Sunday, November 18, 2012

And I Was Worried?

I'm just about to attach skein 8. I should have the yoke completed before that skein runs out. That leaves me two full skeins for neck band, front bands (hmmm... crochet or I cord?) and Pockets!!! Yay!

Okay, I know this is complete heresy by most knitter's standards, but I am not a huge fan of Elizabeth Zimmermann. Part of the reason might be the age of the books, as I find her writing style way too flowery and complex. It might have simply been the style of the time. She's also very opinionated, and her writing style really emphasizes that.

I am using Knitting Without Tears and the subtitle states: "basic techniques and easy-to-follow directions for garments to fit all sizes". Um, wrong. There is nothing about her directions that are easy to follow. First the patterns are buried in her text along with her opinionated advice. To make this pattern (I'm doing the "Seamless Hybrid with Shirt Yoke Pullover"... but as a cardigan) I have to flip pages from one set of chatty directions, then find the next group in an other pattern, then the next set. She uses a sample garment as an example of numbers, and then I have to go back to remember where she got that number. Nothing easy to follow, no summery, no "recipe", no traditional pattern writing. I know it's more conceptual than a written pattern, and that's great... for when I knit the next one, but right now,  step by step directions would've have saved me a lot of page flipping.

Okay, and back to the opinionated part (hey, she knew this... which is why she has a book named The Opinionated Knitter), but she basically tells you that these seamless sweaters can ONLY be knit in the round, as the decreases are worked over odd numbers of rows.

You could decrease 2 stitches every third row in two-needle knitting, but the directions might easily drive you-let along me-up the wall.

Okay, maybe it's me, but I don't think it's that complex. I'm using a centered double decrease. This looks nice and is easily (with practice) worked on the wrong side of the garment.

Front Side Double Decrease:
(yarn is held in back)
slip the first two stitches together knitwise (like you were doing a k2tog)
slip next stitch as if to knit
knit these three stitches together (you should now have one stitch on right needle). you can do this just by slipping the left hand needle thru the front loops of those three stitches, or you can slide the stitches from the right hand needle to the left hand needle.

Wrong Side Double Decrease:
(yarn is held in front)
slip first stitch as if to knit
slip next two stitches together (like you were doing a k2tog)
slip these three stitches back to the left needle, purl these three stitches together thru the back loops (this is the tricky part. Your right needle starts with the third stitch from the tip... then it goes thru the second  ending with the first stitch on the needle).

my centered double decreases (every third row, making every 6th done on the "wrong side")

That is how I knit my centered double decreases, but knitting is an individual sport, there are other ways  of doing them (here's a link to a fab blog with a great tutorial with pictures!)

Meanwhile... I've got to dig thru the prose to figure out long to make the saddle section on the hybrid as I'm almost done with the raglan decreases! Of course, I'm already thinking about this yarn I have in pink. I might need a coordinating one (maybe as a half zip?).

Edit to add: okay, I'm to work the saddles for 44 rows. I have zero idea where that number comes from, so I have no idea what works for my gauge. This is going to be a "work saddle until neck looks like the right width". Awesome.

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