Saturday, October 20, 2007

FO: Boteh Scarf

The poor thing finally finished drying from its blocking. It’s so damp around here that it took 2 days! And I finally got enough light to photograph it. So without further ado, I bring you:

Boteh Scarf

Begun: October 10, 2007
Completed: October 18, 2007

Yarn: Sisu fingering/sock yarn, 80% wool/20% nylon, 160 m = 50 g, 2 balls white, handpainted by me with acid dyes.
Hook: 4 mm Clover Soft Touch

Pattern: Boteh Scarf from Interweave Crochet, Spring 2007. Designed by Kathy Merrick.

Comments: There was one small error in the written instructions but by following the diagram I didn’t even notice. (Correction is on Interweave’s website errata page.) I worked a swatch first and then pulled it out and began again with 2 fewer stitches. This made the scarf a bit narrower and 2 less dtr stitches were needed between motifs. I also did 18 instead of 16 repeats to make it slightly longer. The finished scarf is 4” across the base of the motif and 76” long. I had only 10 g of yarn left when I was finished so it was quite close. No possibility of more yarn! I did appreciate that the uneven colouring on the yarn didn’t affect the scarf at all. It’s barely noticeable even. What looked bad in a pair of socks (causing me to frog my Jaywalkers), looked just fine in this application. I gave the finished scarf a hard blocking with pins but of course it still rolls up somewhat in wearing. Reminds me of seaweed!

Silk (aka Sheila) asked in the Comments about Knit Visualizer. I’ve been using it to re-chart my Hepburn Cardi so that they are larger and clearer than the original charts in Lace Style. It’s time-consuming of course but I love this kind of thing! I think I’ve blogged about this program before, but in the interest of getting the word out I’m happy to do it again. KV is available for both Mac & XP/Vista and there is a free demo and full PDF manual to download to try it out. The full program is US$135 which isn’t out of sight for this kind of specialized tool. Nancy, the programmer, is very responsive and is promising a large upgrade (colour! customizable symbols!) coming. She has a YahooGroup that isn’t busy but she pays close attention to questions asked there.

I already have a program (Pattern Maker Pro) that can create charts from photographs or can be used with colours or symbols. What do I like about KV that PM can’t do? You can enter written patterns and have it automatically generate a chart or vice versa. This “parser” isn’t perfect but it’s pretty cool! I actually heard about one knitter who hates charts so she uses it to convert a pattern back into words. First she has to enter the chart though so she must really be dedicated to following written pattern directions. Personally I prefer to go the other way. Of course you can also fill in the chart with your stitch symbols manually, copy, paste, delete, add and subtract rows and columns, and print out whatever combination of chart, pattern, notes etc. that you want. You can convert your chart to a graphic (.png file format) so that you can bring it up in a graphics/photo program for further editing or paste it into a word processing file.

The symbol selection is fairly comprehensive in KV and includes lots of cables, increases and decreases. What it doesn’t do is colour, though it has a set of symbols that can be used to designate whatever colour you assign to each of them. So if you do a lot of intarsia or fairisle this isn’t a good choice for those types of patterns. It is wonderful for lace and cables though, which is what the Hepburn Cardi consists of. I used KV to plot the increases up the sleeves so I didn’t have to figure out on the fly how to deal with the pattern at the edges as the piece widens. You can do the same with armholes, necklines and sleeve heads if you know what row of the pattern to begin on. Since I don’t yet, I just plotted a general sleeve head and will add the pattern stitches when I get to that point in the knitting. Am I being anal? Probably. But it’s fun!

When you get your pattern looking the way you want, you can designate repeats or mark off a section with borders. The program automatically numbers your rows and columns for you, changing as you add or delete. If you’re working in the round you can have the numbers to the right or alternating right and left if you’re working back and forth. You can save your source and notes with your pattern. A “glitch” in the program allows you to do some editing on the Print page but it doesn’t save so it’s only good for one printout. I’ve found it handy when using a symbol for something other than what the program has in the Legend. You can change the definition temporarily. You can also edit the written pattern but it doesn’t make sense to do a lot when it doesn’t remain. That was the biggest complaint I had but you soon learn to work within the limitations.

The manual is quite comprehensive and has lots of illustrations. Bottom line is I’m finding Knit Visualizer really handy. I’m not adverse to written instructions, being kind of a word person, but I find I can keep my place better and see what’s going on overall with a chart. You can just glance at it instead of trying to figure out what each written instruction lines up with and why you’re 2 stitches out at the end of the row. It’s also easier to design your own patterns with a chart. You can cut and paste motifs and move them around and then figure out how to knit the results. Try that with knitting abbreviations, I double-dare ya!


Silk said...

Thanks, Louisa... you must be very computer literate...i will go give it a try... silk

Sandra Croche said...

Olá, All good! My name is Sandra Coatti and lives in Brazil. Vi this pretty scarf and I got passionate, only that it does not have the magazine with the grafico here, sera that voce could order the grafico for me. Its blog this pretty one, sees mine.... Debtor.......Sandra Coatti