Sunday, November 13, 2016

Joyride tricks

Earlier this year I knitted the Joyride cardigan, a DROPS pattern, and I blogged about it here.
I changed bits of it here and there, I used DROPS Lima yarn instead of their Karisma, slightly changed the color scheme.  Note: the DROPS alpaca yarns are on sale until the end of december, so this is the best time to try something like this--- (this was the place for unpaid advertisement- :-) ) 
I have not posted much about the details, but recently I was asked to post some pictures of the backside. So here you go, added with a bit of advice on Fair Isle knitting
The sweaeter has a round shoulder, or yoke, decorated with a simple motive, and I think the color selectiona nd the simplicity of the shape adds up to its charm. 
 Here is the motive a from closer.
Even though it is bigger chunks of colors, and the colorful patches farther away, at some places there are as much as 14 stitches between colorchanges, this sweater is not knitted with the Intarsia technique, but the fair isle, Look at it from the backside. You can see that the strands colors, that are not used are on the back side, behind the live stitches. 
There are many techniques and gadgets to knit stranded or fair isle, I knit it with using both of my hands. To do this, you need a bit of practice to knit "English style" or throwing. Not only Google is our friend, but YouTube as well.  There are tons of videos on anything, this topc is no exception. Here is one that explains the beasic difference between the two. And here is one that demonstrates English style a bit more closely. (If you look for the search word "two handed fair isle knitting" or something similar, there are dozens of useful videos)
And here is one that shows you, how to knit two colors carrying them in two hands.
One thing that is important, that you don't change hands, in other words, you hold the base color in one hand, and always in that hand, and you hold the pattern color in your other hand and always in that other hand. Depending on which hand holds the yarn, it comes up from under or from the upper side, and this makes the given color sllightly rise up from the knitting, emphasizing the color more. This is even more important when you knit an overall fair isle pattern on an item.I usually hold the base color in my left and and knit that continental, and teh contraszt, or pattern color in the right hand, knitting it English style.
The "floats" those yarns that are carried behind the work are easy to handly until they have to cross about up to five stitches, for me six at the most. More than that they are too long, look messy and can get caught up in things like buttons, or jewlery when you take the item on or off. To make it look and feel tidier, and help keeping the tension more even, it helps if we "weave" these floads in, or catch them in out knitting. In this close up you can see the tiny gray spots that hold down the petrol blue floats of yarns. 
This is a pretty good video and this one is useful too. In YouTube using the keyword "catching floats in fair isle" or "weaving in in fair isle" will bring you tons of video results.
One thing that is important: do not catch the floats at the same place , it creates a column, that shows trough on the right side, always displace them a couple of stitches, n subsequent rows. 

Another problem I had with this sweater was: what to do with the button band, how to handle the colored yarns. The pattern does not have a ready answer to that, 
Here is what I did: I took the yarn to the stitch right next to the buttonband and twisted the base color (gray) and the colored yarn thightly togerher,just before or after the buttonband stitches, just like I would do, if I knitted Intarsia. 
 As I mentioned in my original post about this sweater, if I would knit this again, I would knit it without the button band and then pick up stitches across the fron edge and knit the butonbands that way.
This is a great sweater, I hope these little tricks were helpful.


kristieinbc said...

It's such a beautiful sweater! The bright colours in the yoke must be very cheerful on cold, dark winter days. I do Fair Isle the same way as you - holding the yarn in two hands. I always have to go back and refresh my memory though about which hand I should be holding the main yarn in, and which the contrast yarn.

Judith B said...

I am writing you to say I will be in Budapest (12th district) for Christmas
, returning to Boston (USA) on January 5th. I wonder if you could tell me of any
fibre events happening at that time. I knit, spin, and do bobbin lace, and if you are available it would be fun to meet you. I speak French, English, and Esperanto. I will be visiting my sister who is writing a book on Semmelweis. Looking forward to hearing from you. Judith Bastianelli
Thank you.

peony said...

Judith, please write to me at anett dot veg at gmail dot com
I do not know any particular event at that time, but we usually organize some get together in a cafe somewhere between Xmas and New years.