Hello Knitters - It's KnitDocDonna here. Welcome to Day 1 of the Colette Knitalong! I am so happy that you have joined us, and I promise a fun and productive day with plenty of knitting tips scattered throughout.
Are you ready? Good, then it's time to gather our tools, find a comfy spot and settle in for some knitting fun.
You're going to just love Colette. It's warm, colorful, easy to knit, and best of all, will be ready to wear in a flash. Let's get started!
Here's what we'll learn today
- Cable cast-on
- How-to join for knitting in the round
- How to repair rib stitch mistakes
- How-to join yarn with wet splicing
First up...time to build our foundation, and we want a good solid one. We also want a cast-on that's elastic, looks good with ribbing, and produces a nice bottom border. It doesn't hurt to find one that is fairly easy to learn and execute, too! The Cable cast-on fits the bill for each of these points, so our choice is easy - Cable cast-on it is!
How-To Cable Cast On
1. Begin by making the usual slip knot (leaving a 4-5" tail to weave in later) and cast-on 1 more stitch using any cast-on method.
2. Insert the tip of the right hand needle between your slip knot stitch and your first cast-on stitch.
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 building your cast-on by drawing your loop between the last 2 stitches on the needle, as pictured above, until you have cast-on the number of stitches indicated in our pattern. As your cast-on grows the last stitch will appear slanted. This is how it should look and this slant is what creates our braided edge.
Knitting Doctor Tip: The secret to this cast-on is to do it a little loosely so you maximize the elasticity of this cast-on and your first row moves easily off the needles.
Can't quite loosen up? Try this trick! Try thinking of a phrase that reminds you of something light and gentle. Here's the phrase (or visual picture) I use while I'm casting-on. As I pull out each loop and get ready to place this loop back on the needle, I think about "a butterfly (or a bird) landing with sore feet". You're going to be amazed how well that little visual works!
All cast-on? Nice and loose? Excellent! Your cast-on edge should look something like this!
How-to Join Yarn to Knit in the Round
Now that we have the perfect cast-on for this project, we are going to want a proper join with all of our stitches perfectly lined up and no twisted stitches.
So, how do I know I'm not twisting my stitches? Did I do this right? Let's take a look at the steps and tips below.
1. After you've cast-on your last stitch, lay your work on a flat surface (needle tip with the working yarn on the right hand side).
2. Now we're going to make sure our stitches haven't twirled around on the cable. As you can see from the image, this time they have.
3. Straighten the bottom edges of the cast-on so they are all facing toward the middle with no twists and turns.
Time to take one last look, and then it's time to move on to the last step.
4. Place the marker onto the right hand needle, insert the right hand needle into the first stitch on the left needle from bottom to top and knit as usual. Joined! Very easy, right?
Knitting Doctor Tip:
When working a project where the bottom edge of the cast-on is hard to see and you're not sure your join isn't going to be twisted, knit one or two rows straight then join. Those couple of rows will make a difference and allow you to readily see if you've joined correctly.
This is also very useful when working a small circumference project and your cast-on will not quite meet at the needle tips. Knitting a row or two straight will bulk out your width up to 30%, then you can comfortably join and knit away.
Working the Body
We'll need to refer to our pattern for the instructions for the rib set-up. Just follow the directions under the "Body" section: Round 1 and repeat it until you have 8" on your circulars!
Knitting Doctor Tip:
As we're building length on those needles, it's a good opportunity to double check that there are no twists in your work. Just set the work on it's base and take a good look. It will just take a minute and if you must re-do that join, it's easier at the beginning than well into the project.
How-to Repair Rib Stitch
Funny thing about ribbing - it's both the easiest and hardest stitch pattern around! Ok, you probably get the easy, its just a easy repeating pattern. AHA! That's also where the hard comes in...because it is so easy, you may find yourself drifting into that serene knitting space, veering off -track and knitting where you should purling and purling where you should knitting. You probably won't even notice until several rows or inches later that your ribbing is out of whack.
Knitting Doctor Tip: There is such thing as Knitters Intuition. Learn to trust it! If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Checking your work from time to time will save time and tears.
Let's fix that mistake together! Take a look at the images below to see what I did! Look where the needle tips are pointing.
I got off-track in a purl and a knit section. Does this mean I'll have to rip back all of those rows? Absolutely not! There's an easy way to fix these wayward stitches (both knit and purl stitches) and I'm going to show you how.
1. Locate the point where you first went off track. Place a split ring marker there. In this case, I have been purling when I should have been knitting. Now count down how many rows to the marker. Here it is 4 rows, so I'll be going down 4 rows to fix the mistake.
2. Work up to the stitch above where the mistake(s) occurred. Now, drop the stitch and let it ladder down the number of rows to the marker. If your fiber adheres to itself, give it a little help with your right hand needle tip or use your fingers and gently pry it loose.
Repairing with Fix A Stitch or Crochet Hook
You can use a tool like Fix A Stitch which will snag that loop and bring it back up the ladder. You can also use a crochet hook or just use your needle tip. In the images below, I'm using Fix A Stitch.
3. Locate the 4 ladders (or horizontal bars) that our stitch descended through, and make sure they are behind the loop.
4. Insert the hooked end of the tool into the loop. Hook the 1st ladder and pull it through the loop. Now you have a new loop. Grab the next ladder and pull it through.
5. Repeat step 4 until you are back to the top of the needle. Re-seat the new fixed stitch on the left hand needle and work the stitch.
Can't see the repair can you?! That's the idea! Even better, it doesn't take long to do and wasn't it easy?
Repairing With A Needle Tip
Don't have a tool or a crochet hook handy? Well, you can get the same result with just your needle tips.
Steps 1 through 3 are the same as above.
4. Insert the tip of the left hand needle into the loop and make sure it is in front of the ladders. Now using the same tip, lift that ladder onto the left hand tip (lift from front to back). You'll now have 2 strands on the left hand needle.
5. With the right hand needle tip, lift the loop over that ladder strand and off the needle tip. Stitch repaired!
Knitting Doctor Tip: You can also use this stitch repair to correct any loose or misshapen stitches.Try it and i'll bet you'll be surprised how beautifully it evens out stitches.
Stitch repair is always done from the knit side, so if your error is in a purl section, execute the repair technique from the reverse side.
Wet Splice - The invisible Join
Everybody has a least favorite knitting task and for me it's joining yarn. That's why whenever I can, I use the join I'm about to share with you. It's called Wet Splice and it will give you a strong and invisible weld! How to Join Yarn with Wet Splicing. The only requirement for this join is that you have wool or a wool blend that is not superwash. Cottons and acrylic won't work either, but Plymouth Gina Chunky yarn sure will.
Knitting Doctor Tip: When you get to a section of yarn that is not spun as tightly as the rest you can wet your hands and rub (just like in the splice process) and this section will look just like the rest of the yarn.
Whew! We've done a lot today and our session has come to an end. I hope you've had as much fun as I've had and learned a thing or two. Your assignment until next week is to continue to add inches to your Colette Capelet. We'll meet here next Thursday. That's when we'll work the faux cable magic, shape the neckline, bind-off and wear! Until then, thank you for sharing the knit along journey with me today!
How Do I Follow Along?
All of the posts will be on the here on the NobleKnits Blog. Add a bookmark! Join theKAL group on Ravelry. Be sure to follow nobleknits on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. Use the hashtag #ColetteKAL to follow the knit along or post pictures of your progress.