02 May 2007

WWHD? and short rows starring stars

Fellow Knitnite attendee Julie, mentioned that now whenever she does short rows (and she does them a lot very well thank you) she thinks "what would heather do?" Which I've shortened to WWHD. I suggested that often the answer is frog, curse and have a tipple of a potent potable.

I did have some short row and polygon pieces in my bag as part of the rethink/fiddling about with the San Diego County fair yarn block project mentioned in my 22 April blog entry.

My first flawed theory to combine some pentagon modules into a square involved working short rows on a pentagon side as follows -- knit or purl one less stitch each time. Assuming a 10 stitch side that translates into knitter speak as: knit 10, turn, purl 9, knit 8, turn, purl 7 etc. working one less stitch each row until you've "orphaned" (heather speak) all of the stitches and have 5 on each side. Then I knit down the small hill of 5 stitches and repeat the process on the next segment.

So what's the problem? I have 5 stitches on a side and the goal was to graft these wedge pieces to another pentagon's side and, at least in my mind, that other pentagon had 10 stitches on each side.

At least that's what I had drawn and then set about the business of seeing how and if I could so just that with some combination of short rows. I played with doing some sort of m1 to double the number of stitches on each side and, while that gets ride of the short row gap quite nicely, it doesn't give me an any additional length to graft to a pentagon with 10 stitches on a side.

The star shape you get when you use this type of short rowing is a bit, frankly, squat. If you were trying to make a sculptural piece (reverse your short rowing back to the base on each segment) you would get a nice star but it wouldn't have strongly pronounced points. It wouldn't have any seams either but the trade off is a chunky star.

From the original modular perspective this is not a winner even though I have all the live stitches I envisioned. From another modular perspective and even from just a hmmm perspective it has promise in terms of rotating your polygon (or spiraling your shape) without having to change your increase positions.

Take a look at the salmon star swatch to the left and tell me that you don't see seriously fun possibilities for this construction method.

But it has some problems for me since of one the kicking design around ideas involved using the short rows to extend the shape and give me that extra width and this just isn't the technique to get me there.

My second flawed theory to combine some pentagon modules into a square involved working short rows on a pentagon side as follows -- continue knitting to the right side of and stop knitting on the left side. Assuming a 10 stitch side that translates into knitter speak as: knit 10, turn, purl 10, knit 9, turn, purl 9 etc. working one less stitch each set of rows until you've "orphaned" (heather speak) 9 of the 10 stitches. The photo at the top of this blog entry shows the two different methods worked on the same base pentagon to show the differences clearly.

If you knit back down your 10 stitch mini-mountain and repeat the process on each of your other four sides you will produce a five-pointed star that looks rather like the one to the left.
It is a nice look and if you bind off your "down the mountain" stitches you get a nice star that would make a great applique.

For strictly modular purposes there are some problems. Each segment has a mix of live and edge stitches. Unless you work the 1st knit or purl stitch as a selvedge stitch you don't have a good graft point for those stitches, The live stitches are separated by two rows leaving you with a noticeable gap if you attach yarn and begin knitting from them. And, then there's the can't get there from here part where you either have to attach new yarn to each segment with live stitches or do a pick up and knit on your non-live stitches to get to the next set of live stitches.
Third theory had me going back to a swatch I'd started as a possible way small gauge sports bra inspired thing. It was clear that I'd not used either of the two methods documented above to get the shape that make me go "ooooh, that;ll work" but I wasn't sure what I had done. I found it and this is round 3.

This is the classic long row method where you start by knitting one stitch and purling back one. Assuming a 10 stitch side that translates into knitter speak as: knit 1, turn, purl 1, knit 2, turn, purl 2 etc. working one more stitch each set of rows until you've worked all 10 stitches.

You knit back down your 10 stitch mini-mountain and repeat the process on each of your other four sides you will produce a five-pointed star that looks rather like the one to the left.

This star has some of the same problems as both of the other methods and here's just a quick couple of those points:
  • Like the 2nd method it has a mix of live and dead stitches so you have the same can't get there from here issue.
  • The points are not as squat as the 1st nor as long as the 2nd.
  • The live stitches are on the same row level (unlike the 2nd method) so you have less of a gap.
For the fair square this shows promise and for the give me width to produce a garment both the 2nd and third method give me options and the photo below shows how that twice the number of rows in method 2 varies from method 3

Casual Cable update -- at Knitnite , I'd disconnected the Casual cables' sleeves and did pull it out to ask for group consult.

That's when I described the sleeves as "phreaking Juliet sleeves" and came to the current conclusion that sleeves and sweater body will probably be permanently separated into different projects after they have been frogged and reworked.








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