21 January 2008

knitting help 101

citric scarfi have been getting a rash of questions and comments about my cross-stitch scarf on ravelry lately. it seems like the pattern is not clear enough for a lot of people, and i have been explaining what i did t people who are drooling of this stitch. in the interest of helping out people with questions, i am posting a reply i wrote to one such knitter.

i hope this helps anyone who is having problems with this pattern. it is beautiful and totally worth the effort--even if it just a scarf.

first, when they tell you to place markers to separate the edge stitches from the pattern stitches--do it! at least for the first few rows until you can really see the pattern forming.

to do the pattern stitch....
knit the edge stitches.
then insert your right needle into the 2nd stitch on the left needle through the back loop (the back leg of the stitch) and knit it.
leave that stitch on the needle.
then insert your right needle into the first stitch on the left needle and knit it as you normally would.
then slide both stitches off the left needle.

on the purl side....
knit the edge stitches.
then insert your right needle into the 2nd stitch on the left needle through the back loop and purl it.
leave that stitch on the needle.
then insert your right needle into the first stitch on the left needle and purl it as you normally would.
then slide both stitches off the left needle.

this is one of those patterns that you have to hang in there to get the pay off. things i learned....

*the first row WILL be ugly, awkward and difficult to work.
* the puring row is actually faster and easier to work than the knitting row.
*because manos is a sticky wool, you may need to tug this baby into shape to really get the pattern to "bloom". pull down firmly then pull side to side firmly to help the crossed stitches not crunch up on themselves.
* if you are a tight knitter, go up a needle size. your fabric will be dense in this stitch, and if you are too tight, it will be impossible to work the pattern stitches.
* after you knit the first 4", pull it all out and restart the scarf. i promise it will look better in the end if you restart (or swatch) because once you have the pattern stitch down, your gauge will probably relax. your first row will also be prettier if you restart.
*wet block it. i know, it is a scarf and it seems like a lot of trouble, but it really helps the manos have a nicer drape and softer hand. and the stitches really pop once they have had to sit in cold water for 30 minutes.

this was really long, but i hope it helps!
i think this pattern is totally worth all the effort. i get so many compliments when i wear my scarf. =)

best!
kitty

6 comments:

Zoe said...

Thanks so much for this! My own experiments with the pattern lead me to discover that kntting through the back loop is what's needed; I'm happy to have this confirmed!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the info! I am working this pattern with a different yarn right now, and your clear instructions make sense! YOU RULE!

The Zinn Blog said...

Thanks, I just came back from the yarn shop where they showed me how to do this stitch. Had the instructions said "knit into the back of the second stitch", my life would have been a lot easier.
Now I'm looking for just the right yarn to make a sofa pillow with this pattern.

Cheryl said...

I have this pattern from the book printed out. I guess I'm confused with the odd # of cast on stitches and the edging stitches. If you k2 at the beginning of the row and k2 at the end of the row and work the pattern over the row and for each stitch of the pattern you work 2 stitches, how does an odd # of cast on stitches add up? I'm a little new to knitting so it could just be my inexperience talking. Any insight would be helpful.

Alaska Avalanche Information Center said...

Please help! This pattern is getting the best of me. Are you knitting and purling into the back of the 2nd stitches for the "pattern portion" or are you just knitting into the back and purling into the front as you would normally purl? I can't seem to get this pattern figured out and it's frustrating me! Thanks!

Patti said...

Yes, this pattern is confusing. I believe there are two changes that need to be made for it to work as shown in the illustration of the book.
First you need to cast on an even number of stitches. If the pattern calls for 21, I am doing 22. The last stitch of the pattern row also needs to be done at the beginning of the pattern row. On the first row you do the 2 knit edge stitches, then a knit stitch, then the cross stitches over 2 stitches each, then K1, K2.
On the purl row you K2,P1, cross stitch purl over 2 repeating, P1, K2
I hope this helps.