Monday, May 29, 2006

Sucking less at: the engineering of knitting

I've been knitting Rogue in my copious free time. Kitty's been helping.

No, I mean really helping.

I did, however, finish off the torso and hood, just in time for the weather to hit 90 degrees. I think the sporty, sleeveless hoodie look will be a big hit this summer.

It's not that visible in this picture, but I tweaked the sizing of the torso a bit to add more shaping; it fits great! I did, however, use Claudia's hem mod, which I'm not such a big fan of. At least in the Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran (which I desperately want in a DK-weight for another project), the smaller hem rolls, so I'll have to rip it out and replace it. I was a bit worried that the colour (quartz) would be too dark for all the pretty cabling to really show up, but it looks great (and will look better after blocking).

This pattern has been great. The only part that's tripped me up is joining the top of the hood. The pattern gives you the option of using a three-needle bind-off or grafting the cabled sections together. If you look at the blog entries of people who previously knit Rogue, they claim that their grafting is perfect, and that you can't see the join. I (and Elizabeth Zimmerman) are here to tell you that that's impossible, as far as I can tell. No matter what you do in grafting, your stitches will join a half-stitch off. The only way to avoid that, according to page 30, is to use a three-needle bind-off: "you cannnot weave the tops of two pieces together; the pattern will be a half-stitch off." In this case, I disagree with EZ on the solution. While the grafting cannot be perfect, it is better-looking than an "honest seam". The grafting here will improve with blocking, but look carefully at the boundries between knit and purl stitches to see that the cables cannot meet perfectly.

For the sake of posterity, and for people like me who don't own a knitting reference book, to graft in purl one changes the "knit purl; purl knit" chant to "purl knit; knit purl." To extend this to grafting a knit/purl pattern or to graft ribbing (even though it will be a half-stitch off if you're grafting the tops of two pieces of knitting), one uses the appropriate chant pieces whenever touching a stitch. Thus, if you're dealing with a knit stitch and then a purl stitch on the needles, you use the right-hand-side of the knit chant and the left-hand-side of the purl chant, obtaining "knit knit; purl purl." (To go from purl to knit, one uses "purl purl; knit knit." This is only experiementally verified. If anyone knows a better way to do this, I'd certainly appreciate hearing about it!


  1. kitty *does* look soooo helpful. i remember how helpful my kitty always was when i tried to do anything that required great focus on any one visual field. yeah...they're good like that.
    send me your email address (to wordgirrl at gmail dot com) so i can add you to the new blog--i think it has potential :) i have a new post brewing in my head about some patterns i saw this morning, though it probably won't get goign until this weekend--thoughts about body types on which i think they'd work or not work based on certain features. i'm certainly no fashion maven (you've seen me dress myself, for pete's sake), but i am totally addicted to the show and pretend to get their rules, whether i apply them all the time or not :)

  2. I will experiment with your chanting, thanks! :D

  3. How did you know I was chanting?!? I still have to look it up, every time. Ugh.