Tag Archives: knit

Lace Class II

This is the second class in the series. 

Do you page dreamily through Ravelry lace patterns, loving the look, and wanting to make them all your own?  Do you need a little shot of courage to consider following a chart into a lacey labyrinth?  Let us help!

In January, our featured class will be “i (heart) lace”.  In this class, you will learn lace knitting basics while creating a cowl designed especially for the occasion.  The central motif features a ladder of hearts, making the cowl a perfect Valentine accessory.  So unleash your inner Victorian Vixen!  If you have basic knitting skills (cast on, and can knit and purl in the round) you can learn to knit lace – Join us and see for yourself!

Recommended for intermediate knitters and above. You will be responsible for your own supplies.

Lace Class I

Do you page dreamily through Ravelry lace patterns, loving the look, and wanting to make them all your own?  Do you need a little shot of courage to consider following a chart into a lacey labyrinth?  Let us help!

In January, our featured class will be “i (heart) lace”.  In this class, you will learn lace knitting basics while creating a cowl designed especially for the occasion.  The central motif features a ladder of hearts, making the cowl a perfect Valentine accessory.  So unleash your inner Victorian Vixen!  If you have basic knitting skills (cast on, and can knit and purl in the round) you can learn to knit lace – Join us and see for yourself!

This class is recommended for intermediate knitters and above. You will be responsible for your own supplies.

Textured Shawl Class

Written by On This Day Designs. We will learn to cast on a large number of stitches using either a cable cast on or a knitted cast on.  We will learn how to use stitch markers to keep track of our stitch count. We will be dropping multiple yarns overs and creating a unique wave pattern and last but not least, we will be learning an easy sewn bind off. This shawl is suitable for a beginning knitter to complete.

Shawl
kelly1kelly2
Socks completed with a picot bind off.

Socks Class

Two at a Time Toe-up Socks!

Experience level: Intermediate-Students need to be proficient in Magic Loop and Long-tail  cast on.

Price: $39 includes book. Class size is limited to 6 students and fills quickly so pre-register today! Payment required at time of registration. This is a two-session class.

You will need to bring:  

  • 2 colors of worsted weight yarn. Any yarn will do. Look in your stash! We are just learning…no fancy yarn here!
  • Size 6-8, 40″-47″ circular needles
  • Locking stitch markers
  • Stitch gauge device
  • A sense of humor and willingness to learn!

 

We are looking forward to this class with you! Let’s knit some socks!!!

small sock

 

Textured Shawl Class

Written by On This Day Designs. We will learn to cast on a large number of stitches using either a cable cast on or a knitted cast on.  We will learn how to use stitch markers to keep track of our stitch count. We will be dropping multiple yarns overs and creating a unique wave pattern and last but not least, we will be learning an easy sewn bind off. This shawl is suitable for a beginning knitter to complete.

Shawl
kelly1kelly2
Socks completed with a picot bind off.

Socks Class

Two at a Time Toe-up Socks!

Experience level: Intermediate-Students need to be proficient in Magic Loop and Long-tail  cast on.

Price: $39 includes book. Class size is limited to 6 students and fills quickly so pre-register today! Payment required at time of registration. This is a two-session class.

You will need to bring:  

  • 2 colors of worsted weight yarn. Any yarn will do. Look in your stash! We are just learning…no fancy yarn here!
  • Size 6-8, 40″-47″ circular needles
  • Locking stitch markers
  • Stitch gauge device
  • A sense of humor and willingness to learn!

 

We are looking forward to this class with you! Let’s knit some socks!!!

small sock

 

Mattress Stitch Tutorial

After our comparison of seamed and seamless sweaters from a few weeks ago, I thought it might be nice to talk about the best methods of seaming a sweater.

The  mattress stitch is arguably the best way to seam handknit projects.  Whether we’re talking sweater pieces or blocks for an afghan, mattress stitch joins pieces simply and beautifully.

This tutorial is especially timely for those who’ve been participating in the Building Blocks and Building in Color groups.  I know several of the ladies in the Tuesday evening Open Knitting Group are doing one or both of those and several of them haven’t done mattress stitch before.  This tutorial is for you!

Shelly recently brought her Building Blocks pieces in to our Tuesday group to show off and get some help with putting everything together.

Mattress Stitch
Shelly putting together her Building Blocks afghan. Doesn’t it look good?

If you’ve never done mattress stitch before, take a deep breath and gather your supplies.  It’s really pretty easy, and I know you’ll be pleased with the results.

For our tutorial today I’ll be piecing a baby sweater I’m making for my new son.  It’s the Little Luxury Kimono.  This is knit from an Aran weight wool yarn that I had in my stash.  I’ve lost the ball band, so I can’t tell you what it is.  But, I’d recommend knitting it in something like Malabrigo Twist if you don’t mind handwashing or Berroco Vintage if you want something easier to care for.

How To Do the Mattress Stitch on a Side Seam

Sweater back and right front set up for mattress stitch.
Sweater back and right front.

 

1. Lay out the pieces you’ll be seaming together.  Cut a piece of yarn a little longer than the pieces you’ll be seaming.

Beginning the mattress stitch on the right front.
The bar between two columns of stitches.

 

2. On the right hand piece, find the bar between the two columns of stitches on the edge of the piece.  Pull the yarn through, leaving a six inch tail.

Beginning the mattress stitch on the back.
Yarn through the right hand piece, and finding the bar on the left hand piece.

 

3. Find the bar between the two edge columns on the left hand piece.  Pull the yarn through, loosely attaching the two pieces.

Loose mattress stitch.
Loose mattress stitch.

 

4. Continue in the same way, attaching each row and only pulling the pieces loosely together.

Mattress stitch pulled snug.
Mattress stitch pulled snug.

 

5. After you’ve sewn an inch or so, hold the tail of the yarn and pull the working yarn so that the two pieces come together side by side.  You want them to be snug, but not tight.  It should look seamless on the right side (there will be a visible seam on the wrong side).  Continue with the mattress stitch until you’ve seamed the two pieces together, pulling the yarn snug after each stitch.  If you accidentally pull it too tight and cause the work to pucker, just smooth it out along the seam until it lays flat and smooth.

Mattress stitch seam, right side.
Mattress stitch seam, right side.

 

Mattress stitch seam, wrong side.
Mattress stitch seam, wrong side.

How to do Mattress Stitch on a Shoulder Seam

You can do mattress stitch on two pieces of knitting vertically, as well as side by side.  This works well for shoulder seams or for two blocks stacked on top of each other, rather than next to each other.  It’s slightly different than the side by side mattress stitch and not quite as seamless, but still provides a nice seam.

Back and left front setting up for mattress stitch on shoulder seam.
Back and left front at the shoulder.

 

1. Lay out the pieces you’ll be seaming next to each other.  I like to lay the pieces out so I’ll be seaming from bottom to top rather than side to side.

When you seam pieces vertically, you seam the columns of stitches to each other, rather than the bars between columns.  So you’ll need to choose whether to choose the column oriented as a V or an A.  Make sure you choose the same column on each piece.

Finding A column for mattress stitch.
A column

 

Finding V column for mattress stitch.
V column

 

Starting mattress stitch on left front.

2. Choose your column on one piece.  I chose a V column.  Pull the yarn through.

Beginning mattress stitch on back.

3. Choose the corresponding column on the other piece. Pull the yarn through, pulling the two pieces snug.

Completed shoulder seam with mattress stitch, right side.
Completed shoulder seam with mattress stitch, right side.

 

Completed shoulder seam with mattress stitch, wrong side.
Completed shoulder seam with mattress stitch, wrong side.

 

There you have it!  Now, you can confidently seam your handknits together.

Have you tried the mattress stitch before?  Will this be your first time?  Let us know how it goes!

Begin to Knit Class #2

In our beginning knitting class we teach you the most basic skills of knitting. All knitting is created from two stitches- the knit stitch and the purl stitch- it’s how you put them together that creates beauty and texture. In this two part class you will learn to cast-on, knit, purl, cast off and how to recognize and correct errors. We’ll teach you about yarn, how to read a yarn label, what gauge means and how to choose a needle appropriate to your project.

No knitting skill or knowledge required, all materials provided.

Leave children at home. This will enable everyone to give their full attention to the task at hand and your children will soon reap the benefits of affording Mom a much needed break to learn how to knit. Come and have a cup of coffee and knit with us!
Relax! This is not rocket science. Each and every one of us have had to start right where you are…at the beginning. The learning never stops so just enjoy yourself!

Begin to Knit class
Begin to Knit class

Beyond Basics Class #2

Take your knitting skills to the next level with our “Beyond Basics” set of knitting classes!
Alpaca Direct is currently offering a special price for instructor led classes… Knitting 202 on Groupon! Knitting is one of civilizations oldest skills, but has seen a resurgence in popularity the past several years. Come meet the friendly team at Alpaca Direct and rekindle your love of knitting! You will start with the basic stitches as a refresher and quickly transition into shaping techniques like increases, decreases and yarn-overs while making a beautiful hat you’ll be proud to wear at your next outdoor event.

Over 2 classes, we will cover the most beyond the basics techniques – increases, decreases and shaping to create that custom knitwear for your head. We will also cover the things you need to know to plan your own knitted masterpiece. We’ll revisit what is gauge and why does it matter? Why is yarn divided into different weights and how do I recognize the difference? We will review the shaping techniques in hat patterns, explain common knitting abbreviations and terms, and equip you to knit your project from a written pattern.

Kelley with a hand knit hat

Kelley with a hand knit hat

This exclusive Groupon offer includes 2 weeks of instruction, 1 Circular needle, and 1 skein of Alpaca Yarn in your choice of color (take it from me , the colors are beautiful and this yarn is luxuriously soft!) Keep in mind that alpaca fiber is one of the warmest fibers on earth, rivals cashmere for softness and almost never causes the skin irritation that those sensitive to wool experience.

Enrollment Fee: $60 for both both sessions – includes yarn, needles and pattern.

Please bring the following materials:

Notepad with pen/pencil

Blunt tip tapestry needle

Small (4?) sharp pointed scissors

Optional items (Available in our store) will help make learning to knit a little easier :)

Locking stitch markers