The Doctor is In
July 21, 2006
A 9 a.m. thunderstorm–very dramatic. Can you believe how many knitters there are in my new hood? We definitely have to get a Way Upper West Side SnB together this September!
Today I’d like to be moderately helpful for a change. Here are some questions and diagnoses:
Dr. Ninepatch may be stripped of her epaulets if she’s not more careful with her prescription pad. Elizabeth made a sa-WEET Ninepatch Dishrag but discovered that the instructions do not say how I made the stockinette ‘spoke’ down the middle of each of the corner miters. The answer: On Row 2 and every WS row, I purled the center stitch. (It would also work, maybe even better, to slip the center stitch on the RS, and then purl it on the WS, like we do on the Baby Burp Cloth in the book. This elongates the stockinette line so you see it better and it sort of rides on top of the garter stitch background.) Anyhoo, I fixed the pattern to reflect how I actually did it. The corrected pattern is in this post.
Reader Nicole emailed with a question about the Low-Sew Method of knitting miters together to make a mitered square blanket. Since I think others might have the same question, I will clarify the crucial step of stitch-pick-upping that I think is at the heart of Nicole’s issue.
Nicole was concerned that after picking up along one edge of the first miter and then casting on another 36 stitches, that first stripe of the miter would be uneven on its 2 ‘legs’–i.e., that there would be one extra row of stitches in the new color where she cast on, but not where she picked up.
I puzzled over this for an inordinate amount of time. When I did this myself (64 some-odd times), my miters came out evenly striped. Then I remembered that my method of picking up stitches is sometimes called ‘pick up AND KNIT’, because as I stick my needle into the edge that I’m picking up on, I pull a loop of the new yarn through to make a new stitch. I’ve seen people pick up stitches just by picking up the existing loops–naked, as it were–and stacking them on the right needle. I don’t do it that way because it seems to me that it puts too much strain and stretch on that edge, and the tension of the join is tighter than the tension of the knitting. Here’s how it looks the way I pick up stitches:
See how I’ve pulled a loop of the new yarn through each stitch as I picked it up?
Then, when I cast on 36 more stitches, there are the same number of stitches in the new color on both sides of the miter. I hope that fixes Nicole’s issue, and anybody else who was experiencing the same thing. ‘Pick up stitches’, like most knitting terms, is in the eye of the knitter. It usually doesn’t matter, except when it does matter!
Wouldja believe that one of my gifted dishrags has been RETURNED for REPAIRS?
In a year of dish-doing, my pal Diana plumb wore out this dishrag. Way to use the handknits, Di! Group hug! She claims to be so fond of it that she wanted me to fix its holes and raggled edge.
Now I don’t want to make a habit of this, mind you. But how could I resist the DIshrag Love implicit in this request?
SO, I whipstitched the tattered edge, all Folk Arty.
And I did this improvised weave over the holes, anchoring the ‘warp’ stitches in good solid knitted stitches surrounding the hole.
And now it goes back to Rhode Island for more wear and tear. (What really warmed my heart was when Diana said that she had lent her place to friends while she was on vacation, but had hidden her handknit dishrags. Because even an otherwise well-bred houseguest might not know better than to clean something really grody with a handknit dishrag. Philistines!)
Dr. Top Down
The state of the top down boatneck raglan this morning. (This pic reminds me of something…oh what is it….oh, this? No–wait! It’s THIS!)
I’m already thinking I’ll stop at the waist and not make this a dress or tunic. I like a wide boatneck, but don’t want the weight of a longer garment (this is Euroflax Sportweight Linen by the way) to pull the neckband over one of her shoulders.
This weekend we’re off….
…to see Our Rabbit. Yes, a wild rabbit is lounging in the yard every afternoon from 4 p.m to nearly sundown. We say, ‘let’s go see the rabbit’, walk outside, and there he is. Munching the clover and other goodies in the ‘natural’, i.e., feral, lawn. He doesn’t move, or even raise his ears, until you get about 8 feet away. We’ve found him relaxing with his hind legs out, which Rabbit People tell me is a sign of high rabbity comfort level. I have never seen a wild rabbit as fat and content as this guy. He’s no fledging blue bird, I know, but he’s Our Rabbit.
Happy weekend all!