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Topic: Trouble with alpaca fiber  (Read 449 times)
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Casstasstrophe
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« on: October 23, 2007 04:46:16 PM »

So I'm pretty novice with knitting (learned this July) but I have done a lot of knitting in the short time and have been quite pleased with each and every project that I have finished with zero problems with the patterns. However, I am having a ton of problems with my latest project.

  I decided to tackle the easy, peasy "silk sleeves" pattern from One Skien. Instead of using the recommended silk /mohair fingering weight yarn, I substituted alpaca fingering weight yarn. It has been a nightmare to knit with. I have had to completely frog the project twice now, the last time with literally the very last stitch. My problem is that I end up dropping a stitch and find that it is impossible to pick it back up. I try frogging back just a couple of rows but I cannot get the stitches back on my needles. For now I have given up on this project and after the second disaster I almost gave up on knitting entirely (don't worry, since then I have about created about 10 FO's).

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Is it the alpaca fiber or does this problem occur frequently with fingering weight and fine gauges? Maybe I have over extended my capabilities with this pattern but it really seems like it should be extremely easy.

I would really love to complete this project because 1. I love the yarn. It's so soft and warm against my skin. And 2. My office is freezing! They keep the thermostat at 68 degrees and I freeze to death.

Help!!!
« Last Edit: October 23, 2007 04:58:05 PM by Casstasstrophie » THIS ROCKS   Logged

knittinfiasco
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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2007 05:04:22 PM »

It's not so much the fiber as the equipment.  It's easier to pick up that many stitches with a smaller needle.

You will greatly benefit from looking at www.knittinghelp.com's Fixing Mistakes section (under basic techniques-->misc.-->scroll down).  Look at fixing a run/dropped stitch and learn to use a lifeline. Smiley
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Caclark4
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2007 08:31:59 PM »

If you are having a problem with dropping stitches, have you also considered using a life line?  When you have a row that you know is done right, thread a piece of spare yarn through the row and knit as usual.  This way if you have to frog, you'll just frog back to that one row that you know your project is correct till.  Just keep moving that lifeline up as you have those perfect rows.

It also may help to count, count, count.  It is tedious at first but the time that it saves when you don't have to frog all the time is worth it.
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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2007 08:33:29 PM »

Also, if you are having trouble getting the stitches back on your needle, you can either downsize a couple to get them on easier, or else run a "lifeline" (not sure if it is exactly the same as an actual lifeline but...) through your stitchs a few rows or cm's down; thread a blunt yarn needle with a smooth yarn; cotton is good for this. Then, following the row, go underneath one of the legs of each stitch all the way around. Rip down to the row and all the stitches should be on there; slip them back onto your needle and either re-orient them as you are doing it or knit into the front/back of the loop as appropriate, depending on which leg you used.

If you find it awkward runnning up a dropped stitch with a needle you could also use a smallish crochet hook.

oops, great minds Caclark4
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Caclark4
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2007 08:36:16 PM »

Also, if you are having trouble getting the stitches back on your needle, you can either downsize a couple to get them on easier, or else run a "lifeline" (not sure if it is exactly the same as an actual lifeline but...) through your stitchs a few rows or cm's down; thread a blunt yarn needle with a smooth yarn; cotton is good for this. Then, following the row, go underneath one of the legs of each stitch all the way around. Rip down to the row and all the stitches should be on there; slip them back onto your needle and either re-orient them as you are doing it or knit into the front/back of the loop as appropriate, depending on which leg you used.

If you find it awkward runnning up a dropped stitch with a needle you could also use a smallish crochet hook.

oops, great minds Caclark4

LOL...at least I wasn't the only one who thought of this...
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Casstasstrophe
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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2007 06:04:51 PM »

Such excellent ideas! A lifeline is definitely going to become part of my knitting routine. I can't believe I never even thought about using a smaller needle to pick up the stitches. One of those, "you're going to be an engineer?" moments.

Thanks for the link knittinfiasco. It's been bookmarked and I've already learned great ideas for changing yarns.

I only wish I would have consulted with these boards before frog #2.
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