Figure It Out Friday

After many hours deciphering endless knitting abbreviations; trying to make sense of what exactly I needed to accomplish with my needles and yarn, a revelation enlightened me: I’m not alone! I often feel that knitters everywhere know how to do every stitch possible and I’m the only one left in the dark. And furthermore, just because I figured out an abbreviation once, doesn’t mean I remember what to do when I stumble upon that same cryptic code once again. And so, today, I begin the first of many “Figure It Out Friday’s”. This will be a place where I share my knitting confusions and revelations. Hopefully clarifying the roadblocks I stumble upon in my everyday knitting.

Today’s tutorial is a clarification for English Knitters. I’ve stumbled upon the following series of stitches in lace work: (Yo sl1 k1 psso) This was extremely confusing for me, as I naturally wanted to do the first instruction in the series first! I was forever trying to yarn over at the beginning of this series. What I didn’t realize at the time is that this series of stitches is carried out differently depending upon whether you are an English knitter or a Continental Knitter (threat topic for another Friday).  And rather than write out the instructions, take a peek at today’s video. Hopefully this sheds some insightful light! Follow this link to view today’s Figure It Out Friday tutorial of yo sl1 k1 psso. Hope you got it figured out! Happy Friday! Happy Knitting!

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We’ll Walk In Fields of Gold…

Fields of Gold – sung by Eva Cassidy

This may be my favorite design so far. For many reasons:

  1. Vesatility at its best. Want the infinity look? Button it up. Want a classic scarf look? Unbutton! Love it. Just be certain to use a light weight button so it doesn’t pull and weigh down the whole piece. 
  2. Yummy colors. Cecelia and I had a specific color palette in mind (sunflower fields). Just so happened the perfect colors were sock/fingering weight yarns. I’ve wanted to do something other than socks in sock yarn and this was the perfect project. But because I was looking for more body and structure in the scarf, I decided to double up -two strands at a time. It turned out. Perfect drape without being too limp.
  3. Texture. Just all kinds of goodness going on here. Lace, stockinette, buttons, colors…all without being too much. 
  4. The story. I knew that when this project was dreamed in my thoughts it would be special. Every decision had Haley and her mom in mind. And doubly awesome, I fittingly named this pattern with a favorite song in mind. I was absolutely thrilled to give this to Ms. Fauske.

class scarf unbuttoned

    infinity scarf buttoned

      
      
    Indulge yourself with this great accessory! 

    I Only Have Eyes For You…

    “I can’t see anyone but you” – The Flamingos

    I am an unashamed monogomous knitter. Call me a one project kinda girl and I will stand up and raise my hand proudly. Why? Life proves to be less convoluted. My head stays clearer when I dedicate my undivided attention to one project. I’m not having to try to remember where I was or what I was doing. I get into a groove and just knit. No worries of one project turning out better than the other. No jealousy. No envy. Just me and my project. A perfect love story. I’m not saying my eyes don’t wander every once in a while. I do find myself occasionally temptated by a gorgeous new yarn, or fabulous pattern; but those moments are fleeting. One look at the current project and I’m reminded of how far I’ve come and how satisfying it will be to hold the finished project.

    Then there’s today. Today I finished a project. Today I also picked up an unfinished project that had been set aside due to something more pressing. And this is why I’m reminded I should never do it again. The internal dialogue went something like this: Where was I? What was I doing? How many knit stitches do I need? Urgggg! I detest this feeling of starting over. Perhaps I should take better notes. Perhaps I should be more organized. Perhaps I should just remain a one project knitter. 

     
    The Fields Of Gold pattern is on its way. Just as soon as I finish this other project…

      

    Somewhere OVER The Rainbow…

    “That’s where you’ll find me…” – Somewhere Over The Rainbow

    Yarn over (YO). I have been a very mechanical knitter: I look at the pattern, I follow each instruction, and without any accompanying creative wonderings I move the yarn to the front. Until now. 

    I’ve recently been dabbling in some lace patterns and have continuously found an error, or something that “just didn’t seem right”. I would take out the yarn, start over, follow the instructions and again, the same error. Always occurring right at the YO. And so, I forced myself to think. Why does this keep happening? What’s wrong? I’m doing exactly what it says. Why? Why? Why? 

    A yarn over often occurs in this fashion: yo, sl1(slip 1 stitch), k1 (knit 1 stitch), psso (pass the slipped stitch over the stitch you just knit).   This was the particular yarn over that kept getting me in trouble. I investigate. And I realize one thing: the yarn needs to stay in the front! Seems simple, but here’s what I was doing:

    • Yo – I would bring the yarn between the two needles to the front as though to purl
    • Sl st- With the yarn still in the front, I slipped the next stitch over to the right needle.
    • Knit – I moved the working yarn to the back and knit the next stitch. WRONG!

    DISCLAIMER: this pertains to English style Knitters. For us “throwers” a yarn over can’t stand alone. It relies upon the following stitch. Once this next stitch is completed, the yarn over now becomes a secured newly made stitch and when knitted on the way back; it creates a space in your work. Because a yarn over needs an accompanying stitch to be functional, and I always treated the sl1 as the accompanying stitch, my method gave incorrect results. In this series of stitches [yo, sl1, k1, psso] the accompanying stitch is the k1, not the sl1. I needed to keep my yarn to the front even after I slipped the stitch so that the yarn still remained in the front AND THEN I could complete the yo WITH the k1.  

    This might explain better…
    Problem solved. I am enlightened!

    My yarn over troubles are no more and I began a new project. This project; unfortunately, comes with sad circumstances. Our little Norwegian community lost a very young life in October. She happened to be the 18 year old daughter of Cecelia’s kindergarten teacher. It was a car accident, explained only by the lack of wearing a seat belt. Like all daughters, Haley was a bright sunshine in her mom’s life and had a special fondness for sunflowers, among all things outdoors. Mrs. Fauske regularly adorns herself with scarves and so Cecelia and I thought a sunflower inspired scarf might be a comforting gift. 

    I have sung for many funerals. It’s never an easy thing to do, but has proven much more difficult for me since having children of my own. This funeral tugged at my heart in a way none have before. And as I sang Somewhere Over The Rainbow, all thoughts of my own kids flooded my eyes. Unstoppable tears and a lump in my throat. The loss of a child…so unfair, so soon, so sad. I’m indulging my day with the munchkins I love.  The same munchkins whom I too often let add stress to my day, rather than welcome the joy they bring. Mrs. Fauske wants more minutes with Haley. I’m indulging myself with these precious minutes. Hope you do the same.