If "AT SAME TIME" makes YOU cringe...

“AT SAME TIME” in knitting means to work the instructions that immediately follow this phrase simultaneously with instructions immediately preceding the phrase. This often strikes fear in the hearts of knitters. At same time directions often occur with necklines plus armhole increases or decreases in sweaters, and in gusset increases with some other pattern such as a cable in a mitten glove or mitt.

To demonstrate ways to complete the project without mistakes, Braided Hand is useful. The right mitt is the example. The back of hand cable is 23 rounds, repeated once. Two gussets stitches are added at the beginning of the round for the right mitt every fourth round for a total of six times, STARTING ON RND 14.



The paper and pencil way to accomplish the gusset increases is to use a counting-style EOR marker, write down, then cross off each of the chart rows where the two gussets stitches are added, as follows:




26/3*    *3rd rnd on 2nd Chart repeat

30/7*    *7th rnd on 2nd Chart repeat

34/11    *11th rnd on 2nd Chart repeat


Second, one of my favorite tools in the Sirka counter. The Grellow and Gray Sirka counter is set for one possible reminder system for the increases, starting at the beginning of rounds 14, 18, 22, then rounds 3, 7 and 11 of the second chart repeat. With 6 moving parts on this counter, Sirka is quite versatile in counting different things.


Finally, kC Designs (set-up patterns on the Knit Companion app) offers a sophisticated, digital method of keeping track of at the same time directions. View the  screenshot of this pattern.  Built-in reminders must be clicked at completion before proceeding. kC Designs functionality shines with patterns with at the same time directions and complex lace.


Happy knitting!

Do You Need to Tame Your Tension?

A prerequisite for beautiful knitting is even tension. Many knitters produce fabric with “rowing out” or gutters, where a space occurs between rows, best seen on the nonpublic side of Stockinette stitch. This occurs generally when knit rows are tighter than purl rows. Exaggerated photos follow.

To check this, hold a Stockinette stitch swatch or knitted item up to a light source to check for gutters between rows. To document that gutters found are from loose purl rows consider adding a lifeline thread as you purl a row or two and eliminating a lifeline for knit rows.

 Many possible solutions exist if the purl rows appear looser than the knit rows. These include:

  1. Try to knit looser and purl tighter.

  2. Consider knitting backwards instead of turning the work and purling.

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oPc9lV5s1w

  3. Consider using Portuguese technique with working yarn held taut for the purl rows. The easy Portuguese purl stitch is at the end of this tutorial.

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzfYS9_t27k

For remaining issues, consider enrolling in the TKGA correspondence course entitled Taming Tension by Binka Schwan. She will have you curing gutters, uneven stitches in ribbing, enlarged purl stitches next to cables and alternating large and small stitches on edges in no time! Register online at https://tkga.org/education/correspondence-courses/#1473286586928-707b24c9-2a64 .

TKGA (The Knitting Guild Association) is the parent body of the MHKP (Master Hand Knitting Program). Even if you have no interest in becoming a TKGA Master Knitter, TKGA an outstanding organization. TKGA’s digital publication Cast On contains a wealth of information for learning knitting techniques, skill building, finishing techniques, stitch anatomy and coping with knitting disasters (Knitting 911). Happy knitting!

Why you should be an expert chart reader...

Over the next several months, I plan to suggest how intermediate knitters can become expert knitters. When I am teaching, chart reading is the number one skill knitters need to learn to advance. Many advanced patterns lack equivalent written instructions. The main reason is the exorbitant length of written pattern needed to cover all the charts. This is true for my TKGA final project, Uplands Aran. This pattern would exceed 20 pages with written instructions!

The benefits of charts include:

1.       Charts follow rules:

a.       Read charts from bottom to top.

b.      Each square represents a stitch, or if gray or shaded, a no stitch.

c.       Read right-sided rows from right to left. Numbers on the right edge of the chart are RS rows and are usually, but not always, odd numbers.

d.      Read wrong-sided rows from left to right. Numbers on the left edge of the chart are WS rows and are usually, but not always, even numbers.

e.       Read all chart rows in circular knitting from right to left.

f.        Red lines in charts outline a repeat.

                                                               i.      When red outlines the bottom and the top only, work the repeat over length only.

                                                             ii.      If red outlines the left and the right of a section, work the repeat within the row as in the example below.

                                                           iii.      Red outlining the entire box instructs the knitter to work the repeat per pattern instructions over the width and the length of the knitted item.

2.       Missing or erroneous stitches are obvious on a chart.

3.       Chart symbols look like stitches pictured from the right side of the fabric and show what the final fabric looks like.

4.       Changes in stitch numbers per row or round are seen at a glance with how decreases and increases relate to each other

When starting out using charts instead of written directions, I recommend:

1.       Knitting a simple pattern in the round, avoiding what the wrong side stitch is, and reading the chart in only one direction.

2.       Consider owning JC Briar’s book, Charts Made Simple. This book is fantastic, and has a quiz at the end of every chapter to test your understanding of the concepts. I still refer to this book.

If you need a knitting New Year’s resolution, make it this: be an expert chart reader! More knitting happiness will follow!

Add a kCDesign to your Ravelry Pattern

Add a kCDesign to your existing Chief Left Hand Knits Ravelry pdf effective tonight! I highly recommend this tool on my patterns with at the same time directions including Uplands Aran, Braided Hand and Sheep Craig Mitts! The kCDesign allows the knitter to advance after performing ALL the needed instructions (such as working gusset increases on the same round as the cable instruction!!) More of my patterns in this format are coming soon! 

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