Saturday, 8 August 2009


Girasole Three, or the Pink Jellyfish, or Gilly the Pink, is just at the point of doubling its size. I've had more time than usual to knit this week - I am studying for a numeracy exam so that I can teach, so I do a block of maths, sit down and knit two rounds, then go back to the maths. It breaks up the studying.

I'm finding this knit so satisfying. After getting it wrong twice, it's a lovely feeling to have 320 stitches all behaving properly. The accuracy needed for knitting is very high, isn't it? I still make one or two errors in each round, say one every 160, which is low, but not good enough. You have to be 100% to produced lace. The secret of successful lace knitting for me is to set up the work so that I catch the errors!

I thought Chart C of Girasole was difficult. It has a leaf, and it has spiral lines fanning out behind the leaf, and it has lots of yarn overs, and decreases that slant in different directions on different rows. I used markers between each repeat, and I counted the stitches as I knitted the plain round. That way I caught any dropped yarn overs. It was extra effort, but it resulted in success.

I also thought about the yarn overs. Why do they vanish? I realised that I'd been making them inconsistently - the best yarn overs are really a yarn under - the yarn goes around the needle following the same direction or path as the yarn goes when you make a stitch. Doing each one that way cut down the number of vanishers. I also think some get 'lost' under the marker - but I have to have markers, that's for sure.

Chart D of Girasole wasn't suitable for markers, as it is only a four row repeat, and most of it is fairly straightforward EXCEPT for where the spirals change direction. I messed up when I tried it on Grey Girasole (Green Girasole was frogged before this point) and I nearly messed up again, but I was grown up about it. Here's what I did:

1. I said: 'It's late at night after a long day. It's not going to make sense at this time of night. Put it down and go to bed.
2. In the morning, I made a swatch and studied how the direction change worked.
3. I did the difficult row slowly, in good light, consulting the swatch and it turned out perfectly!!

Gosh, it feels good!

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