Pattern for Baby

Please can you tell me why you are suggesting the use of a stitch holder on the neck of the Boy Blue pattern in Feb 2015, Page 25? My daughter-in-law is just starting out and was very frustrated at breaking needles trying to hold stitches in this way. Why not put them in hold or waste yarn which is the usual machine knitting way? Is this a new idea to use a stitch holder? I have only ever used one in hand knitting and have never seen it in machine knitting but have been machine knitting for a long time now! Would be interested to hear why now this is being used?
Kind regards, Maggie

Hi Maggie
Thanks for writing and I’m sorry your daughter-in-law is struggling.

There’s absolutely no reason why the stitches can’t be knitted onto waste yarn, held in holding position or taken back to non-working position on waste yarn. They could just as easily be tucked out of the way on a safety pin, or have a length of waste yarn threaded through to hold them before the needles are pushed back to non-working position. They could be cast off, but with children’s garments we usually try to cast off as few stitches as possible around the neck, especially on sweaters, so it doesn’t pull in tightly.

We try to make the instructions as ‘user friendly’ for as many knitters as possible and we hope that those who know another method will simply ‘do their own thing’. For example, giving instructions for shaping shoulders in holding position is far more wordy than simply saying ‘cast of x sts at beg of next x rows, then cast off rem x sts’.

In this and other patterns, we now often give hand knitting instructions for ribs, because many knitters don’t have a ribber. We give mock rib instructions on Page 62 of every issue – again, to try to be as accommodating for as many machines and abilities as possible. It’s not easy to please all of our readers all of the time, but we do try to help and inspire as many machine knitters as possible.

Best wishes and happy knitting.

Anne – Editor & Publisher