Monday, 7 December 2009

Black Frost - and the best join in the round, ever.

I have finished Black Frost. This picture is not good, and I am blaming the light at this time of year. (Excuses, excuses....)

The pattern here is First Frost, by Heidi Kirrmaier. I used Patons Jet (yes, I still have a bit left) and 5mm needles, worked to the gauge given in the pattern. I worked the 'in between' size measuring 44", for a loose waistcoat, and I left out the buttonholes. And the buttons, of course. I shall fasten this with a pin, when I fasten it.

Verdict - very nice! This pattern would look good worked in a self striping yarn like Kureyon or Silk Garden, to show off the different directions of the knitting. And, who know, I might make another to do just that. But not yet.

I've also finished the first Oliver sock.

You can see here i) the arch shaping, and ii) the contrast toe showing off the fact that I ran out of yarn. It is a design feature.

I have cast on for the second sock, and whilst I think about it, here is a little how-to.

Have a look at the edge of this sock.

At the right hand edge of one of those columns of ribbing is the beginning of the sock - where the join is, in other words.

This is not easy to spot. I think I might actually say 'impossible' - but of course if you were to look at the inside, you'd see the ends woven in. But pretty difficult, to say the least, looking at that picture.

Fourth column from the left.

I rest my case.

So now - The best join for working in the round. Ever. (So far, at any rate.)

This trick, like many good things in knitting, is very simple.

I should just note that the cast on that I have used here is a double start cast on - in other words, this is a long tail cast on, and the tail is doubled yarn. This means that the first stitch cast on is made with doubled yarn as well. This is not an essential for working this join - I'd be showing you my usual long tail cast on, but this sock pattern wants a double start caston, so that's what I've got in these pictures. (I am far too lazy to work the cast on twice. Ahem.)

Also, I am working (as I usually do) with a set of 5 needles.

Right. After casting all the stitches onto one dpn, and then dividing them between dpns as you wish, arrange the dpns so that the working yarn is coming from the end of the needle in your right hand, and the first stitch cast on is at the working end of the needle in your left hand.

In other words, arrange the stitches and needles as usual.

With the needle in your right hand, knit the first stitch on the LH needle - this was the first stitch that you cast on, originally.

Three things to point out here.

Firstly, I am not starting to work with the spare dpn, as you might expect. I am starting to work with the last needle in the round - the one with the working yarn hanging at the end. The reason for this is that if you work the first two or three rounds with the stitches from the first and fourth needles all together on a single needle, the join comes in the middle of that needle. This avoids putting too much stress on the join, and possibly stretching it out.

In other words, it helps. Put the stitches back onto separate needles after, say, three rounds.

Secondly, you can see the yarn tails - doubled yarn, remember - lying in front of my index finger and across the middle finger of my left hand.

And thirdly - usually I'd either work the cast on without a slip knot at the beginning, or else I'd unpick the slip knot and replace it with a twisted loop, before working into it. Because this is a double start cast on, that doesn't work too well. So for that reason only, I'm leaving the slip knot at the beginning - that's the first stitch that I am working into. Normally, there would be no slip knot.

Now - the yarn tail(s) are the key. Take the yarn tail(s) and bring them up in front of the work, between the needles, and drop them down at the back of the work.

And that's it.

Snug everything up nicely - tuck the yarn tails down neatly, give the working yarn just a little tug, don't make it too tight - and knit on.

You will, I promise, find that you have a lovely neat join.


Helen said...

I think the black toe looks very cool, as if you dipped it in ink. I would do that deliberately, if I knitted socks.

Linda said...

Thank you for that tip on joining. I like the waistcoat too.

Heather said...

Excellent no-jog cast on tip. I will definitely try it on my next circular project. I have been experimenting with swapping the first and last stitches of the cast on before knitting the first row, and that is ok, but your way looks better.

Linda said...

Gosh, thanks for the cast on tips!