First let me say Welcome! to all those who have joined in since we've started this knit-a-long! We're so pleased that you could join us!
Everyday someone posts a photo of a finished square over in our Raverly group! These Square 1's were finished and photo posted since last weeks blog!
Square #1 by Carol Adams on page 22 of The Great American Aran Afghan book. In this square we learned a basic cable but with a little twist, it's a reversible cable! So the square looks pretty much the same on both sides. Not all of our squares will.
|Carol's Square 1|
|Sherri's Square 1|
|Terry's Square 1|
|Gwen's Square 1|
So it seems that my choice for Square 2 contradicted everything I said about chart reading in my hints for Square 1, week before last! Square 2 (Barbara Selesnick's design on page 16) is a perfect example of a pattern that specifically states that you are to read the charts the opposite of the norm. Despite that, several people have already completed their squares.
Square #2 by Barbara Selesnick on page 16. In this square we are learning twists and traveling stitches, stitches that move across the work instead of staying in vertical columns.
|Tanya's Square 2|
|Carol's Square 2|
|Karen's Square 2|
I'm only about 4 rows into the charted patterns, and I do have to say that it took me a while to get the row layout fastened in my head in the proper order. What has really helped is to remember that most of the time cables are only done on the right side rows. In this pattern, row 19 is the exception with a cross on the wrong side. It has to be this way to close up the top of the lobes of the heart.
One question that has come up repeatedly is how to work the M1s. M1 stands for Make One which is a nearly invisible increase. There are two kinds of M1s; make 1 left (M1L) and make 1 right (M1R). In many patterns the designer will not specify which one to use because unless they are repeated row upon row, the way the stitch twists makes little difference in the way the finished fabric looks and performs. When it does matter the designer will specify.
Make One Left (M1L)
- To do a M1L increase you will need to have at least one stitch on your right hand needle.
- Look at your knitting between the two needles. See the little bar between the two stitches? With your left needle pick up this bar going from front to back.
- Next, knit the loop you now have on your left needle through the back loop just as you would a normal knit through the back loop.
- By knitting through the back loop you are adding a left twist to the increase, making it invisible. Without the twist you will get an eyelet much like a small yarnover instead of an invisible increase.
This increase is the same as a M1L except:
- with your left needle you will pick up the bar between the stitches from back to front
- knit it through the front loop, adding a right twist.
- M1L - pick up front to back, knit in the back - front, back, back
- M1R - pick up back to front, knit in the front - back, front, front
I usually find that M1L is easier to do, so I tend to work my M1 this way most of the time. When the instructions indicate a M1P follow these same instruction and instead of knitting into the back or front loop, purl instead. Make sure to maintain the twist or you will have a hole slightly smaller than a yarn over.
Here's a video I did last winter on how to do M1s.
Please let me know if there are other issues with Square 2 you need help with!
Now on to Square #3 by Julie Levy on page 4 of the book.
In this square we will practice our cables, add some fill stitches and learn how to make bobbles! Bobbles aren't hard. There are many variations of to work bobbles so be sure to check the patterns instructions on what this designer wants in a bobble. Basically, to create a bobble you will be working all in one stitch:
Step 1: increase a few stitches
Step 2: work back and forth over these stitches for as many rows as indicated
Step 3: decrease back to one stitch
Step 4: resume working your row as directed
These steps create a excess fabric that will stick out 3-dimensionally from your fabric. Sometimes, you have to make the bobble lay on the correct side of the fabric by poking it into place. Knit the stitch immediately after the bobble very tightly. Yes, there will be a bit of a hole on the side of the bobble. This is normal, don't worry.
Have fun, and if you haven't already, I hope you join us for this low stress, work at your own pace project!
Please send comments, feedback, questions to me at askTerry (at) jimmybeanswool (dot) com.