I was very happy to have a whole day knitting with the lovely Ann Kingstone at a stranded knitting course at Spun shop in Huddersfield recently.
The course covered the basics of stranded knitting, but also included the scary art of steeking (eeek!) and applied i-cord. If that wasn’t enough complicated information to absorb at the weekend I had to start with figuring out crochet cast on.
I’m frankly a lazy knitter, and usually stick to my long tail method of casting on as its so far served me well. So if I was going to do a temporary cast on it would be with waste yarn so I could just unpick it later. But with Ann leading the course I was not about to be that lazy. And actually it not that difficult – its just crocheting a chain over a knitting needle which takes the stitch – I should learn to be less lazy!
So here’s the work in progress and the finished result!
Ann has some great clips on her website for some of the techniques, which frankly are too complicated to try to describe. Especially by a knitter who is still a bit overwhelmed by stranded knitting and all that goes with it! (though I am tempted to have a go at a sweater soon)
So here is the project which I started in the class and managed to finish that night.
Firstly stranded knitting is not something I do often due to the terrible results I’ve had in the past so learning a technique to get the tension right was my first lesson. Yarn in two hands, are you kidding me?!
Once the main bit was finished it was time to steek – or take a pair of scissors to the knitting that has taken the best part of 5 hours to create. Anne cut it for me as the fear of it all unravelling was too much to bear!
As you can see, if you knit a design in the round you need to create a small panel of extra stitches which can be cut into and then folded behind. Hence the column of red and green stitches.This also helps with carrying across the second colours in each line so you don’t have huge floating stitches at the back of your work.
Oh good god its unravelling !!!
From here the first job was to get the top edge, still on my needles finished with an applied I-cord and then unpick the cast on edge, pick up the stitches and applied I-cord that end too.
In this photo I have also stabilised the work by crocheting a yellow set of stitches between the design and the extra column of stitches which are there for steeking. This prevents it unravelling (any further) and also adds and edge for where the edge of the work will be folded behind.
Don’t do the stablising stitches too close to the edge of the actual design as for this cup holder I then needed to pick up stitches between the design and the crocheted line to then create an I-cord edge. This naturally folds over the waste bit of knitting behind.