Thursday, May 22, 2014

Wind in the Willows - Clue 1

The latest Unique Sheep Mystery Knit Along started last Friday (May 16).  For this one I picked Sunglow on Selene and Ellen of Earthfaire picked out the silver-lined yellow beads.  She picks out the beads if you select the bead option when you sign up for the club and she has an excellent color sense.  I used Selene on Watership Down and really like it.  This is a circular shawl, and you know how I feel about those, so of course I am making mine as a cape.  There was enough interest in the group that I am writing up the modifications and making modified charts for a half-circle, a three-quarter circle and a full-circle cape.  Laura was kind enough to send me the complete pattern to help me with my modifications and I'm sending her my modifications so they can get included in the pattern.  Pretty cool, huh.

Seeing as how I am now a moderator in the group, I dutifully did my gauge swatch.  I hardly ever do those for lace projects, but I felt that I needed to set a good example for the group.

If the picture looks like it is upside down, it is.  I had to shoot it upside down and then flip it.  My gauge is spot on.

Of course, when the first clue came out I was super excited to get going and didn't really look at the complete pattern as carefully as I should have.  The first clue is always an easy one - once you get past the circular start.  I did one of those on Evenstar with pure silk, no less, so I don't feel I have anything to prove at this point and happily avoid them.  I did clue 1 for all three variations so that folks could see what they looked like.

I started out with the half-circle as this required the fewest changes from the original pattern.  The first chart has 10 stitches and is worked four times around the shawl.  So, says I to myself, I need to work it twice, therefore I need 20 stitches when I get to that point.  The thing that I didn't take into account was the way a circular shawl works.  You see, there is a knit stitch between each repeat of the lace pattern and I didn't put that in at the beginning of the chart to make the pattern symmetric when worked flat as opposed to worked in the round.

I started out with a garter stitch tab, casting on 3 stitches and working 10 rows and picking up 5 stitches along the side and 3 on the bottom, ending up with 3 edge stitches, 5 body stitches, and 3 edge stitches.  I then worked the initial rows.

Row 1 - k3, p5, k3
Row 2 - knit
Row 3 - k3, p5, k3
Row 4 - k3, (yo,K1) 5 times, end k3 (16 sts)
Work 3 rows in stockinette stitch
Row 5 - k3, p10, k3
Row 6 - knit
Row 7 - k3, p10, k3
Row 8 - k3, (K1, yo) 10 times, end k3 to end (26 sts)
Row 9 - k3, p20, k3

Once I got to my 20 stitches, I worked Chart 1, two times around the shawl, purling the wrong side rows and keeping the 3 edge stitches on each edge in garter stitch.

After working the chart I worked the increase round:
k3, (K1, yo) 20 times, end k3 (46 sts)
K3, p40, k3

What I should have done is this:
On Row 8: k3, yo, (K1, yo) 10 times, end k3 to end (27 sts)
Row 9 - k3, p21, k3

And then add an extra knit stitch before that pattern repeat.  I didn't knit that one up, and honestly, at this point in the game you can't really notice the difference.  It does matter for Clue 2, however.  But the fix is an easy one, just a simple modification to the increase round:
k3, yo, (K1, yo) 20 times, end k3 (47 sts)
K3, p41, k3
sets things up for Clue 2.

For the three-quarter shawl I started with a garter stitch tab and skipped all of those early increase rounds, working a 60 row garter stitch tab and picking up 30 stitches along the edge and 3 along the bottom.  But wait, don't I want 31?  Yes, I really want 31, but again it doesn't matter, because you can get the extra stitch when you do the increase round.  I worked 3 repeats of the pattern.
Now the problem with this is the size of the neck opening, kind of small.
The original increase round that I worked is:
k3, (K1, yo) 30 times, end k3 to end (66 sts)
K3, p60, k3
When I really wanted to work:
k3, yo, (K1, yo) 30 times, end k3 to end (67 sts)
K3, p61, k3

But in reality, both of those turned out to be wrong when I looked at Clue 2.   That explanation will have to wait until Clue 2 comes out tomorrow.

I also worked the full-circle cape for clue 1.  This time I did 80 rows of garter stitch, picked up 40 stitches along the side and 3 stitches along the bottom.  And yes, I really wanted to work 82 rows of garter stitch and pick up 41 stitches along the side and 3 along the bottom.  But again, it doesn't really matter, it is a simple matter to fix it on the increase row before starting Clue 2.
In my haste to finish, I actually forgot to do the increase row on this one.  But once again, you can see how small the neck opening is, so I decided to skip Clue 1 entirely and start with Clue 2.

Of course all of these lessons learned have been incorporated into the instructions that I put together.

You may also notice that none of these use the yarn I bought for the project.  They are all leftovers from other shawls.

Project:  Wind in the Willows by Janine le Cras
Yarn:  Sunglow on Selene by the Unique Sheep
Needle:  US 3 (3.25 mm)

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