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An alternative to P2tog tbl

Sometimes you need to work directional decreases on both sides of your knitting and this often involves P2tog through the back of the loops which is a rather awkward stitch to work.  So let me guide you through an alternative way to work this stitch which I think is much easier on the hands and the final stitch looks exactly the same as a P2togtbl but requires less acrobatic hand maneuvers. There is also a video right at the very end of this post.

Step 1: insert your right hand needle into the next 2 stitches just as you would when doing a P2tog

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slide these 2 stitches on to the right hand needle.
Step 2: bring the left needle up and under these two stitches and slide them back on to the left needle

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the stitches have now been twisted:

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Step 3: Now purl these 2 stitches together just as your would a regular P2tog

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As you can see on the right side you now have a left leaning decrease that looks just the same as P2togtbl:

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You can also view this tutorial on YouTube:

Want a free pattern?

Did you know I have a newsletter? The Verily Claire newsletter goes out once a month (occasionally twice a month) and it includes info about new pattern releases, what I’m currently working on and always a subscriber exclusive offer.  The exclusive offer is usually a heavily discounted pattern, a free pattern or an offer from a third party.

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This month’s newsletter went out on the 21st and the subscriber offer was to get this Iterum Blanket pattern for free. You still have the chance to get this pattern completely free, just sign up for my newsletter before the end of August.

Too hot to knit?

Here in the UK we are in the middle of a heatwave, it has been HOT, and us Brits really are not used to weather like this! I’ve always been of the opinion that it’s never too hot to knit, but I’m not sure that the big bulky jumper that I’m currently working on is the best choice of project for this weather.

Laceweight projects definitely have to be a better choice, right?

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This is my latest new pattern the Cymopoleia Shawl which is available exclusively from Knit Picks, its a large circular shawl knit in Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud, which is a wonderfully soft laceweight yarn. This is an intermediate level project, worked in the round from the centre out with a knitted on border (which you can see below).

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You can click here to see more information or to buy this pattern. If you knit this pattern I would love to see a picture.

Fox Sake: a fun shawl

Have you seen my latest pattern… this is Fox Sake, a wonderfully fun shawl that is also really quick to knit.  Why is it called fox sake? Well I make a little animation to demonstrate:

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The entire shawl is knit in garter stitch, with the centre V being shaped with short rows and if you’ve never tried out German short rows before then this is a great project to try them out.  You can find all the information about this pattern and also purchase it here.

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Jewel Thief Blanket

After writing about blanket squares layouts in this post I completely forgot to write about my new blanket pattern!

This is the Jewel Thief blanket, the pattern includes instructions for eight different squares and guess what… there isn’t a single purl stitch to be found. All you need to know is K1 and Sl1 so it is wonderfully easy too.

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If you are already a fan of mosaic knitting then you’ll love this blanket and if you’ve never tried out this technique then I’m sure you will soon be a fan too.

My sample blanket was knit in Eden Cottage Pendle and Milburn, two wonderful 4ply wool yarns, some of my test knitters tried out the squares in heavier weight and different fibre yarns and showed that the squares look great whatever yarn you choose.

If you’d like to purchase this pattern and to see more pictures just click here to be taken to the Ravelry page.

Planning your knit or crochet blanket layout

I am currently obsessed with designing and knitting blanket squares, from tiny bias garter stitch squares to large lace and cables squares that is all I want to create at the moment.

With the weather starting to warm up here in the UK I’m also thinking about smaller, lightweight projects that are great for the summer months and I think that blanket squares are the perfect portable project to take out with you to the beach or anywhere you go with your knitting.

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So my obsession with blanket squares led me to thinking about how you plan out your finished blanket. If you blanket square are going to be all the same colour and design then this is not an issue, but if you are planning a multi-coloured blanket or one with many different squares then you need to consider how the final blanket will look.

My answer to this is usually to draw out a grid with the final number of blanket squares then start colouring the squares in until I get a layout I love, then I thought wouldn’t it be easier if I had a selection of grids ready so that I can just print them out whenever I need them then start colouring away.

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And so I made a small booklet of different sized grids for planning out your blanket, this PDF features seven different sized grids from 6×6 up to 16×16 and you can download your free copy by clicking on the pdf link below.

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These grids of course work for both knitting or crochet, I will in the near future create another booklet of grids for larger sized blankets, so if you have any specific requests for a certain size please let me know in the comments.

New Patterns: Tiny and Little Emperor

Baby creatures are cute, but baby emperor penguins are the cutest!

These two new sweaters both feature these super cute baby penguins on the front, knit in bulky weight yarn they are also super quick to complete.

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The Tiny Emperor is sized from toddler up to teen and the Little Emperor is sized from adult XS up to 4X so you could make one for every member of your family!

Until the end of April 21st you can get a 25% discount on either or both of these pattern, click here for more details.