More from the inbox.

Stitch marker in the middle of decreases

Stinkyknitter is also working on the Paisley Shawl. She noted thatsome of therepeats in the second chart begin or end with a decrease, and asks how I manage stitch markers that end up in the middle of two stitches that are supposed to be worked together.

I move ’em.

Being a Continental style knitter, I’m loathe to remove my hands from my needles while I’m working. I usually use my "third hand," grabbing the offending stitch marker in my teeth and holding it for the one or two stitches required. One of the reasons I started using broken earring fobs and making fancy stitch markers a gazillion years ago was that the hanging ornaments made them easy to grab this way.

On my Paisley, the only markers that need to be moved are the plain split rings. They’re pretty small – small enough in fact to be slid through stitches if need be, but they’re also wide enough to stay put unless otherwise "encouraged." When I get to a SSK that’s bisected by a stitch marker I use my needle tip to pop it through the leading stitch, then transfer it to the right hand needle, and work the SSK on the appropriate (far) side of the marker. On K2togs, it’s the third hand method.

Yes it can be a pain to stop and shuffle them around. When I graph up repeats for my own use, I often finagle the beginning and end points so that my markers don’t end up splitting the difference in the decreases.

Re-knitting tension

A couple of people wrote to ask about gauge tension in the re-knitted repairs. They asked if the new replacement work looked different from the rest of the piece, or if the stitches at the edges of the new work where it bordered the old were distorted in any way.

To be truthful, a bit of care is needed when you’re re-knitting the ladders after ripping down. There is great temptation to start out each row working rather loosely, then wrestle to eke out the remaining stitches from the remaining length of the ladder strand. I make a conscious effort to avoid this, and try to form all my stitches with the same tension as the original knitting.

A couple of times I’ve had to re-knit a cable, and that cable was centered in the section being re-knit. I tried working the crossing several times, but always ended up not having enough of the ladder strand available to finish the couple stitches that came after it. So I worked that particular row from both ends, picking up the stitches to the left and right of the cable and then sliding them onto the needles that held the "good" knitting on either side of the section undergoing repair. After they were rescued, the only stitches that remained on my fix-it DPN were those of the cable crossing itself. I did those last, absorbing the tightness into the natural tightness of the crossing.

As far as appearance, after my usual post-knitting wash and dry prior to assembly, any unevenness is smoothed out. I’ve never needed to do anything else to a re-knit repair, nor have any of them been recognizable as such after garment completion. (If I had time instead of rushing out the door to work right now, I’d dig up some pieces that were fixed mid-stream and take some pix to prove it.)

Pattern source

A couple of people missed my first post on the Paisley Shawl earlier this week, and wanted to know where they could find the pattern. It’s in the Spring 2005 edition of Interweave Knits – page 96. Not the Summer edition that (most) subscribers received last week, but the one before that.


Thank you to everyone who sent in kind words about the tech articles at String. To be truthful, this blog is a busman’s holiday for me. In Real Life I’m a proposal writer, mostly working in/with engineering or high-tech firms. Compared to communicating concepts in nuclear engineering or high-end routing, writing about knitting is easier and lots more fun. Plus winging my way through this has reinforced my appreciation for editors. I’m embarrassed to admit the number of spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistakes I fly past without noticing while I’m writing,but find later. To quote a former boss, "Only fools proof their own work."

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: