picking up a loop through each loop on the stick might not occur for 4000 years, bue the Fis step was established. Egyptian nilbinded socks have moderatelooking stitch gauges, such as you might obtain using a slim knitting needle Teaeems likely chat a thia rod (rather than che thumb) was used as a gauge when forming stitches. Early connections between ailbinding and weaving might have made differences berween “woven” and “knitted” less signficane in ancient simes chan the way we view them today. There is evidence of knitting worked on rods (modern {niuing) in the Islamic period in Egypt, which began e. A.D. 639, One fabric fragment (now lost) from the collection of textile expert Fritz Iklé (4.1946) was dated 7ih9th century AD. though che stitches were cwised. Egyptian fragments and stockings, done with untwisted stitches and characteristic knitted (rather than nilbinded) shaping, exist from c. A.D. 1200-1500, At least some of these examples of multicolored Initting were done in the round For clothing. Exotic goods fiom the farthest reaches of Roman power and beyond,” anything novel in dress or fishion, was of great interest in wealthy, luxuryeloving, Imperial Rome. Egypt became a tributary to Rome in the first century A.D. when Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, and Mare Anthony had their disas- srous romp. Had knitting been a significant. or even insignifi- cant, cra while Rome was the dominane power in Egypt, i ‘would have aroused interest in Rome simply because it was new and different. There is no evidence tht i did. itting tory of kni 1s Knitted blue and white Islamic stocking, ¢ AD. 1200-1500. (Tetile Museum, Washington, D.C) Even when the Reman empire became the Byzantine mpite in A.D. 330, wih Emperor Constantine's new capital city of Constantinople (now Isunbul, Turkey) convenient astern and Western Roman Empire, knitting did linking th aot show up in the West until well im the Islamic period There is no reason to believe that knitting did not originate in the Middle Ease and linger there for a while in relative From Islamic North Affica itis but a short jump to south: < knitting appears next, The craft was already highly developed by the lase quarcer ofthe 13th century, from which petiod we find a beautiful knitted pillow in the tomb of Spanish royalty. Fernando de la Cerds, Infante of Spain, was crn Spain, wh: buried citea 1275 with a silk cushion knitted in two colors gold and brown (or faded red). One side has a pattern of alts ss and eagles in lattice patter, other sides an even more complex pattern, Socks and funerary cushions are very Socks pragmatically exploit the stretchy qualities of knitting motion to an oddly shaped append- nating fleas ind on the diferent objects to permit a wide rang igo. Bur che Spanish funeriry cushion ic an unshaped bag, stuffed and stationary, The knitlike qualities of knitting completely ignored while multicolored brocade quali the fr This is « cone tse of knitting if you see it ae knitting, but not very surprising if you see it only as fabric, here was no functional reason for cushions to be knitted rather chan woven brocide, which suggerts that che knitted textile was chesen for its beauty or novelyy asa textile rather than for its knit characteristics. The fine gauge of 20 stitches pet inch ie finer than mast modern socks, but not particular fine compared to woven fabric, especially the silks, damasks, and brocades of the Easts the Arabic inscription around the cushion link the eraftaman with che Hlamic world.*A blurring of the distinction between knitting and decorative weaving would not be exceptional if knitting were originally perceived «es being merely a variant of weaving, with socks being cither functional offspring or even the surprised parent of a new use for loops picked up on rods =e st fe ik i Peck {cited funerary cushion irom the tomb of Inlante Fernando de la Cerda, AD. 1775. (Burgos Museum, Las Huelgas, Spain) Aitale degli Equi called da Bolognia 1309 ca. 1361-1561 ‘The Virgin of Hult with Sain! Catherine of Aexanria and a Manyr Saint (Museo Poli Pezzoli, Mian tal) ON THE OTHER... ‘The hand is as irregular as the foot and even harder to cover, especially if you wane the fingers to be separated. Bishops gloves were part of their liturgical regalia, and. did not see hard use. This explains the numerous preserved gloves from the early medieval period, throughout Europe and England. Liturgical regalia was luxury knitting, outranking even royal luxuries, and would demonstrate the best technical achieve- rmenis of the times Knitters had contrived to produce gloves by the 13th cen- tury. The Cathedral of St. Sernin in Toulouse, France, houses a pair of plain white knitted gloves.” Fragments of gloves from Bonn, Germany, interred with Bishop Siegfied von ‘Wescerburg in 1297, were made with stranded color knicting, similar to that found on the Spanish funerary cushion." The level of lniting was quite good for the high chsses of society, but whatabour the lower classes? Peasants and craftsmen were the basic classes that created the technology, with fingers. Buc we haven't seen knitting in the context of the medieval European worker, probably because a knitted object was worn outby the owner, or passed along to heirs and wor out. Still, there is pictorial evidence of who used knitting including all the hniques to make glover Back of funerary cushion, itting history of kn Holy Family, atibuted to Ambrogio Lorenzeti (. 1348) of Siena. ‘Photo: Abegg Stftung, Riggsberg (Christoph ven Virag) BABY CLOTHES Paintings of the Virgin Mary knitting, sometimes called “knit- fing Madonnas,” atest © the knowledge of kaitting in Taly by the first half of the 14th century. These paintings show the Virgin knitting as she tends the Christ Child, watched by angels other saints, or St. Joseph, her husband. (Knitting still draws spectators.) The Virgin knits in the ound, sometimes ‘vith muliple colors, showing that the technology used for Egypzian socks was already associated with women’s work, at Jeastin the painters’ minds. ‘The earliest of these compositions, from the 14h century by Vitale of Bologna,” has strongly Byzantine characteristics. Irinerant Byzantine artisans traveled hetween North Africa ‘Asia Minor, and Europein the seven centuries between the rise of Ishm and the fall of the Byzantine Empire," and were well placed to become acquinted with other craftsmen. Knitting 's certainly more portable than weaving, an cbvious advan- tage 1 itinerant arisans (and their families), who could have brought both leniting and Byzantine stylistic influence into Italy simultaneously A second knitting Madonna, by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, © 1349, is interesting because Lorerzettis noted for having been quite radical in depicting the Virgin with the humanity of the commoners, rather than the honor due to queens, throughout his career" In this painting the Virgin is siting on the floor, like a peasant, kniting while the Christ Child clings to her nee, and St. Joseph, siting on a stool, watches. Knitting was ne of the activities of peasant women at this time. Ic is unlikely thae reverent altarpieees of the Madonna and Christ Child would introduce a revolutionary theme of the Madonna usurping a male-dominated trade, so we may assume the sight of woman knitting for her child was unchal lenging, even sweely domestic. If knisting was urknown in te regions where the paintings were painted, observant local women would have heen quiek to learn the extremely practi- cal needlework that che Virgin Mary did at home. So would their children ON TOP OF IT Sons who leamed to knit ac their mothers’ knees were well cquipped.to expand lniting into manufacuring and lucrative sew trades. Hats were worn by all levels of society, what with lice and no shampoo and all the other medieval inconvenienc- «+. Unually hats were made of fale wool ot hais fiber pounded together into 2 shaped whole. Bur if you knitted yarn into the shape you wanted first, then shrank the structure into a felted ‘whole, the shaping process was more eonttolled and more vari able. Enterprising ap makers added another specialty to their Jongeestablished trade. In Paris the hat makers’ guild (Corps de la Bonnetetie) chose St. Fiaera as theie patron suine because he wis already che patron saine of the cotean-hat makers," but he has become, by logical confuson, the patton saint of knit- ters. No mater, the teal patos ing fashion, Hats grew tall lice sugar loaves, then they became flat like accordions; they became pancakes with small brims, then with broud, floppy brims. Kniuting the shape first, with increases and decreases, made it easier to control the areas of folding, brim flare, nd all the other changes that fashion could dream up. England tniled behind its European neighbors in acquiring Knitting, though knit hats were manufactured in England at least as early as 1465." There are some remnants of skulleaps, and pancake-lke bonnes have survived miraculously since the 16th century. In one ofthese che gauge is 1 stich per cenime- te" or about I stitch per / inch, similar to modern hats knit- ted with thick yarn. This is nor fine knitting for royal combs, but common knitting for utilitarian garments. Though used in a skilled trade, coarse knitting suitable for caps could be done at home by women and children. Protected knitters’ guilds were not formed in England as they were on the continent,” which set the stage for the cotage industry that sprang up In the meantime, socks wete made for English children, with rudimentary heel shaping in garter stitch.” wine of hat makers is chang Danie! Hople, Landstneckt and Wife, 1510-1530. (New York Public libran) BITS AND PIECES Even early knitted fashion had its odd moments. In 1477, in a devisve batle between Swiss and Burgundian soldiers at Nancy, France, the Burgundian Charles the Bold was killed Swiss soldiers ransacked his tent for spoils, hacking his exten- sive wardrobe and kixurious textiles into bits to stuff the holes of their ragged clothing, When the victorious soldiers returned home, admiring Swiss civilians adopted this bizarre fashion of sished hose with differenc colored underlayers puffing cout of the slashes. Swiss mercenaries spread and exaggerated this fashion as a mark of professional pride, and the fashion continued into the mid-16th century in Germany, Ialy, and wherever folly allowed.” Fashionable men of the time shshed their long hose and allowed a second, bright layer of hose to show through beneath. IF they could not afford ovo layers, hairy chigh showed through:* While diseastefal, this does noe differ significantly from modern mesh gym clothes. Not content with having their hose divided only at the crow, men’s long hose were divided yet again, this time at the knee. Now in quarters, the upper pieces became trunk hose and the lower pieces became nether hose, Trunk hose could be knitted with long burtonholes instead of slshes, sol ing the problem of snipping holes in expensive fabric, which bothered che fashionable nouveau riche.* Perhaps mercifully, knitting usually disguised itself as underwear and no one saw itor talked about iv STALKING THE STOCKING Knieted underwear crepe up the social ladder. fn 1499 Princess Margiret Tudor (Henry VIII's sister) lited “two pairs of hosen, knit” among her possessions, In 1509 Henry VII married the Spanish princes Catherine of Aragon. Despite the knitted artifacts in royal Spanish tombs, we know that knit stockings were not introduced by Queen Catherine because of the interesting comment thar “Heney VIII commanly wore cloth hose, except that there came from Spain by great chance, 4 pair of knit silk stockings.” Ifthe race knit stockings were to Heniy’s tate, his divorce of Queen Catherine and the result. ing insuleto Spain dried up any mote such gifts. Perhapsif one of his las ive wives had been French or Itlian he would have had a source. The oldest known guild of stocking katte was formed in Pars in 1557," and silk hose knitting businesses in Venice and Milan by 1539." By 1560 in England, Queen. Elisabeth I wore only silk nitted stockings and made her preference known. Her Scottish rival, Mary Queen of Scots, also wore knitted stock- ings, which she may have become accustomed to in France European royalty were all wearing knitted silk stockings by the end of the 16th century. Once the royals were wearin; ited stockings, the nobility realized how much better ka ted stockings were than woven ones. They all wanted knitted stockings, too, and they didn’t intend to make those stockings thenelvo. Knitting guilds on the continent flourished. UNDER APPRECIATED Stockings were being knie in the dey of Nottingham by 1519. but stocking knitters’ guilds never formed because there was lice fashionable demand for stockings for another 40 years.” Guilds formed only when tradesmen organized to protest the trade secrets and promote commerce. Once knitting became fashionable enough to spur the development of a full-blown trade it was too late to protect the trade secress of kniving.” ‘Then the hourgeoiie wanted luxurious knitted stockings. to, but they wanted to haggle over the price. itting history of kn at Brivish merchants undercut European guild stoking kni ters by going drecely o cura Britsh peasants and gerting them 1o kei for almost nothing, then sold stockings diet-cheap at hhome and abroad. Everyone loved the high quality, low cost stockings knitted by British farm families, and the frm fami lies were glad to oblige. Knitting for pittance kept impover- ‘shed rural folk off the parish dole with a respectable, if scant, subsistence. Queen Elizabeth I issaid to have denied William Lee a patent fora knitting frame because “To enjoy the privi- lege of making stockings for the whole of my subjects is too important to be granted to any individual... have too much love for my poor people who gain their bread by the employ: ment of knitting to give my money 10 forward an invention that will cend co their ruin by depriving them of employ- sent and making them beggars” Lee cook his inventian France.” The French continued co import cheap, well-made English stockings. Finally in 1657 a Framework Knitters’ Guild was allowed to incorporatein England."* High teck knittingbegan, though it didn't overtake hand knitting for 200 years, in part because frame Kenitting war not that much more productive than hand knitters. Hand knitters could work anytime, anywhere, in any light, while frame knitters could only work at theit feames in daylight ‘The other fuetor was that frame-knie stockings did not have the exquisite shaping of hand-knitted stockings. Decent women didn’t show their leg, but men in knee breeches depended upon elegant legs for their fashion status, and baggy stockings were a disaster. Cheap won out sometimes, but not often enough to climinate the preference for hand knieeed stockings. Nor uncil the French Revolution, anyway, when the knee breeches of the aristocracy were abandoned in favor of the long trousers of the tiumphant prolezarians.* Ifyou were not we who cares how your stockings fit?” Thus died che international hand -knited stocking trade, a slave to cras fashion. This led to renewed rural poverty and emigration. Where docs allthis talk of stockings lead? Itseems intermé rable, and in many ways it was, because for most ofits history knieting was stockings or underwear. you were lucky enough to be tich, someone else knitted it for you. There were occa- sions when even underwear got its moment in the sun. At the execution of King Charles | in 1649, the doomed monarch stripped to his undershirt, which was sky blue sills, knitted in ‘geometric kniv/purt brocade patterns, and declared before he was beheaded that, “A subject and his sovereign are lean dif ferenc things.” This showed what kings and their underwear wwere made of. Afterwards the king's physician kept the gar- sent, which sill exists athe London Museum.” ing cal€revealing bresches, CASTING OFF FOR NEW LANDS Puritans who left w colonize New England took along knit ding because it discouraged wicked idleness, not because they preferred fashionable knitted stockings. Woven ones “are much more serviceable than knit ones.” Sull,an enormous amount of idle time was made profitable by knitting, skill that all che gils in the new land mastered before marriage and used perpetually thereafter. Orphan girls or daughters of indigent parents were taught o kai and sew so that they could support themselves when they were older. Women with large households oF purses took on maids © help with sewing and knitting. Young gitls were customarily “bound out.” much as boys were apprenticed, co households where they were taught te skills of housewifery, knitting first of al. Widows made living by running “dame schools,” where ery young children were caught the alphabet and girls were taughr knitting. This was often the only formal education girk received. Women in truly dire financial straits mended and washed stockings." Knitting was, then as now, much more pleasurable than laundry. Avfiest yarn wasimported by the new colonies because get- {ing enough feod took 100 much time to make spinning eco- somically feasible. As land was broken and food became more plentiful, spinning wheels were imported and the production of wool yarn and linen thiead were transferred to colonial soil, This did not become a matter of dispute until England, Wishing 1 refill is war-depleted coffers, begin to demand that che colonies buy only English-made yam and thread, rather than producing their own. This led ro hard feelings, the Revolutionary War, and American independence ‘Time passed and America became more wealthy. Education became an increasingly avaiable laxury. Reading, writing, nee- Alework, and knitting were taught to girls in day o* boarding schools. The population, growing in literacy and wealth, was 4 perfect market for publishing businesses, which brought out books of morality, household hints, and needlework patterns. ‘These early books are a wonderful view into which skills were basic education and which ones weren't. The earliest books have pattems for knitted items, some decorative stitches, but sot instructions on how to knit, 3o we know that in the 1840s [nitving was not learned from books. The items in the enrliest books ate stockings oF accessories or baby clothes, not outer garments, which was nothing new. Garments were made of ‘woven cloth, and why shouldn't they be? Women and men wore corsets to set their figures into the acceptable shape. When inner clothing admits no real movement there is no reason to Wear strtchy outer garments. Miss Lambert was sufficiently radical in 1857 when she included a pattern for a Inited spencer which was a shore jacket, sometimes worn ander the dress for warmth. They are still popalar underwear jn Australia and New Zealand, where central heat is not the norm, THE WILD COLONIALS America was not the only nnd colonized by knivers. From the 17th cencury oa, colonization was one of Europe's leading industries. The eariest emigrants couldn't get along at home fr economic differences (povery), or moral dierences (erin inal behavior). Such people were exported to distant lands that seeded the civilizing touch." Canacla, New Zealand, and Austalia all became Knicting societies because colonists soon discovered that there were no handy peasants or factories to do the knitting. New Zealand migrant lists of the 1840s recommended to working class male emigrants that they take knitted guemseys (pullovers) hile “neither shoes nor stockings areat all necessary.” Work shirts of woven fabric sufficed when the guemseys wore out, and knitting skills were abandoned by women who no longer needed stockings for their families, a blesing when you are tying to make your living in a new land. At the sime time, gentlemen emigrants were advised co take with them 60 pairs af stockings." When those stockings were gone, where would new stockings come from? Sometimes working chss immi- grant tefwsed to knit in the new land because knitting wae still, to them, the work of peasants." Gentlemen's imported stockings were slow to arrive and expensive, so the wives of gentlemen had co learn to kit. All immigeants 19 Canads still needed warm knitted stock- ings to keep from freezing." Ladies traded essentials or money for these when they could, but sometimes there was no other choice but to learn to knit. Kiting might be learned from a former peasune (often an emigrant from the chaos of industrslization) who had knitted back home, or it could be learned from a book The degradation of taking up knitting wore off with the frst pair af warm socks, if not sooner, and new knitters wrote home of their daring exploits with yarn and needles. The upper class families that had spawned wild colonials learned that knitting could be enjoyable CHANGING PLACES In England factories kniveed the interminable stockings, so ‘women did not need to knit, They bought stockings instead. As functional knitting became identified with factories, knite Ging gradually lost the “peasant” stigma ‘Kniting is realy very enjoyable when itis nor che grind ing work of poverty. Knitting non-essentals™ soon became a parlor activity.” Buyinga book to leara a pleasant parlor diver sion was not the same thing as taking up subsistence work. To allay any hesitation a newly middle class housewife might have about taking up a pastime only recently the work of peasants, any books refer to noble or even royal kritters.® The middle class English housewife is assured that in the best circles of European society, ladies on their balconies afier dinner take cot delicare knitting,” ‘There were also garments for babies, a perfect target for the unreliably sized and styled garments ofthe early desgn indus- try. Tuning ile tedium to charitable ase by knitting for the poor was 1 noble upending of the kiting pyramid, also supported by ‘oyaly,* and knitting book publishers exploited this. Many of the early patterns were for silk purses, hardly a gift for che wretched poor, but purse patterns were practical from the publisher’ point of view. Stitch gauge wasa concept as yet unknown,” but a bagis a bag, large or small Knitting publications developed better instructions and more practical designs, spurred on by yarn manufacturers, Soon pattern books recommended specific brands of needles and yarns—their own products, by coincidence. By 1896 there was even a collection of patterns for working men’s gar- ‘ments in cough. cheap, charity-grade wools.” ‘The earliest publications describe vechniques that are only now being rediscovered, or rerediscovered. Miss Lambert ‘mentions “rated knitting.”* which uses one large needle and one small needle, and was published in the 1980s as the lat- cst thing—"condo knitting.” Another is double knitting, or tubular nitsing on two needles, which was published by Mary Thomas in the 1930s and by Bevesly Royce in the 1990 Everything old is new again. PLAYING AT WORK To make sure there was no mistaking the charitable parlor nine for the peasant knitter, knitting needles were held differently in parlors. Antique photographs show Cornish women holding the needles under their palms as they knit Fishermen's sweaters in between stnesof gutting fish. Lest par- lor kaicters be associated with Fishwives, various books advised Indies to hold their needles in a graceful” manner, German seyle, with the yarn coming over the lefe fingers, so thae the Indies might present an attractive pose to the men watching them knit odious little comforts. Others preferred to hold the needles like pencils s inefficient « position as exists, but efficiency and ease of motion were absolutely nor the point. “On no occasion does a lady seem more lorely than when half occupied with some feminine art which keeps her fingers employed, and gives an excuse for downcast eyes and gentle pre-occupation. This sort of playing at work and working at play, shecs a home feeling around the guests which no st effort at hospitality can produce ..”” Besides turning knitting postures into decorative poses, parlor knitting ended quite a lot of functional folk knieting traditions and banished usefal tools from polite knitting bags. Round knitting (except for the rotally plebian sock)” was replaced with flat knitting on ewo needles. Knitting bels and {nirsing sticks. used by production hand knitters in the ouer British Isks, vanished because only small fat items were being made." Bar kitting was not just decorative. It wasa pastime that eprwomeen out of rouble. Even if the knitting fitno one (as ‘vas common with vague instructions and no gauge), knitting helped “otherwise idle women find occupation for fingers and ‘thought in employments that if not always profitable, are at least innocene and inexpensive.” No small task in the wild colonial days itting history of kn EXPANSION VS. CORSETS Expanding empires required merchant ships to supply goods to colonists and collect the rewards of colonization, and large navies to protect the merchant ships. Fishermen joined the aavies and brought with them wugh hand-kaived sweaters (called guernseys o “ganseys"), which inspired whit may be the first Fame knitted “knock-off.” Sailors requited warm, slose-ftting clothing that allowed freedom. wo camber up the ‘igging, but before 1857 the navy didn’t provide uniforms. After 1805. sailors bought their own jackets, trousers, and {nied underwear from the enterprising Notingham frame knicter* French siilors had been wearing the same ‘ype of knitted clothing, 00, for about as long,” possibly supplied by the same Nottingham knitters. Even officers wore knitted clothing under theie tailored coats. When a battle broke out, the coats were off and everyone was free to move. Finally the British Admiralty ordered that knitted clothing be issued to the silors. but not to the oficers. Gentlemen sill didn’t dress like the working class, a lease offically Fashion facilitated climbing, too—social climbing, ‘The fashionable sihouerte, for man of woman, had alvays been dependent on boning, wiring, and lacing up—hardly condu- cive o freedom of motion. Knitting didn't change this.” For as long, as kiting had been worn by royal, clothing had been as stiff as a post. The corset marker didn’t sump and the upper class still wore woven underwear, but the working class wore knitted inne garments. Besides warmth, women ‘wore them to permit fieedom fiom bunching under restric tive women’s clothing. Double-knitted_petticoats* spencers camisoles), and knickers nos only stretched beter than woven fabri they contracted better, too. Knitting provided a modi- cum of comfort under a corset Society wis ako sippling beneath che ausface. Once scorned, grubby Industial Revolution money made“in trade” was now all that it took to climb the social ranks, buying titles nd filling governmene coffers depleted by colonial expansion’s territorial disputes. Newly wealthy working men preferred games and sports that did not involve wearing corsets and shooting, things for dinner. By the list quarter of the 19th cencury palling an oar, swinging.a tennis racquet, oc breaking 4 golf club were the entertainments rich men cook up. They soon discovered thae if they couln’t move they couldn't win, ar even enjoy themselves very much, Since eash was the coin of the realm and a gentleman's pleasure was 2 close second, fashion had to loosen up a bi. Iti, Long kniteed stockings and pullovers (umpers in British terminology) allowed the active gentleman to swat and swing ‘without splitting a seam. ‘The moneyed world became sccus- tomed to wearing comfortable, knitted, working class-inspired garments for conspicuously nonworking activities, Business suits became tilored to a snobbish nicety to offset the induk sgences of comfort in quest of sport. Bur yourg men ar elite schools such as Eton wore brightly striped, frame-knitted pullovers for their sports. Ironically, Paton’s publication of charigy garments for working men ako contained dhe paccern for a brightly striped sporting pullover” Other publications were even more adventurous, including pactems for bicycling outfits and “a disturbingly unreliable-looking pair of gentle- man’s bathing drawers."* Working cass comfort entered the real world, too. New Zealand's volunteers for the 1899 Boer War in South Aftica had no intention of puting on constricting woven uniforms for Queen and Country. They demanded and gor the stretchy pullovers that British seamen fad been wearing for a cen- tury.” Enealish officers, gentlemen of active hab, were already sequainted with the advantages of knits, but ie took colonial regiments to introduce the quintessential working man’s gar- ment into war, the original home of metal clothing. Knits challenged the woven world and expanded their empire, Knits freed men for the sporting avocation. In the 20th century this meant conquering brutally cold territories like the Antarctic, Mt. Everest, and the moon. Seot’s tragic Terra Nova expedition to Antarctica in 1910-1913 was outfitted with knitied garments? and succumbed to servation rather than hypothermia; itis a sad distinction, Amundsen reiched the South Pole wearing knitted garments, and lived to tell oft LOOSEN UP! ‘There had long been a desireto get women out oftheir corsets. Clothing reformers wore comfortable, if peculiar, garments and were mocked or ignored, depending on how genceelly they behaved. Comfort and health were insufficient to free women fiom the dutches of Fashion, Liberation required a higher purpose—upper class pleasure, ‘Wives of wealthy industrialists liked to play golf and tennis, Some refined boarding schools were hotbeds of 0 sion, with gies shamelesly walking around the playing Fields in sweaters.” In any case, knocking a golf ball to kingdom come was impossible in a corset, s0 the eoiset went. Knitting publications began tentatively to introcuce sport- ing garment patterns for ladies, usually golf sweaters or shoot ing jackets, abo perfect for young women experiencing the fieedom of travel on bicycles. Early designs for outer garments tended to follow the fitted shape of traditional tailored coth- ing, though they gradually assumed a mote relaxed, natural shape.” American ladies also set aside corsets both as a matter of practicality and as a matter of belief: belief if they had a reforming type of nature, and practicality if they liked sports and comfort. Bur these wo motivations were not themselves sufficient to overthrow the whole of women’s fshion. It took the horrors of the First World War to shake off everything inessential, Women serving in hospitals and medical units in the trenches needed to move freely and stay warm just like the soldiers, and they abandoned corsets and donned knit ted outer garments in one of the few ronlly sane aets of chat entire pesiod. Unrestrictive undergarments; warm, flexible outer clothing: eveything that men had used for play clothes became the real clothing of postwar man—and woman, No one who ceumed from the war was unchanged, and sensible clothing was a permanent change for everyone, even civilians who had stayed home kniténg, Wornen, children, and even grown men who had never touched a skein of yarn lenmed to katt, and some of them didn’t stop after the war was over. ‘When peace again reigned many knitters put aside their needles and patterns and took up their previous tasks. Some never knisted again, bur many enjoyed che sustained, creative process, and continued to knit for pleasure. Yam manufactur ers, feed from the restaints of khaki. worked to meet the postwar knitting demand with colorful yarns and designs While they were expert at yarns, the commercial fashion design trae was in its infancy. Designs were “cariously primi- tive garter stich jerseys and jackets for men, women, and children”, minimally shaped and easy to work. The garter stitch aspect may be explained by recalling thar mose wartime knitters made simple garments in the round, primarily using knit stitch, To keep pleasure knitters in their comfortable rut, designers translated round knit garter stitch, A less charitable interpretation is that “garments were ideal for inexperienced knitters and, as in more recent times, che designer chemselves probably had limited knitting skills" ‘The first knitting scholars and. scholar-designers, such ts Mary Thomas, Heine Kiewe, Christine Duchrow, and Marianne Kinzel, wrote precise books thar systematically laid ut advanced techniques and regional secrets for pleasure knieers around the would, 1g %0 flat, resulting in che NEW EYES Despite the low spread of knitting, once people sce knitting they immediately find a use for ic, sometimes slong the same lines and sometimes in vastly different ways. When knitting was in is infancy it was adapted wo bags and other useful les, but never realy lst its chief use as clothing, and then assumed the role of fashion. Scandinavian, Latvian, Turkish, Maori, Aleut, or any of the multiude of societies that have adopted knitting have expanded its artistic possibilities co suit their cultural requirements, adding patterns, figurative decoration, textural stitches, and garment shapes to appropriately carry the art Hundreds of groups have developed identifiable styles of decorative knits that have become sought after for their beauty alone. Sometimes the ssyles grew slowly, through generations of daily life, like Norwegian ski sweaters, Lavian mittens, and Turkish socks Others, such as the Bohus knits of Sweden, were invented quickly, ro provide support in despertely hard economic times, and were beautiful enough to succeed for generations despite the harsh inspizstion, Knitting has Fent itself to innumerable ends and aeshetiss, many of which are revived time and again, far from home, because they are simply too beautiful co lose. PEACETIME AND BEYOND ‘When men co go war, women pick up their knitting needles to kait warm comforts for their loved ones in danger, to cope with fabric rationing, and to keep from going mad with anxiety. Until the last quarter of the 20th cencury, kniting for ‘wartime vas an economic necessity to keep the Forces in socks and other garments. This is no seeret to the yarn industry, which fought to keep peacetime knitting the major force it ‘vas dating wartimes. Te is not necessiry to knit now because of the enormous growth of the knitted clothing industry, which grew accord- ing to the demands of modem jfe. Movement and comfort are motivating forces, and sociery has matured to the point ‘where it occasionally says “pooh” to the demands of fashion, How many woven slips or citele stitch brat are in the modern lingerie drawer? Even the modern fantasy corset is mace with light, knived fabric between the boning rer since Coco Chanel bought surplus knisted underwear yardege to ereate he frst collection in the war-wracked France ‘of 1916,” fashion has seen the potential of knits. A young Indy’ fest formal gown may be as lithe and supple as she is, for knit gowns that cling ike a whisper compete with the stiff fabri of yesterday's ballroom. Money can’t buy the beauty of a vese char you knit on 4 brisk autuma weekend because {knitting isa mood, not just fabric. Knitssnugle against our skin; they are intimate. “The technical world has also cecognized the value of lent ting, Space suits, industrial filters, surgical mesb, garden hoses, and life-saving bandages for burn patients all utilize the bril liane innovation that was firse disguised as a humble Egypeian stocking. Now factory workers wear protective gaundets knite ted of light, Flexible wire. Afer a thousand years the dream of nights is finally achieved for the working man. ‘Nevertheless, machine knitting denies the pleasure of knit- «ing with your own two hands, the srsaticn of beautiful yarns sunning dirough your fingers, the power co make something from the frst stitch to the last. Aside from the warmth and comfort of knitted garments, the value of knitting is in the cndlesly satisfying creaivity it puts within our grasp. Creation fs our natural inheritance, and something is lost when we abandon timeless urges ind skillsand let a machine dictate our choices. Scretch out your fingers and knic something beautiful by) knitting basics BASIC SKILLS OF KNITTING—casting on, knitting and purling, binding of{—are basic because they are the heart of knitting, What you dowith them need not be basic. The most festive, glamorous, comfortable, or classic garments are made with basic techniques. Despite the wealth of knitting techniques, you can make a perfectly magnificent sweater with nothing but the basics! And the more exotic the yarn, the better it is suited to basic techniques, There are techniques for different needs, such as extra-stretchy cast-on, invisible bind-off, and knitting for people who prefer left- or right-hand yarn control, We have induded only our favorite techniques because they give great results easily. Ease is part of the pleasure of knitting, and we rely on it. Find your favorite techniques and dive in. Why stop at your favorites? After you have completed a few projects, the techniques that seemed tricky will be child’s play, and lead you into new knitting vistas. There seems to be so much to learn, You have only two hands to control two needles and a strand of yam, and only two eyes to watch this and read instructions. But knitting has been popular for centuries because the pleasure comes quickly. Soon each hand does its jab, the yarn cooperates, and your eyes feast on the satisfying length of knitting in your lap. ‘You can relax, knit, and turn dreams into reality. Your dreams are too precious to be machine-made, and are so easily made real with knitting, If you dream of a cashmere sweater, you can haye it—in the shade you want, perfect from neck to fingertips, and you did it yourself. No wonder people long to “get back 0 the basies.” itting essentials kn 22 FREQUENTLY USED ABBREVIATIONS beg bo on dects) dpn inc(s) k k2tog wise 16) " P p2sso p2tog pnso sso sorst sk sssk Stst st(s) ‘thi tog wyib wyif yo begin bind off cable needle cast on decrease(s) double pointed needle increase(s) knit 2 together kaitwise loops) make | purl ass 2 slipped stitches over purl 2 together pass next stitch over ass sipped stitch over purlwise round right side sip 2 together knitwise, knit, pass 2 sipped stitches over sip 1, knit2 together, pass slipped stitch over sip 1, knit, pass sipped stiteh over sip sip, slip, knit these 2 stitches together skp, slip, sip, krit 3 stitches together stockinete stitch stitch(es) throuch back loop together wrong side with yarn in back with yarn in front yam over ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THIS BOOK approx. approximately ps50_pass lipped stich over beg begin wise purlvise bo bind off re right cross ce contrasting color ekp right cross — knit, purl ch chain reple ight cross ~ purl knit ‘em centimeters rem_ remaining en cable needle rep repeat co caston rnd{s) rounds) dee(s) decrease's) or knit2 15 rightside stitches together s2kp slip 2 together knitwise, dpn_ double pointed needle ksit 1, pass? slipped inc(s)_increase(s) stiches over knit se single crochet kb knit through back loop. sk2p slip, krit2 together, pushing bead into ass sipped stitch over sti skp slip |, knit 1, pass slipped k2tog knit? together stitch ever K3tog knit 3 together sorst slip wise Knitwise ssk slip slip, knit2 stitches He eft cross ‘together lekp left cross- knit, pur ssp slip, slip, purl, lepk: left cross pur, knit ssssk_ slip, slip, slip, knit 3 Hepp left ross - pur, purl stitches together th left hand St st_stockinete stitch p(s) loop(s) st(s) stiteh(es) Mormt make t {tbl through back loop me main color tog together mm millimeters ‘wrong side purl with yarn in back patt pattern with yarn infront ppb pur stitch, pushing beed yo yam over into stitch * repeat instructions p2ss0_ pass 2 slipped stitches between *s over + repeat instructions p2tog_purl2 together bewween +5 ppm place marker ©. repeat instructions ppnso_pass nex! stitch over between parentheses wat specified number of times. ‘wrap and turn CHART SYMBOLS FOR KNIT PATTERNS General empty space fs) its) pu 4s) rit) pur pattem repeat = sh pst) knit Ks) kritt through back loon. ‘ws purl throu back loo 2X) put hough back oo Safe trod bso + lp koiose Slip puvise with ar in ont ip 1 ktwise with ar in font ip 1 purhica easton bind of sith maining afte bind ff ity Stitches © bobble, kno, knet, peppercrn, tut 2 bobble over multple rows Q f pick wo slipped srandls fron Below and knit (_nitinnent stitch through ttch in previeus row — palledstitch wrapped thread | op sith and unravel DSSS ultine threaded stitch Vater ao specie yarn over two stitch right slant increase” ete (M__(mnake 1) insert source needle front, Rein iecrie, @ _ yoyamn over (number indicated) ‘V7 purl infront and back of same stitch © bait 1,yam over knit in same stitch Voit 1, purl 1, knit * There ae dozens of deerative increases, To keep the charts revdable onl the ant ‘recon fs nakated. Spectic mstructons ae ‘noted in te key below the chart. Decreases ’ \ \ 7 exe DNyD (s) kit 2 together (ws) pur2 together sip 1 bitwise sip 1 krtwise, kit2 sitches together tough back loop (s) pul 2 together (ws! krit2 together sip 1, knit 1, passslipped stitch over (s) slip 1 kntwise kit? stitches ‘together, pass 2 sipped stitches over, (ws) hp 2 kits kit, Biss 2Slipped sites ever (©) knit 3 togethes (ws) purl3 together (pur 3 together (sl knit togsthor () kit 4 together (vs) pur 4 together (spur 4 together (ws! knit 4 together (s) kit 5 together (s] purl 5 together () pu 5 togthes (ws kit together Crossed and Cable TE Ae tt cos) skp fst, kit second sich Urough back lop, kitskiped stich (ght as) hp fe sited 00 Sees el seaman ints spb thes tooth ee: Aroha He cos tp clacton couse pt Ino font second eft front of sippe tte, sipboth ithe weolng ete Uepk let oss, purl, kit) 4 «ek right ros, it purl leplewrong side leftross, kit, purl) Paid plang sie rght ros kt, put) TSE 2 teh lit hnitcable SEL 3 stitch ight brit cable T= 3 sch et purreritcable 7 3 stich ight krie-pul cable TR steer hit cable 7 4sttchrightknit able ee Asien ert pura cable ==/— Aste right nit-prl cable TT Astitchieft able SF Asttchrigntcable sssttcnett nit cable 7 Esti ight kit able A tstter it init cable 7 ste right eit cable $F. iste tt init cate tte sight it. cable i ials itting essent kn READING INSTRUCTIONS AND SYMBOLS Skill in reading ditections and symbols wil contribute enor mousy to your satisficion in knitting. International symbol ‘ersions of patterns now give us access (© gorgeous foreign designs, so itis well worth your while te lean the imerna tional symbols Symbob are not standardized, but if you are unsure as (0 any specifics, check the legend or key for claifica- tion, (Some color patterns are abo printed in symbols cacher than in color. This may or may not be mixed with shaping symbols.) ‘Many instruetions provide both writen and symbol ver- sions, They are equally useful, even iFyou prefer one over the other, Written instructions assume you knit from ight co eft. This is not a problem in charted designs. If you come t0 4 confusing part in your preferred version of the instrucions, Jook ac the other for clarification. ‘When reading a chart, remember that : purl on one side is a knit on the other. Charts are read from the front. that is the tight side ofthe knicting. When you turn knitting, the symbol are understood to be the opposite of what is on the right sie of the fabric, Sometimes Knitting in the round is done inside out, with the purled side of the fabric facing out. IFit will be clearer, write out a new symbol Key and fasten it tothe chart. A CHARTED PATTERN allows you to see on paper the design chat you will be kniting. This is often far easier than trying to read instructions written as phrases and sen- tences, especially when chey are written in a foreign language. Knowing how to read a charted knitting pattern wil take you beyond the limits of language (see Chart Symbols, page 23) DECORATIVE KNITTING is easily described on graph, paper, with knit and purl stitches drawn in as they appear from the right (front) side of the work, Symbols are not standard- ized, but once you understand how charted pacterns work you should be able to decipher most systems. Each square equals tne stitch, and the symbol in the square indicates whether i is knitted or purled. There are symbols to show shaping increases and decreises—including the dirsetion they slant on the right sie of the work. SHAPING SYMBOLS will slant to the lee or right, per haps with an indication of how many stitches are involved For lace knitting, increases and decreases with holes are incor- porated ino the design. Because a “yarn aver” hole is larger than a stitch, there may be blank squares (white or tinted) that allow you to see the lace design as it will look when knicted Just ignore the blank squares as you knit You can also see shaping on a chart. A small garment may be completely shown in a graph. A larger garment may not need to be charted, buts often shown in a schematic drawing ‘ith measurements at strategic points, such as the outline of 4 sweater with the hem, chest, shoulder, and length measure- rents shown. A sweater knitin stockinette stitch with a multi color band across the chest may simply show one repeat of the color chart and where it is placed on the body of the sweater. Shoulder shaping, waist shaping, and neckline shaping may be shown om the schem . or with individual smaller charts WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS are noc the gibberish they seem when you fint reas them. They we a shorthand to indicate stitches ot actions. (See Abbreviations, page 22) Abbreviations and punctuation srmbols define logical groups sicher repeated operations orsmall groups of stitches that make up a whole. Minimal writing saves space and keeps instruc- tions clear and methodical. The abbreviations are defined at the beginning of each pattem or each book of pacerns. Any special techniques will also be explained thet. Repeated groups of instructions are giren working names sed throughout the instructions, e.g, “buttonhole.” These may also be explained the first time they appearin the text, and then referred to by working names thereafter. If no specific explanation of how the buttonhole is worked appears in the text, choose your favorite method. PATTERN STITCHES, used for an overall patterned fabric, are given so that you can work swatches. These are asually given with their repeat numbers. eg. the number of stitches ittakes to completely reproduce the pattern once. This is written as “Multiple of $12." If you wish to make a swatch thar repeats the pattern 4 mes ta check your sitch gauge (see page 25), multiply the number of repeats you want times the first number in the repeat number: (4 repeats x8 sticches=32). ‘Then add ewo more stitches (the +2 part) to keep the pattern lined up. (4 repeatsx 8 sitches=32) +2=34.So when you make your pattern swatch, you will need to cast on 34 stitches. BRACKETS AND PARENTHESES group reited infor: mation. They indicate altemate measurements to be substi tuted according to the size garment you ate working: “Sizes $ IM, L XL}: 10 (15, 20,25) sess 2 (4,6, 8) inches.” ‘They group a series of instructions that are to be repeated asa whole: (Kae 2, yarn over, sip 1, kat 1, paso) 3 times k 2. Brackets and parenthesescan be used separately, to indicate grouped steps, or they can be used within each other to sepa- rate subscis of instructions, where each group isbeing repeated within the context of a whole piece: ((A series of buttonholes) worked while you are ako shaping the cencer front] ofthe let Sde of a cardigan. Brackets and parentheses can alo contain explanations seeded atchat point. Stars 2, asterisks *, or any other symbol serve the same basie function as brackets and parentheses: to set apart a group of stitches or actions, which will be repeated as a whole Generally hese symbols define repeats forthe row, rather than the whole piece. aT; ra L543 Gauge swatch © BAD LANGUAGE ‘The older your books of pattern stitches. the les uniform the abbreviations will be For example, when 2 stitch is slipped the yarn is caried in front or in back of the stitches, This his several different names and abbre- viations in written pacterns: With Yarn in Back (wyib), ‘With Yarn in Front (wyitl, With Thread in Back (wtb), Yarn in Back (ih). Yarn in Front (yi, Yarn eo Front (tf), Yarn t0 Back (tb), Wool in Back (wib), and Wool Forward (wi or whe), ete Thece is sohtle trend to standardized cerminology in writen knitting patterns, but different publishers stil cdo what makes sense to them. Don't we all. There are as many ways 19 ste something as there are to understand it. Generally speaking, anything indicating yarn or thread in the back or front means that you simply shift the yarn from one side of the work to the other ‘On the ether hand, some pattern stiches require add- ing or subtracting stiches: Terms for these include Yarn ‘Over Necdle (yon), Yarn Over (yo)s Over (0). Maks 1 fh (ml), Narrow I (a1), Decrease 1 stitch (decl), exc. Do nor confuse a Yarn Over (increase in number of stitches) with « Yarn Forward (hiliing the placement of the working strand), or you will see yous knirting fan out like a peacock on display. GAUGE Pay attention co this: Correct gauge isthe difference between 4 favorite sweater and a charitable donation. The correct size of your finished project depends on gauge. Gauge depends on the size of the neatles, the size of the yam, and how cightly you knit. Make a decenc-sized gauge swatch—<4 inches x 4 inches (or 20 stitches x 20 rows) isteasonable. The numberof stitches for a swatch may be recommended in the instructions, cn the yarn Inbal, or may be determined by the pattern repeat number. THE NEEDLE SIZE suggested for a pattern is just a place to sart. You may work more tightly or loosely than the person who wrote the pattern, You need co work at exactly the gauge the pattem requis in order to reproduce it accurately, Dp not be lazy. Work at least a 4inch square of whatever pattem stitches are called for by the pattern, then block the swatch and measure the stitches precisely. Partial stiches mat- ter: ahalfstitch per inch multiplied by 30 inches isa disaster ‘Make swatches until your stitch gauge is enrrect. Change needles until you find the size that allows you to make the gauge. If you can't make gauge with your usual brand of needle, try another brand or material. Tiny things lke weight and finish make a difference. When working at the correct gauge you should be able to insert the needle in stitch com- fortably. If you can't, try different needles. THE ROW GAUGE isimportant, but if you repeatedly brain che stitch gauge and never quite ger the row gauge, you can adjust lengths in a garment as you make it ull out enough yarn ac the beginning of a row to complete the row. Having to constant tug on the yarn will make your Iniecing uneven. Constune tension will stretch the yarn 3 you work, making the gauge incorrect. Polling out 4 times the width of the row should be enough. Stress shows up in your work. After a hard day check the gauge as you knit to make sure you aren't working more fightly chin wual, Chesk he gouge frequently on a loag or complicated project, and change neeilles when your gauge is off. IFyou always have a hard day at work, start your knitting on a project that requires a lot of tension, Once you relax, switch to a project chat is knit more loosely Buy an exara ball of yarn to work swatches. Don’: pull jut your test swatch and use the yam in your project from aisguided motives of theft. Your swatch is a test run. Use it to check your gauge, but don't stop there. Work a couple of swatches to leam any new pattern stitches that will be in your project. Work a swatch to see which buttorhole st the yarn, Throw a test swatch in the washer if the Finished project is washable. You will never regret taking the time t0 learn about the yarn you think you want, Use ld swatches as reference squares in your knitting archives, as afghan squares, or for random patch pockets. Partial balls of yarn are geet For small projects or donations to charitable programs. You can even carry spare thife shop needles and partial balls of yarn to teach your friends t knit when they suy it looks interesting (or soothing, oF fun). itting materials kn NEW TOOLS NEW AGAIN TOOLS Koitting frames, now called knitting looms or wheels, have made a hig come back in recent years. Manufactured in a variety of shapes and sizes, the looms allow crafters wha have struggled. with needks a simple method of creating Inited fabric. Pictured here ae a sele tion af some of the more common ting looms. NEW TOOL ‘This exciting new tool is called a Kook”. Consisting of a crochet hook with a hole at one end for holding a length of cord, this clever device creates true knit~ ted fabric. It isa perfect introductory tool for anyone intimidated by knitting needles, especially when working on designs that cal for the use of multiple needles. However, it isn’t ust for beginners. Experienced knitters are also discovering the fun of knitting with the Knook. It begins with a crocheted chain that is picked up onto the hook as heginning stitches. These stitches are slipped onto the cord, which holds the stitches while the knitting, or Knooking, progress- ¢s. This is an innovative tool that is well worth trying! For more information, visit Leisureasts.com. No.5 No.3 No. 10% | | z | | | | | Straight needles No.0 (2 mim) through No. 15 (10 mm). necotes Needles come in a vast array of types, matetials, and sizes ‘They are categorized by diameter (size), length, and type (the umber of points). Check the peints and shafss when buying acedles to make sure that they are smooth and well polished. Rough spots will make knitting a trial rather than a pleasure. Dropping « needle can damage the point. Polish away small nicks with a nail buffing chamois and lite red jewelers rouge. If that doesn’e work, cy ultra-fine garnet paper, or ask «friendly jewelry separ shop co bulla point, Sometimes there ‘sno saving a worn or damaged needle. SIZES are not completely standardized, but there is a wend cowards it. Most manufacturers list the setual diameter in millimeters and the company’s sizing Gf they differ) —gen- erally speaking, the larger the diameter, the higher the size number. Older British neecles are sized in reverse order, so very fine lace needles are sizes 12-16. With a metric needle suge you can measure whatever kind of needles you have, since mose modern patterns come with recommended metric needle sizes. In the end. all that matters is whether o° not your stitch gauge is correct: ifi is, the garment size will be accurate. Single pointed knitting needle in vaiou Icmay be that your needles do not exactly match any size, buc that is norall bid. Thereare advantages and disadvantages 10 standardized sizes. Fyou are having trouble matching your uge to the required gauge of a pattern, ey a different brand or material of needles. The weight and finish of a needle can change your gauge. For this reason it is best not 1 switch needles daring the course of a project unless itis required by the pattern, oF to work a ribbi NEEDLE Sizes ‘The size ofa sitch is decetmined by the diameter ofa knitting needle and the diameter of the yarn, The size of the needle influences the size of yam you can useand vice versa. Knitting 3 very bulky yarn on very small needles string and produces 4 sti right kn ehac does nor drape well. Knitting a very fine yarn on very lage needles will make a lacy fabric, possibly too openand limp. ials iS oe kn itting mater lI Various straight double peinted knitting needles, STRAIGHT NEEDLES come in single point and double PISINGLE POINT ate th familar neds sold in pics ‘They have a point on the one end and a button on che other snd of the shaft to keep stitches from sliding off. Single point aeedles are for back-and-forth knitting only. They come in Jengehs from 8" (20.5 cm) to 14" (35.5 em), and in sizes feom 0 2 mm) co 15 (10 mm), and sometimes 17 (12 mim) oF 19 (15 mm), There area few brands of single point needles with cables on the button end, These are for working very wide projects. If the brand you want does not come with a flex- cable, consider using a circubr needle FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Bamboo flex knting needles, varius circu- lar kritng neces. DOUBLE-POINT NEEDLES (in sets of 4 or §) are wed for kniting in the round, for cables, and sometimes for fine straight lace. They range in size from 000000 (.75 mm) 0 19 (15 mm). Most common in 8° (2005 em) lengths, you can usually find 4° (10 em) o1 5” (12.5 em) seis for socks and glove fingers. Alo, 10” (25.5 em) double point needles are sometimes available, but very long, fine, deuble- pointed needles allel “wires?) are available only fiom Scottish souress, since they are used most for Shetland lace knitting. CIRCULAR NEEDLES havea flexible cable with a point at each end, and are wed for knitting in the round or for back-and-forth knitting on very wide pieces. There are both fixed-length needles and needles with interchangeable points and cables so that asa garment changes circumierence you can switch eable lengths, or you ean switch point sizes for ribbings, ete. Circular needles are available in sizes 000 (1.5 mm) «0 size 35 (20 mm), and in lengths from 12" (30:5 em) to 60"(152.5 cm). Knitting with circular needles shorter than 15° (38 cm) may be less comfortable than using double pointed needles. NEEDLE MATERIALS canaccommodate any yarn slick ‘o sticky, and any hand, hot, cold, or arthritic, METAL needles come in aluminum, steel, and brass, and se available inthe widest range of diameters, from 000000 for the finest laces, to size 11 or 13 for quick-knit bulky weight yarns, They ao come in the widest variety of rypes—single and double points as well a ciccalar Early circular needles are entirely metal, from point 10 cable, but modem ones have plastic cables, Check the joins of points to cable, making certain there are no snags and that the stitches can slide easily onto the point. In very damp climates i may be necessary 0 use a very light machine oil or beeswax on steel needles to keep them from corroding, Ie is not wise to store pairs held together with rubber bands since this ean eause corrosion or stickiness. YW u lia. Wood and bamboo knitting needles in various sizes, Ifyou like light metal needles or ifyou havehot hands, ah minum isa good choice. Brass and stel needles are heavy and smooth, but ate sometimes nickel-plated. If you are allergic to nickel, choose chrome- or Teflon-plated or alurninum needles, or choose something other than metal, WOOD needles come in both single and double poine, and sometimes in circular. They range in size from 0 to 17. They are made from light-colored woods such as birch, and dark ‘woods like ebony, rosewood, and walnut, and are good if you knie ribbon or slippery yarn or like a ight, warm needle. BAMBOO needles, chough technically made from a large 484s, are simibi w wood needles in weight, warmth, and vex ture, Theyare available in single point, double point, and circu- lar. The sizes range rom 5~15, and thelengths fiom 6” (15 cm) double poine 1 14° (35.5 em) single point. Circular needles come in lengths from 16°40" (40.5-101.5 em). Wood and bamboo are cither finished with a coating of polish or have been resin-teated to keep them from weiring. Both wood and bamboo needles may warp or bend with use, and may be more comfortable than a metal needle because of this, [Fa needle fels to> dry, wipe ic with lemon cil or bees wax. and then buf dry with a chamois. Ifthe points wear a litte, smooth them with 600 grit sandpaper or gamet paper, or a nail-polishing chamois and aleum powder. PLASTIC needles—circular single and double point—are fight, wan, and flexible. They are available in sizes 2. 19, and in 5° (12.5 em) double point 19 16" (40.5 em) single point. Single point plastic needles may be too flexible fora very heavy project such as an afghan, so consider using a circular needle. Some plastic needles are coated with aluminum, while other brands have steel cores covered with plastic, Pasti-only needles ate kind co arthritic hanes. CASEIN needles, made from milk protein, are warm and flexible, and come in single and double point, Sizes Ito 15, in lengtis from 7" (18 em) double point vo 14” (35.5 em) single point. They have the same qualities as phstic needles except for the origin of the material. OTHER TOOLS A NEEDLE GAUGE js the only thing that can tell you what size your needles are. Don’t just go by the label or what is stamped on the needle—mistakes occur. Gauges come in papet, plastic, or metal. While you ean stretch out a paper or thin plastic gauges a metal guuge wont ic, Just be careful not to score the needle whea you inset ie into che gauge The stitch and row part ofa gauge allows you to count the umber of stitches per horizontal inch and the number of rows per verticil inch, While a simple tape measure can be used for this, a gauge allows you to read both measurements at once MARKERS identify anything you want co find easily: pat- tern repent, increases or decreases, chebeginnings of rounds in circular knitting, The most common markers are scrap yarn, coil-less safety pins, or rings. Iris nice co have an assortment of markers in various colors for diferent jobs. IF you use mark és you won't have to count each stitch in a row to find the decrease, ‘Make a flag to markea one-time eventin your kiting. Use 4 tapestry needle to thread contrasting yam through a stitch, then tie che yarn in a loose knot with 1° (2.5 cm) sails. Flags are eaxy to count, and when you are Finished with the project, ane snip removes them. ‘To mark the number of rows worked, use along strand of conuasting yaen. Carry iv along the edge and lay the stand af yam between two stitches, moving. alternately from the front to the back of the work as you count off your progres. Having a bright stand show where you worked an invisible decrease is a lt easier than looking for an invisible stitch oF counting rows COML-LESS SAFETY PINS are good for marking increises and decreases in. mid-row, or for repeated steps such asa decrease done every fourth row. Safety pins are especially useful when you need 9 mark a stitch as an afterthoughs, Is itting materia kn ete ae TOP ROW FROM LEFT: Gauge O-Knit (New Beginnings for Lie Inc), Ship-is folting scissors, reading glasses, tape measure, 2nd row: Instaguage (Norman), markers, rings, safety pins. 3rd. row: Gauge RING MARKERS indicate repeated points of change, and ore slipped back and forth on the needles bewween stiches. ‘They mark shaping lines, such as the thumb gussets in mit- tens. They signal the end of« pattern repeat, so you can count the stitches, or let you know when you reich the center back of a garment. In cizcular knitting; rings mark the seams, shap- ing lines, and the beginning of the round. Rings come in stiff plastic or stretchy rubber and silicone (called O-rings). Suff plastic rings come in assorted colors and diameters, are very thin, and fit nicely becween stiches. (O-rings surewch to accommodate an inserted nell, come in 4 numberof diameters and colors, and are readily available ax hardware stores. You can also make cings of thread or yarn, bu these tend to flay with repeased se. Split rings sre useful to slip into a sitch. They are also used beeween stitches like ring markers, but can scratch a wood or coated needle. Stil, they come isa wonderful variey of colors and sizes, which makes them excellent for marking several dif- TOW COUNTERS wil hep you kep tac of which row you are working in a multi-rowed pattern if you remem- ber to use them. CLICKERS are picked up and clicked each time you fine ish a row ora round. Many people “forget” to do this because it requires that you stop knitting for a moment. ON-THE-NEEDLE COUNTERS actually sit on one acedle (making the needles uneven in weight). Despite this you sill have 9 remember to dial up « new number each row. = ma 8 Isrirches Ci cel > Wizard-kritting Software, Knit Chek (Susan Bates), markers. bot tom row: Calc-O-Knt (New Beginnings for Life Inc), Pega Knitting Counter (Susan Bates), markers, MAGNETIC CLIPBOARDS allow you 10 have a chart conveniently before youand give you 1 magnetic ruler to show your progress. When working from a book or magazine, mak- ing a copy of a chart allows you to enlarge, mark up, and hang ap the instructions. You can marke not only the rows worked, but places that will need future attention for buttonholes, shaping, or whatever you tend to overlook. NOTE PADS Some people avearby mechanical counters ather people keep 4 pad and pencil handy. Besides making a note of where you stopped in a pattem, you may sometimes wane to change a pattern w suit yoursell. Make 4 habit of immediately writing down a change you made during the course of 2 row. Otherwise you may not remember until after you have assembled the garmenc thac you modified the front of a ardigan, —— ‘TOP: Wooden bnittng pin, bottom: Kniting belt or whisk fram the private collection of Neg Swansen, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Bobbins, stitch holders, 8" « Jo" magnet beard (Lo Ran), yarn bra, Thergonomic Hand-Aids BOBBINS are smill pieces of plastic oF cardboard that allow you to wind on small lengths of yam for intarsia work They are essential for multi-color work, particulaly intarsia work, when small lengshs of five different colors can, while you are not looking, become one big knot. Butterly-shaped bobbins catch the strand to keep the yarn from unwinding, bur making a halFhitch around a piece of cardboard will do the same thing, You can also wind yam around your Fingers in «figure 8, finish ic off with a wrap and a balf-hitch. A THREAD OR TENSION GAUGE isa small spring device worn at the ip of your yarn Finger to carry the yarn. Ie can be an improvement or 1 hindrance. It may keep ribbon fom ewising as you knit. Ifyou have arhuitis, «tension gauge may require les lateral motion of your yarn finger, making kniccing comfortable again. If you have just sated knitting, 4 tension gauge controls the flow of yarn, giving you one less detail wo deal with. {n this ease don’t let ie slow down the speed at which your hands lean to control the yarn. STITCH HOLDERS allow you slip stiches and set them aside to be worked later as necklines, pocket flaps, and other things. Holders come in difierent lengths, and have either a clip or a cap on the end, co keep stitches from escaping. LK ©& Sx$0 SOFT TwoRy” (Connersions Inc), cable sitch holder, various cable needles, various Point protectors, kniting bobbin, kning counter, row markers. FINISHING TOOLS, CLOCKWISE FROM BOTTOM LEFT: Luxite «rochet hook (Susan Bates), wooden crochet hook, sock form, mark- ing pas, pins, searing pins, jumbo tepestry needles, needes,darning set (Cover), Tpins. eB Is itting materia kn i INTERNATIONAL YARN LABEL SYMBOLS Jorien The manufacturer's suggested giugerension E] with the suggested needle siz. This block of kentting stitches can be translated to read: In 3alor5scockinete stitch, 30 stiches (S) fin Prench— 408 Milles (M)) and 40 cows (R) will equal 4° x4" (10x 10cm) Manuficturer’s suggested crochet hook size in metric and/or US. sizes Mapufictur’s suggested kniuing needle eae in FX meicandior US, ses. Hand wash in Iskewarm water only wy WwW Hand wash in warm water at 7] staved temperature NEV 0 Nor wash by and or machine Machine wesh in warm wacer at stated temperiture, cool rinse and shore spin; sore delicate handling GH Machine wash in watm water at stated temperature, shore spin Machine wish in waim water at stated, rempersture Bleaching permed (wich chlorine) NO Bleach, DO NOT dry dean May be dey ceaned with Muorocarbon or petraleam-based solvents only. May be dry cleaned with perchlorethylene or Aoarocachon of petrolewrn-bared solvents May be dry cleaned with all solutions Pres with col on EB, Pres with warm ton Pees with horton FY DO NOT press THE YARN LABEL THE YARN LABEL is one of your mest imporant cools The labels the only place che manufacturer can tell you every thing you need to know about the prodact. Every piece of information is designed to help you choose the yarn oF daread that wll give you a perfect finished product. Before you fallin love wich a yam, read the label FIBER CONTENT is ba people choose yarn without ever looking beyond that. If you ‘wantto make felted slippers, don’t buy resin-coated, no-shrink ‘wool, even ifs in dhe woel section, WEIGHT AND YARDAGE are not the same thing. If you are planning to substicute one brand for another, you need to be sure that one 50 gram ball has 100 yards, just lke the other brand: a substicure 50 gram ball with only 75 yards will give you a very unpleasant surprise, even in a muller. If the ball is labeled only with the weight, get a spare. Better yer, buy yarn thae ells you the yardage. CLEANING, BLEACHING, DRYING, AND IRON- ING (SMOOTHING) TEMPERATURES ate shown in imernationally secognizel symbols (see chart, opposite). Ignore these at your peril. Bren yarns with guarantees require proper handling, PLY AND TWIST actually make a difference in your choice of yarn, or they should. IF you choose 1 4-ply woolen spun (which does not mean wool fiber) instead of a 4-ply wor sted spun, the soft yarn will pill and wear badly. IFworsted ‘what you need, even I-ply worsted instead of 4ply worsted is preferable to buying a woolen-spun. YARN CLASS (SIZE) has replaced the confusing and csoterc ply and twist claification system. Yarn is now estego- tized by the working diameter of yarn, which is the way most people look for yarn. IFyou wane bulley sweater, you buy a fat yam, right? (See Sizes of Yarn, page 33, for details.) GAUGE AND NEEDLE SIZES appear on most labels, If the gauge and necile size recommended for the yarn surprise you, cethink your choice of yarn. A thin-looking mohair yarn may knit to only 2 stitches per inch because of the fuzzy halo around the yarn, THE PRODUCT NUMBER AND THE DYE LOT are stamped somewhere on the label. Whatever you end up buying, purchase it all from the same dye lot. Tiny color differences not apparent under store light will be blatane in satura light. Even white is not always white. IFyou are match- ing yarn tw a fabric, ake the fabric with you and match under natural light. ‘There are some synthetic yarns with no dye lot Ie is still 4 good idea to purchase all the yam for a projec at one time, because stores run out and companies discontinue colors and products, bucic is amazing how many YARNS AND FIBERS SPINS, PLIES, AND SIZE Yam and thread are made up of strands that have been twisted together to form 4 larger diameter thread. The different ways fibers are spun, the number of strands, and the specific qualities that come from these differences, make a reatdifference in what you can do suce cessfully with a particular produc SPIN tells you the arrangement of the fibers while they were being spun, and also tells you about the rightness of the twist of each strand and the charac- ter of the yarn, Yarn can be spun cither clockwise or counterclockwise. If you lock at a strand of yarn, the marks of the owist will either incline tothe left (S-twist) oF incline to the right (Z-twist), Depending an which hand you we to contol the yarn, you will ether untwist or ewist the yarn as you use it, Normally this does not make a cliferes inthe finished product, unless you have co pull out and reknic rows to correct a mistake. IF you repeatedly wok the sume lengeh of yarn you can twist ic much tighter, or untwist ic to the poine that the strands separate. IF you have to redoa section of a project and the twist of the yarn has changed noticeably, slipa rubber band on the ball af yarn and spin it in the correc: diree- tion to re-pin the strand. Ifthe strand is worn looking, you may want to cut the jam and start with a fresh strand. Save the cut piece for seams or mending, & KEEP THE LADELS! If your project is a gift, send a label, and some exta yan for mending, along with the gift. The recipient will need to know how to launder the gift you love the yarn, Keep a label so that you ean reorder. I'you have a problem with the yarn after you have completed a project, the yarn labels will help the manufacturer solve the preblem and make amends. In worsted yams fibers are parallel to each other and to the length of each scrand (ply). The entire length of each fiber will be ewisted, forming a very sturdy yarn that will no pil or furz eas- ily. Womsted yarn is good for garments that take a lot of abrasion, such as mit- tens and socks. Jn wooler-spun strands, fibers are spun crosswise 1 the length of the thread, s0 that the fibers form a vortex around a core of st. This gives the yarn, very good insulation properties. The strands are loosely packed and softly spun 50 thatthe ait-citching spaces are not squeezed shut. These warm yarns are good for garments that do not get a lor of abrasion, such as baby garments, scarves, and hats “Germantown” abo refers to a soft, woolen-spun yarn, 3 or 4 ply. SPECIALTY YARNS have other qualities which define the yarn, such as ouelé, eyelash, dub, chenille, ete. and are chosen for appearance rather than ‘wearing, properties. Though they may swear very well, don’t depend upon a specialty yarn to take hard wear unless you are very familiar with that type of yar. PLY refers 19 the number of spun strands cwisted cogeher to make up a yarn, usually two, three, or four. The rnumber of plies does not tell you the dlameter of the yarn because a ply can be large or smal. Ply does not indicate cither the ‘ype or size of yam, though people frequentty assume that it does (See Sizes of Yarn.) Yarn is not just round, and ply has a great deal 1 do with how yarns wear. SIZES OF YARN Because of the confusion of che terms, categories based on the diameter of yarn have been devised. One classifies yarns into 6 categories by the approxi- ‘mace diameter of the yarn: lace weight yarns, good for shawls, lace scarves and thin socks fingering or fine-weight yarns, good for thin socks and light baby clothes sport or medium-weight yarns, good for indoor sweater, baby things, dresses, and suis worsted-weight or knitting. yarns, good for outdoor sweaters, has, mittens, afghans, and slippers bulky-weight yams, used for rugs, heavy jackets, and crafts extaacbulky-weight yams, mostly for rugs Some manuficturers aso have a DK, of Double Knitting size, which alls between sport yarn and worsted weight used i ‘ials itting mater: kn NEW INFORMATION Sinee the irs printing, another systems wwasereated by the Craft Yarn Council to bringuniformity to yarn, needle, and hhook labeling, as well a wo pattrns ‘Their goal was to make all kniting and crochet products more consumer friendly, so consumers can select the right materials and enjoy the successful completion of ther projects. Working with publishers and manufaccuers, se council set up these yarn size guide- lines*, The seven classes of yarn size are ‘determined by the numberof stitches per inch swatch of stockinette stich the smaller the number, the smaller the yarn ‘The categories ate 0 = lace = 32-42 sts @ 20 sts = light = 12.17 sis 4 — medium - 11-14 eo. bulky = 8-11 ss aia: a 6 = super bulky 9 sis raft Yarn Councils ‘sevene YarnStandards.com, “Source: ALTERNATE YARN SIZING ‘Wraps per inch (wpi) of yam is a method for determining yarn weight when you have no label. Wrap a length of yarn around a pencil. With the yam laying fa and even with no gaps, count the number of strands aeross one inch, 0 or lace weight = 18+ wpi 1 or superfine = 14 wpi 2 or fine = 12 wpi 3 or light = 11 wpi 4 oF medium « 9-8 wpi 5 or bulky = 7 wpi 6 or super bulky = 5-6 wpi SUBSTITUTIONS Knowing the clas of yarn is not enough information if you want to use a differ- ent kind of yarn. Substitutions are risky: and require that you take ino aecoune the length per bal, as well as the diam- eter of the yarn. Substituting one diameter of yarn for another is generally not a good i Making the gauge work i dificult, and caleulating how much yarn you need is even harder. ‘When substiuting one brand of yarn for another, be careful to check the yard age. Fly gramsof yarn, 100 meters long, will not give you the same amount of yarn as 50 grams, 80 meters long. When substituting a different fiber of the same diameter, condder care- fully whether the two fibers will act the same. Corton, linen, and ramie are not stretchy, and will net act the same in a sweater ribbing as wool or acrylic. Mohair will not show off your stitches the way a reeled sill yarn will When uncertain, buy one ball of yarn and work several eet swatches to see if what you want the yarn to do is, in faet, what the yam does. Check for stitch definition, shrinkage, abrasion (pilling), or any other quality important in the finished product. NEW INFOR RECYCLED FIBERS The resurgence of the ecological movement has brought forth many opportunities for the green-thinking nites. OF couse, the greenest way to provide yourself with yam would be t0 raise the animal, sheer it and spin the yarn yourself, This not the most practi cal option for most knitters, but there are stil many ways a knitter an reduce hhivher carbon foosprine. Recycles ind old sweatersor afghans in yard sales, thife stores or in their own atic and rescue the yarn by unraveling it. Once the yarn has been cleaned, it becomes a resource for knitting projects like none other. Recycled yarns ranging from sik reclaimed from shredded saris to metino unraveled from sweaters can be found on the web, Recently, yarn companies have responded to the ecological movement by including in their yarns post- and preconsumer fibers fiom cotton tee shires, denim, and dhe seraps that would, be discarded during the manufacturing of clothing. Kollage Yarns Riveting is made fiom 100% recycled jeans with, 4 fiber content of 95% corn and 5% atherfiber. Berroco Yaras Remixis span fiom recyded knit fbric sraps collec, fom the European ready-to-wear indus- ty witha blend of aylon, cotton, acrylic, silk and linen, Lion Brand offers a yarn spun from tee shirt scraps inco Recycled Cotton yarn. The ecological movement has also influenced the colors of the yan as the scraps are sorted by color. lessen= ing the amount of dyeing needed and thereby saving water and energy. Fipers There are common properties in. varie ous groups of fibers, and these will help you understand some of the variables in yarns and threads. The diameter of fibers is of primary importance when wearing comfort, and the finer a fiber, the kinder it is to your skin. Staple dlenggh) of a fiber affects its tensile strength ss well as its price, with long fine fibers being the most costly. Your choice of fiber will help to determine the character of your finished proj- cct—the more you know, the fewer surprises there are. ‘The word “Virgin” on a yam label means that the fiber used in your yarn fs being used for the first time, rather than being reclaimed ftom previously ased garments or products. Reclaimed animal fibers fiom a variety of sources are not consistent in their individual diameters or lengths, so that you will get both coarse and fine, and long and short fibers in the same yarn, ‘These yarns are anpleasane to knit or Wear. Fibers made from recycled plastics, on the other hand, are indistinguishable from products made from virgin mater- als. The plastic from various sources is ielted. reformulated to specific chemi- cal sundards, and extruded exactly the same way fibers fom virgin plastics ae. Yarns combining both ecllulose pro: tein and fibers are difficule to maintain; the method used to dean one fiber harms the other. PROTEIN FIBERS Protein fibers come from animal hair and insect covoon fibers, and have com mon properties. They ate absorbent, weaker when wet, and tolerate acidic ‘conditions, so chey are best washed with mild detergents. They take dyes well, and can be dyed brilliant eolors. Protein fibers tolerate very mild alkali condi- tions, including ammonia, so they can also be washed with soap, borax, and mild ammonia solutions. They are poor conductors of electricity. and build up static charges in dey climates. The fibers are elastic, but are damaged by stretch- ing, Protein fibers resist creasing WOOL is the most commonly known animal fiber, wsually shorn from the sheep: a few breeds shed their coats and are plucked. There are hundreds of | breeds of shesp, each having distinctive character. Merino and Rambouillee are the best known for fine, soft flecces MOHAIR comes from the Angora (Ankara) goat, whose long, lustrous coat is shorn twice a year. Kid mohair is a fine, lustrous, and affordable huxury fiber, from goats up © 18 months old. ‘Adult mohair can be a fine as cashmere ‘or guite hairy, depending upon the indi- vilual goae. Ie is very durable. CASHMERE comes from (Kashmir) goats, whose downy winter undercoat is plucked in che spring. A number of other “down” goats have plucked undercoats, and any goat haie 14.5-16.5 microns in sliameter may be sold as cashmere CASHGORA comes from a hybrid ‘of Cashmere and Angora goats, which makes ica longerstaple fiber than eash- mete, but is lustrous and almost as fine. ANGORA (Ankara) rabbits produce fibers for angora yarn, ‘The rabbit fur is combed, plucked, or shorn, and is frequently spun with a strand of silk or ‘wool for a yarn that sheds les, is less costly. bat which has the silky texture of the soft fur. Angora felts easily. THE LLAMA FAMILY is distantly related to the camel, There are wo domesticated members ofthe group, the ama and the alpaca. The llama’s rather coarse eat is ured for udlitaian items rather than clothing. The alpica is bred for its fine, silky leee, which i used for clothing. VICUNA AND GUANACO come from undomesticated and protected ‘members of the Llama family, and the fibers ate extremely tare and costly CAMEL HAIR i the winter under- coat collected from the Bactian (two- humped) camel of the Gobi desert. Ie is very fine, soft, and lusterless, and is ‘occasionally availabe in knitting yarns. QUVIDT is the shed winter coat of the musk ox, which produces only about 6 lbs. per year. Finer than vicua and cexremely sare, this luxury fiber is col lected in the wild and is good for light but extremely warm garments [tisavail- able from Eskimo cooperatives. SILK, exuded for the bombyx mori sill: worm’s coon, is unwound in a single strand. Other species off moths produce raw sik, called Tuszh. After the moth has emerged from the cocoon, the shore fibers (which cannot be reeled) are spun into yarns. ‘The waste silk from the combing process, called nol, is combined with wool, cashmere, oF other fibers for textured yarns. ceLLULose FiaeRs Callulose fibers can be both natural and ‘man-made, The natural sources are from plane leaves, long stem (bast) fibers, and seed fibers. The most common natural cealulose fibers are cotton, flix (linen), hemp, and ramie. The fibers are hollow and absorb water readily, which makes them cool to the touch and pleasant to ‘wearin hot elimates. The spun fibers lie in one direction, giving cellulose threads a haste Cellulose fibers are stronger when wer than diy, and ean take high temper- acates, scrubbing, and abrasion, They alo tolerate alkali condicions well, but are susceptible to acids. particularly hot acids. Clean with chlorine bleach (sod uum hypochlorite). or by simmering in a soap solution (not detergent) ials kn itting mater LINEN isatallgrass Ifyouhaveayarn with still, crunchy linen fibers, try wer- ting it thoroughly, freezing it, and then ironing ie while iis sil frozen. This will soften it by driving steam into the core of the fiver. The process also works for garments. COTTON fibers are less than 2 longs the sof fibers must be very tightly spun to hold together. Mercerized cot ton has been boiled in sodium hydrox ide (lye), which pre-shrinks, de-furzes, and increases luster. Most threads are imetceriaed: look for ie onthe label. Non-mercerized cotton will shrinks fizz, and not behave the way you are used t0 cotton behaving. RAMIE is the stem fiber of a net tle, called China grass. ‘The lustrous, bleached fibers dry very quicldy and are resistant to mildew, Somewhat stiff, the fibers are often found mixed with linen MAN-MADE CELLULOSE FIBERS All man-made fibers are, strictly speak- ing, syrthetic. Bue fbers made fom regenerated natural fibers are no lon- ger classed as synthetics; they are now called natural fibers, Man-made cellulose fibers fall ino two categories: regenerated cellulose and cellulose ace- tate. Cellulose, frequently ia che form of ‘wood chips. is broken down and regen- erated to produce viscose rayon, referred to both as viscose or as rayon. Rayon has properties similar to those of eotton, and blends well with other celulose fibers, but is weaker when wet, and suilfers abrasion more easily. Rayon combined with wool tends to felt or mat together when machine-washed and dried. A new regenerated edlulose fiber, Lyocell (Tencel®), is similar to rayon, and has a light, silky texture. In hand knitting yarns it is currently found pri- maily i blends Cellulose acetate, commonly known as acetate, was developed afier World War Il [tis lustrous and drapes well. Its qualities are quite different from rayon and natural cellulose fibers. and more like those of synthetic fibers. Itmelis at 446° F, is not absorbent (so ie will drip dry), and resists creasing, SYNTHETIC FIBERS Synthetic fibers are made from substane- es that are not fibers, but that are made ico fibers by chemical meins. Long chain polymer molecules of eval and oil by-products are combined into con- tinuous molecules. These long strands are synthetic. fibers, extruded much the same way sik fibers are. Synthetics, have the shared properties of being very stiongand elastic. They are light, do not absorb moisture (which makes them dif- ficult © dye, bur they drip dey), and are resistant to abrasion. Bectuse they hold static charges, they soil more easily chan natural fibers, and are harder to clean, The first and most famous synthetic fiber is anylon (polyamide), followed closely by poly- amis, a subgroup of polyamides with les-tigid properties. POLYESTER, which comes in a ‘number of varieties under a number of rnames, such as Dacron, is a very fiber often used in commercilly woven fabrics and high denier knits. In hand- lknitting yarns these fibers are found in ‘metallic and textural blends. ACRYLIC fibers are «form of vinyl, and come under various trade names such as Orlon. Knitting yarns with aaylic fibers have the hand properties ‘of wool yam. Acrylic is more lammable than nylon and polyester, though there are some types with good flame resis- tance. Acrlic is less clastic than nylon and polyester, so garments may diswort if not cared for properly. POLYPROFYLENE draws mois ture away from the skin, does not develop static easily, and is a good insular, I is spun into soft yarns and blends, and has very good insulating properties. Oa EY In the years since the Encyclopedia of Knitting was first printed, knitters have explored many new ways to enjoy their craft. These ideas have fueled trends for new project, fibers, and ways to buy or sell supplies or pat- tems, Trends are exciting! ‘One such trend swept over the West like a friendly eater bresee. It’s those cute little animals called Amigurumi, Their oame is a combination of the Japanese words ari, meaning knitted or crocheted and suiguroni, meaning stulfed doll. The dolls are typically knit with smaller needles than normal for the yarn used, so thar the stuffing will not show beween the stitches. Our Oliver Who, on page 136, will be a wonderful addition to any amigurumi collection. ‘The Prayer Shawl Ministry began in 1998 when Janet Bristow and Victoria Galo, graduates of the Women’s Leadership Institute of the Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut combined a love of knitting and crocheting into 2 ministry outreach program for those in need of comfort. The pop- tlerity of shawls. rose sharply as more and more crafvers found inspiration from this group to help others. If you should be interested in starting prayer shawl group, the founders can he reached at ‘eww shawlministry@yahoo.com ‘When you are a knitter, socks are far more than just covering for your feet! They are fascinating architec- tural constructs in yarn. So many knitters are loving the insand outs of heels and gussets, toe-up and ew down patterns, chat a new event was created to br sock fans together. In 2008, the frst Sock Sunsmie was held in Pordand, Oregon, and deew an astonishing 1800 attendees. The seeond Sock Summir in 2011 boasted 6,000 excited sock makers. With numbers like these, i may be safe to assume that sock knitting is not fad, but a trend that will continue to grow, Novelty Yarns «ruly boomed in the early swenty- first century, binging us the exciting new textures of boul, chenille, suede, and slub yarns, Consumer inverest is always the Final judge of any new yas 99 while some novelty yarns met with success, others have faded from the knitting scene. One such disippearing fiber recendy made a comeback: The almest lighter thancair texture of eyelash yain was simply too good to ler go. As fashions change, we are sure to see the introduction of many more novelty yarns. And of course, one of the most exciting trends in Initving is still the Internet In the yeas since the En~ eyclopedia of Kniting was first published, che World ‘Wide Web has become an astonishing resource for pavers, yarn, and nodons. Knitters are able co join ther enthusiasts at online social networking sites such as Rovelry.com. Ravelry launched in 2007 as a place for all pewsons involved in yarn arts w share their formation at no cost. The content of Ravelry’ site is, aser-driven, allowing members to see what others are making, locate patterns, keep up with or discover a de- signex, and meet people who share the love of yarn Ey.com isa highly popular online community of creative persons who display and sll their patterns and handmade goods. Si years after its 2005 launch. Essy reported over ten million members and 800,000 active online shops. Etsy is also an excellent resouree for spot fing knitting trends You're probably familiar with the oaline giant Ebay. com, which reported sales of $62 billion in 2010. But did you know Ebay is anather good source af yarn and. notions, allowing you to bid on items placed by indi- viduals oF shop owner? Both Eisy and Ebay display seller feedback or ratings to help you get an idea of the service you can expect. ‘And don’t forget to search YouTube.com for help- ful videos on all apects of knitting techniques, special pattem stitches, and reviews of knitting products. Asof August 2011, a simple search for “knitting” on You ‘Tube yieMled 10,800 results. Ifyou have a favorite designer whose patterns you simply mast have, he or she may have a website where you can see those irresistible creations before they're available tothe public. Ifyou sill wane to put your handson yarn and no- sions before buying, the Internet is your best resource for locating yun shops and craft supply stores near home or wherever you travel. No matter what you need. te koow about knitting, che Intemet ean provide the answers or point you in the ight direction, basic knitting techniques KNITTING RIGHT- OR LEFT-HANDED Knitting itself is less right- or left- handed than the people who knit. Most Aniving techsiques work equally wel for both left- or right-handed kites. "The issue is really inital awkwardness ‘with kniting because i isa sec of new skills for both hands. If you area new Inieter, learning and becoming com- fortable with all techniques and knivaing positions gives you a variety o skills for a variery of knitting situations. Ifyou are already comfortable with one knitting style, expand your skill: and enter new realms of fiber fluency. Knitting with yarn controlled by the right hand seems the oppesice of Anieting with yarn controlled by che left hand: but, if you know both positions, you may switch fiom one position ta another when your hands are tired. Likewise, double knieting (tubular kite fing on two needles), ewo-end knitting, and multi-color kaitting stills are all ‘much simpler using different hands to control the sliferent strand. Blending fight- and lefc-hand skills takes the best of both styles and puts a new slant on them for greater spsed and comfort, Taken a step further, whether you are left or right-handed, “backwards” Iesietng for you is imply the corcect set of skills for reverse kniting, and reverse nitsing i absolutely essential some- times, and a blessed relief at other times. (Nevertheless, when you Fist begin to Init, your favored hand will want to feel Jn charge) All in all, you will be much more comfortable and versatile by being familiar with several techniques, left and tight, foreign and domestic. Lefichanders may wish co acquire sew skills on cheir dominant side fist. But we hope you won't stop there. If you start with the let-hand, branch out 10 right-hand techniques. If you are right-handed, learn the leit-hand techniques equally well. I promise you, Jefe or right-handed, someday you will be knitting a four-color Fair Isle sweater in the round, cameo the armholes, and will be able to knit and shape from the front widh reverse kniuing, On that day you will thank yoursel, KNITTING FLAT OR IN-THE-ROUND Knitting can be done “Tat” on two single needles, withthe work turned ar the end. of each row, to make flat shapes. Aside from scarves, shawls, and afghans, many kitted articles of clothing are made this ‘way, with separate pieces sewn together: High-fashion knits ae often made of flat knisted pieces, carefully shaped as they are knitted, chen sewn together £0 produce stylish garment. Knitting is alo done in the round, producing cylindrical pieces, such as socks, hats, and sweaters, or flu pieces such as tablecloths. Garments knitted in the round need lee or no sewing, even the swesters. Sometimes sweaters knit- ted in the round have armhole openings made by disiding the work into fone and back, then rejined atthe shoulders. Armhole openings can be cut (yes, cut!) after the body is complete, and slecves are knit or sewn on, Sweaters in the round are even cut down the front and rade inco cardigans. The advantages to knitting in the round are both practical and self indulgent. The practical advanages are 1) when you knica sweater in the round there is very little additional assembly, 2) you ean view the pattem work fiom the same side the entire time you are ‘working, and 3) you don't have seams in your socks The self-indulgent advan- tage is thar you can just sit and knit, swithouthaving to stop to turn the work. Whichever way you choose to knit, sither dat or round, you ean produce the same beautiful, textured, lace, or mulei= colored fabrics, using the same knit and perl stitches with increases and dec teases, Whether flat or round, whichever method you choose, kniting isa joy to ‘make and a joy co use. HOLDING THE NEEDLE Holding the needles and yam is a mat- ter of culture and personal comfort Koitting works in all sorts of different ways, and each has advantages and dis- advanuges. We offer the most famil- fara least in che United States—bur there are more (ee page 38). When you are familiar with one style, lear another so that you may sdect one that suits your need at any time. “There ik much dispute as to which method is more correct, more “real,” ‘more traditional, and on and on. The ‘methods are all traditions, they all pro duce real knitting, and they all are cor rect. Each style mec the needs of the people who used it (for generations), and now you have the pick of all of them, Don't limit yourself to just one. If you ace inceresed in learning new styles, there are three steps common to all kniting: first, insert the needle; second, for the new sites ant hire diop the old stitch. [dentify each basic step in the new techniques and you will not get confused or leave one out Pay attention to the ditection the stitches face, 0 that you can properly adape increase and decrease techniques. If you practice a couple rows of a new knitting style regularly, it will quickly become an old technique to you. © ‘To avoid confision with “right-hand,” “Iefchand” cerms, whenever possible ve will refer to the needle (or end of a citcular needle) holding stitches to be worked on as the source needle. The working needle holds the new stitches, ‘hose being made in the current row. {German (Continental or Swiss) style HOLDING THE NEEDLE STYLES AMERICAN (English) knitting is the style used in this book. ‘The needles are held under che palms. The yarn is ‘wrapped counterclockwise for both the nie and purl stitches, and the right hand controls the yarn and the work: ing needle. ‘The let hand controls the ‘bource) needle, which drops the stitch, onto the working needle. A variant of this style uses a knitting bele or whisk to support the working, needle (See photo, page 30), which ean be braced against the hip, or under the arm for subiliy, laving che Fight haad fiee 10 work the yarn. This shares the work between left and right hands. PENCIL knitting isa British variant and a French technique. The working reed is held as one would a pencil, and the yarn is wrapped counterclockwise for both the knit and the purl stitches. As the knitting progress it s necessary to accommodate the increased bulk in your working hand and to balance the ‘working needle on your arm. The ten- Son on the yarn is loose, generally requiring smaller needles GERMAN (or Continental or Swiss) Inicting isdone with the yarn controlled by the left hand and the working needle by the right hand. Pice up the yarn for the new stitch with the working needle, which the index finger or the thumb can control, whichever is more comfortable. ‘There are cwo different ways to weap the yarn in this style, and if you find someone who dees it opposite to your way, prepare to defend yourself. One wrap is counterclockwise for both knit and pur stitches: the other ia clockwise for both knit and purl stitches. BLENDED STYLE is a hand- pampering and very sleck combination that caries the yarn in the left hand, in the German style, using. clockowise- vwerapped purl stich and counterelock= wwise-wrapped knit stich. The combina- tion lets you pick up, rather than wrap s both knit or purl stitches with the working needle. The unusual aspect of the combined style is that it places the knit stitch facing right and the purl stitch facing lef. The other knitting styles use either cloclowise or counterclockwise wrap, but they don't combine the two. Using only one direction of wrapping the yarn means that both knit and purl stitches will fice the sime direction, bur (depending on the style chosen) either the knic or the pusl will require the more laborious wrapping of the yarn around theneedle Srtches Facing differ- ent directions will not beany problem if you learn about the cifferent positions of the stitch on the needle. Blended style (counterclockwise wrapped kit) Blended style (“ockwise-wrapped purl) i hniques itting tec basic kn © HOW MANY TO CAST ON? ‘A commercial patern gives the cor- rect_mumber of stitches as well as the length of needle and che stitch gauge. OF coune, you are going to knit a gauge swatch before you start a project! Then you will know how many sitches per inch you are Kenting. “The yarn label should list the recommended gauge and needle size for the yarn. Check for rec: ‘ommended gauge of stitches per inch, then multiply che number of stitches per inch x the width you want. Using singlepointed nee- des, you can cast on as many or as fw stitches as reasonably fir on the nevdle Using circular ncedles, a gap berween the first and lase stitches will make it imposible co knit in the round, There should be enough stitches on the needle to span from one point to the other without streching. But you should ‘noc have so many stitches chat they leap off the points. If the needle Jooks far too empty or Full. it prob- ably is Even if your needle is not the size recommended on the yarn latel, you can use the following formula co approximate che right number of stitches: multiply the number of stitches per inch x the length of the circular needle. For example, for a stitch gauge of 5 stitches per inch on a5 mm needle: 16" needle x 5 stitches per inch = 80 stitches, You can cast on a few ‘more if it makes you feel secure. a). u ‘Wrapping yarn for S- and Z- twist yarn WRAPPING THE YARN As you knie, choose « comforuble way to carry the yam across your hand: this may vary depending oa the style of knit- ting you do. S- and Z= twist yarns (see Yarns and Fibers, page 33) wrap around your hand differently because they are ‘spun in opposite directions, and the way you camry the yarn for American-style keniting may uncwist the same yarn used in the German knitting position. Ifyou take a mistake (it happens oceasionilly) and have to pull out a few rows, make sure that redkniting with that part of the yarn will not untwistireven more. If needed, place a rubber band around the ball of yarn to keep it from unwinding, then dangle icin tre air andspin irin che direction that tightens the yarn. Wind the re-spun yarn onto the ball and slip the rubber bind over it as you progress, tunel all che yarn is smooth and nicely twisted again. If you have re-knit the same area a few times Gir happens occa- siorally), and the yarn looks positively Frowsy, you may prefer to cut the worn yarn and attach 9 new strand. Save the ‘cut yarn for mending the sweater later. ‘Wrapping yarn for Germanstyle knitting CAST-ON Casting-on begins every knining proj- cect. One way or another you have to get loops on the needle, and to “ease on” begins the process CHOOSING CAST-ON METHODS As with any traditional crafi, there are people who believe there is only one right way to do something. However, there are regional traditions for doing practically everything. Anything chat works, works, and it is pointless to argue with success, Some knitters have a favorite beginning and ending pair. while others are eclectic and use lots of different combinations. Choose your own tradition or borrow someone else's ‘The casting-on methods here are a good basic repertoire: finger, needle, or croches firm or stretchy, decorative, and even vinishing, Spedalized methods are included where they pertain, and notes are tucked in that may solve problems you haven't yet encountered. If you invent, devise, or discover a technique that meets & need, se i¢ and share it So long as there are knitters, che last word on knitting has not been written. ® STAY LOOSE Casing-on tightly makes she first row difficult and uncomfortable to work and may interfere with a stretchy stitch pattern. It also makes an edge that is more likely to break under strain. An easy way to avoid this isto cast on over two needles held together, removing one neeille before you start knit- ting, IF this becomes a perpetual problem, try one of the special, swretchy easton. techniques. Make sure the loops slide easly along the needle, and that the other needle point ean be inserted into the loops ‘without having to use force. CASTING-ON TECHNIQUES BASIC CAST-ON Forma slip knot. The slip knot iscount- ed asa caston stitch, since you will kit into it on the next ow. Pull a 10° (25.5 cm) length of yarn from the skein, Make a cirde and place the working yarn (the yarn coming from the skein) under the sircl, Insert the needle and pull cn both, ends of the yarn 10 complete the slip knot. The slip kno: counts as your first aston stitch, Slip knot 1 Slip knot 2 Sip knot 5 FINGER CAST-ON ‘Works ether right or fet handed. This ‘aston produces a firm edge by “knit- ting-on” the fist row, which will be fac- ing you as you east on, When you turn the needle you will see the back of a knit ‘ow, with a line of small bumps above the casting on. IF you are doing circular knitting, you will begin knitting on the right side of she fabric. Make a uil by measuring oat about the width of knicing you wish to work x 4, or measure about one inck of yarn perstitch you intend to cast on. Make a slip knot. paciton the needle swith the tal to the inside. Catch both the tail and the working yarn in your palm, under she las two fingers. and sip the indes finger, between the stands. Slip your thumb under the inside strand to make an open loop. With the tip of the needle coming up under the inner stand of the thumb loop (tail), pick up the loop, catch the working. strand over the index finger, and draw it through the thumb loop. Tighten the thumb loop beneath the needle. Repeat for the desired number of stitches, counting the sip knot as a stitch. (As you move your thum® to pick. up the yarn il, move it consistency cither clockwise, or counterclockwise, to keep the stitches consistent) Finger aston 1 Fi Finger caston 2 ¥ Finger caston 8 x: Finger caston 4 a Finger caston 5 RS Lope . ia basic knitting techniques TWO-NEEDLE CAST-ONS Start with a singe slip knoss into which you knit or purl sitches that are chen slipped back on theneedle. The motions are the same as kniting and purling. To keep the edges as stretchy as the knitted fabric, cast on with needles a few sizes Inger chan you plan co use for the rest of the piece. ENITTED CAST-ON Leaving a shor ail, make a sip knot and. put icon che needle Knitted caston 1 Knitted cast on 2 Insert the working needle from front to back through the Joop, under the source nesdle. At the back side of the work, wrap the yarn clockwise around the working needle, catch the strand and draw ic through the slip knot. Holding the needles point « point, wansfer the Joop just formed onto the source needle. OPEN KNITTED CAST-ON Wark a you do the knitted easton, up co the point where the new stitch is transferred to the source needle. At this time, turn the working needle 30 that it points in the same direction as the source needle, Slip the point of the sourve needle into the new stitch and back the working needle out ofthe loop. This will twist the new stich and open thebase, Twisted caston This variation of the knitted cast-on produces a deeper, twisted edge with smaller openings (useful if you wish to add fringe). Icis also attracive if you are working a lacy patter, CABLED CAST-ON Follow the directions for making a leniteed easton to make the fist two loops. For the third and succesive stitches, insert the working needle from Front to back berween the two stitches oon the needle. Wrap the yarn counter- clockwise around the working needle, draw loop through, and slip ie onto che <4 abled caston Uhis is very similar to the knitted ‘easton, but che edge is « double stand of yarn, It is pretty and rather stretchy. PURLED CAST-ON Leaving a short til makea slip knot and put it on the needle, Insert the work- ing needle from back to front through the loop. With the yarn in fione, weap the yarn counterclockwise around the working needle, and draw a loop through cw the back, then puc che needles point to point and slip the loop onto the source needle, Purled caston This cxton is easier to do than the knitted easton simply because slip- ping the stitches onto the source needle requires leis wwisting of the working needle—it is a more natural motion. "The purled side is ehe front RIBBED CAST-ONS ‘Akernating knitted and purled cast-on sticehes form the pattern. If you prefer the cabled cast-on edge, alternate knitted and purled easton stitches to produce cabled easton rbbing TEMPORARY OR TUBULAR CAST-ON “Tie together the ens of the waste yarn and working yarn. Hold the knot and waste yarn under the nesdle with your thumb. Catch the strands in the other hnd, holding the short end over the thumb, an the working strand over the index finger, caching the ends in your palm. Wrap the working yarn, back wo front, over the top of the needle, then give one clockwise evist ro the working and waste yarns, putting the waste strand fon top: the working yarn will now be to the front of the needle, ewisted with the waste yarn under the neeile. Bring the needle up under the work- ing yarn, wrapping the working yarn over the needle. Twist both strands counterclockwise, catching the working yam in. a twine under the needle, Each time you wrap the working strand and twistthe two strands under the needle it casts on a stitch, Be careful to keep the vwaste yarn taut under the needle, and to carry the working yarn less tightly around he needle, 0 hac the stiches will be the right si ‘As you cast on, hold the stitches in place wich your dhumb co keep them from shifting around on the needle. Knic the rest of the piece until you are ready to pick up the cast-on stitches to work in the other direction. Then clip, the waste yarn and pull i outas you pick up the stitches on 2 needle. Temporary caston 2 This method makes stitches with- four the beginning yarn ridge from the usual casting-on processes, Use when you want to knit in the other direction later on in the project, such as when you ‘want to work ribbing last. The tempo- rary caston leaves stitches like those on the needle during the knitting process, It is simple to perform and just as simple to remove, HALE-HITCH CAST-ON Use for emengeney only, since i in really more of an increase than a cast on, Use when you need to east om few unob- tuusive stitches in the middle of a row. perhaps for a buttonhole, or at the end of arow fora vent or kick pleat. When working with cally strange noveley yarns and ribbon, this is sometimes the ‘only easton method that works well \ Hal-hitch cast-on CROCHET IN KNITTING CROCHET IN KNITTING If you have never crocheted ie is well worth learning. Aside from its intrinsic beauty, crochet is invaluable in expund- ing and simplifying aspect of kniting. ‘Take the time to learn at least as much crocheting 25 we cover in this book. You may find that you have acquired another hobby. Crocheted cast-ons are_ numerous and versatile because che crochet chain has many usefal bops. While the diam- eter of the knitting needle determines the size of the kui stitches on the fist row, the diameter of the crochet hook: determines the amount of stretch in the ‘edge. (This is very useful when you may need a lot of stretch on a border, such as in socks or sweaters.) SIMPLE CROCHET CHAIN CAST-ON ‘Chain with one sticch for each knicced stitch you need. Count the slip loop as wel] as the chain on the hook. Insert the knitting needle into the loop on the hook, then draw up a loop through each spine bump on the back of each chain stitch, You can use the crochet hook to draw up the loop if this is easer, then just slip the loop onto the needle. If you slaw up the loop from back to fronts the stitch will be knitted. IF you draw up the loop from front to back, the stitch will be purled. This technique is appropriate for eating on ribbing or pattern stiches. Bind off co macch with lii-over bind-off (see page 50) = ‘Simple crochet chain cast-on VANISHING CROCHET CAST-ON (PROVISIONAL CAST-ON) Using waste yarn, make a chain a Few stitches longer than you need. Finish the chain loosely, so that you can easily pick out the last chain later. With your proj. ect yam, pick up the desired number of sticches through chain spine bumps, You can do this by kniting into the spine bump directly, or by using the crochet hook to draw up a loop through che spine bump, then slipping the loop onto the needle. Knit the rest of the piece as ricededs up to the point where you are ready 10 use the fist row stitches. Simply take out the las. crochet loop and pull bout the chain, Your knited loops will be ready to pick up and knit in the other divection, This doesn’t work for ribbing. Vanishing crochet cast-on rs itches by itting st basic kn KNITTING A STITCH Once you have loops ont « needle you can start knitting—finslly. If you have never knitted before, for the sake of simplicity hold the source needle (with the cast-on loops) under your left hand and the working needle under your right hand, and use your right hand c work. the yarn, We can debate about it afer you have worked a couple of rows. Ifyou are knitting on 2 needle, cur the needles point to point, and work ico the list loop you easton. IF you are trying circur knitting, you will he working inso the slip knot, ‘which was the first loop on your needle. ‘Whichever it is, ic will be che first Jhop you knit into so we wil callie the first siceh, ‘Make sure the yarn is on the far thack) side of the needle. Insert the working needle, front to back, into the first lbop. The point should be sticking out on the far side, pointing somewhat away from you. Wrap the yarn in back counterclockwise around the projecting point. Catch the wrap of yarn on the ‘working needle, draw a loop through to the neat side, facing you. Then drop the first bop off of the source necdle (nudge ic off with your finger, if you need 10). You will now have one loop (a kai stitch) on che working needle, and one Jess loop of your original caston row on the source needle. “The working strand of yarn will now be behind the working needle, insted of behind the source needle. If you ever have to put your knitting down in the idle of a knit row, when you pick it up make sure the working yarn is on your “working” side. ‘That is all chere is to it—drawing 4 loop through another loop. Do this across the row of easton loops, making sure that once the new stitch is on the ‘working needle you discard each cast-on oop, ‘The frst stitch of the row requires a lice attention. At the end of a row, pall the stand of working yarn down toward the bick of the needle, whether you have worked a knit or a purl sitch, Tur the needle for the next row, and before you begin to knit the next row, check Knitinga stich 3 parent ata OI MS Keatharrannannarnnte eUcnanyeynt WaVnneyanyioynt PRY DOL DOS First stitch of a knit row 1 sivieiais NAaNAANhANAANADNAIN PAYA OARS RAaknanhanAnrarienety ne DAV A WADIA ss First stitch of a knit row 2 First sitch of a purl row 2 to make sure that the yam lies on the front side of the needle. This will keep you from looking at the first stitch and ‘seeing two stitches where there is only ‘one: If the yar is pulled over the needle toward the back at the beginning of a row, both legs of the stitch below will lie seross the top of the needle and will look like ewo separate stitches. If you knit into both of them you will increase fone stitch each row: your kniting will get wider and wider. IF you are new to knitting, knit sev- ‘eral rows (or even several fet) until the movements are comiortable and you don't even have to think about them. PURLING A STITCH “The purl stcch is che other half of basic knitting. The bumps formed on the front ofthe fabric look like pearls, whi is why the stitch is called purl. Make sure the yam ison the front side of the needle, Insert the working needle from back to front in the loop on the needle Wrap the yarn counterclockwise, and draw the new loop in through to the buck; drop off the old loop. The strand of working yarn will now be in front of the working needle, instead of in front of the source needle “The pusl stitch is exactly as easy as the kat atch, because purling issimply Inirting fiom the back of the fabric 0 the front. The proof of this is that afer you have made a swatch of 8 rows of purl stitch only, then compare it to a swatch of 8 rows of knitsttch only. You will see thacchere is no difference. ‘When you feel comfortable enouzh with purling t experiment, wap the yam both ways, 0 see how you an control the direction of a stitch as you sake i. If you need to reverse the way stitch faces, lift the stitch off with the tip of the working needle, reverse the legs over the needle, and sec it back facing the other direcion (Or simply insert the needle on the face you usually use, and pusl it as it sit uring asiteh 3 POSITION OF A STITCH ON A NEEDLE Now that you can put a stitch on a needle, it’s time to do a litle restful observation of your kniwing, If you followed the knit stitch instructions ‘exactly, ach time, your stitches will fice left IF you dicn’s stitches may face lefe ‘or right, or perhaps some of each. Since you will need to use stitches in both these positions, this is a good cime to learn the whys and hows, ‘The shape of stitch asit sits on the needle is like a croquet wicket: There is the arch on top and a leg on either side. Each leg is anchored in place by the stitch below, but the arch straddles the needle and the stitch Faces «ther the right oF left side. Let-facing purl stitch Assitch point in the diceetion of che back leg ie, if the left legis in back the stitch faces eft. But the stitch can pivot once itis removed from the nealle. (We refer to stitches assuming that they start cout Facing left, and the illustrations are drawn fiom this point of view.) The leg in back is determined by the direction the yarn is wrapped as you make a stitch. Ifyou wrap the yarn counterclockwise around the working needle, as shown here, the new stitch will face left. CLOCKWISE WRAP If you wap the yarn clockwise, the stitch formed will face right. Some knit- ting traditions have the stich facing the knitters right side because of the way the needles are held and the yarn is ‘wrapped. The kaitting movements look differen, the sich fices the other dire tion, but the ourcome is knitting. Knitters tend to use cither a clock- wise wrap for both knic and purl, oF a counterclockwise wrap for both knit and purl. But you don’t have ro (see Blended Style, page 39). If you know how to produce both of these you can mic and match, When you feel comfortable enough with knitting to experiment, wrap the yam in different direcions juse co see what happens. Purling works the same way. Clockwise wrap itches itting st basic kn i UNDERSTANDING THE KNITTING STITCH If you understand a litle about how a stizch works you will better understand all iteed fabrics The knit itch is wider atthe top because the ewo strands at the base of each stitch squeeze into the atch of the sth below. The arch at the top contains the legs of the stitch above. A purl stitch has exactly the same qualities, bur they are vsibleon the back of the fabri, ‘Combine knit and purl stitches to ‘make pattern stitches, Individual purl stitches rise above the surface of stocki- nett fabri, catching the light and mak- ing a visible patter. On the other side of the fabric—reverse stockinette—indi- vidual knit stitches recede to the point of invisibility. Groups of knit stitches are amooth and reflective, while the pebhly texture of purl stitch groups breaks up the light and gives depth. Combinations of thete stitches can be simple, and are eagy to adap to all sorts of projects. © CHANGING YARN FROM BACK TO FRONT ‘When working with both knit and purl stitches in a single ow, you will be changing the side (back or front) on which you insert the needle and wrap the yara. When you switch from purl to knit or from knit 10 purl, che strand of working yatn must also «witch vo the other side before you. work the new stitch. To do this with- out inadvertently adding ancther stitch, simply pass the strand of yatn to the other side between the points of the needle Do not lay the strand of yarn actoss the top of cither needle or you will mistake ie for a sth in the next row and knit it. This would add a stitch and throw off the patter in every repeat wo the end of the row. GARTER STITCH Rows of the knit stitch, warned at the ‘end of each row, produce garter stitch fabric. Since the purl stich is simply the knit stieeh done fiom back wo front, tows of purl stitch produce garer stitch fabsic, 00. A gurter stitch is identical on both sides, with a ridge where evo rows of knitting interlock; each ridge equals two rows of knitting. This males ie thick and ‘warn because of the air pockets on both sides ofthe fabric. Because knitting done in the round is nocturned at the ends of the rounds, the stitches can interlock only on one sicle to produce stockinettefabiie. Rows and rounds of stockinette are often count- ‘ed on the smooth side, Garter stitch ee row of knitting with a row of purling. Sometimes a technique is easier in one tmethod than the other, soit is sensible to learn both round and flat knitting. techniques. [A nice feauure of garter stitch is chat icworks square, ie., 15 stitches in width is 15 ridges (30 rows) in height: Because Of this itis often used for lace kniting, to keep the proportions of the designs. Ir also allows you t0 miter corners with ‘exact 45° angles, which is useful in mak- ingcomers for buctan bands, collars, and shaped garments. in the round is done by alter STOCKINETTE STITCH To produce stockinette fabries knit one row of knit stitch, crn the work, and then work one row of purl stitch. The smooth knitted fabric of T-shirts is the most familiar kind of knitted fabric, with a smooth side with an allover pate tem of small Vs on the front and an allover pattern of bumps on the back. REVERSE STOCKINETTE Becatne reverse stockinette is very hard to count, it has been called “beggar’s wealth.” “The bumps of the knit and purl stitches, Formed by the arch of each stitch, are all interlocked on the back side ofthe fabric, and the Vs (the legs} oF the knit and purl stitches are pushed 00 the front side of the fabric. Stockinerte stitches are wider than they are tall so the fabric docs not work square, that is, 15 stitches in wideh do not equal 15 rows in height. The proportions are more like 2:3, where two stitches are av wide as chree rows are tall This is useful to know when you are picking up sitch- cesalong the edge of a sweater wo make a button band. If changing pattern from garter stitch to stockinette, or vice versa, you may have to recalculate the shaping of armholes and neckline, ete. ES eS es es es) Cee el et | 4 P| f ,) t) cele lala Sma Ree | el WAL eed wee cei alee PATTERN STITCHES WITH KNIT AND PURL Ribbing is the easiest partern kniaing. Ie makes thestretchy bottom edges of most sweaters an sleeves by alternating stacks of knit and purl stitches, This is done by repeating a pattern of knit and purl Guch ay Knit 1, Purl 1) for several rows. ‘The alternating stacks appear in reverse on the other side of the fabri, i. knit on the front is purlon the back. stack of knit stitches protrudes on the right side of fabric, while a stack of purked stitches recedes on the right side of the fabric, creating the ridges of ribbing. The small amount of extra yarn used to altemate from knit to purl stitch allows ribbing to stretch more, and makes the stretchiness characteristic of ibbings. The siretchy quality of groups of stacked stitches gives us the Family of ribbed patterns. You can alternate even umbers of Knit and. purl stitches for Knie 2, Purl 2, Knie 3, Purl 3, Knit 4, Purl 4 ribbings and even higher, though the wider the knit or purl segments, the Jess ebbing will act like a sbbing, and the more i will act ike stockinette fabric. Knit 1, Purl 1, ribbing You can abo alternate odd and even rnumbers of stitches for uneven ribbing. Knie 1, Purl 2 gives thin rib that stands out against reverse stockinette, while Knie 3, Perl 2has broad, flat cbs. Ifyou are using broad cables across a sweater the broad ribs may be more aesthetically pleasing than narrow ribs, while a single rib may blend beautifully with a Knit 1, Purl 1, broken ribbing paccesn. Knit 2, Purl 2, ribbi TWISTED RIBBING Twiae the nie ai hes of ribbing 10 ae . = ~— = i i rive i ( boa eo eS eee aoa a os Yarnover buttonhole