whips and chains

June 10, 2010

i’m in an s&m relationship with jared flood.
or, to be more precise, his juneberry triangle.
initially, it destroyed my self esteem,
and seemed impossible to conquer.

i dried my eyes, dug down deep,
and countered with my own instruments of pain:
a mechanical pencil, graph paper, and a calculator.
and beat that mother into submission.

(the yarn is madelinetosh “pashmina” in copper penney)

the reason it was so difficult (at first) was because of the second chart.
if you look at people’s notes on ravelry,
all their trouble was chart 2 related.

the reason?
chart 2 doesn’t display a repeat per se.
rather, as the shawl grows
(from the yo’s at the sides and center spine)
one works the pattern into the new stitches if there are enough to do so.
remember, if you have enough stitches to do a decrease, you must do it’s corresponding increase. and vice versa. and you never do a double yo. that tip is key.

when you have completed the eight offending rows,
and are ready to work them all over again, there’s a twist:
the first stitch of the chart doesn’t correspond to the the first stitch on the shawl. instead, you continue working in the established pattern (and death death to all designers who use the phrase “work in patt”), stacking the diamonds on top of each other, and “growing” that pattern outward as more and more stitches are created. this coupled with the fact that there is patterning on both sides made me want to die a little.
here’s a closer look:

see how the diamonds “stack”?
that concept really helped me get over the hump.

i soon got into the grove of it.
since, actually, it’s a fairly easy pattern.
and banged out the second chart in an evening.

go me right?
not so much.

as i was finishing the second to last row of the section,
i saw a little “4” flashing in front of my eyes.
a closer look revealed it to read 4mm.
that would be a u.s. size 6 needle.
not the 7 the pattern calls far.


i am fairly sure that i started with a 7.
but must have needed them for a second.
(i use addi clicks so i probably clicked them off)
and then replaced them with 6’s for who knows why.
once again, the juneberry made me it’s bottom bitch.


my main point is this;
contrary to my original feeling,
this pattern is definitely doable.
it was just written in a way that isn’t standard,
at least when it comes to lace/charts i’ve encountered.

in my mind, it’s another example of a of a blight in our community: designers writing patterns, but not writing them for the dumbest possible knitter. if you’re good enough to design something like this, and then have one of your friends test knit it, of course they’ll get it. they’re probably good knitters, and they have you there to ask little questions. you need to have strangers test knit things, people who aren’t as comfortable with their knitting skills so that their problems will aid you in clarifying patterns.

and please, pay the extra money and write out a complete chart!
they’re already tiny so why not nix one photo of the shawl,
and put a chart there?

i’m done ranting.
something happy?
how about a couple of fo’s:

that’s anna’s february lady sweater,

and plain green socks for mitch,
a.k.a. lisa b.

(isn’t she a great foot model?)

it’s the fo’s that keep me going.
and photos like these remind me why i knit;
i knit because i love the feeling of making something beautiful with my own two hands.

so keep ’em coming jared.
i’ll knit whatever you can throw at me!.

8 Responses to “whips and chains”

  1. Carol Says:

    Does Lisa B know that she’s modeling those socks in the middle of a poison ivy patch! Go get her some Castile Soap. NOW! And wash those socks before anyone handles them!

  2. lisabee Says:

    i’m not allergic to p.i., fortunately, but i’ll check it out. anyway, i *love* my new socks (thank you!!) and am impressed by your background selection. i never would have thought to photograph there, but it shall be my new spot. you may also become my new photographer.
    sry about the juneberry bitch sitch. yet another shawl i am glad i am not planning to attempt, though i do think it’s lovely.

  3. lisabee Says:

    well, my lifelong camping friend who always identifies these sorts of things has confirmed it. that is indeed poison ivy! i have had zero reaction to it, so now we *know* i’m not allergic to it 🙂 but i’ll definitely cut it back and soon. is there a way to prevent it growing back?

  4. Kimberly Says:

    Ooo yeah thats the nasty PI…
    well, I’ve read everything about Juneberry and I want to do it, but I’m scared..haha

    I’m the type of knitter who says “oh thats pretty” I get the pattern and yarn and dig in without reading ahead, I don’t look to see what other people say, I just do it, I’m not scared…until now

  5. spillyjane Says:

    Lovely FOs! Your Juneberry is going to be gorgeous.

  6. Rose Says:

    I started a February Lady for the Knitting Olympics .. but let’s just say that the wool became a few pairs of lovely, basic socks instead. I guess I’m challenged by challenges! I’m thinking I’d like to try it again .. perhaps with a fiber that’s light and breezy and summery. Any suggestions?

    Can’t wait to see how you made out with the shawl. Kudos to you for stepping outside your knitting comfort zone, and meeting the challenges!

  7. Pam Says:

    My mind was spinning after the second paragraph. I will not attempt that shawl until I’ve been deemed competent. That’s not happening anytime soon, I can assure you.

  8. LOVED your comments on “Juneberry” – that 2nd graph is making me crazy! I’m going to rip it out (again) and follow your directions. Thank you for your clarity!

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