10 July 2006

Porcupines and popokis

I am the porcupine. In one of those life's just weird that way moments, my family has a history of various and sundry types of anemia. I have never had any of those forms (knock wood) but for some strange reason doctors have insisted on drawing blood just to check. I find this to be about sensible as leeches but that's another story.

What always made this futile exercise in screening even more special is that I have very, very small veins. S
ometimes they are brave little veins that give up blood without a hitch or a twitch. But other times they are very needle phobic and will twitch and hide at the slightest provocation (and needles are more than slight provocation). Not something that I can control but something that comes up from time to time. When the veins are not co-operating it can take a long time to get any blood out of me and when I've been fasting that tends to make me pass out -- yup, I'm lab worker's dream.

I don't get subjected to this madness as often as I used because these days I just don't mention the whole family history thing thus keeping more of my blood circulating in me rather than in labs. But there's always the annual physical and the inevitable blood sugar, cholesterol etc. and that was today -- three vials of blood required, five veins tapped -- one super slow (danger of blood clotting in the tube rendering it useless) and three not giving up anything finally the pull from the veins in the hand. At least she didn't have to resort to the between the knuckles joy but still.

I look like I have needle tracks -- especially amusing since with my veins I'd be a highly unsuccessful intravenous drug abuser.

Onto popokis, the shawls. I picked up stitches on the linen version. I did not pick up as many as suggested so got more of a yarnover, grid look dividing the body and the trapezoids. I'm happy with the resuling look.

Because I picked up fewer stitches I also I ended up doing a few extra increase rows to come up to the required number for the first pattern row. I like the extra garter rows before the pattern motifs begin and I think they work well with the grid or yarnover look that my pick method created.

I made a decision about how I want to orient the kat motifs and will need to rechart two of the original charts for the new orientation. Even after I get them charted that makes the shawl a bad walkabout project and a not very good sit on your lap in the heat project either.

The body for the pentagon sleeves is in the stocking stitch forever mode. I've only just rejoined the 2nd centre pull ball that I wound on the 4th and I'm only about seven inches into what will be about 18 to 20 before I attach the sleeves.

I frogged the original rayon popoki shawl in order to test my theory that picking up stitches with this yarn was problematic due to its nature and not the knitter's skill.

Sadly, it looks like my theory is correct. Picking up through the yarn overs highly distorted the yarn over stitches.
The drape of the fabric is wonderful (that's that evil seductive rayon thing) so I'm still wanting to make the shawl happen but it may be quite the construction/technique challenge.

I don't believe that they can be brought back into shape.

The worst case scenario I see for this is needing to knit each section of the item separately and then sewing them together. I do not like that solution one little bit.

Increasing the centre with bar increases rather than leading YOs might give a stable enough edge to pick up from.

I've pretty much ruled out provisional cast on unless you kept the crochet chain in place to provide stability.

I've also entertained the idea of some funky double knit construct that would give me two sets of stitches moving away from each other. In my fuzzy thinking that would mean the body triangle would be knit more or less as if you were doing increasing short rows to fill/form the valley.

And no, I'm not seeing this written up for publication any time soon but I am seeing swatching, playing and note taking.


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