Thursday, June 9, 2011

April Adventures in Knitting: Nupps and the Twisted German Cast-on

I've been too busy knitting to blog. Truthfully, at the end of April, I was too busy winding down the academic year and test knitting patterns to blog. And all through May, I test knit more patterns. Here, finally, is a report on my April knitting.

The first part of April was spent finishing a test knit for the Fickle Knitter. My Two Rivers Shawl, shown at right, was knit with one skein of Dream in Color Smooshy in the Into the Mystic colorway. The body of the shawl was knit first, then the edging was knit onto the shawl, with two rows of edging knit for every stitch along the bottom edge. It took longer to knit the edging than to knit the body of the shawl. (As always, click on any photograph to enlarge.)

The pattern was interesting, but easy enough for an advanced beginner. Knit two together, slip-slip-knit, and yarnovers were the most difficult stitches, and there were a few no-wrap short rows in the edging near the center point to give the shawl added depth.

The lower photo shows a close-up of the pattern on the shawl body and of the knitted-on edging.

I started knitting this shawl on 19 March and finished it on 08 April 2011. It was the fourth shawl I've knit this year. (Photos and information about the first three shawls have not yet appeared in this blog because I was unable to block them as I knit them, due to foot surgery I had right before Christmas.)

My April adventures in knitting began in earnest with the next shawl, the Liblikakiri Shawl (shown above). (According to the pattern designer, liblikakiri means butterfly in Estonian.)  This was another test knit. The Liblikakiri Shawl was my first experience with nupps. Nupps, if you've never encountered them before, require alternating knitting and yarnovers in the same stitch. In this pattern, the nupps were created by alternating five knits and four yarnovers in one stitch. In the next row, all nine of those loops were knit into one stitch. The result was a solid "blob," as shown in the close-up photo below.

This shawl, which also had cables, was knit in laceweight yarn. I used most of a skein of Knit Picks Shadow Tonal in the Deep Waters Tonal colorway. I started this shawl on 07 April and finished on 21 April.

My final April knitting adventure involved another test knit, the Anna Perenna Shawl, and the twisted German cast-on. The Twisted German cast-on is similar to the long-tail cast-on, but with an extra loop that adds a lot of stretchability to the cast-on. It is my new favorite cast-on.

My Anna Perenna Shawl, shown at right, was knit from the bottom-up, and the twisted German cast-on made the bottom nice and stretchy, so it blocked beautifully. Once the edging was knit, there were a lot of short rows of increasing length (to about 350 stitches) to add depth, then eight rows of garter stitch. I ran out of yarn, so my shawl is six rows shorter than the pattern. The shawl was supposed to have I-cord edging at the top, but I had to use a sewn bind-off.

My Anna Perenna was knit with two skeins of Madelinetosh Tosh DK yarn in the Cobalt colorway. I started the shawl on 23 April and finished on 05 May.

What have you been knitting this spring?


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