Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pendulum | Tips and Suggested Modifications.

Word around the shop is that we have quite a few knitters joining us for the Pendulum KAL. And if you're on the fence about joining us or maybe just haven't decided which yarn to use, we just shelved a big order of Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 (including a few of the "one of a kind" color ways). This yarn is a merino/cashmere/nylon blend with 400 yards per skein.  Two skeins would make a lovely Pendulum!  ...but I already bought my yarn. Yep, I went with the Panama in blue and cream!
the blue is my main color and the cream is my contrast
As promised, I've reviewed the completed projects on Ravelry to gather up tips and suggested modifications.

The good news is that many have knit the project as written, with stunning results. So if you simply want to follow Amy's instructions, you are good to go! Please note that I found a lot of variation in yardage and needle sizes (many knitters used 400 yards plus of the main color...on size 5, 6 and 7 needles). If you are close to the specified 340/230 yards, you should definitely swatch. You'll be adding two stitches on every row... so the shawl grows quickly and the last few repeats will be on several hundred stitches (which means those rows use a lot of yarn!)

However, many knitters have made modifications. Most of these are to the cast-on and edge treatment to help block the edge straight, so you can wear the piece more like a scarf than a shawl (similar to Color Affection). Before I dive into more detail on those modifications, I thought it might help to see what the cast-on and first bit of edge looks written.  Honestly, I'd be fine with it!
as written, after working seven increase rows
But I've knit both my Color Affections by starting the increases on the very first row and with an added YO at the beginning of each row (which I dropped on the subsequent row to create loose edge stitches, but no additional holes); I was planning similar modifications for Pendulum, but then I read what Knitloon did with hers. She added YO's at both ends (K1, YO, M1L, .... , M1R, YO, K1) and then used those YOs on the next row as the basis for her M1s. Pretty great idea. Here's what it looks like after a few rows. The edge is flat and stretchy; I'm going to use this method.
working increase rows right away (I did not knit the plain row after the cast-on) and YOs at both ends
...and in case you'd like to use it too, here's what it looks like in more detail (you should be able to click the photos to see them bigger).

I've worked K1, YO and the next stitch is the YO from the row before.

Note that we could be elegant and do the first YO on each row backwards...which would eliminate having to re-position the bar before we work the M1R...but that just seems like a lot to remember and this project is supposed to be social knitting. 

Many knitters also substituted a garter tab cast-on. Frankly, I don't see the point since there is no garter edge on the shawl (and Color Affection doesn't use one either and it turns out beautifully). But if you want to try it, here's a great tutorial from Stephen West.

The important thing to remember is that this is YOUR project and YOU get to decide what - if any - modifications you make.

Our group cast-on is tomorrow afternoon at the shop (2pm-ish on Friday, April 5); hope you're planning to join us in person or virtually in our Ravelry thread!