Yes, yesterday I had twisted the join again. Like I said, there’s no procedure so commonplace that can’t be taken for granted and screwed up royally, no matter how many times you’ve done it before. (I also blush to admit that no matter how many times I’ve sewed something and regardless of how many times I check what I’m doing, I’ve never succeeded in putting in the second sleeve right-side out.)
So I gave in and idiot-proofed my beginning rows. I had the waste yarn cast on chain from my provisional cast-on already done (I’ve re-used it for every attempt so far). Instead of picking up and knitting my camo yarn in the round directly from the chain, I grabbed the same waste yarn and knit four rows of stockinette in the flat. I knew the correct number to achieve flash, so I just went with that – picking up and working my waste section to the desired width. Once I had a narrow band of stockinette done it was much easier to assort the stitches around the needle to avoid the twist-at-join problem. I knit one last full round with my waste yarn, accomplishing the join, then started in with my hand-painted cotton. If you regularly have major problems with twisting joins you might try something similar – knitting a sacrificial section in the flat so you can control around the needle wiggle before making your join. You can always go back and zip off the waste yarn section, then finish the raw edge with ribbing, I-cord, an edging, or a simple bind-off row.
As you can see, my predictions are upheld – the teal stripes anchor interstices in which the other colors play. It’s interesting to note the movement of the striping. I started off more or less stable, then hit a section in which color migration skewed strongly to the right. So much so that I did a couple of evenly spaced decreases about 3 inches from the hem (about 60% of the way up from the cast on edge). That will end up being at the waist, and a very small nip in there will act as a design feature rather than a bug. As you can see, the colors continued to migrate to the right even after the nip in, and only in the last four rows have stablized somewhat.
You can also see why this is a difficult yarn to flash properly. Yarns with longer, more stable color blobs work MUCH better. If for no other reason than it is easier to spot the beginning and eding of each color segment. The short repeats and random drop-outs of my camo yarn made spotting the flash effect very difficult during the first several rows when I was straining to make it all work out. One look at the mottled area between the two teal stripes at roughly the center of the photo shows why.
I’m quite pleased with the way this is going (now that it’s finally going). I’ll finish out the body tube, then figure out what depth sleeves to make based on how much yarn I have left. It just goes to show, if an idiot is knitting, it pays to idiot-proof the work.