Last week, I wrote about navigating Ravelry. I had finished knitting a vest and was on the hunt for a new pattern. I found Porkie, a cute little hat that I think my granddaughters will really like. I will definitely make one for myself.
I first, however, need to finish another sweater, The Birdwatcher. I knitted one in May and loved it so much that I am knitting another one. It is a great little sweater to knit while traveling, and I really like the way it fits. As you can see from the photo, the first one was light blue. The second one is also blue. I must be in a blue mood this summer. Both are knitted with La Jolla by Baah Yarn. I also think it would look great knitted with Bamboo Pop (50% cotton/ 50% bamboo). The cotton and bamboo blend would make it a perfect summer sweater. We have a new shipment of Bamboo Pop with some great colors, and I urge you to check them out.
The Birdwatcher is knitted bottom-up and in the round with a pretty little design along the lower hem. Once the decorative stitches along the bottom are complete, it is just straight knitting up to the arm. There, the front and back are split and knitted separately. Since there is no shaping in the body, there are no increases or decreases.
One of the challenges when knitting anything other than a hat is that sooner or later, you run out of yarn and must join a new skein. There are several methods for joining yarn and I have tried many of them. If I knit both my old and new strands of yarn together for a few stitches, I can avoid holes in my knitting and weaving in ends. That method seems to work fairly well with lightweight yarns but can really show up on worsted and bulky knits. It just thickens the fabric too much for my liking. It can also be a bit of a challenge if you are knitting cables or other patterns. Determined to expand my skills, I started doing a little research and found three tutorials that are well worth watching. The first, Three Options for Joining a New Ball of Yarn by Very Pink, is a nice review of three techniques and suggestions on when to use them based on the fiber content and project design.
The second tutorial, the Russian Join by Very Pink, demonstrates a good technique for joining cotton and acrylic yarns.
The third tutorial, Knitting Help – Weaving Ends as You Go by Very Pink, was the most workable for me. Probably because I don’t enjoy weaving in ends, and this pretty much eliminates that step. At first glance, this method might look a bit complicated, but it is easy with practice and well worth practicing if you do not like to weave in ends. This method was just wrapping yarn to the front and back again. I used it for joining yarn on my current project and I am satisfied with the results.
This first (top) picture shows the public (right) side of the fabric. The join even looks good before blocking. After blocking, it will be pretty much invisible. The second (bottom) photo is the inside (wrong side) of the fabric. I only carried my yarn across five stitches, but that was enough to secure the yarn and weave in the ends. If you do not relish weaving in ends, you may want to try this technique. I will on future projects.