Sunday, July 10, 2005

Through a glass darkly

I just feel as if it's all a bit of a blur at the moment.

I started off following the pattern and doing exactly what it told me to do.

Then I came to my senses and the tinkering kicked in.

First up, the left leaning decrease. There has actually been quite a lot of discussion about left leaning decreases on the laceknitters list just lately. I wasn't really paying too much attention - a mistake, as I've just had to root through the archives. I don't know about you but I find Yahoo Groups painfully slow and just not all that easy to use.

There are various possibilities for the left leaning decrease:

SKP - Slip 1, knit 1, pass the slipped stitch over. (You could slip that stitch either knitwise or purlwise - if you slip it purlwise it twists the stitch)

SSK- Slip 1 (kwise or pwise?), slip another one (kwise or pwise?) put the left needle into the two stitches on the right needle from left to right and knit together from there. Someone suggested slipping the first stitch kwise and the second stitch pwise to make the finished article flatter - I think it does, you may decided it doesn't make a scrap of difference.

There are some good pictures of basic decreases here - I know if I were a good girl I would have taken those pictures myself. Well, maybe one day, at the moment I'd be happy just to get one round done without tearing out my hair.

Hazel Carter, in her wisdom, makes great play of the fact that we should slip the stitch purlwise, knit the next stitch and pass the slipped stitch over. As I said above, this twists the stitch. While I can see that there may be a need to have a twisted stitch in certain cases, I don't think we need a twisted stitch here. I have therefore replaced SKP with SSK (first stitch slipped kwise, second stitch slipped pwise) in all cases. I didn't rip out the few rounds at the beginning where I had used the recommended increase. I am just going to have to trust to that chap on the running horse not being close enough to see what is going on. The knitting police may also be the mounted police too, thereby affording two possibilities of getting away with it.

All of the above really is not that big of a deal. It's knitter's choice. I have made my choice, I can justify it (even though I don't have to justify anything) and I am sticking to it. End of story.

Where I'm feeling less happy and more at sea is where there is a discrepancy between the words on the pattern and the chart. This happens right off in chart 1, section B. The words say "round 34 is plain knit" ; the chart shows round 34 as beginning the faggoting at the corners; the words say the corner faggoting begins on round 35. I can't remember now what I did but whatever it was may have contributed to the total tearing out of the hair when it came to chart 3.

I did have the right number of stitches in the round. I didn't have them properly arranged and this caused a certain amount of consternation. I had to fudge to get the "Gates of the East" pattern to line up correctly with the "Chariot Wheel" pattern. Ms Carter isn't all that clear on her "spacer ridge" either. The first one (rounds 41 to 44) states "there are no increases during the spacer ridge". She doesn't make it clear if that's just this ridge or all the other ridges to come. Later she says "work a spacer ridge ... keeping corner faggoting and increases correct." Just to add insult to injury, she doesn't give a stitch count for the first round after this spacer ridge. I was reduced to counting the squares, doing a sum and hoping for the best.

This is the state of play at the moment

It looks just the sort of thing to store your dreadlocks in (if you have them).

This is the private side:

See the famous red crochet cotton? That's the start of the round.

See the blue crochet cotton? Those are the corners.

See the safety pins? These have now been replaced by pink crochet cotton and show the pattern repeats on each side.

Markers are your friend.


littlelixie said...

Do you actually not like stitch markers? I've got some I've made and I'd be honoured to send some to my guru! Email me your address to littlelixie at hotmail dot com if you would them.

Anne said...

So far it's gorgeous!

As soon as I finish my Cherry Blossom I am SO starting on this one. If I had not made a promise to myself that I would not have more than 15 WIPs at any one time I'd have already started...

Anne In Colorado

littlelixie said...

Ok, you asked for it - first request for help coming up! I want to knit the kiri shawl in something other than kid silk haze as I want it to be more decorative than actually warm. Any suggestions? Wondered maybe mercerised cotton?