Saturday, January 26, 2008

Fear of Cutting?

The dragon scarf is progressing nicely now that I’ve had some time to knit. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Two pictures, even better:
This design has evolved from my original concept. I was originally going to do ordinary mitred squares but then I thought, “It would be nice to get a dragon scale overlapping effect”. I recalled seeing other garment pictures with irregularly shaped mitred squares, partial shapes, and some inlaid within the other. I thought I can do that. So I devised my method.

In the centre, I have a straight needle working the small, solid coloured, mitred square. The centre square is the only place I cut yarn. I pick up 7 stitches along the edge of the right mitred square, take the loop left from the square below, then pick up 7 stitches along the edge of the left mitred square, which I can’t do if I leave yarn attached on my last stitch.

You will notice in the picture above that I have one circular needle active on each variegated mitred square with yarn still attached; I never cut yarn on these squares. Let’s take the right square as an example. Once my small teal square in the centre is complete, I start the right square. I have 15 stitches on the needle, I cast on 7 more. I knit working the mitred decrease, then pick up and KNIT another 7 along the edge of the teal triangle I just completed. I purl the entire next row, but after that, I keep working the mitred square as a garter stitch square decreasing until I get down to 15 stitches again ending with the right side facing; then that side goes on hold and I work on the left side. I was hoping the bit of stockinette in between would help distinguish the individual “scales” (without having to cut and join yarn).

Because I end with the right side facing on the left mitred square, I turn the work so that the wrong side is facing me and do a pick up and PURL along the left edge of the centre square. I then turn the work so that I have my right side facing me to begin knitting again. I knit across, working the mitred decrease and finish knitting the row. I turn my work and cast on 7 stitches; I then purl the row. I continue working the garter stitch square as above until I’m down to 15 stitches again. All this so I don’t have to cut and rejoin yarn again. I’m even working from both ends of the ball at the same time; I like going for maximum efficiency.

Would it be simpler to just cut my yarn each time and rejoin it so I could start knitting from the right side? Probably; but I gotta be me.


Wannietta said...

There's a lot to be said for less ends to sew in! It's looking very cool.

busterwife said...

so cool! now i can see how knitting can be so much fun: it's just like engineering! ; ) seriously, i never knew knitting could be fun in the same way that sewing is fun. i love trying to work out strange problems like that in craft sewing... : )