Saturday, June 09, 2007

Progress on Bianca's Jacket

While I'm waiting for the dog to come in for the night, a quick post.

Last heard from, I'd been planning a lace border, picked up along the lower hem of Bianca's jacket to even out the back and fronts and make it more of a cardigan, less of a shrug/bolero. I picked up stitches along the back. And then began to rethink the concept. With the fronts sloping at an angle, I wasn't sure where to end the border. Should I knit the back, then separately pick up the fronts, then seam the pieces together? Should I pick up along the back and continue until the angle of the fronts begins to turn into the vertical front edges? I was tempted to just bull ahead and be a self-sufficient, can-do, teach-myself knitter.

Nah. My yoga therapy training is based on a mentor system, a lineage in which you participate in a tradition of teacher-to-student learning. Unlike graduate school, my yoga teachers began this process by actually giving each of us a mentor. No wooing, no politicking, no romancing a series of teachers until you find one who believes in you enough to commit. I am amazed by this system. It makes so much sense.

Off, then, to my LYS, where I tried the sweater on for my knitting teacher. She gave the back a small tug, readjusted the yoke at the shoulders, and huzzah: even hem all around. Also, a concentrated lesson picking up stitches, which I'll now be doing from left edge at the neckline all around the sweater to the right edge of the neckline. Three rows of garter stitch, and maybe some loops for buttons, unless I go with the simple Plan B of pinning the top closed with a brooch.

Here's the lesson. Take the first section that you'll be picking up on. Mark each end with a stitch marker. Fold it gently in half, mark the center point (I used those large stitch markers that resemble big plastic safety pins). Fold each half in half again, without stretching the fabric, and mark those points. Now you have your first section divided into quarters. Take the number of stitches to be picked up, divide that by 4. The result, as you've probably foreseen, is the number of stitches to be picked up in each of the 4 sections you've marked. The purpose: to evenly distribute the picked up stitches, and avoid that moment when you have only an inch of sweater edge left and 50 stitches remaining to pick up.

The dog is in. Tonight she came in voluntarily. Yesterday I went out with flashlight in hand, searching the backyard for her. She was way back in the garden, eating cicadas. There, see how I slipped that in? Didn't even see it coming, did you? Want to know more about cicadas? I could have mentioned above that my knitting teacher was the lead in yesterday's Chicago Tribune story about cicadas, and she was on two radio shows after the Tribune came out. Did you know that cicadas' song can reach a decibel level of over 90 decibels? That's louder than a bulldozer and causes deafness after exposure of more than an hour to the sound.

1 comment:

FairyGodKnitter said...

Your knitting teacher sounds wonderful. I frequently use the E. Zimmerman rule of picking up 2 stitches for every 3 rows on a straight piece but divide the neckband the way she showed you as I tend to pick up too many stitches if I'm not careful.
Keep those Cicada stories coming, it'll soon be mayfly and sand fly weather here and I'll have good stories then.