This is another of those “where did the time go?” posts. It’s true, this year has flown by and tomorrow is the last day of September. Autumn has been glorious so far, warm and sunshiny but they don’t last long in this neck of the woods. I’ve been knitting like a fiend as usual and trying to get a few things done around the house and garden. This girl is already in the slide to full hibernation. To bed early, harder to get up when the alarm goes and there’s only a hint of the dawn.
On the fibre front, I finished up my Rheinlust Shawl and glad to have it off the needles. It kept getting set aside for other projects but the end result is pretty.
For more stashbusting and a few stars for my Eat.Sleep.Knit team, the Starsheep, I knit up this nifty crescent shawl, Olilia. Short rows shape it and it’s worked in two coordinating Sweet Georgia yarns.
A couple mini projects followed, Black Locust fingerless gloves and my Relativity cowl:
Black Locust Mitts for ESK Flash KAL
Relativity Cowl in Mrs. Crosby
I did finish my nameless (Frozen Lake) shawl but it’s not blocked just yet🙂 My favourite WIP of the moment is my Warren Cardigan. I should be joining to begin working the body at some point tonight.
Here is the proof – I have swatched. Tension square worked for the Eat.Sleep.Knit flash KAL that starts this coming 26 September 2016🙂
My two most current WIP’s use a provisional cast on and I thought I’d share a little pictorial of how I do it. My favourite of the many provisional cast on methods is the crochet method and it’s one of many reasons that I think every knitter should have some basic crochet skills – there’s lots of time to entice you to the dark side!
There are two crochet-type methods, the most common is where you create a chain length and then pick up your stitches in the back bump of each chain stitch. This is a perfectly serviceable method but even as an experienced Hookster, I find dealing with a long, floppy bit of string to be a pain. I think it would give a novice the vapours!
For control, neatness and ease – once you’ve practised just a little – the “crochet on” method works best for me and I think would be easier to manage for beginners or entrenched knitters. It does require two “sticks” and works stitches in a knitting-type way, so is a more familiar feel. When done the way I do, there is lots of room to correct stitch count before beginning to work with your project yarn without having to rip out and start over. If you’re as OCD as I am, this method really fits the bill.
Below is a photo infographic with notes of how I work this cast on. I can’t be sure if anyone else does it like this, I haven’t seen it in any tutorials or pictorials, so I’ll call this tweaked version “Kei’s Crochet Provisional Cast On”. You’ll need to click the individual photo in order to read the full text of the instructions🙂
Step 1: Your project needle, same size crochet hook, smooth waste yarn – same weight as project yarn.
Step 2: Make slipknot and place on hook as normal. Now the different part, chain 3-5 stitches. This creates a little tab for the next step.
Step 3: Hold hook on top of needle at a right angle. Bring yarn underneath and to back of needle, wrap around the hook and pull through the loop on the hook. Hold the tab as shown to stabilize the hook and needle as you make your stitches. Bring the yarn back under the needle to make the next stitch.
Step 4: Your work will look like the regular crochet provisional cast on after a few stitches, it’ll just have the nifty little tab at the end. Continue casting on until you have the number of stitches called for.
Step 5: After making the last stitch, bring the yarn to the front of work, wrap around the hook and pull through to create a chain stitch. Make a few more, at least two more than the beginning tab. This will help you find the correct end for “unzipping” more quickly. You can draw out the last loop, nice and long in order to count your stitches and correct by carefully taking out the extras of the end chain, putting the loop back on the hook and adding the stitches you need. Extras are fine as long as to knit up the correct number with your project yarn in the next row. Leaving the ending chain tab will also give you something to work from when you pick up the provisional stitches to a 2nd needle and that pesky but unavoidable “Missing Man Stitch” happens. It was years before I realized that this MIA stitch happens with all provisional cast ons and that I didn’t have some sort of dark power to make it evaporate every single time I used any provi technique!
I hope this is as clear as I think it is and if you are trying this out, feel free to message me if you have a question – there’s a “message me” email button up top there ↑
You will find that you very quickly gain a rhythm with this, using your forefinger to move the yarn from the front of the last stitch made and around to the back for the next one. I like giving myself the insurance of a couple extra chains even if I wind up not needing it and the added control that the beginning tab gives me for those first few stitches.
I’m using a ChiaoGoo circular needle, a Prym hook and a smooth cotton fingering weight (a scrap, don’t remember the brand). Smooth cottons are ideal for any provisional cast on.
Hope this will help someone out!
But not the knitting!
Maybe “back to school” effect will take hold one day but it is NOT this day.
So here’s my lazy post about my most recent KAL project, “Let Go” by Joji Locatelli. The deets are on my Ravelry page right -> here <-
Well. For me anyway. Who knew real life was so completely engaging! Kidding – but it’s true – the longer I spend away from my computer, the more I grudge the time needed to post. Ask my poor poetry blog… ugh. I think I may be giving up my Writer Card.
As to the fibre-y stuff, y’all know it’s my Valium and so I have some of that to show for the time away. I did finish up the “Paridae” cardigan and love it. As yet, it’s still not blocked but I like the slightly rustic look of that combined with the very subtle tweediness of the alpaca and so may leave it.
I’m currently paticipating in Joji Knits 2016 autumn KAL. “Let Go” cardigan is my first Joji – definitely won’t be my last and it’s been very easy to stay focused on this one – none of my usual Knitter’s (and for reals) ADD! I’m picking up the front / neckband today and expect to have a sleeve started.
Let Go progress:
There’s a WIP or two lurking about and I’m looking forward to finishing them up. I’m hoping to have a good cross section of project types to bring with me to Needler’s in Gananoque this year. Some great news for me there – I was nominated x2 for a scholarship! This covers the cost of participation and the class fees and the timing couldn’t be better – I’d hate to have to miss out on this. Money may not buy happiness but it buys a lot of yarny goodness and that does make me happy🙂
“Paridae” is really coming along. I’m working the hood – the last bit before cast off, ends are woven and I may be wearing it by the end of the weekend. Such an interesting pattern, it’s been fun to knit. And because I need more than one thing going at a time, I started my “Frozen Lake” shawl (gotta find something more catchy for a name!) This one is in two ancient skeins of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock that I’d forgotten existed – glad they were found🙂. My project notes are on Ravelry -> here <- and -> here <-. My DIY project, refurbing my mossy, vintage “keystone” interlock patio is well underway too, slow but sure the job gets done. Hands are a bit of a wreck though – hurty arthritis is hurty! It will be worth it in the end though, the patch that’s been cleared – by hand and with homemade eco safe weed destroyer and “magic sand” applied B) – already looks better.
Paridae Cardigan ~ back hem shaping
Paridae Cardigan ~ two sleeves on two circs
Frozen Lake Shawl ~ start
Frozen Lake Shawl ~ pattern developing
Patio, weeds sprayed w/homemade eco safe stuff, stragglers pulled by hand and magic sand in the first quadrant.
Patio after being wet down. Now on to the next quadrant.
Now must start organizing to spend a little time in Calabogie at Centennial Lake. I have the best friends!
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!🙂
“Ariel” aka: “Absinthe Mermaid” is off the needles and I’m really happy with this one. The pattern was super easy and would have been quick if I had a better handle on my “Oh shiny!” I still maintain that ADD makes me more productive… in some ways🙂. My project notes are on Ravelry -> here <-
Absinthe Mermaid Pullover ~ smocking and yarn variegation detail.
Absinthe Mermaid Pullover ~ back
Absinthe Mermaid Pullover ~ neckline detail
Absinthe Mermaid Pullover ~ finished front
I’ve got a good start on my next project “Paridae” Cardigan – on a bit of a sweater kick lately… and will have an update later this week.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!🙂