Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Rose by Any Other Name

I'm not convinced that Rage is a good name for this yarn. Yes, it's red over-dyed with black. Okay sure, I get it.  Yet, it is the most un-enraging red over-dyed with black you could imagine. Maybe it's the cashmere. Maybe it's the fact that I really like red.  Maybe it's that the knitting did its work by the end of the first skein.  Whatever it is, I really like this yarn.  I look forward to knitting with it.  I put aside all sorts of other things I thought I wanted before winter is over.*

This is a center out rectangular blanket. It started out with the Turkish cast-on.

Well, it started out with a little math and a WAG about what my gauge might be. I decided an 18 inch difference between the length and the width would be good.  I decided I'd probably knit pretty close to the recommended gauge, if I used a larger needle, multiplied my expected gauge by 18 inches and cast on that many stitches.  I say cast on. All you do is wind the yarn around two circular needles. You pull the bottom one so the stitches are wrapped around one needle and the cord, kit across those stitches, pull the top needle through and the bottom needle into the stitches and knit what are effectively the same stitches, just the bottom of them.  Trust me.  It works.  Most often for toe-up socks that you don't want a seam for, but just fine for center out blankets when you don't want a square one.

The tricky part was going to be the increase.  Generally, and this is the method recommended in Circular Knitting Workshop, you mark the first and last stitch on each needle for your corners, then build the blanket using yarn-overs on either side of that stitch.  I did that for the HPKY Navy Blanket and was never really happy with it. I'm also lazy, and I lose track of whether I'm doing a right or left leaning increase, and where and when and why I'm supposed to do them. I wanted something easy, in keeping with the simple, straightforward knitting I was planning.

More math.  Also maybe some very basic sketches. Also maybe some consultation with The Princess.

I set up my markers, but did KFB on either side of them.  Interestingly, I still seem to get a spine stitch.  It's actually the KF of the second KFB.

It seems to be working.  I'm almost to the end of the second skein, though, and now I need to make a decision.  Do I want to keep churning out the stockinette, or do I search out a pattern stitch and start alternating stitch patterns with every new skein?  If I go with all stockinette all the time, do I want to end the blanket with a broad garter stitch border, or something a little fancier?

Who knew knitting rage would be such fun?

* Partial list: Piega cowl out of The Fibre company Acadia and Rowan Kidsilk Haze, Color Affection in Malabrigo Silky Merino and Manos Silk Blend, To Eyre with Fleece Artist River in Raven.

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