05 November 2006

Speaking of circles -- the spoke shawl

In addition to the pi shawl, EZ's Knitting Almanac describes the spoke shawl which she describes as being formed with double increases (YO, K1, YO) at seven points every 4th row.

By beginning with 7 stitches you've only one stitch in each segment so EZ's (YO,K1,YO)7x will leave you with seven double yarn overs to contend with on the next round.

A different three stitches from one method is to execute a (K1,YO,K1 all in the same stitch) and that's how I've written the instructions.

Knit the stitch but do not remove it from the needle. Now bring the yarn to the front of the work as if you were going to purl and with the yarn remaining in that position, knit the stitch again and drop it from the needle.

She begins this circle with 7 stitches
Round 1: Knit
Round 2: (K1,YO,K1 all in the same stitch)7x --
21 stitches total -- 3 in each spoke
Round 3, 4 & 5: Knit in row 3 consider (K3 pm)7x to maintain increase points
Round 6: (K1, YO, K1, YO, K1, mm)7x 35 stitches total -- 5 in each spoke
Round 7, 8 & 9: Knit
Round 10: (K2, YO, K1, YO, K2, mm)7x 49 stitches total -- 7 in each spoke
Round 11, 12 & 13: Knit
Round 14: (K3, YO, K1, YO, K3, mm)7x 63 stitches total -- 9 in each spoke
Round 15, 16 & 17: Knit
Round 18: (K4, YO, K1, YO, K4, mm)7x 77 stitches total -- 11 in each spoke
Round 19, 20 & 21: Knit
Round 22: (K5, YO, K1, YO, K5, mm)7x 91 stitches total -- 13 in each spoke
Round 23, 24 & 25: Knit
Round 26: (K6, YO, K1, YO, K6, mm)7x 105 stitches total -- 15 in each spoke
Round 27, 28 & 29: Knit
Round 30: (K7, YO, K1, YO, K7, mm)7x 119 stitches total -- 17 in each spoke
Round 31, 32 & 33: Knit
Round 34: (K7, YO, K1, YO, K7, mm)7x 133 stitches total -- 19 in each spoke

Continue as established knitting one additional stitch on either side of the increase point in the increase rounds.
If this reminds you rather a lot of a knitted heptagon, give yourself seven points.

The major differences are in beginning with fewer stitches than I did when I did the heptagons and adding an additional plain round between increasing which, as you may recall, is based on my successfully knitting a hexagon with only two plain rounds between increasing.

Circle or heptagon? It might all come down to the blocking and, like my oops on the disc circular medallion (octagon) might not matter a bit.

The EZ spoke shawl version is knit using a dark green yarn. Again, 2.75mm needles were used and the sample was knit out to round 33 with 119 stitches on the needles.

The original geometric heptagon was knit with a pale green yarn and it went out to 25 stitches on each of the seven sides for a total of 175 stitches.

That original has vanished into one of my apartment's black holes so I knit a second geometric heptagon following my original instructions.
Again, 2.75mm needles and in green Baby Ull. I knit it out to 119 stitches and since it has fewer rounds between increasing it is smaller than the EZ version.

EZ then suggests that you can spiral your spokes to the left or right by doing single increases every second row. At first blush this sounds a bit like just knitting a swirl heptagon but EZ's heptagon/circle maintains the spoke (aka the central stitch that your increases flank) so since she's maintaining that spoke, it isn't really as simple as doing single increase rather than a double.

Instead, it is doing the functional equivalent of a single increase by combining the double increase of the spoke shawl (increases flanking a central stitch) with a single decrease at 7 points.

It may not be knitting rocket science but it isn't as simple as the aside might lead you to believe. I've written up the options and have a couple of samples sitting on needles awaiting my attention but I've been trying to get some seasonal projects finished so the circles will have to cycle on station for a bit.

Those seasonal projects are coming down to those suitable for walkabout and those for stationary and non-Santa Ana knitting. The most important of the latter projects are the cousins' DNA scarves which are currently 121 rows from completion. That's really not so bad since I'm managing about 40 rows a day in the cool of mornings and evenings. The most significant walkabout knitting at the moment is a STFU project that I'll no doubt bitch/blog about sometime in the not too distant future.


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