24 November 2009

No a half octagon is not a square or more on Carol's Splash of Colour

I finished knitting my version of Colonnade on the 11th and did a first pass on the blocking shortly after.

Even before it was off the needles, I did some checking into my notes on polygons and confirmed that the curving my fellow guild member saw in the final product was not her issue but the nature of the design.

It uses the increase ratio for a swirl rather than a geometric octagon and that's going to create a skew/swirl even though we're talking about a flat knit half octagon rather than a centre out knit in the round.

The swirl/curve does not become obvious until fairly far along in the knitting and it can be blocked into straight line submission but the swirl is the natural result.

That swirl actually gives a nice little "flounce" at the centre increase line. The swirl/flounce is less apparent at the next set of flanking segments and presents most strongly at the "fronts."

More than a few knitters and designers figure that you can just string a series of knitted triangles created with the same increase ratio together and produce a nice neat shape that lies flat and conforms. It doesn't work that way because math (in this case geometry) really does matter.

I've been toying with this for ages and whether it is decreases, increases, short row pie wedges or any other construction method it all comes back to the math and internal angles.

The first shows the centre back flounce and skew/swirl. The second shows the curl and swirl/curve of the front/sides.

While I may do another block of this before sending it off to Montana, I'm fairly happy with the end product. All in all, the centre back drop is about 17 or 18 inches making it just the Victorian chill chaser I'd in mind.

The picot point cast off produces a bit of ruffling that gives a nice feminine touch. I am still pawing through the bead stash to see if I've cached anything that would suit my vision of a few beads that can also function as buttons for an optional closure.

Having knit this, I will, without a doubt, get back to my own notes on ideas for half octagons and half hexs to bring those ideas to life. I was way too crazy tempted to tear back and do some of the "ooh that would be an interesting design twist" ideas that came to me while I was knitting to not pursue them.

When I decided to do this project, I thought I would pair the Curious Creek with some Louet Merino I'd purchased for a project for another friend. That other friend may still get a Louet Merino gift because, although the colour was dead on, the gauge was way off.

That gauge issue set off a stash and shops search for more Curious Creek and a compatible coordinating yarn that would suit both my eye and the colour comfort level of the intended recipient.

Curious Creek is Kristine Brooks and they are San Diego local (and seriously local to me) and when none of the local stockists had any of the yarn on hand, I broke down and phoned her to see if she had any leads on sources.

Her insight was that Woolgirl had exactly the stuff I was after in stock and since I couldn't find it locally and Kristine was headed out of town I placed the order and was impressed with the result. The final photo shows the lovely packaging and attention to detail a knitter can expect when ordering from this retailer -- kudos.


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