Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Project Updates

I've been cabling almost as long as I've been knitting. I read about it in "The Complete Book of Handicrafts" (the book that taught me to knit) and it clicked how crossing the stitches over one another would create the look I wanted. I never did get the hang of interpreting other people's cable charts or instructions. When designing my own patterns with cabling, I make a spreadsheet and fill in x's wherever I want knit stitches to be and leave the purl spots blank. Whether I'm crossing stitches over or under gets worked out as I go.

This technique works wonderfully for symmetrical cable designs. On one row all of the stitches get crossed over and on the next the get crossed under. Over, under, over, under. I can handle that.

If you recall, I'm working on a knitted stole with an asymmetrical cabled pattern, a diagonal lattice going from the bottom right to the top left. Have you caught on to my problem yet? My technique works beautifully when I have ribs from both sides coming together in a woven pattern. It works significantly less well when the ribs are only coming from one side and weaving over pre-existing ribs.

The moral of this somewhat long winded story? I've pulled out the cabling pattern more times than I care to count on this darn stole. This morning I finally sat down and drew a very precise picture and solved my problem. I needed to alternate over-under in the rows. Here's my lovely picture:

The stole is still not worth sharing photos of. Once the cabling gets far enough along to see that it's working out like I'd like it to, I'll post pictures. Either that, or I'll post photos of something entirely different done with this green yarn. I'm sick of it now, but if this cabling works, my opinion might change.

I've got spinning news too. Do you remember my initial goal for spinning? I wanted to spin enough yarn to make an entrelac scarf. I've got it, spun and dyed. The scarf is after the stole in my knitting queue.

I dyed the yarn after it was spun and photographed the process.

The finished yarn, waiting to be dyed.

I wrapped it around a table so I could spread the dye out.

I soaked it in water and laid it out on a cookie sheet.

I dribbled concentrated, unsweetened Kool-Aid on to the parts I wanted dyed.

I took some time to contemplate what life as a smurf would be like.

The finished product! Dyed and's so pretty!

After I finished off the 210 ids of yarn for the scarf, I started on the blue-green BFL I bough at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I'm in love with spinning color and have some white roving that soaking right now so it can be dyed. It may get spun by me or it may get stashed away to be sold on Etsy. We'll see. The thought of opening a shop is an enticing one.

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