Monday, December 28, 2009

Dialogue in the Bleak Midwinter

These bleak midwinter days sure are hard on an Alaska knitblogger's photography. There are only about 3 hours in the middle of the day when it's bright enough to take photos that, even with a flash, show your knitting decently. So it's not always possible to get a picture of every stage that you'd like to illustrate. Ponder the irony of a pattern called Winter Sunset.

Reader, I've cast on. 346 stitches. And I commenced the 16 rows of bottom facing. And then I contemplated what the pattern had asked me to do and cussed at it. (This happened at night, ergo no photo.) What the pattern wanted was a 2-color checkerboard garter stitch. Really? I checked the book and rechecked it about 43 times. Can you think of a FATTER fabric than 2-color checkerboard garter stitch? For a facing? Melanie Elizondo (the designer), are you kidding me? What you want in a facing (well, certainly what I want) is something slightly smaller than the outside of the sweater, knit possibly in a smaller gauge (check) with fewer stitches (check) that will lie flat inside out of sight, doing its job of stabilizing and weighting the edge without calling attention to itself. If ever there was a formula for a foofy flaring bottom edge it is this garter stitch inside with stocking stitch outside. So rip it, rip it, rip it and cast it all on again and do it in checkerboard stocking stitch. I was tempted to be really radical and do an even thinner single color stocking stitch (or stripes?) but decided on this middle path.

Next I realized that the pattern does not call for what always serves turned edges well, namely a purl row to define said edge. At about this point I realized that Winter Sunset Cardigan is not going to be a pattern, but a dialogue between Melanie E and me. She will present her ideas and I will evaluate them for reasonableness and liklihood of good results, and then proceed with what experience tells me is a reasonable course. This is not going to be a quick knit.

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