I’m making sleeves for my Alison Pullover. After all the work on the body of a sweater, the sleeves seem like they should fly by, but I swear they take almost as long as the sweater body. One thing that slows me down a bit is using the two at a time Magic Loop method. I learned how to do this from this excellent post on Jimmy Beans Wool. You have to keep going back and forth between two balls of yarn and readjust the sleeves on the cable. The first couple of rows are hard as the knitting doesn’t have a lot of weight and you have to be very careful as you pick up each sleeve that you don’t turn them into mobius strips. After a while, the rhythm starts to flow, but there’s no getting around all that shifting on the needles and dropping and picking up a new yarn every twenty-some stitches. The good thing is, though, you finish both sleeves at the same time!
I initially started designing lace shawls by taking Miriam Felton’s amazing Lace Shawl Design Class on Craftsy. I’m now working my way through several personal shawl design challenges to develop my skills:
- Bottom up construction- DONE- Spring Chill
- Top down construction- DONE- Vefr
- Rectangular reversible- current project
- Center panel triangular
- Crescent shaped
- Rectangular with arms and symmetrical ends (inspired by this)
- Cowl that also works as a poncho/shrug (inspired by this)
- Shawl that alternates knit and crochet (inspired by this)
It’s a joke among my friends that I have “emergency knitting.” Some people keep jumper cables and first aid kits in their cars, I keep a knitting project. (I keep those other things, too, and snacks for the kids, and spare shopping bags….)
My emergency knitting is a ball of Dishie or Sugar N Cream, a pair of size seven cheap bamboo knitting needles, and directions for a simple dishcloth pattern (which I have memorized by now so I’m branching out to some other simple patterns). I don’t care if it gets sand in it at the beach, or dirt on it in the woods, or food spilled on it at the park– it’s going to be a dishcloth and will see worse!
|See that extra yarn over in the middle? The ladle doesn’t care!|
This is what I pick up when I’m stuck somewhere without my knitting or my current project is too precious or picky to take with me into the wild outdoors. Just important enough to do, but not important enough to worry if it gets lost or if I mess up a bit due to inattention. A dishcloth with an extra yarnover will still do the dishes just as well!
I got an email today about the Vefr Shawl that said:
I downloaded the Vefr Shawl pattern thru Ravelry. My question is … if you perform the set up row, which is cast on 5 stitches and proceed thru Chart A, how do you end with 71 stitches? What am I missing?
Here was my response with added pictures:
If you could draw the chart with all the “no stitch” areas taken out and oriented more the way the real stitches will flow, it might look something like this:
KnitPicks has some excellent tutorials for reading charts, including a video about reading charts and a short written tutorial that discusses those no stitch spaces.
For my next shawl, I’ve given myself two constraints. I have a skein of silk yarn that has subtle color changes in it. I’m trying to work up a design that is reversible and that has horizontal lines to it so that the color changes in the yarn move with the design, not across it. Originally, I had hoped to incorporate a fish motif, but the yarn striping has obscured my attempts so far. Patterns with attractive reverse sides are few and far between, so i keep swatching to find the reverse not as attractive as I had hoped. I’ve ripped out several swatches in this precious yarn to redo them again as I’ve been afraid I’ll use up the skein swatching otherwise!
I finished the pattern to the Vefr Shawl and uploaded it to Ravelry today.
My favorite detail is the beaded border. I’m still a little worried that my directions won’t be clear enough for knitters who often don’t crochet, but hopefully it will be enough!