Mini Wreath – Hints and Tips

The Mini Wreath pattern is finally finished and is available in the Natty Knits Etsy shop and on Ravelry.

Here are some hints and tips to help you get the best from your pattern.

A Note on Gauge

When I knit short rows I always use needles that are one or two sizes smaller than recommended for the yarn. You don’t have to get the gauge exactly right, but you can check it by holding your garter stitch fabric up to the light. If the gauge is tight enough you should only see pinpricks of light through your knitting.

Yarn Suggestions

The Knit Picks City Tweed is a lovely yarn and it comes in some fantastic shades of green, Enchanted and Basil are both great colors for the Wreath greenery. For the red, I’d suggest Swish DK in Serrano as it matches the City Tweed weight very well.

More About Short Row Shaping

The Wreath pattern uses a technique called short row shaping. A short row is made when you turn your knitting before the end of a row. This means that some sections of your work will have more rows than others. The sections with more rows will arch, creating a three-dimensional shape. Each time you turn your knitting mid-row you create a loop of yarn under a stitch and a small hole in the fabric. So, when you knit back over a stitch that has a loop under it, you must knit into the loop at the same time as the stitch above it to close the hole. There’s a special blog post on how to close the holes and get a smoother finish just here.

Carry Your Yarn Up the Side

Both the green and the red yarn can be carried up the side of the work and picked up to be used when necessary. When you join the red yarn knot it around the green yarn to prevent uneven stitches. Whenever you knit to the end of the row where the red yarn was joined, twist the two colors together. You need to twist the colors together, even if you’re not changing color.

Stuffing

Stuff the ring as you sew it together, otherwise you will find it hard to get the stuffing evenly distributed. Please refer to this blog entry for further information on stuffing.

Sewing Techniques

Weaving Stitch

To seam the cast on and bind off edges of the Wreath, use the weaving stitch. Lay one piece of garter stitch fabric above another. Notice that each row has linked upper and lower loops. Sew through the upper loops on the bottom piece and the lower loops on the top piece, as shown below. You are creating sewn stitches over existing loops.

The tension of your sewing needs to be just right, neither too tight nor too loose. As you practice this stitch it becomes easier to judge the tension and make an invisible seam.

Garter Mattress Stitch

To sew the inner seam of the ring, use mattress stitch on the red stockinette stitch and garter mattress stitch on the green garter stitch. Mattress stitch for stockinette pieces is well known and very well described on KnittingHelp.com (scroll down until you see Finishing and Mattress Stitch). Garter Mattress Stitch is used less well known, here’s how you do it. Lay one piece of garter stitch fabric next to another. Notice that there are loops on both edges, formed by the first and last knitted stitches in a row.

Sew through the edge loops, working back and forth between the sides (shown below):

When you have made a few stitches, gently pull the sewing yarn tight. The garter stitch loops are meshed together by the sewing yarn to create an invisible garter stitch seam.

Running Stitch

Use a running stitch to sew the ribbon bow to the Wreath.

If you have any questions or comments which are not covered either in the pattern or here, please contact me through the Natty Knits Etsy shop or the Facebook Page and I’ll do my best to help you.

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