Friday, November 05, 2010

Unraveling the Puzzle

What is this? It's a two yarn cast-on. Something new I learned yesterday. Tie a slip knot, put it on the needle and proceed to make a long tail cast on from two different yarns. Do not count the slip knot as one of your stitches, and after knitting the first row, undo the slip knot and pretend it never happened. Genius! It can also be used as a provisional cast-on, removing (carefully) the bottom loops, in this case the pink yarn, and placing the remaining stitches on a needle as you go. I learned all about this on TechKnitting. Here.
I called my friend Ellen with the wonderful vest (yesterday's blog) and we discussed the pattern for the vest. She explained the stitch pattern, and the approach to the layout of the piece, and the fact that it will be reversible. This is necessary since the lapels are just the flipped outside top of the front. In order to make them identical, the left front needs to be picked up from the cast on edge of the back.
OK that was all I needed to be off and running.
First, choose the yarn, and make a swatch. Totally NECESSARY for gauge, or how will I know how many stitches to cast on?

I am getting 3.25 stitches per inch, but I know that blocking will increase that greatly so I go with 3 stitches per inch. I cast on 25. The fancy stitch pattern uses a row of each yarn, one row across with yarn #1, slide the knitting back and then knit with the second yarn, then turn and begin with one yarn across again. Tricky? Yes. An alternative stitch could be seed or moss, or garter, which all look the same on both sides.

 I really liked the yarns of Ellen's vest, but of course her colors blended because they were dyed for the kit. I had this Noro Kuryeon and Nature's Spun Peruvian Pink worsted wool which are not anything like her yarns, consequently the results look different.

My diagram shows that I will begin with the left underarm and work towards the right front. I will be careful to note how many stitches to increase and bind off for the armhole, neck and second armhole. The lapels are really just the front knit straight from the neckline notch, and slightly more than half the width of the back, to provide some overlap.

Then I have drawn the diagram for the left front. This piece will begin by picking up the cast on stitches from the beginning of the back.

I've been knitting since I was 15 and I'm constantly learning new stuff to try. It's a dazzling craft.
 If you would rather not knit side to side, you might like this Sunset Bolero from Jane Thornley. It also has the lapel idea, and uses up lots of yummy yarns, in whatever stitch pattern you prefer. See her site for the pattern.

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  1. I love your notes. I do the same thing, knitting on the fly, and it is such fun to play. Yep, knitting never gets old! And now I have to do a side to side also, but in fingering wt yarn.
    How's Chumley?

  2. What? An entry without a Chumley mention?

  3. Anonymous5:47 PM

    Melody, love the vest. I went online and the kit and pattern are no longer available. Look forward to seeing your finished vest and pattern. Two questions: 1) did you change your stitches per inch by changing your needle size? 2) why not start on the right side and knit all the way around to the left side?


  4. Anonymous5:49 PM

    How do you add the collar?


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