Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sand and Sea. Sizing and Short Rows.

We love the response to this knit-along! It's fun to see all the color/yarn pairings...and to have all the input on knitting it.  One of my favorite things about knitting along is the sharing of ideas and learnings. And from the first week, the main topics have been about sizing - making it bigger - and about short rows (aka "w&t" or "wrapping and turning").

First up, about sizing. The shawl as designed is only 48" long. If you want to make it bigger, the easiest  modification is to use bigger needles (and more yards) with the suggested fingering weight.  I have about 400 yards of the main color yarn and I'm using a size 7 needle, compared with 250 yards and a size 6 needle that the pattern suggests. As a rough rule of thumb, going up a needle size will increase the piece by about 10%. So I'm hoping my piece works out to be about 110% of 48", or about 53" long (and it should take less than 300 yards - I'll let you know!)

You can also add stitches, but you'll need to add a number that will work with the feather and fan lace pattern (an 18 stitch repeat) for the border, taking into account the increase row (just before joining the contrasting color) that adds one stitch for every two. We worked some math on Friday and think adding 48 stitches to the cast on will add 72 stitches for the border (four feather and fan repeats). The original cast-on is 253 stitches, so going up to 301 stitches is almost a 20% increase. Yes, you'll need more yarn! And you might want to consider modifications to the short rows, but, assuming you account for the extra 48 stitches in your stitch counts (i.e., add 48 to the number of stitches left between wrapped stitches), you don't have to.

And then, the short rows. The first short row is actually executed on a knit row that follows another knit row, so it's really in garter stitch. Which means you can wrap & turn, but you don't need to worry about picking up the wrap later. The second and all the subsequent short rows, however, are executed in stockinette stitch.

If you hate picking up wraps, why don't you try "shadow wraps". The folks at Socktopus put together a great photo tutorial for the technique. Best I can explain it, the "wrap" ends up inside the turning stitch, so there's no need to pick it up later. But really, you should check out the tutorial for a full explanation. And lots of great photos.

Way better than the one I have to share!
click to make bigger!
Are you knitting along? Please share questions, comments and photos!!!! here, on our Ravelry forum, or on Facebook. The photo above is my shawl as of this afternoon. I hope to have something more to share next week. Stay tuned.... and happy knitting!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Mary... Very informative. Kathy