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

kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
Sunday evening, I was on the Central Line, heading home from work. I took out my knitting and started working on the will-they-ever-end box pleats for Celtic Leaves.

Three seats away, a blonde woman leaned toward me. "Excuse me," she said.

I looked up and smiled at her.

"What are you knitting?"

"It'll be a shawl," I replied.

Across from her, two women who'd been talking to one another listened in. One of them said, "That's going to be a big shawl!"

I chuckled. "These will be box pleats, so the piece will only end up being about half this wide."

"You knit differently than I do," said the other lady.

The blonde lady two seats away nodded. "Me, too," she said. "I've never seen anybody knit like that."

The first lady across the way said, "Oh, that's the Continental style. I was taught to knit that way, believe it or not."

"How's it different?" wondered the blonde lady.

"I handle the yarn in my left hand," I explained. "It's just the way I learned to knit."

"Is it faster?" she asked.

The second lady across the way said, "That's what I've heard."

I didn't notice the lady to my right nodding. "I knit in the old fashioned English way," she said, "and everybody I know who knits like you do knits much faster than I do!"

"There we go!" said the blonde lady. "If only we'd all brought our knitting, we could have a Central Line knitting party right now!"

Everybody had a giggle, and I got back to my knitting. I paused to answer a question from the lady to my right about how the box pleats were going to be made. I explained to her that the purl-side stitches would fold back to create the pleat texture. She made 'impressed' noises.

At my stop, I folded up the knitting and headed down to the Jubilee Line. All the ladies gave me a pleasant goodbye on my way out of the carriage. :-)

And they say Londoners don't talk on the Tube.

Today at work, I was finishing up about three transactions at once and helping a lady find the right person to check her in for an appointment. I paused to ask a gentleman who was standing at the counter if he was doing all right; he'd been standing there a while. He allowed that he was fine, no problem, just waiting for someone to bring him a product. I reassured him that I just like to check on people and was getting ready to head back and take care of something else, when the woman with him said, "Hey! I know you!"

She didn't look familiar to me, but I turned to her and smiled anyway.

"You go to knit nights at I Knit London!"

"Yes, I do," I replied.

"You made that amazing shawl, didn't you?"

"I did," I said. It's hard not to sound prideful when I admit I made this gorgeous thing keeping my shoulders warm in the dry air conditioning. "And I'm almost always at I Knit London on Wednesdays; I teach beginning classes there."

"Do you ever teach lace?" she wondered. She reached out to touch the shawl and I handed her an end to examine.

"I do; it's just a question of when things get onto the shop calendar. If I don't our other teacher, A, has taught lace there before and may very well again."

"I would love to take a lace class from you," she said. She turned to her husband. "See? I told you I knew her!"

I told her I hoped I'd see her at IKL soon, and went back to doing my job.

We are everywhere. :) I've had students and former students come into my workplace before, and others who've recognised me from festivals and knit nights. I also recognise and compliment handknits when I see them on my customers. I say, "Did you knit that?" and get a knowing smile in return. "I thought you might notice," some of them say. I admit I've been wearing the Screaming Green Alien Shawl at work a lot, because it doesn't cover up essential bits of my work identification, and it keeps my shoulders and arms warm. It also makes me feel good about myself, in the same way that wearing handknit socks makes me feel good about myself. I feel more confident when I'm wearing signs of my own competence, if that makes any sense.

At home tonight, I'm wearing a shawl made for me by dear friend SN, whom I haven't seen since I left Atlanta six years ago. It's made out of Aran-weight Wensleydale, in two contrasting shades of grey, a comfortable and homey wrap-for-warmth that makes me feel happy and loved. I'm also wearing a pair of socks [personal profile] otherdeb sent me. They feel good, too. They're all green and lacy. And y'all know how I love green and lacy.

Although there's not much to see yet, there are three photographs of Celtic Leaves, currently barely in progress, below the cut tag.

Celtic Leaves, Box Pleat Photos )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)

Celtic Leaves Shawl
Celtic Leaves Shawl
This is a pattern from the new issue 17 of The Knitter. There's no picture on the Ravelry link, so I've uploaded this one for your pleasure. :)
Current State of the Laceweight
Current State of the Laceweight
Well, clearly I need some more. But these are the laceweight wools I have where there is actually enough yardage to create the Celtic Leaves thingamahoppy, above. Actually, I only *technically* have enough of one of them: that's the Cherry Tree Hill, the one on the bottom, which measures out to 2,400 yards (that's a mile o' yarn!) The pattern as written calls for 1592m or 1741yds of laceweight wool. Now the fact is, it's pretty easy to shorten a project like this; the base length according to the pattern is 165cm/, or nearly 5.5 ft/1.65 metres long! Now, this length is not too long for the shape of the shawl, since it's rectangular. Ordinary I'm not a huge rectangular shawl fan, but the design here combines a couple of things I really like.

Your mission, dear readers, should you choose to accept it, is to tell me which of the three laceweights above I should use for this pattern.

Bear in mind that the Seriously Gorgeous (the mulberry colour) has only 1,000m/1093yd, and the Wild Fire (earthy rock tones, on top) has only 1097m/1200yd. Only the Cherry Tree Hill has enough yardage to make the whole thing free and clear (with quite a bit left over, actually!), but I'm concerned about the colour variegations -- it's a bright variegate that goes from dark brown/green to bright purple via light blue and some teal-y bits. I'm not sure it would complement the pattern at all.

Because this is a newly released pattern, there are no Ravelry project pages to peruse. In fact, I think it must just have been added, because there's no picture on its Ravelry page, and I'm the only person who has it queued.


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

April 2011

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