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HeartStrings FiberArts
Knitterly News - June 26, 2006
Taking knitting beyond the ordinary --
From the classic to the uniquely appealing

Hi knitting friend -

What a grand birthday vacation I had! Things could not have been better on the Alaskan cruise and sightseeing in Vancouver, BC. One of the highlights of the trip was hiking on Mendenhall Glacier. There's me in front of the helicopter on which we flew to one of the awesome ice fields. You can see our group starting out on the hike -- I wanted to especially be careful around those crevices (some go really deep!).

Jackie E-S at Mendenahall Glacier Hiking on Mendenahall Glacier

I came home relaxed ... and then reality set in again. Back to work with a busy month rolling out the new release of patterns. More about these below.

Hope you are having a wonderful summer. Best to you and happy knitting,

Jackie E-S / HeartStrings FiberArts


new patterns for june

I am pleased to announce 5 new patterns in the Jackie E-S Design Collections and 2 single pattern republications from the out-of-print book The Sock Calendar. All standing orders and pre-orders have been shipped to stores, so look for them to arrive soon if they haven't already. And do let me know what your favorites are so far!

Click pictures for more details at the the HeartStrings website.
Easy Asymmetry Wrap
H01 Easy Asymmetry Wrap
Bobble Lace Flowers
H37 Bobble Lace Flowers Triangle Shawl
Easy Elegance Ensemble
H39 Easy Elegance Ensemble
Polo Dickey
H15 Polo Dickey
Lace Leaves Scarves
H38 Lace Leaves Scarves

Single pattern republications from THE SOCK CALENDAR:

Rainy Day socks pattern
T304 Rainy Day
Summer Solstice socks pattern
T306 Summer Solstice

getting hooked on lace

Janet Pohl writes ...

I hope that your life has settled down a bit after the hurricane ordeal. I so miss ordering from you directly but I know you have made the right decision for your business.
I just wanted to tell you how much I continue to enjoy your designs. They are lovely, and the patterns are always detailed and easy to follow.
I got hooked on lace through your little oak leaf book mark, so I owe you a big thank you. I just ordered one of your beaded sock patterns, so beads are my next challenge. Thank you again, and may God bless you.
Oak Leaf
A54 Oak Leaf

what is crochet bind off?

Some knitters like to use a crochet hook as the working needle instead of a knitting needle when binding off. Essentially you are just using the hook to pull the yarn through the stitches being bound off. One stitch is bound off at a time, leaving a smooth chain-looking type selvedge to the bound off edge. It's mostly a matter of personal taste whether to use a knitting needle or crochet hook when doing a basic bind off (and sometimes, just a matter of what you have on hand!).

There is also another type of crochet bind off in lace knitting where a group of stitches (usually 3 to 5) are secured together with a single crochet (or double crochet for our folks using UK terminology). Then a crochet chain of several stitches is made, then another 3 or more stitches are crocheted together in a group, etc. to complete the bind off of all stitches. This results in a decorative looped edge that can be designed to coordinate nicely with the look and feel of the lace knitting pattern.

demonstration of crochet bind off technique

An example of working a decorative crochet bind off is shown here. This example is from a work-in-progress photo I took while making the model for the new Bobble Lace Flowers Triangle Shawl pattern.

Decorative crochet bind off does not require much knowledge of crochet. If you need a refresher on chain stitch and single crochet, stop by Needlecraft Univeristy online library.

For creating this type of looped decorative edge, I like to use a crochet hook that is smaller than the knitting needle size. For example, on the Bobble Lace Flowers Triangle Shawl, I used a 3 mm knitting needle for knitting the shawl and a 2.25 mm crochet hook for binding off. Of course, as in all of my HeartStrings pattern, detailed instructions are included in the pattern.

I find that using the smaller crochet hook has these advantages:

  1. It is easier to get the hook inserted into the stitch(es).
  2. The chain between the groups of stitches doesn't look as thick as when using a hook that is the same (or larger) than the knitting needle size used. Consider that a crochet chain is 3 strands thick compared to a knitted stitch that is two strands thickness (i.e. one strand of yarn on each side the loop of the stitch). I feel the smaller hook helps keep the 'visual weight' of the chain more balanced with the look of the knitted stitches.

One other note on the decorative crochet bind off -- Using a knitting needle as the working needle in place of the crochet hook is possible to get a similar effect. That's something I might touch on at another time.

Enjoy the journey that your knitting adventures take you in.

Jackie E-S

p.s. I am teaching online classes over at Needlecraft Univeristy this month and next. It's not too late to sign up.

HeartStrings FiberArts / Jackie E-S Design Collections

From the classic to the uniquely appealing.
Skill-building, comprehensive instructions.
Yarn-generic patterns for your creative freedom.
Specializing in Knitted Lace and Beaded Knitting.

© 2006 Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer