How to Knit Ten Stitch Zigzag Blanket

How to Knit Frankie Brown’s Ten Stitch Zigzag Blanket

Couch AfghanTable of Contents (Top links will bring you here)
Cast-On
The Basics
How the Zigs and Zags are Made
Strip One
Zig Instructions – Strip One
Zag Instructions – Strip One
Ending Strip One
Strip Two
Zig Instructions – Strip Two
Zag Instructions – Strip Two
Ending Strip Two
Strips Three and On

I originally started a tutorial for this blanket on September 21, 2013.  Someone commented on a previous post on this blanket with questions on how to knit it.  Now you don’t know me well enough to know that I love posting tutorials for things.  They are fun but time consuming.  I never managed to find the time to finish after the first part.

Thanks to Ravelry, I get many views on this incomplete post and others commenting for more.  This post is for you.

I put my existing Ten Stitch Zigzag blanket on a stitch holder, stole the needle, and pulled out a white skein of yarn reserved for the blanket.

First things first, go check out the pattern, Ten Stitch Zigzag by Frankie Brown.  If you like this pattern-stitch style, check out the other Ten Stitch Patterns using this method.  I am not paid nor affiliated in any way with this pattern or author, other than knitting the patterns. This page is not an advertisement, though the pattern is free.  I’m here just to provide some help to others who have struggled as I did to learn the intricacies of this pattern and others like it.

Once you get it, it is fun and easy mindless knitting.  Here are a few important things to know before you start.  These are rules never broken.

  1. Zigs increase at the start of the row on the right-side of the work.
  2. Zags decrease at the start of the row on the right-side of the work.

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Cast-On

Start with ten stitches.  Use any cast-on method you prefer.  This is the only cast-on you can choose the entire blanket.  I use Long-Tail Cast-On personally for most my knits.  I always leave long tails for all starts and joins.

  • Long-Tail Cast-on (VeryPink Knits – YouTube Video) – I’ve added this one because it shows this cast-on in a different way.

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The Basics

You will be knitting the same thing over and over again.  It is the order in which you knit that makes the zig and zag.  Here are the stitches you need to learn.  Don’t worry they will be linked throughout as well.

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Strip One

How the Zigs and Zags are Made

You will always knit two rows back-to-back as you switch from a zig to a zag and back to a zig.  This causes the pattern to switch the side of the work (left and right) that increases and decreases.

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Zig Increase

You will increase with the first stitch, knit to the last two stitches, and then decrease those two into one.  This causes the right side of the right-side to zig or look like the right side of a V.  You will also always end up with ten stitches.

Regarding the increase stitch, KFB is recommended by the pattern writer and I agree. It is simple and effective for the beginning of a row.  If you have another favorite that you like, I don’t see why you cannot.  A YO increase will cause holes but if that is the look you’re going for then by all means, but the holes will change sides.

On the wrong side you will knit.

Strip One Zig Row One: KFB, K7, K2Tog
Strip One Zig Row Two: Knit

Repeat until you have completed Row One a total of ten times.  Your marker should be on the tenth ridge on the right-side of the work.
Couch Afghan
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Zag Decrease

This is what makes the pattern so interesting and yet so easy to memorize.  You will knit the Zig rows as you did for the Zag rows, except you will invert them. Knit on the right-side of the work instead of on the wrong-side. On the wrong-side of the work you will increase with the first stitch, knit to the last two stitches, and then decrease those two into one. This causes the right side of the right-side to zag or look like the left side of a V. You will also always end up with ten stitches as before.

Strip One Zag Row One: Knit
Strip One Zag Row Two: KFB, K7, K2Tog

Repeat until you have completed Row One a total of ten times.  Your markers should be on the tenth ridge on the right-side of the work. Couch Afghan

Ending Strip One

The key to ending Strip One and starting Strip Two is NINE.

The images below will show you how your bind-off row should look.  You will only do NINE repeats of the pattern.  Choose a zig or a zag, up to you.  I’m binding-off at a zag.

Couch Afghan

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Row Ten: Knit

Again, it doesn’t matter if this is a row you’re supposed to increase or decrease on, you will knit it.  You should be on the Right Side of the work.

On the Wrong Side of the work, you will bind-off NINE stitches.  Use any method you like.  Keep binding-off until you have one stitch left.

Situate your work so it looks like the picture below.
Couch Afghan

Next we will need to cast-on NINE stitches.  Use any method you prefer, where long-tail is out.  If you like the long-tail cast-on as me, you might appreciate the backwards loop cast-on.  I always use this when casting-on like this.

Couch Afghan

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Flip the work so it is Right Side up.  Your needle is at the bottom right of the work and the strip you just completed is to your left.

Strip Two and On

Each strip after the first will be completed in this method.  In fact the rows you learned on the first strip don’t change here either.  The only difference is now you’ll knit into the strip you’ve already completed.  Fun stuff, really.

Zig Increase

Strip Two Zig Row One: KFB, K8, slip st, pickup and K1, PSSO

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If you’re new to knitting, these instructions can be confusing.  Looking them all up can be time-consuming.  Usually a knitter learns these methods as they go; however even if you’re a beginner I guarantee you’ll be knitting this blanket like a pro by then end of this post.

Since you already learned KFB and the knit stitch we’ll skip those and move right on to “slip stitch”. A slip stitch is just that, a stitch you slip off the needle as to knit or purl, but you don’t knit or purl it.  The video explains how to slip as to knit and as to purl.

For this pattern, you will slip as to knit.

The next stitch is “pickup one and knit”.  This is part of the binder stitches that attaches the strip you’re currently working on to the strip you completed before. In simple terms, you are going to insert your needle into the bump of the last strip you knit.  Then you wrap your yarn around the needle and pull it through the bump.  Instant new stitch.

On a side note, there is a HUGE difference between picking up a stitch and picking up a stitch and knitting a stitch.  Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka Yarn Harlot talks about this on her blog with Pick-up Lines.

The video below will show you the technique of picking up and knitting one stitch.  Before you watch the video and try this out on your blanket I want you to see the stitch I personally pickup and knit from.  I’ve used my stitch marker and various views to give you an idea.  Honestly, it doesn’t matter where you pickup and knit so long as you’re consistent throughout the entire blanket.  Couch AfghanCouch AfghanCouch Afghan

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The next stitch, and the last part of the binding stitch, is PSSO.  This stands for, pass slipped stitch over.  In layman’s terms, you are going to insert your left-hand needle into the stitch you slipped from left to right.  You will then lift this stitch up and over the one you just picked up and knitted.  It is somewhat like binding-off.

You will have ELEVEN stitches on your needle after completing Row One.

Strip Two Zig Row Two: P2Tog, K9

Now you flip your work over, purl 2 together (the last knit stitch and the one you picked up and knitted), and knit to the end.

You will have TEN stitches on your needle after completing Row Two.

Knit Row One and Row Two ten times until you get to your marker on the previous strip or have counted ten ridges.

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Zag Decrease

Row One of a Zag is simliar to Row One of a Zig, except you will not increase or decrease at all on this row.

Strip Two Zag Row One: K9, slip st, pickup and K1, PSSO

You will have TEN stitches on your needle after completing Row One

Strip Two Zag Row Two: P1, KFB, K6, K2Tog

You will have TEN stitches on your needle after completing Row Two

Repeat Row One and Row Two until you have ten ridges or have reached your next marker.

Repeat the instructions for Row Two Zig and Zag until you have reached the last zig or zag of the strip.

The pictures below are of the sample I knit for this tutorial.  Your strips should look similar.  The first is a view of the Right Side and the last is a view of the Wrong Side.

Couch AfghanCouch Afghan Top

Ending Strip Two

The key to ending Strip Two and starting Strip Three is NINE.  This will apply to the end of every strip.

You will only do NINE repeats of the pattern.  Choose a zig or a zag, up to you.  I’m binding-off at a zag.

Row Ten: K9, pickup and K1, PSSO

Again, it doesn’t matter if this is a row you’re supposed to increase or decrease on, you will knit it.  You should be on the Right Side of the work.

On the Wrong Side of the work, you will bind-off NINE stitches.  I recommend purling the first stitch, as in patterning, and knitting all others as you bind-off.  Use any method you like.  Keep binding-off until you have one stitch left.

Next we will need to cast-on NINE stitches.  Use any method you prefer, for continuity you should use the same cast-on as you did at the end of Strip Two.

Repeat Strip Two for ALL Strips

When you have made your blanket as big as you wish, cast-off all TEN stitches instead of just NINE.

Wash and block.

Knit or crochet a border if you like.

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TKGA MHKP Swatch One – Attempt One (Failed)

I have been a member of The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA) since January 15, 2015.  Almost seven months later and I have yet to start.

I mean I’ve started but each was frogged.  I’ve had the worst time figuring out how to increase by five stitches evenly after a k2p2 rib.  Something so simple has thrown me for a loop (pun intended) for at least five attempts.

Today is going to be the last.  I’m going to post my journey in this post and those who already follow me on Twitter @CrazyPurls with live updates #TKGAMHK.

I’ve previously mastered the long-tail cast on method, however my friend Polly who writes Knit Me For a Loop has told me she thought she knew too but perhaps wasn’t doing it the way TKGA would want.  So I’ll post links here in case they help someone else on the journey.  As usual, I’ll update my How to Knit page too.

Fair warning, the data below is live knitting data and therefore I cannot know for certain if my tips and tricks had their intended effects.  I might come back and update this post after I submit to TKGA but don’t count on that.

Speaking of that, here is the reference for my long tail cast-on method.  Long-Tail Cast-on (Howcast – Video).

Long Tail Cast On

Long Tail Cast On

For the ribbing I recommend K2P2 (Tricksy Knitter – Blog) to learn the stitch.

My biggest issue on this stitch is keeping a nice even tension on the edges.  What I do is knit the first stitch (in pattern) and then insert my needle to pull a loop through as to knit again; however you do not let the parent stitch fall off as normal.  First you pull your working yarn taunt.  Not too tight, a quick light tug will do.  Let the parent stitch fall off and then bring your yarn towards you for the p2.

K2P2 Rib

K2P2 Ribbing

Now time for the decreases.  For this I just Googled my question.  I’m not the first person to have attempted this and I’m certain that someone else will have solved this problem.  You see I’m on the gray line between perfectionism and OCD.  So it must be even.  How to add five stitches evenly to RIBBING is not a problem I’ve encountered previously.

I started at Stockinette Increase (TECHknitting – Blog). While that was a good demonstration it wasn’t what I needed.  Increasing in Ribbing (Knit Witch – Blog) had just the thing, even though it refers to 3×3 instead of 2×2.  I think the same theories should apply and therefore I’m going for her method.

I’m still driving myself crazy with the whole “increase evenly” thing.  Go from 20 to 25 stitches evenly in the same row.  I never end up with 25 is the problem.  I mapped this out and it seems like a good choice.  It compliments my perfectionism without being perfect.  I can live with that.

I started with this, just instructions for the row without increases.  (warning I did something wrong here; will update in new post)

k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2 (20 sts)

Then I added two lines | to signify an increase.

k2, p2, | k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2,| k2, p2 (22 sts)

I’m left with needing three more lines.  I decided to put one in the very center.

k2, p2, | k2, p2, k2, | p2, k2, p2,| k2, p2 (23 sts)

That pleased me with symmetry so I figured I’d break up the sections just outside the center in half.  I’m thinking this will work.

k2, p2, | k2, p|2, k2, | p2, k|2, p2,| k2, p2 (25 sts)

If I were to add m1 to each line above, then we’d have the following as instructions.

k2, p2, m1,  k2, p1, m1, p1, k2, m1 p2, k1, m1, k1, p2, m1 k2, p2 (25 sts)

I’m worried on how it will look so I’ve modified the stitches so that they match the stitch they are with.  So I’ve written down the instructions as I knit for accuracy.  Hopefully it helps someone else who is struggling the same as me.

The m1 I’m doing can be found in detail on Stockinette Increase (TECHknitting – Blog).  I won’t borrow someone else’s images, so you must review this post to understand anything I say below. For ALL increases, insert the head of the right needle into the red stitch and put the red stitch onto the needle exactly as shown in TECHknitting’s blog post.

k2

p2

pull up and knit into front loop of red stitch

k2

p1

pull up and purl into the back loop of red stitch,

p1

k2

pull up and purl into the back loop of red stitch

p2

k1

pull up and knit into front loop of red stitch (I’m sure this is where I messed up.  I will try the backloop next time)

k1

p2

pull up and knit into front loop of red stitch

k2

p2

Count up and make sure you have 25 stitches before you move on!  Here is what I ended up with.

K2 P2 Increase Row

K2 P2 Increase Row

Now on to work in garter stitch for some time, that should be easy.  This just means I get to knit each row until I have the prescribed length.  For help with garter stitch, see Garter Stitch (Dummies.com – Website) or Garter Stitch (New Stitch a Day – YouTube Video).

I couldn’t resist taking pictures in progress.  I think the increases I did will work but I had to knit a few rows before I felt more confident in that.  Thoughts?

RS Garter after Increases

RS Garter after Increases

LS Garter after Increase

LS Garter after Increase

I won’t know for sure until I block.  Now just to knit in garter for a bit to get the below.

TKGA Swatch 1 before Bind Off

TKGA Swatch 1 before Bind Off

I will have to reknit this and update this post with the proper increases.  It was definitely one I had wrong and I’ll need to review my notes in this post and correspond with the loose stitch.  since this is for grading, it has to be perfect.  I’d ignore such an error in a sweater.

Mistake in Increase

Mistake in Increase

There is always next time!

Sick Take 2 & Project Organization

The flu wiped out my department at work for a week just a month ago.  This week some head cold replaced it and it has taken us down one by one.  I went home at noon on Friday.  It was month-end and I had an AM conference call so I put in an appearance, having worked the two days before just as miserably.  My nose hurt from all the blowing and it was really hard to concentrate.

Having extra time on my hands for the first time in months, I started “Project Organization”.  This projected involved (notice the past tense) redoing our fail filing system so I can not only find what I need but get the paper clutter under control. I had piles strewn throughout the house.  I also wanted to start a home and budget binder.

I went to Office Depot and bought lots of goodies.  I should never be left unattended at a yarn or office supply store.  I tried to stall when DH asked me later how much I spent.  Let me say that every dime was worth it.  I made our files easy to move, since we will buy a house this year (if I state it as a fact it must come true).  So I bough multicolored hanging folders, binders, a labeler, paper, and other misc items for the chores ahead.

Our files are now in two file boxes, divided into color zones.  I will go into details of that in a later post.  I have a few sources I’ll share then to help anyone looking for a simular system.  I didn’t follow just one program and kinda made up my own with inspiration from others.  I also put together my buget binder and a household binder.  I have already advised DH that I’m tracking our finances and he has agreed to provide me the receipts I need.

You see, we have a joint checking and savings account we both contribute to, but we also have personal checking accounts that we use however we please.  This means no fights over the same pool of money.  It works for us and everything is paid upon receipt or is auto-paid out of the joint accounts.  We contribute almost equally and share any surplus.  We are a team, but lately we have been extravagant and I want to protect our nest egg before we do it any more harm.  It will after all fund our new house and renovations.

So a budget we will have!  I had to swallow my perfection and skip over January completely.   I started with February.  I plan on going back to January before the year is over if I find the time.  I will share my binders and the printanles I used and created for each.  As I go I will make modifications and plan on sharing perfected documents instead untested drafts.  I found that many existing printables don’t work well for our house and I had to make those used for my budget needs.

I also started on my TKGA Master Hand Knitting Level 1 project.  I read the directions for the second time and took notes, because I have to make a binder for that too.  I sketched out the sections and printables I will have to make for that.  By next week I hope to have started Swatch #1 research and attempt a cast-on for it.

The first few swatches are really easy, but I want to do this right.  I was telling Polwygle at Knit Me For a Loop what I hope to get from this endeavor and I am now sharing that with you.  Obviously being one of the few to achieve the pin is an honor it itself, but I also have long-term goals for my future in knitting.  I want to design patterns and teach classes.  The TKGA program will do this by teaching me the basics in the way I learn best (self-teaching) by giving me a structured learning plan to complete at my pace.  There are no quizzes or tests, just swatches and projects that require research and detailed reports.  If what I submit passes, I move on.  Otherwise I correct my mistakes, lessons learned, and try again.  It will be a journey, but I’m lookong forward to it.

What are your knitting goals this year?

Lolita Dreams

Lolita is the color of yarn. Sweet Dreams is the pattern.

Just a few picture updates. I haven’t knit on this in a few weeks. I should be able to work on it sometime this week off and on.







Clickity Clack Woof Ruff

Polly over at Knit Me For a Loop has challenged me to be her partner on a very exciting venture.  We are going to participate in TKGA Master Hand Knitting Program©.

This is something I’ve wanted to achieve for over a year and never prioritized.  I’ve already acquired the instructions and started reviewing to ensure I understand the entire course.  We’ll start sometime in the next month or so after we’ve had the time to physically and mentally prepare.

We will have to knit 17 swatches of various stitches and one project.  I’m under the impression that Knit Picks® Bare yarn line is acceptable to use for this program.  It appears I can knit the mittens in color so I plan on using colors I’d wear for the project piece.  I haven’t decided and won’t finalize my choices until I review the yarn guidelines of course.

I’m embarrassed to say that I still don’t have updated pictures of the shawl in progress just yet, but hopefully later this week I’ll take a few and post again next weekend.

I do have a bit of news.  My mom needed to find a home for her Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog, Bubba.  She pulled this dog from the mother and I nursed him back to health after a big parvo scare.  We lost one puppy in the litter to the disease and saved two.  The remaining pups had already been sold.  He has always been my big puppy.  For record purposes, he was born March 25, 2011.

NBK's BOCEPHUS "Bubba" (FG's Adonis x FG's Raven)

Bubba (Front) & Indie (Back) = Brother and Sister + Best Friends picture taken April 7, 2011

NBK’s BOCEPHUS “Bubba” (FG’s Adonis x FG’s Raven)
NBK’s INDIGO “Indie” (FG’s Adonis x FG’s Raven)

Saturday morning, my mother drove up with Bubba and goodies in tow.  We’d planned on taking him last weekend but things didn’t work out as planned.  A few hundred dollars later to buy all the food and collars and other items we needed to prepare our house for him and he is happily settled.

Bubba on May 7, 2013

Bubba on May 7, 2013

We still have to schedule a vet visit for him to be checked out.  Thankfully we have one around the corner so traveling is easy.  I’ve also been advised that he gets his annual shots in January, so that is something we need to do for sure.  He has also been on heartworm medication for a year in addition to flea/tick drops monthly.  He has been extremely well taken care of provided for and so we’re very thankful to not only have a loveable and well trained dog but a healthy one.

He has taken to our various lizards and snakes.  He sniffs around the bottom of their stands and is barely of a height to reach them unless he puts his paws up.  He hasn’t bothered them thus far and I don’t anticipate any issues.  We have him setup with his kennel in the spare bedroom, complete with a nightlight.

Bubba on  May 7, 2013

Bubba on May 7, 2013

Our plan is to block that room with a baby gate and allow him to sleep in there, kennel door open, at night.  I wouldn’t mind him sleeping in our room if I could ensure he stays away from the laundry.  He will be kenneled while we’re at work.  I’ll walk him in the AM and DH will walk him in the PM.  In the evenings I like to sit outside and relax, so we put an anchor into the ground that allows us to tie him out with a 25 foot lead since we don’t have a fenced yard.  This way he can play and roam safely and I don’t have to worry about him chasing a duck across the lake!

I’ll take pictures of my ventures this week and post them with a quick caption.  I need to take more pictures and I might as well blog here with them because I’m not much of a facebook user.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend and have a great week everyone!

Bubba on Jan 17, 2015

Bubba on Jan 17, 2015

A Knitter’s Life

FYI this post was composed three months ago and never posted.  I’ve removed the draft status and published without edits.

 

Have you ever had that thought when knitting something, that one that whispers to you, “I don’t feel like knitting for this person anymore”?

That time when you’re knitting with frayed yarn all the time because you keep ripping it out over and again.  You love the garment but somehow it has created ill wishes in you towards the recipient.

This tension increases until you dump the piece all together and vow it is all the yarn’s fault.  You have just the yarn in your stash.  No, don’t bother with unraveling the mess you just created first.  Put that evil monster to rest.

You dash off to yarnia, a small closet reserved for your precious collection.  You cheek your favorites and smoosh a few more for good measure.  Your eye falls to yarn you’d forgotten all about; a sweater you’d dreamed about.

“I must knit it now!” you say.  Onto Ravelry you go, you knew the pattern was in your queue.

 

Ella’s Gift

So I finished.  Weaving in the ends was fun.  Now that I’m a pro at duplicate stitch I enjoy weaving them in.  Weird.

so here they are on my blocking board.  This is the FIRST time I have blocked anything.

image

image

They are now all wrapped and bagged.  I even sewed in care labels!  Another first for me.  I forgot to take pictures of this step.  SIGH.

But it is done and now I need to focus on finishing Hey Teach! for my co-worker’s birthday at the end of May.

P.S. – I’m getting married tomorrow!