Last Friday I said something about stranding versus floating. What I meant was weaving versus floating. “Stranding” refers to the type of colorwork this is, where you carry both colors around the entire work (as opposed to intarsia).
There were some comments questions asking what I was talking about. Well, first off, if I managed to say it properly it would be easier to understand. Duh.
When you are doing two-color knitting, what do you do with the color not in use when you are knitting an expanse of several stitches in the other color?
Some people “weave” — twist the yarn not in use with the working yarn every two or three stitches on the wrong side to catch it in and hold it in place.
And some people “float” — just ignore the yarn not in use until it is time to use it again and then just pick it up and knit with it, ensuring that it’s stretched out properly so that it doesn’t make the knitting pucker.
I float, almost always. Even for long stretches, like ten stitches. As long as I make sure I’ve got my stitches spread out well on the needle while I knit, I have no problem with tension. The reason I do this is that I find that weaving sometimes shows on the right side, particularly when using very fine yarns. At least it does when I do it.
But because a mitten is something you jam your hand into, I didn’t want any floats on the back that were big enough for a finger to pull on. So weave I did.
Tomorrow I’ll post a photo of the inside of one of the mittens, so you can see my weaves. Meant to do it today, but forgot to photograph the innards.
By the way, if you want to see a sweater I knit with crazy-long floats, check out the February 2004 archives (link over on the sidebar). The Dale sweater I dubbed “Frida” is an example of extreme floating.
When I wear it I am careful when I put it on so I don’t pull any of the floats. Now if you were doing a stranded colorwork sweater for a child, you’d likely want to weave, so no little fingers would get caught in floats.
Why, yes, I did finish the mittens.
I did some work on Mermaid, but I’ll wait til tomorrow to show you. Right now I’m busy with this:
Reviewing the first pass of the typeset pages of my book!
Lucy is busy with this:
A glitzy little orange ball her Auntie L-B sent her for Hallowe’en.
(Lucy says “thank you!” to Karen for the Hallowe’en card too!)
L-B sent me this for Hallowe’en — a cute sheep in costume!