Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Designing on the fly

The theme of this week is the neckline shaping that I am doing on the large black thing. Details w/ pictures to come.

First of all, thanks to Maggie Rabjohns for coming to my rescue and correcting my Latin. I was trying to be grammatically correct from a gender perspective without any knowledge of Latin. Perfect way to make mistakes. Maggie is one of those who has completed the Am Kamin sweater which was featured at Crossed in Translation and that so many people have lusted after. You can see hers (and lots of other gorgeous knits) at Knitaddict's report from Knitting Camp. We are both supposed to be working on Bohus sweaters. Maggie probably is. Me, I'm not, as you know.

I've been knitting and ripping and making incorrect calculations but I think I've got it now. I am knitting a wrap so it is rectangular on the sides with a sideways knit V-neck and a shawl collar. It is the sideways knit V-neck that I am making mistakes on. Very simple concept but one has to be able to count rows in order to figure out the decrease rate. That is where I goofed.

The pattern is a set of knit/purl triangles that make up a pinwheel shape. It is from one of Barbara Walker 's books - probably the first Treasury. I chose it because the wrap is in black and I wanted a simple reversible pattern. This pattern gives the effect of a damask weave.

I am knitting it in a natural black alpaca sport-weight yarn from Times Remembered. They are a small alpaca farm and always have a booth at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival. I am amazed at how silky and lustrous the natural alpaca is. I love knitting with it. The yarn is also very inexpensive and once blocked, the fabric has a lovely drape.

Because it is alpaca, which has a tendency to stretch, I am knitting this pattern sideways so that the tendency of the pattern to shrink (due to the knit/purl combination) is in the same direction as gravity. I am hoping that the two will offset each other. Otherwise my sister-in-law (the recipient) will have an ever growing wrap.

I am going to try and get pictures of the swatch showing the pattern after it is blocked and I hope I can get something other than a black rectangle. More on that later as I need to spend some quality time with the camera.

In the meantime, I've got one side of the neck shaped and am working on the back. I am doing this all in one piece with no cutting or joining yarns except when I need to move to another skein. The shawl collar will be knit separately but the whole thing will be completely reversible as I am not picking up sts except at the back neck. I am going to leave live sts on the two fronts for the collar. I will enclose the back neck edge in the pickup so it will be reversible.

Here's a schematic so you know what I'm talking about in the next few posts. This is not to scale and is only meant to give an idea of the shape of the wrap.

1 comment:

MaggieB said...

... actually, unless Maggie R also corrected your Latin, that was the other Maggie (remember her, I think she was maybe your roommate...? ;)

And I meant to tell you, the shawl you were working on at Camp-- it looks lovely! Good job.