Friday, May 12, 2006

Something interesting.

This is the start of a swirl afghan square from "Unexpected Knitting" by Debbie New. For those of you who have not looked at the book, yes, it really does swirl. It is in garter stitch. Those stripes curl around. (And yes, this is the new use for the yarn inteded for the Persian Poppies sweater.)

The way it works is, you knit the background first (in my case, green, in her book, a light gray), then pick up stitches in a J shape and knit, decreasing down to almost nothing, doing some grafting, and then picking up another J shape. You can kind of get the gist of it from the one I've got done. (There are four total, you can kind of see where they go from the shape of the green part.)

I found the process not so much hard as involved, if that makes sense. There are nice bits of fairly uncomplicated knitting (most of the swirl) and a few intense moments of counting and stitch picking and marker placing (picking up those stitches for the swirl was time consuming and took a lot of counting and re-counting). What you're looking at in the top photo is maybe four hours' knitting total, so it's not painstaking brain surgery type knitting. But it's definitely interesting, and does increase my understanding of knitting.

When I'm done with this afghan square, I will ditch the whole thing or else knit myself the afghan square jacket shown in the book. I haven't decided yet.


The Queen-a Athena said...

Okay, Julie, that is VERY cool. But explain this to me, because I don't quite understand: what is the advantage to knitting it this way, as opposed to sinply knitting the swirls in the first place? Is it to make it warmer, or just for the added texture, or ... Educate me, please!

Julie said...

There's no advantage. It doesn't do anything a regular garter stitch-in-straight-lines sweater wouldn't do. This kind of knitting is done for various, usually impractical reasons:

-to look cool (my big priority)
-to do something different (also a priority)
-to show off for other knitters (not so much for me, but if someone's impressed, well, I won't feel bad)
-to practice old skills (grafting and picking up stitches, you do use those a lot) or to learn new ones (knitting curliecues, don't know when I'll use the skill again)

I think the whole thing was invented to push the envelope, so there you go. It's thrill knitting.

sienna said...

This is amazing! I ordered Unexpected Knitting after I read about it on your blog. I can't wait for it to come in! Thanks for the demo. - melanie