Monday, October 1, 2012

Two Solutions for Yarn Floats, and the Last Stocking

Stockings in October

It only took, what, 4 attempts? 5? to get this last stocking done. Sometimes that's how it goes, right?

Fireflies and Fir Trees Christmas Stocking

So here it is. Fireflies and Fir Trees. I like it, it looks magical. I ended up putting 4 stripey stitches down the back to make up for the smaller chart so it is the same size as the other stockings. 

Below is the inside of the stocking. When you are doing color knitting, also known as intarsia, you have to do something with the yarn that isn't being knit. It can kind of hang out on the back, as seen at the top of the stocking, but the rule of thumb for floats, as they are called, is that they shouldn't be loose for more than 3 stitches. So every fourth stitch the color isn't used, you twist around the working color to keep the excess in. 

Intarsia Techniques

I wanted to show you another technique, here on the bottom of the work, which is used in cultures that practice a lot of intarsia knitting like Scandinavia or Peru. They twist the yarns with every stitch. This yields a stiffer yet more elastic fabric. It is also a bit slower, but once you get the hang of it, it isn't irksome. I knit with both yarns on my finger at once rather than dropping yarns, twisting, and resuming. I reach over and under the unused yarn as I go, to keep the excess yarn worked in. The advantage is that there are no floats at all to catch your fingers in.  

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