My gift knitting knocked me off schedule, but last week I picked up my Candide aran cardigan and returned to selfish stitching. I started off with a goal of knitting three rows a day, but this weekend I camped out on the sofa and got a great deal done on it.
Last night I reached the back armholes, so I’ve been working out how to decrease on seed stitch. I’m fudging it but it all seems to be working out okay. When I look at the panel in good light, I can see how my knitting has improved. For example, the seed stitch near the ribbing has some holes from uneven tension, but near the top my tension is steady so the fabric is nice and even. Then I have the problem of loose knit stitches before a purl stitch, which is very noticeable on cables (and which research tells me will even out after blocking, but still). I learned a trick that helps tighten that wonky stitch; knit the stich, then instead of wrapping the yarn counter-clockwise over the needle for your next purl stitch, you wrap it the other way — clockwise — and purl as usual (although I give the stitch on the needle a bit of a tug before purling to tighten up the yarn). When you’re knitting the next row, you knit this stitch through the back loop (the stitch becomes incorrectly mounted because of the weird wrap) or orient the mounted stitch correctly before knitting it as usual. And voila! A better looking cable.
My next challenge is to improve the look of my bobbles. They have a bit of a divot, which kind of annoys me, especially when I look at the nicely rounded bobbles on the pattern’s Ravelry page. But at least I don’t have big holes around the bobble, which I’ve seen in other knitting, so maybe I should shut up and live with the divots.
Lastly, I do have to say I love my honeycomb stitches. I used to hate this part of the pattern when I was relying on a cable needle, but now that I’ve taught myself to cable without a needle, I love knitting this panel the most.
In other news … I read on Deb Robson’s blog last week that there’s a Kickstarter campaign to help Penny Straker put her classic New England knitting patterns in digital form. I just checked back today (to put in my own funds!) and I noticed that the campaign was well over its $2700 goal with a month to go. Yay knitters! For some reason, I can’t get the Amazon Payment thing to work, but it might be a problem with Chrome. Anyway … I have a box full of Straker patterns, nearly all of them, in fact, but I’m still happy to see they’re going to be available in digital format for generations to come.