October 1, 2006

Top tips #2 — Marnie MacLean

Marnie MacLean offers up this quick tip for the knitter who likes to alter patterns:

When I’m designing or even when I’m working someone else’s pattern, I usually omit any hem treatments worked before starting the body or sleeve of a garment (this presumes a piece knit bottom up). Instead, I use a provisional cast on. This gives me the freedom to really choose the best treatment for the garment I end up with, which is rarely the garment I originally envisioned.

If you are working stockinette, reverse stockinette or garter stitch, you can even use the provisional cast on to lengthen a garment after you’ve finished knitting it. Note, however, that stitch patterns such as ribbing, cables, and lace cannot be lengthened this way, as they will all be offset but half a stitch. And while we are giving little warnings, also note that for whatever number of stitches you cast on provisionally, you will have one fewer when you pull out the scrap yarn to work the held stitches.

Check out the rest of Marnie’s site for even more excellent patterns and tips… I’ve been eagerly following her forays into the world of machine knitting, myself. (Not to mention her dog Panda is the cutest thing you’ve ever seen).

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