Showing posts with label Open Cast - On. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Open Cast - On. Show all posts

Friday, 4 May 2012

Design Digest: Ammonite - Part I

Ammonite and the Grey Cone...

If you are reading this post, I suppose you have seen Ammonite on Ravelry or on Flickr and you might want to know a little more about the design process and my inspiration for the pattern. Perhaps you have merely stumbled upon this blog because you are interested in knitwear design or maybe good, old Google directed you to this page because you are interested in fossils.

If you are looking for fossil - related information (and I don't mean the knitted kind), I have to disappoint you, as I am going to talk about a knitting pattern and, unless you are interested in knitting, what follows will not be a great deal of help to you.

So, Ammonite...It's probably best to start at the beginning. Roughly a year ago I was browsing in a local charity shop and found a cone of grey DK - weight yarn. There was no further information regarding the identity of the yarn, only a label inside the cone stating it was an acrylic / wool mix (30% wool, 70% acrylic). Having done a bit of research, I now believe that the yarn was manufactured by Yeoman Yarns in Yorkshire, an interesting yarn manufacturer, especially for the thrifty knitters amongst us. Yeoman's yarns come wrapped around cones, presumably targeting machine knitters. (And the big advantage of yarn on cones is of course the fact that you won't run out of yarn during your project.)

Mietze inspecting 

As this poor, grey cone was looking a little lonely, I decided to buy it at a bargain price together with two others, one in heather and another in a light creamy brown. The lovely people at the shop must have been glad to see them go and included a pair of knitting needles at the till. 

Here I was with my yarn bargains. I took them home, where they were subjected to the usual "scratch and sniff " inspection by a member of the feline quality control squad. 

Grey Cone and Friends

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The Provisional Cast - On - ... my way

A few months ago, one of my knitting projects required a provisional cast - on.  Sometimes this technique is also referred to as an 'invisible' or 'open-cast-on. Whilst I had understood the concept behind the technique, i.e. utilising a string of scrap yarn that upon its removal will leave the knitter with "live" stitches, which can be picked up again at a later point, I was utterly confused after watching a few instructional videos.

Thoroughly bewildered and at the same time encouraged by the wonderful Mrs Zimmermann’s mantra that there is simply no wrong or right way of knitting, I decided to go ahead and experiment. In the end, I am pleased to report  that the method I devised worked just fine and, even though a little cumbersome at first sight, it might provide others with a way out of the confusion.

Here are the step by step instructions:

Provisional cast - on: Step 1

Step 1: Tie a piece of scrap yarn, preferably in a contrasting colour, to your knitting needle as shown in the above image.

Provisional cast - on: Step 2

Step 2: Proceed to cast on as many stitches as required in whichever way you like. (I used the long tail cast on.) The stitches should wrap around the needle and the scrap yarn at the same time.

Provisional cast - on: Step 3

Step 3: Continue to knit as many rows as required. The scrap yarn is sitting comfortably at the bottom of the knitted piece, enclosed by a row of live stitches.

Provisional cast - on: Step 4

Step 4: Insert the needle into the row of live stitches using the scrap yarn as a guide. Once this step has been completed, the scrap yarn can be removed and the live stitches are ready to be knit as required.
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