04 May 2006

Sometimes flat is better or round is not always right

So I'm still designing and knitting flowers even though the appearance of Nicky Epstein's Knitted Flowers book in LYS means that my class proposal is a moot point as people will be teaching from/based on the book and more than likely making the leap of logic that says my stuff must be based on hers -- pish. More on that later.

The poppy thing didn't quite pan out as expected and it is sort off in the corner perhaps waiting to inspire something else. At the moment I'm thinking clover -- 3 or 4 leaf but I could shift gears.

When I was still trying to put together class materials/proposal for the knitted flowers, I decided that maybe a knit flat option for the not so adventurous knitter (read dp challenged) should be part of the matrix so I did some playing.

While I know that any edging or stitch pattern that produces a shaped bottom edge (think the scallops of feather and fan/old shale or peri's parasol etc) can, with appropriate deceases form a great little blossom I wanted something really simple but innovative.

Shortly after Knitting on the Edge first came out, I popped into Knitting In La Jolla one day when LYSO Suzanne was not having much success making sense of Nicky's "stockinette stitch T twist" on page 153. I took a look and figured out that the problem was simply perspective, she wasn't reading is as a starting edge but as an ending edge - once that was cleared up the whole 360 degree counter clock rotation of the left needle makes a lot more sense.

Since I needed some walkabout knitting, and this was sort of revisit the notion, I cast on 84 stitches with some cotton rug warp and was really just intending to revisit the 360 degree rotation.

It was just supposed to be a swatch but it turned out pretty well so I wrote up a quick and dirty pattern and sort of left the making in a tbd fashion. In the snap, the cast on is at the bottom right and the cast off is to the centre middle. There are 14 6-stitch segments and it pinned out to keep the ruffle from happening.

I liked the result but wanted to see what would happen if I shirt tail short rowed the bottom before doing the 360 degree twist and I also wanted to play with working it in the round.

So I cast on 84 stitches knit flat, did a little short row shirt tail thing, with fewer full rows before the twist and then after a couple of brain freezes, I joined, decreased and go this little number (also pinned off to stop the ruffle).

As much as I like knitting in the round, the 360 degree rotation is not a good option without using a cable need or something to act in the place of an independent LH needle. Another thing that working flat offers is the whole a spiral thing which produces a dimensional flower without having to master dps -- a good option for the novice knitter. Pics below show the purple and the red unpinned out and you can see how the purple spirals in on itself for a good result.

The purple can be made to behave like the knit in the round red but the in the round red will not spiral like the knit flat. And the spiral is a good thing so I'm going to play with short row shirt tailing the knit flat and also with varying the number of stitches between twists to see whether what I think will happen does.


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