So I’ve been working on Eunny Jang’s Endpaper Mitts. It’s a pretty involved two color project, worked in the round, and I’m doing both at once on two circs (see the picture below).
"A Stray Thought"
Since nothing is ever complicated enough, I’ve decided to use this opportunity to try a new technique.
I have a vague suspicion that when I first started knitting (ages ago) I learned English style (holding the working yarn in the right hand, along with the front needle). Like many people, I re-taught myself as an adult, and at that time I learned Continental style (holding the working yarn in the left hand and the front needle in the right). It cuts down the number of movements per stitch and goes faster.
As you can guess from the names of the two styles, each is associated with a particular region and history. According to Elizabeth Zimmerman there have been class prejudices associated with the styles, and she describes having been chided for knitting Continental style as a child, in a way I’d find hard to believe if not for some experiences with my daughter’s elementary school teachers. (No, you do NOT have to master phonics in kindergarten, just trust me on this one).
Anyway, Zimmerman, and a lot of other people, have recommended knitting both at once for two color work, so I’ve been using this as a practice project for that. Knitting Help has videos for both methods, which I’ve found pretty useful. So far I’m getting a lot out of it.
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Posted in yarnwork, tagged EZ technique, knitting, wip on 14 April 2009 |
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I’m currently working on Eunny Jang’s “Endpaper Mits” using Poems and Pace sock yarns. The yarn weights are slightly different, but when worked about 50/50 they give gauge. I double checked and the Poems (which is lighter) still works for the ribbing. Went with a different version of the tubular cast on than Eunny suggests, since I just couldn’t make hers work. (Good old Zimmerman)
I’m really loving the look and feel of this one.
Now to get back to writing.
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OK, I think i’ve got a handle on it this time.
The thing is, I’m trying to do a non-standard cast-on. It’s a modified version of Elizabeth Zimmermans (EZs) “invisible cast on” for ribbing, Zimmerman, for some reason, knit several rows with her waste yarn before switching to the working yarn. Then she knit several rows of stockinette with the working yarn (how many depended on the weight of the yarn in question) and, while on a reverse side row, alternated between knitting the working stitches with the ‘live’ stitches revealed when she removed the waste yarn. She alternated between knitting and purling and set up her rib pattern that way.
Rather than knitting several waste rounds, I started with a crochet cast on, and knit three ‘set up’ rows using the reverse of the knit/purl pattern I would normally use for a set up.
I worked more carefully than I usually do with crochet cast ons. I made sure to pick up the stitches only through the back loop of the chain, and I marked the ‘end’ of the chain with a knot in the yarn. Then I oriented my knitting so that it would unravel in the direction of the knitting. The tail you see at the left of the picture is the end of the knitting round, so it’s the beginning of the chain (the side which wasn’t marked with the knot). Note the neat and even chain? That’s your check that you only caught the back loops of the stitches. It makes the chain much easier to remove… Trust me on this one.
Once you’ve got enougth knit, pull the crochet chain out s-l-o-w-l-y from the knotted end. As in, one stitch at a time. Pick up the freed stitch with the right needle, and slip (as if to knit) it onto the left needle. Then knit (or purl) it together with the stitch next to it. Since you’re pulling the stitches around towards the front of the needle, the ‘right’ side of the stitches will be on the inside of the closed tube you’re making, which is why you worked the opposing stitch from the one you would need in the set-up row. If you lifted the stitches to the back, there wouldn’t be any need to reverse stitches. It sounds easeir, but I found it to be counter-intuitive.
In the end, you have a more or less neat edge, with the ribbing pattern part of the cast on.
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