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Provisional Cast On

Provisional cast on is one of my favorite knitting techniques. It is a cast on that you remove later, freeing live stitches that you can knit. I sometimes make a provisional cast on in the middle of a stockinette sweater if I haven’t decided how long it will be. Or if I’m not sure I have enough yarn. A provisional cast on is sometimes a good idea instead of an edge that stays when knitting sweaters both top-down and bottom-up. By finishing all edges with bind offs, I find that it is easier to make edges that fall perfectly. And

Knitted Cast On

The knitted cast on is a method to cast on stitches to the right of existing stitches or a slip knot. In Danish, one of the names for this cast on is a “school cast on”, indicating that this was the cast on girls used to learn in school. I have a housewife’s handbook from 1951 called “Femina”. That book calls the knitted cast on “knitting up new stitches”, a fine description. Femina uses the knitted cast on when constructing a buttonhole, but it is also a good cast on for modular knitting. Here, I am showing the knitted cast

Splicing Yarn

This technique for changing yarn makes life much easier, especially when knitting a thicker yarn where sewn-in ends can be bulky and easily seen. I am showing how to splice using href=”https://retrofutura.dk/en/product-category/rauma-vams-en/”>Rauma Vams, a thick 2-ply pure wool yarn. It felts really well. Splicing can only be used with pure wool yarns that felt well. It doesn’t work on superwash or fiber blends. Here are the two ends that I would like to join. The two plies are easily visible: Before splicing, I remove one ply of each end, leaving a 1-ply overhang of 2-3 cm. This means the splice

Madrigal

2021 is suddenly over. Another lockdown year gone, but also a busy and good year. For me the year where my pattern, Madrigal, was published in Pom Pom Quarterly 39. The pattern has different levels of repetition. The most obvious is the color change when knitting a round, alternating stitches of two colors. But the four colors are also repeated in the same sequence throughout the pattern, and at the same time, dominance is shifted for every 9 rounds. Together, the multiple repetitions form a whole where no one color dominates over the others. Thus the name Madrigal, which is

AC-increase

This increase is used in my pattern Madrigal, but would also be useful for other stranded knitting where it fits in. I’ve called it AC-increase because the pattern colors in the Madrigal pattern are A, B, C, and D, and the colors A and C are used for the increase round. A is navy blue and C is pink, and C is the dominant yarn. The AC-increase is worked by knitting two stitches in one, first a stitch with the non-dominant color A (picture 1), then with the dominant color C (picture 2). Here, AC-increases have been worked in the

Memory Vest

Publishing a knitting pattern always makes me happy. This one even more so, since it is the first pattern I publish on this web page, and it is a pattern that I’ve been thinking about for a long time! Some years ago, when I lived in France, I visited my aunt, who lives outside Paris. We spent Christmas and New Year’s together, talking a lot about many things, including my grandmother – her mother – Judith Harvest. I have mentioned Judith Harves before on this page, and also the small stranded vest that she knit during the first half of

Memory Vest & 3 Needle Bind Off

I’ve been working on a modern version of a child’s vest, knit by my maternal grandmother during the first half of the 70’s. My maternal grandmother, Judith Harvest, was born in the northern Danish town of Aalborg in 1908. In so many ways, she is my entry point into historical knitting. Although she died when I was little, I grew up with her knitting. And of course, my mother taught me everything in knitting that her mother taught her. I am currently working on finding out more of my grandmothers’ story. So this is definitely not the last time she

Corrugated ribbing

Corrugated ribbing is a classical element of Fair Isle knitting. In corrugated ribbing, the knits and purls are worked in two different colors using stranded knitting. I’ve searched through my books on Shetland knitting to try to find out when corrugated ribbing became such a central element. But none of my books comment on that specifically. In Alice Starmore’s “Book of Fair Isle Knitting” there is a photo of the earliest known Fair Isle hats, from around 1850. They are covered in OXO pattern bands, but none of them have corrugated ribbing. On the knitting famous portrait of the Prince

Beginning a Steek

Steeking is a great technique for stranded knitting (also known as Fair Isle knitting). With the addition of steek stitches, a vest, sweater, or cardigan can be knitted entirely in the round, then cut open. So then, you don’t have to knit flat in stranded knitting, and that’s a major advantage. Purling in stranded knitting is notoriously difficult. Some knitters are afraid of cutting their knitting. Me, I love it! It’s not dangerous, and as long as you use a suitable yarn type, there is no risk that the cut stitches unravel. By suitable yarn type, I mean a Shetland-type

Welcome to Retrofutura

Retrofutura is a new website. Right now, there isn’t much to see here, but I do have lots of plans! My name is Astrid, and I’ve been running Midgaards Have for some years now. Midgaards Have is about natural dyeing, and that’s the place where I describe my natural dyeing experiments and give details on the cultivation of many dye plants. It turned out that knitting and knitting design did not become a big part of Midgaards Have, and that’s why I have started Retrofutura. to talk about knitting, knitting, knittig. And maybe other textile techniques down the road. Retrofutura