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Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Idiot String

When I have multiple items to knit on my USM that require the same weight and approximately the same number of needles, I will piggy back the knitted pieces to save time and work more economically.

This works well when I have a set of dishtowels, dishrags, etc.

There are few ways to accomplish this task without having to rehang the hem or knit waste yarn over and over and over…

I usually start out by hanging my rag hem and then knitting about 8 to 10 rows of WY. If there is not much yarn I will knit it all to avoid cutting it into shorter un-reusable pieces.

Then I knit 1 row of yarn (or ravel cord) that I call idiot string, some call it pull-row, release-row, or slip-row. Why I call it idiot string? Because when I forget to knit it in, I smack myself in the head and say “Idiot! String?”

Mamma would really be upset with me if she knew about this little conversation that I have with myself because she never let us use the words: idiot, stupid, and fool. But, we won’t tell Mamma now will we?… grrrrrrrrrrrrr

How many items that I plan to knit will determine the number of idiot strings I will add to my beginning WY. There are times that I only knit one idiot string and have faired well with it.

Let’s say I am going to knit four pieces so I would begin in this way

Rag hem – waste yarn, idiot string, idiot string, idiot string, and idiot string.

Then I would use a double e-wrap, crochet cast on, or any other cast on that my project required. Then knit my first piece. Cast off in the desired method.

Now, instead of ripping out the idiot string and the waste yarn to remove the knitted piece, then re-hanging the rag hem, knitting the waste yarn and another idiot string—I simply pull up the beginning of the knitted piece and re-hang the next row of idiot string (make sure the knitted piece is hanging to the back of the hem. Cast on for your next piece and knit!

The original knitted piece is laying behind the newly added piece.
Another method I use is to complete the first piece, then add some waste yarn or another idiot string and cast on the next piece. This works really well when knitting small items like dishrags assembly line style.

Crochet cast of using the latch tool. Leave the knitted piece on the USM

Knit 8 to 10 rows of contrasting waste yarn.

Cut the waste yarn
Afterthought Idiot String - Pull out the loop on the right end (or left end) opposite of the end of the waste yarn.

Cast on the second piece.

Push the cast on row against the waste yarn and USM bed, push the needles into forward working position and make sure that the latches are open.

Knit the desired number of rows

Cut the loop on the opposite side of where you cut the last row of waste yarn.

Pull each end of the Afterthought Idiot String at the same time

Then pull from one side or the other GENTLY DAMMIT!

The knitted piece will begin to separate from the waste yarn.

Now remove the waste yarn.


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