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  • Tips for the March 2018 Membership Crate
  • Rob Colon
  • knitcrateknitcrate membershipknitting tipsour crates

Tips for the March 2018 Membership Crate

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photo by Dayana Knits

SPARKLES! MY YARN IS SPARKLING!! I’ve tried a million ways to photograph the glitter in this month’s Knitologie Sugared Sock – but nothing compares to having a skein of this silver-stranded yarn in your hand. That shine comes from 10% Stellina, a manufactured fiber that might remind you of ‘icicles’ for a Christmas tree. The rest of the yarn is high quality sock fiber with 70% superwash merino and 20% nylon.

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photo by Dayana Knits

This colorway is Pinkiwinkle, and it really does look great in the included crescent shawl pattern, Bloom by Chelsea Berkompas.
The lace portion of the shawl is completed first, and then the garter stitch crescent is added by using short rows. Chelsea uses a couple of techniques you may not be familiar with, so I thought I’d (1) show you how to do them, and (2) show you what makes them different from more commonly used techniques.

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German Twisted vs. Long Tail cast-on

I’d say the most common cast-on is Long Tail. It has good stretch but it’s not THAT stretchy. For instance, you might want a more stretchy cast-on for the brim of a hat (especially if it’s a gift!) or, in this case, a shawl edge. Some shawls start with a few stitches and grow, but Bloom casts-on the longest edge right at the beginning. It would be a shame if such a flowy edge ended up tight, right?


The German Twisted cast-on (a.k.a. Old Norwegian cast-on) basically adds an extra twist to the Long Tail cast-on, giving each stitch more yarn so it can stretch more. You start similar to the Long Tail, but it’s a tad more acrobatic at the end.


By the way, if you have trouble with overly tight Long Tail cast-ons (don’t worry, a
lot of people do!), you could switch to the German Twisted cast-on for most of your projects. Just be aware that it uses more yarn and has a tendency to untwist, so it requires a little bit more attention while you do it.
Let me show you what I mean:

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photo by Dayana Knits

Never guess how much yarn you need for the German Twisted or Long Tail cast-on again!

One of the reasons people might avoid using the German Twisted or Long Tail cast-ons is the dreaded requirement to guess how much yarn you need for it. Ugh – we’ve all been there… only 3 more stitches left and no more yarn to work with. Sure, you could overestimate by a ton – but what if you have a limited amount of yarn? Or what if what you thought was a ton… actually wasn’t? The Bloom shawl casts-on over 300 stitches, so you definitely don’t want to run out at the end of the marathon…


Well, there is a way to NEVER have to estimate yarn again, and the secret is to use the two ends of your ball. It’s magic!

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photo by Dayana Knits

German short rows vs. Wrap & Turn short rows

German, Japanese, Shadow, Fish Lips – how many short row techniques have you heard of? The reason why there are so many is because different types of stitch patterns or projects can show very clearly where a short row turn happened. No one wants to see that!

My experience is that if a designer specifies a type of short row technique – follow it because they may have a very good reason to do so. Chelsea specifies German short rows in her garter stitch shawl, and many people swear by the technique as being one of the most invisible.

Let’s try it and compare to Wrap & Turn, shall we?

Until next time!
With love,
- Dayana Knits

If you want to try a KnitCrate on me, visit the KnitCrate website (http://mbsy.co/gLfBV) and use coupon code “DK20” for 20% off!

For more tips, tricks and “knitspiration” you can follow Dayana Knits any way you like:

Blog: www.dayanaknits.com

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/DayanaKnits

Ravelry: www.ravelry.com/people/DayanaKnits

Instagram: www.instagram.com/dayanaknits

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  • Rob Colon
  • knitcrateknitcrate membershipknitting tipsour crates