Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Lizard Ridge-Part II

Yesterday I had the pleasure of knitting with Bernadette St. Amant. She holds teaching clinics at various locations in the metro. She is an amazing teacher with expert knowledge of knitting. She also designs for Malabrigo....what can be better than that? I went to her for advice on Lizard Ridge. I wanted to see what my options were for seaming and to see how my short rows were coming along. I also had her look at the sundress I'm working on. I always learn new things when I attend her sessions. I noticed my decreases in the sundress were very noticeable. I knew the sheen of the yarn would make them show up more, but I wondered why the designer had placed them right in the middle of the stockinette sections. A quick check with Bernadette and she agreed that they could have easily been placed at the beginning of the stockinette section instead of the center. So, the more I knit, the more I will start to trust my own instincts. Patterns might be written accurately, but they may not be "optimized".

I was very excited to show Bernadette what I had learned so far with the Lizard Ridge afghan. I did my own experiments with yarn-over short rows and really liked how they turned out. She said she usually recommends this method. I did find out that I am not knitting backwards...but actually purling backwards, since I am doing this with the purl side facing me. She showed me how to knit backwards from the knit side...but it just confused me and felt awkward. By this time I'd had about 16 hours practice purling backwards and had gotten pretty comfortable with it. My brain and hands had also memorized which direction to go for the short row section. So, I will continue to purl backwards on the short row sections. I might even place a video on the blog showing how I do it.

Now to seaming... I told Bernadette that I didn't want big bulky seams and that I would prefer to do the squares rather than panels. (I really like the patchwork look of the individual squares.) She said I can't have my cake and eat it too. Edge-to-edge seaming is out of the question given the weight of the afghan. My compromise is to knit a garter stitch border on either side. There are definately a few advantages to doing this. 1. There's no curling of the edges and they are nice and neat. 2. The seam should, in theory, be less bulky. To the left you can see a sample of the pattern with the garter stitch edge and garter stitch modification to add more definition to the block. I'm pleased with how this has turned out.

The block below I finished before I met with Bernadette. It does not have the garter stitch edge. I'll probably rip it out and re-do it later. It is colorway #209. It's so pretty!

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