Saturday, October 20, 2012

Quirky Bird Knits Lady's Mantle from Knitter's Mercantile - Day 1

Cope and Change...

Ah, there’s nothing like the thrill of casting on a new project...even if it’s a very long row of long-tail cast-on.  More stitches is just more chances to smile at the lovely yarn and the promise of a new shawl.

For me, part of the beauty of knitting is the customization.  At six feet, “one size fits all” hardly ever applies--even for accessories.  

As knitters, we get lots of choices once we select a pattern.  The obvious customization open to knitters is color.  If you’re fond of red or know you look ill in coral, you can make the garment of your choice in a color that suits you.  Texture is another element at the knitter’s command.  If you want that shawl to be a slice of silky, drapey heaven, you can make it so.  Or use a tweed and get a homespun look.  The very best patterns can give you completely different results just by swapping out the yarn.

Size is the prize for me.  I need just about everything longer than it comes, even a shawl like this.  Top down sweaters and toe up socks are easy--just keep going.  Even some scarves and shawls are a snap to adapt.  But you do have to be careful.  This shawl is knit end to end, so it wasn’t just a case of knitting more rows like our Multi-Textured Vest.  I had to make sure that I added the correct number of stitches to each row to keep the pattern intact.  And that isn’t always as simple as dividing the row by gage--you need to take the borders into account.  A quick email to the friendly ladies of Quirky Bird Knits informed me that I need to add my stitches in factors of three.  

I also needed to be aware that whatever I added in length would decrease the width if I only had the two skeins of Yarn Hollow Brocade to work with.  Broad-shouldered gal that I am, I added a fair bit of length to my mantle, so I’ll end up with a more narrow rectangle--which means my mantle won't go as far down my body.  I’m fine with that, but I’m glad to go into this with my eyes wide open.

No comments: