Saturday, January 7, 2017

life lessons...

There I was working on my fourth piece in a row – there is nothing more satisfying than completing one full lace piece without a single hitch or dropped stitch but I had 2 Sleeves and the Back done perfectly. Of course, I got cocky and thinking of you, decided to give you a little ‘shortrows with ravel cord’ lesson as a refresher, you know. Big of me, right? Yeah, I can laugh now…I was perking along, writing a few sentences, going back and knitting a row or two, checking what I wrote, taking a photo or two and feeling magnanimous and proud and suddenly realized that I blew right by the start of the vee neck shaping! ARRGGH!!!
4 perfect pieces!
I turned back my knit radar, row by row and what do you know, I was over by 14 rows – this will be a piece of cake! My stitch pattern is a 14 row repeat so I won’t even have to re-read my lace stitch pattern – just rip back the 14 rows and I’ll be back on track, ready to shape the neckline half way through the underarm decreases which I’m doing with shortrowing instead of casting off each decrease – it makes a much smoother line, is neater for finishing and I usually find it much quicker than casting off at the edge on every other row which ends up with a step line. Calmly, I ripped out the 14 rows - didn’t take too long, and of course, still feeling superior and totally confident, I re-threaded and resumed my lace knitting and shortrowing and shaping at the neck side as well. After about 10 rows, I realized the sound of the lace carriage wasn’t quite right and stopped to inspect. ARRGGH! It was only transferring the stitches from left to right and not the other way. I panicked, thinking my lace carriage was broken. OMG! This is a catastrophe! I was going to drop it all from the machine in a fit of rage but decided to leave it for tomorrow. Man, good advice, MAO – know when to walk away! This morning, down a few pegs, I checked my needle arrangement and saw that in the undoing, I had messed up the 2-working-one-not needle arrangement part way across the row so it couldn’t transfer the stitches going to the left because those needles were now out of work! And now, I had no idea what row I was supposed to be on because I had turned off the machine and reset things before I figured out the real issue. Do I abandon it or attempt to pull off the coup of my knitting life? Ah, what the heck? May as well give it a try…the machine knitting gods were on my side today! I ripped out the rows that were incorrect, guessed that I was now on row 3, programmed it and gosh, darn it worked! Life is good!
To shortrow/decrease with ravel cord and deal with needles out of work:

step 2
step 3
To shortrow at right side, at underarm point, knit to left. At right side, fill in any empty needles that are within plus one of the stitches to be ‘decreased’, e.g., 5 sts. Using ravel cord, knit 4 sts back to A position. Knit to right (step 1). At carriage side (right) take next stitch back to A – this takes the place of the wrapping if you were using holding position and completes the 5 st decrease. Knit to left. The next decrease would be 4 sts. Fill in empty needles within that plus 1 and knit 3 stitches back to A with ravel cord. Knit one row to right. Take the one stitch at the carriage side back to A. Continue in this manner until all stitches to be cast-off/decreased are in A position. If there is only 1 stitch to be decreased per two rows, take it back on the carriage side only, to prevent holes in your edge. When all stitches are held in A position– carriage will be at left. Knit to right. Unthread yarn from carriage and carefully pull out ravel cord from left to right and the stitches and wraps should just pop back up into the hooks of the needles. 
 4- pull out ravel cord
5 - manually knit same size row

Take the main yarn and hand knit those stitches as close to main tension as you can get, going from left to right. Now, on those same stitches, hand knit a loose row (larger than main tension) right to left. Chain off those stitches from right to left, ending at the new edge of the work and place the last stitch on the new end needle to anchor. Re-thread and continue knitting!

6 - manually knit loose row
This gives a nice, smooth curve with a minimal edge that won’t look too thick or heavy in your finished garment, perfect for lace, tuck lace.  
Hope this makes sense!
You may notice marks of the needle bed to indicate every 9th stitch repeat for the ruffly rib - I found this invaluable - use a non-permanent water soluble marker that is easy to remove with a moistened Q-tip.

7 - cast off

Machine knit like you could earn a living at it! ;-)



GF Mom said...

Beautiful. Can't wait to see how you finish the edges. Open in front or buttons?

Julie B said...

What a smart thing to do. I love the edges that result.