Nothing excites me more than seeing incredible yardage coming in my monthly KnitCrate! You see, I’m a garment knitter more than an accessories knitter. Sweaters, pullovers, tank tops – if you can wear it over 50% of your body, I want to knit it. Garments generally need over 1000 yards of yarn, but there are tricks to make garments with less:
- Use an openwork or lacy stitch pattern
- Use bulky yarn and big needles
This month’s KnitCrate had 800 YARDS (!) of gorgeous fingering weight Knitologie Superwash Sock, and I was thrilled to see an entire tunic by Melissa Kemmerer as the knitting pattern:
Tee-ologie goes for trick #1 to get an entire dress out of 800 yards by using an openwork drop stitch pattern. What I mean by “drop stitches” in this case are stitches that you wrap around the needle, but drop on the next row without knitting them. This gives length to the stitch.
I immediately cast-on a swatch to see what the stitch pattern was like, and I have some tips for you!
A stretchy cast-on is essential! The tunic is worked bottom up, so you want to make sure you have room for your legs to move. Long tail cast-on is actually pretty stretchy, but I found that it was not enough. Cable cast-on is even more stretchy and is recommended in the pattern:
(Video tip from last month: How to cable cast-on without a starting slipknot)
But I think you should take the designer’s optional advice and do the cable cast-on with a bigger needle!
Drop it like it’s hot! This stitch pattern definitely requires attention while knitting it. Give it a few rows before you get the hang of it! The way it works is that you yarnover 2, 3 or 4 times between each knit stitch on the right side, and when you purl back on the wrong side you drop all the yarnovers.
One mistake I kept making over and over was that I would knit into a yarnover as well, increasing the number of stitches on my needle. Doh! Luckily, the color changes in the Knitologie Supersock will help you, here’s how:
Video Tip: Click Here!
Another thing – those rows of yarnovers will get tighter and tighter as you get down the row. DO THEM LOOSELY so you can easily move them down the needle. Yes, it might change the stitch widths here and there, but this tunic is all about texture and the wonkier, the better!
Groom your stitches! Occasionally you come across a stitch pattern that needs a little tug here and there while knitting. Don’t wait until blocking time, because blocking this particular pattern isn’t enough. After you’ve finished a repeat, turn your work to the wrong side. You’ll see that the stitches with 3 or 4 yarnovers are sometimes stuck in the knitting. Here’s how to tug them in place:
VIDEO TIP: Click Here!
I recommend doing this after every repeat so that your knitting is fully “deployed” for the next one. This will also help you when you are measuring your gauge.
“Wait – you said measure the gauge?! HOW?” Yeah, when it comes to stitch patterns, this one is going to be a challenge to measure! It has firm parts and very floppy parts, too. Don’t worry, you can do it and here’s how:
I should stress that this stitch pattern has a lot of stretch (as long as you cast-on right, see TIP 1) and you shouldn’t worry too too much about gauge accuracy. In fact, you’ll see that I only measured stitch gauge, not row gauge, because I can shorten or lengthen as required while knitting. Use your best judgment with this one – I’m confident it will work out.
If you want to try a KnitCrate, visit the KnitCrate website and use coupon code “DK20” for 20% off!
And, OF COURSE, if you want to see the finished tunic, you can follow Dayana Knits any way you like:
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/DayanaKnits