Monday, February 22, 2010

Ready! Steady! Have a Go!

I've been agonising over putting the two halves of my Feather and Fan scarf together. I've now had several attempts at the grafting stitch--Kitchener Stitch--with mixed success. My first go I pulled the stitches too tight and made a nasty stiff seam. Here's my second attempt:I've kind of got the idea of making the grafting stitches the same tension as the knitted ones, but as you can see, my flight path is inaccurate in spots. Of course, the real thing will be the same yarn as the knitting, so my inaccuracies will be less obvious--that's a good thing. What you can't see is that stitching the graft has to happen between and around two knitting needles. I don't know how many times I got the yarn looped around one or other of the needles . . . I don't want to know how many times!

Yesterday I took two different approaches to my challenge:

  • I rang several of my more experienced, local knitting friends in search of an experienced Kitchener stitcher--no luck. I did have a good catch up on the phone with friends I hadn't spoken with for a while, but it wasn't getting me any closer to the goal of joining up my scarf. I did get a reality check, though: not every knitter does Kitchener stitch.
  • Then I decided to take the plunge . . . well, not quite the plunge, but at least I got my feet wet. I had a sample of the feather and fan knitted in Bendigo 2-ply: 40-something stitches, in two halves, and dip dyed like the real thing. I had a go at grafting it together.

The effect of using fine wool and variegated colour cuts both ways: on the one hand, it's really hard to see what I'm doing; on the other hand, it's really hard to see what I've done. That sample is now on my blocking board. It doesn't look too bad. I need my glasses to see where I've made my mistakes. My eyesight isn't that bad. It will do. Now I have to tackle the real thing: 73 stitches in fine hand-spun. I think I'll do it in several shifts, but I will do it.

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