Monday, March 21, 2011

Try, Try Again

I'm going to tell you a funny story in hopes that it helps you avoid the humbling effects I suffered as a result of some of my recent stubbornness. As I have mentioned, I love The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt. Would that I had the greenbacks to purchase my own copy*, I could have it for more than the three weeks allowed on loan from the local library--it cannot be renewed, because someone is always placing it on hold. That's what I had to do to nab it this time. She's mine, all mine for 20 more days!
So, of course, this is the book I turned to when I wanted to learn invisible BO for 1/1 rib (aka Italian BO, etc.) I had checked other sources and none of them clicked like the one in Hiatt's book...or so I overconfidently thought. Believing I had grasped the technique when I so carefully followed the illustrated directions, I worked the edge of one sleeve of a top-down sweater (something this technique is perfect for) and oh-so-smugly set the project aside for a more deadline-intensive one. In the meantime, the return date came for the book and I had to give it back. A week or so later, I returned to the little sweater to try to work the other sleeve and resulting edge and realized I was without my precious and had not even written down notes! I looked on my shelves, I looked about online, but nothing would serve the purpose! It was all meaningless to me. One book even had the audacity to suggest that I place the knit stitches on one needle and the purl stitches on a separate needle to work this BO. I sez to myself: Preposterous! There's no need for such gymnastics. I can do it without this nonsense.
Silly, silly me. Nancie was right. It's good to separate the stitches. Here's how this next part went. After perusing a stack of books and magazine articles from my own shelf, I set them all aside, convinced I was never going to get this technique down. The next morning I arose with renewed vigor (and stubbornness--sometimes it helps!), looked at Nancie Wiseman's instructions in The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques again, placed the knits on one needle and the purls on a separate needle and painstakingly...slowly...carefully...did it!

The two sets of stitches ready to fix the body hem that I had done using Hiatt's book, thinking I had it down.
(Yarn shown is Schaefer Lola in Dorothy Reade)

The sleeve edge on the upper left that shows my finally getting it right, thanks to Wiseman, and the one on the lower right that shows how the wrong side of the edge is not supposed to look.

Here is the button band to show you how incredible this looks when you get it right (except for that sixth knit stitch from the left--don't look at that one). You've probably seen an edge like this on some of your store-bought sweaters. Go get some of them and see. The edge just rolls over, with the knit stitches contining over the edge smoothly and beautifully. The conventional hand-knit BO I had been doing all these years produces a chain at the edge. Sometimes I like this. More often, though, I think I'll choose this BO when working 1/1 ribbed edges. It looks so professional! Try it yourself, but take it from me. Grab that second needle like Nancie says. She knows what she's talking about.
Partial to-do list for today:
  • Yoga workout
  • Block a sweater coat I finished yesterday
  • Do the rest of the ribbing BO on the sweater above
  • Swatch some lace for a freelance submission
  • Put the first round of corrections from the tester into the top-down sweater draft
  • Figure out how to make a yummy stew out of the leftover veggies from the St. Patty's dinner (cuz we ate the corned beef on Reubens Saturday--delicious!)

What's on your list?

*AHHHHH (screaming inside) I just found out that the Hiatt book is finally being reprinted and should be out by November! YES! Mildly suspicious, however, as it states a price of $45 for the hard copy. Has it been *gasp* shortened?


Vanessa said...

I have a copy of this book that a friend gave me. I gasped when I looked at how much it's going for on Amazon even with out the dust jacket (like my copy). I told my husband that I want to be buried with this book because no one is getting their stinky mitts on it!

fig said...

We are of like minds, Vanessa. :-)

Anonymous said...

I love the combo with Cotton Rich - and I think you just answered my prayers. I just totally dissed a similar fuzzy yarn, but now I think there may be hope for it afterall! Thanks for sharing a wonderful idea!