Thursday, July 29, 2010

Paired yarn overs and the double decreases that offset them: a love story

I wrote up another pattern, this time for a top-down triangular scarf that uses around 400m of fingering weight yarn. The yarn I used—Viola Fancy Sock—is exquisitely soft, and the finished fabric has a subtle downy halo. The three main pattern sections are related feathery motifs that use a number of knit stitches between the yarn overs and their accompanying decreases to shape the fabric into peaks and valleys, including the wide shallow scallops that edge the piece:

They look a little Art Deco, I think!

I decided to name the pattern Fledgling, for a few reasons:

I am a fledging designer of things-larger-than-mittens—I have to say that making charts for this pattern was daunting, because they're awfully big. It starts small, though, for confidence-boosting. The smallest patterned section involves a four-stitch, four-row repeat.

This is a pattern for fledgling lace knitters—every alternate row is purled, giving you time to breathe and collect your thoughts and count your stitches in peace. The patterns are both charted and written, in case you are a fledgling chart reader, too.

Finally I feel like a triangular scarf knitted from a pair of socks' worth of yarn isn't a fully-fledged shawl yet. But it has aspirations.

And I wasn't sure how I felt about it during the knitting, but now I really like the relative solidity of the border. It anchors the shawl a little -- you know that I am happy to knit outrageously lacy edges on things, but some weight there is nice too. It is particularly pleasing when worn:

wearing fledgling

This colour is called "Robin's Egg", and is a beautiful subtle semi-solid. It is worth getting, because it's exquisite yarn! But any drapey fingering-weight yarn would do just as well for this pattern. I think it would be beautiful in Schaefer Anne, for instance, or Abuelita Yarns Baby Merino Lace, or Knit Picks Gloss Lace, or....

It takes 400m of yarn, and this sample was knitted on 3.5mm needles. The gauge is 26 stitches and 40 rows in stockinette (after blocking), and the finished dimensions of the scarf are 48" wide and 24" deep. I find that this is an excellent width to pin closed at the front.

The pattern is $4 CDN and can be got from Ravelry, or by clicking this link.

The real reason for all of this shawl madness is that I am auditioning things to wear to a wedding. Too fickle to just pick one already without seeing all the options. All the options are in my head and they don't seem to be exhausted yet. I have six weeks to go before it actually must be time to decide.


Emily said...

Wow, love the Deco edging! I'm a big fan of medium-weight lace...not that the super-fine, weightless variety isn't beautiful too. Well done!

B. said...

Thanks, Emily! Medium-weight lace is slowly becoming a mainstay around here... mostly because it is nice to spend twenty hours on a thing instead of a hundred. Knitting is great but it's also great to have a finished thing to wear sometimes!