Day 3: Hantsuki Knit Along

Hantsuki Shawl Knit Along Day 3
Hantsuki Shawl Knit Along Day 3

Hello Hantsuki Knitters! 

Today our Hantsuki comes off of our needles, is steam blocked and unveiled! Are you ready? Let's get started!

Time to Bind Off

Go ahead and bind off using a standard bind off and then get ready for a surprise! Our piece has been worked back and forth and has looked relatively straight with slightly sloping sides. That's the shape I'm expecting as it comes off the needles.

Think that's correct? If you said yes (as I did) take a look below!

Knitting Doctor Tip: When working lace projects don't judge your finished product based on the appearance of your work until it comes off the needles and is blocked or steamed. Lace expands and reveals it's true beauty after blocking or steaming.

Try It On

Here's an image off the needles of Hantsuki's preliminary shape. I've draped it over my mannequin to check to see if it is the right length and width, or would I like it longer and wider? I'll also slip it over my own shoulders to see how it fits and drapes.

The width is fine, but I want it a bit more open. The length is about 10 inches, but I think I'd like it a bit longer.

Steam Blocking

Blocking is where we get the opportunity to alter Hantsuki's shape to fit.

I'm using a mannequin again, but a hanger works just fine and so does an ironing board.

How To Steam Block

Holding your steaming source (hand steamer or iron) several inches above the fiber, gently pull your knitted piece in the direction you would like to expand.

If you would like to accentuate points on the capelet, gently pull down the point and steam. 

Knitting Doctor Tip: Use your needle tip as a tool to pull down alace point to be steamed

Take a look at the image below.  No, the image isn't crooked, I've steamed half and look how much the one side has grown.

Continue to gently steam moving from top to bottom and side to side. Try it on as you go until you have the dimensions you desire. 

Ready to Reveal

Only one task left to accomplish and that is to reveal our finished piece.

I hope you had fun knitting along with us and hope your Hantsuki is as beautiful as you expected!  Be sure to post pictures of yours on our Ravelry group page and stay tuned for our next knitting adventure.

Happy Knitting and Perfect Projects,

- KnitDocDonna

Comment

Donna Pelzar

Donna (aka the Knitting Doctor) is the face behind The New Street Knitter patterns. She teaches knitting instruction for all skill levels in her studio and loves to focus on techniques and interesting stitch patterns. She recently expanded into pattern design and we are thrilled to be able to offer her patterns at NobleKnits. Donna also hosts all of our Knit Alongs.

Day 2: Hantsuki Shawl Knit Along

Day 1 Recap

At the conclusion of Day 1 we mastered the pattern stitches, worked on completing our swatch of Lace Panel 1, and moved on to knitting the actual project.

Here's my progress

I've cast on my stitches and am working toward the 4" specified in the pattern for Panel 1.

Here's how my lace motif is starting to shape up. How is yours looking?

I'm taking my time for the first couple of rows to make sure I don't miss any stitches, and I'm also taking time to count my stitches as I reach the ends of the rows.

Wow! That's a lot of stitches and a lot of time counting. How about a way to make sure you don't miss a stitch and keep an accurate count at the same time!

Place a stitch marker in between each pattern repeat to make sure you don't make a mistake.

As you can see, I've picked up speed by adding markers. I've made progress quite a bit of progress on Hantsuki. I now have 4" and the project is ready for my 1st decrease row.

Creating the Half Moon Shape (aka Decrease Row 1)

Here's where our Hantsuki starts to develop her crescent shape, and it's all done by decreases. The good news is we know all of the stitches* and at the end of this decrease row we'll have quite a few less stitches on our needles! Go ahead and work this decrease row.

*The psso, you will see, is a smaller version of the p2sso. In the p2sso, you slip 2 stitches and pass them over a knit stitch. Rather, in the psso you only slip 1 stitch and then pass that one over a knit stitch.

How to keep track of decreases

Keep track of decreases with a stitch counter.

Or track decreases with jelly beans!

My favorite way to track decreases. It's non- caloric, and everyone always has plenty lying around.

Yup! It's spare change! I'm betting you have pennies aplenty, too. This is what I do with them.

  1. Count out the number of pennies for the highest number of decreases you have (i.e. in Decrease Row 2 it's 42)
  2. Pile them up and move them from left to right after you complete a decrease, andwatch your pile accumulate as your decreases grow.
  3. Stack them up again for the next round of decreases

Knitting Doctor Tip: My penny counters are portable. If I'm working an "On The Go" project where I know that I'll have multiple increases or decreases, I load up one pocket with my coins and move them from one pocket to another. You could also try it with a nickel for 5 decreases (or increases)!

Lace Pattern 2

Moving right along now and we're ready for Lace Pattern 2 (reference your pattern at the end of Decrease Row 1). If you're ready go ahead and start Lace Pattern 2.

Again, no stitch descriptions needed. You've already learned and mastered them during Day 1. Work Pattern 2 as specified and finish up the remainder of that pattern section.

Decrease Row 2

This row is identical to Decrease Row 1. The only thing that changes is the number of times your decreases are executed.  

Complete this section which includes:

Lace Pattern 2

Work this pattern for the specified number of inches.

Complete the remainder of this section.

Almost there, coming down the home stretch!

Complete Decrease Rows 3 and 4

Final Step of the Day: 

Pick the perfect button! Whew! We packed a lot into Day 2! Congratulate yourself on a job well done and keeping your eye on the prize!

Next Thursday August 7, Join us for Day 3

- Final steaming and reveal!

As you're completing your Hantsuki, why not post a photo on our Ravelry Group page for us to admire and be inspired!

Until next time, 

Happy Knitting!

- KnitDocDonna

Day 1: Hantsuki Shawl Knit Along

Welcome to Day 1 of the Hantsuki Knit Along. I'm

KnitDocDonna

and it is truly my pleasure to knit along with you as we craft Berroco's little beauty together. As always, I promise you'll have fun, pick up a few tips and finish this KAL with gorgeous new wardrobe piece.

If you are just joining the KAL and need more details/supply list, you can get them here.

Start here: Lace Swatching and Blocking

Isn't swatching a huge waste of time, not to mention a waste of good yarn? Well, No and No! Look at the process this way, your swatch is a miniature snapshot of the completed project. This snapshot will be a good indicator of the shape, the drape and how the stitch pattern will look and feel. For lace, it's also a good opportunity to learn the stitch pattern repeats over a smaller and much more manageable number of stitches.

Then there is size - you want your project to actually fit and flatter. I can't tell you how many times I have put a lot of time and energy into a project, roared into my bind off, then come to find out it didn't fit. Too big, too small, too short, too long! A huge disappointment, not to mention lost time and money. No disappointing projects here, so we are definitely going with the swatch!

Does KnitDocDonna swatch in real life?  Absolutely!

Knitting Doctor Tip:

 If you really hate the thought of wasting that yarn, keep those swatch squares and seam together to make a lace sampler scarf or shawl.  

Make Your Gauge Swatches

How big do I make the gauge swatch? We want to be able to measure at least 4" x 4" and have some sort of frame that will make measuring easy.

Let's look at the pattern and zero in on the gauge. Look at how many stitches to 4" (it's 20).  Now look at how many stitches are in each pattern multiple (there are 10).  This one is an easy one!

So, 2 pattern multiples of 10 are going to give us our 4 inches. I'm also going to add the 1 stitch that is in the pattern repeat, and 3 stitches of garter each side for a frame.

20 (2 pattern repeats of 10 stitches)

1   (extra stitch in the Lace Pattern 1)

6 (garter border for ease in measuring)

27 stitches

Now that we have our stitch count we can go ahead and cast on 27 stitches loosely (see Knitting Doctor Tips below ) using the cable cast on method.

How-To Cable Cast On

Step 1:

Begin by making the usual slip knot (leaving enough of a tail to weave in later if you choose to keep the swatch) and cast on one more stitch using any cast on method.

Step 2:

Insert the tip of the right hand needle between your slip knot stitch and your first cast on stitch.

Step 3:

Wrap the working yarn around the back needle (as if to knit)

Draw out a loop between these 2 stitches and place it back on the left hand needle.

Repeat!

Continue these 3 steps, drawing your loop between the last 2 stitches on the needle, as pictured above, until you have cast on the required number of stitches. 

Knitting Doctor Tip:

The secret to this cast on is to do it a little loosely so your first row moves easily off the needles.

Lace almost always benefits from a loose cast on. If your cast on is too tight it will be less attractive and compete with the airy look of the overall project.

Knitting the Swatch

Now that we have all of our stitches cast on we're ready to start that swatch in earnest!

Work 3 rows in garter stitch (i.e knit every stitch)

When you've completed all 3 rows your work will look something like the image below and we've just built our bottom swatch frame.

Lace Pattern 1 - Row 1

Knit 3 stitches.  Place a marker. Follow Lace Pattern 1 Row 1 (i.e. purl) to last 3 stitches, place another marker and knit the last 3 stitches.

Now you have a 3 row garter frame on the bottom and a 3 stitch garter frame on each end.  We'll continue that 3 stitch garter edging at the beginning and end of every row of the swatch.  That will build the sides of our measuring frame.

Knitting Doctor Tip:

Stitch markers at the borders are not absolutely necessary, however; they're agood memory jogger reminding you to change to your edging stitch.

Lace Pattern 1 - Row 2

We'll start out by again knitting our 1st 3 edge stitches and slipping our marker. Once that 's done we can move to the actual pattern stitches by knitting the 1st stitch and then repeating the stitches in the 1st set of parentheses 2 times.

Knitting Doctor Tip

Reading and understanding parentheses in patterns is pretty simple when you know the secret.  It's nothing more than designer shorthand.  Row 2 could be written another way . . . after the k1, the designer could have said yo, ssk, yo, ssk instead of (yo,ssk) 2x.

Learning the Stitches

Let's start in the order we will be doing them. 

Yarn Over (yo)

Move your working yarn toward you between the needles. It's as easy as that!  Take a look at the image below:

The magic (creating that eyelet) actually happens when you work the

next

stitch.  In our case that next stitch is the Slip Slip Knit or SSK.

Slip Slip Knit (SSK)

Another easy one....don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

Insert the tip of the right hand needle into the stitch on the left hand needle from bottom to top as if to knit.  Don't wrap your yarn, but merely slip the stitch from the left to right hand needle.

Now let's repeat what we just did (sliding the next stitch from the left needle to the right hand needle).

You'll see that you have both slipped stitches seated on the right hand needle. Directly below those 2 stitches is the yarn you moved forward in the yarn over (yo) maneuver.  Now that yarn which has been waiting patiently is now poised to actually become that eyelet!

Insert the left hand needle into those 2slipped stitches from top to bottom, wrap the yarn as usualand complete the knit stitch. 

Here's How the Stitches Look

As you wrapped the yarn and completed the knit stitch you've also completed the yarn over. Take a look at the image below. Moving from right to left you'll see the 3 knit edging stitches, the marker and the 1st Knit 1.  Right after that Knit 1 (where my finger is pointing) is the yarn over stitch.  See how it slants?

Knitting Doctor Tip:

If you've lost your place stitch wise, look for those slanted stitches and you'll know they are your yarn overs landmarks and they can help you find your way.

Now we've mastered the 1st parentheses stitches and done them twice, go ahead and k1, so we can move on to the 2nd set and finish up the row. In the second parentheses the stitches are the Knit 2 Together (k2tog) and the Yarn Over (yo) which we already know. I'll show you the Knit 2 Together and then we're good to go!

Knit 2 Together (K2TOG)

This is a very easy one - what it says is what you do. 

Insert the tip of the right hand needle from bottom to top into the next 2 stitches on the left hand needle, wrap your yarn and knit as usual.

Finish up the stitches in the 2nd set of parentheses (remember to do it twice), then Knit 1.

We're not done yet!  Remember, we're doing 2 pattern stitch repeats for the swatch, so here's what to do.

Look for the *

Go back to the beginning of the row and look for * and then repeat the sequence of stitches after the * slip the marker and knit the edge stitches. 

Row 2 mastered!

Knitting Doctor Tip: 

When you see * the symbol indicates that you will at some point be repeating the stitches directly after the *.  Sometimes you will see the * both before and after a group of stitches. Your pattern will always tell you when to repeat after the *

This is also an example of designer shorthand.  The designer could also say it another way and tell you to repeat a stitch sequence a specific number of times, or write it all out. That can make for a pretty long pattern row!  Love that *

Row 3 is another easy one!  When we're finished our work should be setting up like this. 

Notice where my finger is pointing. See the decreases are sloping to the left...look a couple of stitches to the left and you'll see they are sloping in the other direction. Mirrored decreases! Those decreases that point toward each other are also setting up the gentle scallops that will be the bottom edge.

Get Ready for the last row of this lace pattern.  After we've breezed through this row we'll be ready to continue Rows 1 to 4 to complete our swatch!

Lace Pattern 1 - Row 4

For this row you know all the stitches except the p2sso so you can start the row and when you get to thep2ssohere it is:

Pass 2 Slip Stitches Over (P2SSO)

This is one of those stitch abbreviations that looks absolutely daunting when you see if in a pattern.  When you get right down to it, this is another simple maneuver that is exactly what it sounds like. 

Here's how it is done:

Step 1:

Insert the right needle into the next two stitches on the left needle as if knitting them together and slip them to the right needle

Step 2:

Knit the next stitch on the left needle.

Step 3 and 4:

With the left needle pull both slipped stitches over the knit stitch (just as you would when binding off, but with 2 stitches)

Notice the triangle shape that the completed stitch creates.

Knitting Doctor Tip: The P2SSO is also known as the Double Vertical Decrease. It has no slant just points straight up.  When you see either of these terms in a pattern write up know that's a stitch that you've mastered.

Now that we've reviewed all of the stitches, we can go ahead and complete Row 4.

Completing the Swatch

We've got all of the rows of Lace Pattern 1 down pat, and our swatch should be close to measuring in at 4" wide, but now we have to grow it to 4" high.

I checked my row gauge and it says 32 rows for 4", so I'm going to repeat Lace Pattern 1 Rows 7 more times. It will go fast, I promise!!

Knitting Doctor Tip: Your stitch count does not vary from row to row on Lace Pattern 1 as it does in some lace patterns.  You should have 27 stitches each and every row. To make sure you stay on track, take time to occasionally count those stitches.

Take a look below.  I have 3 repeats of rows 1 - 4 completed.  See how the lace motif is starting to show up?  Also, notice how much spring there is in this yarn and how some parts of the swatch almost look raised.  That's another good reason to steam......it evens out the landscape and you'll have a smooth fabric without losing stitch definition.

Thoughts on Knitting the Swatch

Now that we are into the midst of swatching I just wanted to share a piece of advice I share with my students. And that advice is "knitting is not a race, it's a process."

Don't be dismayed if you are not going as quickly as you think you should be or maybe you have needed to rip out once or more. I'll be the first to tell you I'm always good for several rip-outs per project. Take your time. Our KALS aren't going anywhere, they are available to you anytime. Take longer to do a row and learn the stitch sequence.  You'll pick up speed before you know it and won't be sorry you took a little longer than you would've liked. Keep your eye on the prize (i.e. your beautiful finished piece).

Finishing the Swatch

Whew! We've gotten to our 32 rows it's time to add our top frame of garter stitch rows. 

Knit those 3 rows (removing those markers if you've used them) then bind off!

Knitting Doctor Tip: Bind offs tend to be much tighter than the cast on edge. To match the cast on and bound off edge of garments and accessories, bind off loosely or go up a needle size or two.

Measuring the Swatch

Here's my swatch all bound off. Notice anything in the images below? 

My width is pretty much as I was hoping for, but my height is off by about a 1/2 an inch. Ok, this is useful information. Let's see what it looks like after it is steamed.

How to Steam the Swatch

You can use either a hand steamer as I'm using or an iron on the steam setting.

Step 1. 

Place your swatch on an ironing board or other flat surface or (iron or hand steamer)

Step 2.

 Grab a skirt hanger and use the clips to secure your swatch (hand steamer only)

Step 3.

Use short bursts of steam directly over the fabric (NEVER ON). 

Our intent is to even out the stitches and see if our swatch grows and softens, not to flatten the stitches and fiber.

Swatch Final Measuring: 

Now that we've steamed our swatch and let it cool, it's time to measure again.  

The swatch height at 4 " so it grew a 1/2 inch. I am exactly at gauge!

Additionally, the stitches have evened out and the stitch definition is still there. My width is still good, too!

Knitting Doctor Tip: If your gauge is off after steaming, you should adjust your needle size. If you have too much width, go down a needle size. You will be able to adjust the height with steaming.

Time to  Measure!

I've looked at the patterns specifications and see Hantsuki is 12" in length.  It also looks as though the neckline starts at the collarbone.   Hmm, where is 12" going to land on me? 

There's only one way to find out.

Customizing the length of your shawl

Take your tape measure to your favorite mirror and measure from the collar bone and over the bust down to the 12" mark.  Where does it land on your frame?  Is it just perfect or do you want it longer.

Adding Length

What did you come up with?  Need more length?  If you did, we are going to merely add it to the inches you'll be knitting on Lace Panel 1.  

Assignment for the Week

Time to knit the garment! Your assignment for this week is to cast on the full 281 stitches and knit as specified in the pattern until you reach 4".  If you are adding length, add the desired extra inches to the 4", just be sure you end on Lace Pattern 1 - Row 4.

If you are concerned about making a mistake, use a knitting lifeline!

How to use a Knitting Lifeline

See you next Tuesday, July 29th for Part 2.

Happy Knitting!

KnitDocDonna

Comment

Donna Pelzar

Donna (aka the Knitting Doctor) is the face behind The New Street Knitter patterns. She teaches knitting instruction for all skill levels in her studio and loves to focus on techniques and interesting stitch patterns. She recently expanded into pattern design and we are thrilled to be able to offer her patterns at NobleKnits. Donna also hosts all of our Knit Alongs.

Hantsuki Knit Along

Hantsuki Shawl Knit Along

Hantsuki Shawl Knit Along

Welcome to the Hantsuki Knit Along! In Japanese, Hantsuki means "half moon" and that perfectly describes the shape of this delicate shawl project we are about to knit together. 

A Little About This Knit Along

Hantsuki a wonderfully floaty, feminine and gracious shaped caplet. You can casually sling over bare shoulders this summer, or layer over a tee or sweater as the weather cools. Take her out to a movie, dinner or the simple pleasure of a summer walk on the beach. She'll soon become your BFF, I promise!

Using Just the Right Yarn

The secret behind Hantsuki is the yarn. If you don't know Berroco Folio, you're missing out on a real treat. This Superfine Alpaca/Rayon blend yarn provides you with a featherlight fiber that is extremely soft and drapey. 

Which color of Berroco Folio yarn will you choose?

Which color of Berroco Folio yarn will you choose?

Using 2 balls of Folio, Hantsuki measures 12" length x 56" bottom circumference. If you would like to knit a longer version, we will be covering how to modify this pattern for length. Just be sure to purchase an extra ball.

What Will I Need?

  • 2 balls (or 3 for longer length) Berroco Folio yarn
  • Hantsuki Wrap Knitting Pattern (FREE with Folio Yarn purchase)
  • Size US 6 circular needle 24" or greater
  • 1 button 1/2" 
  • Iron or hand steamer for blocking (optional)

What Will I Learn? 

(this knit along has already taken place, but it's always available! Click the links below to do the knit along at your leisure)

Knit Along Day 1

  • How to Swatch Lace** - Pattern 1
  • Swatch Blocking - Steam blocking
  • Knit Lace Pattern 1 - How to read a lace pattern, increase and decrease stitches
  • Cable Cast On

Knit Along Day 2

  • Decrease Rounds
  • Knit Lace - Pattern 2 - Increase and decrease stitches
  • Project Blocking

Knit Along Day 3

  • Steaming
  • Final reveal!

**Adequate yardage for swatching is built into the pattern specifications by the Berroco Design Group.

What Skill Level?

Beginner and above. We'll include lots of images and helpful info for all the tricky parts!

How do I follow along?

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

- KnitDocDonna

PS. I chose color Bailey. What color will you choose?