CENTERED. SORT OF.

No, I haven’t forgotten about the ongoing projects here. I’ve been a bit buried in the usual tumult of work-related deadlines, but progress is being made.

First, on the lace shawl, I finished the center square. When that was done, I picked up stitches all the way around the edges – taking care to pick up the same number of stitches on every side, and indicating the corner points with stitch markers. Then, taking a riff from the Spider Queen, I worked two knit rows, then a purl row, a row of wide eyelets [(K2tog, YO, YO)repeat], followed by another purl row (with P1,K1 in the double eyelets) and two more rows of knit. I interrupted that patterning with a standard odd row – YO, K2, YO/even row – all knit corner centered on each corner marker. I did this not only because I like the framing look of the big eyelet bands, but also because that row is good for disguising any oddness necessary that might arise in forcing equal stitch count pick-ups along all sides.

I’ve now got four equal sides, each 153 stitches long, with clearly defined corner points. Since it’s now on one big circ, it looks vaguely snood-like:

cashlace-3.jpg

I’ve also got another conundrum. what to do next…

As I knit the center part, I was thinking of what borders might complement it. Because the basket weave was so geometric I wanted something that had similar lines, but that added a different movement. I found this in the new Duchrow book:Duchrow-3.jpg

At first glance I thought it was knit from edge to edge, rather than longitudinally. I based this on the mirrored center. I thought that with a little play, I could map it to my project. But closer examination of the chart shows that it’s knit strip style – the long way. That’s one problem. Even though I wanted to work this bit center out, I was willing to bend the paradigm and work this pattern along the edge.

shawlcenter.jpg

But there’s a second problem The graph offers up the repeat, plus a piece that makes the turn backs seen at the strip centerpoints (green indicator on photo above), but offers it for only one orientation – knit beginning at the center turn back and working back towards the corner. I can’t just take the graph and invert it to make that mirrored center. The spots where increases and decreases are formed are not direct cognates. For example, you can’t use a double increase in place of the K3togs that form the top points of the angles if you’re headed in the other direction. It just doesn’t look the same.

It may be that in the accompanying German there are directions on either how to get that flip, or instructions to knit eight half-strips, then sew them together at the centers and along the mitered corners (orange indicator on photo above).

So I’m back to thinking on what I can use on this next project stage, riffling through my stitch pattern and lace books. I think though I’ll end up rolling my own. I’ve played with lace and texture pattern design before. My design elements are pretty simple (four-stitch moving bars, interlaces, diamonds filling the interstices). Maybe I’ll be able to pull some of the elements from the Duchrow longitudinal piece and apply it to mine, but knit it side to side.

On the bathroom project, it’s one step forward, two steps back and recover. The crew had framed in the shower, but did it to the wrong dimensions (there would not have been enough room for the bathroom door to open next to the sink). Luckily we trust but verify, and pointed out the error in time for it to be fixed.

bath-during-2.jpg

Moral of the story: I don’t care if they’re professionals. Confirm all measurements yourself as the project progresses. Ask for explanations if you note discrepancies. If the crew’s mumbles seem specious, escalate the issue to the foreman. And if answers are still mushy – to the business owner.

Next big interruption – another spate of work-related deadlines, plus a baby shower gift I didn’t realize would be needed so soon. Perhaps another Oat Couture Curlicue blanket… Stay tuned.


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