Wednesday, June 08, 2011
MY LITTLE FREE-RANGE VEST KNITALONG STARTS HERE!
Ready, set, free-range!
Welcome, everybody! I'm excited that you're going to join me for this knitalong, which will be the first time you've ever knit off-grid, in many cases. Hopefully, it won't seem as scary with me knitting right along with you. Or, better yet, not scary at all. You can knit this way! You can begin to see your knitting as filled with possibilities and that no mistakes exist. This is liberation.
All you need to begin is some yarn, needles and spirit. A few rules to remember:
- there are none
- don't count, fret or fiddle. Knit into the flow. You are the captain of your knitting destiny in this as in life
- guage and stitch calculations need not apply. We knit as we go, adding inches or centimeters as needed. You'll find out how to tell what's needed only to discover you knew all along
- knit the first and last stitch of every row regardless of stitch pattern
Though you can use any yarn, any weight, I'm going with a mix of chunky yarns recommended for a range of between 5mm/ US 8 - 8mm/US 11 needles and with a few medium weight yarns mixed in. My launching yarn consists of Colinette Giotto and I'll soon bring in Banyan, both in the colour of stewed grapes, plus a lovely ball of Fleece Artist/HandMaiden Mulberry Silk Tussah. I'll start monochromatic but who knows where my spirit will lead?
Okay, are you ready? To start, we'll cast on 40 stitches but understand this could just as easily be 30 or 50 stitches. You'll be adding to the sides anyway, tailoring you vest to fit you, so cast on numbers really don't matter, unless you're working with skinnier yarn, in which case cast on more stitches.
I'm starting with Giotto tape on size 8mm needles and want a little sturdiness to this, the launching of my center back piece. For that reason, I'm working seed stitch (k1, p1) for the next few inches. This kind of ribbon yarn doesn't deliver much stitch definition but that's all right. Where we're going, there be lots of textural interest in the wings. Seed stitch is such a goiod little trooper for launchings, edgings or just stirring in a little spice to the mix.
A note about seed stitch. I know we've been trained as pattern-followers to abide by the rules of equal sets within a row. Give that up here. Do not count your sets and fret if, for instance, you cannot squeeze in an extra k1, to follow your p1 at the begining or ends of seed rows. Do you really think anyone will notice? Besides, the last stitch in every row is always knit anyway.
The next installment of our knit along will be Friday and, from now on, will be located on my knitalong page here: http://www.janethornley.com/blog/index.php/knitting/Knitalong/
Do you like my needle wands, by the way? They're beautiful and make me feel like a magician. Mango Moon sells them here: http://www.mangomoonyarns.com/notions.php