Tutorial: How to work a st+yo

The st+yo is a short row turn that can be worked as the last short row before working in the round. I’m using it when I do neckline shaping short rows: I use German short rows for all the back and forth, but for going back to working in the round, I use the st+yo method as the last short row turn.

Here is a photo tutorial on how to work that st+yo.

Step 1: With yarn in front, slip 1 stitch purlwise.

st+yo - Step1

Step 2: Turn work.

st+yo - Step2

 

Step 3: Do a regular yarn over (bring yarn to front, then over the right hand needle to back). Make sure to pull it tight to avoid a hole later on!

st+yo - Step3

Step 4: Slip first stitch purlwise from left hand needle to right hand needle.

st+yo - Step4

Step 5: Knit on!

st+yo - Step5

Working to st+yo on your way across it when working in the round:

Step 6: Knit to 1 stitch before yo.

st+yo - Step6

Step 7: Slip one stitch knitwise from left to right needle.

st+yo - Step7

Step 8: Slip stitch back, purlwise. Stitch is now twisted.

st+yo - Step8

Step 9: Knit stitch together with yarn over through back loops.

st+yo - Step9

Step 10: This is what it looks like!

st+yo - Step10

Step 11a: When you’ve knitted on (there is a tiny gap if you didn’t pull the yarn over tightly)

st+yo - Step11a

Step 11b: What it looks like from the wrong side of the work. You’ll see a horizontal strand bracing 2 stitches, but it’s hardly noticeable.

st+yo - Step11b

Knitting math: Re-calculating your size

When I’m knitting other designers’ patterns, I very often end in the dilemma of my gauge not matching the pattern (but having the perfect drape and feel), or the yarn I want to use not being the right weight. It’s silly, I know – I could change yarns or needles or something, but very often I don’t want to. What to do, then?

Well, sometimes I recalculate. But often, there is a pretty simple way of “altering” the pattern, which I’d like to share with you!

I have an example of a project I did a while ago: The Fuse cardigan by Veronik Avery.

Fuse cardigan

 

It is originally done in worsted weight yarn on a 5,5 mm / US 9 needle, but I just had this perfect yarn in fingering weight. Also, I didn’t really want a chunky cardigan, but instead more of a light weight one. Using fingering weight yarn on those large needles would make the cardi way too floppy and loose though, so I decided to work on 4 m / US 6 needles instead.

You can probably guess that if I just made my regular size (size M/37″ bust), I would end up with a much smaller garment. When you work on smaller needles and with thinner yarn, your gauge becomes tighter, so it takes more stitches per 10 cm / 4 inches.

The golden rule of (stitch) gauge:
More sts on 10 cm -> tighter gauge, smaller item. Often worked on smaller needles.
Less sts on 10 cm -> looser gauge, bigger item. Often worked on bigger needles.

As my gauge would be tighter (smaller needles + thinner yarn = more sts per 10 cm/4″), I could either choose to recalculate everything (!), or choose to make a bigger size to compensate for the missing width of the fabric. The last option is most likely the most appealing to everyone, isn’t it?

Use the below form to calculate which size you should make, based on the numbers for your gauge, the pattern gauge, and your chest/bust circumference:


How I went about determining the size I should knit:

Step 1: I made a swatch!
I know this seems like a huge hurdle for some, as most people just want to get on with knitting the actual garment. However, for garments especially, your gauge really is important. See the golden rule of gauge above! If the pattern says 10 sts per 10 cm/4″, and your gauge is 14 sts per 10 cm/4″, the number of stitches cast on will become a smaller item than if you had a gauge of 10 sts per 10 cm/4″.
Also: Make sure to wash and block your swatch before you measure the final gauge. Gauge can change in washing, depending on how you treat it and what the fiber content of the yarn is. Treat your swatch the same way as you will be treating the finished garment!

So, I made that swatch using fingering weight yarn and 4 mm / US 6 needles.
The pattern called for a gauge of 14,5 sts & 25,5 rows, my gauge was 20 sts & 35 rows.

Step 2: Calculating the gauge difference
In order to calculate the stitch gauge difference between the two, I did this calculation:

my gauge / pattern gauge = difference in gauge (the number of sts in my gauge needed to work 1 st in the pattern gauge)
20 / 14,5 = 1,38

Step 3: Calculating the needed size
If I went by the bust size alone, the size I would need (37″) would correspond to:

My size * gauge difference = size I need to work by
38″*1,38 = 52,5″.

So yes, I would need to work the size that corresponded to a bust size of 52,5″.
The pattern’s biggest size was 53″, so that made it clear – that was the size I needed to make! It turned out quite alright, didn’t it?

Pitfalls
HOWEVER, this method only works if you have an overview over the pattern and understanding of the garment construction. It’s absolutely the easiest for straight top down or bottom up sweaters and other items, but as soon as they’re worked on the bias (or using other funky techniques) you risk getting in a pickle. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it depends wholly on the item in question!

A couple of things to note:

  • The above method with size change is for horizontal calculations only (stitch count).
  • You can do the same for vertical calculations (row count), but make sure to consider the differences that might occur. I was so lucky to have my row gauge vs. the pattern row gauge be the same percentage in difference as the stitch gauge, but that might not always be the case.
  • When working on something like a sweater, very often it will say to work to a certain measurement. Use that measurement instead of counting rows!
  • The garment I did this on had a lot of positive ease. I ended up with less positive ease than was recommended (me: 1″, recommended: 6″), as really the size matching a 53″ bust would have needed to be 59″ (but the pattern only went up to 53″). It was no issue here, but it might be in a more fitted garment!

I hope this post has been helpful!

Jagged Stripes!

Hello out there!

Yesterday I published the Jagged Stripes pattern – a pattern for both a shawl and a blanket, which can be made as a temperature registration piece. Never heard of temperature registration? Well, in this case it is a knitting (or crochet) project where one row is done for each day, using a yarn color designated to that day’s temperature. After 365 days you can get something like this:

 

2017 Temperatures Copenhagen

These are the temperatures I registered for Copenhagen (Denmark) during 2017 – the highest temperature of the day (left), the lowest temperature (center), and the average values (right). See how different it comes out depending on which range you choose?

For illustrating the Jagged Stripes blanket, I used the highest temperatures range (rainbows are so pretty):

Jagged Stripes Blanket

A bit of background to mention here: When you search on Ravelry for “temperature”, you get all kinds of patterns (and projects!) for temperature items. However, most of them are plain, straight garter stitch items, nothing fancy. That might be great for some, but for me… I wanted something else! So I designed this one, garter stitch with a little twist.
I added a “neutral” color at the beginning and end of the item, as I do want the edges to be straight. This means there is a bit of short row shaping going on at the beginning and the end of the year – but don’t fret, it can also easily be made without those edges! You’ll then just have the raw zig-zag edge.

I have added an Excel spreadsheet where you can track your local temperatures, see what the blanket looks like after a while, and even customize the size you want based on your own gauge. I have based it on the values I would use myself, using degrees Celsius to record temperatures and using the colors I want to use. I have added a cheat sheet for looking up the degrees Celsius if you’re usually working with Fahrenheit though!
If you’re familiar with Excel and want to change colors or temperature ranges, see below for a tutorial.

There is a lot more information on the Ravelry pattern page, which can be found here: Jagged Stripes
Note that this pattern is free – and I hope to keep it so indefinitely.


 

How can I modify the Excel spreadsheet for my Temperature Blanket/Shawl?

If you want to change either the colors used or the temperature ranges used in the spreadsheet, AND you more or less know your way around in Excel, here is a video tutorial on how to do so. I would however only recommend it if you’re an Excel user already – it can be easy to accidentally mess it up completely!
Please note that I’m using Microsoft Office 2013 on a Windows computer.

 

 

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

As some of you following me on Instagram may have noted, I’ve been thoroughly bitten by the Fringe bag bug. It may seem a bit silly really, especially for those that don’t really get the project bag frenzy, but I’m enjoying myself big time :)

One thing I did think about at some point was that sometimes, the bag can be “hard” to carry. Let’s say you’re at a knitting/yarn festival, you have your project in your Fringe bag, and you want to be able to have your hands free to grab yarn. The leather wrist strap / handle on the bag is nice, but it’s not very yarn fondle friendly, is it?

This summer, while I was on a natural yarn dyeing workshop, we went for a walk to collect dyeing materials. Walks can be boring ;) And being with almost all knitters, I was thinking no one would be bothered by me knitting my very boring project while walking. Queue temporary solution for a shoulder strap!

Fringe Field Bag strap

Ever since, I have been thinking of that strap. I really want something prettier, more comfortable, and complementing that pretty bag better. Receiving my 3rd (!) Fringe bag in the post, I impulsively decided to do something about it. Can’t be that hard, right??

I went to a local leather ware shop in downtown Copenhagen (Skindhuset – that place always inspires, makes me want ALL THE THINGS, and really wants me to pursue new hobbies like leather working…). As I suspected (I didn’t really do that much research before I went), they really had everything I needed.

Materials bought:

  • 1 leather strap, 120 cm x 3,5 cm. Cost: DKK 105
  • 2 carabines. Cost: DKK 15 each, DKK 30 in total.
  • 1 simple belt buckle. Cost: DKK 8.
  • studs (and tools to handle them) – I took the studs that are rounded on both sides, to make it all look prettier. Cost: Studs DKK 60.
  • a leather punch tool (what’s the exact English word for that?) – I needed one anyway!

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap supplies

And: TADAAAAAH!

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

So, how did I make it? Yeah, that’s easy and at the same time a bit more complicated, but as I spent some time wrapping my head around it, I thought I’d share. So here we go, a tutorial for you with the above materials:

Step 1Punch two holes next to each other at each end of the strap. Punch a line of overlapping holes at one end – these are for accommodating the buckle. This end will be where we attach the buckle.

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

 

Step 2: To check whether that center line is long enough, and also where to punch additional holes for fixing the strap around the buckle, double the strap around it. Make sure the center pin/thingy of the buckle can move freely. To match the second set of holes to the first, mark in the middle of the existing holes with a pen.

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

And then of course, punch them! Also punch corresponding holes at the other end (using the same method, just folding it around one of the carabines instead).

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

Step 3: Punch holes for the buckle! I punched a hole every 3 cm / 1.25 inches along the center of the strap. You can add as many or few as you like, it’s always possible to punch more!

 

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

 

Step 4: Assembly! This is where you need to keep your tongue straight in the mouth, as we like to say in Denmark. This needs to be done in the right order and the right way around.

First, bring the strap through the buckle, the front of the (open!) buckle facing on the right facing side of the strap. On the photo, the end of the strap is to the right in the picture, so the pin on the buckle (buckle folded completely open) is pointing to the right as well.
Second, bring the strap through the carabiner, the clasp facing upward (on the right facing side of the strap).

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

Third, double back the end of the strap  and stick it through the buckle again from the left, wrapping it around the part of the buckle where the pin is, and sticking the pin through the opening made for it.

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

Step 5: Make sure it sticks! Now add the studs, bringing them through the holes in both layers and fastening them with a hammer. I got a nifty little tool for that, so I didn’t accidentally smash the studs to non-prettiness.

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

Fasten the other carabiner to the other end of the strap in the same way.

And voilá! You’ve got a shoulder strap!

On my initial prototype, I didn’t add a thingy that keeps the double straps between buckle and carabiner together (I don’t know the word for that in English at all, bear with me here!). So what I did was add a rubber band around them, which works fine but isn’t as pretty as it could be.

On the second shoulder strap I made, I did have a chance to add it. If you want to add one as well, make sure to do it as part of the Step 4:

1. Bring strap through buckle (step 4, first).
2. Bring strap through together-keeping-thingy.
3. Bring strap through carabiner (step 4, second).
4. Double strap under and bring it back through together-keepin-thingy.
5. Bring strap through buckle (step 4, third).

It’s a bit of extra wrapping-your-head-around, but once you get the picture it’s all easy.

Enjoy!

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

Tutorial: Crochet Cast On Without a Crochet Hook

I love neat cast ons in my knitting, and even though I have my absolute favorites, I also like to try out new methods.

The crochet cast on method, using a crochet hook, is amazing for provisional cast ons: You can just slowly unravel the chain, revealing the live stitches! I did a tutorial on this a couple of years ago.

However, I also very much like the neat edge it creates, which mirrors the very ordinary knit one, *knit one, pass stitch over,* repeat *-* bind off. If done with the working yarn instead of the waste yarn, you can get identical cast on and bind off edges!

I’ve always found the crochet hook version a little fiddly. And worse – you need to remember where you put that crochet hook (or bring it with you), which non-crocheter-me always forgets!

So need made me unvent an identical cast on, just without crochet hook. If you’re familiar with the crochet cast on, this might not be anything new for you, as you might be able to wrap your head around it yourself – but for those who don’t, I made a tutorial!

There’s a video tutorial right here:

Or watch a step-by-step illustrated tutorial below:
(the illustrations are screen captures from the video, so they are a bit grainy at times)

 Step 1:
Create a slip knot  by laying the tail of the yarn across the strand that is attached to the ball.

CCO1x

 Step 2:
Lay the needle on top of the strand that is attached to the ball, leaving the tail end and slip knot on the right hand side of the needle.

CCO2x

 Step 3:
Pull the strand attached to the ball over the needle and through the slip knot.

CCO3x

 Step 4:
With one hand, hold on tight to the yarn on the needle and the loop you just pulled through, and with your other hand pull the yarn tail to tighten up the slip knot around the loop you just created.

CCO4-2x

 Step 5:
You know have the first stitch on the needle. Pull your loop to tighten the stitch around the needle.

CCO5x

 Step 6:
To make your next stitch, wrap the yarn around the needle so it’s in the back.

CCO6x

 Step 7:
Pull the yarn through your loop.

CCO7

 Step 8:
Pull the loop tight around your new loop.

CCO9x

Repeat steps 6-8 to cast on the number of stitches you need minus one.

 Step 9:
To finish your cast on, lead the yarn to the back, then put your loop on the needle and pull it tight.

CCO10