Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fair Isle knitting -- joining the round

Now that you have cast on your stitches, you have to join it into a round and this can be tricky.  I'm going to give specific directions and later you can figure out your own way.

And I have to apologize to lefties because I can only give instructions for a righty.

First, you have to find the end of yarn that leads to your skein and follow it to the needle.

Now turn the last thread on the needle until that yarn points to your right.

Clamp the fingers of your right hand on it.

Now with your left hand, follow the cast-on stitches around the tether of the needle, pushing them toward your right hand and curving the tether into a circle with an opening at the top where the nickel-plated points are.  Make sure that all the stitches are at the inside of the circle and the whole sort of seam that joins them is on the outside, and THERE ARE NO TWISTS IN THE SEAM. 

You will transfer the stitches toward your right hand as you check out the seam.  You will have to rotate the cast-on stitches to remove twists from the "seam".

When you get to the left point of the needle, then knit the first stitch from the end of the left point onto the start of the right point, using the yarn that goes to the skein. 

Now re-check that the seam is completely smooth with no twists.  If you find twists, unknit that first stitch again and smooth it.  This is a crucial step because if you twist your yarn you will never be able to set it right later.

This video sort of shows what I mean.  If it looks as if she's knitting with two strands of yarn, well, she simply has a very long strand of scrap yarn.  She actually knits with the yarn that connects to the skein.

Also notice that she puts her marker on before she knits that first stitch.  I tend not to use ring markers.  I use a strand of yarn in a contrasting color that I work up through the rows on both sides so that I know where to start the armholes.

Phew!  It will take you many pieces of knitting before this starts seeming natural.  But you can't knit in the round without doing this step right.  That includes tube sweaters as well as fitted socks on double-point needles.

BUT HOW DO YOU KNIT?  Well, follow the example in the video and next lesson I'll talk you through the knit stitch.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

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