Thursday, February 04, 2016

The Pattern is Becoming Clearer

And the knitting easier. I had tried out a few patterns before I settled on this spiral—and then I just jump in on this pattern, with out a thought about pre-planning.

Spirals are wonderful for work in the round—the best of them are simple... but almost most all of them require a bit of pre-planning to be their best.

RPM is a great example. The pattern was a hit when first published in Knitty—It's almost a rib, (K4,P4) repeat for the round and then every round-- Well almost.
When first published, it called for 64 stitches... but since the pattern spiraled, there was a place (beginning of round) where you “changed” since to spiral, you needed to P1, (K4,P4) repeat in order to ofset the pattern (or else the result would be 4 X 4 ribbing.)

One person pointed out, if you cast on 63, (vs 64) the pattern would automatically spiral and you'd never have to adjust, and the pattern result would be “jogless”.

The result? An set of instructions for 8 rounds became a single round set of instructions! So much easier—and prettier, too.

My socks have a spiral pattern ,as well –It's a variation of the Barley Sugar stitch –as seen in my Sugar Cane socks—a pattern that naturally spirals, and is easy to knit. What I like best is, the pattern never changes from row to row. It's the same 8 stitches, all the way round, and then a plain row. And repeat.

Well that statement above is true—but only if you have the right set up. When you jump in with out preplanning, the odds are 1 in 8 that it will be set up right.. (I was 5 stitches off—so it took 10 rounds to hit the sweet spot (5 pattern round, 5 plain)

Now I have found the sweet spot, things are going faster each round. Once thing about this pattern—once you hit the sweet spot, the stitches on the needles remain the same, but the beginning of the round moves. (vs having to repostition stitches on the needle and keep the BoR in the same spot.) The BofR is just a few stitches off now, but as I progress, it will move and move—round and round.

Before I found the groove, I was stuck rearranging the stitches on the needle –a real PITA when you are knitting socks 2 ATAT on 2 needles.

Now that I am in a groove, I am seriously thinking of working on the double knit hat I promised to knit for D-- I've taught D to knit --she kept begging me to knit socks for her. Instead, I taught her to knit her own—she's only made 3 pairs (with lots of hand holding) but it enough for her to know what it means to knit for someone else. She's been going through some hard times—with family illness, and while she has brothers, she is the closest care taker,(and the only daughter)--and much of the work falls to her.

I am knitting her a hat to warm her head, and to warm her heart. She had borrowed one of my hats last year--(we had a bitterly cold winter) and I promised her a hat of her own then. This winter has been mostly mild—but there are many more winters to come.. and right now she need a bit of comfort—and what is a warm hat but portable comfort.

After the hat, I will go to work on Evolution—a fun pattern that evolves—It's almost 8 pattern in one—each just slightly different—Each change is a stitch pattern on its own, and each pattern just one or two stitches different—but cumulatively, there is a huge change. I think this will be a fun scarf to knit with its every changing patterns. It reminds me of those word game—where you change one letter at a time and the word TREE morphs to FLED..

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