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Knit Maker: Skills & Technique

Lesson 6 of 11

Dropping Stitches


Knit Maker: Skills & Technique

Lesson 6 of 11

Dropping Stitches


Lesson Info

Dropping Stitches

Here in studio I've given, I've given all of the students this little, it looks like a crochet hook but then has a little needle point. It is actually a tool that was created by Clover for fixing knit stitches. You can absolutely use a crochet hook at home too but I like little gadgets and I feel like this is gadgety. The reason why it's different than a crochet hook is that it has the tip of a needle so if you need to use, if you need a tip to just pick up a stitch, you've got that and then you can flip it over and go from there. But first, what I'm gonna talk about, how am I gonna do this within the time that we have? Okay, what I'm gonna do is, let's say let's talk about dropping stitches. So dropping stitches is kind of a punk rock fabric effect that you can give to a project. It changes, monumentally changes the gauge of a project, so if you need it to fit, you need to know ahead of time. But what it does... Okay, I'm going to do two things on one swatch. Alright, so what you woul...

d do if you wanted this drop-stitch effect, is you would take the stitch off. Hold on, ladies. And then you would just pull. (spooky ghost vocalizations) Okay, and you would go all the way down to your cast-on edge, or in the pattern that you get through the bonus materials. There's actually a cable, and it'll stop at where the cable is. And you get all of these bars. It's grabbing, this is roving yarn, so it has a little bit of a grab to it, so I would need to go. Now, if you're setting up for dropping stitches there is an argument to be made about placing markers, and if you are knitting the whole way, and you knew that you were gonna drop this stitch, twisting the stitches on either side, so that would just mean knitting through the back loop. Knitting through the back loop looks like this. Instead of coming in through the stich like this, you would come through the stitch like this and knit the stitch. Some knitters believe that that just makes it a little bit more stable, towards the edge. I've never really worked on a project that required a stability there. It's usually a little detail that I like to do at the bottom of like a tank-top, just to add a little edge. Maybe on some gauntlets, so it's not really a big deal. But there's just a little tip for you, in case you decide. Okay, so that is when you purposefully, I'll be with you in one second Linda, that's when you purposefully drop them. I'm gonna to show you how to fix drop-stitches in a second, but I want to start by saying you cannot fix, you wouldn't necessarily be able to fix this, this is too many rows down. And I'll explain that in a second as well. I also wanted to mention that this is a really cool another thing that you can do with this is that you can then take ribbon, or some other fiber, and weave it in and out. There's a ton of stuff that you could do with it, other than it just looking cool. Linda, what do you have for me? My question was about knitting in the back, on the sides. Is that in anticipation, when you know you're going to do that? Yes. That's what you mean. You... Yes. Okay, thank you. Yeah, obviously you can't go back. You can't go back and do it, but, what you would do, is you would put stitch markers to remind you, on either side of the stitch that you were going to be dropping, and you would always knit the entire row, every row you would work. Every right side row, you wouldn't have to worry about it on your pearl side row. You would work a stitch through the back loop. Does that make sense? Okay, so I'm gonna just get over to a different place on this swatch, since I'm trying to fit two things in on one swatch. Okay, so now we're gonna talk about unintentionally dropping stitches. It happens all the time, you're knitting along and a stitch just falls off. If you're working with a roving yarn like this it's actually kind of awesome, because the halo, the fibers, grab on to each other and it's hard for it to be slippy. But if you're working with a cotton, or with a rayon, or a silk, I mean, you're kinda screwed. So, what happens is let's say you drop a couple stitches. Do not fret, you can fix this. You can fix it if you drop up to five rows down. After that, unfortunately you need to pull it out and unknit to there. Here's why. If you miss, I'm sorry I should also state if you've noticed and you've kept knitting and then you noticed, oh shoot, I've dropped it every time you knit a stitch, you're creating more fabric. You're using more length of yarn. So if you drop down, you can kinda compensate for that. But if you drop down all the way down to here, it would be really hard for the fabric not to pucker as you're fixing, because that extra fabric, that mileage, has not been created. So really, it varies based on weight of yarn, but a good hard and fast rule, not rule, but just something to follow, to think about is that, more than five, no longer alive. Sometimes I shouldn't make things up on the fly, it just doesn't always go well. Okay, so, If you're working in stockinette stitch that's super easy to fix. Alright? So you're going to go in with your tool, your crochet hook. You're gonna go in to the first loop, the one that's not dropped, and then you place the bar up above it, and you pull that loop through. And you've just picked up one row. See how that makes a perfect knit stitch? So then I'm gonna go to the next one. The next bar. If you've noticed, this is the same method as chaining that we did for the provisional cast-on. Chains look like knit stitches. But, the reason why I'm telling you that, I mean, I'm being jokey, but if you can start to put your mind in those places, and see the associations, it really helps for problem solving later. Alright, I've picked them all up I can see there aren't any bars, so all I do from there, is I place the stitch back on my hook, and look, I'm golden. I'm back in action. Isn't that great? Any questions? Yes? I have a question about the slip stitch, the intentional slip stitches? The drop stitches? Right, yeah. Drop stitches. Say you wanted that as part of your pattern and then you wanted to continue in stockinette stitch. How would you make up for that gap, besides... You wouldn't, it would pull, I mean, or you could cast-on a bunch of stitches, but I think that, I think it would give you a ruching effect, that depending on where it was in the body may be, unfortunate. But, so I actually designed a tank-top for Knitty years ago, there's an online magazine called Knitty. I think it was called Tank Girl. And I did that, but what I did was I had just this little detailing right here and then I just continued, but if I had done a long one, my fabric would have been much bigger, much wider, over here. But because I did such a small one, it didn't really make any difference. But I didn't want the width of that fabric because I'm starting to go up to my waist, you know, and before the bust line. So, it's just one those things, where it depends on what you're designing. Are there any other questions? Well someone from home said they loved your yarn colors, and they're wondering if you have a resource guide for where you can find and purchase them? Oh, all of them? Man, it's just a grab bag. (laughter) This particular yarn is actually leftovers from, I have a set of kits on a site called Kitterly, and I have a set, a collection of four lunch-hour knit kits. And this is leftover, I think it's, hopefully I have this right, Manos del Uruguay Maxima Yarn. And this color, I believe, is called spirulina. I have designed a project called Mittens, these really cute honeycomb mittens, and this was leftover from that. And I love it. So I work with it all the time. Again, just tweet at me, @vickiehowell, or go onto my Facebook page and ask questions. And, once I get back to Austin, I can sit down and get you your info. There's a way to actually knit drop-stitches. It's creating them as you knit. And this is a really cool technique to use on something really open, like a spring scarf or a wrap. Because what you've gonna do is you're gonna create these really elongated stitches that will give you netted gaps in between your stable rows. So, I've knit a stitch. Now I'm gonna to yarn over, around the needle twice, you know what let's do three times, let's go crazy. Three times. Knit the next one. Yarn over. And you could yarn over, not once, it needs to be at least twice. Three times, four times, depending on how long you want your drop to be. And this will make sense in a second, I promise. So while I am knitting, I realized that there's a couple of people that I still have not heard how long they've been knitting, or how they learned. Why thank you. I knit a little bit when I was in my early twenties. And I just started knitting again about three months ago. And, Sharon got me started, and I've taken a couple of lessons, and so far, I've done a hat, a scarf, I'm working on a sweater, and I'm working on a shawl. This class is great. That's great! Because everything you've done has been something that I either haven't been able to figure out, or I have taken five hours to do. So, I've already learned so much. Oh, I'm so happy to hear that. Thank you. Linda, did we already talk about oh, we talked about it, because we talked about bookmarks. Olivia, we talked about I think we got everyone covered. I think we're all good. Well people always ask me when I started knitting and I actually, I started crocheting when I was eight. My mom taught me, but knitting, I just didn't click, ironically, And then when I was pregnant with my now 14 year old son, my friend just drug me, like kicking and screaming, to a knitting store, saying you're the craftiest person I know, why are you not knitting? And I walked into the store, in Studio City, California, and I'd never seen such a gorgeous place. I'd never seen so many types of yarn. What was really more interesting to me, not more interesting, equally interesting to me, was the collection of women that were sitting at the table knitting together. Cause I had the same misconceptions that a lot of people did, or still do. So there was a mom, there was a grandmother, there was a movie director, there was a daughter, there was an executive, and they were all sitting together, talking. To each other, in a totally non-threatening manner. And I worked in the entertainment industry, and that was not the norm. Women are not always awesome to each other. I mean, let's call it, we're not always that great to each other. But this craft, any craft, offers the opportunity to bring people together who maybe don't have anything else in common, to sit down and have conversations together. And I sat down at the table, and I picked up some beautiful needles I'd never seen before, and some gorgeous yarn I'd never seen before, with this baby in my belly, and I started knitting. And I never stopped. That's so awesome. I actually know that story you're talking about because I moved here from that area. But when I moved here, similar idea, I didn't know anybody, I wanted to get to know people, so I started going to knitting groups. And I met some of the best people here. Fiber people are just awesome. That's awesome. That's really cool. Okay, so I have gotten to the end of my row, or as much as I'm going to do. So now I'm gonna flip my piece over, and we're on the wrong side. So what you do on the wrong side, is you're gonna knit all of the knit stitches and drop, this is where the dropping comes in, drop all the yarn overs. So that's a knit stitch. That's a knit stitch. That's a knit stitch. But I can tell that's a yarn over, right? Cause it looks very different. So, I'm just gonna take the tip, and I'm pulling it all off. It's gonna look crazy right now. It won't always look crazy, I promise. This is actually creating garter, if I did that, if I wanted to do stockinette I'm gonna actually pull them off and do it again, I should have purled. You could absolutely do this with garter, I just want to keep mine stockinette. Okay, so, I'm purling. Drop. And you'll notice when you're working, the rows, did I just have two in a row? Might have done that twice in a row, that's gonna look awful. You'll notice that the yarn overs might be a little bit tighter on your needle, so just muscle them off. What just happened? Did you just have a moment? You just had an ah-ha moment? About this technique or something totally unrelated? Okay, good. It could have been, you know, about the economy or something. I don't know. (laughter) So, because I was chatting, I have all of these drop-stitches in a row, oh no I don't. I'm just randomly dropping stitches. Fail. Okay, so you're gonna work all the way across in that manner, you want to make sure that you actually work the stitches straight, and not just throw them off the needle like I just did, which is probably gonna look, kinda nervous about what's gonna happen on the other side when I turn it over. I have faith. I have faith. Okay, and we're done. So, when you flip it over, okay, ignore the ones that I actually, randomly dropped. You're gonna get these really sort-of like cool elongated stitches. Aren't those groovy? Groovy? That's a little 1965. (laughter) Sometimes I time travel when I'm talking. So, what's really cool, it'd be really cool to do something like this and then put maybe eight rows of stockinette or garter in between, so there's the stability, and then you'd have little sort-of windows of openings. And so then, what I would do the next row, I wouldn't do another drop off drop down stitch right away. I'd want to have at least a couple of rows of stability, in between. I want to just take this opportunity to remind you about some of my other courses. If you're interested? For all the knitters out here, I've got Knit Maker 101, which is very beginning like this is what a needle is, here's yarn. But all the way through all of the basic stitches. I've got Knit Maker 102, which really just builds on that. It's for, kinda when you're about ready to go up from beginner to maybe advanced beginner. Then I've got Knit Maker 201, which is a project class. It's socks. And I take you from the very, very edge of the cuff, all the way to the tip of the toe. Walk you through step-by-step. One, two, three, I think that's how all of the knit classes, and then there's this one. Yes. For crocheters out there, or people that want to be crocheters, I have the exact equivalent. I've got Crochet Maker 101, again from the beginning of the hook. Crochet 102, which takes you all the way through granny squares. I've got a Crochet Maker class that is project based, where I teach you how to make two different shaped hats, so it gives you really a great foundation to know how to create different shapes. And I have a How to Crochet an Arcade Stitch Cardigan course, which I'm really excited about. It's a really easy cardigan that anybody can wear. It's sized from small to three XL, so there really is something for everyone. And it's got very minimal shaping, so it's flowy and so it's very easy and flattering to the body type. So please check that out on my course instructor page, and join me for as many classes as you can. I also have a monetize your craft class, if there's anybody out there that wants to maybe make a little bit of money from their craft. Either, you want to like go big, and go hard and make this your career, or maybe you want to just supplement your income. It doesn't matter if your craft is jewelry, or pottery, or knitting, or sewing, there's something for everybody there. So make sure to check those out. Alright, questions, comments, general outrage. There's one question that came through, referring to the project you were just working on. Sometimes when I drop a stitch, I have a hard time finding the dropped stitch. Any tip for locating the dropped stitch? Yeah, that can be fussy if you're working on a smaller gauge yarn or if you're working with a yarn that has a lot of variation in color. (sigh) Do I have a tip? So really, what I always say is take it slow. Don't try and do it on your lap. Find a hard surface. Find a table. Lay it down, and then... Let me see if I have, where's that other swatch? So let's say I've dropped this stitch, and then I've worked. It's pretty obvious in this yarn, so this is not the best example, but lay it down, and then slowly, what I would do is slowly work the fabric, and see if anything pulls up. But go slow, cause you don't want it to go further. But the biggest tip is to make sure you put it on a flat surface, and don't try and do it, you know, like this, or on your lap. It just, it won't go well. Anything else? Is a dropped purl stitch the same? I mean, basic? It'll look the same, it'll look the same, yeah.

Class Description

It can be hard to set aside time for your creative outlet, and even harder to put time and energy into doing the research and legwork to advance your skills. Vickie Howell turns this formula on its head. Your craft should be your inspiration, and learning new techniques should be fun, attainable, and energizing.

Vickie is an expert, easy-to-follow knitter who can help you master the just-out-of-reach skills you need to tackle advanced patterns. Join this class, and you’ll learn:

  • How to get started with the provisional and cable cast-ons.
  • How to create button holes, fix dropped stitches, and more.
Vickie will also teach you advanced seaming techniques like the kitchener stitch, mattress stitch and the 3-needle bind-off. You’ll learn how to work the picot bind-off, add an applied i-cord edging, and incorporate SC edging. Take the time to invest in your knitting skills, and invigorate your creative practice!


Toni Imwold

Thanks Vicki for teaching a great class. I consider myself to be an advanced knitter but I still learned some great tips and ideas from you. The cowl patterns look great and I plan to knit one soon.

a Creativelive Student

This was an outstanding, intensive workshop by Vickie Howell. She covered a wide variety of techniques and I am amazed at how much I learned in just a few hours. I started practicing some of the new skills I learned and am happy to report that they are indeed now part of my knitting knowledge.

Chris Lopez

This was an amazing class. I've been a knitter for 40+ years but still picked up some new skills and refined some existing ones. Vickie is a wonderful teacher and her enthusiasm for her craft shines through in all she does. Please keep adding more classes with her.

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