Saturday, November 5, 2011

Change of plans

Well, only part of my family made it yesterday.  New York sister-in-law came down with an ear infection and was forbidden by her doctor to fly, so they will be coming in next weekend instead.  Turkey sister-in-law and her husband are actually in town for a professional conference which doesn't end until Wednesday, so we will only be seeing them sporadically until then.

I was really disappointed yesterday that our weekend of partying with our family got put on hold, but it did give me time to do some more knitting!  I started my first sleeve, and got it up to the armhole shaping.  I love short sleeves - they go so fast!

Since I had time this morning, I decided to do something that's been on my mind for a while:  I made a video!  As I've been knitting this sweater, I've been knitting in my ends where I could - it makes for a lot less work in finishing.  It got me wondering if this is a commonly known technique, and I thought it might be helpful so I wanted to share it.

I had originally planned on just discussing it and linking to some videos that are already out there.  But when I did a search, the only instructions I came up with are different from the way I do it, and seem to me to be much more tedious.  So I went ahead and made my own video.  I've never done this before, and I was kind of nervous!  For one thing, I really can't stand the sound of my own (recorded) voice!  Also, in order to get the correct focus, I had to hold my knitting at arm's length - not the normal posture for knitting!  There are a few sections of the video where I instinctively brought the work closer to my body and thus the focus is a little blurred, but I think it is still clear enough to see what is going on.  I'm hoping this is a useful technique for all you knitters!

I learned this technique probably about 20 years ago from a Kaffe Fassett book.  I think it was Glorious Knitting, but unfortunately all my knitting books and magazines from the 1980s and '90s are in storage, so I can't check.  It was a real revelation!  Anyone who has ever done any kind of colorwork in knitting will tell you that dealing with all the ends can really be a pain.  This technique takes a little bit of practice, but in the end will save a lot of time.

I knit continental (holding the yarn in my left hand) most of the time, but this works English also.  It works best on stockinette fabrics, and can be worked on the knit side or the purl side of the fabric, on flat knitting or in the round.  It's fantastic for stripes, but I've also used it for stranded knitting and even intarsia.

So, here we go:


  1. Sorry to hear about the aborted plans for the week end.
    Hurray that you had knit time.
    Great video, it was in focus, concise in content, and with a well modulated voice. [even though you may cringe at the sound of your own voice]
    PLUS, I can use this info as I am attempting some colorwork fingerless mitts.

  2. Oh no, I can't see the video :(

  3. Oh no - I can't see it now either! I don't know what happened! I'm so sorry! I'll try to fix it tomorrow.

  4. What a great technique! Thanks for sharing! (I was a little distracted by your nails, but was able to focus once the magic started!) I can knit both English and Continental, but find myself knitting English more as it was what I first learned. I need to do more Continental knitting though as it is much more efficient.

  5. That's so funny! When I was training to be a Montessori teacher, the trainer said NOT to wear nail polish, because the children would get distracted when the lesson was being given. Guess she was right!

  6. I think you would've been fine as long as you steered clear of fabulous, shiny, stamped nails. :)

  7. I didn't ;-) And my kids loved my "funky nails" as they called them. Of course, that was in the dark ages before nail stamping!

  8. You did a *fabulous* job, Gail! Your voice sounds great to me! It was super-clear and helpful. I don't know why I don't do it this way but will try it for sure on my next project.

  9. Thanks, SKP! I think it's just the discrepancy between what one's voice sounds like from inside as opposed to how it sounds to everyone else! It's never the same!


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