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Tutorial 3: Using Blocks

by Julia Kroyan

In this tutorial you will learn how to set up a more complex project for a vest pattern. I will show how to setup and insert a pattern block and cover some other advanced features such as multi-stage events.

This tutorial uses the following conventions:

  • Pattern directions appear in blue italics.
  • JKnit project configuration settings are shown in blocks with a light blue background.
  • This tutorial describes project input on a mobile device (setup on the web portal is very similar).
  • By now, you should be familiar with the term event in JKnit, and I am not going into much detail about how to set up an event, a project or a piece in general. We will just go through a pattern and learn more about certain functions such as pattern blocks and multi-staged events. The example pattern in this tutorial is the Baby Cable Vest (download now), which is another one of my free Ravelry downloads. It is the sample project that comes preloaded with the JKnit app version 2.0 or higher.

    tutorial 3 images

    Baby Cable Vest pattern and images. 2011 Copyright © Julia Kroyan. All Rights Reserved.

    Back

    First, let's do the back of the vest. Add a new project named Baby Cable Vest and a new piece Back.

    Cast on 48 sts and work 6 rows in 2x2 ribs (*K2, P2, repeat from *).

    In Piece Setup, leave the Current Row Number at 0 and set the Number of sts at Start to 48. As explained in other tutorials, I like to use row 0 for the cast-ons. So let's create the following event. Feel free to alter the note; use any note that makes you remember what to do.

    Event Type: Alert

    Start: Row 0

    Note: CO 48 sts

    By default, the event is set to occur only once, which is correct in this case, and we don't have to modify anything.

    Return to the Piece Setup screen to add another event for the border ribbing. That event should start in row 1. I am going to make it appear in each of the first 6 rows. (Note: Sometimes, I like to input events only for rows in which the pattern changes. In that case, I just remember to continue knitting in pattern and knit or purl the stitches as they appear on the needle. This approach does save some setup time, but you can choose the option you like best.)

    Event Type: Alert

    Start: Row 1

    Note: 2x2 ribs (*K2, P2, repeat from *)

    Occurrence Settings:

    Every Which Row? 1

    How Many Times? 6


    In the 6th row, evenly pick up 8 sts which makes 56 sts on the needle.

    This is just an increase event for row 6:

    Event Type: Increase

    Start: Row 6

    Note: Evenly pick up 8 sts

    Occurrence & Inc. Settings:

    Every Which Row? 1

    How Many Times? 1

    # of Stitches: 8

    Side: evenly (E)


    Cable Pattern:

    From row 7 on, work in the following cable pattern:
    row 7: P6, *K4, P6, repeat from *
    row 8 (and all following even/WS rows): K6, *P4, K6, repeat from *
    row 9: P6, *C4F, P6, repeat from *
    row 11: P6, *K4, P6, repeat from *

    Keep on repeating rows 7-12.

    Since the cable pattern is used in both front and back pieces, we can input it as a block and use this block in both pieces. To create a new block, go to the Project Pieces screen and press on the Blocks selector tab. This will bring up the Project Blocks screen where you can add a new block by pressing the '+' button on the bottom right (If you are inputting your project on the web portal, projects pieces and blocks are listed on the same screen). Name the new block Cable Pattern.

    Creating events for a block works very similarly to creating them for a piece. The cable pattern consists of 6 rows which we will set up as a block. Then we will insert this block into the piece at row 7. First, let's input the instruction for the 1st row of the cable block (notice that the same instruction repeats in the 5th row of the block):

    Event Type: Alert

    Start: Row 1

    Note: P6, *K4, P6, repeat from *

    Occurrence Settings:

    Every Which Row? 4

    How Many Times? 2

    Next, we make an event for the WS rows of the cable pattern:

    Event Type: Alert

    Start: Row 2

    Note: K6, *P4, K6, repeat from *

    Occurrence Settings:

    Every Which Row? 2

    How Many Times? 3

    Lastly, we enter the row in which the cable is twisted:

    Event Type: Alert

    Start: Row 3

    Note: P6, *C4F, P6, repeat from *

    Since this event happens only once, leave the occurrence settings at default.

    The setup of the block is finished. Based on the events entered, for your information, JKnit displays the total number of rows in the block of the Block Setup screen. In this case, the block length is 6 rows and this number is important if the block is to be repeated within a piece.

    Now that the block is ready to be used, we can return to the setup of the Back piece. Tap on Insert pattern Block on the bottom of the List of Events and enter the following settings to start the cable pattern in row 7 of the piece and repeat it indefinitely:

    Select Block: Cable Pattern *

    Start: Row 7

    Block Occurrence Settings:

    How Many Times? check the “Unlimited” box.

    *Since there is only one block in this project, you can see that Cable Pattern is selected by default. If there were several blocks, you would tap on this field and choose the desired block from the pull-up list.

    Since the number of rows in the cable pattern block is 6, the block will automatically repeat every 6 rows.


    Armhole:

    When you reach 6'' in total height, start the armhole by decreasing by 3 sts on both sides. Then, in every second row, decrease twice by 2 sts and three times by 1 st.

    It is quite common to see such pattern instructions that have several occurrence stages (typically when you have increases and decreases). For these cases, instead of setting up separate events for each occurrence stage, JKnit has a follow-up stage feature that lets you setup the whole instruction as a single event.

    We can use this feature to setup our armhole decrease as a single decrease event that starts at a height of 6 inches:

    Event Type: Decrease

    Start: Height (in) 6.0

    Note: Armhole shaping

    In this pattern instruction, there are three decrease stages. The first stage is the decrease by 3 sts:

    Occurrence & Dec. Settings:

    Every Which Row? 1

    How Many Times? 1

    # of Stitches: 3

    Side: armhole (A)

    The next stage is the decrease by 2 sts in every following second row. To add another stage, turn the Follow-Up Stages? switch on the bottom of the screen to ON. Now you can tap on the Add Follow-Up Stage field and configure the stage as follows:

    Occurrence & Dec. Settings:

    Every Which Row? 2

    How Many Times? 2

    # of Stitches: 2

    Side: armhole (A)

    Lastly, add the last stage:

    Occurrence & Dec. Settings:

    Every Which Row? 2

    How Many Times? 3

    # of Stitches: 1

    Side: armhole (A)

    We are done with the armhole.


    Neckline:

    In 9.5'' in total height, shape the neck by binding off the middle 8 sts and finish both shoulders separately. In the following 2nd row, decrease by 2 sts on each side of the neck opening. This makes 12 sts remain for each shoulder.

    This is another multi-staged decrease event similar to the armhole.

    Event Type: Decrease

    Start: Height (in) 9.5

    Note: neckline shaping

    Occurrence & Dec. Settings:

    Every Which Row? 1

    How Many Times? 1

    # of Stitches: 8

    Side: middle (M)

    Now add the follow-up stage:

    Occurrence & Dec. Settings:

    Every Which Row? 2

    How Many Times? 1

    # of Stitches: 2

    Side: neckline (N)


    Border on shoulders:

    When the piece measures 10.5'', work 6 rows in 2x2 ribs (*K2, P2, repeat from *), then bind off the remaining sts.

    First, let's create an event for the ribbing:

    Event Type: Alert

    Start: Height (in) 10.5

    Note: 2x2 ribs (*K2, P2, repeat from *)

    Occurrence Settings:

    Every Which Row? 1

    How Many Times? 6

    Since the bind-off happens right after the ribbing is done, we can create an event that links to the completion of the ribbing:

    Event Type: Alert

    Start: Linked? ON, In Which Row? 1, After Which Event? "2x2 ribs (*K2, P2, repeat from *)"

    Note: BO remaining sts

    Occurrence Settings: default

    The back is finished. Now let's do the front.


    Front

    Most of the directions are the same for Front and Back. Since there is no piece copy feature in JKnit at the moment, you either have to create the same events for the Front piece (except for the neckline and the shoulders) or first knit the Back and then modify it to turn it into the Front. If you choose the latter, you can take advantage of the height-locking feature. After you are done knitting the Back piece, go to the Piece Setup screen and turn the Lock Height Events? switch on the bottom of screen to ON. This way JKnit will remember at which rows you activated the height events and they will automatically come up on the Counter screen when you knit the piece next time around. Just make sure that you turn this feature on BEFORE you reset the Current Row Number back to 0. Otherwise, you will have to add the height events manually again.

    For the Front piece, I am going to cover only the two events that are different from the back.


    Neckline:

    When the piece measures 6", split the work and finish both sides separately. For the v-neck, decrease by 1 st on both sides in the middle and repeat every 4th row for a total of 6 times.

    This instruction is input as a decrease event:

    Event Type: Decrease

    Start: Height (in) 6.0

    Note: v-neck

    Occurrence & Dec. Settings:

    Every Which Row? 4

    How Many Times? 6

    # of Stitches: 1

    Side: neckline (N)

    If you like, you may also add an event (starting at 6 inches) that alerts you to split the work and finish both sides separately.


    Border on shoulders:

    In 10.5'' in total height, switch the pattern to work in 2x2 ribs (*K2, P2, repeat from *). You should have 12 sts remaining for each shoulder. At the same time, shape the button hole by binding off the middle 2 sts as follows:

    row 1: K2, P2, K1, BO2, P1, K2, P2
    row 2: K2, P2, K1, YO2, P1, K2, P2
    row 3-6: 2x2 ribs (*K2, P2, repeat from *)

    Bind off after these 6 rows in ribbing.

    The easiest way to input these instructions is to create a block which we will insert into our piece at the specified height. So let's go ahead and create a new block called Ribbing with button hole and enter the event for the first row:

    Event Type: Alert

    Start: Row 1

    Note: K2, P2, K1, BO2, P1, K2, P2

    Occurrence Settings: default

    The events for rows 2 and 3-6 are input as follows:

    Event Type: Alert

    Start: Row 2

    Note: K2, P2, K1, YO2, P1, K2, P2

    Occurrence Settings: default

    Event Type: Alert

    Start: Row 3

    Note: 2x2 ribs (*K2, P2, repeat from *)

    Occurrence Settings:

    Every Which Row? 1

    How Many Times? 4

    The bind-off event is linked to the completion of the previous event:

    Event Type: Alert

    Start: Linked? ON, In Which Row? 1, After Which Event? "2x2 ribs (*K2, P2, repeat from *)"

    Note: BO remaining sts

    Occurrence Settings: default

    Now that the block is set up, let's insert it into the Front piece at a height of 10.5 inches:

    Select Block: Select "Ribbing with button hole" from the pull-up list.

    Start: Height (in) 10.5

    Block Occurrence Settings:

    How Many Times? 1 (default)


    All of the knitting directions for the Front and Back pieces of the vest are now set up. I hope this tutorial gave you some ideas about how to input a more complex pattern into JKnit using more advanced features such as pattern blocks and multi-stage events. In the next tutorial, we will take a closer look at linked events.