Thursday, August 15, 2013

boondoggle...

I just love that word, but what does it mean? As a noun: work of little or no value merely to appear busy. As a verb, do work for the purpose of appearing busy…
oh my! how long has it been since I knit fairisle? talk about jumping in at the deep end…I decided to start with a sleeve – no big surprise – that has been my modus operandi for quite some time for lots of reasons – I know I am going to suffer running-out-of-yarn anxiety. I have 7.5 oz of the off-white WCD and tons of black, no problem there. I’ve checked back on other WCD fairisles (No 52, ‘Herringbone’ and No 46, ‘Print It’) They were both similar in length and size to what I’m attempting to make now and according to my notes, I can expect to need a minimum of 8 oz of the second colour but, going with the 3/4 sleeve, I hope, will save me. And making the sleeve first tests out a lot of stuff and will give me a better idea of how far the yarn will go. The sleeve stitch pattern has a background of black and uses slightly more black. The design I am going to use  for the front is a variation of the herringbone tweed, which is a more balanced pattern with equal stitches of black and white. The back, as shown in the stolen design is more white so I’ll leave the back to last and my ‘back-up’ plan - change to the ‘coffin’ version – the back in plain black – I’ll just stand against the wall a lot and make sure I’m the last to leave the room!
Confession, I didn’t waste any on the swatch – used an ivory mini dina for that which is close in colour and weight/thickness, just to get the right idea and test out the stitch pattern. The gauge from the other two projects – one was 36 sts and 43 rows and the other, 36 sts and 40 rows so I can use that as a guideline for the sleeve – I’m going with 36 sts and 42 rows, so I need to make a ‘cheat swatch’ as I’m knitting the sleeve.
Of course, one of my favourite features of this design is the little slits in the bottom of the sleeve – nice detail, so I can’t leave that out – it means knitting the small section at one side to say row 24 and then casting on the other portion of the sleeve and knitting it to row 24 and then putting everything back in work and getting it to all match up…so here’s something I don’t believe that I’ve really wrote about before – I am using Designaknit knit-from-screen for the stitch pattern on the SilverReed/Studio standard gauge electronic machine and the KR11 knit contour for my shape.
One of the quirks of the SilverReed electronic (any gauge) is mis-patterning on the initial rows. When I first got my SK580 way back in the early ‘90s, as part of dealer training, we were told to ‘read the pattern’ with 2 to 4 free passes of the carriage and doing this virtually eliminated any mis-patterning at the beginning or when any time you were re-setting the pattern. So, how to do this with DAK and KFS? I set my stitch pattern to begin 2 rows before I really want it to, to give me 2 free passes before the actual row 1 that I want (if you want more info on this, email me privately so we don’t bore the others).
So, anyway, as you might imagine, there are a lot of things to remember to get this little sleeve going, but I do love a challenge – thank heaven I’m not writing a pattern for this! That would take all the fun out of it! maybe I’m just boondoggling…or, is this my boondoggle?...
There’s something so satisfying about pressing out a sleeve and the gauge - nailed it!
I’ve had these buttons since 1995…

2 sleeves done - 6.1 oz remaining...
oh, one more reason to make the sleeves first - I'm still mulling over the bottom band and I can do a few practises on the sleeves and still change my mind for the other pieces!

1 comment:

Helen Fox said...

This is looking really interesting can't wait to see the finished garment