Friday, September 08, 2006

Starting the Center - Progressive Shawl

Remember that this shawl is supposed to progress from easier to harder?

Well, my head is starting to hurt from "the math", so to give it a break I'm starting in for real on the easy garter stitch center section. This will also help me guesstimate just how far those 10 balls of yarn might be expected to go.

I'm doing my increases by making a yarn over at the beginning of each row. On the following row I knit into the back of the yarn over to open it up a bit (a trick picked up from Sharon Miller's "Heirloom Knitting"). When it comes time, I'll pick up stitches for the border from the loops. This gives a lighter, lacier join than just picking up from a plain garter edge.

Notice the little knitter's safety pin hanging from the bottom? I put it there to mark and hold the center stitch of my cast on. This will be very important later when I'm picking up those border stitches, because when you're working along and get to that bottom tip it can be really, really hard to tell which yarn over ends the one side and which yarn over begins the other. Besides, I think I will want to pick up a couple of extra stitches there to help ease things around the corner.

Knitter's (or coilless) safety pins are some of my very favorite, wouldn't want to do without, doodads. Good for all kinds of marking and even "basting" seams for sewing. But in this case you could substitute a split ring marker, or a length of contrasting yarn, or even a paper clip.

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