11 Sep

tutorial – working the ptbl stitch

tutorial - working the ptbl stitch

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I may receive a commission if you purchase something through these links. I’ve indicated these links with an *.

The purl through the back loop stitch (or ptbl for short) is a variation of the purl stitch. It creates a twisted stitch by slightly turning the stitch while you work it. I’ve used the ptbl in some of my patterns, for example in the Art Deco shawl pattern.

And while it isn’t a hard stitch to work, it can be a tad tricky if you’re not familiar with how to work into that back loop of a stitch. So, for that reason, it’s a good idea to get that straight. If you look at the picture below, you can see that the first stitch on the needle consists of a loop of yarn, straddling the needle. The “leg” facing is what we call the “front loop”. Likewise, the “leg” at the back of the work is the “back loop” one.

The front and the back loop of a stitch

Materials used

Yarn: * Paintbox Yarns Simply DK, a good value, good quality 100% acrylic yarn, here in the color 125 Spearmint Green.

Needles: * KnitPro Zing Fixed Circular Needles. In this tutorial, I used the 4 mm (US 6) size with a cable length of 80 cm (32 inches).

Working a ptbl step by step

1. First, we have to make sure that the working yarn is at the front of the work since we’ll be working a purl stitch.

Working the ptbl stitch, step 1

2. Next, insert the right-hand needle purlwise into the back leg or loop of the stitch. To do this, it is important to know the difference between knitwise and purlwise when talking about that back loop. To insert the needle knitwise you’d insert the needle away from the tip of the left-hand needle. In the same vein, to insert the needle purlwise you’d insert the needle towards the tip of the left-hand needle!

In the picture below the needles have become a bit twisted due to me holding everything with my left hand and the camera in the other. But if you take another look at the picture with the blue yarn above you can see exactly what I mean!

Working the ptbl stitch, step 2

3. Now wrap the yarn around the needle…

Working the ptbl stitch, step 3

4. … pull it through and slip the resulting stitch from the left-hand needle to complete your ptbl stitch.

Working the ptbl stitch, step 4

And that’s all there is to it! Not that hard, right?

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Thanks to my Patreon supporters for bringing you this freebie! Creating quality patterns and tutorials is a lot of work and resource-intensive. However, I find it important to give you free content like this tutorial. Thanks to the generous support of my Patreon supporters I can make it happen. Thank you, patrons! Click here to join, or click here to read more about La Visch Designs on Patreon.

27 Aug

tutorial – working a Left Twist

Tutorial working a Left Twist

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I may receive a commission if you purchase something through these links. I’ve indicated these links with an *.

In one of the designs I’m working on, I’m using a lovely intricate stitch pattern from the * Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible by Hitomi Shida. In this particular stitch pattern, a Left Twist stitch is used. So, in this post, I’ll go into the details on how to work this stitch.

The basic characteristic of a Left Twist is that it switches the order of 2 adjoining stitches, one “main stitch” and one “background stitch” to make it appear that the main stitch travels to the left. The background is usually reverse stockinette. The main stitch is usually worked twisted (working the stitch through the back loop) stockinette. This way it pops even more against the background.

The instruction from the * Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible for this stitch consists of the following text:

With RN, go behind first st and p second st without removing it from LN; ktbl first st and slip both off LN.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve tried this, but following the above instruction didn’t give me anything resembling the picture of the worked left twist. It may be due to where I had my yarn or the fact that I knit weird, who knows? Anyway, I did some more research and found that this type of traveling stitch is also used quite a lot in Bavarian knitting. I also found that there are quite some ways it can be worked. Take for example this one from leethalknits.com, the one described in this Interweave article or the elaborate description of methods by Rox over on Ravelry.

Personally, I found just changing the order of the stitches before actually knitting them (as one would do for cabling without a cable needle) to be easiest. So that’s what I will show you in this tutorial.

Materials used

Yarn: * Paintbox Yarns Simply DK, a good value, good quality 100% acrylic yarn, here in the color 125 Spearmint Green.

Needles: * KnitPro Zing Fixed Circular Needles. In this tutorial, I used the 4 mm (US 6) size with a cable length of 80 cm (32 inches).

Some words about the swatch

In this swatch, I’ve taken part of the stitch pattern in which I encountered the Left Twist stitch. It consists of a k3, p4 rib in which the left-most knit stitch travels across the purl stitches until it joins the next column of knit stitches. As you can see, I’ve already worked one RS row with a Left twist, as well as it’s accompanying WS row.

Working a Left Twist, starting swatch

Working a Left Twist step by step

1. The first 2 stitches on the left-hand needle in the picture below, are the ones we’re going to work the Left Twist over. In other words: we’re going to switch the order of the knit and the purl stitch, to make it appear that the knit stitch travels to the left.

Working a Left Twist, step 1

2. First I make sure to move the working yarn to the front of the work since the first stitch to work will be a purl stitch. Next, I grab the yarn directly below the 2 stitches to be switched and pinch down as pictured.

Working a Left Twist, step 2

3. Next, I move these stitches off the left-hand needle. Keeping the fabric pinched, makes sure that the stitches won’t ladder down.

Working a Left Twist, step 3

4. Then insert the left-hand needle knitwise into the loose stitch on the right to put it back on the needle. Make sure to keep pinching the fabric underneath the other stitch! Especially now we’re placing some stress on the yarn.

Working a Left Twist, step 4

5. Now insert the left-hand needle knitwise into the remaining loose stitch and put it back on the needle. This can be somewhat fiddly.

Working a Left Twist, step 5

6. Now it’s time to insert your right-hand needle purlwise into the first stitch from the tip of the left-hand needle.

Working a Left Twist, step 6

7. Next, wrap your yarn around the needle, pull it through and let the stitch slide of the needle to complete the purl stitch.

Working a Left Twist, step 7

8. Next is to work the traveling stitch itself. To make it pop against the background and tighten it up a bit, this stitch is worked through the back loop. So, insert your right-hand needle knitwise into the first stitch from the tip of the left-hand needle.

Working a Left Twist, step 8

9. Next, wrap your yarn around the needle, pull it through and let the stitch slide of the needle to complete the twisted knit stitch.

Working a Left Twist, step 9

Then what?

On the following wrong side row, work the stitches as they present themselves. In other words: what looks like a knit stitch is knit, what looks like a purl stitch is purled, and the “traveling stitch” itself is purled through the back loop. Below is how it looks after a couple of more rows have been worked. Please note this piece has not been blocked!

Working a Left Twist

Of course, there is also a Right Twist tutorial, you can find that one here.

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Thanks to my Patreon supporters for bringing you this freebie! Creating quality patterns and tutorials is a lot of work and resource-intensive. However, I find it important to give you free content like this tutorial. Thanks to the generous support of my Patreon supporters I can make it happen. Thank you, patrons! Click here to join, or click here to read more about La Visch Designs on Patreon.

31 Jul

tutorial – Russian grafting stockinette

Tutorial Russian grafting stockinette - by La Visch Designs

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I may receive a commission if you purchase something through these links. I’ve indicated these links with an *.

Russian grafting is a method of joining live knitting stitches together. It’s an alternative to the Kitchener stitch and is a quick and easy method for finishing off your knitted piece. In this tutorial, I’ll show you the in’s and outs of using the Russian grafting method to connect 2 pieces of stockinette fabric. Of course, this method has pro’s and cons when compared with the Kitchener stitch, which I’ll go into below.

Pro’s

  • When using Russian grafting on stockinette, a decorative seam is created on the outside of the work.
  • No working yarn is necessary, this makes this method, not a “true” grafting method.
  • When grafting with this method, the stitches of the pieces to be joined align better than with Kitchener stitch grafting. This can be desirable when using patterning.

Con’s

  • Since Russian grafting is worked by pulling existing stitches through other stitches, there is no way to adjust the tension of the graft.
  • The seam will be visible if it’s used on a piece of very open lace fabric.

Materials used

Yarn: * Paintbox Yarns Simply DK, a good value, good quality 100% acrylic yarn, here in the color 125 Spearmint Green.

A crochet hook in the same size or slightly smaller than your knitting needles. For example this * Pony Aluminum Crochet Hook in size 4 mm.

Russian grafting step-by-step

I’ve made 2 little swatches of stockinette and slipped one of those to another knitting needle, making sure the yarn tail is on the left side. Position the needles as pictured. Now we’re ready to start the actual Russian graft!

Russian graft preparation

Set-up

1. Back needle: Insert the crochet hook purlwise through the first stitch on the needle …

Russian grafting stockinette set-up step 1

2. … and slide it off the needle.

Russian grafting stockinette set-up step 2

3. Front needle: Insert the crochet hook purlwise through the first stitch on the needle ….

Russian grafting stockinette set-up step 3

4. … and slide it off the needle.

Russian grafting stockinette set-up step 4

5. Now pull this second stitch through the first stitch on the hook, so only 1 loop remains on the crochet hook.

Russian grafting stockinette set-up step 5

Repeat

1. Back needle: Insert the crochet hook knitwise through the first stitch …

Russian grafting stockinette repeat step 1

2. … and slide it off the needle.

Russian grafting stockinette repeat step 2

3. Pull this last stitch through the first stitch on the hook, so only 1 loop remains on the crochet hook.

Russian grafting stockinette repeat step 3

4. Front needle: Insert the crochet hook knitwise through the first stitch …

Russian grafting stockinette repeat step 4

5. …and slide it off the needle.

Russian grafting stockinette repeat step 5

6. Pull this last stitch through the first stitch on the hook, so only 1 loop remains on the crochet hook.

Russian grafting stockinette repeat step 6

Repeat steps 1-6 until all stitches have been worked. At this point you will have 1 stitch remaining on the crochet hook:

Russian grafting stockinette result of repeat

To finish the graft, pull the yarn tail through this last stitch to secure it. This was the reason to shuffle the stitches around on one of the swatches, otherwise, we wouldn’t have a yarn tail available.

And that’s how Russian grafting on stockinette is done! The seam is very decorative on its own and could be used as a design element instead of a 3-needle bind-off. Think for example when closing the shoulder seams on a bottom-up sweater.

Russian grafting stockinette, the result
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Thanks to my Patreon supporters for bringing you this freebie! Creating quality patterns and tutorials is a lot of work and resource-intensive. However, I find it important to give you free content like this tutorial. Thanks to the generous support of my Patreon supporters I can make it happen. Thank you, patrons! Click here to join, or click here to read more about La Visch Designs on Patreon.

15 Jul

tutorial – Russian grafting garter stitch

Tutorial Russian grafting garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I may receive a commission if you purchase something through these links. I’ve indicated these links with an *.

Russian grafting is a method of joining live knitting stitches together. It’s an alternative to the Kitchener stitch and is a quick and easy method for finishing off your knitted piece. In this post, I’ll show you the specifics for Russian grafting garter stitch. Of course, this method has pro’s and cons when compared with the Kitchener stitch, which I’ll go into below.

Pro’s

  • When used to join garter stitch pieces together, the seam blends in with the garter stitch ridges.
  • No working yarn is necessary, this makes this method, not a “true” grafting method.
  • When grafting with this method, the stitches of the pieces to be joined align better than with Kitchener stitch grafting. This can be desirable when using patterning.

Con’s

  • Since Russian grafting is worked by pulling existing stitches through other stitches, there is no way to adjust the tension of the graft.
  • The seam will be visible if it’s used on a very open lace fabric, even if it’s garter-stitch-based.

Materials used

Yarn: * Paintbox Yarns Simply DK, a good value, good quality 100% acrylic yarn, here in the colors 125 Spearmint Green and 155 Vintage Pink.

A crochet hook in the same size or slightly smaller than your knitting needles. For example this * Pony Aluminum Crochet Hook in size 4 mm.

Russian grafting step-by-step

I’ve read that Russian grafting is a seaming technique commonly seen in patterns for traditional Orenburg shawls with garter-stitch-based lace edgings. For this reason, in this tutorial, I’m showing you how it’s done with the help of a swatch of an applied garter stitch lace border. It’s a miniature version of the edging on my Full Fade Hap.

Since I didn’t have the time to knit it all around the center square I just did the provisional cast-on followed by one repeat on the right in the below picture. On the left, you can see a repeat of the edging plus turning the corner minus the very last row, just as in my Full Fade Hap. The reason I’m omitting this last row is that we otherwise have a row of purl bumps on each needle. When grafted together, this gives a very bulky and visible seam. Without that last row, the grafted seam is much less notable.

Russian grafting preparation

Preparation

First is undoing the provisional cast-on on the right piece and placing it on a knitting needle, starting at the body side of the waste yarn. It isn’t visible in this picture, but that’s where the waste yarn chain is, indicating the point where it can be undone easily. Make sure to place the stitches correct (not twisted) on the needle.

Please note that in this example the provisional cast-on was 15 stitches (needed for the lace patterning to start correctly), while there are 16 live stitches on the left (15 from the border and 1 remaining live body stitch). To solve this I picked up an extra stitch at the shawl body side.

Russian grafting garter stitch preparation

I’ve turned everything 90 degrees clockwise. Make sure the right side is facing and the yarn tail is on the left side. Now we’re ready to start the actual Russian graft.

Set-up

1. Back needle: Insert the crochet hook purlwise through the first stitch on the needle ….

Russian grafting garter stitch, set-up step 1

2. … and slide it off the needle.

Russian grafting garter stitch, set-up step 2

3. Front needle: Insert the crochet hook purlwise through the first stitch on the needle and slide it off the needle. This is similar to what you did in steps 1 and 2.

Russian grafting garter stitch, set-up step 3

4. Now pull this second stitch through the first stitch on the hook, so only 1 loop remains on the crochet hook.

Russian grafting garter stitch, set-up step 4

Repeat

1. Back needle: Insert the crochet hook knitwise through the first stitch and slide it off the needle.

Russian grafting garter stitch, repeat step 1

2. Pull this last stitch through the first stitch on the hook, so only 1 loop remains on the crochet hook.

Russian grafting garter stitch, repeat step 2

3. Front needle: Insert the crochet hook knitwise through the first stitch and slide it off the needle.

Russian grafting garter stitch, repeat step 3

4. Pull this last stitch through the first stitch on the hook, so only 1 loop remains on the crochet hook.

Russian grafting garter stitch, repeat step 4

Repeat steps 1-4 until all stitches have been worked. At this point you will have 1 stitch remaining on the crochet hook:

Russian grafting garter stitch, result

To finish the graft, pull the yarn tail through this last stitch to secure it. And there you have it! The seam may seem bulky, but that’s mostly because I’ve used relatively thick yarn here. When using fingering weight yarn at a loose gauge, it will blend in nicely in garter stitch!

Russian grafting garter stitch, result
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Thanks to my Patreon supporters for bringing you this freebie! Creating quality patterns and tutorials is a lot of work and resource-intensive. However, I find it important to give you free content like this tutorial. Thanks to the generous support of my Patreon supporters I can make it happen. Thank you, patrons! Click here to join, or click here to read more about La Visch Designs on Patreon.

06 Jun

tutorial – working a purl-side right-leaning lifted increase

Tutorial working a purl-side Right Lifted Increase (RLIP)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I may receive a commission if you purchase something through these links. I’ve indicated these links with an *.

People usually shape knitwear by increasing or decreasing the number of stitches. There are, of course, lots of different versions possible. In this tutorial, I’ll focus on the purl-side right-leaning version of the lifted increase. If you’re looking for the knit-side right-leaning lifted increase, just click here.

What is a lifted increase?

Basically, it’s exactly how it’s called: an increase that you work from a stitch below the one next on the needle. This stitch is lifted to be able to work into it. The purl-side version is called the same as the knit-side version, only with “purl” added after it. Right Lifted Increase (Purl) with the abbreviation RLIP.

Materials used

Yarn: * Paintbox Yarns Simply DK, a good value, good quality 100% acrylic yarn, here in the color Marine Blue.

Needles: * KnitPro Nova Cubics Special Interchangeable Needle Tips, pictured here in the 4 mm (US 6) size, combined with a * KnitPro Purple Single Cable with a length of 100 cm (40 inches).

Working a purl-side Right-Leaning Lifted Increase step by step

I’ve made a little swatch (continuing the same one from the RLI tutorial!) and will be making the increases 4 sts in from the garter stitch border when viewed from the wrong (purl) side.

Swatch

1. To start, insert your right-hand needle from bottom to top into the horizontal purl bump directly below the first stitch on the left-hand needle.

Start of the RLIP

2. Next, place the lifted stitch on the left-hand needle, making sure that you place it non-twisted. In other words: the left leg of the stitch is behind the needle and the right leg is in front.

Step 2 in working a RLIP

3. Now insert the other needle into the front of the stitch as if to purl….

RLIP tutorial

4. … and complete the stitch by wrapping the yarn around the needle, pulling it through and slipping the worked stitch off the needle as usual. You have now increased one stitch.

One stitch increased

5. I worked a couple of more rows, with increases on the WS (purl-side) rows only and 4 sts in from the garter stitch edge. This is how the piece looks:

Tutorial working a purl-side Right-Leaning Lifted Increase (RLIP)

Let’s turn the piece around

When turning the little swatch around to see how the RS of it looks, I found this:

Tutorial working a purl-side Right-Leaning Lifted Increase (RLIP)

Turns out that a purl-side Right Lifted Increase gives a rather lovely left-leaning result when viewed from the right side of the fabric. I’ve searched the internet to see if I could find any more information about it, but alas. So this is for now, good to know though!

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Thanks to my Patreon supporters for bringing you this freebie! Creating quality patterns and tutorials is a lot of work and resource-intensive. However, I find it important to give you free content like this tutorial. Thanks to the generous support of my Patreon supporters I can make it happen. Thank you, patrons! Click here to join, or click here to read more about La Visch Designs on Patreon.

22 May

tutorial – working a knit-side right-leaning lifted increase

Tutorial working a knit-side right-leaning lifted increase.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I may receive a commission if you purchase something through these links. I’ve indicated these links with an *.

As you know, the ability to shape your knitting project is a valuable one. Without it, it would be pretty hard to make a sweater fit you right and make anything else than rectangles. Shape knitwear by increasing or decreasing the number of stitches. There are, of course, lots of different versions possible. In this tutorial, I’ll focus on the right-leaning version of the lifted increase.

With right-leaning I mean that the increase leans to the right, relative to the surrounding “normal” stitches. There is also a left-leaning version, which I’ll go into another time. Pair them together to symmetrically increase the number of stitches on your project.

What is a lifted increase?

Basically, it’s exactly how it’s called: an increase that is worked from a stitch below the one next on the needle, which is lifted to be able to work into it. There are, of course, both knit and purl versions. The knit-side version of the Right-Leaning Lifted Increase is usually named the somewhat shorter Right Lifted Increase with the abbreviation RLI.

Materials used

Yarn: * Paintbox Yarns Simply DK, a good value, good quality 100% acrylic yarn, here in the color Marine Blue.

Needles: * KnitPro Nova Cubics Special Interchangeable Needle Tips, pictured here in the 4 mm (US 6) size, combined with a * KnitPro Purple Single Cable with a length of 100 cm (40 inches).

Working a knit-side Right-Leaning Lifted Increase step by step

I’ve made a little swatch and will be making the increases 4 sts in from the garter stitch border when viewed from the right (knit) side.

Tutorial knit-side right-leaning lifted increase

1. To start, insert your right-hand needle from back to front into the right leg of the stitch that is directly below the next stitch on the needle.

Tutorial knit-side right-leaning lifted increase

2. Next, place the lifted stitch on the left-hand needle…

Tutorial knit-side right-leaning lifted increase

3. … and insert the other needle into the front of the stitch as if to knit.

Tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Complete the stitch by wrapping the yarn around the needle, pulling it through and slipping the worked stitch off the needle as usual. You have now increased one stitch.

Tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. Next work the rest of the row as usual or according to instructions.

Tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. After I’ve worked a couple of more rows, with increases on the RS (knit-side) rows only, the piece looks like this:

Tutorial knit-side right-leaning lifted increase

Pretty neat type of increases, right?!

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Thanks to my Patreon supporters for bringing you this freebie! Creating quality patterns and tutorials is a lot of work and resource-intensive. However, I find it important to give you free content like this tutorial. Thanks to the generous support of my Patreon supporters I can make it happen. Thank you, patrons! Click here to join, or click here to read more about La Visch Designs on Patreon.

08 May

tutorial – working a Right Twist

Working a Right Twist - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I may receive a commission if you purchase something through these links. I’ve indicated these links with an *.

In one of the designs I’m working on, I’m using a lovely intricate stitch pattern from the * Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible by Hitomi Shida. In this particular stitch pattern, a Right Twist stitch is used. So, in this post, I’ll go into the details on how to work this stitch.

The basic characteristic of a Right Twist, is that it switches the order of 2 adjoining stitches, one “main stitch” and one “background stitch” to make it appear that the main stitch travels to the right. The background is usually reverse stockinette. The main stitch is usually worked twisted (working the stitch through the back loop) stockinette. This way it pops even more against the background.

The instruction from the * Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible for this stitch consists of the following text:

With RN, go in front of first st and ktbl second st without removing it from LN; p first st and slip both off LN.

Materials used

Yarn: * Debbie Bliss “Piper” in Magenta. It’s a yarn with a composition of 50% cotton and 50% viscose. It has a great stitch definition, perfect for trying out those intricate Japanese stitch patterns.

Needles: * KnitPro Zing Fixed Circular Needles. in this tutorial, I used the 4 mm (US 6) size with a cable length of 80 cm (32 inches).

Working a Right Twist step by step

1. The first 2 stitches on the left-hand needle in the picture below, are the ones we’re going to work the Right Twist over. In other words: we’re going to switch the order of the knit and the purl stitch, to make it appear that the knit stitch travels to the right.

Working a Right Twist - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. To start, insert your right-hand needle knitwise into the back loop of the second stitch from the tip of the left-hand needle to work a twisted knit stitch. The yarn is at the back of the work.

Working a Right Twist - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Wrap your yarn around the needle…

Working a Right Twist - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. ….and pull it through the stitch.

Working a Right Twist - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. Next we’re going to work the first stitch we skipped before. Since that is a purl stitch we first have to move the working yarn to the front of the work.

Working a Right Twist - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. Now it’s time to insert your right-hand needle purlwise into the first stitch from the tip of the left-hand needle.

Working a Right Twist - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

7. Wrap your yarn around the needle…

Working a Right Twist - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

8. … and pull it through the stitch.

Working a Right Twist - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

9. Now both stitches are worked, slip them from the left-hand needle to complete your Right Twist stitch!

Working a Right Twist - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

On the following wrong side row, work the stitches as they present themselves. In other words: what looks like a knit stitch is knit, what looks like a purl stitch is purled, and the “traveling stitch” is purled through the back loop. Below is how it looks after a couple of more rows have been worked.

Working a Right Twist - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

And that’s it! In a new tutorial I’ll go into how to work a Left Twist stitch, Stay tuned!

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Thanks to my Patreon supporters for bringing you this freebie! Creating quality patterns and tutorials is a lot of work and resource-intensive. However, I find it important to give you free content like this tutorial. Thanks to the generous support of my Patreon supporters I can make it happen. Thank you, patrons! Click here to join, or click here to read more about La Visch Designs on Patreon.

14 Apr

tutorial – casting on & knitting magic loop

Knitting magic loop - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I may receive a commission if you purchase something through these links. I’ve indicated these links with an *.

When working in the round with lots of stitches, using a circular and just going round and round and round is a relatively easy thing to do. It’s however, a different case when working in the round on a project with a small circumference. With small circumference knitting, it usually just doesn’t work in a circular needle, because the needles and the cables are just too long to accommodate the limited number of stitches.

What exactly is magic loop knitting?

The short description is, that with this method, you pull out a loop of cable of your circular needle to divide your stitches. This is usually done into two equal parts. Once the stitches are divided, you can use the free needle tip to knit across half of the stitches. Next, the project is rotated and the needle pulled through to work the remaining stitches.

Materials used

Yarn: * Paintbox Yarns Simply DK, a good value, good quality 100% acrylic yarn, here in the colors 142 Tea Rose.

Needles: * Addi Lace Circular Needles, in this tutorial I used the 4 mm (US 6) size with a cable length of 100 cm (40 inches). I would like to advise using at least a cable length of 80 cm (32 inches) to facilitate magic loop knitting.

Magic loop knitting step by step

1. Begin by casting on the required number of stitches for your project. I used the cable or knitted-on cast on in this example. Once this is done, you can continue to the next step. However, doing so directly increases the odds that the cast-on twists around the needle, resulting in a twist in your work when joined in the round. To avoid this, I usually just knit the first “round” of the pattern flat. So, that’s what I also did here!

Knitting magic loop - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Next, lay the work down on a table in front of you in such a way, that the working yarn is on the right. Make sure that the cast-on edge is not twisted around the needle.

Knitting magic loop - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Now, move the stitches to the center of the cable and find the middle point in the stitches. If working with an odd number of stitches, no worries: this won’t make that big of a difference. Gently bend your cable and bring it up between the center stitches.

Knitting magic loop - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Next, pull the cable gently to reposition both sets of stitches on the needles as pictured, instead of on the cable. Make sure the working yarn is near the tip of the needle at the back, in between both needles. For working the first stitch, make sure it runs up between the needle tips for knitting, and for purling that it runs down.

Knitting magic loop - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. To join in the round and to start knitting, grab the needle tip that is at the back and pull it out so the stitches on it slide to the cable. Now is also the time to put a “beginning (or end) of round” stitch marker on this needle tip. This needle tip becomes your right-hand or working needle.

Knitting magic loop - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. Now you’re ready to work your way across the stitches on the left-hand or main needle. Especially with the first few rounds, you can encounter a “gap” at the spot you joined in the round. You can help avoid this by connecting both sides of this gap with a removable stitch marker. It also helps to tighten up the second stitch you work on each needle.

Knitting magic loop - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

7. Once you worked across these stitches, it will look something like this:

Knitting magic loop - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

8. Next, turn your work so that the working yarn is on the right again and the former back needle is now in the front.

Knitting magic loop - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

9. To be able to use the needle that is now in the front as your main (left-hand) needle, we first have to pull the cable connected to the needle tip. This way the stitches slide from the cable onto the needle tip.

Knitting magic loop - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

10. Again pull out the other (back) needle so that the stitches rest on the cable and the tip can be used as your working (right-hand) needle and work across all the stitches on the main (left-hand) needle.

Knitting magic loop - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

11. Continue steps 6 to 10 for each round as described in your pattern.

Knitting magic loop - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

And that’s all there is to it!

After a couple of rounds the work will look something like this:

Knitting magic loop - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Knitting a “round” flat before joining in the round, as I described in step 1? Don’t forget to use the yarn tail to sew it closed when finishing your project.

Knitting magic loop - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

But what about laddering?

Laddering is nothing more than that the stitches are pulling apart a little, if it happens it’s usually where you switch from one needle to the other. As described with step 6, it really cuts down on laddering if you tighten the second stitch when working the stitches on each needle.

The material of the cable of your circulars, however, also has a great influence. The stiffer the cable the more resistant it will be to being fold in half to accommodate magic loop knitting. This means that with a very stiff cable it will actively push apart the stitches on the ends of both needles. The same issue may happen if you’re using a circular needle that is too short. I like my circs to be at least 80 cm / 32 inches. Do try out for yourself what length hits the sweet spot for you!

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Thanks to my Patreon supporters for bringing you this freebie! Creating quality patterns and tutorials is a lot of work and resource-intensive. However, I find it important to give you free content like this tutorial. Thanks to the generous support of my Patreon supporters I can make it happen. Thank you, patrons! Click here to join, or click here to read more about La Visch Designs on Patreon.

27 Mar

tutorial – Kitchener stitch: grafting stockinette

Tutorial Kitchener stitch: grafting stockinette

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I may receive a commission if you purchase something through these links. I’ve indicated these links with an *.

It seems there are 2 distinct camps when it concerns the Kitchener stitch: either you love it or you hate it. Personally, I don’t really understand the hubbub around this technique, it’s a very useful one in certain situations. One just has to know how to do it. And that’s where this tutorial comes in!

But first: what is Kitchener stitch? It’s a method of grafting two sets of live stitches together in an invisible way. It’s often used to seamlessly close the toes of top-down socks, for example. The “seam”, so to speak, is really a new row of stitches that you create using a yarn needle. To do so, the needle is passed through the live stitches of the pieces of knitting to be joined, in a similar manner similar as the direction in which a knitting needle is inserted within a stitch. This can be purlwise or knitwise.

Materials used

Yarn: * Paintbox Yarns Simply DK, a good value, good quality 100% acrylic yarn, here in the colors 155 Vintage Pink for the swatches and 125 Spearmint Green for the Kitchener stitch.

Darning needle: * Hiya Hiya Darn It Yarn Needle, or any other tapestry needle, threaded with yarn.

Working Kitchener stitch to graft stockinette step by step

Before we start, we have to make sure that the two pieces of stockinette fabric that we will be grafting together, each have the same number of stitches.

Set-up

1. To start, we hold the two needles containing the live stitches parallel to each other, with the wrong sides of the fabric facing inside and the right sides facing outside.

Tutorial Kitchener stitch: grafting stockinette

2. Take your darning needle and pass it purlwise through the first stitch on the front needle. Pull the yarn through, while leaving the stitch on the needle.

Tutorial Kitchener stitch: grafting stockinette

3. Next, thread the darning needle knitwise through the first stitch on the back needle. Again, pull the yarn through, while leaving the stitch on the needle.

Tutorial Kitchener stitch: grafting stockinette

Repeat

1. Front needle: Pass the darning needle knitwise through the first stitch of the front needle. Pull the yarn through and slip the stitch off the needle. The below picture shows how it looks after the stitch has been dropped.

Tutorial Kitchener stitch: grafting stockinette

2. Front needle: Next, thread the darning needle purlwise through the second stitch on the front needle. Leave the stitch on the needle and pull the yarn through.

Tutorial Kitchener stitch: grafting stockinette

3. Back needle: Pass the darning needle purlwise through the first stitch of the back needle. Pull the yarn through and slip the stitch off the needle. Again, the picture shows how it looks after the stitch has been dropped off.

Tutorial Kitchener stitch: grafting stockinette

4. Back needle: Next, thread the darning needle knitwise through the second stitch on the back needle. Leave the stitch on the needle and pull the yarn through. Gently adjust the tension of the newly made stitches to match the fabric of the pieces you’re grafting together. Be careful not to pull your yarn too tightly!

Tutorial Kitchener stitch: grafting stockinette

Repeat steps 1 to 4 until only 1 stitch remains on each knitting needle. This is how it then looks:

Tutorial Kitchener stitch: grafting stockinette

Finishing

1. Now insert the darning needle knitwise into the first stitch on the front needle and pull the yarn through, dropping the stitch from the needle.

Tutorial Kitchener stitch: grafting stockinette

2. To finish, insert the darning needle purlwise into the first stitch on the back needle. Pull the yarn through and drop the stitch from the needle.

Tutorial Kitchener stitch: grafting stockinette

And that’s it! Pretty seamless, isn’t it? The only reason it can be seen as clearly as it is in this example is that I used a contrasting yarn.

Tutorial Kitchener stitch: grafting stockinette

Points of attention

If the tension of the new connecting row of stitches is not right yet, you can use the tip of your darning needle to further adjust. Just start at the right edge of the work, where grafting began, and gently pull the various stitches to adjust the tension until it matches the tension of the joined pieces. Also, when moving from front to back needle and vice versa, make sure to pass the working yarn and darning needle underneath the knitting needles, not above them.

Many people use a little rhyme to help remember the various steps that are to be repeated. It goes like this:

Front: Knit off (knit first stitch on front needle, drop stitch off)
Front: Purl on(purl next stitch on front needle, leave stitch on)
Back: Purl off(purl first stitch on back needle, drop stitch off)
Back: Knit on(knit next stitch on back needle, leave stitch on)

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Thanks to my Patreon supporters for bringing you this freebie! Creating quality patterns and tutorials is a lot of work and resource-intensive. However, I find it important to give you free content like this tutorial. Thanks to the generous support of my Patreon supporters I can make it happen. Thank you, patrons! Click here to join, or click here to read more about La Visch Designs on Patreon.

11 Mar

tutorial – working Judy’s magic cast on

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I may receive a commission if you purchase something through these links. I’ve indicated these links with an *.

Perhaps you’ve heard about Judy’s Magic Cast On: a truly magic and invisible cast on for toe-up socks. This cast on was first devised by Judy Becker and shared in her article on Knitty. It’s a very clever cast on, as it creates a truly seamless start of your work. As Judy shares in her article, this cast on can be used for a wide range of projects and not just for socks. It can be used for anything that requires knitting in the round and a neat, seamless start.

Since I’m such a fan of this technique, I’m giving you my take on this cast on in this tutorial.

Materials used

Yarn: * Paintbox Yarns Simply DK, a good value, good quality 100% acrylic yarn, in the color 128 Lime Green.

Needles: * Addi Lace Circular Needles, in this tutorial I used the 4 mm (US 6) size with a cable length of 100 cm (40 inches). I would like to advise using at least a cable length of 80 cm (32 inches) to facilitate magic loop knitting.

Working Judy’s Magic Cast On step by step

1. This cast on is worked with both the yarn tail and the working yarn. This means, that to start, we need to estimate a sufficient length of yarn tail. One method to do this is to wrap the yarn around your needle once for every stitch to cast on, and then give yourself approx. 15 cm / 6 inches extra so you’ll have enough to weave in later.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Make a slipknot leaving a yarn tail as determined in the previous step and place it around the top needle. Pull to tighten this first loop/cast on stitch. Arrange the yarn in such a way, that the yarn tail is above the top needle and the working yarn is below the bottom needle as pictured.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Now move the yarn tail downwards, under and then over the bottom needle and next underneath the top needle to bring it back to its starting position. You now have cast on a loop on the bottom needle.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Next, take the working yarn and move it under and then over the top needle and next underneath the bottom needle to bring it back to its starting position. You now have cast on a loop on the top needle.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you’ve cast on the required number of stitches. Take care not to tighten these stitches too much, since this will encourage a little bump to form on each side of the cast on stitches. In this picture, a total of 18 stitches, 9 stitches per needle, have been cast on. (And yes, I really should have used a slightly longer yarn tail….)

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Working the first round after the cast on

There are some peculiarities with the first round after the stitches are cast on using Judy’s Magic Cast On. Read on to find out more!

1. Turn the needles so that the bottom needle is now on top and ready to serve as your main (left-hand) needle.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Pull out the other needle to place its stitches on the cable and to use the tip as your working (right-hand) needle to knit into all the stitches on the main needle, magic loop style. Make sure that the yarn tail lies between the working yarn and the main needle. This way you can lock the yarn tail in place once you start knitting.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Knit the stitches on the main (left-hand) needle. If the first stitch loosens up a bit, just tighten it back up by softly pulling the yarn tail.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Next, turn your work so that the working yarn is on the right again.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. Pull gently on the left-hand cable loop to pull the needle into the stitches and the former bottom needle is now on top and ready to serve as your main (left-hand) needle.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. Likewise, pull out the other needle to place the stitches just worked on the cable, and to use the tip as your working (right-hand) needle to knit into all the stitches on the main needle, magic loop style.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

7. Work the second set of the cast on stitches. Only this time, knit them through the back loop to correct their stitch mount.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

The result

Once all the above steps are followed, this is the result. You’re now ready to continue with your knitting in the round (using magic loop) as described in your pattern.

Working Judy's Magic Cast On - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

And this is how to work Judy’s Magic Cast On and the first round after casting on!

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Thanks to my Patreon supporters for bringing you this freebie! Creating quality patterns and tutorials is a lot of work and resource-intensive. However, I find it important to give you free content like this tutorial. Thanks to the generous support of my Patreon supporters I can make it happen. Thank you, patrons! Click here to join, or click here to read more about La Visch Designs on Patreon.