Monday, April 30, 2012

Yggdrasil and Charting Lace

My current monster project (because I inevitably have at least on of these on my needles, regardless of how many smaller projects are/need to be worked on) is Yggdrasil. I've mentioned it in passing a couple of times but I hadn't taken pictures of it until today. This is mostly because enough of the cable border needed to be knit so that the body was "liberated" and I could lay it flat. I can't wait for it to be finished. It's so endearingly lovely... all heathered and cabled.

Of course, it would be finished much more quickly if I worked on it. At all.

Between knitting breasts and writing patterns for knit breasts, it's hard to find the motivation to actually grind through the last 4 repeats of the cable chart, work the corner and kitchener that bugger together. Also, it probably doesn't help that I mis-crossed my last cable row and I'm being a stubborn idiot about fixing it. But in theory, it's about halfway done, which is good because I underbought in yarn from a store 5 hours from my home like a genius, and the likelihood of ever re-encountering this dyelot is somewhere next to the likelihood of re-encountering a dinosaur while being struck by lightning. I think I can make it, though.

It really is a clever little pattern. (Word to the wise, print the chart and mark both sides of rows to keep your bearings. That ^^ is not a symmetrical tree and the chart, she is wide and written in tiny font)

I think there may actually be too many repeats in the edging. It wants to curl up into a gentle ruffle. Maybe in the heavy cotton the pattern calls for the cables lay flat simply due to their weight, but my loft wool doesn't want to. I need to be careful on the pick up round (I'm writing this down here so that there's proof that I told myself this in advance, even though I will probably do so haphazardly, like an idiot.)

I have distant plans to cast on another Niebling project--frosted fern. I recharted it in excel from the written directions courtesy of the wayback machine. I have a personal rule never to work complex lace from written directions. It stems from a run in with a frostflower border in Vogue Knitting on one of my first sweaters. Frostflowers are evil. They are knitted lace--pattern on every row, as opposed to lace knitting where the pattern is on every other row. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into, and after days of struggling with the stupid narrow columns that divided a row of knitting over 5 rows of directions, I invented charting.

By myself. I had never read a chart before. I had never even seen one. It didn't matter. The pattern seemed linear, the stitch count didn't change. I made up my own symbols and went to town.

So, upon encountering 120 rows of uncharted text, I opened excel, got out my graph paper, and set out to make an easily understandable chart.

It needs a few more edits--I don't write in Mr. Niebling's style. I prefer my leaves segregated into their own sections and my stems mostly unbroken, and to achieve this, I'm willing to work with large "no stitch here"sections. But those need to be added later, since you can't really know the widest point of something until you've past it. It's about half-way done. I was content simply getting it transcribed.

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