Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Got My Pattern!

Remember the pattern I was searching for in this post? I received it from the fellow Raveler I had asked! (She says I'm lucky because she normally doesn't save the patterns she downloads but she still had this one. Phew!) And it looks so worth the extra work it took to get it.

I knit a 40-stitch swatch on Monday to confirm which size needles I wanted to use and what gauge I got with them. I knew the wool I wanted to use was thinner than what the pattern called for. And even though we all know swatches lie, they can help to get you in the ball park.

In addition to making changes to account for the swatch, I also have to make changes for the size. The (free) pattern is only available in the size the designer made for herself: too small for me. So I added a few inches based on the measurements of my Sahara which has a similar fit.

I got it cast on Monday night (all 212 stitches :mops brow:) with the crochet cast on. I didn't like how the ribbing looked on my swatch so I'm planning to change the bottom edge to a folded picot hem. This meant I needed some nice stitches along the cast on edge to knit. If you don't get why, you can be sure I will show you all the details in a future post. I just have to get there first!

I did want to pass on a tip for making a better join. It's so easy when you join in the round for the first stitch to be very loose, sloppy, and dare I say ugly. What I do to try to improve this stitch is to slip it, and then knit it up when I come back around to that spot, like knitting up a dropped stitch. Hmm...words are so inadequate. I will try a few pics to see if that will help.

[You will notice that I did not take pictures of the very first row which is where you would implement this trick, but I think you will get the point nonetheless.]

So you cast on your stitches and are about to knit the very first stitch which will make your work a circle instead of a line. Instead of knitting it, slip it to the right needle (purlwise) and knit the next stitch pulling the yarn firmly.

When you get back to this point after knitting a round, you will come to the slipped stitch (black arrow) and behind it will be an extra loop of yarn (red arrow):
Now you don't want to leave that loop of yarn flapping in the back; you want to knit it up. So, insert the tip of your left needle to pick up the loop:
Then insert the tip of your right needle into the slipped stitch (purlwise):
And pass the slipped stitch over the loop of yarn:
You have just knit up the loop as if you had dropped a stitch. You are now ready to knit away on your project:

So you see that this will tighten the first stitch and hopefully prevent it from stretching out and looking...can't think of a delicate way to say this...just plain ugly. (I will allow no ugliness on my Pencil Sketch Camisole.)

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