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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Half Tutorial: Garter Stitch Border

I started writing this tutorial ages ago (as an experiment), because I was so excited to have figured out a new way to make a button band.  Halfway through, I realized that I don't really enjoy writing protracted instructions for knitting.  Nevertheless, I feel compelled to post an #epicfail in the tutorial line.  

The button band in the picture below was made by picking up stitches on the left side, the neck, and the right side of the cardigan.  Those hundreds of stitches were knit for a few rows and then bound off.  This tutorial will NOT teach how to achieve this look.

Instead, we'll be knitting a few stitches for hundreds of rows, as shown in the picture below.

It's way more fun, I promise.

1.  With the right side of your knitting facing you, pick up and knit about 3 stitches for every 4 rows.  For more detailed instructions about how to do this try here.  It will look a little like this:

 I used three circular needles to pick up all of the stitches I needed for this cardigan: one for each side and one for the middle.  Heretofore the picked up stitches shall be referred to as SPU(stitches picked up).

 Don't break your yarn! You're going to need it for this next part.

2.  Using the backward loop method, or your personal favorite,  cast on as many stitches as you need for the width of the button band PLUS ONE.  This one extra will come in handy.  For my sweater I cast on six stitches: five for the border and one extra.

Now you have your button band stitches hanging off of your SPU.  

3. With the WRONG SIDE of your knitting facing you, knit one row of the button band stitches.  STOP.  Shout at your camera for focusing on the ball of yarn rather than your needles. Take several more pictures with the same result.  Take a deep breath and carry on.

4. At the end of the row, bring the yarn forward between your needles and turn your work.  You should now have one row of your button band attached to your SPU and the right side of your knitting facing you.  Here's where things CAN get sticky if you're not paying attention.

5.  Slip one SPU stitch to your left needle.  You should now have one extra stitch of button band.  In my case, there are now seven stitches on my left needle.

6. Knit a new row of button band, but begin by knitting the SPU stitch on your left needle together with the extra stitch from your button band.

7. Knit until one stitch remains on your left needle, bring the yarn forward, and slip the last stitch onto your right needle.  Slipping the stitch will give a smooth, professional look to the side of the button band.  Again, shout at your camera for focusing on the knitting in the background rather than on your needles.

In short, repeat the rows as follows:
Wrong Side: Knit all, yf.
Right Side: Sl 1 SPU stitch to left needle.  K2Tog, K to last st, sl 1 wyif.

As you work, you will be eating SPU stitches up the side of your knitting.  Essentially your knitting is attaching the border to your work as you go, so no sewing!

When you reach a corner, you're in for a treat!

(And here's where the tutorial ends...right before the cool short-row corners.)

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

I love looking at all the beautiful things that you make! I have no idea how to follow your tutorial ;P, but maybe someday....
Those are 2 gorgeous sweaters! :)