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This evening, I finally started making the box pleats for the Celtic Leaves shawl. They are beautiful and quite easy to make, even though they're a little bit ticky, since I have to juggle three parallel needles (and knit three together from all of them at the same time). I'm using Square dpns for the cable needles now, but I might actually switch to wood if I decide to take this project on the bus in the morning.

Amazingly, my 546 stitches will turn into only 186 stitches when I'm done, according to the pattern.

How the box pleats are made:
For the whole of the pleat section, I've been knitting 30 knit stitches and then 30 purl stitches with a border of 15 purl stitches plus three knit stitches with an eyelet at each edge.

So to begin the box pleat row, I first knit three stitches. Then I'm onto the 15 border purl stitches. Ten of these get slipped onto one cable needle, then the next 10 stitches (5p, 5k) get slipped onto another cable needle. These needles are then placed parallel to the LH needle so that the pleat folds properly, and three stitches are knitted together (one from each needle). The next half of the pleat is made exactly the same way except the fold is reversed. It really is like magic! Right now I'm using a 150cm needle for this project. I may actually end up going with a shorter cable for the remainder of the piece, since I won't need all that extra space. Or maybe I won't: having such a long cable will give me a good way to show it off while I'm knitting!

Once I'm done with the box pleat row, there are some setup rows with a garter stitch base, and then I'm into the shawl itself, which is comprised of two edge panels, two cable panels, and a large centre panel. The panels are separated by simple fagoting, but the effect is very nice and open. I suspect the edges of the box pleats will need to be ironed during blocking/dressing to flatten out the cast-on.

The only thing I'm not looking forward to? Knitting another tedious box pleat section, right at the end of this project! That's another 547-stitch Channel Island cast-on, followed by 22 rows of alternating 30 knit and 30 purl stitches. It's not a killer, and it's good train knitting, but it does go on for a bit!

When I'm done with the box pleats, I'll post more photographs.


Box Pleats
Box Pleats
Three box pleats completed, six to go!
Box Pleat Detail
Box Pleat Detail
Aren't they pretty?

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kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
kniteracy

April 2011

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