DIFFERENT INCREASE LINES FOR SHAWLS AND RAGLAN

In today’s demonstrations I would like to share some of my techniques with you on how to create an increase line.

This is the main part of a Simple Triangle Top Down Shawl and a Raglan Sweater to let a piece grow in size by adding more stitches.

The increases can take place all lined up in one line, with short rows all over the place or as a part of a more difficult pattern (often in lace knitting).

When you add more stitches to your project it can be done in various ways and this subject contains many options that can help you to do so.

For a Raglan piece using a multicolored yarn or textured yarn, I prefer a simple and easy to work increase line. A part of it is symmetry.

We shot this video for you which is divided in three parts. Before watching you might want to read the 3 shorts paragraphs below.

Watch the video tutorial with all three parts.

Part 1: SIMPLE INCREASE LINE

The first example shows a very simple increase line, making 2 stitches out of one. Quite often knitters ask me, what it means (K, YO, K). This is my way of knitting 3 stitches out of one. I do not like to knit the stitch from the front, from the back and from the front (which makes as well 2 more stitches) because it wraps the yarn too much around the stitch you are increasing. Try this way and then try it the way that I show it to you in this video. No matter which pattern you are using, the (K, YO, K) in the front row and knitting or purling these 3 stitches in the back row are very usable and NOT interfering with your pattern stitch.

 

Part 2: INCREASE LINE WITH PATTERN DESIGN

My second video shows a top down Shawl. By using a solid colored yarn there is room for playing with this line and designing some eye catching “Extras”. The increase line is right in the middle of the shawl and can be turned into a “Show Line”. I created 3 center stitches (worked in Stockinette Stitch) and the increase takes place left and right on all front rows by knitting the bar below or you can also make a YO. This will create a lacy line on both sides of the center stitches. To give it some extras, I worked a bubble in the middle and then down the shawl this will be repeated.

You can also cable the center stitches to show your skills.

 

Part 3: SIMPLE INCREASE LINE USED IN A CHEVRON PATTERN

For this Chevron sample I used the same simple increase line the same as in the first sample. I like the symmetry and easy setup.

Try it, as one of many possibilities.

 

I hope you enjoyed our new video tutorial. Please feel free to let me know what subjects you would like me to cover in future videos right here in the comments or by email.

…and as always:  HAPPY KNITTING !

Love,

Bjorn

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3 KNITTING TRENDS FOR 2016

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While it’s always a gamble to prevent trends for the upcoming year, most of us crafters still enjoy doing it. We talked to people from the industry, scoured Ravelry and looked at any other sources we could find to bring you a glimpse of what is widely considered to be the knitting trends for 2016. Some of them are developments that started years ago but are still going strong, while others popped up specifically for 2016. Here are our picks for the knitting trends 2016:

  1. Sustainability

This is one of those trends that have been growing for years now. Knitters are placing more and more value on the fact that the yarns are being produced in a way that is sustainable for the animals and the people involved.

Customers want to know about the yarns they are working with – all the way from the beginning. Loving their craft, knitters feel that they shouldn’t be dependent on a huge and automated industry but rather on craftsmanship when it comes to the yarns that they use for knitting. This includes hand painted fibers, yarn co-ops, eco-friendly dyeing colors and protecting animal rights.

More and more yarn companies and people in the fiber-producing sector feel the same way and they follow these values very successfully.

  1. Reinventing Knitting

Yarn companies are becoming more and more confident to think outside the box. Examples are super-super-bulky yarns, combining weaving techniques with knitting (Tapestry Knitting) or creating super-projects. This particular trend starts out with several normal knitting projects that are later combined into a huge super-project (such as Blankets and Afghans).

We are sure that there will be many more new products popping up in 2016 but creative thinking is definitely something that will continue to be big this year. We at SKEINO hope to have our fair share on creating new trends.

  1. 2016 Knitting Yarn Colors

This is where it’s getting complicated. Predicting colors for a whole year is quite an endeavor. However let’s look into what seems to be a guideline for many yarn companies in 2016:

One important trend is Black & White. Subtle and elegant colors in all shades between black and white are always working well, especially for the winter season and for evening garments and accessories. The Black & White allows you to have endless possibilities with it comes to the color of your blouse or dress that you want to wear with a garment of this colorway.

One company that knows a lot about colors is Pantone. Every year from their perspective they point out what they think will be the trends of the year. For 2016 Pantone named Rose Quartz and Serenity as the colors of the year. Pastel tones continue to be big and we think that makes a lot of sense as they are easy to combine and will soften your mood.

 

So there you have it – three knitting trends for 2016. We at SKEINO will definitely go with the first two knitting trends. When it comes to colors we will depend on Bjorn’s experience and talent as an artist & designer. Here at SKEINO we strive to invent trends ourselves rather than being a follower.

Do you agree with our list? Have you heard of any other trends? Let us know in the comments!

…and as always – HAPPY KNITTING!

THE JOURNEY OF OUR YARN – FROM THE SHEEP ONTO YOUR NEEDLES

 

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For this blogpost I wanted to answer some questions our customers have repeatedly asked us. I ended up writing a story about where SKEINO yarns come from and how we work with them. Perhaps you have had these questions in your mind as well.

So follow me as I walk you through the process of our yarns here at SKEINO:

WHERE DO THE ANIMALS DELIVERING THE FIBERS GRAZE?

Most of our fibers come from Peru. The herds of alpacas and sheep graze in the Andes and they always have natural grass available to them. The herds are moved to higher or lower elevations, depending on the season. Mainly it is Coops who take care of the animals and sheer the wool for us.

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE WOOL THEN?

The fleeces are being separated into high and low quality parts. The initial washing process will take most of the dirt and grease out of the fibers. The same quality of fibers are being pressed into bails. After that they are ready to be shipped to the spinning mill.

WHERE ARE THE YARNS BEING SPUN AND WHAT HAPPENS TO THE YARN?

Most of our yarns are being spun in Italy. Before this process can start, the fibers have to be washed again and a spinning oil has to be added to create an even and perfect thread. The spinning oil these days is mainly a vegetable oil. The fibers are being spun and twisted according to SKEINO’s specifications. Each yarn has a data sheet to let the mill know what to do. After the yarn has been spun it will be ready as a natural product or it will be treated to be machine washable. The yarn comes on cones and is ready to be wound into skeins (hanks). This is essential for us at SKEINO because it is the only form we can hand paint or dye the yarn.

HOW IS THE YARN BEING HAND PAINTED OR DYED BY SKEINO?

The skeins of yarn need to be prepared for the dye process. There is still dirt and spinning oil in the yarn that needs to be removed. At the same time the yarn soaks in a vinegar based bath to be able to absorb the color pigments. The hand paint or dye process is of course our secret, but it is all done by hand, from start to finish.

WHICH DYES ARE BEING USED FOR COLORING THE YARN AND WHAT IS PROCEDURE?

All of our dye powders are chemicals. They are all certified by the manufacturer so that we know they are not hazardous. The only negative thing is that the pigments are acting with our skin, which is protein like the fibers from all animals. This is why we have to wear rubber gloves. Everyone involved loves doing this so that they can see how the white color from the yarn disappears. After the yarn is dyed a heat setting process fixes the colors permanently. A final good rinse takes all those pigments away the yarn could not absorb. We always try to dry the yarn outside in order to have the fresh air take away the leftover smell from the vinegar. Also the breeze with the fresh air is puffing our yarn up to the best possible softness.

 

Now the yarn is ready to be sold on www.skeino.com. Our designs are created exclusively for each individual yarn. Mostly I create the design first and then I order the matching yarn. We take photos of each colorway in the most neutral way possible and upload them to www.skeino.com. The last step is of course when you cast on the yarn and knit your personal piece with it.

So this was the journey of our SKEINO yarn. I hope I could give you a better view of what we are doing here at SKEINO. Do you have any particular wishes on what other yarns you would like to see on SKEINO? Let us know in the comments!

…And as always: HAPPY KNITTING

THE RIGHT TENSION FOR YOUR YARN

During my years of knitting with different yarns I have developed my own way to hold the yarn that I am using. I love fast knitting, because I am always curious to see what it looks like after the work has been finished. For that reason, I do not like a rolling ball of yarn. Yarns that are wound into balls with the option to pull out the end from the center are my favorite. I figured out that it is important that the yarn pulls out straight up to a point where the yarn runs even and steady into my hand. Years ago I created a small stand using a wooden block and a thick bendable wire as my tool.

Here is a picture:

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The yarn is guided through the wire loop into my hand and I can even walk away from my chair and the yarn will feed into my hand. As a Continental Knitter or Combination Knitter I am holding the yarn in my left hand. One way or the other, I became comfortable to thread the yarn between my little finger and the ring finger into my hand and then out of my hand between the middle finger and the index finger. By doing this I can tighten my hand to stop the yarn from running too fast and too loose into my knitting. The index finger as well can control the tension.

Here is a little video on this subject:

So this is my way of feeding the yarn into my hand. There are many ways to hold the yarn correctly. You and I know how important it is to have a good and even result.

If you like my tool, maybe someone can build one for you. We can even ask the folks at LARC who are working together with us to built one for you and offer it on SKEINO. Please let me know in the comments.

Happy Knitting !

 

Bjorn