Fiber Corner

Daily life of a knitting designer/publisher of handknitting patterns

Monday, September 03, 2007

Knitting Minutiae

Here's my version of the little garter shawl that was all the rage at Knitting Camp this year. Cheryl Oberle handed out copies of the pattern last year and several knitters had made and were wearing them this July. And, I watched as flying fingers Marge knit hers in two days flat and was able to wear it home. More copies of the pattern were made for some of us first time Oft-timers. I cast on the night I got home, but obviously, mine took awhile to finish.

The yarn is Meg's new alpaca/wool blend in a heathery purple mix color. It is very soft and even though I'm not ready for summer to end just yet, I'm looking forward to wearing it on the first crisp fall day.
The shawl has a very clever way of fastening--a tube of ribbing that allows for one of the shawl ends to slip through.

It's knit from one shawl end (or tail) to the other with some short row shaping around the neck garter edge. The original version was more of a shoulder shawl. It only reached about elbow length and had more of a straight edge across the back as the stitch count didn't change once you got into the body of the shawl. I made mine according to Marge's modifications (with some input from Charlie Hada, I think) and the gentle sloping shape are formed by making additional increases across the back.
The additional increases were made with the new unvented increase that Meg showed us how to do. She said she learned it from Shirley Grade of the Yarn House in Elm Grove, WI--a long standing Milwaukee area knit shop. As with any increase, there are certain instances it will be more useful for than others, but it's just another example of the knitting minutiae that campers partake in. If you've no interest in technique, then read no further.

I'm not sure just who named it, but several campers were calling it the Wisconsin increase, I guess because that's where it was unvented. As an aside, I love that word--unvented.

It's worked similarly to a bar increase. You know the one--Knit into the front, then the back of a stitch.
For the WI increase--Knit into the front of the stitch, then places the tip of the right needle into the back of the stitch (or as to purl, it will turn out the same) but instead of knitting it, just slip the loop off the left needle and onto the right one.
On the next row, you'll need to work that increase part of the stitch (the loop you just slipped over) through the back of the loop. Otherwise, it will look like a big mistake in your knitting and you will be unhappy.

If worked properly, the increase is hidden nicely behind the stitch it is made from as you can see on the swatch on the right. I'm not sure I would always use this increase, but it does eliminate the purl looking blip which occurs with the bar increase used in the swatch on the left. So, in some instances where that specific increase is called for, the WI inc would be a good substitute.

Since the shawl was only increased along one edge, it didn't need a corresponding mirror but this is how I'd work it if I wanted one. It's a little different than what I have written down in my camp notes, but it's a definite possibility that this is what was said at camp and I just wrote it down wrong. :) For the mirror of the WI increase--Place the tip of the right needle into the next stitch as if to knit and then keeping the right leg of that stitch on the right needle, rotate the tip around and insert it into the stitch again and knit it. Of course, do not exaggerate the motion this much or you will have a very distorted stitch.

My notes say to go into the back of the stitch twice and then knit it the second time, but this leaves a twisted stitch in the row below that doesn't make me happy. Of course, a mirror isn't always needed, and if it is, there are other increase options.

And, isn't it always good to have options.



At 9:20 AM, Blogger Lynda said...

Very interesting, Vicki! I am going to try that right now.
ps. love the blog...

At 10:39 AM, Blogger K2Karen said...

Vicki, your shawl is lovely! I'd love to make one, do you know if Cheryl is making that pattern available to us non-oft-time campers?

At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the color of the shawl! And look at all the goodies that you got at the festival! Nice pickins. My surgery is in the morning, so I'll be off my blog for a week or so! Take care, Liz M.

At 5:08 PM, Blogger Vicki said...

I found this same pattern several months ago on the Brazilian blog listed below. Her pattern says it was published in a knitting magazine called Trico. Some online friends kindly translated it for me. It's on my list to knit.

At 6:47 PM, Blogger Vicki said...

Since Karen asked about the garter shawl pattern, I thought I'd let readers know what I found out when I wrote to Cheryl Oberle to inquire about whether I could pass a copy of the pattern on to a non-camper friend. First a little background; across the top of the page is a handwritten note granting permission to photocopy the pattern as long as neither it nor the finished shawl is sold. But being a designer and independent publisher of handknitting patterns, it never hurts to ask and make sure it'll be okay, as I wouldn't want to promote or encourage anyone to break another designer's copyright. It really pays for all of us to be diligent when it comes to these issues. As someone who has been on the receiving end of some unscrupulous knitters, it really hits home. When at camp, I'd only heard that Cheryl had worn the shawl and given out copies of the pattern--she wasn't there this year. I didn't know whether it was something in the works for her in the future, or she just wanted some feedback on it or what. Turns out, it isn't her design at all, but rather one by someone named Carol who lives in Salt Lake City. She didn't say whether Carol was a friend or shop owner or how she came to knit the piece but she thought it would be fine to send a copy to someone I knew. However, I just wouldn't feel right about posting it online somewhere. Hope you understand.

In an earlier comment Vicki M posted a link to a similar shawl--the edging looks a little different, no idea about the actual construction as my Portuguese is a little rusty. ;) But, it looks similar. I'll admit, it makes me a little nervous to see a copy of a magazine cover and then pattern instructions--I hope the blog owner has the rights to the design or permission to post the pattern. And, in the same vein, I hope Carol in Salt Lake City had permission to distribute the pattern if it wasn't her own design.

I'd gladly have paid for this pattern, as I very much like the little shawl. Some people enjoy gifting the knitting world with a pattern, and I very much hope that is the case with this design.

At 10:59 PM, Blogger Melanie said...

The shawl is very pretty and I really like the way it ties. The yarn looks very cuddly too, and it's a lovely shade.

Thanks for the new technique! That increase is certainly an improvement on the bar increase.

At 9:27 AM, Blogger A Fiber Frolic said...


Isn't that just what your need to replace your old favorite blue shawl. It looks like it would be warn and snuggly. I wondered what I could make out of Meg's new yarn when she first showed it. Now I know . . . a warm and snuggly shawl.
Thanks for the great instructions to yet another invisible increase. Love to try new techniques.

At 12:40 PM, Blogger Spinny Bunt said...

Lovely shawl!


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