Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Gypsy Rover came over the hill
And down to the valley so shady.
He whistled and he sang
'Til the green woods rang,
And he won the heart of a lady.

That song runs through my head every time I pick up the the fuchsia lace, and so, of course, the name of the shawl will be Gypsy Girl. It's going very smoothly and pleasantly, albeit slowly, so far. I have some ideas in my head about where it is headed, and I'm charting as I go - staying about 10 rows ahead on the chart.

Of course, those rows keep getting wider. Would an intelligent knitter put in a lifeline about now?

New (to me) Trick. When I need a provisional cast on I usually crochet a chain with waste yarn, then pick up stitches through the bumps at the back of the chain. I've always found the picking up part a bit of a pain. So I was pleased to find directions, at the back of Victorian Lace Today, for working the chain directly onto the needle. I think I have seen this described somewhere as a Japanese cast on. At any rate, I had never done it before.

It starts with a slip knot on a crochet hook.

The working yarn goes in back of the needle.

Crochet hook goes over the needle and catches working yarn.

Pull yarn through the loop that is on the crochet hook.

Bring the working yarn under the needle tip to the back and repeat.
Keep going until you have one less stitch than desired total on the needle. Slip the loop on the crochet hook onto the needle.

Drop the waste yarn, pick up the working yarn and start knitting. When you want those provisional stitches, unzip the waste yarn like a regular crochet chain.

Of course, this can also work as a non-provisional cast on (say you want a cast on to perfectly match a bound off edge). Just start from the beginning with your working yarn.


junior_goddess said...

Very Clever!!!! May have to try that!

Elizabeth said...

Very cool trick. Thanks for showing us.

YarnThrower said...

I love it! I remember trying to "unzip" a crochet chain which had a stitch or two which didn't make it *exactly* inside of the crochet bump where it was supposed to be...leading to AAUGH! This would solve that problem!

Christine said...

Thanks so much for the short tutorial on your new provisional cast on method. I've always hated picking up the stitches, too!

Oh, and I'm totally in awe of your "design as you go" lace project! I've never knitted a single lace thing (cables and colorwork are easy, lace scares me), but I can't even imagine knitting lace and making it up as you knit. Kudos to you!

MMario said...

ahhhh---the pictures finally explain that caston.

and 'Gypsy Girl' looks fantastic. I do wish you were a bit slower designer though - my backlog is going to become incredibly huge at the rate you're designing stuff I want to knit.


CatBookMom said...

Ditto Mmario! I'm still very slowly working on the Simple Lace Scarf, my first project with fingering-weight yarn. Though the pattern truly isn't difficult, it somehow taxes my concentration. So I'll be a long while working my way through your portfolio of designs!

I never met anyone else who knew that song; now it will be running in my head for a while, a nice tune. The Gypsy Girl shawl is going to be wonderful!

kmkat said...

I feel like I hit the jackpot in your post today. A way to do a provisional cast-on that is guaran-damn-teed to unzip properly (I always have a few stitches that went through the yarn instead of through the bump) PLUS a shawl that I could actually envision myself knitting. Woot! and Thanks!