This past week and a half has been like getting a giant charley horse in my life, and slowly, over the past couple of days, I’ve been just kind of stretching through the cramp and loosening it up, and aaaaaaaahhhhhh!
Yesterday and today, I sat at the computer catching up on my blog reading and video watching, and knitted on the modified body of my cable edged shawl. I’m really liking the increase in density of going to the smaller needle for the shawl body, and I did really need to go to 3 stitches for the garter stitch border on the leading edge of the shawl to balance the denser stitching in the body.
Some interesting things going on in the construction of the shawl body: The garter tab is what sets up that 3-stitch leading edge border, which is knitted across the top edge of the shawl in both directions from the center point established by the garter tab. However, in between that border and the body of the shawl is a yarn over (yo) on each end on every row, which increases your stitch count by two stitches every row (from the 9 of the tab, to 260). That yarn over is what gives that little openwork line that makes it look like the border and the body are going in two different directions, when actually they’re not. What you end up with is a semicircular piece of knitting with the 3-stitch garter stitch border across the diameter (top), and live stitches all around the circumference. Then you start the garter stitch lace edging on another needle and each time you knit a row of the edging, you incorporate live stitches off the shawl body and join the edging on.
The garter tab is a nifty little bit of knitting in and of itself. In this case, you cast on 3 stitches, knit 3 rows, then you turn your work 90 degrees to the right, pick up 3 stitches down the side of the tab, turn it another 90 degrees to the right, and pick up 3 more stitches across the bottom for a total of 9 stitches. Your original 3 stitches become one side of the border, the stitches you picked up down the side become the body of the shawl, and the stitches you picked up across the bottom become the other side of the border. It’s that little “turn the corner” around the tab that lets the border stitches go in both directions at once. This type of construction is best for top-down shawls, both semicircular and triangular. How you work your increases can give you some interesting patterns and textures.
I think I’m going to be exploring this type of shawl construction a little more. I’ve found some garter stitch lace patterns for edging, and I found one that includes a mitered corner, which would work with a triangular shawl.
I’ve just sat down again from getting up doing things — I’m on a kick where I’m hungry for those baby carrots, cherry tomatoes and pieces of cantaloupe dipped in this particular brand of Ranch dressing, so I had to get up and get a plate of that. Noshed on that while I read blogs, knitted, and played Spider solitaire. Then I decided I wanted to bake some potatoes (I had three stashed in the fridge), so I got up and did that (washed, dried, rubbed with olive oil, baked in the oven at 360° for an hour). (They’re baked and cooling now.) While those were in the oven I made a bowl of tuna salad with tuna, chopped raw white onions, chopped kosher dill pickles, chopped black olives, and a (drained) can of those mixed peas and chopped carrots, with mayo and two large spoons of that Ranch dressing. It’s chilling in the fridge as I type. I must be getting better. That’s the most cooking I’ve done in months. I’ve got some Carr’s Table Water Crackers I’ll spoon the tuna salad on for noshing here directly.