Friday, 10 July 2009

Green Shrug Progress

Well, if the brown shrug hadn't looked OK and then turned out so big, I'd be worrying now that the green one was too small! I finished the front and it looks tiny! Checked my tension, and gosh, golly, gee - it's spot on.

I changed the way I make the decreases and it looks much better. First I re seat the loops on the needle so they are facing the usual way, then I do an ordinary K2tog. The decrease leans the other way and looks perfect.

The only trouble with keeping a row count is this - I don't always know whether I've counted the row or not. When I got to where I thought I should be at the end of the front, it looked slightly smaller than it should be to me. Then I decided to trust the counter. I knit the shoulders together with the 3-needle bind off and smoothed out the two pieces, and hey presto: they look the same size again. With a fabric so stretchy as knitting, rows have got to be a better bet than a tape measure. Providing, that is, I really did remember to count all my rows.

Next came the sleeve. I cast on using Tech knitter's 3-trick cast on, but it didn't look tidy enough in fine merino. The second time I used her way of joining knitting in the round, but I only cast on to one needle, and that was fine. I also put two more stitches than the pattern said because I had 4 purls next to one another. Wrinkles brow. Thinks. Ah-ha! If you use one stitch from each side when you sew it up, that loses two stitches and so your 2x2 ribbing looks perfect after seaming. Something to look out for when converting patterns into the round.

I knit a few inches stocking stitch before it was time for bed. I'm trying to break a bad habit when knitting with 5 needles. When you change from one needle to another, Lucy warns you not to put your needle into the stitch before you rearrange the yarn, and she's right. If you do that, and of course I do, the weight of changing everything around stretches that first stitch and contributes to the dreaded ladder effect. It's not so hard to do (except when there's something interesting on TV and I forget what I'm supposed to be doing and go back to my bad old ways), it just takes a little practice.

I'm also trying to swap the needles around without letting go of the working yarn. This is because when Andy timed my knitting, it took ages to resettle the yarn in my left hand to knit continental. I always want to knit faster, so this seems like a little trick that seems worth practicing.

Last thing before I went to bed I checked my tension on the sleeve in progress. It has slipped to 21 stitches per 10 cm, probably because I was thinking about all the stuff above. Next time I knit I'll try to keep it down to 22 again. It is a good plan to check - if nothing else you find out the mistakes now and not after the thing is all sewn up.

I had another look at the arm scye calculator. I'm missing something. A vital point? Some kind of paradigm shift? I just don't get it at the moment.

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