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July 11, 2007

Options

Alright, I guess we might as well call it the Underpants Blanket. Who am I to deny my readers a little good humored self-deprecation? :) :)

I was excited to begin with Emily Ocker's cast on - it's such a cool technique! But my excitement waned after knitting a few rounds:

Gedifra Korfu, being a worsted weight cotton/acrylic blend, does not like to squish into a tiny little circle. The stitches maintained their shape and formed an obvious hole in the center, which I didn't like.

Fortunately, the designer offered a second option for casting on. Options, I like. She suggested using the provisional crochet cast-on, working a few rounds, then removing the waste yarn and snugging up the stitches with the yarn tail.

Well, it's not even stitches that get snugged up: it's the lower loops of the first round of knitting. This worked much better, in my opinion, and formed a much neater center - there are fewer strands of yarn to force into a circle.

Someone mentioned the incompatibility of the Russian Join with cotton yarn. Well, I think it functions okay - the ends are secure and won't go anywhere. However, I'd be lying if I said I was pleased with the visual result:

It looks a bit sloppy. For the perfectionists among us, a lot sloppy. I'm considering weaving in the ends instead. Do I have other options??

Posted by Kathy on July 11, 2007 12:23 AM

Comments

I have seen Techknitter discussing other options quite in depth recently at http://techknitting.blogspot.com/.

Daphne beat me to it: Techknitter just posted the solution to this very dilemma.

I'm doing mine with a yarn with long color repeats, not changing yarns, so I can't comment on the weaving in ends options. However, on the reverse stockinette sections, I switched the p1 in the corner to k1, so that the look was more consistent in the corners.

techknitting also has a disappearing loop cast on, might be easier than the provisional thing you're doing now

Recently saw DoggedKnits mention something about lightly dabbing the woven-in ends of cotton yarn with Fray Check. Worth considering?

I like the modified Emily Ocker in Simple Socks Plain and Fancy by Priscilla Gibson Roberts.

I tried the russian join yesterday with cotton/bamboo yarn. It comes out ugly. No russion join with cotton yarn for me.

I'm usually pretty fussy, but those joins don't look bad to me. I do agree that the second attempt at the cast on looks waaaaayyyy better.

when i do a russian join in stripes, i cut off the yarn i'm using, and do a russian join around the yarn with the new color. does that make sense? that way you can manuever it to where you want it to be and there's only one end to weave in.

Delurking to add that I made a pinwheel blanket a while ago with GGH Samoa (also a cotton acrylic blend) and I wove in the ends. And really did not like the result, so I'll be interested to see your solution. I otherwise adored the blanket- but the wrong side looked pretty awful to me.

There are always options. If I wsa knitting this project, I'd be making simple stripes - changing yarns only on the edges. But I'm not. Sorry, can't think of a satisfactory option for you.

I agree the Russian join is too sloppy in cotton yarns (and bulkier ones too). I would weave the ends in, I also almost always put a dab of fray check on the end after weaving it in with cotton, silk and other non grabby yarns.

How many plies is this yarn?

You could try a variant of Eunny's join (http://www.eunnyjang.com/knit/2006/02/yeah.html) but cutting half the plies on each side and working the join with half-thickness strands.

I think if you let the tail overlap with the cut end and add a little twist, it ought to be secure and less bulky than a Russian join. If you stagger the location of cutting for each ply, it potentially could be invisible.

I third the recommendation for the techknitter's techniques. She recently described three separate options for joining a new color - one is bound to work. That woman is brilliant.

Hmm. I haven't tried it yet, but am thinking about using sewing thread to sew together the two yarns ends to join them.

Or to sew the end to the knitting, going through the yarn or around it. With matching thread, of course. If done on the back of the work, this could in theory be completely invisible.

the emily ocher i know, the rest i'm going to try; thanks for the teaching and sharing. mine will be the underpants dishrag though if you don't mind.thanks again.

Sorry that I am of no help. I am not exactly the most skilled knitter. I hope that you can find a solution that makes you happy.

No suggestions, but a word of advice. Beware underpants gnomes.

I'm with you on this one - I'd weave in the ends instead of using the RJ. I love that you find inspiration in your underpants. Heh.

oooh! i have met emily ocker's daughter!

No ideas on the joins, but the center looks exponentially better!

ooh i like the provisional cast on for knitting starting from the center like that. very nice.

could you move where the round starts? that way the join is at another position.....of course I dont have this pattern so i dont know where you start and stop, but assuming its the corner.

I say weave those babies in.

I use waste yarn and a 4-stitch I-cord when I cast on in the round. After about an inch, I switch to the project yarn, knit one row of I-cord, then double the number of stitches by increasing in each of the 4 sts on the needle. Then I transfer the 8 sts to dpns.

Hmm, what do you think of cutting off half the plies and then either russian joining them, or else twisting them around each other? Either way you'd end up with one "thickness" instead of two.

I loved this pattern when I saw it at my LYS, however I have yet to make it.
Clearly I am daft as I can't see your joins in any of your pictures. You'll have to point them out to me?!

I made this blanket a few years ago in 2 colors of a cotton blend yarn (Cotton Ease). The only option I found was to very carefully weave in the ends. Many washings and lots of use later, the ends are still securely hidden away. I should mention that I'm not really a perfectionist, but I managed to control the tension at the corners and hide the ends pretty well. I'll be watching your progress... love the colors.

I made this blanket a few years ago in 2 colors of a cotton blend yarn (Cotton Ease). The only option I found was to very carefully weave in the ends. Many washings and lots of use later, the ends are still securely hidden away. I should mention that I'm not really a perfectionist, but I managed to control the tension at the corners and hide the ends pretty well. I'll be watching your progress... love the colors.

i'm knitting the same blanket right now (thanx for the tip!), and i have so far used something like the overcast method when i change colors. what i also do is i knit all stiches, which means i turn the work when i change colors and knit in the opposite direction. i do this since i'm faster at knitting that purling and i also have problems getting the same tensions with knit and purl. i also alternate in which of the four courners i start, so if the end-thing isn't as perfect as it should be, it won't be as visible.
thank you, grumperina, for an educational blog!

This truly is an educational blog (and fun to read, too). The way the second cast-on worked is so perfect. I love the way it pulls together. And thanks to Daphne for the link to Techknitter at http://techknitting.blogspot.com. I hadn't seen that blog before, and it's got a ton of great information on it.

I just knit a hat from the top down using the provisional cast-on you described, and it's great! Thanks!

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