Tuesday, July 31, 2012

to clear my name...

Well, I’ve been thinking about this for a while and wondering how to handle it…still not sure, but I think I should say something…the October issue of Knit’nStyle (#181) is out and usually I try not to be too picky – you know, so long as they spell my name right, I don’t really take offense to too much else and even if they miss the ‘e’ off Ann occasionally, I’m not really upset. And the hyphen thing, I just have to look the other way…and sometimes when they hand-knit-ify something, I do grimace a bit.
But I gotta tell ya, I’ve NEVER used the term ‘bind off’. I know that’s a strong word – never- and I have learned that it can be shorter than you’d think so I use it rarely - never, I mean.  I must admit, I don’t always read word for word what they’ve done to my stuff ‘cuz it can make me crazy, but this time, it's hard to miss.
Let me explain…my techniques article in the current issue…oh, let me go back a bit further… I did start a new series of articles back in #178 which I titled W-5 (What? When? Where? Which? Why?) and explained that I would give three or four methods of some technique (the what), then explain when and where to use which one and why and/or why not. I guess they didn’t get my Canadian humour of the W5 thing and they left that out so the articles just ended up with sort of lame titles, like ‘single-bed machine cast on methods’ – oh wow!! That’s a real MAO title (heavy sarcasm)!
So, when I sent in this article (cast-off methods which they shanged to 'bind off methods for mking'), I never thought (there's that word again!) to make sure they didn’t change anything important – I don’t get a final proof copy and I only get to see it when I get my comp copy about 3 to 4 weeks after the subscribers. The reason I’m saying this now - I mostly use a rather specific CAST OFF method that is an important part of my finishing techniques and a very crucial part of a lot of the trims and edgings that I’ve developed. If this MAO-approved method of CHAIN CAST OFF is not used, I am not responsible for whether your trim or edging lays flat or not. I do describe it in each pattern – the last row must be knit loose enough so when those stitches are chained off, it does not restrict the width of the finished edge. Though I have given other methods in this article, here’s the important part and what it should have said:
Chain Cast off
With practice, this is the quickest method and produces the softest, least-bulk cast-off. Basically the final row is knit by the carriage, providing an even stitch size and those stitches are chained off to finish the piece. Knit last row at a much looser tension, 2 to 3 numbers higher (for mid gauge machines) than the main tension. This should give a loose enough row to chain off without making the cast-off row too tight. A looser row can be obtained by removing the yarn from the overhead tension, dialing the loosest stitch size and hand feeding the yarn for the final row. If the main knitting is at a large stitch size and there is not room for the carriage to make the looser row, hand knit the final row, bringing the needle butts back appropriately to achieve the required stitch size. After knitting the row, break the yarn. Push all needles out with the work behind the latches. Beginning at the side away from the tail, with the latch tool, grab the first stitch and remove from needle. Push this stitch behind the latch of the tool and pick up the second stitch from the next needle. Pull the second stitch through the stitch on the tool, casting off the first stitch. Pick up third stitch and pull through second stitch on tool. Repeat across row, being careful not to pull the work off before all stitches are chained off. At end, pull tail of yarn through last stitch to lock. The evenness and stretchiness of this cast off relies on the size of the last row which must be loose enough to prevent unnecessary restriction. It can be used in any application, providing the last row is made in a suitable size. The chain of the final row will lay on the knit side of the work. If it is necessary to unravel this, it is very quick to release last loop and rip out.

Friday, July 20, 2012

blame it on the weather?

It’s been too hot here for too long and I’m not used to that… Or do I just have too much time on my hands? Whatever… I have just finished my next KnS project for the third time…Third time? You say. Yeah, third time and I’m packaging it up right now and sending it off before I have time to change my mind again. Sheesh, this never used to happen. 
But I did learn a few things – the best way to make a buttonhole in a single layer fabric – you’ll see when the pattern comes out – I feel absolutely brilliant – no sewing, no pick-ups, no tails to darn in.
 – when you need to add a new ball of yarn, move the carriage to the other side and start it there so the tails are on opposite sides – if it’s a sleeve, this is like making yarn marks for aligning the seam (good stuff) and if it’s a cardigan front, having the tails at either side means weaving them in at either side instead of having two tails to get rid of in the same place.
I also learned that there is no point in trying to use the garter bar to make half a row of garter stitch – I won’t explain that because it’s just makes more work, trust me... and I learned there is no point trying to have straight hair in this weather…