13 Jan

tutorial – how to pick up a dropped stitch

How to pick up a dropped stitch - by La Visch Designs

It happens to all of us: dropping a stitch in the middle of your knitting… When using a somewhat sticky yarn it’s usually just a matter of placing the stitch back on the needle and continue as before. When using a smooth, slippery yarn, it can however be that the dropped stitch runs down in your work, leaving a wake loose threads behind. The same can happy with a less smooth yarn, if it isn’t detected at first that a certain stitch has escaped from the needles.

Don’t panic, though! Picking up a dropped stitch in plain knitting like stockinette or garter stitch really isn’t that hard. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to pick up a dropped stitch. All you need is a crochet hook in size similar or a tad smaller than the size knitting needles used.

Pick up a dropped stitch step-by-step

1. First, get your crochet hook and catch that run-away stitch before it runs down even further! Pay attention to the stitch itself and the one directly below: see that it has a purl bump directly below the captured stitch? This means that in this swatch (in garter stitch) the next stitch to be worked is to be a knit stitch. For that reason, I insert my crochet hook from the front to the back through the stitch.

How to pick up a dropped stitch - by La Visch Designs

2. Next, grab the loose thread directly above and pull it through the first stitch on the hook.

How to pick up a dropped stitch - by La Visch Designs

3. In this picture you see how this looks once the crochet hook has been removed. Now, if we were picking up a dropped stitch in stockinette fabric we would just repeat steps 1 and 2. We are, however working in garter stitch, so a few more steps are needed.

How to pick up a dropped stitch - by La Visch Designs

4. For the next stitch to be laddered back up, we need to work a purl stitch. To start, I move the next loose thread directy above the stitch from the back to the front of the work.

How to pick up a dropped stitch - by La Visch Designs

5. Next, insert the crochet hook into the stitch from the back to the front, grab the loose thread and pull it through the stitch on the hook.

How to pick up a dropped stitch - by La Visch Designs

6. Now we have made a lovely purl stitch! You can recognize it by the purl bump (horizontal) directly below the loop on the hook.

How to pick up a dropped stitch - by La Visch Designs

7. Repeat steps 1-6 as often as needed to work your way back up and place the dropped stitch back on the needle. And that’s how to pick up a dropped stitch!

How to pick up a dropped stitch - by La Visch Designs

Some more thoughts

In this example in garter stitch, I started with a knit stitch. If the stitch had run down another row, though, I would have had to start with a purl stitch instead. In other words: steps 4-6 followed by steps 1-3 instead of the other way around. This is why it’s so important to learn how to read your knitting!

Also, laddering a stitch back up can cause some pulling and unevenness in the fabric. This usually evens out with blocking though. If you have a lot of difference in the tension, you can also tease the stitches back to approx. the same size using a spare knitting needle.

02 Jan

tip – blocking a cowl

Blocking a cowl - a tip by La Visch Designs

Knitting cowls is something I really love to do occasionally because it’s just so zen. You know, round and round and, well, round! But after binding off comes the blocking and that’s where it can become somewhat tricky….

I mean, shawls I stretch out to the max. and pin them down on my blocking mats. But if I do this with a cowl I get those sharp creases in the cowl where the fabric was folded. Just gently patting a cowl into shape gets the same result. So how to prevent crease lines when blocking a cowl?

How to block a cowl

First, I start with giving the cowl a gentle wash as described in steps 1 to 4 in the “blocking an asymmetrical shawl” tutorial.

Next comes the simple solution to preventing creases: the humble pool noodle!

Blocking a cowl - a tip by La Visch Designs

Just insert 2 pool noodles into the cowl, gently pat it all into shape and leave the cowl be until it’s completely dry. You can, of course, use any cylindrical shaped object as long as you’ve got two, they’re long enough and resistant to wetness. They are after all to be inserted into a wet garment.

And that’s it!

Oh, and for those wondering, the cowl featured in the first picture is the Flits! cowl. The one in the blocking picture is the Bast Cowl, which makes a set with the Bast hat.

22 Dec

for Deborah

For Deborah - by La Visch Designs

Deborah is one of the lovely ladies who often test knit my patterns. So when she expressed a fondness of a specific shawl construction combined with lots of lace I was happy to oblige with a design containing all those elements. This one is for you, Deborah!

This shawl is knitted from the top-down in one piece, starting at the neck edge with a garter tab. The For Deborah shawl is finished with an edging that is knitted on sideways and attached to the live stitches of the body as it is being worked. The instructions for the edging are provided charted and written out.


Price: € 5,95 add to basket

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Difficulty level

This shawl is started with a garter stitch tab. Stitches used include knit, purl, skp, k2tog, a centered double decrease and yo. This pattern is suitable for the intermediate knitter.

Sizes and finished measurements

Finished dimensions of the sample shawl: span width of 166 cm (65 ¼ inches) along the upper edge and a depth of 86 cm (33 ¾ inches), measured after blocking.

Pattern details

  • Gauge: approx. 12.8 sts / 24.6 rows = 10 cm (4 inches) over body pattern. Gauge is however not critical in the For Deborah shawl design.
  • Pattern languages included: English and Dutch (Dit patroon omvat zowel een Nederlandse als een Engelse versie).
  • Digital PDF has 7 pages in the English version and 8 in the Dutch version (letter size).

Materials

  • Garnstudio Drops Alpaca (100% alpaca; 167 m (183 yds) / 50 g) in the following colors and amounts: MC – 475 m (520 yds) / 132 g in Cobalt 5790 and CC – 315 m (344 yds) / 95 g in Pink 2922. Substitute any fingering to sport weight yarn for a similar result.
  • Size 4 mm (US 6) / 80 cm (32 inches) circular needles.
  • Yarn needle.
  • 2 stitch markers to indicate the center stitches.

12 Dec

bast

Bast - by La Visch Designs

What is one to do when dear daughter requests a hat with kitty cats? Design one, of course! Bast is a cute hat with cables and texture to create a kitty cat motif. Worked in a bulky weight yarn this hat knits up super quick, perfect for a last minute gift!

This pattern contains instructions for 5 sizes, ranging from child to adult. The Bast hat is seamless and knitted from the bottom up. The instructions for the cat motif are provided both charted and written out.


Price: € 4,50 add to basket

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Difficulty level

Bast is seamless and knit in the round from the bottom up. This pattern involves cable knitting. Stitches used include knit, purl, k2tog, p2tog, skp and a purlwise m1 increase. This pattern is suitable for the intermediate knitter.

Sizes and finished measurements

To fit size: 47 (52, 56.5, 61.5, 66) cm / 18 ½ (20 ½, 22 ¼, 24 ¼, 26) inches circumference. 
Finished size: 42 (47, 51.5, 56.5, 61) cm / 16 ½ (18 ½, 20 ¼, 22 ¼, 24) inches circumference.

When choosing your hat size, take 2.5 – 5 cm (1 – 2 inches) of negative ease into account for a fitted hat. For a more slouchy fit, take 0-5 cm (0-2 inches) of positive ease into account. 
The pictures show the 51.5 cm (20 ¼ inches) finished size, worn on a 52 cm (20 ½ inches) size head.

Pattern details

  • Bast is written for a gauge of approx. 13 sts / 21 rounds = 10 cm (4 inches) over reverse stockinette on larger needles after washing and gentle blocking.
  • Pattern languages included: English and Dutch (Dit patroon omvat zowel een Nederlandse als een Engelse versie)
  • Digital PDF has 3 pages in the English version and 4 in the Dutch version (letter size)

Materials

  • Yarn: 44 (55, 65, 78, 91) m (48 (60, 72, 85, 100) yds) / 26 (33, 40, 47, 56) g Vams PT3 by Rauma [100% wool; 82 m (90 yds) / 50 g] in color 44 neon Pink. Substitute any bulky yarn of a similar or slightly heavier weight for a similar result.
  • Knitting needles in your preferred style for small circumference knitting in the round in the following sizes (or to match gauge): Size 4.5 mm (US 7) and Size 5 mm (US 8).
  • Yarn needle
  • 5 stitch markers
  • 1 differently colored end-of-round stitch marker
  • Cable needle
  • (Faux) fur pompom (optional)
05 Dec

tutorial – fixing a dropped stitch in garter stitch

Fixing a dropped stitch in garter stitch by La Visch Designs

When I finished my Sirac stole, blocking was, of course, needed to let that cable & lace panel shine. And that was when I saw it… A dropped stitch, smack in the middle of one of the garter stitch panels. I must have knit through part of the strand, breaking it when brought under tension with the blocking. Or I just missed it. Whatever the cause, I needed to fix this!

To start, I just secured the dropped stitch with a locking stitch marker to prevent it from laddering down. I worked this particular project in a sticky kind of wool, but under tension, all yarn will ladder down in knitting. So, better safe than sorry and use that stitch marker!

Fixing a dropped stitch in garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

After the project was completely dry, I could remove it from the blocking mats and fix the stitch. If the project was still on the needles, I would just have worked it back up with a crochet hook. This project was already bound off and blocked. Therefore I went with a duplicate stitch approach instead. For this you need some of the yarn remaining from your project, a darning needle (I like the blunt tipped kind best for this kind of work), and some scissors:

Fixing a dropped stitch in garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

Fixing a dropped stitch in garter stitch step-by-step

Normally I would use a contrasting yarn in a tutorial, so you can see better what I’m doing. In this case, however, I used the project yarn for the repair. To make it a tad better to see, I’ve held it double with some white crochet cotton and I’ve added some coloring during photo editing.

1. Start with threading a length of the yarn through the darning needle. Approx. 60 cm (24 inches) should be enough for single dropped stitches like this one.

Fixing a dropped stitch in garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

2. First, thread your needle through the dropped stitch to secure it. Make sure you pull about half the length of yarn through the stitch.

Fixing a dropped stitch in garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

3. Now, with half the length of the yarn, I’m going to follow the route of the yarn in the stitches on the row the dropped stitch should have been worked in. I’ve made these stitches turquoise in the picture below, to make it a tad easier to see.

Fixing a dropped stitch in garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

4. In this picture, the side left of the dropped stitch is all done, on the far left you see the little bit of yarn tail that remains.

Fixing a dropped stitch in garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

5. Next, repeat threading the yarn through the stitches on the right of the dropped stitch, using the other end of the piece of yarn. Below you see the result, with the yarn needle indicating the place of the dropped stitch.

Fixing a dropped stitch in garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

And this is how it looks on the other side of the work:

Fixing a dropped stitch in garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

After removing the contrasting cotton thread, this is how it looks like from the right side of the work:

Fixing a dropped stitch in garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

And yes, I know that I should have threaded the new yarn over the dropped stitch as well, to imitate the purl bar of garter stitch fabric. Now it looks a bit like a single stockinette stitch in all that garter stitch. Learn from my mistake! I know I will with any future dropped stitches in garter stitch fabric.

10 Nov

honey & stripes

Honey & Stripes by La Visch Designs

Honey & Stripes is a simple yet stylish triangular shawl knit sideways on the bias. The combination of striped garter stitch, easy to memorize garter stitch lace, and slip stitch patterning makes it a perfect choice for those colors of fingering weight yarn that combine so well. With its generous size, Honey & Stripes is perfect to wear as an elegant scarf.

The pattern contains fully written out instructions as well as charts for the lace and slip stitch sections.


Price: € 5,95 add to basket

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Difficulty level
Stitches used include knit, purl, yo, k2tog and kfb. This pattern is suitable for the advanced beginner or intermediate knitter.

Sizes and finished measurements
One size (easily adjustable): Finished dimensions of the sample shawl: 181.5 cm (71 ½ inches) along the upper edge and a depth of 59 cm (23 ¼ inches), measured after blocking.

Pattern details

  • Gauge: Gauge is not critical in this design. For the sample shawl measured after blocking: 15 sts / 24 rows = 10 cm (4 inches) over garter stitch stripes.
  • Pattern languages included: English and Dutch (Dit patroon omvat zowel een Nederlandse als een Engelse versie)
  • Digital PDF has 4 pages (letter size)

Materials

  • Yarn: Lang Yarns Magic Tweed Superwash (62% virgin wool, 18% nylon, 10% viscose and 10% acrylic; 200 m (219 yds) / 50 g) in the following amounts and colors:
    C1: 200 m (219 yds) / 50 g in 4082 Gold.
    C2: 200 m (219 yds) / 50 g in 4091 Petrol.
    C3: 200 m (219 yds) / 50 g in 4083 Copper.
    Substitute any tweedy fingering weight yarn for a similar result.
  • Size 4 mm (US 6) / 80 cm (32 inches) circular needles
  • Yarn needle
  • 2 stitch markers
17 Oct

sirac

Sirac - by La Visch Designs

Sirac is a highly customizable stole in 2 colors. Make it longer, shorter, wider or narrower; it’s all possible because the pattern allows for easy modification. Sirac has both interesting and mindless knitting, therefore this really is the perfect project for me!

This stole is knitted back and forth, starting with the cabled lace panel. Next, stitches are picked up and knit on the long sides of the lace panel for the garter stitch sections. Also, the instructions for the lace are provided both charted and written out.


Price: € 5,95 add to basket

Create your own Ebook! Purchase any 4 patterns and receive the 5th one for free. No code necessary, just put 5 patterns in your cart and the price of the lowest priced pattern will be automatically deducted from the total.


Difficulty level
This pattern features a lace and cable panel, which contains patterning on both RS and WS rows. Techniques used include knitting cables with a cable needle as well as picking up and knitting stitches. Stitches used include knit, purl, k2tog, skp, double yo, and simple cables. This pattern is suitable for the intermediate knitter.

Size and finished measurements
One size – finished dimensions: 55 cm (21 ¾ inches) wide and 168 cm (66 ¼ inches) long, measured after blocking. Change the size of this stole by adjusting the number of repeats worked in the various sections. This will, of course, impact the amount of yarn needed.

Pattern details

  • Gauge: Gauge is not critical in this design. For the sample shawl: 9.5 sts / 26 rows = 10 cm (4 inches) over garter stitch, measured after blocking.
  • Pattern languages included: English and Dutch (Dit patroon omvat zowel een Nederlandse als een Engelse versie)
  • Digital PDF has 4 pages (letter size)

Materials

  • Yarn: Filature de Valgaudemar Sirac (100% wool; 125 m (137 yds) / 50 g) in the following colors and amounts: C1: 275 m (301 yds) / 110 g in “Rouge” and C2: 375 m (411 yds) / 150 g in “Titane”. Substitute any thick-and-thin single ply type wool yarn of comparable weight for a similar result.
  • Size 4.5 mm (US 7) / 80 cm (32 inches) circular needles.
  • Cable needle
  • Yarn needle
14 Oct

tutorial – pick-up & knit from garter stitch

Tutorial pick-up & knit from garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

In my Sirac stole design a center panel in a Cable & Lace pattern is worked first, after which stitches are picked up and knit on the long sides of the panel. After this, the rest of the pattern can be worked perpendicular to the Cable & Lace panel. One of my testers (hi Marilyn!) mentioned that it would be a good idea to dedicate a photo tutorial to the technique used for that. So here we are!

Of course, there are many ways to accomplish this. In this tutorial, I’m focusing on “pick-up and knit” from a garter stitch piece, worked without a chain stitch selvage. Such a selvage is pretty neat for picking-up stitches, but it also makes the selvage tighter than may be preferable. In such cases, it’s good to know how to pick-up & knit stitches from a regular garter stitch edge.

The difference between “pick-up” and “pick-up & knit”

It may be confusing what exactly the difference is between just “pick-up” and “pick-up & knit”. I mean, both have some picking-up action going on. The main difference is, that with just “pick-up” stitches of the piece already worked are placed on the knitting needle without introducing new yarn.

With “pick-up and knit”, new yarn is pulled through the piece already worked and the loops are placed on a knitting needle. These new loops are the new stitches from which the rest of the piece is worked.

Pick-up & knit from garter stitch step-by-step

In this example, I’m using a contrasting yarn for the pickup & knit part, to make it easier for you to see what exactly I’m doing and where.

1. We start with a piece of knitting worked completely in garter stitch, turned sideways with the RS facing. And yes, plain garter stitch does not really have a RS and WS, but it can have when there is patterning on a background of garter stitch.

Tutorial pick-up & knit from garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

2. Insert your needle (or crochet hook if you find that easier!), from front to back, between the garter stitch ridges, between the last and second-to-last columns of stitches. In other words: in between the ridges and 1 stitch in from the edge.

Tutorial pick-up & knit from garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

3. Wrap your yarn around the needle or crochet hook…

Tutorial pick-up & knit from garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

4. …and pull the loop of yarn through the work and place it on the needle.

Tutorial pick-up & knit from garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

5. Repeat steps 2-4, picking up 1 stitch per garter stitch ridge until all ridges have been worked. The result looks like this from the RS:

Tutorial pick-up & knit from garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

This is how it looks from the WS:

Tutorial pick-up & knit from garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

Next, you can start knitting according to your pattern. Take care, though, to see whether the stitches are positioned normal or twisted. The stitch mount has a potential impact on your project!

Stitch mount

Stitches have a left and right leg. The way they are positioned on the needle impacts the look of the stitches when knit. In the picture below on the left, you can see the regular orientation with the right leg in front of the needle. On the left there is a twisted stitch: the left leg of the stitch is in front of the needle. This is no problem though: Just knit (or purl) the twisted stitch through the back loop to untwist the stitch mount.

Making a crochet provisional cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

And here how it looks with some more rows worked from the RS:

Tutorial pick-up & knit from garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

And from the WS:

Tutorial pick-up & knit from garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

The white part looks a tad wider than the “body” of the piece because I used a slightly heavier weight yarn!

19 Aug

green madeira

Green Madeira - a design by La Visch Designs

Green Madeira is a semi-circle Pi shawl, designed for the gorgeous gradient yarn used. While I made my version in a mohair type yarn, any worsted weight gradient yarn would make a lovely shawl with this design!

Work this shawl from the top-down, startings with a garter stitch tab. The instructions for the lace are, of course, both charted and fully written out.


Price: € 5,95 add to basket

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Difficulty level
This half-circle shawl is knit from the top down and is started with a garter tab cast-on. Lace patterning is worked on both RS and WS rows. Stitches used include knit, purl, yo, m1, skp, k2tog, and p2tog. This pattern is suitable for the intermediate knitter.

Size and finished measurements
Finished dimensions of the sample shawl: span width of 172 cm (67 ¾ inches) and a depth of 63 cm (24 ¾ inches), measured after blocking.

Pattern details

  • Gauge: Gauge is not critical in this design. For the sample shawl: 11 sts / 24 rows = 10 cm (4 inches) over stockinette, knitted on smaller needles and measured after blocking.
  • Pattern languages included: English and Dutch (Dit patroon omvat zowel een Nederlandse als een Engelse versie)
  • Digital PDF has 4 pages (letter size)

Materials

  • Yarn: 420 m (459 yds)/ 150 g Woolly Hugs Bobbel Mohair (45% Acrylic, 40% Nylon, 15% Mohair; 420 m (459 yds)/ 150 g) in “203 Green”. Substitute any worsted weight mohair-type yarn with long color changes for a similar result.
  • Size 5 mm (US 8) / 80 cm (32 inches) circular needles
  • Size 5.5 mm (US 9) knitting needle (for bind-off only).
  • Yarn needle
  • Stitch markers to use in between lace repeats (optional)
19 Aug

tutorial – knitting colorwork tips

Colorwork tips - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Knitting colorwork besides giving a gorgeous result is also a lot of fun. I must admit I haven’t gone beyond knitting colorwork with 2 colors yet, at this point in time. Doing that though, I have come across some things that make it easier to do and get a lovely result. And, of course, I love to share these colorwork tips with you!

1. Picking your colors

Perhaps you’ve already noticed it with previous projects: sometimes when colors seem to go perfectly with each other, the result is just disappointing when combined. One possible reason for this is that the colors don’t have enough contrast between them. But how to make sure there is enough contrast? Read on this tutorial!

Contrast in colorwork - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Start with a small project

Handling multiple strands of yarn at the same time while following a chart can be pretty daunting if you’ve never done so before. My advice would, therefore, be to start with a smallish project and limit yourself to only 2 colors. Think for example of a hat, like the Pijl hat pictured below.  This way you can find out how to hold your yarn etc. without adding an extreme tangle to the mix that even more colors of yarn could potentially bring.

Pijl - a design by La Visch Designs

3. Managing floats

The pieces of yarn running at the inside of a colorwork project knitted in the round are called “floats”: the lengths of yarn not being knitted and simply carried along the back.  Because they run at the inside circumference of the project, there is a risk of them getting too short and tight. This, in turn, will lead to puckering in the finished item. The solution is luckily a very easy one: just turn your knitting inside-out so the floats are on the outside circumference while knitting! This will usually give enough slack in the floats to avoid puckering. This is, by the way, a pic of my Bloem hat while in progress.

Colorwork tips - by La Visch Designs

4. Gauge

Most knitters find that when knitting colorwork their gauge ends up much tighter (more stitches per 10 cm / 4 inches) than when knitting in a single color with that particular yarn/needle combination. This is because the floats lack the elasticity of regular knitting stitches. This may mean that a colorwork hat, sweater or sock turns out much smaller than expected.  It’s therefor a good idea to either start with a smallish part of the project like a sleeve (for a big project like a sweater) or swatch. Don’t forget to swatch in the round though, because this is usually different from the gauge when worked flat.

5. Fixing mistakes

Let’s face it: mistakes will probably be made. I know I do! With some, you can just tink back (= knitting backward, in other words: stitch for stitch un-knitting what you did). In that case, make sure to wind back your yarn on the separate balls to avoid it all tangling up. It’s also possible to find a bit in your colorwork that didn’t quite go according to the chart, way back or even after binding off. In that case, there are several options. You can, of course, consider it a design element. if it bothers you too much, don’t be hesitant to fix it for the eye by embroidering over it using the duplicate stitch technique. And I’ve got a tutorial for that!

duplicate stitch_4

There you have it: several colorwork tips to help you with working lovely colorwork projects!