Tuesday 1 May 2007

Yet another WIP

Oh dear, I used to be so good about finishing one project before starting another. But those days seem to be gone. So here's another one I half-prepared earlier. I've only been working on this for a few days, as a bit of a break from the compilcations of Elfin Bride. I also wanted something a little more portable than Colour Blocks. This pic doesn't really give a very accurate idea of the colour, it's just to show the shaping.

The pattern is bpt from knitty and the yarn is Hipknits Aran Silk in colour Chocolate Cherries. I fell in love with the colour when I saw it on the website and it's even prettier in real life.
However, as a yarn I do think it leaves something to be desired. It's shedding quite a lot as I knit, so I'm not sure how it will work out when I wear the finished garment. And it seems a little unstable, if that's the word. When I try to splice it, it just disintegrates as soon as I separate the plies. It comes in hanks, but they wound it into balls (cakes?) in the shop. They only had 400g in stock, so I'm hoping there isn't a huge difference between dyelots. My theory is that the randomness of a variegated yarn should be enough to ensure it's not obvious, but we'll see.

Now, as regards the pattern. I've been keen to try a top-down raglan for a while, so I was in a bit of a hurry to get started. But there are a few quirks in this pattern, which only become apparent after a bit.

First one is that there is no shaping at the neck - the back and front are the same height. I think that shouldn't be too much of an issue if I make the hood as shown, but some people would prefer a round neck or a small collar and I'm not sure it would sit well without some changes to make the front a little bit lower.

Next up is setting the pattern. This is a little hard to explain, but the setup row is on the wrong side, so I would reverse the directions when working the right side. For example, the WS row starts s1, p1, CB ... CF, p2, so I did the next (RS) row as s1, k1, CF ... CB, k2. But if you look closely at the pictures in the pattern, it was done the other way. Quite a few people have found this strange and/or misleading. Not a huge problem, as either way will be fine as long as it's consistent, but something to be aware of for those who may have strong views on whether the double cables would look better twisting away from each other or towards each other. I actually like it the way I have it, so that's ok.

Then you increase until you have almost 400 stitches in the row, so a nice long needle(s) would be a good idea. I'm just past the point where I've joined the back and fronts, so I'm back to a reasonable number of stitches and soon I'll get to decrease a few for the waist shaping. I'm not sure yet how long I'll want to make it, but that is the big advantage of working top-down.

I have just over 100g left now, so I'll probably revert back to colour blocks or Elfin Bride soon. But I would like to have this finished for summer wear.

Lots of people have made bpt, so there's plenty of experience out there. Moral of the story: it's well worth a bit of research before starting.

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