28 April 2007

Five for pentagons

The general rule on starting any centre out polygon is that you start with two stitches per polygon side, knit one round plain and then begin your increases. That's how I wrote them up and that's mostly how I actually knit them. I say mostly because whenever I knit in the round I usually add one extra stitch and knit it together with the first stitch to join the round.

The problem with the general method is that you end up with a bit of a hole that you later need to snug up and the size of the hole and the "snugging" factor can vary.

Another cheat I use is to start with a couple of rounds of icord to give a more secure start than the fiddly bit of trying to work with a small number of stitches at the outset. If the icord is the same yarn as your finished item you can end up with a bump that isn't quite what you had in mind witness the nipple flower. Sometimes you can make that work for you, but not always. I mean, it's great for a beret but not so hot for a sweater front.

So my latest thing is to start with the one stitch per side, knit into the front and back of each stitch (transferring the cast on stitches onto dps as you go) and then I knit one round knitting into the back of the increase stitch to reorient it correctly before starting my regular increases.

This gives me a very nice start without the nipple effect. The geometric pentagon below was worked on size 5 US needles with knit into front and back increases every third round.

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