Friday, May 26, 2006

The new color chart is working out very well for me and my knitting speed for the border is back to normal. Here is a close up of the edging spread out- it should tighten up a bit more with blocking- but it's really neat to see how different the orange slub cotton manages this pattern from the white yarn in the knitting-and website sample.

Last night my DH asked me if "this thing was ever going to end" and if I was knitting "a circus tent" I think he is getting sick of me hauling around this orange pile with me where ever we go.

How I redid the chart in photoshop:

I opened the original black and white grid chart in photoshop and then made the canvas larger so I could stretch the chart vertically.
Then I opened up a new layer and laid some colored bars across the various pattern rows- by turning down the transparency of the entire layer it allowed me to see the original grid through the colors and for me to have pastel shades in the final image.
Then with the text tool in a new layer and a bold font- I wrote over all the spots where there were plain knit stitches. turning into a 6 sure makes things easier on my eyes.
Then I used a new layer of text, and a different font to mark all the k2tog and yo spots.
Finally I turned off the original grid and put in a white background. The End! Happy Chart.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I have been working on the lace edging and I have been struggling to read the pattern. I have both versions (word and graph) of the vintage 1891 pattern printed out from the fantastic website resource of Sarah Bradbury....

Anyway- I have to knit five hundred some odd rows of this 12 row repeat- and I'm just not getting the groove of it. I love how the lace looks- but I hate knitting it word by word and I keep hoping that I will memorize it- but my brain is just not grabbing on to these slippery jagged notations.

I wound up copy/pasting the text pattern and adding larger spaces between the pattern rows. Then I circled the rows with different colors of crayon, so I could visually return to "the red row" I think part of the problem is that the key first stitches of every other row of the pattern gradually go from 6 down to 1- but the numbering of the rows is such that the row number and the key number are not matched or relevant. Would it be easier to tell the knitter- "In this pattern you should count the rows of your pattern in reverse- starting with row twelve the row begins with six stitches... 12... 6... numbers make sense! As it is we have row 11 with starts with 4, row 9 with five and seven with 6.

Well- I misplaced my cheat sheet and had to print it out again and decided that rather than fight this dragon- I'm going to take it to the spa for a makeover. I redid the whole thing using photoshop and suddenly it become very readable (for me) I am very interested in the ways that people learn and the various types of "thinkers" and I'm curious to hear if other knitters like the chart that I made for this pattern- does it help you too?

It's read from bottom to top right to left, just like a chart. Between every pattern row- there is a plain knit (or purl as the case may be) row. The right edge of the chart is the straight edge of this edging. The large number represents a number of stitches to knit, / is a k2tog, and O is a yarn over. The pattern starts with a base of 28 cast on stitches.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Has it been this long? The last time I took a picture of the orange Pi Shawl it was the size of a dinner plate- now it's big enough to blanket a pony. So, let's be clear- Banjo is a large pony- he is not the size of a racehorse. I was trying to find a good surface to spread out this unblocked work for an in-progress photo and discovered that the round darkness of the pony and the slight prickle to his hide does a great job at holding the shawl spread out... I am NOT knitting a fly sheet! (Don't even joke about that!)

The border of this shawl, ("perfection leaf lace" from is knit around the edge so that there is no casting off. The pattern of the border is about 30 stitches wide- so it will add a lot of width and gobble up a lot of yarn. I have plenty of yarn left- so that's fine... it is just some real slow going to get all the way around the shawl. I just started on the border yesterday- so that's about a days worth of knitting there. It' looks like this project may take me through the summer. I did block a sample of the border and I love how this slubby yarn blocks- after wetting it really melts into place and the designs become much more distinct. I'm still trying to figure out a strategy for the big block... and will have lots of time to dwell on that.

In mulling over the mathematics of thePI shawl- I'm now understanding that I really didn't need to do a doubling row- or rather- since I didn't need to make this round 98 rows deep- I didn't need the fullness that would require doubling. I am only needing about half of that radial distance- so I probably could have gotten by with a 50% increase rather than a 100%. What does that mean? It means that my giant border is going to be a lot longer than it needs to be- but that also means that it will block wider and with less tension- and in the end- I think that will be fine.