Sunday, 5 August 2012

Waves and ladders

Summit shawl sample

Day 2 of the creative challenge. And what have I been up to today? Well, a little bit of experimenting with knit as you can see! This beautiful pattern is where I have happily lost most of today. I was racing the light for last minute photos, I got so involved!

Ok, so knitting a shawl in a day is a bit much, but I have made a decent sample to explore the pattern construction. This lovely pattern Summit shawl by Mandi Harrington has been sitting in my Ravelry to-do list ever since it came out - March 2010 to be exact - so quite a wee while. In fact, all the bigger projects seem to gather dust there so I thought, wouldn't it be nice to just allow myself to do a little bit, as a tester, to see if I like it enough to make it. I love working out the construction of complex knits but kind of lose interest if I have to knit metres of the stuff! So this way I get the best of both worlds - I enjoy the doing but there's no pressure of a Finished Object.

And I've always loved the look of this one. It's beautifully designed and aimed at slightly higher than a beginner. The pattern says 2 out of 4 for difficulty so it looks complex but it only requires you to know a few of the easy stitches like M1, Kfb, Yo. The thing that makes this pattern so unusual is its use of short row knitting - where you knit each 'wavy' strand individually back and forth in sections - rather than a full row. Once you get your head around that, it makes a lovely logical structure. How happy am I when that happens? Happy happy:) - when you 'get' the pattern and know exactly how it will unfold from then on in. Harmony, that's it. Perfect harmony.


I wanted to try a few things out with this pattern too. Firstly to see how the short rows would affect a variegated hand dyed yarn and secondly if I didn't use the suggested silk how would it flow or drape in contrast. As to the first, you can see where the green sections meet the blue ones so although it isn't terribly contrasting, I think a semi-solid yarn would give the best effect, especially if you are going to spend the time dyeing your own like I do. So, good to know. Secondly, the handle of this fingering weight does have a lightness and won't slip as much when knitting silk but - well, silk is silk and who wouldn't prefer a silky draped shawl to a wool mix??

Despite our desire for expensive gorgeous silk, I think this will knit well in any smooth yarn and if it has a slight sheen or lustre to it, even better.  This pattern has an evening, dressing up feel to it so if I were to knit an actual shawl or smaller scarf, I'm thinking deep teals, reds or plums for me.

Casting on in sections                                                                        First ladder created
cast on row complete for my mini scarf (7 sections instead of 15) - all set up now for the first curve section
right curve
left curve

I've taken some photos as I went through each stage of the pattern so I can remember in the future how it's constructed. Hope this helps anyone who may be interested in trying this pattern out. After the initial set up section to get all the solid areas and ladders in place, you then develop the right curve section, then the left. That's it. You just keep waving those left and right curves and the pattern just appears. Wonderful!

This isn't a pattern to be knitting watching the tv though, so it was nice music as accompaniment today. Now I've got the construction clear in my head I've found it getting quicker and quicker to knit - which is excellent if you're going for full shawl size! One other thing I made myself do was double check the stitch count before dropping the stitch to create the ladder. It's much quicker to check again than have to reknit a dropped stitch in the wrong place:)  This lovely shawl is really worth the effort and just trust the pattern, it does work out perfectly, honest!

Tomorrow, I'll choose something that's a bit more manageable in a day, although I like the idea I can give you a follow-up on this too. I think I'll sleep well tonight - hope I don't see waves and ladders in my sleep!!

See you all tomorrow!

19 comments:

  1. So pretty - love the left curve!

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    1. Thanks Kit. I love how it waves back and forth:) Think I'll knit a bit more this week to see how it looks with more curves to it!!

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  2. I do recognise it...and wish mine had worked out. The yarn I was using tended to split too much and the more I did the more I hated it so I frogged it...but I have pictures of what I did do!...now....YOURS is magnificent and I'm not just saying that...the yarn is perfect for it and I hope you do go on with it and finish it...it doesn't have to be in a day...it can be a pick up project...
    now I better go and get something done...
    :)x ♥

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    1. It was your pin of this that reminded me I really wanted to try it:) At the beginning part, my yarn got a little splitty but it seems to have settled down on the curves now. I imagine silk might be a bit more tricky to work with too - those end stitches by the ladders don't like staying where they should do they?

      The sample is about 7 repeats so it would make a nice scarf width I'm thinking. I'll knit a bit more anyway to see how the pattern looks as a decent sized sample - and then probably keep going!!

      Oh, what you making? Looking forward to seeing what you're doing. Lol, I'd better get back too if I'm going to finish tonight:)

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  3. Replies
    1. Thank you! The yarn is one I dyed a while ago called Poseidon so I thought it was the perfect colour for the waves in this pattern:)

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  4. Absolutely GORGEOUS!! I am so impressed with your design & talent.
    I would love to make this!
    Thank you for sharing.
    Chrissy
    us4n2@comcast.net

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    1. Thanks Chrissy! The pattern is free at knitty.com - http://knitty.com/ISSUEss10/PATTsummit.php . It's much easier than it looks too. It's such a beautiful pattern, I'm sure you'll have fun!

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  5. Wow! I wish I could find that pattern! I could totally make my best friend a scarf!

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    1. The pattern is free for this shawl. You can get it at knitty.com here - http://knitty.com/ISSUEss10/PATTsummit.php. I've decided to carry this one on as a scarf. I did 7 repeats instead of the shawl's 15 which I'm thinking will be wide enough for me when it is blocked and pressed at the end. Hope you enjoy making it:)

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    2. Ola! Adorei este trabalho, mas esta sendo meio complicado pois não mostra o inicio, o ponto é múltiplo de cinco, conta com mais pontos a serem desfeitos?
      Ou dá espaço entre os fio?
      Realmente é muito bonito eu adorei obrigada por compartilhar este será mais um desafio a minha idade. Receba um grande abraço brasileiro.

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    3. That is a very good point. I didn't add photos of the very beginning cast on details - I have added a few more photos now that show the initial cast on sections and the first ladder being created.

      You knit 3 sections before dropping the first stitch that creates the ladder space. Following the pattern instructions, you then go on to create the 4th section, then drop with stitch of the next ladder where it says. (This should be between the 2nd and 3rd sections) This knitting a new section then dropping a stitch to create a new ladder continues till you have the full 15 shawl sections - or 7 like mine for a scarf.

      I hope htis helps you get past the cast on stage and onto the lovely curves. Happy knitting!

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  6. I love it!
    I stopped my cleaning, picked up some needles, that are always somewhere in the house where they shouldn't, and found some yarn and started knitting following your pictures. It's great! Can't stop, so cleaning will have to wait :)
    I'm using a fluffy yarn: the dropping isn't so easy, but it looks great.
    thanks for sharing! (and giving me an excuse to stop cleaning)

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    1. Love it! Knitting will always win over cleaning, hands down:)) Actually the fluffy yarn could hold the ladders in place better than a smoother one. I'm thinking I may have to twist the first and last stitches to keep them in place better.

      I think I'll need to knit more of mine today too - to avoid the cleaning of course!

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  7. Excellent progress pictures. I think I can suss out the technique from those pictures alone. Thanks for posting. I got to your page from Pinterest.

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    1. Thanks Jay, glad it's been helpful! I like to be able to see the stages as well as read patterns myself so I thought I'd record my progress as I went.

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  8. Finally I understood how to do this shawl! Thanks for the photos so well explained.

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    1. Glad to be able to help Rosa;) It's a lovely pattern and on first glance not easy to see exactly how it is constructed. Hope your shawl turns out well!

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  9. Muito lindo ficou este trabalho. Mil beijos e mil abraços.

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