From the Bottom Up

I’m tired of wondering if I’m going to have enough yarn to finish knitting a neckwarmer. I can weigh the scrap balls of yarn and partial skeins, but because even similar looking yarns can be quite different in density, that only gives me an estimate of how far a yarn will go.

There’s a range of acceptable heights in turtlenecks, from a three-inch-tall mock turtle up to about seven inches, which is a generous turtleneck that can be unfolded and become a toasty cover for most of the nose. This means that if I should run out of yarn, it would be better for it to happen while knitting a neckwarmer’s turtleneck rather than its bib.

To make this strategy possible I needed to change the direction of the Basic Neckwarmer pattern, in other words, knit it from the bottom-up instead of top-down. A knitter at the Nathan Hale Fiber Fest last month explained I’d be making decreases in the bib’s four corners as I knitted upward and inward from its bottom edge. This is opposite of what I had done when I knitted neckwarmers from the top-down. I’d always made the turtleneck first and then worked increases at four points to create corners on a bib that gradually got bigger.

When I practiced the particular decrease we had talked about at the festival I noticed that it leaned to the left. I wondered how to make a decrease that would sit up straight instead. This video tutorial shows how to do a centered double decrease, also known as a S2KP or Slip 2 Knit Pass, which does exactly want I want!

In the corner of the yellow and orange neckwarmer you can see the diagonal ridge these decreases made and on the blue one the diagonal line of little holes left by my earlier method’s increases.

It turns out that it’s easier for me to knit a neckwarmer bottom-up instead of top-down, which is a nice bonus for going to the bother of changing the pattern’s direction. I suspect it’s easier because I no longer have to deal with the slippery sneaky little yarn overs, which were a part of the increases I were part of the increases that I no longer do. Yay! In any case, making fewer mistakes is always a good thing!

Oops! I slipped the wrong label on the little that remains of my ‘Autumn Leaves’, a vintage variegated. It’s not 100% wool, as it says on that label, but machine washable Red Heart Fabulend!, made of 60% Red Heart ‘Bicomponent’ acrylic fiber and 40% wool.

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2 Responses to From the Bottom Up

  1. Verneta says:

    Great job, Linda …. Have to start calling you “Fast Fingers Linda!” Working so hard to make as many as you can so someone you don’t know will stay warm! They will be so blessed by your Stiches of Love!

    • Thanks, Verneta! “Fast Fingers Linda”, kinda sounds like a pickpocket! HaHa 🙂
      It feels great to turn all those odd skeins and bits of wooly yarn into something useful. Some of them have been hanging around for years!
      “Stitches of Love” would be a great name for a crochet and/or knit charity!

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