Sunday, May 24, 2009

How, I Made the Shawl, More of Less, Part II

OK: about color. This was totally improvised, too. I had several skeins/part skeins of worsted weight yarn sitting around. I pulled out the ones that were in the blue/blue grey range, plus one teal. I started with one color and kept adding in others, switching around as the spirit moved me. I tried to alternate between primarily a darker hue with light contrasts and primarily a lighter hue with darker contrasts, but only is the most general fashion. Toward the end, I ran out of the darkest blue, so I added in some dark grey and used that to finish things off.

Scientific, huh? But playing around with the colors in a totally improvised way was part of the fun of the knitting. Sticking to a nearly monochromatic color scheme ensured that there would be at least some unity among all the color/texture activity.

I did try different things with the color transitions to add to the variety.

"A" is obviously all stockinette, smooth, crisp transition. "B" is interesting. Worked only one row of dark blue, but because it came in a reverse stockinette section, the color peeks through in two rows at the top and bottom of the narrow ridge. "C" is a single garter ridge. Here I introduced the new color on a Right Side row and knit back in the same color. It would have looked quite different if I had started the new color on a Wrong Side row.

As you can see, there were times when I used a given color for only one row. There is a slight trick to this when knitting flat.

Here I've added in green and knit my row.

Normally, when I reach the end of the row I turn my work and purl back.

But, Oh No!, I want to use the red yarn that is way over on the left side. I really don't want to cut it off and rejoin. So I do not turn the work at the end of the green row. Instead I just slide all the stitches over to the right

where I can now pick up that red yarn and knit with it. Of course, this only works with a circular or double pointed needle. If I had been working on a traditional straight needle, the knob at the end would be in the way of knitting the next row.

For the most part, I carried unused colors up sides on the theory that would leave fewer ends to weave in later. The theory was good enough on that count BUT once I had four colors going at once, often with colors coming off each side due to that slide the needle method, and the whole thing was getting bigger and more bunched up on my needle by the minute, well, turning at the end of a row tended to put things into quite a tangle.
Also, carrying 2-3 unused yarns up the edge got pretty messy looking. It would have been better if I had remembered to wrap the working yarn around the unused ones every row (which in all the improvisatory excitement, I didn't). But even so, it would have been less than ideal for an exposed edge.
Moral of the story, I should have sucked it up and done less carrying up the edge, limited it to no more that 1 yarn at a time if possible, and just dealt with more weaving in.

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