Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Bohus begins ..

Well I did it, I finally began the Bohus, a few days ago, I used the cast on method in Wendy Keele's Poems of Color. It took a few goes to make it work, some how my brain and her instructions didn't seem to conect. I really wanted to look up the method in Montse Stanleys The Handknitter's Handbook, but I had lent my copy to a student. Sometimes I am so generous with my precious things and then regret it, but mostly it turns out fine. Its just I find myself wanting to use books I have loaned away, and then I really miss them. It did remind me to ask for her to return it. I had taken it in for another student who was interested in hand knitting, just so she could see that there was always more than one way to do anything. And a second student asked to borrow it, how can I refuse a request from a noobie knitter wanting to learn ? Short answer is I can't, or rather I can't be 'mean' and not share - I guess my mother taught me well. I hope I do as well with my own two kids.

Anyway the Bohus, I mastered the cast on last weekend, cast on for the rib, and knit every night since, and finished the rib quite quickly, scarily fast in fact. Some nights I almost felt guilty as I wisked both kids off to bed with only 1 story each. There was no dally-ing tolerated. our dinner was quick and easy, soup, or risotto, salad, with minimal clean up. I really wanted to say just have a smoothie and thats all but knew we needed 'real' food. Some times I feel like we are among the few remaining families with out a dishwasher, so I excused myself while my hubby washed - I owe him. Enough of that, some time I will blog and show you my antique 1930's kitchen. It elicits comments of cute and fantastic, but then the guests, they leave and I try and fit modern kitchen stuff and cooking into 1930's spaces. We do have the most practical wooden bench you could imagine, if only it was wider and longer. Amazing what you can cook in less than a metre.

Back to the Blue Shimmer, after the rib, I moved on to the colour work. Even though I had swatched it doing it in the round for real was easier than I had imagined, and as you start with only around 154 stitches each round works up fast. The pattern repeats are really small and relly repeatative, 4 this colour, 2 of another, repeat, so the chart is really easy to follow. Dee offered in my comments to tell me how she was taught to carry two colours in one hand and two in the other, I worked out a method to carry two in my left by quizzing knit gurus on Knitters, and can do 2 in my right, and lots of practice on my daughters preparation for the Bohus sweaters. So have only had sucess with even tension with 2 in the left and one in the right. Any hints and tips greatly appreciated Dee, thanks for the offer. I am envious in a good way that you have access to workshops on colour work. I find it hard to keep the stitches spaced out along the right needle (essential for me to knit evenly when doing colour work) when carrying yarns in my right.

Picture, yes here one is, and pretty true to colour, on my screen anyway. I used a tripod and daylight which seems to give the best results. Now the guilty confession, I made a mistake, in the colour work and I will have to frog it. Yes really, in the dim light of our lounge, synthetic light, its begining of winter here and dark by 6:15 pm, not daylight I misinterptreted the chart colours and used the darkest blue when it should have been a mid blue. The actual yarns are quite different, but the ink used on the chart is simillar. So that last row of pattern, about 4-5 rows, of 217 stitches on 2.5 mm each need to be undone. That means froging 800-1000 2.5mm stitches, and picking them all up. With no lifeline .... argghhhh.

And when I look at it and compare to the completed pictures of 'real' Blue Shimmers, I see the dark dark blue is not right at all. I'm off to frog, but maybe tomorrow, to much for me to face today. It was all I could do to tell you about it.


Dee said...

I've written out the techniques for holding 2 strands of yarn in each hand and I'm copying it to this post. I hope it helps. Which hand do you usually hold the yarn in?

Good luck.


Holding 4 strands of yarn in 2 hands
Holding 2 strands in the right hand
Curl the right hand, palm down, and grasp both strands. Separate the two strands with the index finger, so one goes on one side of the index finger and the other goes on the other. The “grasp” is what is providing the tension to the strands.
To knit with these strands, “throw” the yarn, twisting the right hand slightly towards you or away from you to isolate the strand you want. This is like standard “English” or right-hand-hold knitting.

Holding 2 strands in the left hand
With both strands hanging down together, take the little finger from the left of the strands and hook the strands with it. Move the little finger in a loop to the right and towards you to form a loop of both strands around it. Run the strands under the ring finger, then separate them around the middle finger. Run both strands over the index finger. They should be separated by about 1 cm.
To knit with these strands, take the tip of the right needle through the stitch on the left needle. Loop it behind the strand you want, then towards you and back through the stitch on the left needle. This is like standard “Continental” or left-hand-hold knitting.

Yarn dominance
One of the strands of each pair on one hand will be “dominant”. That means that it will make a very slightly larger or more prominant stitch. In general, I would think that the background yarn should not be the dominant yarn, so the pattern will show up more strongly. You might want to do a swatch to decide which you prefer. You needn’t do this swatch in “good” yarn.
On the left hand, the dominant strand is the one that is closer to your wrist. This strand should also be the one that runs under the middle finger. If it isn’t, adjust it so that it is. This holds for knitting or purling from the right side of the fabric.
On the right hand, the dominant strand when knitting is the one that is on the thumb side of the index finger. I believe this holds for both knitting and purling from the right side of the fabric.

Stell said...

Thanks Dee, I've had a bit of a try, and hope to get enough time to update the bog with my results Sunday.