Well, the day has passed, the gifts have been given and now secret knitting can be shown! Up first, the answer to this little mystery:
“I am making [something that adorns some part of the upper body] for [someone] out of Knit Picks Palette in Cotton Candy on 2.5 mm needles. I’m using a stitch pattern from Reversible Knitting that’s working up quickly despite the tiny yarn/tiny needles combo. The pattern was easy to memorize and the knitting is very easy to read so I’ve been able to set aside the book and use this as my portable knitting. I am knitting it flat but it will not be flat when it is finished and there is a reason I have chosen to do it that way. I am very much looking forward to blocking and finishing this.”
Are you ready to know? Can you stand the wait any longer? Here it comes, people – it’s a scarf! More thoroughly, it’s an infinity scarf for my mother-in-law and I knit it flat and then seamed it into its final not-flat state because my attempt at a Möbius cast on was both frustrating and unsuccessful and I figured a little seam never hurt anybody.
Pattern: #24 Another Lacy Rib from Reversible Knitting by Lynne Barr
Needles: 2.5 mm 40″ Knit Picks Harmony circular (which did not break – Xmas miracle, folks, for reals, and much appreciated after my first needle choice, a 2.75 mm KP Harmony circ, did snap when I was 300 stitches into a Möbius cast-on)
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette in Cotton Candy, just over 1.5 balls
Size: Somewhere around 6″ * 40″ (I cast on and went for it, then went until I didn’t feel like going anymore, ’cause I live on the edge like that)
Started: 2nd week of December or thereabouts
Finished: December 24 (’cause I live on the edge like that, too)
I had a few false starts (and finishes) but no major problems. First, I had trouble getting my needles to behave and settling on the right cast on. I had just received my copy of Cast On Bind Off by Leslie Ann Bestor when I was starting this and so I searched it for just the right way to start. I was excited to try the Möbius cast on and after the first needle snapped, I think I got it right with the second needle. However, once I completed the first round of knitting and the stitches I had knit now looked like purls to me, I realized I had no idea how to get this stitch pattern right with that construction. The combination of fingering weight yarn, 2.5 mm needles, and the beginning of December having come and gone did not leave me with time to research and figure this out. Anyway, I liked the stitch pattern more than the idea of knitting this seamless, so I ripped it out and started over flat. Much easier, except I did have to try a few different cast ons before I got one that looked nice. In the end I used a plain old long-tail cast on, even though I bought this book specifically to break out of my long-tail-for-everything rut. Ah, well. I can learn new things another day.
The bind off was a little tricky, too. I didn’t want to block the lace too severely, but I did want a bind off with a little bit of stretch. I ended up going with a yarn-over bind off after trying a few others that should have had some stretch but actually pulled the fabric in. The yarn-over bind off left a ruffly edge, which I wasn’t thrilled with, but since I was going to seam this into a Möbius strip, I figured having one ruffly and one non-ruffly edge, each of them making a sort of figure-eight around the scarf, could work as one of those things we feel is a mistake but learn to see as a design feature.
In the end, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. I just wish my arms were long enough for self portraits.