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Afghan Pattern Hunting

January 18th, 2006 (12:06 am)

current mood: accomplished

Since the female sibling unit bought those 40(!) balls of Austermann Barkarole for me, I've been trying to find an interesting afghan pattern to work with, but most patterns call for a heavier (worsted weight and up) yarn. So now I'm at a bit of a loss as to what I'm going to do with the yarn. (I don't have sufficient tension control to look at doing any garment work yet. My current WIP, if finished, will be my first knit project). I'm really liking the looks of this pattern although it calls for a light bulky weight yarn. Then there's this other pattern that I found only by going to the web archive. A number of sites linked to this pattern despite the site no longer being live. And to round things out there's a pineapple pattern that I can't make out well enough to tell if I like it or not, an anniversary afghan, and two aran patterns (1, 2) that I've been debating as well. Each of the patterns I've listed though are all heavier yarn weight patterns while I'll be working with DK weight. I'm going to have to try and find some lighter lacier patterns. >_<;;

Tomorrow we'll be hitting Pudding Yarns, a high end yarn shop that the female sibling unit tells me seems to be proud that they carry no 100% acrylic (? synthetic?) yarns. To each their own, but there are some fun yarns that will be 100% acrylic or synthetics. But, the female sibling unit expects that they will carry Truffles, a yarn we picked up when we went to the Boxing Day sale at Knit One, Chat Too. I *really* like that yarn and even though it's been put away, I still remember how it feels to pet. It's a merino/cashmere blend IIRC and it's so *soft*!

As to how close I am to actually *completing* my current project... -_-; I'm about 12-13.5" in length at the moment depending if you go to the tip or trough of the edging. I'm also only in the middle of "ball" #2 ("ball" because we wind them into balls ourselves). IIRC, I get about 12 repeats per ball, and am now ~6 repeats into the current ball. So another half to go and ~4 repeats per day. Each repeat takes me about 1 hr. -_-; Yes I'm very slow. The pattern itself though is quite simple; Feather and Fan. Looking at it today, I'm finally able to see the pattern as it is and it's looking reasonable. Before today, I much preferred the *purl* side of the work compared to the patterned knit side. ^^;

I might look for a nice wool or similar in worsted weight to do the first pattern if I can't manage doing a DK version with the Barkarole. The really bad (good?) thing is that the yarn might get here as early as Friday since Elann ships express post. >_<;; And as to how much of a knitter I'm not, my sister has to tie in new balls of yarn for me since I don't know how to do that yet. I can cast on (sort of), knit, purl, YO, and slip stitches. And I'm very good at accidentally dropping stitches. I think that's about it at the moment. ^^;;

I'm learning... slowly. :P


Posted by: Too cute for evil (ginny_t)
Posted at: January 18th, 2006 09:01 am (UTC)
Tiny Toons - Gogo Dodo

I've been looking at the cascading leaves pattern for awhile. But it's all in pieces and then has to be sewn. *shudder* I like the anniversary afghan. Pretty!

Don't worry about how much help you need… I remember when I was first taught. I no longer have any fondness for that cousin, but she was certainly patient with me!

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: January 19th, 2006 03:32 am (UTC)

Isn't it pretty? The female sibling unit heard how many blocks it has and unfortunately, isn't willing to put that many squares together, especially since they could be any size by the time I finish. ^^; I wonder if it mightn't be possible to change the pattern such that it didn't take so many blocks?

Posted by: Too cute for evil (ginny_t)
Posted at: January 19th, 2006 11:03 am (UTC)
Delirium toes by enriana

I can't think of any way to change the pattern - the squares are knit diagonally from corner to corner. And tension is a consideration.

I suggest that you hold on to the pattern for when you're more experienced knitter, and then you can be more certain of the squares coming out the same size. On the upside, the small squares allows you to carry around an afghan that you're working on, without carrying around an afghan. ^_^

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: January 20th, 2006 05:41 am (UTC)

Good point. I didn't actually read through the pattern so I didn't notice that it was on the diagonal like that. ^^; *laughs* Of course, knowing me, I'd probably do as many squares at once as I could on a circular depending on how much space each took up. ^^;

Posted by: wombat1138 (wombat1138)
Posted at: January 18th, 2006 10:34 am (UTC)

Depending on how much new geekage you're willing to plunge into, you may (or may not) wish to check your local library or virtual bookstore for Barbara Walker's multivolume A [Nth] Treasury of Knitting Patterns. There are four or five books in the series, of which the first two are the widest-ranging; while most of the patterns aren't true-reversibles, she does note when things have interesting undersides, and it's a great overview of the conceptual field, so to speak-- the patterns walk you through knitting, purling, slip-stitches (she has one entire volume of slip-stitch bicolor mosaics), lacework, directional increases/decreases, and I forget else what-all; she's a bit like the Alton Brown of knitting, or was before she threw over knitting for neopaganism. (Actually, she may've explicitly written a book which presents a comprehensive knitting tutorial in the form of an entire afghan's worth of individual blocks, but I don't recall the title.)

From an even more general conceptual perspective, Walker's other book Knitting from the Top is also very good, as is Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting without Tears-- both of them are about how to knit garments in one piece, instead of chunks of back/front/sleeves that all have to be grafted/seamed together afterward, and also about a general mellowness of approach.

The one afghan I've made was crocheted in granny squares, which is about the largest afghan quantum I can keep track of. "Domino knitting" (diagonally-worked squares) would probably also work well for afghans. The feather'n'fan pattern is very pretty iirc-- about the only item of clothing I've actually finished, much less worn in public, is in some flavor thereof, but I don't remember there being a strong knit/purl-sidedness to it...? then again, I haven't done anything with my yarn stash since I acquired the cats. Um, nearly three years ago. Urk.

Er, y'all aren't actually *tying* the yarn balls in as you go, are you? Knots are bad for your karma. When you get to the last hand-length or so of your old yarnball, lightly twist the new yarn-end in beside it and work double-stranded for a few stitches until the old yarn runs out.

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: January 19th, 2006 03:47 am (UTC)

I don't recognize those names, but we have the Harmony collection of knitting stitches (which is 3 books plus one book on aran knitting) that I've been going through and I believe the female sibling unit has a number of other knitting books as well that I'll be digging through slowly. Hopefully I'll be able to find a pattern I like by the time the current project is finished. I'm hoping to tie in ball #3 tomorrow. Yay! ^^ (We picked up 10 hanks? skeins? and I'm hoping it won't be too much beyond 7 for the project. ^^;)

I think when joining a knitting guild, your journeyman's work (? to become journeyman?) is to make an afghan from squares of the various different stitches. Unfortunately, the national guild seems to have disappeared or something (my sister was interested in it).

The feather'n'fan pattern is very pretty iirc-- about the only item of clothing I've actually finished, much less worn in public, is in some flavor thereof, but I don't remember there being a strong knit/purl-sidedness to it...?

*laughs* There isn't. ^^; I prefered the purl side because it looked nicer and more even. I think when the afghan was shorter and closer to the needle still, it was even more distorted and didn't look like anything except wavy rows with weird blobby bits in it. Now at least it's shaping into a proper feather and fan. ^^;

Er, y'all aren't actually *tying* the yarn balls in as you go, are you?

Nope; or at least not really. When ball #2 was tied in, the female sibling unit knit a few stitches twisting the two threads as she went, and tied the two ends together with a bow tie so they can be threaded through later. I had to be a bit careful with the next row as it was the "pattern" row and the (K 2 tog) is a bit tight and pulled.

then again, I haven't done anything with my yarn stash since I acquired the cats. Um, nearly three years ago. Urk.
You haven't been petting them? Poor stash! I get tempted to pet the Truffles every now and again and the female sibling was showing me some of her stash last night. I wonder if she'd notice if I stole some stuff from there... ^^;;

I remember our kitty used to pummel the occasional ball of yarn when we were knitting/crocheting. I always wondered what that poor ball of yarn ever did to our kitty. ^^;

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: January 19th, 2006 03:48 am (UTC)

Cheers! Little by little, yep. ^_^

Posted by: Lina (chibi_plum)
Posted at: January 18th, 2006 12:55 pm (UTC)

*Can only knit scarves and hats* O_O Nice job! ^^

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: January 19th, 2006 03:51 am (UTC)

Can "only". O_O I can't do hats yet by any stretch. ^^; That takes increasing and decreasing and casting off... ^^; Cheers!

Posted by: Lina (chibi_plum)
Posted at: January 19th, 2006 10:14 am (UTC)
Furuba-Mabudachi Love

HAHA! In college, I was the biggest dork. I would listen to Harry Potter by downloading the audio chapters, and knit. -_- Shhhhh....don't tell anyone.

Posted by: Laurie (ichi_san)
Posted at: January 18th, 2006 02:24 pm (UTC)

*can't knit at all*

How do you manage to do all this ? I'm so impressed T-T

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: January 19th, 2006 03:56 am (UTC)

*laughs* There's lots of stuff that you know how to do that I can't too. ^_^ I sometimes miss when I was younger or just after I finished uni. I used to do a lot of continuing education classes and craft classes back then. These days, I don't have the patience for them, and they're not as enjoyable, nor as affordable. :-/

Posted by: Hysteria (hysteriachan)
Posted at: January 18th, 2006 07:20 pm (UTC)
Alyson (lunamaria_)

The array of tea arrived! Chris and I have both been sniffing happily at it--so many things to try! *hugs* Thank you so much!

*abuses exclamation marks shamelessly* *^^*

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: January 19th, 2006 03:58 am (UTC)

Yay! Hope they're all okay and that they didn't mix with each other. Enjoy! ^__^

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