Sneaking Up On Christmas

I finished my hat last week, and have been enjoying wearing it.  So snowflakey! — But not, actually.  That design is a variant of a traditional Norwegian design called the 8-petaled rose, but it looks snowflakey, so who cares?  I tried to keep my floats overly loose to allow the hat to stretch when worn, but I still got them just a hair too tight.  Sigh. 

Those little strings of white yarn on the inside of the hat (at right) are the “floats” — that’s where you have to carrying the white yarn along the row behind the work until you need to knit with it again.  My floats are messy, and I didn’t secure the long ones because I knew I’d be covering them up when I “turned the hem” on the hat.

I made a couple of xmas balls and sent them to my cousin EJ, and told her that the angel one was for her little granddaughter (my first cousin twice removed), RR, who has her own xmas tree, I’m told.  Does my cousin bring just the angel ball with her when she visits?  Nope.  She brought both.  Guess who decided she needed both for her tree.  Do I want to knit two more balls and send them to EJ in time for New Years?  Maybe.

The Ball Bandit Strikes Again

I was working on that new blue shawl, and remembered I had about 6 skeins of this other really nice yarn and, yep, I frogged out the blue, and now I’m doing it in a dark green because I love the color, and this is a softer yarn than the blue.  So there.

I call your attention to the fact that it takes two circular needles and a pair of DPN to start this shawl.  Working on it is like wrestling a quadropus with the ends of the circular needles flopping about until you get enough ease in the work to transfer it all to one needle.

It’s a good thing I restarted it, though, because I caught a mistake in the pattern.  I hadn’t considered that cables are directional, and the usual cable pattern only works on cables that are going in one direction.  I kept getting this obvious glitch in one side of the horizontal cable. Took me a minute to figure out why.

When you’re working a braided cable, you are literally braiding the knitting.  Say, for example, that your cable is 9 stitches wide, then each “strand” of your cable is 3 stitches wide and your crosses are done over 6 stitches, crossing (C) one “strand” in front of (F) or behind (B) the other by taking a “strand” of  stitches off onto a cable needle, knitting the next “strand” and putting the first “strand” back and knitting them.  In the pattern, those crosses would be [C6F, k3], [k3, C6B], (Because knitting is basically linear, in order to cross the left-hand strand over the center, you have to use the Columbus method* — take the center strand off and cross it behind the left-hand one.  Yeah, I know.)

But, as I discovered, cables are directional.  I’m knitting the horizontal cable in both directions at the same time (which is the cool thing about this pattern).  In order to get the other end of the horizontal cable to be right, I had to change the pattern for that one cable end to [C6B, k3], [k3, C6F].  Because of that one little idiosyncrasy, this pattern is going to have a built-in booby trap, because two cables will be one way, and that third one will be subtly different.

Like daddy always told me, “Watch out for those traps, booby.”


*Going east by sailing west.

Author: WOL

My burrow, "La Maison du Hibou Sous Terre" is located on the flatlands of West Texas where I live with my computer, my books, and a lot of yarn waiting to become something.

2 thoughts on “Sneaking Up On Christmas”

  1. I never would have imagined that pattern is called a rose, rather than a snowflake. Still, as they say, a rose by any other name — well, this one doesn’t smell, but it looks just as sweet!


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