Thursday, 2 October 2008

Brown Alef

This is to prove that I am getting better! Another horrible test Alef that took the long walk to the dustbin. It is vile in so many ways - especially where I've done half the lace on 5mm needles, then picked up 4mm needles and finished off the other side and not noticed! How can you not notice something as glaring and awful in the mistake department?

Today I watched Lucy Neatby on DVD on grafting, then had another go at grafting the lace strip together for Tangerine Nightmare. And this time I got it! I suddenly understood how it worked. BUT, probably influenced by mattress stitch, where you leave the stitches slack and pull them up at the end, or in batches, I left the grafting loose - it's only 11 stitches. But they wouldn't pull tight at the end. Tightened them one by one, then overcast a section of lace to the bottom of the main garment and went to the mirror. (You see, I'm getting smarter - I didn't do the whole strip and weave in the ends and then check in the mirror.) I looked in the mirror, and DOH!

One of my least favourite instruction is 'lightly stretched'. It is so difficult to interpret. I did knit the lace strip a bit shorter than measurement of the hem of the main garment, but when I blocked this lace strip it grew several inches, and then was slightly too long for the bottom of the garment. I ignored this and sewed it on anway. It looked frilly and naff. I took the unsewn section and stretched it lightly. It looked smart and lacy. Undid all my sewing. Undid all my grafting. Undid several lace repeats. Redid the waste yarn knitting ready for grafting, and put it all away until tomorrow.

As ever, Lucy Neatby is so, so right. Don't weave in your yarn ends until you are certain that everything is exactly as you want it. This little tip has saved me much anguish.

Thank goodness for stocking stitch. I am storming up the back of the Turbulence U-necked sweater. Thanks to my new, neat, Lucy Neatby inspired knitting, my tension is staying the same all the way up the piece. This is good!

I have just thrown the swatch in the washer. It will be just my luck if this is the only cotton in the known universe that shrinks rather than stretches - because my tension has stayed even, the garment, as it is, is slightly too small. It'll be all right. I'm on a diet!

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