Friday, June 8, 2012

Amphibian Tunic

The bright berry of this silk does not look much like any amphibian that I studied way back in zoology.  No.  It does not.  And yet I am determined to name this one Amphibian because of how many times it has been frogged.

The pattern wants several rows of garter as the bottom hem.  This will control the miles of stockinette.  And I did it.  Garter in the round.  Well, with all respect and honor to EZ, this time the garter looked out of place.  That silk looked unkempt and plain wonky.  It might have come out in the wash.  I was not willing to chance it. Three inches in, I frogged it all and reworked the bottom edge with my own thing and moved onward with the stockinette.

The pattern is very specific in its wording.  There is even a strong reminder to check gauge.  Taking that caution to heart, I checked gauge - specifically row gauge.  That seemed most important because  decreases are specified every so many cm/inches based upon the size.  A little math, a few markers appropriately spaced and I was moving at lightening speed.  I even remembered the decreases and kept track of rows in my own mnemonic fashion.

Almost four skeins into it and practically ready to separate  front from back, the stitch count started to feel odd.  Odd in that way that says, "Self, the bottom of this will fit around your bottom, but there is no way this part can stretch around what is up top."  I paused the needles and actually counted stitches.

How could this be?  I am never so far off!  (OK, maybe my stitch count is off occasionally.  But not so much that a little fudging here and there can't bring the stitches back into submission.)

Enter help.  Another set of eyes on the pattern:
  • Dec 1 st to the right and to the left alternately of all markers every X cm/in.
Alternately.  ALTERNATELY:  as in decrease  on the right side of the marker and the next time (every X cm/in) you decrease it is worked on the left side of the marker.   Yep, you guessed it.  I was decreasing on both the right and left of the markers (sounded like "alternate" sides to me).  The result was that on every decrease row, I was taking out twice the number of stitches as was specified.  No wonder the thing would not go around what I've got up top.

Frogged it all - again.  Two hundred eighty eight meters of silk.  That's a lot of frogging and rewinding.   Scribbled over my mnemonic row count to clearly indicate R & L for where to place the decreases. I'm on the fourth decrease of seven repeats.  The little cross marks that turns each tick mark into a plus sign show my current progress.

Amphibian is, hopefully, on track. 

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