20 Feb

tutorial – working a lifted-over knot stitch

Working a lifted-over knot stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

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I find myself working more and more of the lovely intricate stitch patterns in the * Japanse Knitting Stitch Bible by Hitomi Shida. In these stitch patterns, there are a lot of types of stitches that I personally haven’t encountered before. A good reason to make some new tutorials! In this post, I’ll go into how to work a lifted-over knit stitch.

Japanese knitting stitch bible

There are, of course, many variations of this type of stitch. They can be worked over 3 to 5 stitches and in any combination of purl and knit stitches, either regularly or through the back loop. What they all have in common, however, is that one of the stitches is lifted over the others, after which the remaining stitches are worked, in combination with a yarn over to bring the number of stitches back to the original number. Characteristic of the lifted-over knot stitch is the horizontal bar that is created by the lifted-over stitch.

In this tutorial I’ll explain the version of the lifted-over knot stitch that is explained in the * Japanse Knitting Stitch Bible by the following text:

Insert tip of RN into the third st; lift it up and over the first two sts and let it drop; k, yo, k.

This particular version is worked over 3 stitches, the 3 that are near the tip of the left-hand needle in the picture below.

Working a lifted-over knot stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Working a lifted-over knot stitch step by step

1. To start, insert your right-hand needle purlwise into the third stitch from the tip of the left-hand needle.

Working a lifted-over knot stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Lift this stitch up and pull it over the two stitches nearer to the tip as well as over the needle tip itself. Be careful, this action may pull the other two stitches along and off the needle.

Working a lifted-over knot stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Now knit one stitch.

Working a lifted-over knot stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Yarn over…

Working a lifted-over knot stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. … and work another knit stitch to complete the lifted-over knot stitch.

Working a lifted-over knot stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. In the below picture another row is worked. This reveals the true appearance of this lifted-over knot stitch!

Working a lifted-over knot stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

On a side note, in this piece of knitting is more going on than just the lifted-over knot stitch. Tutorials for these other types of stitches will follow!

The yarn used in this tutorial is * Debbie Bliss “Piper” in Magenta. It’s a yarn with a composition of 50% cotton and 50% viscose. As you can see, it has a great stitch definition! Perfect for trying out those intricate Japanese stitch patterns.

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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 Feb

tutorial – crochet a braid in your knitting

Crochet a braid in your knitting - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Perhaps you’ve seen some examples of this technique floating around the net. Knitted pieces with parallel stripes of stitches that are much bigger than the surrounding ones in either garter stitch, or reverse stockinette. In this tutorial, I show you how to crochet a braid in your knitting. This will include step by step instructions on what I did to achieve a similar result. And I will, of course, also share with you what I found out and would do differently next time I use this technique.

Crochet a braid in your knitting step-by-step

1. Cast-on any number of stitches using your preferred method. For this little swatch, I used the knitted-on cast-on, which is also known as the cable cast-on.

Crochet a braid in your knitting - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Next, knit across the row and put a yarnover at every place in in the piece where you want to position the braid. I did mine where the needle is pointing. It can be handy to place a stitch marker on each side of the yarnover. This makes it easier to determine which stitch to drop down later on. I didn’t do that here, because it’s only 1 stitch in the exact middle of the swatch. No issues in keeping my place!

Crochet a braid in your knitting - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Now knit until the piece has the desired height/length. Make sure to work the number of rows that is a multiple of the number of strands you want to make the braid with. A multiple of 2 for a 2-strand braid and 3 for a 3-strand braid. Next, locate the stitch that’s directly above the yarnover in your first row. This is where the stitch markers can come in useful.

Crochet a braid in your knitting - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Drop the stitch down until you’ve reached the yarnover/cast-on edge. Use you fingers to tease the yarn strands loose if necessary.

Crochet a braid in your knitting - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. Now we’re going to take a crochet hook and work our way back up the piece using multiple strands of yarn. In this example I’m doing 2 strands together. To start, we have to pick up the 2 strands of yarn directly above the cast-on edge. I’m picking them up twisted, to ensure that the tension of this first bit of braid is not looser than the following ones. To do so, I inserted my crochet into the work as pictured, and then twisted the hook clockwise.

Crochet a braid in your knitting - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. Next, insert your hook below the next 2 strands and pull them through the loop on the hook to form a stitch.

Crochet a braid in your knitting - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

7. This is how it looks:

Crochet a braid in your knitting - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

8. Keep on inserting your hook below the next 2 strands and pulling them through the loop on the hook. Repeat until there are no more loose strands in the piece to work back up.

Crochet a braid in your knitting - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

9. Now you can place the last loop back on the needle. Knit accros the row to fix it into place. And that’s it!

Things I’d do differently next time

When I was working on this little swatch, I thought of a couple of things I would do differently next time. I didn’t feel the braid was fat enough against the background of garter stitch. Perhaps a 2-strand braid works better against a background of reverse stockinette.

I did try out a 3-strand braid, for the picture, see below. With this one, however, I noticed that the fabric started pulling around the braid. To counter this I would suggest not working 1 yarnover in the first row, but a double one instead. Just drop the extra loop on the following row and work regular stitches per your stitch pattern in the ones after that.

Crochet a braid in your knitting - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

When there are 2 columns of stitches dropped to free up strands for the braid, I expect the braid itself will also be more volumineus. Which is a good thing, because it will make it stand out better against the background.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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 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!

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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.

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!

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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.

25 Jul

tutorial – circular cast-on

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Casting-on for knitting in the round is usually a rather fiddly business. The circular cast-on method in this tutorial, unfortunately, isn’t any different in that respect. Still, when wanting the cast-on for a project knitted flat and in the round, this method gives a very nice and invisible start.

I think it’s ideal for things like top-down hats, center-out blankets or shawls, and the like. It’s pretty similar to the idea of starting a project with a magic ring in crochet. A big plus is that the ring can be tightened to close up the starting hole, once you’re well underway and past that fiddly starting stage.

In this tutorial I used a circular needle in the magic loop way, but (of course) double pointed needles (dpn’s) can also be used for the small-circumference start.

Materials

Besides yarn and circular knitting needles (or dpn’s), it’s also a good idea to use stitch markers to denote the corner stitches. I didn’t use them in this tutorial and it shows in the end result! If using circular needles, make sure the cable is long enough to do magic loop. In my experience, 80 cm / 32 inches or longer is needed for that.

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

The circular cast-on step-by-step

1. Make an overhand knot in your yarn as shown below in the picture.

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Next, position your knitting needle as shown underneath the strand of your that goes to the ball of yarn.

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Now insert the needle in the circle of yarn, yarn over and pull the loop through the circle. This makes a new stitch as shown below.

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Now, yarn over again…

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. …. and (as in step 3) again insert the needle in the circle of yarn, yarn over and pull the loop through the circle. This makes a new stitch as shown below.

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 as often as needed. In this example, I repeated another 2 times to get to a total of 8 stitches on my needle.

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

7. Now you can pull on the yarn tail to tighten up the cast-on circle. Don’t worry if it loosens up, later on, you can always tighten it again.

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

8. And now you can start knitting according to your pattern! This may also be a good time to insert any stitch markers needed, for the correct placement of the increases. In this example, I didn’t, which shows in the wonky placement of the yarn overs in the picture below. Still, the cast-on itself in the center can be seen pretty well, so there it is!

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs
Patreon logo

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.

28 Mar

tutorial – knitting the k2tog decrease

Knitting the k2tog decrease - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

In my previous post, I showed you how to work the left-leaning skp decrease. In this one, I will tell you all about the matching right-leaning decrease, the one abbreviated with “k2tog”. This stands for “knit 2 stitches together”. It’s a very easy and very common way to reduce the number of stitches in your project and make it narrower.

Below you can find how to work this decrease, so get your materials and follow along! I’m starting with the same swatch I used in my previous tutorial on the m1bl increase.

Knitting the k2tog decrease - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Knitting the right-leaning k2tog decrease step by step

1. First, take your project and work to the spot indicated in your pattern, where the decrease is supposed to be made. I’m making the decrease 3 stitches in, counted from the garter stitch edging on the left side of the swatch. However, because the decrease itself uses 2 stitches I have to stop to do the decrease 5 stitches from the left-side edging.

Knitting the k2tog decrease - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Next, insert the tip of the right-hand needle into the first 2 stitches at the same time as if to knit.

Knitting the k2tog decrease - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Wrap the yarn around the needle…

Knitting the k2tog decrease - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. ..pull it through the stitches you inserted the right-hand needle in…

Knitting the k2tog decrease - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. …and slip the original stitches of the left-hand needle.

Knitting the k2tog decrease - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

And this is how to work the k2tog decrease! The result in stockinette is shown below. In this small swatch, there are three decrease rows worked every other row, at a distance of 2 stitches from the garter stitch edge.

Knitting the k2tog decrease - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

21 Mar

tutorial – knitting the skp decrease

Knitting the skp decrease - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

To make shaping in your knitting possible, knowing how to decrease the number of stitches on your needles is quite important. In this post, I’m going to show you how to work the left-leaning decrease that is abbreviated with “skp”. Skp stands for “slip 1, knit 1, pass the slipped stitch over the knitted stitch”.

There are, of course, also other left-leaning decreases. Take for example the “slip slip knit” (ssk) decrease. And yes, the result is quite similar to that of the skp, but I find the latter personally much easier to work. That’s the reason I usually include the skp decrease in my patterns and add a note that instead, an ssk can be used if desired.

Below you can find how this decrease is worked, so get your materials and follow along! I’m starting with the same swatch I used in my previous tutorial on the m1bl increase.

Knitting the skp decrease - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Knitting the left-leaning skp decrease step by step

1. First, take your project and work to the spot indicated in your pattern, where you want to make the decrease. In my case, that’s 3 stitches in from the garter stitch edging on the right side of the swatch.

Knitting the skp decrease - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Next, insert the tip of the right-hand needle into the first stitch as if to knit…. (It is, of course, possible to insert the needle as if to purl, but this will twist the stitch mount and will make the decrease look like a twisted stitch.).

Knitting the skp decrease - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. … and slip it onto the right-hand needle without actually knitting it.

Knitting the skp decrease - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Next, we are going to knit the second stitch. To do so, we start with inserting the right-hand needle into the first stitch on the other needle as shown below.

Knitting the skp decrease - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. Wrap the yarn around the needle…

Knitting the skp decrease - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. ..pull it through the stitch you inserted the right-hand needle in…

Knitting the skp decrease - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

7. …and slip the original stitch off the left-hand needle.

Knitting the skp decrease - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

8. Next, insert the left-hand needle into the second stitch counted from the tip of the right-hand needle…

Knitting the skp decrease - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

9. And pull it over the first stitch from the tip on the right-hand needle to complete the decrease. Do you see how it slants to the left?

Knitting the skp decrease - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

And this is how to work the skp decrease! The result in stockinette is shown below. In this example, there are three decrease rows worked every other row, at a distance of 2 stitches from the garter stitch edge.

Knitting the skp decrease - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

The decreases in this particular swatch look a bit wibbly/wobbly but in my experience that mostly disappears after blocking. In lace, however, I don’t notice it at all after blocking.

04 Mar

tutorial – knitting the m1bl increase

Knitting the m1bl increase - by La Visch Designs

As you know, there are many options to work increases in knitting. Take for example the various m1 increases. A disadvantage of the regular m1 increase is, however, that it’s worked into the horizontal strand between two stitches in the row below. This causes the knitting to become tighter when they’re stacked over multiples rows. Especially when working in stripes or garter stitch, this can cause the lines to become distorted.

And that is where the m1bl increase comes in. The m1bl increase is also known as “Make 1 with Backward Loop” or the “Backward loop increase”. And when worked correctly it’s almost invisible! This is due to the fact that it doesn’t use yarn from the row below, but is given its own amount to be formed. Also, the m1bl increase can be used to either increase mid-row or cast-on stitches at the end of the row. The m1bl is basically the same as the thumb method of casting on, also known as the “single cast-on”, “e-wrap cast-on” or the “backward loop cast-on”.

Directional increase

The m1bl increase is a directional increase. This means there is both a left-leaning and a right-leaning version, which mirror each other when used together. This can be very useful in projects where paired increased are needed and it may be visually pleasing to be symmetrical. Think for example of both sides of a top-down triangle shawls spine, or bust shaping in a garment.

Sometimes there is no indication of a direction given in the pattern, usually denoted by plain “m1bl”. If that is the case, you can choose which version you like best, or easiest to make. Often I don’t bother using both versions of the m1bl increase. I mean, it’s so invisible on its own!

In my patterns you can find the following description for the m1bl increase:
Make 1 with a backward loop (m1bl): With your thumb, make a backward loop with the working yarn over the right-hand needle and pull to tighten.

Below you can find how this increase is worked.

Knitting the left-leaning m1bl increase step by step

1. Take your working yarn and loop it as shown in the picture below, with the yarn going to the project in front.

Knitting the m1bl increase - by La Visch Designs

2. Next, insert the tip of the right needle from back to front through the loop.

Knitting the m1bl increase - by La Visch Designs

3. Pull the yarn snugly around the needle.

Knitting the m1bl increase - by La Visch Designs

4. On next row when you come to the loop added, purl (as shown here for stockinette) or knit (for garter stitch) as usual.

Knitting the m1bl increase - by La Visch Designs

Knitting the right-leaning m1bl increase step by step

1. Take your working yarn and loop it as shown in the picture below, with the yarn going to the project in the back.

Knitting the m1bl increase - by La Visch Designs

2. Next, insert the tip of the right needle from front to back through the loop.

Knitting the m1bl increase - by La Visch Designs

3. Pull the yarn snugly around the needle.

Knitting the m1bl increase - by La Visch Designs

4. On next row when you come to the loop added, purl (as shown here for stockinette) or knit (for garter stitch) as usual.

Knitting the m1bl increase - by La Visch Designs

The results

And this is how knitting both right- and left-leaning versions of the m1bl increase are worked! The result in stockinette is shown below, with the right-leaning version on the right of the swatch and the left-leaning one on the left. In this small swatch, there are three increase rows worked every other row, at a distance of 3 stitches from the garter stitch edge.

Knitting the m1bl increase - by La Visch Designs

As you can see in the below picture, the increases are fairly invisible in reverse stockinette. The same holds true in garter stitch!

Knitting the m1bl increase - by La Visch Designs