Abakhan’s resident knitting expert Maivena Bingham holds regular surgeries for new and experienced knitters who need a little extra help with their latest project. Here Maivena explains some of the common problems that come up at those surgeries, and the quick fixes that make for a better knit.
1. When knitting in stocking stitch (purl one row, knit one row), a common problem can be loose or curling edges, some people also find that the bottom row curls up. To improve the finish of the edges simply knit into the back of every stitch on your first row only and into the back of your first and last stitch on every row.
2. Many people ask if there’s any way to save a dropped stitch and the answer is, thankfully, yes! Even the most experienced knitters drop the odd stitch, but many don’t realise that all can be saved with a simple crochet hook. Choose a crochet hook one size down from your needles, so a 3mm hook if you are using 4mm needles. Insert the hook into the loop of the dropped stitch. Next grab the bar of the stitch right above the loop in the crook of your crochet hook then simply pull the bar through the stitch. This method even works if the stitch was dropped several rows down. All you need to do is repeat the method above until the crocheted stitch is on the same row as the rest of your knitting.
3. Brackets can cause confusion when using a pattern. The simple rule of them is that whatever is in the bracket must be repeated. No matter how experienced you are at knitting it is always a good idea to read all of the abbreviations for a pattern before starting your project. Abbreviations can vary between patterns and five minutes reading can save a lot of disappointment later.
4. Cable 4 back, often abbreviated as C4B, is one of the most misunderstood stitches. It is a basic cable that comprises a certain number of stitches in stockinette stitch against a reverse stockinette stitch background. The 4 refer to the total number of stitches to form the cable, which breaks down into 2 forward and 2 back.
Maivena Bingham is an experienced tutor of knitting and crochet with a BA (Hons) in Fashion and Textiles from Kingston University. Maivena holds regular classes as well as knitting and crochet surgeries at Abakhan in Mostyn