ALCAZAR – EDGING BEGUN

In spite of the massive amounts of prose here over the last week or so,
I have been knitting away at Alcazar. Here you see progress to
date:

In spite of my blurry photo, you can see the fountain area at the
bottom of the outer band, surmounted by the alternating pierced and
flower-bearing arcade layer. The final edging is knit
horizontally across the top. The edging itself is very simple – a
wave edging that appears in many variants, both stockinette and garter
based (it’s stockinette here).

One caveat. If you have never started an edging that’s attached
across a needle full of live stitches, the instructions in Alcazar
might leave you a bit baffled. Here’s what happens.

First, you finish out the final row of the outer band but do not break
off the yarn. Set it aside. Then taking a DPN of the same
diameter as your circ, you cast on the requisite number of stitches
using waste string and some sort of provisional cast on (the choice is
up to you, but I crocheted mine directly onto my DPN).
Now you’ve got a DPN with a bunch of waste yarn stitches on it.
Break off the waste yarn leaving a small tail so the rest of it stays
out of your way.

Take the main piece, with the right side facing you (vast areas of this
one are in stockinette, so identifying the right side is easy).
Put some sort of needle tip cap, rubber band or other plug at the end
of what would have been the right hand needle of your original
circ. Trust me on this as leaving this end free is a recipe for
disaster.

Holding the DPN VERY close to the shawl and using what would have been
the left hand needle end of your circ, purl across the provisional
cast-on stitches using the main yarn. Now work the first row of
the edging chart using the DPN. At the end of it you’ll be back
at the side where the edging is being attached to the main body.
The last stitch of the edging is worked together with the next two live
stitches of the shawl body by slipping it, then knitting the two body
stitches together and passing the slipped edging stitch over the
just-completed K2tog.

You’ll find that most patterns that work an edging on like this direct
that every so often the rate of attachment be increased, to make up for
the fact that knit rows and knit stitches are rarely the same
height. In this particular pattern, the final row of the repeat
is attached by slipping the last two edging stitches, knitting two body
stitches together, then passing BOTH edging stitches over the just-made
K2tog.

Keep working the edging back and forth following the chart.
You’ll find that once you’ve finished the first repeat you can ditch
the DPN and use the two ends of your original circ if you prefer.
In my case, my only 3.0mm DPN was a non-slippy aluminum one that was
driving me crazy. As soon as I could I went back to using both
ends of my nice, shiny, ultra-slick Inox circ.

Although this method is most commonly seen in attaching lace edgings to
live edges, you can use it to knit any horizontally-worked strip to the
live stitches of vertically knit edge. You’ll need to play a bit
with the rate of attachment to make sure your edging lies as you like –
either ruffled (increase the number of edging rows per body stitches),
flat, or a bit cupped (decreasing the number of edging rows to body
stitches) – but not having a seam to work is always very much
appreciated.

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