TKGA MHK1 Hiatus

I realized that I left my progress with the TKGA Level 1 Master Hand Knitter program unknown.  I had originally wanted to try to catch up with some back posts but quickly decided to start back up in January.  Why?  Well honestly I just had things that were more fun or more important to me and this was the area I let go of for the year.  So what have I been doing instead?

1. Work – I got a promotion when my boss left and a lot of my mental resources have been used towards learning my new roles.  I’m in a good spot now but for a while there I was coming home exhausted every night.

2. My First Sweater – I wanted to finish this by Christmas.  The main reason was that I wanted my sister to take pics of me wearing it when she was in town that week. I may not need this anymore …

3. My Camera – I upgraded to a DSLR camera in part due to jealousy of the photos my sister is able to take and in part because without natural sunlight I turned out to be a horrible photographer.

4. Christmas Presents – I’d hoped to knit more presents this year but it looks like I’ll just get done what I can.  I’m making my favorites first =)

5. Family Time – I noticed that my two youngest nieces were growing up so fast that I was missing all of it!  I have no plans for kids of my own so I want to enjoy all my nieces and nephews (the plural on the nephews is hopeful) before the kids are teenagers and it’s not cool to spend time with your aunt.

So there you go.  I have not forgotten about the TKGA MHK1 and will be starting back up in about a month!

TKGA Master Hand Knitter 1 – Swatch 6

Week: 9

Currently Working On: Swatch # 6

Progress:

This week was back to increases with the third mirrored increase swatch in the set.  This time it was the lifted increase, also known as the raised increase.  I haven’t used this increase before so I had to spend a little more time looking it up and watching the technique.

The lifted increase can be mirrored with both a right and left slanting version.  Both versions have you working the stitch on the needle and the stitch below it.  The right slanting version has you knitting the stitch below the first stitch on the left needle and then that original stitch on the left needle.  The left slanting version has you knitting two stitches below the first stitch on the right needle.  You knit two below because you’ve already knit  the stitch on the left needle causing the stitch below to now be two stitches below.

The stitch below is also picked up different.  Both have you picking up the closest strand and moving to the front of the left needle but the closest strand is different when you’re lifting the stitch before or after you knit the stitch on the needle.  Also, the left leaning has you knitting through the back of the lifted stitch.  I still find the instructions for this increase the most confusing.

One tip I read is that if you’re stretching your stitch too much to knit the stitch directly without first lifting the stitch onto the left needle.  I’m not sure if that is what I was doing wrong but the left leaning doesn’t look quite right to me. I’ll have to compare it to other’s samples later.

References:

Hiatt, June Hemmons, The Principles of Knitting, Simon and Schuster, 1988.

Raised Increase: Chapter 11, pg 208-210.

Stenersen, Theresa Vinson, “Techniques With Theresa.” http://www.knitty.com. Winter 2009. Web. 16 Sept 2012. <http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter09/FEATwin09TT.php>

“A very nearly invisible increase.” TECHknitting. 5 May 2007. Web. 16 Sept 2012. <http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2007/05/very-nearly-invisible-increase.html>

TKGA Master Hand Knitter 1 – Shameful Post #2

Week: 8

Currently Working On: None

Progress:

Not only did I not work on my TKGA MHK1 program last week I didn’t even get to my shameful post on Sunday. I didn’t work on any other knitting projects either. I also didn’t go grocery shopping, cut the grass, laundry, or anything else.  I thought about back dating the post to make it look like I posted on Sunday but that’s cheating.

There are two reasons for my laziness.  First, allergies are kicking my ass.  Second, my boss is leaving the company and I’m using up all my brain power trying to squeeze as much info as I need from him before his last day.  I used all the energy I had this weekend to spend time with my niece and nephew and I’m happy with my choice!

What is really worrying me is all the time I spent sleeping on my couch.  I fall asleep without any intention of doing so and wake up the next morning.  Still on the couch.  Last week I’d say it’s about 70% sleeping on the couch and 30% in bed.  I guess that means I have a comfortable couch.  Plus side is I’m getting more hours of sleep.

References:

None

TKGA Master Hand Knitter 1 – Swatch 5

Week: 7

Currently Working On: Swatch # 5

Progress:

This week’s swatch uses the make 1 increase.  The biggest frustration I’ve had is that a lot of knitting patterns will say “make 1” but you never know if it’s asking for the actual make 1 increase or just which ever increase you prefer to add one stitch.  I’ve been very annoyed by this ever since I started knitting.  If I see a “M1” in a pattern I roll my eyes and see if I can find a similar pattern elsewhere.  If you’re going to write a pattern I want to know what increase you want or I want you to specifically say that I need to choose the increase.  M1 is just too ambiguous and unless I really like the pattern not worth the effort of deciphering.

The make 1 increase itself is sometimes called a stranded increase and has three variations: open, right leaning, and left leaning. All three types are worked with the strand in between two stitches.  The increase will appear in the middle of these two stitches. M1R and M1L are how I’ve often seen the right leaning and left leaning increases abbreviated (and I’m very happy to see in a pattern as they are specific).

Both the open and left leaning increases pick up the strand with the left needle coming from the front and through the back.  That leaves the stitch correctly oriented on the left needle and ready to knit.  An open increase will knit as normal but a left leaning increase will knit through the back loop.

A right leaning increase will use the left needle to pick up the strand from the back through the front.  The stitch will be twisted on the left needle.  The stitch is now knitted as normal.  What you notice for both right and left leaning increases is that at some point the stitch is twisted. The stitch is twisted either in how it is picked up or how it is knitted.  The twist results in making the hole that naturally occurs with the increase less visible and causes the stitch to lean in one direction.

The open M1 is not twisted in either how the strand is picked up or in how it is knit.  This is why the hole is larger and there is no slant to the increase.

When I took Barry Klein’s class at Stitches last month he talked about these increases.  One of the most common mistakes people make is that they use the right needle to pick up the strand and then transfer it to the left needle to knit.  This can cause mistakes and suddenly you’ll have an increase with a larger hole than expected.  The best way to do these increases is to always use the left needle to pick up that strand since that is the needle you will be knitting from anyway.

References:

Hiatt, June Hemmons, The Principles of Knitting, Simon and Schuster, 1988.

Make One Increase: Chapter 11, pg 211.

Klein, Barry. Class Lecture.  Perfect the Fit.  Stitches Midwest, Schaumburg, IL. 10 Aug 2012.

TKGA Master Hand Knitter 1 – Swatch 4

Week: 6

Currently Working On: Swatch # 4

Progress:

I thought it was time to get back to knitting so I knitted swatch 4 this week.  It was pretty easy as it used the same technique, the bar increase, that I used for the ribbing increases in my previous swatches.  There really wasn’t much to do besides knit the swatch.  The only thing to take into consideration was what stitch to knit the increase into.  The swatch requires a 3 stitch selvage on both the right and left edges which means the increase is done on different stitches on each side.

The bar increase has the “bar” portion created from KFB on the left side of the stitch.  For the right edge of the swatch the increase can be done on the last selvage stitch as the third stitch will have the normal stitch to the right of the bar.  On the left side the increase has to be done before the selvage stitches, in this case on the 4th stitch.  Otherwise the bar would be in the middle of the left edge selvage stitches.

References:

Hiatt, June Hemmons, The Principles of Knitting, Simon and Schuster, 1988.

Bar Increase: Chapter 11, pgs 207-208

Stanley, Montse, Reader’s Digest Knitter’s Handbook, Reader’s Digest, 1986.

Bar Increase: pgs 110-113