Sunday, 7 July 2013

Winter blues

Just recently, I remembered why I'm not keen on winter. Can't be doing with cold weather - it seem to get right into my bones.

The one thing I really like about winter is that I get the urge to knit. When Jennie visited in June, she was knitting this scarf using short rows, which results in beautiful triangles. I got quite excited, because I haven't knitted anything with short rows for ages. So I tried out the technique on some variegated yarn I had left over from another project.

Of course, I didn't have enough of it for a scarf but it made a beautiful piece of cloth, which will get used for something, sometime.

Then I started thinking, "what if?" My first "what if?" was using short rows to make diamonds along the centre of the knitting. I knitted the initial triangle, but then, after the next triangle, I slipped stitches to the centre and knitted a double-sided version, for the centre diamond. Then I slip stitched to the end and knitted the second side triangle. It worked as I imagined but I wasn't thrilled with the results. The join between the changes in direction was much more pronounced, perhaps because there's a lot more distortion in the knitting and therefore tension on the stitches. If I used textured yarn, that probably wouldn't be as obvious, but I found the process quite tedious. It's not exciting enough to show in a picture.

My second "what if"? was to change the stitches. Obviously, a scarf needs to be double-sided, so the pattern uses garter stitch. The interest is in the changes in the direction of the rows and the variegated yarn. I tried a rib with a dropped stitch pattern in one triangle, doing it both sides of the knitting, and that worked very well.

I was using leftover plain knitting yarn as a test swatch, so I could see the effect, and I think it would even work like this as a scarf, without using a fancy yarn.  But it would be even more interesting in a variegated yarn, though the pattern would be lost (and difficult to achieve) with a textured or fluffy yarn.

All this is really procrastination. My next project is a vest for the man in my life, to be knitted in Bendigo Woollen Mills 5-ply Classic, but it requires some fiddling around to get the pattern right. I guess I'll bite the bullet this week and do the planning...


Jennifer said...

Now that's an interesting knit! How would it go with alternate triangles in garter stitch and other triangles using the pattern?

Nola said...

I think it would look great that way, especially if there was a mix of longitudinal and vertical patterns.The dropped stitch one is a very strong vertical, so it ends up going the same way as the garter stitch ridges. Might need a little bit of pondering.

tactualtextiles said...

Very nice. Wouldn't it be lovely as a scarf with the main body plain and the pattern at either end?