So I cast on for the beautiful Elizabeth cardigan (or Magic Sweater, as we've been calling it around the office) just the other night, and I couldn't be happier with the yarn and the pattern so far...
I got home, indulged myself in a delicious beer and got to knitting. It is worked from right cuff to left cuff, so you cast on anywhere between 41 and 47 stitches to start. Okay, one by one rib, that's easy enough. Then I got to the point where I begin increasing and noticed a notation I wasn't familiar with--k1-b/r. Huh? A flip to the back page of the book brought me to the Abbreviations section where that increase is explained this way:
Slightly twist work on LH needle towards you so that WS of work is visible. Insert RH needle from top down into next stitch on LH needle one row below. Knit this st then knit st of LH needle (1 st increased).
I was a little baffled by this, so went to the Stitches section of the Classic Elite website, a page with photo tutorials of a wide range of techniques, from cabling to crochet and embroidery stitches to casting on. You'll find many of the techniques used in our patterns explained here, so when in doubt, refer to this page. The increase was explained a little more articulately and the question I was asking myself, "Why not just use a m1 increase?" was answered.
This is the abbreviation that we came up with to describe my favorite way to increase stitches without leaving a hole. It is worked by knitting into the stitch in the row below the next stitch on the needle and then knitting the stitch on the needle. Because you are knitting into a stitch and not pulling up a strand, as in a m1, the new stitch does not disrupt the tension of the previous row nearly as significantly. This increase is very easy to work and the new stitch fits in neatly and snuggly with the ones surrounding it.
Another thing that I love about this increase, when you work two k1-b/r next to each other, specifically when working raglan shaping, a neat straight line of slightly raised stitches is formed.
The pictures, though they were extremely useful, still didn't cement the deal for me and I found myself wishing for a video.
So I decided to make one! If you can excuse the absence of a manicure and questionable resolution of my digital camera, I hope you find it helpful. Let us know if you like to see techniques explained here on the blog!