Monday, May 25, 2015

Squam Pennant Skirt Progress

I just checked the last time I posted about the pennant skirt I have going and it was when I was in the middle of the swatch! Well, a lot has happened since then!

After my gauge swatch told me I should cast on 210 stitches, I was happy to see that that matched one of the sizes in the pattern so I could just follow the directions for that size. Since the skirt started with a folded hem for elastic casing, I used a provisional cast on.
(The yellow is waste yarn that will get taken out when the hem is being done. I can't stand actually wasting it, so I keep it attached to the ball while I knit the hem. A little awkward but worth it to me.)

The skirt starts on little size 2 needles, which make my hands very uncomfortable with the heavy worsted weight yarn. But I do what I gotta do.

Each repeat of the pattern goes up a size until you're working with size 5 needles. In addition to some increase rounds, it makes for a nice sturdy fabric where you need it most and for nice shaping.

After about 12 rows, I started to get suspicious of the size (and my swatch) and put the loop around my waist. Sure enough, way too big.

I pinches off the extra and counted about 30 extra stitches. So I sighed. Then I ripped it out to the row just above the provisional cast on. I did not want to redo all those stitches. Counted twice, and started knitting again with 182 stitches. This was the same number as the smallest size in the pattern, so it would still be an easy conversion.
But I was tired of those cable needles. I'm using a cheap interchangeable set (so you can screw different sized needles onto the cables) and there is a big nasty bump where the cable joins with the metal. It's not so bad when you're working with the larger sizes because the stitches are big enough to get over, but it's awful with the smallest size needles. You feel like you're fighting it the whole way.

I've resisted buying good ones but this project was going to kill my hands otherwise. So I picked up size 2 and 3 Addi turbos and what a difference it makes!! These are not interchangeable so the points are permanently attached to the cable. The cable is much more flexible and doesn't push and pull on my hands and the finish on the points is very slick and smooth so the stitches move easily. I know...why didn't I do this years ago? Anyway. Hugh improvement on that front.

I commenced knitting again. I got a little farther this time before I thought that things did not look right. So I tried it on again when it was not even an entire waistband and...still too big.

Bigger sigh.

So I took a better measurement while I had it around my waist and figured I needed to take out two repeats of the pattern. Rip back to cast on and start again with 168 stitches. As I worked my way through the hem, switching to the size 3s, then size 4s, things looked pretty good.

I finally forced myself to stop knitting and try it when it was about 12 inches long. fit!! So relieved and happy.

I've been busily knitting away on it since. After I got through the size 4s and switched to size 5 which the rest of the skirt will be knit on, I couldn't take the thought of knitting the whole thing on the cheap needles. So I bought a size 5 Addi too. Much better. Why did I wait so long? and all that.

This morning, I tried it on again to get pictures. I kept all the stitches on the needle I'm knitting with so the bottom is gathered somewhat. But I think you can get the idea.
In the picture above, I added some spot lighting so you could see the pennant pattern that is developing.

And below I think you can see how the pleats are forming.
Or faux pleats, really. They are a clever consequence of the pennant pattern. It wants to act like a rib, but can't because each vertical panel is mostly knits on one edge and purls on the other. As the purl side recedes and the knits pop out, you get the look of pleats without all the extra bulk of real pleats. (I told you it was clever.)

You may not see this skirt for a while again. I have a lot of knitting to do to get it past my knees, which is the intended length. I'm pretty sure at this point it won't be ready for Squam and at the same time it will be too bulky to pack and work on at Squam. But I'm ok with that. I'm not going to bust my butt to get the skirt done. (For one thing, I still have homework to do to prepare for my classes!)

Til next time, keep those needles clicking!

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