Blue Alpaca Neckwarmer and a Kitchener stitch lesson

Emma is modeling my blocked-to-death, indigo-dyed alpaca neckwarmer...


Here is the neck warmer, busily being blocked to death... I'm going to wet it again, and try to find a smaller something to block it on, and hope for the best.

Anyway, I copied an idea that I read on knitterguy's blog - he was knitting a shawl which had a knitted on border, and demonstrated how to do this. Here's the post - -

So, this is what I did and if I might say so, it worked out perfectly! Much more perfectly than I could ever have hoped or dreamed, in fact.


I casted on in a bit of grey-green yarn, and knitted a repeat and a half of "fir cone" which is knitted with the pattern rows on the right side and a purl row on the wrong side. I knitted the purl row in a bright purple, then began knitting with the intended yarn - blue alpaca. I knitted and knitted until I was just about out of yarn, making sure that I stopped at the same place as was the purple row.

Next, I threaded a darning needle with the end of the alpaca, and then it was a *very* simple matter to just follow the purple yarn's path on the way back.

OK... so.... it wasn't all that simple, but it was "doable" even if it did take all of my powers of concentration.

In the photo above, you can see that my blue yarn is following the path of the purple yarn, then on the way "back," it will go back through *two* loops of the blue, just as the purple yarn is going through two loops of the green. Get it? In this way, I've just kitchenered a k2tog.

Try it with some scrap yarn - you will be surprised.

In the photo below, you can faintly see the purple yarn behind the blue. At the beginning of the row, I would follow the purple for a couple of stitches, and then take out the purple, then advance with the blue, retreat with the purple, and so on. This was a mistake! Leave the purple yarn alone until you are all done.

All done! Waiting to be tortured on a box...

Just look at this! You can't tell where the seam is. How cool is this?
You might have noticed something - I did my fir cone pattern just a little differently than usual, and I really like the effect. Instead of doing a double decrease, every other row as prescribed, I did a double decrease at the first, then I did a k2tog on *every* row, and I think that it came out really nice. I can post a chart if anyone is interested. Let me know.

You can do a similar trick for other kitchener needs. Somewhere on line is a post showing how to kitchener sock toes by knitting a "sock toe chimney" (Lucy Neatby is a pure genius - have you seen her sock knitting book? It's great!) and then following the stitches to do the toes. Right now, I'm knitting a scarf where you knit each half from the ends and then join it in the middle - I'm going to do it this way, too. Of course, the "knitting architecture" won't be exactly the same, since it will join two different directions coming together in the middle, but it will work out just fine. It is so so so much easier to knit in some waste yarn and then follow the trail of the waste yarn when kitchenering.

Try it!
Another kind of neckwarmer...

5 comments:

fleegle said...

That neck warmer looks yummy!

Thanks for your comment on Lyra. It was a wonderful knit!

CurliSu said...

I am wondering why the pictures on this post won't open for me - after your first neckwarmer picture I'm getting the little boxes with red Xs in them.
Maybe it has to do with my recent change from ie6 to ie7.
I'll try looking at it from another browser . . .
I really enjoy your blog.
Lurker,
CurliSu in Oklahoma

Rosemary said...

Curlisu, THANK YOU so much! Your comment came to me via email,and I was able to put my photos back online with no trouble. Thanks. I would have never noticed, otherwise. THANKS!

Alan said...

I find it easier to knit the last row with (in this case) the purple yarn, then the sewing needle just follows the path of the purple yarns at each end. Eliminates the need to think about doing kitchener stitch on the live stitches. Clear as mud?

N. Maria said...

I tell myself that I learn something new every day and you just proved it.
You gave me a wonderful "Aha!" moment.