Hey! Hey, you guys, you guys, you GUYS!!!! I mean… hey, WHOA!
Did I go and make this sound way the hell more complicated than it is? AGAIN?
Srsly - not that I don’t love being likened to Bach, and all - but this stuff isn’t rocket science. (Or economics. Or politics. Or internal combustion engines. Now those are hard to follow.) Honestly.
Let me see if I can clarify a bit. Here’s the chief gist of what I was blathering on (and on and on) about. On the left, a diagram of Belshazzar Delight Maximus, as produced normally by the Method Workshop program. On the right, the same diagram, elongated and truncated to emulate the way I’ve been knitting it - a 3-2 ratio.
Belshazzar is 48 changes per lead, and it’s palindromic, which as you may recall is a high-falutin’ way of saying that half-way through it reverses and repeats, just like a verbal palindrome. I’ve put a green line at that half-way point, called the “half-lead” in ringing parlance. Now, if you work this the way I initially expected to work it (and the way I want to work it now), using 4 rows of knitting for each change, that means 48 x 4 = 192 rows of knitting to complete one lead. At a row gauge of 12 to the inch, that’s 192 / 12 = 16 inches. That will fit on the front/back of a sweater. In its entirety. And it’ll look nice and balanced, pretty much like the original diagram.
Whereas in the stretched-out version on the right - which is how I’ve actually been knitting this stuff up until now (it even looks remarkably similar to my knitted version, I think) - I’d either have to make the body of the sweater 48 x 6 = 288 rows, i.e. 288 / 12 = 24 inches lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-ong, or truncate it somewhere around the 192-row point, leaving it unbalanced. If you look at the two diagrams sideways - no, wait, wait, I can do that for you -
- you get an even clearer idea of the balance of one as opposed to the imbalance of the other.
The funny thing, of course, is that these diagrams were created with no regard to what they look like - they’re really only a form of musical notation. But they just happen, purely as a by-product, to look really really cool. Well, this is me, taking advantage of that circumstance. I have a lot more to say about this one of these days, about how the rhythms of the numeric sequence are manifested visually in the diagram layout… but that’ll have to wait until another time, because right now there’s more dramatic business afoot:
First I bound off the swatch, none too neatly I might add.
Then I got out the Big Scissors. Even though I have never done this type of steek before, I did NOT take out insurance - did not run any extra stitching of any kind on either side of the cutting line. Remember - it’s only a swatch. This turned out to be incredibly liberating. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Srsly - try it. Make a swatch. Any swatch. Use waste yarn. Whatever. Even if you’re not planning a specific steeked project. In fact, especially if you’re not, because then there is no pressure whatsoever. Cut through it. Just cut. It’s only a swatch, so the stakes are laughably low.
Hell, I didn’t even need alcohol. I barely even took a deep breath. I just… cut.
Of course, you may still want some alcohol - or at least a deep breath - before looking at the pictures.
|Click on any thumbnail image to biggify - image will open in new window.|
|All action photos taken by The BoyTM|
There. Done. No muss, no fuss, no nothin’. Piece of cake.
Then I trimmed back some of those extra columns of stitches…
… leaving about 3 on each side, and pinned back the hem facings.
Sewed them up, then washed and blocked the whole thing.
Here’s the resulting hem:
On the right side, this edge…
… looks better than this one…
… but that’s just a matter of adjusting tension on the base-color float while doing the colorwork band. The discrepancy isn’t entirely deliberate, but I was sort of playing with different tensions to see which worked best. I have my answer.
Next stop, adding a horizontal band to the top or bottom edge.
Today Jennifer asked me, not at all unreasonably, why I didn’t continue the megaswatch first to test out the 4-stitch-per-change approach. Thought about it. But by last night I was pretty eager to cut and hem and learn what I had. I still want to swatch a whole different method - Nemesis Delight Maximus - and though the reverse stockinette hem facing has turned out more stable than I expected I think I still want to play with alternatives. So that will give me a fresh start and an opportunity to test the new aspect ratio. It won’t kill me to do a whole ‘nother swatch - as you may have gathered, I rather like swatching.
Even if you don’t, though - I still recommend making a swatch just for steeking practice. And then cutting it with huge scissors and gay abandon. Once you’ve done that… you may never be afraid of anything in knitting again.
Oh, and by the way…
There goes one more portable project, right down the tubes.
Yup - fraternal no-longer-jelly-bean socks, finished and blocking. I love them… but nevertheless, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s one less project to toss in my bag at a moment’s notice.