Friday, March 1, 2013

The Progress of my Pants

It's funny how I've managed to make pants knitting a real professional priority - it's like I really want these pants or something.  I little bit ago I gave you a tutorial on how to work a crochet provisional cast on directly onto a knitting needle.  Today I've got a tutorial on how to remove that provisional cast on (the paranoid way!) and then knit your elastic into the hem.  I've also got a couple little notes about my own progress.  This is a pretty long one, but I figured that once you've got that provisional hem pulled out, you'll really want to go ahead and knit in your hem.  

Find the end of your provisional cast on with the chained stitches. This is the end to begin unraveling.

Un-do the last stitch so that you have an open loop.

Gently tug on the loop and unravel the chain. If your waste yarn is drawn through the first stitch, just pull it out and place that stitch on your needle

Insert your needle from back to front into the next held stitch and then tug on your waste yarn to pull out that crochet stitch.

Here's what it looks like to have a few live stitches on the needle.

To help open up the stitch that I want to insert into next, I hold the next open loop firmly between my left thumb and middle finger, then pull it away from the work. That makes the stitch below much more visible so it's easy to insert my needle.

When all of your stitches are live and on your needle, it's time to knit in your hem or graft those live stitches using Kitchener stitch.  
If you're working on Kalaloch, you'll need to prepare your elastic before knitting in the hem.  Here's what my elastic waistband looks like:

I'm knitting the XS size.  My low waist circumference is about 26 in/66 cm, giving me about 3.5 in/9 cm of negative ease.  Because my elastic is really stretchy, I cut it to 24 in/61 cm, which is 2 in/5 cm less than my low waist measurement instead of the suggested 1 in/2.5 cm.  In order to decide to do this, I just held the elastic around my waist and tried pulling it over my hips at a few different lengths.  After cutting it, I just overlapped the ends by 1 in/2.5 cm and sewed it in.  I'm terrible at sewing, so it isn't very pretty, but it'll be hidden out of sight, so I don't need to worry about that as long as it's very secure.

Then I placed the elastic band in between the layers of my waistband, which is folded at the turning round.

Now I'm ready to knit the hem together with the elastic band tucked inside.  You might notice that blue cord sticking out - my second needle (the gold Addi Lace one) is much longer than the waistband circumference, but in this case that doesn't matter at all because I'll only be using the silver needles behind (Addi Clicks) to do the knitting.  So if you're short on needles, the second one that you remove the provisional cast on with can be extra long.

To knit the hem together, insert your right needle into one stitch from the front needle and one stitch from the back needle.

Wrap your yarn around your right hand needle and draw it through both stitches.

After you've knit the stitches together, you'll have just one needle full of stitches on the right hand needle.

Once you've gone all the way around, your hem is complete and that elastic is tucked away.  Isn't it so neat?  (Did I mention I love knitted-in hems?)  Now you're at the center back of your leggings and ready to start knitting the seat with those wonderful cables.  
Any questions?  Anybody do this differently than me?  And isn't my Portobello just gorgeous?  (Wait till you see it with cables in it!)


  1. Yes, your portobello is gorgeous! I am following along, even though I have to wait a bit to invest in my yarn. Really enjoying this as a spectator sport, surprisingly.

    1. I'm glad to hear you're following along! I'm sure the KAL will be open and active for a while - I know lots of folks who are still waiting for their yarn, and I've got lots more to share.


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