Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Multidirectional Sampler

I've been learning about multidirectional scarves.  I want to make a nice one as a gift, but didn't want to use good yarn for the learning process.  The sample in the picture was worked in Paton's Bohemian, which is an inexpensive cotton chenille.  I'll probably toss it now.

I learned quite a bit and want to thank Ted Myatt and Witt Pratt for their excellent tips.  I'm not a knitting technician.  I knit for relaxation and usually don't learn much along the way.  This simple scarf has been a fun learning experience.

I finished the multidirectional sample using a pattern from Karen Baumer.  In addition to Karen's pattern, I used some tips I received from Ted Myatt, a Canadian knitter/designer.

Wonky pointBetter Point

About the tip from Ted:  When you make a multidirectional scarf using contrasting colors, the points where the sections change color are wonky.  See the picture on the left?  The brown of the point isn't exactly pointed.  The picture on the right shows a better point.  The idea came from Ted while he was working on a scarf like this one.  (He says he might publish the tip at some point in the future.)  Ted, if you read this, I tried your idea and it works; but you already knew that :-)

Needle SizeSo, what else have I learned?  Needle Size.  I started the scarf on needles that were too small, and the further into the scarf I got the more I didn't like the feel (too stiff).  I switched to a needle two sizes larger and the fabric felt better.  The picture on the left shows the two ends of the scarf.  Two needle sizes makes quite a difference.

Mataching EndsThe final technique learned came from a tip from Witt Pratt, a Washington D.C. knitter/designer (Ted passed it on).   When Witt worked the scarf way back in 2004 he improved how the end of the scarf is done so that the ends come out the same.

If worked according to the pattern directions both end sections are not the same shape.  Witt's idea is to alter the way the last section is worked.  After you work 1/2 of the last section, you begin decreasing instead of increasing at the beginning of the odd rows.  The picture to the left actually has two end sections the same shape, but I ran out of brown yarn at the end and had to finish with orange.  The line on the right side shows how the brown shape would have looked if I hadn't run out of yarn.

One last lesson:  The area pointed to by the arrow on the left, which is the first join of contrasting color, isn't so good.  The fix for this is to use Ted's tips.

Now I can make the real scarf, confident in my ability to make something worth giving as a gift of love.

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