Carbeth: 3 Fixes for Problems You May Have

By Ann Shayne
February 13, 2018

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  • Thanks for this useful info! Wow, that color is really off. It looks like the bright purple Super Saver yarn I bought to use in a Pride scarf.

    • I know! That’s an iPhone shot because my real camera was recharging!

  • My ssk is always so untidy compared to my k2tog. I’m going to check out the Patty Lyons method.

  • Ann, thanks for the link to the Patty Lyons ssk tutorial. I had never seen it. And your decreases match wonderfully well. I am forever in your and Patty’s debt!

  • Is there anywhere to see the SSK improvement besides Facebook? Please?

    • Yeah, me too. I don’t do Facebook. Maybe we should just google it and see what we get.

    • You can still view the video without a Facebook account. I just did. There is also a YouTube video reference at the end.

    • I’m a non-facebook user, and I just checked–you can still see the SSK tutorial without signing in.

    • I made sure you don’t have to log onto Facebook to see the video. (It’s the only place I found Patty’s video online.)

      • Hi all,

        Patty here. So glad you like the SSK. You can view the full video on my youtube channel (I always make a cut down version for Facebook):

        • Thanks to all of you who replied and especially thanks to Patty Lyons for such clear information clearly presented. Wonderful! I will be visiting your youtube channel again and again, I can tell.

  • About re knitting yarn. Skein it up, spray with a fine misting of water. Put in a plastic bag. Microwave for approximately 30 seconds or until the kinks come out. Dry and re use.

  • Whammo! Patty has changed my life.

  • I thought I was the only one who had SSK issues! Can’t wait to try out the Patty Lyons method.

  • Is it me? It looks like the lines of decreases don’t line up in the right spot– where you start to knit the turtle neck. The point looks a bit lopsided. Could that be tweaked? Do you know what I mean? Oy.

    • You’re seeing the k2tog in the first row of ribbing—one of the 8 decreases evenly placed that are prescribed when starting the collar. If I had it to do over (AND I AM NOT DOING THIS OVER AGAIN), I’d fudge the placement of that k2tog so it landed not directly over the final decrease of the shaping below.

      • In a couple of the Carbeths on Ravelry, the folks left out the last 2 decreases and just flipped the two stitches over each other. Gave them 4 extra stitches for neck but alligned the middle stitches of the knit 2 ribbing on the neck with the meeting place of the decreases in the yoke.

        • i noticed the neck problem when looking at the photos on the pattern and it has been driving me crazy trying to think of a way to fix it. i have searched ravelry but can’t find the posts about fixing the neck symmetry. can you guide me in how to search?

        • Kate has now helpfully spotlighted the project that introduced this tweak (, but in general for a pattern with lots of activity, try sorting the project listing by “most helpful” (hit the advanced search button, then choose Most Helpful from the sorting order box). Then take a look at the notes for the first page or so of projects. (

          And don’t forget to pay it forward by marking things in project notes helpful, too! (Wee button at the bottom of project notes)

  • Sloppy SSKs drive me nuts and I’ve tried every trick in the book or so I thought. I should have known Patty Lyons would have a solution! Thanks Anne!

  • This is an altogether brilliant post, and I wish I had had the SSK video last week as i manually readjusted all my SSKs! Much Thanks to you and to Patty for sharing.

  • I love the color of your sweater and I’m grateful for the tutorial about ssk. I found the tutorial on YouTube as well, where I just subscribed to Ms Lyon’s videos. Thank you so much, Ann!

    • Do you have a YouTube link? I looked there and couldn’t find it. Such a great trick, I’d like to add it to my knitting wisdom YouTube playlist (the only way I can ever remember later where I saw this sort of thing!)

      • I don’t think that I have a YouTube link. It is an app on my telephone. I don’t even know how to find my playlist, although I ran into one last week that I never knew I had made. I am a techy’s worst nightmare!

        • It is on my YouTube channel in the playlist for increases and decreases. It’s the full video (Facebook is slightly shorter)

  • I am knitting mine with hand-dyed yarn that shades from silver to charcoal with some midnight blue, and the pooling is getting me down. I’m afraid the splashes of silver will look like bleach spots.

    • Don’t let the pooling get you down! I’ve knit a few sweaters from hand dyed variegated yarn and I’m always concerned about the pooling but everything works out at the end. I’m sure no one will think the splashes of silver look like bleach spots!

  • Thanks for sharing your counting tragedy….nice to know I’m not the only one.

    And thanks for sharing Patty Lyons’ ssk tip – now I know why mine look so sloppy.

  • Patty’s tip is beyond brilliant! I love these technique tweaks.

  • What a great tip! Here’s a YouTube link I found that also shows how to do matching YOs and two ways to do SSKs:

  • Thanks for all the good stuff your emails give to knitters! The statements make us feel like we’re a real community — problems and all — everything can be taken care of — we’ve all been there….Love you guys!

  • Thanks for the SSK trick! I’m on the second sleeve and looking forward to working on the yoke soon.

  • I have seen this yarn! It’s not purple! Nice save of the yarn and the project.

  • Guilty here of crumpled kinks from a re-knit. Yes, I did not soak the unraveled goods which NEVER have smoothed out in blocking. The yarn is a fingering weight at the smaller end of the gauge range for that yarn. Enhanced kink probability? Ya betcha…. Having made that mistake, I am well on my way to making new ones, rest assured.

    • Thank you for this report from the field. I hadn’t thought about the weight of the yarn as being a factor. Consider me forewarned! ; )

  • I spend a lot of my knitting time with used yarns (from thrifted sweaters most often). Sometimes I skip the washing step… okay a lot of the time. The only time this has really wrecked me was when I attempted to do some colorwork on a looser gauge. It looked truly awful as the stitches just wouldn’t lay flat. Sometimes, when things work out just right, I can knit with an unwashed superkinked yarn and all the kinks disappear when I block that project! Especially if there’s steam involved. But, the content of these yarns usually has some sort of alpaca/manufactured fibers/silk (aka not wool with memory).

    • So cool to knit with thrifted sweaters! Have you seen Reunion Yarn’s Unraveling Club? It’s a neat idea–learn how to turn old sweaters into new yarn. Here’s the info:

  • Absolutely LOVE Patty Lyons SSK! Tried it on my current project sleeve decreasing, looks fantastic. Thank you Ann, although I am sorry you had to work your Carbeth again, but it is looking perfect now.

  • I soooooo feel your pain. I made a mistake on the collar of a new cable design, WAAAAY down. I had to rip out about 40 rows of 19 stitches on the end and rebuild. I cried a little, threw up in my mouth a little (kidding, not kidding) and got on with it.

    Been there. Rock on with your bad self for getting on with it and getting a sweater you love!

    • I try to rip out supersuperfast like a Band-Aid, then knit back to where I was asap. There is no joy until I’m past the point of The Problem . . .

      Thanks for such a brilliant SSK, Patty! We are all LOVIN IT.

  • I was so intent on my banging that I didn’t read the pattern carefully enough. So when I did the decreases, I did them on both sides of the markers! Good thing I realized after 3 rows. I was able to drop down and fix it because I did not want to tink the yarn held double back!

    Moving forward and looking forward to wearing this sweater soon. I do the SSK’s this way ever since being on a retreat where Patty Lyons was teaching. Love them!

  • You can also just fire up your tea kettle and pass the kinked up yarn through the steam and wool will magically relax and you are ready to roll in just minutes :-).

  • Re unkinking: if it’s from an unblocked something I use my knitty knoddy to make a lose hank, plop it in a microwave safe bowl with some water and zap for about 30 seconds, swizzle and zap again for maybe 20 seconds. The let it sit until it cools. Sometimes I put the hank in the washer and spin out the excess water before I drape the wool to dry.

  • Thanks for this – such a great tutorial. I already do a modified SSK by slipping the first st knitwise, the second st purlwise and knitting both together through the back loop. Then on the second round I knit that stitch through the back loop to help the whole thing sit even smoother. But this method is even better than that. I’m definitely switching!

  • Totally non-SSK and non-kinky question, what is the pattern underneath your kinky purple-not really purple yarn? I love it. Thanks for any help you can offer.

    • Hi Karen! That is the start of a log cabin blanket that uses sequences for each block. I improvised it—it was photographed for MDK Field Guide No. 5: Sequences. The pattern is the Classic Log Cabin dishcloth from MDK Field Guide No. 4: Log Cabin, though I made each block 3” tall so that the sequences would read properly. VERY addicting.

  • The last time I used used yarn the piece looked awful until I blocked. All was well but next time I’ll try wetting the kinky yarn….

  • Great post and tips. I’m thinking of starting a Carbeth Cardigan. I have a unique problem in that I am in a wheelchair and my garments tend to ride up in the back when I lean forward. I do better with shirts and sweaters that have a little more length in the back.

    Has anyone tried knitting this sweater with the back longer than the front either using a split side, or with short rows?

    Just curious.

    • Hi Patti!

      I think you would totally be able to cook up a longer back for your Carbeth cardigan. I don’t have this pattern in hand, but I do see from Ravelry that it’s knit from the bottom up. So I think you would just need to figure out how long you’d like the back to be, and begin your knitting by creating a sort of flap on the back that is as wide as your back measurement. Cast those stitches on, work back and forth, following the pattern instructions, until the flap is as long as you want it to be. Then you’d cast on stitches to begin the Left Front and Right Front. And at that point, it would be a straight working of the Carbeth Cardigan pattern.

      Hope this is helpful–anybody else have experience with the Carbeth Cardigan?

      • Good suggestion. Thanks. I think I could also just make the whole sweater a little longer and make about a 1-2 inch vent on each side to give more wiggle room.