Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Fruity Goodness

I was flipping through my library yesterday looking for ideas and stitch patterns, and I found the PERFECT design.

Perfect. The Cocoon Stitch Half Circle Shawl in Martha Waterman's excellent book, Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls.

Garter edging and rays, and the segments are worked in the cocoon stitch, which remarkably like the structure of citrus flesh.

All written out for me and everything! A nice gift!

Well, ok, nearly perfect.

I am making some tweaks to the pattern, not least of which because it's written out... all 124 rows of it. A typical row looks like this...

Row 46: *K3, yo, k1, p1 [k1 p1 k1 p5] twice, [k1 p1] twice, k1, yo; repeat from *, end k3.

And that's not the rows with the key pattern repeat of... [p1, yo, (k1, p1, k1) in next st, yo, p1, p5tog] that occurs several times in each segment, every 6th row.

It takes four pages of the book for the writeup. Surely, surely the designer could have come up with a better way of representing it. Surely.

I am stopping the knitting to work on an improved, condensed, easier-to-read pattern writeup, probably with charts. If only so that I can take it travelling with me, without having to carry the whole damn book.

Also, I disagree very strongly with how she has treated the rays around the increases... I have made a modification to the design, just every few rows.

Oh yes, and another small modification to the basic pattern stitch.

The designer's version of cocoon stitch calls for a p5tog decrease. I hate it. It's hard to work, but more to the point, it's ugly. I'm using the more complex but more elegant "slip 3 stitches together knitwise, knit next 2 stitches together, and pass slipped stitches over" decrease. This provides a nice centered decrease that looks organic to the stitch pattern. Much better.

Oh yes, and I've also decided that I find the wrong side more attractive than the right side.

But otherwise, it's perfect.

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