Provisional Parlance

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 🙂

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!

Cheers all! 🙂

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One Row Buttonholes

One Row Buttonholes

This is a great photo tutorial for creating buttonholes from Tin Can Knits.

Tin Can Knits

MB-playdate-04a Buttons on our Playdate cardigan from Max and Bodhi’s Wardrobe

There are many techniques for creating buttonholes. This tutorial shows you how to make a one-row buttonhole. For information on spacing your buttonholes and creating a button band check out our button band tutorial here.

1-stitch buttonhole: This is my preferred method, it is simple and creates a small, tidy hole. To work a 1 stitch buttonhole simply work (yo, k2tog)

A 1-stitch buttonhole works perfectly for Lush! A 1-stitch buttonhole works perfectly for Lush, especially if you are using smallish buttons.

2, 3, and 4-stitch buttonholes : For larger buttons, or in lighter weight sweaters (fingering / sock weight for example) a 1 st buttonhole would be too small, so you will have to go with something bigger. For 2, 3, and 4 stitch buttonhole you will work as follows:

1. slip the next 2 sts

2. pass the first over…

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All In The Details ~ Crochet Magic Loop

There are so many neat tips and techniques out there!

I’ve been knitting and crocheting a long time and so don’t feel the need to change my technique very often. Preferences come with proficiency! I am always willing to try something new and finally got round to doing that with the “Magic Loop” for crochet. This technique is now my favourite for all the reasons you may have already read: it’s simple, clean and produces a very nice start to crocheting in the round.

There are lots of great tutorials out there and I’m adding a pictorial one here and you can find pictures and full text here: “MLCT By KeiB” – this will take you to the Flickr page for the tutorial. You’ll need to click each photo to read the written step-by-step instructions. I hope this will be handy for any of you who decide to make a KeiB Design that is or incorporates crochet. Hope you’ll find this helpful and straightforward 🙂

Tips To Share

I found this gem of a tip from Melissa Leapman on Vogue Knitting International:

“I like the look (and the speed!) of solid double crochet stitches, but I hate the little holes that often appear next to the turning chains. Here’s how to use “linked dc stitches” to prevent them: Immediately following the turning chain, insert your crochet hook into the second chain of the turning chain just made, then yarn over hook and draw the loop through the chain—two loops will be on your hook. Then, insert the hook into the next stitch the regular way (that is, into the second stitch of the row), yarn over hook and pull up a loop—three loops will be on your hook. To complete the double crochet stitch, [yarn over the hook and draw the loop through two loops on your hook] twice. Easy!”

I love this and will definitely be using it on my next crochet project.