5-st centered cable, worked without a cable needle
This is a 5 stitch wide purled steek turned inside out, so that I am stitching the steek with the knit side facing me. I start at the center and work overhand sts with a sportweight 2-ply wool and tapestry needle (on my bulky knit sweater).
I stitch the left side of center st with the right side of adjoining st. The pic shows this first row completed and I have started stitching the right side of already stitched stitch along with the left side of next adjoining stitch.
I am using a darker colored yarn, as it is easier to see while sewing.The reverse side shows very little of this yarn, and this dark side will fall to the inside of garment, anyway, not to be seen.
The second row of stitching is complete and I have begun the 3rd row.
When ending a row of stitching, always stitch around the base of steek a few times. I criss cross these base sts. The tail end is woven into the steek later, keeping it out of the center of the center st, which is where the cutting will take place.
After 3 rows of stitching on one side, I leave the last part of the last stitch undone.
This pic shows the stitching begun on the right side of the steek. I am stitching around the right side of center stitch with the left side of adjoining stitch.
Complete this side of steek, as for other side.
Finished steek, cut down the center. This flap folds to the wrong side, to be tacked down by a lightweight wool or thread of similar coloring to the garment, as this MAY be seen, especially at front openings.
Weaving in yarn tails
Either when you have to join a new ball of the same color or have a new color to join in:
Leave a tail of the old color, knit the next stitch with the new color/new ball. Now there's 2 tails hanging on the WS. What you want to do is have each tail take turns being woven, until the tails are used up.
So it's: old tail over the working yarn, knit 1 st, new tail over the working yarn, knit 1 st, old tail under the working yarn, knit 1 st, new tail under the working yarn, knit 1 st, etc, until the tails are used up. Weaving in means that the yarn goes over, then under the working yarn, but as there's 2 tails, weaving them both together makes it too bulky!
I find this doing it this way makes the least amount of distortion on the face of the fabric and the least bulk on the inside. I know some experts advise to leave all tails and with a sharp ndl pull them through the WS sts later, but I'm a non-finisher! When I'm done knitting, the project is done! Unless I have a zipper or buttons to sew on!
Cabling without a cable needle
Let's say it's a 4 st cable. I slip all 4 to the RH ndl, take the last 2 of those off with my fingers, pinching them together, then either hold them in back or hold them in front, whilst I slip those other 2 from the RH back to the LH ndl, then put those 2 pinched ones back on the LH ndl and knit them from this position. This way the sts are never dropped. In some fuzzy, clingy wools, it would be OK to do so, in others that have spring, they'll start to drop as will many yarns of other fibers, I'm sure!
The Festive Knitting way to do intarsia in the round
From what I understand this is one way to do intarsia-in-the-round. Actually it's the one I'm finding most in books - like Meg Swansen's and Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' books.
Cat Bordi mentions it as well, in her book, in addition to another method of intarsia in the round where there is a seam of sorts, as there are 2 MC strands, gettigng twisted with each other on every row/round in the entire piece, it seems It is worked back and forth, joining at the back "seam".
The festive method works better for isolated motifs or a design where the entire thing isn't in intaria. In the "seaming" method, you'd be purling back on all those instep sts In the festive method of intarsia-in-the-round, you're only purling back on the section of intarsia itself, and only in the CC. The MC always moves circularly.
Here's the books (that I know of) where it is used:
1 -Anna Zilboorg's Socks for Sandals and Clogs
2 -in Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' Ethnic Socks & Stockings
3 -in Mary Thomas's Knitting Book, a Dover publication
4 - Meg Swansen also uses the tech. in her Meg Swansen's Knitting, in the last section showing with sock patterns
You have 2 yarns, A and B. A travels around the entire foot, B does not. The bottom of foot patterning can be whatever fair isle or stranded design you like.
Row 1: So, work your motif using both A and B. leave B hanging at the left side when done with it. Cont with A around instep.
Row 2A: With A knit the sts that should be A in the next rnd, and slip thests that will be B sts. Now, you'll have A and B at the left side, twist them as you would when working intaria and then, turn.
Row 2B: Purl back with B only on the sts that need working in B, slipping all the A sts. Turn work. A is at the left hanging. Leave B where it is and work the instep w/A.
Now A and B are both where they should be to start with Rnd 1 again.
The key is to keep a loose tension on the "festive" part, or it'll all pucker. And, depending on where your color B ends on the festive row, you may need to twist it over the adjoining A sts to get completely over to the side. The B color really needs to be locked at the sides by twisting with A.
Positioning the sts on the ndls is another matter. I use 3 holding ndls, not 4, so the festive part is straddling 2 ndls. It is better suited to 4 ndls or 2 circs, but I just don't like using 4 ndls and am not happy using the 16" circs I have, though I have used them off and on for other socks, I am still trying to get comfortable with the technique of using 2 ckns in socks (I'm a diehard dpn-er I guess!)
Do be patient with it, as it's not quick knitting, even in thick yarns. And you do have to keep your wits about you until you're comfortable with it, or you'll forget what part of the pattern row you're on (BTDT!).
Picking up sts along a steeked edge
What I do is to not pick up sts anywhere near the steek and, instead, pick up sts from the first "real" body st, the same way as you would if working back and forth, except going through both the body st and the steek st lying underneath.
UCV - untensioned continental variant style of knitting
I'm an UCV knitter (my term!), which stands for untensioned continental variant. I don't keep the yarn/yarns over any fingers. It (the main color) sits in my left palm, and I pick it up with thumb and index finger for each st, but as it is *right* there, the movement is very slight. When I want the other color, as it's outside my palm, but hanging nearby, I just pick it up and knit with it. I've always knit this way, as this is how I taught myself, and I can easily knit an entire stranded sweater (worsted to heavy worsted wt) in under 10 days, so it's not slow, if it's a natural movement, as it is for me!
When I taught myself to knit via EZ's "Knitting Workshop" almost 10 years ago, I just picked up the circ ndl and let the yarn hang loose near my left hand whose thumb and index finger pick it up and knit each st, pulling the yarn as I knit. I hold the ndls in the peasant way, not the pencil way (as seen in olden pics of knitters in various knitting tomes).
If I am knitting with 2 strands per row (as in Fair Isle or stranding), I just keep the 2 strands near each other and use the same hand motions to knit. My left hand gets much more exercise than my right, which is good, as I'm righthanded, so that hand/arm gets more use in other activities. I have tried knitting in the traditional tensioned continental and American ways, and though I can make a few sts, my way is always faster and easier.
When knitting, the yarn sits over my pinky and just hangs there under the next 3 fingers, ready for picking up and swooping around the ndl.
When I need to purl, I just flick it to the front and use exactly the same motions.- yarn still over that pinky and hanging under those 3 fingers, picking up and swooping over ndl.
There are other motions going on at the same time as this simple manipulation of the yarn. So, actually, it's pick up and wrap yarn around ndl, with left index finger push right ndl tip back, with right hand slide st to front of left ndl and with right index push left ndl back, sliding st off! I had to stop 4 times and slow down my hand motions to be able to describe them, as it's so automatic! I work close to the ndl tips, which helps to make up for the looseness that not tensioning gives.
When I pick up the yarn between my thumb and index finger (as it's just hanging there in my palm), and swoop it over the RH ndl, my RH index finger is resting near the tip at the last st made, so that the new st goes on and slides under the RH index finger which holds it while I finish the st. I work close to the tips and the way I knit is much more finger intensive than ndl intensive. Seems other knitting styles use the ndls more to manipulate the yarn.
I find I hardly ever tire from the actual knitting motions. I can tire from the weight of my work, when doing heavy sweaters or afghans, and though I may start a large project sitting on the couch or a chair, I inevitably end up on the floor with my work in a puddle in front of me!
UCV - knit
UCV - purl
UCV - stranding - knit
UCV - weaving - knit
UCV - weaving - purl
There are a couple variations on the afterthought heel. Some patterns have you use 2/3 of the sts, dec'g in 4 places (like a toe) on every other rnd, then graft the rem sts tog.
I prefer my adaption of an afterthought heel, and have patterns in 6 wts of yarn and 13 sizes each in the first 3 issues of myHeels and Toes Gazette, but it is as follows:
When you're done with the leg, knit half the sts onto a waste thread, then reknit them with the sock's yarn, continue down the foot and do the toe. If you're not sure how long to make the foot, then just do a few inches on the foot, do the heel, then finish the foot/toe, so that you can try it on/measure it for proper length.
I prefer a variation on a star/round toe, where it decreases at 6 points (instead of the star toe's 4 points and round toe's 8 pts), on every 3rd rnd (not 2nd rnd, as is usual). I usually dec until there are about 18 sts then dec every rnd to 6, and pull yarn through the sts - no grafting needed.
So, for the heel - unpick the waste thread and you'll have sts to put on 2 dpns on the bottom and 1 less st to put on 2 dpns on the top. On the first rnd pick up 2 (not 1) sts in each corner. The 2 sts fills the gap better than 1 st. Now, count how many sts you have and see where the nearest divisible of 6 is. So, for instance, if your sock was 48 sts and your waste thread held 24 sts, then 24 were on the bottom and 23 on the top and 2 in each corner = 51 sts total at this point.
The nearest div. of 6 is 48, so on the next rnd, dec 3 sts evenly. Knit 3 plain rnds. Now, (knit 6, k2tog) around. You've set up 6 dec points. Knit 3 rnds plain. (Knit 5, k2tog) around. Work 3 plain rnds. Cont with dec and plain rnds until you have half your starting sts, in this case it'll be 24 sts, then dec EVERY rnd til 6 remain, and pull yarn through these 6 - again, no grafting!
It's done like my toe variation, but with 3 plain rnds between dec's as the heel needs more depth than the toe, and starts dec'g every rnd when half the sts rem instead of just the 12-18 or so that rem (depending on size) before dec every rnd on the toe. The heel fits well, with no gapping and is easily taken out when holes appear and can be reknit.
I have also done 2 color striping on the heels, extra thick for wear and adds a spark of interest in an otherwise boring sock part.
A small list of sizing articles in various knitting magazines
Knitter's #56, Fall '99, Do-It-Yourself Fit for Every Shape and Size.
This is the issue with the beautiful Lavold sweater on the cover!
Knitter's #12, Spring '91, Shaping Up
Knitter's #37, Winter '94, The Gauge of Things to Come (Sizing by gauge)
Knitter's #43, Summer '96, What's Your Size...It Doesn't Matter
Knitter's #45, Winter '96, Custom Fit: On Sizing
Knitter's #54, Spring '99 - whole issue is about mult-sizing
Vogue Knitting, Spring/Summer '92, Body Basics
VK, Winter '92-'03, Petite Pizzaz
VK, Spring/Summer '95, Perfect Plus
Fashion Doesn't Stop at 40 Inches by Deborah Newton. Originally published in Threads mag., Aug. 1988. Then reprinted in a Threads compilation: Handknitting Techniques from Thread's magazine
How to read charts
Charts look the same for flat or circular knitting.
With something knit circularly, it's much clearer that what you see on the chart is how you knit it, and charts are read always from right to left in circular knitting.
But, in flat knitting, legends *should* say, for instance, next to the purl symbol, that it is purled on the RS and knit on the WS. Knit sts are knit on RS, purled on WS, etc. If it doesn't, email the designer and ask for a clarification. But, even so, when you are on the WS rows, you *know* that what is knit on the RS is the opposite on the WS, and so, even with this info in the legend, you still have to do the mental gymnastics to think in the opposite for the WS rows, as a knit symbol on a WS row means you ahve to purl it, so that is will eb a knit st on the right side of the fabric!