23 October 2006

Circularly Speaking -- Round I & II

At a recent KnitNite confab, fellow knitter Julie was continuing to reverse engineer a pi are square shawl. During show and tell she explained the EZ origins of the pi shawl and I noted that our old friend Mary Thomas had also explored knitting a centre out circle using a similar double the stitch increase method.

I didn't include circles in the original polygon seminar because, technically/geometrically speaking, circles aren't polygons. Still, lots of circular medallions originate as polygons that are blocked into circles.

In reviewing my polygon notes, it would appear that I explained both but only knit one of the two geometric octagons so I'm going to revisit that shape and see about correcting my omission both here and on the web page.

Knitted circles and knitted octagons have rather a lot in common. At the outset, with the exception of EZ's pi shawl method (which starts with 9), the octagons and circles that we'll be exploring begin with 8 stitches and double to 16 total stitches at the end of round 2. From that point on things change a bit with each method taking a slightly different path but they all form a circle.

Mary Thomas suggests three ways to knit a circle -- the radiant, the disc and the target. EZ (Elizabeth Zimmermann for the not knitwise) covers circles in the following shawls: the pi, the spoke shawl (with two variations) and the inner directed shawl.Joan Schrouder's excellent Shaping shawls handout (class highly recommended) covers some other circles as well.

References:
Mary Thomas's instructions for polygons and circles can be found in Mary Thomas's Book of Knitting Patterns copyright 1945
EZ's pi shawl instructions can be found in Knitter's Almanac, copyright 1974
EZ's pi squared shawl instructions can be found in Knitting Around copyright 1989

First up is the Radiant circular medallion with increases that seem to radiate from the centre.

This example, like all others was knit on size 2 US (2.75mm) needles with left over Regia Crazy Stripes. To make the pattern of increases easier to see, the yarn over increase method was used to make all increases. Any other type of increase can also be used.

Cast on 8 stitches,
divide evenly onto four needles,
join, do not twist, knit with a fifth needle.

Round 1: knit
Round 2: increase into every stitch (16 total -- 4 per needle)
Round 3, 4 & 5: Knit
Round 6: increase into every stitch (32 total -- 8 per needle)
Round 7, 8 & 9: Knit
Round 10: (K1, increase 1)16x (48 total -- 12 per needle)
Round 11, 12 & 13: Knit
Round 14: (K2, increase 1)16x (54 total -- 16 per needle)
Round 15, 16 & 17: Knit
Round 18: (K3, increase 1)16x (80 total -- 20 per needle)
Round 19, 20 & 21: Knit
Round 22: (K4, increase 1)16x (96 total -- 24 per needle)
Round 23, 24 & 25:
Round 26: (K5, increase 1)16x (112 total -- 28 per needle)
Round 27, 28 & 29: Knit
Round 30: (K6, increase 1)16x (128 total -- 32 per needle)
Round 31, 32 & 33: Knit

Continue as established, knitting one additional stitch before increasing in the increase rounds and working 3 plain rounds between each increase round.

Note: whether you increase in the stitch (knit into the front and back) or increase before the stitch with a YO or M1, do not count the stitch when counting out to your next increase. Thus, round 6's (K1, increase 1)16x can be interpreted as (K1, Kf&b)16x, (K1, M1, K1)16x or (K1, YO, K1)16x

The example, was knit up to round 29 (112 stitches) before binding off.

Next is the Target circular medallion.

Mary Thomas's Target is very much like the pi shawl up until round 20 when instead of doubling the stitches and number of non-increasing rounds the increase rounds increase by 32 stitches with five non-increasing rounds before each increase round.

It is knit as follows:

Cast on 8 stitches,
divide evenly onto four needles,
join, do not twist, knit with a fifth needle.

Place markers after every 2 stitches.
Round 1: knit
Round 2: increase into every stitch (16 total - 4 per needle)
Round 3, 4 & 5: Knit
Round 6: increase into every stitch (32 total - 8 per needle)
Round 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11: Knit
Round 12: increase into every stitch (64 total - 16 per needle)
Round 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 & 19: Knit
Round 20:
increase into every 2nd stitch (96 total - 24 per needle)
Round 21, 22, 23, 24 & 25: Knit
Round 26:
increase into every 3rd stitch (128 total - 32 per needle)
Round 27, 28, 29, 30 & 31: Knit
Round 32:
increase into every 4th stitch (160 total - 40 per needle)
Round 33, 34, 35, 36 & 37: Knit
Round 38:
increase into every 5th stitch (192 total - 48 per needle)

Beginning with round 6 increase by 32 stitches each round and knit 5 plain rounds between increase rounds. Beginning with round 20 knit one additional stitch before increasing.

The example was knit up to round 31 (128 stitches) before binding off. The Regia Crazy Stripes
was augmented with some green Baby Ull.

I've got a pi example on the needles now with 144 stitches on round 22.

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