Sunday, August 13, 2006

Same old story

Hours in front of the television watching the European Athletics Championships have meant great progress on the Kerry Blue Shawl. Where the "same old story" comes in is that it still looks like a jumbled mess:

Kerry Blue in progress

This is at round 104, where I have just started the Shell Pattern. Someone, and I'm afraid I can't remember who, said they thought the Shell Pattern didn't really "go" with the other patterns used in the Kerry Blue. It is true that the other two patterns (Feather and Van Dyke and Rib) are more linear while Shell is more curvy (technical term), but I quite like the contrast. I think that the Shell Pattern softens the shawl, makes it less geometric.

Here's a picture of the corner, slightly spread out, so you can sort of see what it looks like:

Kerry Blue corner

In the meantime (which is only in between time) I have made more progress on the second sock. I realised that 'im indoors hadn't actually tried on the first sock, in its completed state. When he did, we realised that he couldn't actually get it on his foot. This is when I ripped the needles out of the second sock (which, if you've been following, is really the fourth sock) and threw it across the room. However, on reflection, it became apparent that the problem was a too tight cast off (scourge of all toe-up sock knitters). I suspect this happened because I used a "new", at least to me, method - Purl the first two stitches together, then loosen that stitch up and place it back onto the left needle. Do the same thing again...purl the loosened stitch, now the first stitch on the left needle, together with the second stitch. Loosen it up and slip it back over to the left needle. Continue purling 2 together and slipping the loosened stitch back to the left all the way across. Pull the end through the last stitch left. Supposed to give a "nice stretchy bind off" (NOT).

Kate-"I'd-rather-read-about-it-than-do-it" went into overdrive. Google was my friend. I discovered:

Peggy's stretchy bind off (which involves making extra stitches on the penultimate row)

Denise's bind off (which involves tapestry needles - I don't think so)

This blog post, collecting various stretchy bind offs

Lucia's blog post, with very good pictures (involves making extra stitches as per Peggy's method above)

but in the end I did what I usually do. I call it the suspended cast off (see, I am a Brit really - all this talk of "bind off" makes me uncomfortable). Knit the first stitch, knit the second stitch but do not drop the loop off the left needle, pass the first stitch over the second stitch and drop both that stitch and the "spare" loop off the needle at the same time. Continue in this way.

I don't feel I have explained this very well, but it works for me. It helps if you stretch the top of the sock as you go.

Here's the result:

Not a terribly good picture but we got a result - it fits on his foot!

Speaking of Lucia, she's running a blog contest. There are various categories - best knitting blog overall, best photography, funniest, best with cat etc. Many nominations are already well-known: Stephanie The Yarn Harlot; Franklin's The Panopticon; See Eunny Knit but there are others I have never heard of. I've been doing a bit of snooping and can't say I'm all that impressed. One blog, which shall remain nameless, had lovely pictures - of a beach (repeatedly), of a pile of books and of an ice-cream - no knitting content in the first three posts. This, to me, is not a knitting blog. Discussion of exactly what it is which constitutes a knitting blog is probably best left until another day, since 'im indoors is champing at the bit to be at the keyboard.

On the other hand, how complicated can it be to blog about knitting?


Opal said...

Thanks for the links to stretchy bind-offs. I'll hopefully make use of them one day soon.

The Kerry Blue is looking great!

littlelixie said...

I'm with you about what constitutes a knitting blog!