Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mystery Shawl 17 - Clue 4

Clue 4 finished.  This one was a bit harder than clues 1-3.  It didn't help that my hormones were being particularly wonky last week causing my brain to randomly shut down.  But I persevered.  Lace knitting is really not that hard provided you take the time to master a few skills:  reading charts, reading your knitting, and counting.  Before I begin each right side row I look at the pattern for that row and see how it fits with the pattern of the preceding rows.  This enables me to use my knitting to help provide me with contextual clues as to what I should be doing.  By understanding the pattern and how it is being formed it is much easier to spot errors before they become too difficult to fix without tinking or ripping.

My most frequent errors are forgetting a yarn over, or putting one in when I shouldn't and both of these are very easy to fix, provided you find them within the next two rows (the wrong side row and the next right side row).  Dropping a stitch or picking one up is simple and blocking will generally remove any resulting unevenness.  Counting is also an essential skill.  I routinely count the knit stitches between the lace motifs, even if there is only one.  Before beginning a chart I will write down the number of knit stitches on the chart for any stretch that contains more than 4 stitches.  I don't use markers, except on circular shawls and then only to mark the beginning of the round.  I find that they get in the way of my reading my knitting.  When I am tired, or for particularly tricky rows I will look back over the knitting (proofread it, so to speak) before beginning the wrong side row to try to catch any mistakes I may have made.  If I spot a missed yarn over I mark the spot with a split ring marker and fix it as I purl back.  Similarly if I put a yarn over in where it doesn't belong.

One slight challenge that I had on this clue was the fact that I ran out of the beads that I was using.  What is worse, I could not get more of that color - yes some beads have dye lots, just like yarn.  Fortunately I had some that were in a similar color and I had enough of the original color to get to a spot in the pattern where switching colors would not look out of place and one could even say it was intentional.  One thing that I deliberately do is not plan my projects too carefully.  I like the fun and challenge of improvising with my materials.  Fortunately I have a large enough stash of beads and fiber that I can do that.  Here is a close up of the color switch.
The top two beads are slight lighter in color than the rest.  Almost the exact color of the yarn, in fact.

The bag of beads on top is the original color, the one on bottom is the new color.  In the Beadcats universe they are stock numbers 2-08-154-90 and 2-08-152-90, respectively.  I really love the second bead color and have to figure out something to make with them.  They have just the most wonderful pearly sheen to them.

No comments:

Post a Comment