Sunday, March 8, 2009

Red Purl Afghan KAL: March

This afternoon was the third meet for the afghan KAL. The crowd was a little thinner this time, perhaps because of the intermittent pouring rain. I did, however, notice there are still some new people signing up, buying their yarns and getting started so they can catch up with the rest of us. It's still a lot of fun to see all the different yarns that people are using, and every month most people are working with a different colour so we have new ones to admire.

Today's design was submitted by Dawn, and it was a very nice Mock Cable. Called, "mock," because although it gives the appearance of a cable, it's not. (Ok, that's obvious.) In a cable, you slip half the stitches onto a spare needle, knit the second half, then knit the first half off of the spare needle. A mock cable is achieved with a series of "twists" arranged to they track up and to the side. A twist is actually a 2 stitch cable, but because there are only 2 stitches you don't need to use a spare needle.

This pattern used a left leaning mock cable, in which you have to do the less handy left twist. Let me show you how that is done:

First you knit into the back of the second stitch on the left needle. [I've labeled it "1" because it's the first stitch you knit.] Insert the right needle into the back from right to left:

Wrap the yarn over the right needle and pull it through, but do not pull the stitch off the left needle:

Now insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle [labeled "2"] and knit like normal,

pulling the yarn through,

and then slipping both stitches off of the left needle:
You can see that stitch 1 is now behind stitch 2, leaving a twist to the left (following the arrow). If you continue to do left twists moving one stitch to the left each pattern row, you will get a line flowing up and to the left to make your mock cable.

Working into the back of a stitch is very awkward though. (Ask any of the newbies at Red Purl today: they were not taking to it well!) I can knit into the back of a stitch very well, thank you; please do not question my skills, but I decided to take the easier way out. (Hey, if I had to learn or practise the skill, I would have done it, but decided to enjoy myself a little more instead.)

Here is my solution which leads to a right leaning mock cable formed with some right twists instead.

First, insert the right needle as if to knit 2 together:

Wrap yarn around right needle and pull through (like you normally would), but again do not remove the stitches from the left needle.

Now insert the right needle into just the first stitch:

Wrap yarn around right needle and pull through:

Now slide both stitches off the left needle.
This will lead to a right leaning twist. Now you continue to do right twists moving one stitch to the right each pattern row and then you will get a line flowing up and to the right to make your mock cable.

So I reveal my [mirror imaged] block:
that I find more natural to do than the "assigned" one. If this whole process sounds vaguely familiar, perhaps you read my post on the Birthday Cowl in which I made a similar modification to change some left decreases to right decreases, once again, just to make life easier.

I did not get the block done this afternoon but certainly got a good start. I do have a whole month, I guess, and don't have to get them all done the same day....I guess. [Fight the compulsion, fight the compulsion]

But speaking of number of rows completed, at the end of the afternoon, I found out that a few people there have taken to calling me, "Clickity-clack," because of my speed. (Amy told on them.) It's not like I'm trying to be fast; it's just how I knit.

You may also notice that this is a new colour in my afghan. "Simply Taupe" has joined the Glazed Carrot and Blue Surf. The taupe is a wonderful neutral shade, darker than a cream, but warmer than a beige. I love working with it and think it's perfect for a cable pattern (mock or otherwise), sort of like an Aran sweater.

All for now...have a good night from,
Clickity-clack!

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