A bit of holding 4: intarsia and more

Picture knitting / intarsia may at times be achieved using holding techniques. As in any such knitting, supplies include extras such as bobbins, clothespins or weighted clips, but no separate carriage. If the ribber is in use and one is working on a large piece, ribber covers allow the yarns to hang in front of the ribber bed.

Some of the rules for accomplishing this using short rows: it is helpful to work from a chart. Two row sequences are required, so having the working chart double length makes the process easier to visualize. “Follow” knitting direction with any tool to determine that the pattern is executable, with no long floats or slits.

The bottom of any diagonal lines is always knit first.

Needles are brought out to hold on the carriage side, pushed back into work opposite the carriage; one exception to this rule is if “automatic wrapping” is used. In the latter one less needle is brought into hold than needed opposite the carriage, the row is knit, then with the carriage on the alternate side the first needle in hold next to stitches just knit is brought out to hold, resulting in a “wrap” and correcting the count to the desired number. Any number of needles may be pushed back into work at any time. More than single stitches brought to hold on the carriage side will produce floats.

When knitting shapes the only needles in work are those being worked to create that shape.

Base rows of knitting, whether in waste yarn or as part of the pattern, are needed prior to working in hold.

Remember that you are working on the purl side, so any image will be flipped horizontally on the knit side. Reverse chart horizontally before working it if direction matters.

Begin with a simple shape. Letters indicate knitting sequence for short row sections. Patterning in these charts begins with COR, bold lines separate areas of plain knitting, letters indicate order for executing short row segments. The fabric produced lies flat, with no noticeable 3D protrusions.

screenshot_08

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screenshot_07marking sequences with numbers is easier for me to follow; color changes help define segments, do not reflect final colors in design diamond_29

diamond_sequence

a super mini swatch: holes are typical both in intarsia and in short rows if no wrapping occursIMG_2439be prepared to weave in a lot of yarn endsIMG_2901going larger, note “steps” created when larger number of needle groups are used500_717stripes500_716more complex geometry:  line drawing on “graph paper”complex_30the start of color placement screenshot_01sequence for executing segments at completion of designcomplex_number_01in actual knitting the pattern must be elongated X2

I find it helpful to use familiar yarn and to work variations of a familiar shape prior to taking on more complex patterns. Below is a cousin of the first shape illustrated in this post, with pattern worked beginning COL, repeated across the row, increments in number of stitches worked in short rows, but mirrorred on both shape sides (shown in first swatch segment).

screenshot_01filling in to produce a flat fabric, with straight sides: bottom segmentscreenshot_02top segmentscreenshot_04the amended chartscreenshot_05

Some of the same shapes may be placed on a shaped edge. The repeat will likely need some editing; arrows indicate direction of knitting for that row. If the background color is used for casting on and binding off, then the isolated shape floats on the ground, and the horizontal line of contrast color is eliminated.

screenshot_18edge 1creating an outline of shape with Color 1screenshot_23edge_21

horizontal rotation to achieve “leaf” shapescreenshot_05melding shapesno wrap_28don’t like wrapping? for smaller holes offset return to work position upper half of shape by one needle less at the start, added at endno wrap_28knitting direction leaf_25stacking shapes, with bound off stitchesstacking leaves

combo_2934

combo_2935

the yarn used is an acrylic, so pressing helps to make the shapes lie flat. Once again, using wool or any other yarn with “memory” will result in considerable curl at side ant top and bottom of knit piece, so that is a consideration in putting in the effort. The more striping, the more yarn ends to weave in and row counts to watch. Using space dyed or sock yarns may produce pleasing though unplanned stripe patterns in any of the shapes. My samples are not resolved final fabrics. There are many inspiring patterns available for purchase or at times free on the internet for hand knitting, usually in garter stitch as well as holding, resulting in a nearly square gauge, flat lying knit.

Taking it to garments: accessories are easiest, since gauge may not be significant. Shawl shapes in HK are often knit on circular needles, without the constraint of the fixed number of needles on any particular model KM. Sometimes, with adjustments, the same shapes may be rotated sideways on the KM. Segment sizes may differ due to the resulting change in gauge. Sampling techniques and shapes in smaller versions helps work out the kinks.

Sources for inspiration: large scale shapes

http://www.garnstudio.com/pattern.php?id=7365&cid=17
http://www.garnstudio.com/pattern.php?id=7543&cid=17
http://www.garnstudio.com/pattern.php?id=7375&cid=17
http://www.garnstudio.com/pattern.php?id=7099&cid=17
http://www.garnstudio.com/pattern.php?id=6729&cid=17
http://www.garnstudio.com/pattern.php?id=6333&cid=17
http://www.garnstudio.com/pattern.php?id=6001&cid=17

more details, varying concentration and placement

free pattern
http://www.garnstudio.com/pattern.php?id=7606&cid=17

for purchase on ravelry
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/endless-rainbow
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rigoles
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/dreambird-kal
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/scarf-with-flames
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/phoenix-wing—phoenix-flugel
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/spring-plumage
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/hundertwasser-neptunia
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/swingtrelac

A bit of holding 3: shape variations and more

Hand knit spiraling shawls and shawlettes often involve shaping on every row. Increasing essentially requires casting on one or more stitches. Below are cast on illustrations from varied sources I used in handouts in my intro to knitting classesscreenshot_19 (1)

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A simple decrease occurs when the last stitch on either side is transferred moving away from the carriage, the empty needle is placed out of work, and the row is knit.

edge increaseThis illustration shows a fully fashioned version, which gives an edge that makes seaming easier and more attractive, and eliminates the small bumps usually seen along decrease edges, the process adds to knitting time involved in finishing the piece. Decreases may be made on every row.ff_decrease2

Simple increases: a factor that is often first noticed when approaching seaming is that the carriage side creates loops, while opposite the carriage one gets what looks like a knot, both alternate as starting position of the carriage swaps sides. To speed things up for single increases, one alternative is to bring an empty needle into work on the carriage side. This creates an elongated loop rather than a full stitch. Unless intended as a design feature, the edge is not the best one for seaming. A better looking increase is created by putting a needle into work opposite the carriage. For a “good edge”  two rows minimum of knitting need to occur prior to the next increase. Continuing on the thread begun in the last 2 posts, I experimented with every row increases and came up with what I consider a reasonable compromise. The method for increases on right edge:
*COR: bring an empty needle into work on the carriage side, knit a row. Insert transfer tool into loop created as shown, turn toward carriage (in this case clockwise), essentially creating an e wrap, hang on adjacent empty needle hook.

increase every row

COL knit to right*, repeat *  *

In the previous 2 posts’ samples I did not wrap any needles. Wrapping in both directions can create an interesting line along the center of the “leaf” or “other” shapes, seen in the photo below

experiment small

Interpreting hand knit patterns for use on the machine requires translations of some of the vocabulary and directions given. If an edge stitch is made in garter or slip stitch variations, disregard and simply add it to the total number of stitches on the segment of the needle bed that is being worked on. Wrap and turn is executed by wrapping the yarn around the adjacent needle in hold prior to knitting back to opposite side

2: knit <-                  1: wrap COR            1: wrap COL                2: knit -> both

pw2: picking up wraps and knitting them together happens when needles with wrapped loop and stitch behind it are brought back into work.

Terminology may vary in self published patterns, some are accompanied by very good tutorials. Ravelry HK searches can provide inspiration for many a holding technique variations. Other terms to look for in image and pattern searches include swing knitting, and on occasion, tapestry knitting.