Beautiful Knitting

Where Mt.Mom knits, crochets, designs, and seeks Beauty as food for the soul.

Posts Tagged ‘Austrian twisted stitch’

Twisted-Stitch Article published and New Videos posted!

Posted by mtmom on November 13, 2010

The November — February issue of Cast On magazine is arriving in mailboxes; I got my copy today.  I wrote a technical article for this one — my first!  It tells how to work Bavarian Twisted Stitches without a cable needle.

Back in August, and again in October, I filmed videos to demonstrate the techniques I describe in the article.  If you check the Tutorials page (see those tabs along the top of the page on my blog. . .), you’ll see that I’ve started posting them there.  Hope you enjoy and learn from them!

For more videos, see the right sidebar or my YouTube channel:  MtMomDesigns.

We have had some “white stuff” here.  Snow was seen high up on the Peaks; at lower elevations (7000 feet) we got some sort of frozen rain that hurt when it struck my face.  (Sleet?  I didn’t grow up with such precipitation, so I’m not sure what to call this. . . .)

San Francisco Peaks, 9 November

Frozen stuff in our backyard, 9 November

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Catching Up . . . with Twists, Colors, and Caps

Posted by mtmom on May 23, 2010

Little baby aspen leaves mean spring is spring-ing here on the mountain!

I’ve mostly been working on the swatch for my Cast On pattern submission, but a few other recent completions somehow missed being documented here, so I think it’s time for some catch-up!

First, here’s the current state of the “real” swatch (vs my multi-colored swatch for trying out motifs and yarns):

3 wide and 3 narrow motifs to choose among

Due in Ohio by June 1, so I’ve got to finish it and pack it off very soon.

I have 2 ideas yet to try, one involves the lean of the twisted stitches, the other. . . is secret for now!  😉

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Latest progress on Fair Isle sampler scarf, motifs from Philosopher’s Wool.

And here are some recent give-away projects:

"3-Color Spiral Cap"

"3-Color Spiral Cap", top view

trying out Red Heart "Soft" yarn, colorway "Embers"

trying out Noro "Silver Thaw"; hat and short scarf with buttons

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Finally, some yarn “progressions” — groups of similar hue and saturation/purity, but a range of light/dark value:

Shetland blues, by value

Knit Picks greens, by value

Shetland oranges, by value

Shetland purples, by value

Posted in Cap/Hat, Color-work, Design, Knitting, scarf | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Lotsa Twisted Stitches

Posted by mtmom on May 16, 2010

This past week has been pretty much totally given over to Bavarian (or Austrian) Twisted Stitch knitting — and a head cold.

First, let me tell you that I finished (again) the orange Bayerische cap.


I learned a lot from using and adapting DuckyShepherd’s in-pattern decrease-chart, but I prefer how the top shaping turned out this second time.

At the same time, I’ve been working on an article on twisted stitch technique — ‘cus there’s lots of ways to do them — with also hopes of publishing an original hat pattern using traditional motifs.  (Proposals due in 2 weeks.)

For the hat, I started with swatching, and the ideas began to work themselves out in the knitting.  Where I began is not where I’m at now.  Instead of collecting motifs with a certain theme (tree, path, mountain…), I’m now selecting them by width (number of stitches in the motif) and “simplicity”.  I have found, only by actually knitting them, that some designs are easier to work than others — not in the sense or more or fewer twists, but in the sense of being able to see where you’re at within the design and where the next set of twists need to go.  You could say, some are easier to “read” as-you-go than others.  I’m considering this hat a bit of a sampler, introducing the intermediate but slightly adventurous knitter to the genre.

Here is my hat swatch.

At the bottom, you see just a bit of my theme-based beginnings, done in “persimmon” leftovers from the Smocked Band Hat in the current issue of Cast On (yippee!).  I decided that this yarn, “1/2 N 1/2”  wool-milk blend sport/fingering-weight, flattens too much (drape versus spring) to make the twisted stitches stand out, so I went back to Louet GEMS sport in color “linen grey”.  This yarn is  pretty much perfect for the task, because it is smoothly spun (worsted vs woolen) and tightly plied.  But, since this is a test swatch after all, I went on to try a third yarn and may yet add a fourth.  The peach yarn is Dale of Norway’s “Falk” sport superwash, leftover from my Level II vest.  The results look good, but this yarn is more frustrating  during out-of-order stitch manipulation, because it’s more splitty than the GEMS.  Designers need to give the magazine project-selection committee several yarn alternatives, so exploration is definitely a good thing!  I may yet try some of the Rowan “Whiskey” I bought recently.  Anyone here have experience with that yarn?  I especially wish I knew how it held up to wear, because I bought it with an eye toward sportweight socks/kilt hose.

You can also see where I changed course on motifs, adding some, eliminating others.  I think I’ll be going with the Hauser (top left), Striped Squares (topmost right), and Burning Love (I kid you not on that name!) lattice (bottom left) for 3 wide patterns, and 3 narrow ones will be Little Chain (far right), Braid #1 (bottom left-center), and Small Overlay (top left-center).  I think that will get me a good total width.  Although I do like the bumpy Wheat Ear divider (very center), and using dividers at all is definitely optional, I will probably stick with the plain k2tbl columns between all motifs.

Posted in Cap/Hat, Design, Knitting | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Frogs in These Waters

Posted by mtmom on April 25, 2010

I finished the Bayerische Cap — for the first time, but not — I hope — for the last time.

< < Here (left) it is modeled by piper Mac (himself bought from a booth at our local Celtic Fair a few years back).

As you may suppose, his head is rather smaller than my own. . . .

And here (right) >> is the cap on youngest DD, modeling while she consumes a chicken “nugget”.

Her head is also, as you may suppose, rather smaller than my own.

(Do you get a sense of where this is all going?)

Here is a shot of the top of the cap, while we’re at it.

You can see the in-pattern decreasing, with all lines converging to the center top.

I had 2 main goals for this project:  trying out twisted-stitch knitting and learning more about decreasing rates in rib-based patterns.  Those goals led to my eventual decision to. . .

. . . rip back to before I began decreasing, and consider this a DD-cap instead of a mama-cap.

No, it’s not a tragedy.  Really.  (Although I am sad that it won’t be MY cap any more.)

I’ve reconditioned the yarn (i.e., held it over a steaming kettle to de-kink it), found my place in the chart (round 4), and resumed knitting.

I really do enjoy this style of knitting (goal #1).

And now I can move forward having progressed on, but not mastered, goal #2.  (I didn’t just want a cap, I wanted a lesson!)

Cap-top Decreasing — Theory.

When knitting a cap bottom-up in stockinette, a decrease rate of about 8 stitches every other round yield a nearly-flat top.  This usually curves on a head nicely.  You can do as few as 6 or as many as 10 decreases every other round and still get a good result IN STOCKINETTE.  (The same rates work for increases in a top-down cap.)  But, when knitting in cables or ribs (including twisted and traveling ribs, like in this cap), you have many more stitches in every horizontal inch, but not so many more rows/rounds in every vertical inch.  So, you get to the top in the same number of rounds, but have more stitches to eliminate while on your way there.  Thus, a faster decrease rate is called for.  (This is much more clear to me now than it was before!)

Another point:  a ribbed cap always looks skinnier when unstretched than a stockinette cap, so appearances can be deceiving as you’re knitting along with no head in the hat to stretch out the ribs.

Application:  How many decreases should I average on this cap and where should I place them?  Those have been big questions.  This is my current thinking:  I want to begin the decreasing later and then do it faster and more evenly.  (I think it squeezed in too soon, making the cap creep up her head, and that I had too many near-even rows in the top portions, making it pointy.)

I’ll continue to post, as things develop!

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Another few rounds on the Bavarian cap

Posted by mtmom on April 16, 2010

Bayerische hat (modified from Eunny Jang’s sock pattern of that name) is now at 1.4 repeats (row #5 of second group of 16, or #23) and 4″ tall.  I’ve run another dental floss life-line.

Height doesn’t look that much different from when it was 3 1/4″. . . .  But now I have to decide:

Am I ready yet to begin decreasing and closing off the top?  What do you think?

The very next round is where the actual decrease stitches would begin if I follow DuckyShepherd’s chart — her decreases begin on pattern-round #6 and take 15 more rounds (3 linear inches) to complete.

Posted in Cap/Hat, Knitting | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Bavarian Try-on

Posted by mtmom on March 30, 2010

Here I am, trying on the half-done hat.

I think another full repeat of that X-motif will make the hat too tall, don’t you?

What shall I do?  Another half-rep, and then wing it for the top-decreases?

I would rather follow Duckyshepherd’s chart, a tried path, but my desire for a hat I’d like to wear will probably win out here.

What can I learn from her chart and apply?  Hmmm.  She decreases middle stitches before a cable-crossing . . . , and replaces some twists with same-direction decreases . . . , and sacrifices purls in favor of knits when things get narrow.  Perhaps I can DO THIS!

I may even try switching to her chart NOW — she includes 5 rounds of pattern before the decreases begin — that’s almost a half-rep. . . .  Depends partly on how slowly/quickly she decreases.  Hmmmm.

Posted in Cap/Hat, Knitting | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Bavarian Twists and Bunny Tales

Posted by mtmom on March 28, 2010

I can’t believe I didn’t take photos — I recall *meaning* to. . . .

But I made a knitted bunny from the HeartStrings FiberArts pattern (see original on Ravelry here; download pattern from here).  Really, I did!

Here you see the knitted part:  – – – – >
From that point, there was a bit of sewing and stuffing, and then more sewing and more stuffing. . . .

And then I set it out by the widowsill for its photo shoot. . . . {ahem}

And then I mailed it to my niece for her just-before-Easter 6th birthday!  (Happy Birthday, Mary Margaret!)

Maybe they’ll send me a photo of said niece and said bunny?

On another knitting front,  I delivered the Dashing fingerless mitts yesterday.  Michael liked them and immediately got to show them off to some mutual friends — one an appreciative fellow knitter (Hi, Jan!).

Now for something WITH photos!

I’ve been enjoying working on a hat adapted from the Bayerische Sock pattern by Eunny Jang.  Here’s another knitter’s cap (Ravelry link) — Duckyshepherd has kindly made available a chart for top-decreasing that I look forward to using.  I chose a bulky/chunky-weight wool yarn by Brown Sheep, called Shepherd’s Shades — three 2-ply plies.  Color is SS333 “Papaya”.

Shepherd's Shades yarn

I’m just over halfway through the body of the hat, and I’ve consumed 40 of the 100 grams of yarn so far (swatch and ribbing and 1st patt rep).  Wonder if I’m going to need a second ball?  Eunny says of her sock pattern that it “eats yarn at a fearsome rate.  Plan on 3 balls of Jawoll for a pair.”  Better get another ball while the same dye lot is available at LYS!  (That’s one advantage of buying a yarn for a particular project and casting on right away.)

Chart A (Chart C is mirror image)

Chart B

Chart D

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Yarn shows the texture pretty well, eh?  LYS employee Val recommended it when I asked for a “firmly-spun yarn for twisted stitch work”.

I’ve progressed some, since I took those images. Here’s a shot from this afternoon:

One more round, and I’ll have completed one full rep of the tallest pattern, 2 of each of the shorter (8-round) motifs.  After 2 full repeats, the top-shaping begins.

This one I actually intend to keep for myself — hope it fits!  (Haven’t had the courage to put it on a string/ribbon and try it on yet….)  Wish me well.

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