Sunday, October 28, 2012

Quirky Bird Knits Lady's Mantle from Knitter's Mercantile - Day 3

Sub-goals and color helps...

I’m a big believer in sub-goals.  I love to break down large projects into a series of milestones.  It helps to keep me motivated, and gives me smaller celebrations along the way to my finish line.  And I do love to celebrate, so more celebrations are always better than less.

Some patterns hand you logical milestones.  Before attempting a DestiKNITions segment, I always break down the pattern into what I think will be the six most appropriate segments.  There are times when life loves to mess with my formula, as in the case of the infamous Amnesia Cowl...something I am living down even to this day.  Other times you have to build in your own checkpoints.  

Once you have the basic repeat down, there isn’t much but “full steam ahead” on this mantle.  So, given that I have two skeins of yarn to work with, I wound the skeins into four even balls so I’d have “mile markers” at 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 the way through the long stretch of similar knitting.  I love the sense of accomplishment I get when I reach the end of a ball and start a new one.

Another trick to this piece--or in this case it's simply a huge help--is the colorway.  Every other row you counting back two stitches to pass the slipped stitch over.  The nice thing about working with this yarn is that in almost all cases the slipped stitch you are passing over is a different color than the other stitches on your needle.  That helps tremendously.  This isn’t an easy pattern to TINK out when you mess up, so it’s important that you can “read” the stitches on your needle--between the different-colored slip stitch and the yarn-overs, you can usually figure out where you are and what your next stitch ought to be.

Notice I said “usually.”  I confess I’ve lost my place twice on this piece already and had to cobble together some quick fixes to keep my pattern on track.  Nobody’s perfect--least of all me.

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