Friday, January 31, 2014

Adventures with Fair Isle, Part II

So, my adventures with Fair Isle have stalled a bit this week. Life got in the way a bit, and the small amount of knitting time I had was devoted to making a couple of caps for a friend of my sister's who is beginning chemo therapy. Of course, these caps are a  much more important knitting priority, and I am always grateful that I can do something with my hands when I hear news such as this!

However, I did want to share a technique that I learned recently from Eunny Jang in her video that accompanies the Ivy League Vest called Introduction to Fair Isle: The Ivy League Vest. She recommended that knitters make several copies of the chart and arrange them into a simulation of the shape of the sweater so that they could then mark the shaping onto the chart in the same way it will look on the sweater. This would then allow the knitter to see exactly where on the chart the decreases and increases for waist shaping, armhole shaping and neck shaping would go.

I took her up on this tip and here is what I made to assist me in knitting the Ivy League Vest:

As you can see I used half of a poster board sheet and pasted several copies of the chart in the order they would need to be used from the bottom of the sweater to the top of the sweater. I used two columns to represent the right edge and the left edge of the front of the garment (I did not represent the entire sweater since I figured I wouldn't need it for the waist shaping, but I might need to make a separate sheet later with a chart to indicate the neck shaping). I also included a few copies  of the symbol keys along the sides of the poster board so I could easily look up and see one when I needed it (however, I already messed up and knitted the wrong shade of green the last time I worked on it, so you know what that means -- rip it!).

Here is a closer photo of the way I indicated where the decreases and increases are in the chart for waist shaping:

The arrows point to the lines I drew to indicate shaping. I always made sure that they went around the boxes that needed to be knitted and if it was a decrease I would draw the line diagonally through the stitch that needed to be decreased. If it was an increase, I would draw the line around the stitch that needed to now be included for an increase. 

This system seems to be working well. I am also able to write detailed notes along the sides and keep a tally at the bottom. Unfortunately, I still make mistakes, but at least when I do, I am finding it much easier to figure them out and fix them. Hopefully, next time I report on this project, I will be sailing along.

Look for at least one more post on this topic next week where I will give information on all of the excellent sources I have used to learn about Fair Isle over the years.

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