Here you will find information about some of the techniques used in our patterns. If you have a question regarding a technique described here, or a technique from one of our patterns which we have not described, please do not hesitate to contact us by email (theauldwoollyalliance [at] gmail [dot] com). We will do our best to help you.Quick access to techniques:
- Shadow Wrap Tutorial
- Provisional Crochet Cast-on
- Tubular Cast-on Tutorial
- “True” Afterthought Heel
- Turkish Crochet Cast-on
- Dimple Stitch
- Double Knitting
- Finishing Techniques: additional photographic tutorial to consolidate notes given at workshop.
- Special Stitch: k-w2
- Invisible Circular Cast On
- Make One Below (M1br/ M1bl)
- Slip, slip, knit and variations of: (ssk/sssk/ssssk)
- Centred Double Decrease (cdd)
- Slip Slip Purl (ssp)
Intarsia is a colourwork technique which involves knitting blocks of colour, without carrying yarn at the back of the work: only one strand of yarn in one colour is used at a time. As a consequence, a separate ball of yarn (or some yarn wound onto a little bobbin) is needed for each block of colour.
The key to a neat piece of knitting in intarsia is to avoid holes where the colour changes occur. In order to achieve this, the two colours need to be “twisted” so the yarn for the new colour “traps” the old one.
When the changes of colour are stacked upon each other row by row, thus forming vertical lines, proceed as follow: knit with the “old” colour up to the change, hold this strand in front of the “new” colour (but still at the back of the work), catch the new colour and knit the first stitch of the new colour area, thus trapping the old colour between the new colour and the knitted fabric at the back of the work (see picture on the right).
After completing a few rows, the knitting should look like the picture on the left when viewed from the wrong side.
When the colour changes are not stacked perfectly, but “slant” to one side, the technique remains the same. Knit the stitches in one colour as per the pattern; when reaching the point where a change of colour is required, catch the new colour from below the old colour and knit the new stitch while trapping the old colour. This will create a diagonal “strand” of the old yarn at the back.
Turkish Cast-On is a technique that enables to start knitting in the round with no hole, gap, or twisted stitches, and starts by simply wrapping yarn around two tips of needle.
With your left hand, hold one tip of each of the two circular needles parallel to each other and pointing to the right. Hold* the tail of the yarn (leaving approx. 15-20 cm (6-8 in)) between your left thumb and the needle at the front.
With your right hand, wrap the working yarn three times around both tips from under the needles, away from you and back towards you over the needle tips (Photo 1). Pull the front needle tip so the wraps are now sitting on the cable, and knit with the needle at the back through the first 3 loops to create the first stitches (Photo 2: first stitch being worked; Photo 3: all 3 stitches worked, end of work on back needle).
Turn the work so the back needle is now at the front and knit the 3 other stitches on the other needle (Photo 4: first stitch being worked; Photo 5: all stitches worked, end of work for this round). (6 stitches, 3 on each needle)
Dimple Stitch produces an exaggerated texture which when knitted in a chunky yarn looks a bit like puffy sheep fleece.
gathering stitch – take yarn to back of work as though to knit, insert needle from below under 3 strands, knit the next st, bring the st out under the strands.
Row 1 (RS) – Knit
Row 2 – P1, * sl 3 wyif, P3; rep from * to last 4sts, sl 3 wyif, P1.
Row 3 – K1, * sl 3 wyib, K3; rep from * to last 4sts, sl 3 wyif, K1.
Row 4 – As row 2
Row 5 & 7 – Knit
Row 6 – Purl
Row 8 – P2, * gathering st, P5; rep from * ending last rep with P2
Row 9 – Knit
Row 10 – P1, * P3, sl 3 wyif; rep from * to last 4sts, P4
Row 11 – K4, * K3, sl 3 wyib; rep from * to last st, K1
Row 12 – As row 10
Row 13 & 15 – Knit
Row 14 – Purl
Row 16 – P5, * gathering st, P5; rep from * to end
Repeat these 16 rows to form pattern.
Reversible Double Knitting is a technique which consists in creating a two-layer double-sided and reversible piece of knitting, in one go. Using two colours, the finished item shows the same pattern (reversed) on both sides of the work.
Not only reversible Double Knitting produces a piece of knitting that is neat on both sides, with no “right” and “wrong” side, but it also creates a perfectly flat and balanced piece of work which does not curl back on itself, making it perfect for scarves or blankets.
In substance, for every stitch in the design, two stitches are actually worked: one knit stitch for the side facing the knitter, using one colour, and one purl stitch for the side facing away from the knitter, using the other colour. Consequently, giving the instruction for one side only is necessary and sufficient to work the whole piece of double knitting.
In a piece of work where Yarn A and Yarn B are used: the instruction “dblk5A” for instance (un-vented for the “Sheepy Draughts and a Wolf Too” design, by Aurelie Colas), will indicate that the next 5 double-stitches are to be worked so that Yarn A is used for the knit stitches, which translates as: *(take both yarns to the back; with Yarn A, knit 1; bring both yarns to the front; with Yarn B, purl 1), rep 5 times in total.
The wrapping method used in the heel turn of this sock workshop is unusual. For those who have never wrapped stitches before it requires less steps to execute and is therefore slightly less ‘tricky’. It was invented by Jeny Staiman, who is also the author of ‘Jeny’s suprisingly stretchy bind off‘, my favourite cast off method for Toe Up socks. You can check out Jeny’s blog here and catch up with her on Ravelry here. The following is a photographic tutorial to guide workshop participants through the ‘Turning the Heel’ section of their notes.
Due to requests from workshop participants this photographic tutorial consolidates the information given in the notes of my Finishing Techniques workshop. I hope the pictures will help to refresh techniques learned or discussed on the day. (It can all seem a bit of a blur, two weeks later!) (A big ‘Thank You’ to my daughter Jenny who took all the lovely photographs. Check out her Facebook page at JennyRosePhotography.)
Part One of the workshop covers sewing up. The first gallery shows a mattress stitch seam worked on K1, P1 rib.
Click on individual pictures to enlarge and scroll through the images.
Gallery No 2, shows a mattress stitch seam joining two pieces of stocking stitch.
Gallery No 3, shows a mattress stitch seam joining two pieces of garter stitch.
Gallery No 4, shows a mattress stitch seam joining two panels of moss stitch.
Gallery No 5 shows a mattress stitch seam joining 2 stocking stitch panels which are set at right angles to each other. As if setting in a straight sleeve.
Gallery No 6 shows grafting of two panels of stocking stitch. As if joining a straight shoulder seam.
Gallery No 7 shows how to join a band of garter stitch to a panel of stocking stitch.
Insert right needle into next stitch as if to knit. Wrap working yarn twice around the tip of the right needle, and resume knitting as normal.
The extra wrap created must be dropped as the slipped stitches are worked in the following round.
This cast on allows one to begin knitting in the centre and knit outwards, circularly. It is perfect for circular shawls and blankets, top down hats and for a Wee Blackface Sheep bottom!
Increasing stitches within your knitting can be done in a variety of ways. Knit One Below is particularly neat, especially for increases that take place within the body of the work. The increase can be worked with either a left or right lean, see below:
Make One Below Right (M1br) – K1, then with RH ndl knit stitch 2 rows below. [One stitch increase with left lean.]
Make One Below Left (M1bl) – Knit into the stitch below next stitch, then k1. [One stitch increase with right lean.]
Slip, slip, knit (ssk) and variations of:
This neat form of left leaning decrease is prettier than the more traditional left leaning skp (slip 1, knit 1, pass slipped stitch over) and pairs particularly well with the right leaning K2tog.
Ssk: Slip 1 stitch knit-wise, slip 1 stitch purl-wise, knit 2 slipped stitches together. (1 stitch decrease with left lean on RS)
Sssk: Slip 1 stitch knit-wise, slip 2 stitches purl-wise, knit 3 slipped stitches together. (2 stitch decrease with left lean on RS)
Ssssk: Slip 1 stitch knit-wise, slip 3 stitches purl-wise, knit 4 slipped stitches together. (3 stitch decrease with left lean on RS)
Centred Double Decrease (cdd)
This double decrease neatly hides the decrease stitches at either side of one raised central stitch, producing a very neat finish.
Slip, slip, purl (ssp)
Worked on the purl side, this neat form of decrease produces a left lean on the knit side and pairs particularly well with the right leaning P2tog.
Ssp: Slip 1 stitch knit-wise, slip 2nd stitch knit-wise, transfer these 2 stitches back to left needle and purl them together through back loops (1 stitch decrease with left lean on RS)