Saturday, November 6, 2010

December approaches!

That's right, that is what approaching December looks like in lovely Tucson, Arizona, where I spent a few days attending a conference.
Needless to say, during the most boring part of the presentations, there was much knitting done (which I rationalize saying I am a "tactile learner" and I learn best when my hands are busy - my coworkers bought it).  In fact I knit so much I have made back some of the time i wasted setting up the new computer. We are in great shape and we will wear our lovely shawls to Christmas parties and give them as heirloom gifts and everybody will oooh and ahhh at them, by golly.

December Release
December clue was back from unfailingly efficient Kate with a bunch of corrections, and I finished knitting through the clue, and it is ready to come out!
When? - Monday, November 8th. 2 days from now!!!
I hope you love it. I am besotted with the clue, so much I plan to make a sweet little pattern around it, a baby christening blanket....
It is a longish clue, matching the January clue to form the border of the shawl, and it is a cinch to knit.

Border Wars
After making a very, very large swatch with the projected border, I had to sit down and rethink the whole process. The border I initially chose is very lovely, not difficult, however the background lace portion refused to become mindless knitting and i found myself tinking a few more times I would like. I changed the background lace to a very similar but much easier one (lace on one side only, 4 rows), and I changed the fagotting portions a little, and it did look quite flat. I ended up throwing a few purl stitches to give it a little contrast and structure, and I have now a pretty satisfying result:
Border swatch in Frog Tree Pima Cotton (sportweight) in US#5 needles

The Aspen Leaf with Barege Pattern and two fagotting rows.
- Really easy to learn,  really easy to read so you don't have to tote your charts around.
- Easily expandable. Here I show it with two repeats of the Barege pattern.
- Back rows with minimal lace work, only the fagotting.
Hopefully this will ease the fatigue of the border and help you speed your way around the shawl!

Mini-Pattern Launch! the Fancy Schmancy Dishcloth
Fancy Schmancy Dishcloth
  Our little Fancy Schmancy pattern can be used as a dishcloth, or maybe a coaster, basket liner, or little table center, depending on the size made.
Dig yarn and needles out of your stash
I made the sample using Coats & Clark Creme de la Creme Cotton (very similar to Sugar & Cream cotton) - a rough, workhorse cotton. The contrasting color was made on Knit Picks Comfy Sport, a cotton/acrylic mix. Use whatever you have in your stash, some leftover cotton works fine. You will probably need two balls of Sugar and Cream, or about 200 yd/4oz of cotton. I used US#5, but Comfy is a sport weight and you will probably need to use US#7. You will end up with a sizable cloth, I warn you!
Get started! The center square
Now that you have assembled the yarn, here comes the fun part.
Think up a number between 20 and 30.
Cast on that many stitches on your chosen needles, using a provisional cast on. Any  kind will do.
Provisional cast on using a blind cast-on method

Knit a square in garter stitch (just keep knitting until you have a perfectly square shape). Put stitches on hold and break the yarn.
A test square: 20 st x 36 rws
 Your test square will be different from everybody else's, and your number of rows and stitches will depend on your gauge and the number you started with. Don't try to make one just like mine! The exercise is all about learning to fit a border into any number of edge stitches!
You don't have to make just a garter square, you can use your favorite dishcloth design. Just make sure, for now, that the edges are all done in garter stitch.

In the next few days/weeks, I will release slowly the rest of the steps you need to know. Hopefully, by the end of the exercise, you will all know how to add a perfect border to anything, and more specifically to your KALendar shawl.

A parting thought...

Zen Yarn Garden Sock Club: Superwash Merino in colorway Bryophyte.
I signed up for the club before the frogputer went down. Honest.

1 comment:

  1. Love the border pattern. That is a great idea to try out borders on dish clothes.