Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Bohus photo shoot

I'm back to knitting Blue shimmer, the final 10 rows or so of colour work. But before I ran out of colour to work with I had Bear take literally hundreds of photos of my knitting. Hundreds to get the lighting right, the focus right and to get the images to have enough infomation so I can show how I knit. Digital cameras sure make that easy, and cost effective and instant. I was pleased with my digial minolta, it is over 2 years old yet worked fine. We did resort to using a tripod to make sure the focus worked and the images were simillarly set up. I have divided the images into four sets, which I plan to post on my blog over the next few weeks. The four 'sets' are
  1. How I hold two different colours of yarn in my left hand
  2. How I make a knit stitch, while holding two different colour yarns in the left hand
  3. How I make a purl stitch while holding two different colour yarns in the left hand
  4. How I rib, using the 'finish' purl method.
At some stage further down the track I will add more, like how I hold two colours in my right hand. I do feel that there is a lot more infomation on the net about right handed colour work.

Why did I do this? Not because I think I knit the best way there is, but because over the last two years I have tried lots of variations of knitting. All of this infomation and experimentation has resulted in a current style that works for me. Over the past few months I have had several on online conversations with various helpful people over how best to work with up to four colours for the Bohus work. I am so glad that others on the net share their experience and tips that I would like to offer the same to others. Not all of us live where there are advanced knittig workshops, for me I would have to travel very widely to take part.

So how do I hold the yarn? Like this, I wind the first yarn or 'dominant' yarn around my first finger, then weave it over my 2nd finger, under my ring finger and under my pinky. In this first image I have wrapped the first yarn, but the second yarn is just sitting, waiting to be wrapped.
By dominant yarn I mean the colour that is used the most in the work, or the colour with the longest floats, so I can weave it it if the floats are longer than 3 cm or over an inch. If a yarn is used to purl with in a row of knitting that is the dominant one that I wrap around the first finger.

The second yarn, is wraped around my second finger, then woven under the middle finger and over the ring finger, and finally under the pinky. I tension the yarns in three ways, I can and do use my pinky finger to grip the yarns a little, but try and avoid that. Griping with the little finger can lead to a kind of cramp up the side of my hand and wrist if done for several nights knitting. I hold my first and second finger close together, this stops the yarn sliding as easily. I also hold the side of my first finger against the needle at times, again to increase friction and this allows me to lift my finger and tug a little to ensure the junction between purl and knit stitches is firm.

GF Shrug, is over half way complete. I do need to tell you that while I am being guided by the pattern, I have made quite a few changes to accommodate my own knitting preferences. Firstly and probably most importantly I am knitting shrug in the round not flat. I used a tubular cast on and have a lifted increase 2 stitches appart for the forearm increases. The other major change is that I have chosen to knit shrug as two matched pairs and graft these together across centre back. Shrug is knited in self striping sock yarn with an unbalanced repeat to the colour-way. If I continued to knit from wrist to centre back and then down to the wrist, the striping on each arm would be a reverse match rather than a mirror match. So I am knitting the second sleeve from the cuff up, to match the first. I am nearly finished the rib on the second sleeve. I still don't know if I will make my may 28th deadline, as after I finish the second sleeve, there is 1.5 inches of rib, on 2.25 mm pins around the shrug opening.

And Bear, has offered to send for a 2nd bohus kit, for my upcoming birthday (40 eeeekkkkk), I think it will be Rose collar and knit as a cardie. So Flat fair isle with whole rows of purls. The bar raises.

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