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I am a neo-Victorian Steampunk Goth. I am a professional seamstress working in Las Vegas at "Le Reve," and an avid knitter. My friend and I have recently launched a podcast about Las Vegas, Knitting, and our educational experiences with both. My Ravelry username is RedQueen. Come friend me!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Section One -- First swatches

OK! So here is the long description of the following swatches.
<-- Swatch #1. I cast-on using the Knitted-on cast-on, then did a k2p2 rib for several inches. I then switched to garter stitch for 4". Garter in this case is knit every row. When I reached the end of 4", I bound-off using the Traditional Bind-off (k2, slip 1st st over second, k1, pass 1st st over second, etc.). There is a trick I learned to "tidy up" the last stitch of this bind-off: when you reach the end of the row, and have one stitch remaining on the left needle, and one on the right, SLIP the left st onto the right needle. Now, take the tip of your left needle and insert it into the stitch BELOW the last stitch of the row. Slip the slipped stitch back to the left needle, and knit these two sts together. Then, slip the 1st stitch on the right needle over this stitch, and pull your yarn tail through the last stitch to tighten. Voila! Tidy end. Oh, I forgot: I cast-on 20 sts, and at the last row of ribbing, I increased 5 sts. I used the M1 increase between the knit sts of the ribbing (not the purl ribs). The first three ribs, I did a right-slanting M1, and the last two ribs, I used the left-slanting M1. As you can see, the two left rib M1s (and the middle one for some reason) are more obvious. I may have to re-knit this using a different increase, or maybe I just didn't do it properly.

This one ---> is Swatch #2. Same deal as above, only I did k1p1 ribbing, then switched to stockinette. When I reached the last row of ribbing, I increased using the Kfb (knit in front and back of loop) method. This creates a horizontal stitch to the left of the increased stitch, which is nearly invisible in a purl row. So, I increased using this pattern: (there are 10 k ribs, and 10 p ribs) Kfb, p, k, p, kfb, p, k, p, kfb, p, etc. Basically, I increased by 5 sts, by increasing on every other knit rib. As you can see, the increases are virtually invisible. The transition from rib to stockinette is ok, but I'm going to have to check my photo against others that have been accepted. I bound off the same way as above, using Traditional.

<--- This is Swatch #3, seed stitch. A seed stitch is basically off-set k1p1 ribbing, where the knits and purls don't line up. This produces a dense, stiffer fabric that doesn't stretch very much. So I used the Cable Cast-On, which is a fairly inelastic cast-on. You make a slip-stitch, knit into it without dropping off the slip-stitch, and place the new stitch on the left needle beside the slip-stitch. Then, you place the tip of the right needle BETWEEN these two sts and pull a loop through, as if knitting. Place this new stitch on the left needle beside the first two. Now repeat, knitting between the last and second-to-last stitch on your left needle, and placing the new stitch beside the others. Continue until you have the desired number of sts.
I've been warned that "pinpricks" of light should show between the sts in Seed Stitch, when the swatch is held up to the light, but "holes" are unacceptable. I'm a little concerned that I've got some holes.


  1. It's like looking at my swatches, only done in white.

    Guess which swatches I am re-knitting? Yup,the ones that you are posting now. Something about misreading directions (as in doing 4 inches total instead of just in the garter section, etc., and binding off in pattern) got me in trouble. Ah well. I'll definitely be more careful with the next level - assuming I ever get there.

    Your swatches look great!

  2. Thanks! I figured I couldn't know if I'd need to re-knit them until I knit them the first time, so there you go. Good luck! This is loads of educational fun. :)

  3. Fun? Tell me you're joking. I hate swatching. I have your swatch podcast to listen to next. Guess I'll see if you like swatching then.

  4. LOL! Ok, I don't love swatching when it means I have to postpone a project and swatch first. But I don't mind it when it's a swatch for its own sake, like these. HAVING to swatch before you do something cool is poopy.