Sunday, August 18, 2013

Open Eye Tunic - One Side Insert Done

With Bloomsbury blocking I am finally able to start on my Open Eye Tunic.  I received my yarn from The Unique Sheep on June 24 - Electric Blue Flame on Tinsel Toes.  It is not as electric as it would be on a pure silk, but I am not a big fan of pure silk yarn.  I decided to start with skein 6, the left-most skein in the above photo and start by knitting the side inserts.  Then I am going to switch to skein 1, the right-most skein when I start working the body.

One of the really frustrating things about this pattern was the fact that the lace has written directions only, no charts.  I charted both lace patterns, and then made some mods to the Eyelet Lace Chart that is used for the body.  I use Knit Visualizer as my charting software and was able to export the lace charts as .png files and then import them into Word Perfect and convert the file to pdf, which I then pulled into Knit Companion, a knitting app for the iPad.  This is my first time knitting from Knit Companion and I have to say that I love it.  As an engineer I appreciate things that are well-designed (one of the main reasons I bought a Honda Element) and this app is extremely well-designed.  It also has terrific in-app help.

After getting my charts set up in Knit Companion, I cast on the first side insert.  I did 9 repeats of the chart as instructed and went to check my measurements.  I was fine on the stitches, but there was no way that I could stretch the 9 repeats out to 15 inches, so I kept knitting.  Unfortunately, when I had done my calculations I had figured that I could get both side inserts out of skein 6, but only if I was doing 9 repeats.  I ended up switching to skein 5 on row 3 of the 10th repeat and did 12.5 repeats to get to the right dimensions.

The piece is actually upside down, the cast off edge is at the bottom and the cast on edge is at the top.  If I were a really aggressive blocker I could probably have gotten by with fewer repeats of the pattern, but I am not a really aggressive blocker and do not believe in stretching yarn to within a millimeter of its life.

Pattern:  Open Eye Tunic by Deborah Helmke (Interweave Knits, Summer 2013)
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Tinsel Toes in Electric Blue Flame
Needle:  US 7 (4.5 mm)

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