Balmoral Knit Along: Day 1

Hello Knitters - It's KnitDocDonna here to welcome you to Day 1 of the Balmoral Knitalong! 
If you're looking forward to Balmoral as much as I am, then it's time to gather those tools, find that comfy spot, settle in and get ready to work a little knitting magic.

Here's what we'll learn today

  • Cable cast-on
  • Professional edging with selvedge cords
  • Faux Cable stitch


Our first task is to choose the perfect cast-on for our Balmoral. If you've knitted along with me before, you'll recognize the technique that's coming up next as one of my favorite basic cast-ons.  Yes, it's the Cable Cast-On and take a look at how easy it is:

How-To Cable Cast-On

  1. Begin by making the usual slip knot (leaving enough of a tail to weave in later) and cast-on one more stitch using any cast-on method (image 1).
  2. Insert the tip of the right hand needle between your slip knot stitch and your first cast-on stitch (image 2).

3. Wrap the working yarn between the needles (as if to knit), draw out a loop between these 2 stitches and place it back on the left hand needle.

Continue to draw the loop between the last 2 stitches on the needle, as pictured above, until you have cast-on the required number of stitches.

The secret to this cast-on is to do it a little loosely so your first row moves easily off the needles. If you find you are casting- on too tightly, try using a larger needle for your cast-on.
— Knitting Doctor Tip

For a non-critical gauge project (i.e. scarfs, throws, etc.) don't be afraid to try different needle sizes until you get the stitch look you want.  Just remember to choose a  cast-on that complements your project.

Cast-On Differences

Yes, our cast-on choice will make a difference. Different cast-ons produce different results.

The cable cast-on will produce a firm and tidy foundation, whereas the more common backward loop and knitted cast-on may not. Take a look at the differences below. Same fiber, same needle size,  but totally different appearances.

The Backward Loop Cast-On (image 1) produces a loose uneven edge, on the Knitted Cast-On (image 2) edge is little too open. Compare that with the Cable Cast-on (image 3). The Cable Cast-on is so dense that it is actually hard to see between the stitches, and that's exactly what we want!

Now that we've seen the difference the right cast-on can make and mastered our cast-on, it's time to start working a little cable and edging magic.

Working Balmoral - The Set Up Row

This is an easy one, we're going to refer to our pattern and work Row 1.  Don't forget to place those markers too. . . we'll use them to remind ourselves to work the corded edging on each row!  

Corded or Selvedge Edges - A Little About Them

This is one of those technique that requires very little effort , and is really going to up our knitting game! Why settle for the ordinary when you can have extra-ordinary? 

What Selvedge Edges Do

  1. Professional appearance/couture touch
  2. Frames stitches, making them pop!
  3. Stabilize curling edges

 How to Work the Corded Selvedge Stitches

There are a couple of different ways to work these selvedge edges. This is my favorite method.

IMPORTANT:  The corded selvedge used to create Balmoral's edging is worked over the first 3 and the last 3 stitches of each  and every row. They are however, worked differently on the right side and wrong side.

Let's look at our pattern. Find the "NOTE" section on the 1st page and look at the stitch sequence for both the R Selvedge Cord (RS) and the W Selvedge Cord (WS).

You'll follow those instructions throughout Balmoral.

The Stitches

The knit stitch (image 1) we all know.  SL1P WYIF = slip 1 purlwise with yarn in front (image 2) is what we'll work on now.

Simply put, you slip a stitch (moving the stitch from the left hand needle to the right without working it) just as if you were going to purl. WYIF indicates the position our yarn will be front!  After completing the stitch, move the yarn into position for the next stitch!

Work the 1st stitch of the selvedge cord stitches loosely. This will prevent your cord from drawing upward.
— Knitting Doctor Tip

That's all there is to it! Amazingly easy, yes? Now we're ready to move on to the Faux Cable.

Faux Cable 

This is a beautiful little stitch pattern that I'm betting you'll use again and again. Best of all, you won't even need a cable needle!

Let's go ahead and follow Rows 2 thru 6 as shown in our pattern. These will be plain ribbing. 

Here's the Magic!

K2togK = Knit 2 Together, Knit

IMPORTANT:  The Knit 2 Together Knit is NOT the same as Knit 2 Together, Knit 1

From time to time the question pops that "my k2togk" does not give me a cable. I'm knitting 2 together than knitting one!  What's wrong? The K2togK is totally different and here is what it looks like!

How to K2togK Step by Step

  1. Insert the tip of the right needle into the next 2 stitches from bottom to top (image 1)
  2. Wrap the yarn as if to knit (image 2)
  3. Draw loop through as if to knit and DO NOT REMOVE from the left hand needle (image 3)

4.  With the drawn out loop still on the right hand needle *, insert the tip of this needle into the uppermost stitch on the left hand needle (the top stitch of the 2 you have knitted together), wrap yarn, knit the stitch and slide it off the needle. The original K2togK stitch will slide off the needle as well.

* Look at my thumb in the (image 1) and the stitch that is right above my thumb, that is the loop I drew out when first knitting my 2 together.

5.  Completed K2togK as it looks on the needle!  To quickly check your work, they will look like littls "v"s.

Now, congratulate yourself on a stitch well-learned!

With the exception of the ribbing rows before the 1st cable twist, (there are a few more rows in the 1st set) you will have 3 rows of ribbing and then a cable twist row.

To keep track of wrong side rows you can place a marker on the wrong side or you can as our new knitter and YarnGirl Lee does: Use 2 different markers (different color or different style). Remember which one always shows up at the top of a wrong side row.
— Knitting Doctor Tip

So there you have it. We worked the perfect cast-on and began our faux cableing panel embellished with our corded selvedge edgings. I think we've done well!

Your assignment for this week is to continue working the edging and cableing until you reach 10" or have 13 cable twists. It will go quickly, I promise!

Thanks for joining me today and don't forget to circle back, same time, same place next Tuesday where we will work our transition rows and our Berry Panel.

How Do I Follow Along

All of the posts will be on the here on the NobleKnits Blog. Add a bookmark! Join the KAL group on Ravelry. Be sure to follow nobleknits on InstagramTwitterTumblr, and Facebook. Use the hashtag #BalmoralKAL to follow the knit along or post pictures of your progress.