Monday, 6 October 2008

Turbulence U-neck is ready for the Exciting Bit!

I did sew on the lace trim for Tangerine Nightmare this weekend. It took three attempts but I finally got the overcasting to look neat. The instructions were in a tatty old second-hand book that I nearly didn't buy (what, spend a whole pound on a book with a grubby cover?) but I'm so glad I did. There's something about the way the instructions are written and drawn that make sense to me, when other, posher books leave me baffled. The secret of overcasting is to only take the edge bump of the stitch - the less you have in the seam, the neater it looks. Once I'd got my head around that, it worked fine.

The graft on the two pieces of lace for the trim went much better this time as well. I seemed to end up with a lot of loose ends that were difficult to sew into lace without them showing. I think I need to buy a sharp needle and split the plies. I'll try that on my next test.

Then I'd had enough of test Alef AKA Tangerine Nightmare. It still needs sleeves and the troublesome collar/buttonbands sewing on, but I'm feeling like I'd like our relationship to be over! I want to be with a fun item!

The front of Turbulence seemed to take longer to knit than the back, which would be the cable slowing me down. I did start a test once before, but the yarn - a cone of green un spun 3-ply - was a nightmare to handle so I threw into the poppies stash. There's a strong possibility that if it was a nightmare on a plain garment, then it won't be any better for intarsia, but I hate to throw yarn away!
But it was useful because I'd got the cable twist one row out in a couple of places and it looked sore, so I used a row counter this time.

I plan to be very careful with the cable front of Turbulence - I will use the row counter. I will write down in words what I'm doing for each row. I will check the pattern once I've written the words down to make sure I've got it right. If I can knit 36 rows without frogging, I'll know I'm improving!

You can see rowing out on the front of Turbulence - I'm still not as neat as I'd like to be, but hopefully that will come. This is only my second knit using the alternative continental purl stitch (as suggested by Lucy Neatby) and I'm sure I'll get neater. One thing I am pleased about is that this garment has not distorted as I knit. My tension is pretty even. Not perfect, the front is a tad smaller, I don't know why, unless it's that I'm still improving! When I knit ordinary continental (left leg of the stitch in front) my tension used to grow as I worked my way up the piece. This was also due to not knitting at the tips of the needles. Making these two changes has given me a sight of the knitter's holy grail - even tension you can rely on.

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