> To Knit is Divine: Mystery Stole Update and Andrea's hat

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Mystery Stole Update and Andrea's hat

Have I mentioned that I'm obsessed? Well, I am. Big time. When I get started on a new project, I go crazy on it until it's finished or until I find something else to intrigue me, whichever comes first (unfortunately, it's usually the latter!). I've been obsessively knitting on the mystery stole for the past week - I sure am glad I kept going, because I really like it now. Each week a new clue comes out. We're now up to Clue 4, which came out on Friday. The stole starts in the middle (with a provisional cast on), and then you do each clue twice - once on each side. I started 2 weeks late, because I was waiting for my yarn. I've now done each clue once. Last night I removed the provisional cast on, and started on Clue 1 on the 2nd side.
I did tell you I'm obsessed, right?

It's hard to take a picture of it, because I'm doing both sides on the same circular needle - so I'd have to move one side onto another needle to stretch it out for a picture. I'll do that soon, but for now, that would take away from my knitting time :-) All of my other projects (including the shawl I was knitting obsessively until the Mystery Stole entered my life) have been completely abandoned. Except a sock. I always have a sock on the go for knitting on the bus. I'll post a picture of that once I have the first one of the pair done.

But I can't
keep this post completely picture free... that would be wrong. So I'll post pictures of something someone else is doing.

This is Andrea's hat. Andrea is a member of our Tuesday work knitting club. Last week, she came to me with a problem she needed help in solving. She's been working on a hat, using a Mosaic pattern she chose from Barbara Walker's Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns.

Only problem is, Andrea is a tight knitter, and even though I told her she needed to keep the slipped stitches really loose when doing a mosaic, it came out very puckered. But given the stitch used, it really looked quite good. The puckers made for a really cool texture on the hat. It's a bit smaller than planned, but should be wearable on someone without a gigantic head. Except, now the ribbing is too loose. This calls for a bit of emergency surgery. She needed to take the ribbing off and re-do it on smaller needles.

Andrea asked if she could just undo the cast on edge and unravel from the bottom. I didn't think that would work, but I don't think I'd ever tried it so I said I would test it out for her. I knit up a couple of little 10 stitch swatches to test it out. I often do this - much better to screw up something on a little swatch than on the actual item.

I took picture of my experiments, but I'm not used to photographing close up things, but I guess I was too close up (you were right, Amanda!) so they're all blurry. So you'll just have to take my word on this, or try it out yourself. Ot if anyone really wants to see it in pictures, let me know and I'll do it again and take better pictures.

Taking it out from the cast on end is a long process. You have to pick the yarn out of each and every stitch. While it works okay on a small stitch, it would be a real pain on a hat. So on to theory number 2 - snipping a yarn where the ribbing meets the body and undoing it from there. First off, though, it's good to run a length of yarn through the stitches you want to put on the needle (first row of the body). The whole technique can be found here (note - I followed the "Tallguy Tip" on that page - that is just snipped one stitch instead of cutting across. That way the yarn from the ribbing can be re-used to re-knit the ribbing).

I demonstrated it for Andrea on a swatch, before starting on the actual hat. Once that was done, here's a shot of us running the waste yarn through the stitches:

When I left Andrea, she had the stitches all on the waste yarn and was ready to snip a stitch and separate the ribbing from the body. She said she'd take some pictures for me, so I'll report back next week on how it went.

As for me, back to my Mystery Stole.


Blogger stitch-dom said...

Hi Andrea - welcome to blogging...I'm only a few months in myself and am finding it quite an interesting diversion from the rest of my life. I am also in Ottawa. I'm envious of your knitting club at work! Around here they think I'm the crazy cat lady who spins and knits.

10:45 AM  

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