August 11, 2005
I took a hiatus of about a month from knitting because I was just too lazy to figure out the underarm decrease for the ribbon tunic. I'm a much lazier knitter than I once was; I knit to knit, not to figure out decreases. So I started a portable project, a small triangular shawl.
The yarn is Neveda Afternoon Silk; I got it in a trade eons ago. It is a silk/mohair/wool blend and I am knitting it on a US 7 needle. The triangular shape is simple; it's the same idea as the poncho I made (see below) - only cut in half. Start at the top with three stitches and keep increasing. Instead of eight increases, two per quadrant, you increase every other row at each end and on either side of the midpoint stitch, four in total. I worked in stockinette stitch until I had enough stitches to introduce the pattern, but now that I can see clearly what I've done if I knit this pattern again I can figure out a way to gradually introduce the pattern elements before I have the full amount of stitches needed.
The lace pattern is Razor Shell. I tried Vine Lace at first, but that’s a disaster because the pattern staggers confusingly and is hard to isolate so it can be introduced as stitches are added. Razor Shell worked much better, and because it’s the main element of Trellis Framed Leaf (instead of staying constant Trellis Leaf alternates by increases and decreases between the trellis and the leaf element with the central decrease) I shall use that towards the end.
Here's some detail. It won't look very impressive at all until it is blocked (wet and stretched to show the lace patterns clearly)
The tunic doesn't look much farther along than the last report but there are now two identical pieces knit to the underarms instead of one.
Here's a shot of one piece and also detail so you can see how I decreased for the waist. I changed the three garter stitches between the slip stitches to two stitches gradually from the outside in and then reversed the process.
The bulk of the poncho was completed by May, but I didn't bother to bind the thing off until July. It's not merely laziness, the unfinished items are useful in knitting classes as demonstrations for finishing techniques like binding off, or how to deal with yarn ends.
Here's what it looks like now. I really like how the space-dyed yarn and the constant increasing diameter reacted to each other to create an ikat-like effect. The ends need to be darned in, and it needs blocking, in this case not to stretch it but to set and regularize the stitches and fabric. It's surprising how much of the character of the garment happens in the last few steps, which is why I try to take care with finishing techniques.
Here's Danny Ouellette's Easy Head Hugger Hat, finished except for filling in the hole at the top and darning and blocking. Again, it doesn't look like much until you block and finish it, which is why careful blocking and finishing are so important. (Of course, now that I've said that, I will screw up all these projects during blocking and finishing.)
Posted by Leigh Witchel at August 11, 2005 1:10 AM
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