If you're like me, there may be some stitch patterns that you avoid. This is the problem of ribbing.
I've been knitting for a good many years at this point, but for whatever reason, some of my transitions between knits and purls for ribbing just look sloppy. My gauge is even when I knit, and so why should I have sloppy stitch lines?! This problem has irked my perfectionist brain since I noticed it about four years ago, and up until now, I haven't had the interest in fixing my ribbing (or finding a solution to fix it) until recently.
Long story short, I have a project that I'm working on that requires some ribbing. I'd done some research on Ravelry and around the internet a few months back, hoping to find an answer and a solution to the question of ribbing tension issues. Sure, enough, I found a few blog posts that talked about how to fix the stitch change from a knit to a purl in ribbing to make ribbed stitches more even. Did I try the recommended fix instantly? Of course not! But, I should have, especially since it would have changed my knitting life overnight.
Now, you may be thinking that I'm going a little overboard with how ecstatic I am about my ribbed stitches-fix, but trust me, when you see the difference, you will understand why I'm so excited.
In the beginning of my yarn- and knitting-filled days, my ribbing looked something like this:
This shawl is the Shibui Mix No. 4 shawl (link) with Silk Cloud and Baby Alpaca. It's a dream to knit and it's gorgeous, but I can't bring myself to finish it, knowing that my ribbing looks a little imperfect. But to be honest, the more that I look at it, the more I think it may just be me being overly critical of my own work. We're all our own worst critics, right?
After I read this article by Ysolda Teague (link), I decided to give the technique a go. For my first purl stitch following the knit section in ribbing, I worked the purl going the opposite direction with my yarn, making the stitch tighter. I found that this was the only way that worked for me, but other articles suggest that you can simply knit/purl tighter for better tension.
Here is my resulting ribbing:
Look how much neater it is! The transitions between stitches are nearly perfect, the ribbing is nice and springy on each side, and it looks fantastic.
I'm now wishing that I'd tried this out sooner, and I'm ready to give ribbed stitches a second chance for my knitting. Ever noticed that my sleeve cuffs don't use normal ribbing, but broken rib? That would be why! Now, I can start transitioning back to normal ribbing...
Off to dream up some new patterns with ribbed stitches! And to finish up this adorable little sweater for a very lucky and stylish pup.
happiest of knitting,
2017 has arrived, and that means a new design is almost here! The Loch Raven Sweater is fresh off my needles and currently in testing. Today, I'm going to share some of the 'behind the scenes' for you on this pattern.
Why 'Loch Raven'?
I've chosen the theme of place names for this collection of sweater patterns. The Assateague, Baton Rouge, and now Loch Raven sweaters have all had large portions either worked at each location--whether that means knitted or sketched. The first of the three, the Assateague Sweater, was originally inspired by the shape that waves leave on the beach when the tide goes out. The Loch Raven Reservoir and Dam is a beautiful area near my home in Maryland, and the colors of the water and trees were coincidentally reflected in my color choice.
Why these colors? Green/blue and brown aren't always put together....
I love putting colors together that catch my eye, even if they aren't especially traditional combos! I happened upon these two by chance, and when they both arrived in my mailbox, I knew they had to be put together. The subtle hues of the brown complement the warmth of the green/blue... it's quite captivating in person, and I hope that the pictures can do it some kind of justice!
What about the design process? How did this design come about?
This wasn't my first design using the concept of short rows to shape a cirulcar yoke (see Assateague and Baton Rouge). However, after working up both of those sweaters and patterns, and a few other sweaters in between that used many different types of short rows, I decided to try a new approach to the same concept.
This pattern uses the basic idea of both the Assateague and Baton Rouge sweaters, but simplifies a few key points: the wedge shaping, yoke increases, and short row. The wedges are simplified with the numbers used for shaping, which (theoretically) makes for a nicer knitting experience. And, the first and third wedges include front/back shaping to shape the neck--so now, you can tell which side is the front and which is the back! The yoke increases are now over 4 rounds throughout the yoke instead of over 8, so you have a bit of a breather on your 'off wedges' (every other wedge has the increase round). This pattern uses German short rows, instead of wrap and turn, to eliminate any holes.
Finally, this pattern also includes some optional waist and hip shaping, unlike the other patterns. I am so pleased with the results that I may make another! I hope that you, too, are intrigued by this pattern and find colors that speak to you.
This pattern will be published in a few short weeks around mid-February--stay tuned for more info on the exact date and promotional info!
Happiest of knitting, and may we all find a cozy sweater for the cold winter months...
Hi, I'm Emily, nice to meet you!