The color-scheme of a yarn is sometimes called its colorway. For example, a stitch slipped for one row before knitting would be roughly twice as tall as its knitted counterparts. Prayer shawls, or shawls in which the crafter meditates or says prayers of their faith while hand knitting with the intent on comforting the recipient, are donated to those experiencing loss or stress. Gifts For Everyone Gift Cards.
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AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. Despite being the "wrong side," reverse stockinette is frequently used as a pattern in its own right. Because the yarn holding rows together is all on the front, and the yarn holding side-by-side stitches together is all on the back, stockinette fabric has a strong tendency to curl toward the front on the top and bottom, and toward the back on the left and right side.
Stitches can be worked from either side, and various patterns are created by mixing regular knit stitches with the "wrong side" stitches, known as purl stitches, either in columns ribbing , rows garter , welting , or more complex patterns.
Each fabric has different properties: Because of their front-back symmetry , these two fabrics have little curl, making them popular as edging, even when their stretch properties are not desired. Different combinations of knit and purl stitches, along with more advanced techniques, generate fabrics of considerably variable consistency, from gauzy to very dense, from highly stretchy to relatively stiff, from flat to tightly curled, and so on.
The most common texture for a knitted garment is that generated by the flat stockinette stitch —as seen, though very small, in machine-made stockings and T-shirts —which is worked in the round as nothing but knit stitches, and worked flat as alternating rows of knit and purl. Other simple textures can be made with nothing but knit and purl stitches, including garter stitch, ribbing, and moss and seed stitches.
Adding a "slip stitch" where a loop is passed from one needle to the other allows for a wide range of textures, including heel and linen stitches as well as a number of more complicated patterns. Some more advanced knitting techniques create a surprising variety of complex textures.
Combining certain increases , which can create small eyelet holes in the resulting fabric, with assorted decreases is key to creating knitted lace , a very open fabric resembling lace. Open vertical stripes can be created using the drop-stitch knitting technique.
Changing the order of stitches from one row to the next, usually with the help of a cable needle or stitch holder , is key to cable knitting , producing an endless variety of cables, honeycombs, ropes, and Aran sweater patterning.
Entrelac forms a rich checkerboard texture by knitting small squares, picking up their side edges, and knitting more squares to continue the piece. Fair Isle knitting uses two or more colored yarns to create patterns and forms a thicker and less flexible fabric. The appearance of a garment is also affected by the weight of the yarn, which describes the thickness of the spun fibre. The thicker the yarn, the more visible and apparent stitches will be; the thinner the yarn, the finer the texture.
Plenty of finished knitting projects never use more than a single color of yarn, but there are many ways to work in multiple colors. Some yarns are dyed to be either variegated changing color every few stitches in a random fashion or self-striping changing every few rows.
More complicated techniques permit large fields of color intarsia , for example , busy small-scale patterns of color such as Fair Isle , or both double knitting and slip-stitch color , for example.
Yarn with multiple shades of the same hue are called ombre , while a yarn with multiple hues may be known as a given colorway ; a green, red and yellow yarn might be dubbed the "Parrot Colorway" by its manufacturer, for example.
Heathered yarns contain small amounts of fibre of different colours, while tweed yarns may have greater amounts of different colored fibres. There are many hundreds of different knitting stitches used by hand knitters. A piece of hand knitting begins with the process of casting on , which involves the initial creation of the stitches on the needle. Different methods of casting on are used for different effects: Provisional cast-ons are used when the knitting will continue in both directions from the cast-on.
There are various methods employed to cast on, such as the "thumb method" also known as "slingshot" or "long-tail" cast-ons , where the stitches are created by a series of loops that will, when knitted, give a very loose edge ideal for "picking up stitches" and knitting a border; the "double needle method" also known as "knit-on" or "cable cast-on" , whereby each loop placed on the needle is then "knitted on," which produces a firmer edge ideal on its own as a border; and many more.
The number of active stitches remains the same as when cast on unless stitches are added an increase or removed a decrease. Most Western-style hand knitters follow either the English style in which the yarn is held in the right hand or the Continental style in which the yarn is held in the left hand.
There are also different ways to insert the needle into the stitch. Knitting through the front of a stitch is called Western knitting. Going through the back of a stitch is called Eastern knitting. A third method, called combination knitting , goes through the front of a knit stitch and the back of a purl stitch.
Once the hand knitted piece is finished, the remaining live stitches are " cast off ". Casting or "binding" off loops the stitches across each other so they can be removed from the needle without unravelling the item. Although the mechanics are different from casting on, there is a similar variety of methods.
In hand knitting certain articles of clothing, especially larger ones like sweaters , the final knitted garment will be made of several knitted pieces, with individual sections of the garment hand knitted separately and then sewn together. Seamless knitting, where a whole garment is hand knit as a single piece, is also possible.
Elizabeth Zimmermann is probably the best-known proponent of seamless or circular hand knitting techniques. Smaller items, such as socks and hats, are usually knit in one piece on double-pointed needles or circular needles.
Hats in particular can be started "top down" on double pointed needles with the increases added until the preferred size is achieved, switching to an appropriate circular needle when enough stitches have been added.
Care must be taken to bind off at a tension that will allow the "give" needed to comfortably fit on the head. Mega knitting is a term recently coined and relates to the use of knitting needles greater than or equal to half an inch in diameter.
Mega knitting uses the same stitches and techniques as conventional knitting, except that hooks are carved into the ends of the needles. The hooked needles greatly enhance control of the work, catching the stitches and preventing them from slipping off. It was the development of the knitting machine that introduced hooked needles and enabled faultless, automated knitting.
However, large gauge needles emphasize those actions and knitting becomes increasingly more awkward when the needle diameter is greater than the width of the knitter's finger. On a one-inch diameter size 50 needle for instance, the shaft begins to taper one and three quarter inches from the tip.
This means that the stitches are spread much further apart on mega knitting needles, making them more difficult to control. The position of the hook is most important. Turn the left non-working hook to face away at all times; turn the right working hook toward you up whilst knitting plain stitch and away whilst purling. Mega knitting produces a chunky, bulky fabric or an open lacy weave, depending on the weight and type of yarn used. Yarn for hand-knitting is usually sold as balls or skeins hanks , and it may also be wound on spools or cones.
It is common practice to save the yarn band for future reference, especially if additional skeins must be purchased. Knitters generally ensure that the yarn for a project comes from a single dye lot. The dye lot specifies a group of skeins that were dyed together and thus have precisely the same color; skeins from different dye-lots, even if very similar in color, are usually slightly different and may produce a visible horizontal stripe when knitted together.
If a knitter buys insufficient yarn of a single dye lot to complete a project, additional skeins of the same dye lot can sometimes be obtained from other yarn stores or online.
Otherwise, knitters can alternate skeins every few rows to help the dye lots blend together easier. Thicker yarns generally require thicker knitting needles, whereas thinner yarns may be knit with thick or thin needles.
Hence, thicker yarns generally require fewer stitches, and therefore less time, to knit up a given garment. Patterns and motifs are coarser with thicker yarns; thicker yarns produce bold visual effects, whereas thinner yarns are best for refined patterns. Yarns are grouped by thickness into six categories: In the British Commonwealth outside North America yarns are measured as 1ply, 2ply, 3ply, 4ply, 5ply, 8ply or double knit ,10ply and 12ply triple knit.
The related weight per unit length is usually measured in tex or denier. This transformation may be done by hand, or with a device known as a ballwinder. When knitting, some knitters enclose their balls in jars to keep them clean and untangled with other yarns; the free yarn passes through a small hole in the jar-lid. A yarn's usefulness for a knitting project is judged by several factors, such as its loft its ability to trap air , its resilience elasticity under tension , its washability and colorfastness, its hand its feel, particularly softness vs.
Other factors include allergenicity; speed of drying; resistance to chemicals, moths, and mildew; melting point and flammability; retention of static electricity; and the propensity to become stained and to accept dyes. Different factors may be more significant than others for different knitting projects, so there is no one "best" yarn. The resilience and propensity to un twist are general properties that affect the ease of hand-knitting.
More resilient yarns are more forgiving of irregularities in tension ; highly twisted yarns are sometimes difficult to knit, whereas untwisting yarns can lead to split stitches, in which not all the yarn is knitted into a stitch. A key factor in knitting is stitch definition , corresponding to how well complicated stitch patterns can be seen when made from a given yarn.
Smooth, highly spun yarns are best for showing off stitch patterns; at the other extreme, very fuzzy yarns or eyelash yarns have poor stitch definition, and any complicated stitch pattern would be invisible. Although knitting may be done with ribbons, metal wire or more exotic filaments, most yarns are made by spinning fibers. In spinning, the fibers are twisted so that the yarn resists breaking under tension; the twisting may be done in either direction, resulting in a Z-twist or S-twist yarn.
If the fibers are first aligned by combing them, the yarn is smoother and called a worsted ; by contrast, if the fibers are carded but not combed, the yarn is fuzzier and called woolen-spun. The fibers making up a yarn may be continuous filament fibers such as silk and many synthetics, or they may be staples fibers of an average length, typically a few inches ; naturally filament fibers are sometimes cut up into staples before spinning.
The strength of the spun yarn against breaking is determined by the amount of twist, the length of the fibers and the thickness of the yarn. In general, yarns become stronger with more twist also called worst , longer fibers and thicker yarns more fibers ; for example, thinner yarns require more twist than do thicker yarns to resist breaking under tension. The thickness of the yarn may vary along its length; a slub is a much thicker section in which a mass of fibers is incorporated into the yarn.
The spun fibers are generally divided into animal fibers , plant and synthetic fibers. These fiber types are chemically different, corresponding to proteins , carbohydrates and synthetic polymers , respectively.
Animal fibers include silk , but generally are long hairs of animals such as sheep wool , goat angora , or cashmere goat , rabbit angora , llama , alpaca , dog , cat , camel , yak , and muskox qiviut. Plants used for fibers include cotton , flax for linen , bamboo , ramie , hemp , jute , nettle , raffia , yucca , coconut husk, banana fiber, soy and corn. Rayon and acetate fibers are also produced from cellulose mainly derived from trees. Common synthetic fibers include acrylics ,  polyesters such as dacron and ingeo , nylon and other polyamides, and olefins such as polypropylene.
Of these types, wool is generally favored for knitting, chiefly owing to its superior elasticity , warmth and sometimes felting ; however, wool is generally less convenient to clean and some people are allergic to it.
It is also common to blend different fibers in the yarn, e. Even within a type of fiber, there can be great variety in the length and thickness of the fibers; for example, Merino wool and Egyptian cotton are favored because they produce exceptionally long, thin fine fibers for their type. A single spun yarn may be knitted as is, or braided or plied with another. In plying, two or more yarns are spun together, almost always in the opposite sense from which they were spun individually; for example, two Z-twist yarns are usually plied with an S-twist.
The opposing twist relieves some of the yarns' tendency to curl up and produces a thicker, balanced yarn. Plied yarns may themselves be plied together, producing cabled yarns or multi-stranded yarns. Sometimes, the yarns being plied are fed at different rates, so that one yarn loops around the other, as in bouclé. The single yarns may be dyed separately before plying, or afterwards to give the yarn a uniform look.
The dyeing of yarns is a complex art that has a long history. However, yarns need not be dyed. They may be dyed just one color, or a great variety of colors. Dyeing may be done industrially, by hand or even hand-painted onto the yarn. A great variety of synthetic dyes have been developed since the synthesis of indigo dye in the midth century; however, natural dyes are also possible, although they are generally less brilliant.
The color-scheme of a yarn is sometimes called its colorway. Variegated yarns can produce interesting visual effects, such as diagonal stripes; conversely, a variegated yarn may frustrate an otherwise good knitting pattern by producing distasteful color combination. Knitted Glass combines knitting, lost-wax casting , mold-making , and kiln-casting. In very simple cases, knitting can be done without tools, using only the fingers to do these tasks; however, knitting is usually carried out using tools such as knitting needles , knitting machines or rigid frames.
Depending on their size and shape, the rigid frames are called stocking frames , knitting boards, knitting rings also called knitting looms or knitting spools also known as knitting knobbies, knitting nancies , or corkers. There is also a technique called knooking  of knitting with a crochet hook that has a cord attached to the end, to hold the stitches while they're being worked. Other tools are used to prepare yarn for knitting, to measure and design knitted garments, or to make knitting easier or more comfortable.
There are three basic types of knitting needles also called "knitting pins". The first and most common type consists of two slender, straight sticks tapered to a point at one end, and with a knob at the other end to prevent stitches from slipping off.
Although the diameter of the knitting needle is often measured in millimeters, there are several measurement systems, particularly those specific to the United States , the United Kingdom and Japan ; a conversion table is given at knitting needle. Such knitting needles may be made out of any materials, but the most common materials are metals, wood , bamboo , and plastic.
Different materials have different frictions and grip the yarn differently; slick needles such as metallic needles are useful for swift knitting, whereas rougher needles such as bamboo offer more friction and are therefore less prone to dropping stitches.
The knitting of new stitches occurs only at the tapered ends. Needles with lighted tips have been sold to allow knitters to knit in the dark. The second type of knitting needles are straight, double-pointed knitting needles also called "DPNs". Double-pointed needles are tapered at both ends, which allows them to be knit from either end. DPNs are typically used for circular knitting , especially smaller tube-shaped pieces such as sleeves, collars, and socks; usually one needle is active while the others hold the remaining active stitches.
DPNs are somewhat shorter typically 7 inches and are usually sold in sets of four or five. Cable needles are a special case of DPNs, although they are usually not straight, but dimpled in the middle. Often, they have the form of a hook. When cabling a knitted piece, a hook is easier to grab and hold the yarn.
Cable needles are typically very short a few inches , and are used to hold stitches temporarily while others are being knitted. Cable patterns are made by permuting the order of stitches; although one or two stitches may be held by hand or knit out of order, cables of three or more generally require a cable needle.
The third needle type consists of circular needles, which are long, flexible double-pointed needles. A developing trend in the knitting world is interchangeable needles.
These kits consist of pairs of needles with usually nylon cables or cords. This also allows the knitter to change the diameter and length of the needles as needed. The needles must be screwed on tightly, otherwise yarn can snag and become damaged. The ability to work from either end of one needle is convenient in several types of knitting, such as slip-stitch versions of double knitting. Circular needles may be used for flat or circular knitting. Cable needles are a specific design, and are used to create the twisting motif of a knitted cable.
They are made in different sizes, which produces cables of different widths. When in use, the cable needle is used at the same time as two regular needles. It functions by holding together the stitches creating the cable as the other needles create the rest of the stitches for the knitted piece. At specific points indicated by the knitting pattern , the cable needle is moved, the stitches on it are worked by the other needles, then the cable needle is turned around to a different position to create the cable twist.
Mega knitting needles are generally considered to be any knitting needles larger than size 17 half inch diameter. Mega needles may or may not have hooks carved in the ends. Hooks on large diameter needles help enormously to control the stitches whilst knitting.
The largest aluminum circular knitting needles on record are size US and are nearly 7 feet tall. They are owned by Paradise Fibers and are currently on display in the Paradise Fibers retail showroom. Julia knitted a square of ten stitches and ten rows in stockinette stitch using knitting needles that were 6.
Various tools have been developed to make hand-knitting easier. Tools for measuring needle diameter and yarn properties have been discussed above, as well as the yarn swift , ballwinder and "yarntainers". The darning needle is used in duplicate stitch also known as Swiss darning. The crochet hook is also essential for repairing dropped stitches and some specialty stitches such as tufting.
Other tools such as knitting spools or pom-pom makers are used to prepare specific ornaments. For large or complex knitting patterns , it is sometimes difficult to keep track of which stitch should be knit in a particular way; therefore, several tools have been developed to identify the number of a particular row or stitch, including circular stitch markers, hanging markers, extra yarn and row counters.
A second potential difficulty is that the knitted piece will slide off the tapered end of the needles when unattended; this is prevented by "point protectors" that cap the tapered ends. Another problem is that too much knitting may lead to hand and wrist troubles; for this, special stress-relieving gloves are available. In traditional Shetland knitting a special belt is often used to support the end of one needle allowing the knitting greater speed.
Finally, there are sundry bags and containers for holding knitting, yarns and needles. Industrially , metal wire is also knitted into a metal fabric for a wide range of uses including the filter material in cafetieres , catalytic converters for cars and many other uses.
These fabrics are usually manufactured on circular knitting machines that would be recognized by conventional knitters as sock machines. Many fashion designers make heavy use of knitted fabric in their fashion collections. Gordana Gelhausen , who appeared in season six of the television show Project Runway , is primarily a knit designer.
Other designers and labels that make heavy use of knitting include Michael Kors , Fendi , and Marc Jacobs. For individual hobbyists, websites such as Etsy , Big Cartel and Ravelry have made it easy to sell knitting patterns on a small scale, in a way similar to eBay. In the last decade, a practice called knitting graffiti, guerilla knitting, or yarn bombing —the use of knitted or crocheted cloth to modify and beautify one's usually outdoor surroundings—emerged in the U.
For instance, Dave Cole is a contemporary sculpture artist who practiced knitting as graffiti for a large-scale public art installation in Melbourne, Australia for the Big West Arts Festival in The work was vandalized the night of its completion. The event is typically a multi-day event that caters to all knitters, crochet and yarn enthusiasts that supports the local crafting community.
Over the multi-day period, multiple local yarn and knit shops participate in the yarn crawl and offer up store discounts, give away free exclusive patterns, provide classes, trunk shows and conduct raffles for prizes. Participants of the crawl receive a passport and get their passport stamped at each store they visit along the crawl. Traditionally those that get their passports fully stamped are eligible to win a larger gift basket filled with yarn, knitting and crochet goodies.
Some local crawls also provide a Knit-Along KAL or Crochet-Along CAL where attendees follow a specific pattern prior to the crawl and then proudly wear it during the crawl for others to see.
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