A Crafts Community For Craft Ideas & DIY Projects - Craftster.org
Help | About | Contact | Press | Advertise | Terms | Site Map
Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
Random Tip: You can get cheap (and legal! Wink) advertising by donating a challenge prize! Go here for more info.
Total Members: 299,184
Currently Running With Scissors:
652 Guests and 13 Users
Home Craftster Community Crafting Articles Craft Tutorials My Craftster Crafting Calendar City Guides Craft Shop


Pages: [1] 2  All
Jump to page:
  Show Images Only     Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Topic: Gauge or General Advice???  (Read 621 times)
Tags for this thread:  Add new tag
Share the love... Pin it Submit to reddit add to Wists
1+
 
Indecisive Monkey
Offline Offline

Posts: 273
Joined: 01-Feb-2007
Dragon Slayer Sam - Killer of Beasts


View Profile
« on: June 26, 2011 10:57:41 AM »

So my boyfriends mum gave me one skein of beautiful cotton yarn that fades from pink through orange to green and back again. It's gorgeous!!! She also bought be a set of bamboo needles (which are really nice but short)

I want to make this pattern: http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEff10/KSPATTkink.php

The only problem is that I've never completed a knitting project on my own before, and the last time I knit was in grade ten. Now it's four years later, and I don't have my mum around to help me out since I'm not living at home. I've got some disgusting neon orange synthetic wool (trust me, this stuff is hideous) which a friend had a HUGE amount of and said I could practise with.

So that's what I'm doing, but I'm having a lot of problems with gauge, and the whole project in general.

I guess I'm just looking for some advice. How does a knitting newbie even go about keeping tension constant? Has anyone completed this specific pattern and have any advice?

Thanks for any help!
Sam
THIS ROCKS   Logged
soozeq
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2011 07:10:19 AM »

Even tension comes with practice, so it's good you've got some 'practice' yarn to work on. If it's not too bad, washing the finished item helps even out the sts a lot, so you can also see what happens then on your practice pieces. Things don't always look that great right on the needles anyway, it's the finishing techniques that make them all look 'picture perfect'. Finding a comfortable way to hold your yarn and needles and making small movements with the hands close to your needles helps as well. Don't try to knit looser or tighter than your natural tension, just let the yarn flow through your fingers.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

sue
Indecisive Monkey
Offline Offline

Posts: 273
Joined: 01-Feb-2007
Dragon Slayer Sam - Killer of Beasts


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2011 08:54:45 AM »

This morning after I read your post, I sat down and decided to just knit, because it was practise yarn after all. You were right about everything!!! Once I got comfortable and found a rhythm everything started coming together really well! Thanks so much for the advice  Smiley



I've never heard that washing could even out stitches before. I think I will definitely try that out after I'm done this one. It's not too too bad, but it's lumpy, so here's hoping it will be helped.

Thanks again!
Sam
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Annchen
Yarrrn...
Offline Offline

Posts: 2144
Joined: 13-Aug-2007

Yarn keeps me sane(ish)


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2011 12:24:04 PM »

Lace is like magic, it doesn't look like much on the needles but after washing and pinning it out (also known as blocking) it opens up and looks its best. Here are some advice for blocking different kinds of fibre: http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter02/FEATdiyknitter.html

You'll find that the cotton behaves a bit differently than your practice synthetic yarn. It's less forgiving in some ways and the yarn doesn't have the same stretch and bounce as acrylic or wool yarn. Cotton can get a bit heavy when wet, but since it's such a small item you should be able to just wash it and then pin it out on a suitable surface. (do you have an ironing board?)

Steam blocking is fun too... I pin out small finished objects on my ironing board, shaping them as I want them. I then hold my iron set on low heat and steam over the item and steam it without touching the surface. Fun Smiley
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Indecisive Monkey
Offline Offline

Posts: 273
Joined: 01-Feb-2007
Dragon Slayer Sam - Killer of Beasts


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2011 12:39:13 PM »

Well that was part of the problem!! I didn't realise that I was knitting lace at the bottom (never dealt with a yo before), so I thought it was my end stitches stretching out and being weird. Once I got far enough in to the piece that I realised it was supposed to be doing that I felt dumb.

Thanks a bunch for the link. I've never blocked anything so it will definitely come in handy. I don't have an ironing board in my apartment but I do at my parents house, so next time I go to visit I'll take some time to block out my scarf. Steaming sounds like a good method. Less up to chance than just washing...Hmmmm. Well it's something to think about once I've finished.

I've heard of blocking, but never really heard people talk much about doing it. Do you block everything you knit? Or just tricksy things?

Sam
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Annchen
Yarrrn...
Offline Offline

Posts: 2144
Joined: 13-Aug-2007

Yarn keeps me sane(ish)


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2011 01:05:19 PM »

It depends on what I knit. For bigger things like sweaters that are supposed to be sewn together it really pays off to block the pieces before starting to sew. It's so much easier with nice and even stitches, and if one piece is a bit shorter it can be fixed by stretching it when blocking.

For lace it's a must. It's so much fun to block lace shawls!

Socks - meh... They are blocked to fit my feet when I put them on! And when I knit little stuffies they don't really need washing or blocking. They're done when I've sewn them shut and embelished them.

So I guess just tricksy things and things that will look less wonky when blocked. And if it's a gift it's nice to wash and block it, whatever it is. Just to make it look as pretty as it can.
THIS ROCKS   Logged
soozeq
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2011 06:10:58 AM »

Even with cotton yarns, I recommend you run the item through the dryer instead of pinning out. Not till bone dry, but leave them in until dampish. Then you can pin out. Even with lace, it'll still open up. But definitely wash and dry the acrylic piece.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

sue
Indecisive Monkey
Offline Offline

Posts: 273
Joined: 01-Feb-2007
Dragon Slayer Sam - Killer of Beasts


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2011 07:49:22 AM »

Annchen - I've read through that link about blocking and it sounds like it will be super useful. As this scarf thing gets longer it's starting to curl but I get the impression that blocking will do away with that (my first scarf I ever knit ended up looking like a tube when I finished - I wish I had known about blocking then!!)

soozeq - I will for sure wash and dry the acrylic piece, and I might pin it out to try my hand at blocking before I move on to my nice wool. Washing the cotton would be easier for me, because I use a laundromat, and can't really monopolise their iron/ironing board for a day to steam my knitting. But reading that page on blocking has made me a little aprehensive. It says that cotton is really weak when wet. I don't want to break it (....can one break knitting?)

I don't really have anywhere I could pin my knitting down, or even any pins for that matter. The link that Annchen posted had a mini-tutorial on how to make a blocking board. Is it worth it to make my own blocking board, or should I buy one?

Also, thanks again to both of you for being so helpful. I'm feeling really good about how all of this will turn out in the end Smiley
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Annchen
Yarrrn...
Offline Offline

Posts: 2144
Joined: 13-Aug-2007

Yarn keeps me sane(ish)


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2011 01:21:09 AM »

I'm pretty sure you will not break it... Smiley

I don't own a blocking board, but I want to make one someday... I've blocked a baby cardigan on a towel on the couch. I used the towel to make sure the couch wouldn't get too damp and to help me make sure I wouldn't lose any pins and later find them with my backside. I pinned through the towel and down in the couch. For my latest large shawl project I put a thick blanket and a bedsheet on out bed and then pinned it down there. We were going away so I could leave it there for a couple of days. I bought long pins with large yellow heads for that one, and they worked really well.

My mother in law helped me block another shawl and her trick was to use a large blanket in the bottom, then a damp sheet, then the shawl (dry). We pinned it out and folded the other half of the damp sheet over it. The blanket-shawl-sandwich could be moved after that so we could stash it away and clear the dinner table. I left it until dry and it blocked beautifully. That shawl was made from alpaca fibre, but I imagine it would work well with wool too.
THIS ROCKS   Logged
soozeq
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2011 06:13:01 AM »

Don't worry about breaking it, you'd have to pull and stretch really hard to do so, and it's not necessary to stretch block something that's not lace. Pinning out acrylic won't do anything to it really, so don't expect a change. If your piece is knit in stockinette and there's no edges in a different stitch, it's going to curl no matter what you do to it, or which fiber it is - that's just how stockinette st is due to its construction. You can buy interlocking foam mats to use as a blocking board, but for acrylic or cotton it's not necessary to pin stretch to block, just a wash and dry will even out the sts.

See this article on Why stockinette st by itself curls - http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2007/03/mysteries-of-knitting-part-1-tale-of.html
THIS ROCKS   Logged

sue
Threads you might like:
Pages: [1] 2  All Jump to page:
  Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
 
Jump to:  



FacebookTwitterPinterest
only results with images
include swap threads
advanced search



your ad could be here!

How-To Videos
How to Make a Paper Mache Fishwichwich
How to Make a Paper Mache Pig
How to Make a 4-Minute Dragon
Green man goat sculpture
Green man goat painting
Latest Blog Articles
Handmade Gift Ideas: Hippogriff
Handmade Gift Ideas: Exploding Needle Box
Handmade Gift Ideas: Japanese Shibori Dyeing

Comparison Shopping




Support Craftster
Become a
Friend of Craftster

Buy Craftster Swag
Buy Craft Supplies
Comparison Shopping

Craftster heartily thanks the following peeps...
Moderators

Follow Craftster...






Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

Copyright ©2003-2014, Craftster.org an Internet Brands company.