Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The neverending hallway of knitting

I measured the back of the Aran a few days ago and determined that it needed a few more inches before I started in on the ribbing. I noted that 2 vertical honeycombs were an inch in length, so somehow that meant I'd need 38 vertical honeycombs before I switched to the ribbing. Maybe I thought I was knitting an Aran belly shirt, but more likely I was just lying to myself. The 38 honeycombs are done, but the back isn't ready for ribbing. Rather than knit on the Aran, I planned my decreases for the ribbing which took way more planning than I anticipated because I want to continue the honeycombs and the 2-st cables all the way to the bottom, with K2P2 ribbing in between. This means I have to decrease a certain number of stitches at certain points between these cables that leave me with multiples of 4 +2 stitches between each of the established cables. Oy.

Luckily, I have a short attention span and lots of ideas for other things I could be working on.

My Master Hand Knitting Level II instructions arrived and I read through them. Having been confronted with my detail handling deficit during the course of Level I, I am approaching Level II with wisdom and experience. Like taking notes when I knit swatches so I know what I did to achieve specific results, and citing references in my answers to the questions from the get go. My approach this time is: Read question. If I know the answer, key it in on the computer. Find confirmation in two sources. Cite sources, including page numbers. If I am unsure of the answer, figure it out and confirm it with my reference library. Cite the sources, cite the sources, cite the sources.

And so it went, for 14 or 15 of the questions. For the rest, I have to do some knitting. so it was on to the swatching...

I finally have my stockinette mojo back. I can purl without rowing out the first two stitches, having figured out that I need to purl the first stitch of the row with absolutely no snugging, tugging, or yanking whatsoever. Then I purl the second stitch normally, insert my needle into the third stitch and THEN I snug. Perfection.

I'm still working out my K2P2 issues at either end. One end looks incredibly sloppy, while the other end (the left end of the public side) is strangely tight. The more I yank and tug and snug on the right end, the sloppier it gets. Hmmm. I believe my problem is too much tugging, even though that seems counter intuitive. So for K2P2, I need to maintain a looser tension on the right end of the public side to make things tighter, and coming back, I need to keep things looser to make things looser. No wonder I was going insane in Level I.

Swatching gets boring after a while, not to mention frustrating, so I looked at the required projects. Fair Isle mitten (pattern included), argyle sock (pattern available, if needed), and vest. It's been a while since I've done stranded knitting, so I experimented a little bit and realized I'm going to need to practice for that one. The thing I dislike most about the knitting requirements of the Master Knitting program is having to knit with worsted weight yarn. With the exception of things like felted slippers and Aran sweaters, I don't knit with worsted weight much. It seems so thick, and the needles seem huge. I learned to knit with DK and fingering weight yarns. I've never knit anything stranded using worsted weight yarn. It's always been Dale Baby Ull or something like that, so this is an adjustment.

So what did I do next? I designed my own argyle sock. I had this great idea (or so I thought) to use self-striping yarn for the main color, with coordinating solid diamonds and black line diamonds. I'm using Opal yarns for this, which are on the thin end of fingering yarns and the variegated yarn seems especially thin. I'm using a US 1, which I've never used for socks (I usually get 8 to 9 sts/inch using 2.75mm/US 2 or 2.5mm/US 1.5. The argyle is knit flat for the leg, so I'm using the only set of size 1 straights I have, which are very long. They're at least 14" long. I'm worried I'm going to bend them. Well, I'm worried I'm going to bend them more than they're already bent.

What do you think? I'm still not sure. I'll knit on it a bit longer and see what I think. If I don't like it by the time I get through knitting group tomorrow morning, I'll go buy another skein of Opal Uni. The biggest issue is when one of the solid colors is next to the same color in the adjoining diamond. On the straight rows, many of stripes are only a row long, but 67 stitches is a big percentage of a diamond. If it's a longer run of color, the percentage of the diamond is even more. On the left, the yellow solid is next to the "variegated" diamond, but you can barely see where one diamond ends and the other begins. What I may have to do is use the variegated yarn more strategically. Not allow a color that occurs in the solids to run for more than a few rows in the variegated diamonds, and in particular not let it run at the top or bottom diamond points.


Kelle said...

I like the idea of using a self striping yarn for an argyle but I think in order for it to work your contrasting colors can't be the same or close to any of the colors in the striping yarn.
Here's my thought on liking something. If I don't like it at the start, I probably will never come to like it, later. That's been my experience anyway.

Terri Lynn said...

I have gone through three pairs of bamboo size 1 dpns and so far I really like Clovers, they are the sturdiest and not bending so far but I am getting use to bamboo, circulars for doing the magic loop. So, I do understand your concern. For me, the Crystal Palace (CP) just out and out broke in half, but the Chi Goos(sp) actually split from where the label was deeply stamped into them. I have two CPs left. Ugh. So, far I ahve worked 5 pairs of socks, three finished.

I will never make any out of 100% merino again because they wear out too fast. I will make them out of a blend of at least 12% nylon for strength. But the Yarn Harlot did recommend Paton's Merino for felted clogs, yes, I will try that- sorry to change the subject. Enough already.