Friday, April 5, 2013

I was determined to finish the knitting on the stranded sweater and I succeeded.  All I have to do now is seam it which won't be easy.  The background color is navy.

I spent the better part of the week working on the workshop for the Mackinac meeting.  Registration is open until April 19th and there is still room.  There seemed to be a misunderstanding about who should take this workshop.  You do not have to be an experienced knitter.  The basic design process really only requires an understanding of gauge (which we will do in class) and how to shape garments (an understanding of increases and decreases).  I've already heard from students about the homework.  There won't be much....just a couple of simple swatches we will use to work on gauge.

I have a theory that many people are working on their taxes in late March.  As soon as they have filed, they start working on other their knitting.  I've seen an upswing in the number of lessons to review and new course orders.  It is definitely more fun to knit than work on taxes!

I had an epiphany quite a few years ago.  I was on a plane and when I took out my knitting I realized that I had left the pattern at home.  The project was a pair of lace socks.  I was working on the cuff.  I panicked until I realized that if I put my mind to it I could probably figure out the pattern from what I had already knit.  I did figure it out and I felt free from the tyranny of patterns.  From that day on, when I work with a new stitch pattern, before I work the pattern row, I look at what I have already knit, the stitches on my needle.  I then try and figure out what comes next.   It gets easier the more you do it.  This doesn't work for all patterns...for example, this one.....  

I used this pattern for a 90" long shawl and I never quite could memorize the 24 row repeat of the pattern.  In complicated lace patterns like this one, the number of stitches can change from row to row and there aren't plain rows on the WS.  You are making decreases on every row.  For simpler patterns it isn't that hard.  
This is the actual pattern I was using on that pair of socks.
The first thing is to figure out the number of stitches in the repeat.  There are 8 stitches in the pattern repeat.  Remember when you are counting stitches that the decrease counts as one stitch and the matching yarnover counts as one.  The first stitch is hard to see since it is a purl stitch which separates each column of motifs.

The next step is to figure out the number of rows.  Remember where you see the decrease (two stitches overlapping) is actually the row before the decrease. The pattern repeats after Row 10. 


You then have to figure out how the yarnovers and decreases are placed. In Row 1, there is a yarnover before the SSK and after the K2tog in Rows 1 and 3. There are yarnovers on either side of the S1k2togP decrease in Row 5. In Rows 7 and 9, the yarnovers are on either side of a central knit stitch and the matching decreases are in the first and last stitch.   Here is the chart.  As I work this pattern (and I use this one for socks frequently)  I try not to refer to the chart but rather look at my work to try and figure out what to do next.  Here is the video for this week:  Reading Lace
Here are a few lace swatches.  See if you can figure out what decreases are used and if you can decipher the pattern.
Swatch 1

Swatch 2

Here are the answers from last week:

Salon will be on Sunday from 2-5pm.  I will be driving up to the Cincinnati airport on Saturday.

I am happy to be putting the finishing touches on this sweater.  While the sleeves were blocking, I seamed the shoulders and did the neck treatment.  I was worried that the clasps would never arrive but they did.  It was difficult to find clasps small enough for this sweater.  I am pleased with how the front turned out.  This type of neckline is a bit tricky.  The borders are faced.  You have to be very careful that both sides match perfectly when you are dealing with such geometric patterns.  It can look really tacky if you don't.  The stitches on the neckline are K1P1.  The edge is then folded over and basted in place.  I had thought of doing the border around the neck but I decided it was too much.  Next week I will post a photo of the completed sweater.  It will take me several days to seam the sleeves and sides.  This is where you have to be careful not to cut corners.

Here are the sleeves.  If you notice, there is waste yarn at the cuffs.  I did a provisional cast on which I will graft in place as the final touch. 

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