Thursday, April 29, 2010

Epsiode 84


Starting Argante! In Ella Rae's Merino lace, colorway 114.

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Ask your questions for our 100th episode here.

What's On My Hook/Needles/Spindle: Still ignoring my Daybreak Shawl. Slowing down on the Ishbel Shawl in Misti Alpaca Baby Alpaca handpainted laceweight. Nearly done the first of the Toddler Socks and starting the Argante Shawl.

Dizzy Blonde:  (Sigh).

Strategy: Dealing with the Aging/Ill Parent: DABDA--a little more on the process of coping with shocking news

Something I Really Like: Antibiotics. Doctors Fleming and Lister.

Blather: No transfer yet. Wearing a mask and watching my patients react. Some potential new directions for my career.

And PLEASE go check out Bijouxmaster's charity KAL/CAL here. You can make a chemo cap for a kid, right?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Episode 83 is Live!

I love knitting toddler sox!

I am using these socks to knit on the road, while my shawls are groing at home.

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What's On My Hook/Needles/Spindle: Someday I WILL return to my long-neglected Daybreak Shawl. Right now, I am obsessive about the Ishbel Shawl in Misti Alpaca Baby Alpaca handpainted laceweight. And my Toddler Socks are my carry-along project, as I mediatte upon the Kilim Throw.

Dizzy Blonde:  (Sigh). Need I tell you? Nope.

Strategy: Dealing with the Aging/Ill Parent: Find your support group. Now. Right now. And stick with it!

Something I Really Like: LL Beans' catalogue. And cool dusters.

Blather: No transfer yet. The politics of this job take some time to understand.

And PLEASE go check out Bijouxmaster's charity KAL/CAL here. You can make a chemo cap for a kid, right?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Simple math for Westknit's Daybreak Shawl

While I'm disclosing my math, here is some easy math for the first section of the Daybreak Shawl:

Some simple math for this project: I placed a stitch marker after the 2nd st and before the last 2 stitches of the row to help me remember the increases that always go there. This saves me from getting the wrong stitch count as I progress.

I also placed a row counter as one of the markers next to the central stitch of the row, to help me keep track of how many stitches I have without counting. Here’s how that works:

The repeat is 4 rows long, so, for the small size, you will be doing 9 repeats of these 4 rows to get 133 stitches total to begin Section 2. Also, once you finish the set-up rows for section 1, Row one of the repeat says “k halfway to m, M1R…”

In the first repeat, row 1, when you do the “k halfway to m, M1R…” , you will knit 5 stitches before you make that M1R, then another 5 st to the center marker. In Repeat #2, there will be 8 stitches before that M!R. For every repeat, add 3 stitches to the amount when you are knitting halfway then making one Right.

So: Repeat #:     # of st that are halfway to “m”:

repeat 1= 5 stitches
repeat 2= 8 stitches
repeat 3= 11 stitches
repeat 4= 14 stitches
repeat 5= 17 stitches
repeat 6= 20 stitches
repeat 7= 23 stitches
repeat 8= 26 stitches
repeat 9= 29 stitches

When you’ve finished the 4th row of Repeat 9, you’ll have 133 st on the row. I use the row counter to count the repeat I’m on. When I’m done 9 repeats, I can start Section 2. No counting all those stitches!

Keeping Count on the Ishbel Shawl

Oh yes, we all love the Ishbel Shawl. It uses the basic framework of triangular shawls that grow out from the center neck, and it has the basic logic of stockinette/stocking stitch body with a froth of lace worked on the last rows to make a fluffy edge to the shawl.

The Eliina Shawl, another of my favorites, is pretty much based on the same logics, although it is arranged to "grow out" from its starting section at a different rate. Ditto for the Daybreak Shawl, with regard to the basic triangular shawl foundation, but West uses no central YOs and adds stripes instead of lace to make his shawl so effective for wearers of either sex.

When knitting up one of these triangles, I always find myself faced by the same problem: how to ensure that I arrive at the start of the lace edging with the correct number of stitches and with a centerline that is not wonky or crooked. Since these shawls use YOs on either side of the center stitch to create growth, placing a YO in the wrong place makes a pretty visible mistake, and eventually the entire shawl can end up with a lovely straight set of YOs in the central area, but uneven areas of stockinette/stocking stitch body on either side.

Before we start, it is imperative that you know EXACTLY how to do YO's between K stitches, between a K and a P, and between a P and a K. These are all EXTREMELY easy, so don't let this stop you. Just go here, and see how easily you can learn these. Don't be stubborn; I had to do it too.

For Ishbel, here's how I solved the main problem: easy math!

When you start, you knit Teague's formula for the central triangle that will dictate the shape as the shawl grows. This ends with a knit row, so she then launches the main pattern for the stockinette/stocking stitch body with a purl row, called "row 1". At the end of this Row 1, you have 11 stitches.

Ishbel then grows based on this formula:

Row 2: K3, YO, K to one st before center stitch, YO, K1 (the center stitch), YO, K to end minus 3 stitches, YO, K3. (Adds 4 stitches to next row)
Row 3: Repeat Row 1, which is basically K3, YO, P to end minus 3 stitches, YO, K3. (Adds 2 stitches to next row).

Teague suggests placing a safety pin before the central stitch, but that left me with a YO in front of the pin, and that left me with snarled laceweight yarn and wonky stitches and centerline. Looking at the larger picture, that also does not guarantee a proper stitch count when you finish the body of the shawl, so that you can safely begin the lace edging. And there are no lists of how many stitches you should have in each row, to guide those of us who are control freaks and want to fix miscounts before they turn into misaligned centerlines of YOs.

In other words, Teague is a more skilled and confident knitter of this type of shawl than I am--no shock there. To help myself, I decided that I would keep count of the stitches that get knitted between that first YO and the central stitch and 2 YOs of Row 2. The question now becomes: how do I know how many stitches I need to knit at the "K to one st before center stitch" part of row 2?

As you can see, every time you repeat these 2 rows, you've added 6 stitches to the total number on your needles. So every time you return to Row 2, your center stitch will be 3 stitches (6 divided by 2) more from the start of the row. When you arrive at the center stitch, as the pattern says, YO, k center stitch, YO, then you should be knitting the same number of stitches to edge minus 3 (where you will do the last YO) as you knitted between the first YO on this row and the center stitch.

Every time you finish Row 2, you will have the following number of stitches: 3+YO+stitches knitted to center+YO+center knitted stitch+YO+stitches knitted to center+YO+3, which means:
2(stitches knitted to center)+4(YO)+1 knitted central stitch+ 6knitted edge stitches, which means:
2(stitches knitted to center)+11.

To reduce my typing, I am going to say that (stitches knitted to center) is called "H". becauswe I like the letter "H" right now. So Total stitches in a Row 2 after completion of the row=2(H)+11

So Ishbel looks like this, with the numbers filled in:

Row #       H                 Total stitches in row                      
 2              2                      15
 4              5                      21
 6              8                      27
 8             11                     33
10            14                     39
12            17                     45
14            20                     51
16            23                    57
18              26                    63
20              29                    69
22              32                    75
24              35                    81
26              38                    87
28              41                    93
30              44                    99
32              47                    105
34              50                    111
36              53                     117
38              56                     123
40              59                     129
42              62                     135
44              65                     141
46              68                     147
48              71                     153
50              74                     159
52              77                     165
54              80                     171
If you are making the smaller shawl, stop here and repeat Row 1 (173 stitches), then go on to lace chart A.
56              83                     177
58              86                     183
60              89                     189
62              92                     195
64              95                     201
66              98                     207
68              101                   213
70              104                   219
If you are making the larger shawl, stop here and repeat Row 1 (221 stitches), then go on to lace chart A.

Now that wasn't really hard, was it? 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Episode 82 is Live!


And another are the finished socks in the Premuim Bamboo Wool..

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What's On My Hook/Needles/Spindle: YES! I am FINISHED the 2nd of my bamboo-blend socks . On to the BTS#3 and my languishing Daybreak Shawl. Oh, um...did I mention that I am getting sucked in by the lace craze? (sigh) Here's my start on the Ishbel Shawl in Misti Alpaca Baby Alpaca handpainted laceweight. And then there's this top-down sweater I want to knit...

Dizzy Blonde: I miss Aeventid dreadfully....

Strategy: Coping with the Aging/Ill Parent when You are an Adult--Part One: Looking back and a plea for your patience as I try to help.

Something I Really Like: Blog2Print and SharedBook

Blather: If you build it, they will come...or they will knit for me? Escape from the Ad/Seg? And PLEASE go check out Bijouxmaster's charity KAL/CAL here. You can make a chemo cap for a kid, right?

Out-takes Episode: Stitches 2010 Sunday

k1b scarf.jpg

It's the winding-down of Stitches West 2010--Sunday on the Market floor.

Places and People you will hear and hear about:

Beth Whiteside, a frequent teacher of both Market classes and longer classes at Stitches. She taught me the Knit 1 Below Scarf class in the Market classes.

Casa De Fruta

Blue Moon Fiber Arts

Urban Fauna Studio and also at

Thanks, Erin Garcia! The Stitches Map is EXCELLENT!!

The Scarf Clasp

Gregory from The Knitmore Girls gets a special warm hug and salute!

Carolina Homespun for the Knitter's Yarn Bracelet described hereon.

Mission Falls Yarn Company

Monday, April 5, 2010

Episode 81 is live!

CFR 2009 souvenir shawlette

Ah, a new FO at last! Here is the finished crocheted shawlette made from Freckle Face Fibers' Kimono Sock yarn in the Tehachapi in Autumn colorway developed for the 2009 CogKNITive Fiber Retreat.

Add yourself to our CogKNITive Listeners Map!

What's On My Hook/Needles/Spindle: YES! I am ALMOST finished the 2nd of my bamboo-blend socks . On to the BTS#3 and my languishing Daybreak Shawl. Also, go check out Wabi Sabi yarns.

Dizzy Blonde: Aeventid is still packed up as I redo her home in my studio!

Strategy: Affording yarn-relayed hobbies in a recession, Part One: Dealing with podcasters talking about their new yarns. and don't miss The Unique Sheep!

Something I Really Like: The Flip camcorder

Blather: The Ad/Seg is full and our caseloads are rising. Bring on the Spring!