Let’s Tuck Again

posted June 17th, 2017

This is a sample from The Knitting School Newsletter that went out this morning. For complete content sign up for news in the side-bar.

All rights reserved. Copyright Helen Sharp 2017

 

LET’S TUCK AGAIN

The newsletter I wrote a few weeks ago about tuck stitches, got me jonesing for more. I am especially fascinated by how a tuck stitch behaves differently to a knit stitch, and how when you combine them in various arrangements you get distortion in the fabric.

tuck1tuck1

here, a block of tuck stitches pushes out width-wise and pulls down lengthwise to make an adjacent rib wavy

tuck3 tuck3graph

In this swatch, the vertical panels of jersey are being forced to wrinkle like seer-sucker by the adjacent panels of shaker (half cardigan).

tuck5 tuck2

tuck pc5  tuck2pc

These two swatches show very nicely how simple 4 course stripes can be distorted by tucking.

And here’s another wacky one. Triangles of tuck stitch intersect with triangles of jersey to not only create areas of vertical and horizontal stripes, but also to push out little mountain peaks of fabric.

tuck4 tuck4

Balance

posted June 3rd, 2017

This is a sample from The Knitting School Newsletter that went out this morning. For complete content sign up for news in the side-bar.

All rights reserved. Copyright Helen Sharp 2017

 

BALANCE

 

Just as in life, a lot of knitting (and getting a good-looking product off the knitting machine) is about balance.
The eye likes to see balance. Unbalanced things can be visually jarring – or they can be visually stirring, even exciting. Let’s look at where balance can be a good thing in knitting.

YARN
An unbalanced yarn creates an unbalanced fabric – sometimes.

Yarn is composed of fibers that are stranded together by twisting. We call this a ply. Twisting adds strength and elasticity to the ply. Machine knitting yarn needs some twist, but not too much, to create smooth knitting.

single ply

single ply

 

If there is barely any twist at all, we call this roving, or pencil roving. This yarn is inherently weak with lots of potential to break apart during the knitting. Careful, slow knitting is needed.

Too much twist causes the yarn to kink back on itself which can drive a knitter crazy quickly.

kinky yarn

But even when the amount of twist is just right, the fabric can be unbalanced, meaning it can skew or torque if it is in a single bed structure.

We have all had a t-shirt that spirals around the body causing the side-seams to move to the front and back. This is because the fabric structure (single bed) was not appropriate for the yarn used (or maybe the designer just wanted that to happen!).

skew2 ply

The swatch on the left is knit with a single ply yarn in jersey structure. The one on the right is a two ply yarn also in jersey.
To get a more balanced yarn, two or more plies are twisted together. Now the twist has another yarn to twist against offering stability.

two ply

two ply
But maybe you only have the single ply, it is your favorite color and you really want to use it to make something. You would have less chance of skew if you worked with a double bed structure. Rib is a more balanced, stable structure than jersey stitches and can cope with single ply yarns.

skewrib

single ply used to knit jersey and 1×1 rib

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