Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Over And Over

Do you think of working yarn-overs differently before a knit stitch and a purl stitch? I don’t — I always think of a yarn-over as just one thing: scooping the yarn over my right needle so it lies from front to back. Then whatever I have to do for the next stitch is a separate item: if I need to knit it, the yarn already in the right place and if I need to purl it, I bring the yarn forward into position first before working the purl just as I would before working a purl stitch after a knit. When there’s a yarn-over right at the beginning of a needle, I just scoop under the yarn and carry on normally with the first stitch in the row. Maybe it’s harder if you knit “throwing-style” or English, if you prefer to call it that. It’s a whole separate motion with that method. In “picking-style” or Continental, it’s just a quick movement to bring your yarn to the front or the back making eyelets, ribbing and other similar patterns easy to do. When I switched methods from throwing to picking way back in the ‘70’s, I was actually surprised that I enjoyed ribbing so much more when I didn’t have to do so much maneuvering to accomplish it. It’s the same working yarn-overs. I do still know how to throw my yarn (in the awkward way I figured out when I was 6) but I only use it for colour-stranded knitting. As time goes by I’m getting more out of practice and am trying to learn how to do colour-stranding with both yarns in my left hand. Unfortunately it’ll have to wait until I’m out of my “Lace Phase” for further experimentation on the colour-work side.

Meanwhile I have a wonderful FO for you — the somewhat modified Shoulder Shawl in Cherry Leaf Pattern from Victorian Lace Today:

Cherry Leaf Shawl

Begun: Dyeing – January 15, 2007 Knitting – March 7, 2007
Completed: March 26, 2007

Yarn: Cashmerino (cashmere/merino laceweight yarn) from Birkeland Bros Wool. Perhaps 850-900 yards? I had quite a bit left from a skein that counted to about 984 yards long anyway.
Needles: 3.5 mm Clover Takumi 24” circular. 3.5 mm Crystal Palace dpns.
Pattern: main triangle from “Victorian Lace Today” by Jane Sowerby except that I worked 5 more pattern repeats longer, wide edging is an extension of Aspen Leaf Edging from Barbara Abbey’s “Knitting Lace” (I called it Walnut Leaf Edging), narrow edging is from VLT’s Half Square in Trinity Stitch chart D (mini version of Walnut Leaf Edging).

Comments: I was very happy with the dyeing. The colours were subtle enough that they didn’t detract from the lace, which can sometimes be a problem. The yarn was somewhat thinner and the needle size smaller than that called for by the pattern in the book. I worked 5 more repeats but it still only blocked to 60” wide instead of the 72”. The length is the same 33” though.

The edgings needed very little “fudging” to make them fit. I did have to do the bottom corner twice before it looked quite right though. In the end I worked the last edging repeat before the bottom corner twice into each stitch, the point repeat three times into each stitch and the repeat after the bottom point twice into each stitch. That seemed to make the point hang right. Also the first time I started the min-walnut edging on the hypotenuse, I forgot that it needed to be worked into every other bound-off stitch instead of every stitch so I had to frog and start that part again. I worked a short row triangle (increasing 2 stitches every other row) in the corner before starting the top edging. This worked very well and all the edgings though not symmetrical look very even. I like that they continue the “leaf” theme but are lighter and more lacey than the main body of the shawl in the more dense cherry leaf pattern. A nice contrast in textures. So this shawl ended up being partially of my own design and it makes me happy. I love leafy things.


Sue said...


Anonymous said...

It's absolutely lovely! You sure are talented :)

Now, to stick to your sewing... and not be tempted to pick up the needles again!

Hugs, Susan

Anonymous said...

What Sue said. :)

Heather said...

it is so lovely!