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Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Always on the look out for new and exciting techniques, imagine my surprise when I found myself dusting off something that I learned (but rarely used) the other day.

I’ve reached the point in my Sandrine sweater where I’m now doing body shaping using increases. Now it’s a slippery slope in pattern writing to specify a type (of almost anything). It can open a literal pandora’s box of confusion with the most outspoken rallying around their favorite type and campaigning in my email for its use.

But no matter because I always encourage knitters to use whatever Their Muse directs them, because YOU get to make the call! If you like the particular look of a type of increase, decrease, cast on or bind off, nothing is written in stone on these types of techniques, so full speed ahead, my hearties!

Like many, I’ve been lectured (there is no other word) by complete strangers, even in public (!) about The Proper Way of “Fill-in-the-Technique Blank Here”. There is, in the knitting universe, always a few dedicated Missionistas determined to Convert All to whatever is the perceived “Standard”. Aye, maties, I learned knitting at my Grandmother’s knee as an imp and still throw the yarn around the needle just like when I was 10 (but I’m fast as all get out now!) This has perplexed some who were then “led” to show me the errors of my way. If you’ve been knitting for more than a scarf set, you’ve probably met this person, because, baby, they get around! ;p

Forget them! Do it however it rocks your world!

Usually I like to use some kind of directionally leaning M1 in a shaped area, but this time I’ve abandoned the M1 Family and am all aflame over a plain old Lifted Increase. This was something that was demonstrated during a class I took at Stitches Midwest in 2005 taught by the lovely and talented Margaret Fisher. She showed us how to do many tips and tricks (in fact she just came out with a book based on her popular class yay!) but this one type of increase just stood out for me.

Just a Nice Friendly Increase: I just knit it in on a whim and I’m in love! Now, you CAN make these Lifted Increases left or right leaning, but I don’t see much difference in how they look and am especially lazy as WINTER is still dragging on so I just fly through with right-lifted increases on both sides of the side markers.


This technique leaves a very small footprint and virtually no hole (or bump). When I have some free time, I’m thinking I’ll play with this on a raglan line and see how it looks in a repeated sequence. Hmmm…

>>>>>> Read all posts in this category: Cotton Sandrine.

9 responses to “Wednesday, April 1, 2009”

  1. Barbara-Kay says:

    I love your attitude. Go for it!

  2. many of my machine knitting buddies at guild will say that do what ever works, but do it consistantly. As you say, in knitting, there are many different ways to do increases, decreases ,cast on’s just to name a few. Consistancy is really the key, cause if you do one kind of increase on one row and another it looks kind of dorky…

    nice work on the newest design, I can’t wait to try it for myself

  3. Rob says:

    I share your EXACT philosophy on “whatever works” in my personal knitting life and in my teaching various knitting things to others. I’ve had folks ask “well, what’s the RIGHT way to do XYZ” and my immediate response is always “whatever way you’re most comfortable”.

    I don’t preach specific ways to hold yarn in beginning classes, I don’t force a certain increase/decrease/cast on for projects… you say–the MUSE is what matters. I’ve actually been knitting in my shop and had someone RIP THE WORK OUT OF MY HANDS demanding “you don’t purl correctly”. My staff and Matt made an audible gasp, stepped back, and expected me to blow up. I just took it back from her, said I’ve been knitting over 40 years now, and if it works for me, it’s correct.

    On the subject of the increases, I ADORE that style and teach it as a blind increase in my toe up socks class. I have…ahem…larger calves and need shaping in my socks, so I show others how to incorporate shaping if they need it, too, and the increase I always show is this one. It makes an almost invisible increase (no “bullet holes” from lifting/M1) and blends into fabric well.

    THANK YOU for sharing–both the technique and your perspective on “the one true way to knit” as pish-posh! See why we adore you!

  4. I’ll have to look that up. I love how the increase just fades into the [white? gray?] fabric.

  5. Doris says:

    I will have to check out that increase too. I agree whole-heartedly with your statement. I hate when people tell me that I “knit wrong”. I have been knitting for 40 years (frightening to say it that way!) and was taught by my german grandmother. My knitting is straight, even, and turns out exactly right, so why am I knitting wrong?! But you are so right, “those” people show up everywhere.

  6. Gaile says:

    I totally agree with you. Use what works for YOU!

    I’m a thrower too. Not lightening fast, but fast enough. And I love this little sweater, its really quite adorable.

  7. Yes! Very pretty and ‘natural-looking’ too. My mantra: “There are no Knitting Police”!

  8. Caroline says:

    Bless you! I can’t hear it enough: “Forget them!” and do it your own way. Thank you. Thank you.

  9. Lori on Little Traverse Bay says:

    Thanks for the heads-up on the “lifted increase.” I’m using it on some sleeves I’m working on and it’s GREAT! Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks, ha! ha!

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