Saturday, November 12, 2016

Notes on knitting Uncia 2

So, if you have made it through Charts A and B, you will have learned one or two things, as I did.  One is the importance of having right to hand both the general list of Abbreviations from inside the back cover, and also the specialised set for this pattern only.  Secondly, I learnt to tick off each row as I completed it - seems obvious but I wouldn't usually bother because I can usually read my knitting to find the place.  Since there are pattern elements on the Wrong side too it helps to have a quick way to check which side you are on.   I just looked back to the stocking stitch tail, but some people would put in a little safety pin.  It matters because you can't always just knit all the knits and purl all the purls as you would normally on a wrong-side row.

However, Chart C is at a different level completely.  You are knitting a really lovely set of Gothic arches. The first of these involves moving the twisted stitches to form a double row with columns between.  This is clear on the chart if you look carefully.

I tend to knit in the evenings, not always in good light, and I hit a problem on this chart which really made me pause for thought.  It was this.  I did not at first notice the difference between a crossed pair with a dot, meaning a purl, and a crossed pair with a curl, meaning knit tbl.  When I did realise this, it made me look much more closely, and by daylight, at all the other rather similar, but in fact distinct symbols being used.  Jean's advice was to read each row through to check for new devices before starting it; this was invaluable.  In fact, I was still reading each segment and rechecking as I went, but at least I did not feel I'd lost it completely.

It now becomes clear why Jean was aiming at five rows per day.

At the top of Chart C, you meet the first of the Twisted stitches which Jean described as having cats' whiskers.  What you are doing here is maintaining the line of the elongated slipped stitches, by moving other stitches behind them, and it is a lot less complicated than it sounds, once you get used to it.  However, at times this device is used alternately with other, similar but different, twisted and crossed pairs, so you have to keep a constant watch on the line of the chart to be sure.

Capping off each arch is a straightforward manoeuvre.  be sure to check the tiny number at the base of the symbol - it can be 3 or 5.

Correcting mistakes.

Obviously, I made some, but we haven't reached the most obvious one yet.  Mistakes become evident as you try to knit a Wrong side row and the numbers don't add up, probably because you have missed a YO or a K2tog.  Sometimes, and certainly later on, it was possible to restore these by just lifting a thread. On some knitting I would run a ladder down to the error to fix it, but Uncia has many diagonal cables and this would be a nightmare.   The best bet was to unknit stitch by stitch.  Taking back a few rows  by ripping out risked losing track of the row count, and of course, not being able to get the stitches back on the needle in the right order. 

So, all in all, your best move would be to knit at a work-table, charts and Abbreviations to hand, in strong light, and while you are able to concentrate fully on the pattern.  More than one hundred people have finished it, some of them more than once, so it isn't impossible.


Kathy said...

I loved knitting this, but it was certainly a challenge. I put a lifeline in at the end of each completed chart; the two times when I had mistakes in a section I found it was easier to rip back to the last chart's lifeline than to try to rip back stitch by stitch. Fortunately, my mistakes happened within the first few rows of a chart, apparently when I was becoming familiar with the stitches. I love my completed Uncia, but I wish I could figure out a way to wear it. Perhaps I'll hang it on the wall as a giant pennant!

knitski said...

Stunning work!

Breathing Life said...

This is so helpful. I have just started chart A and these tips are going to be my lifeline (pun intended). I already figured it was sitting by myself, no tv, knitting, so I am casting on a double knit hat to knit while watching my Christmas movies!