Saturday, August 19, 2017

Design Series: Raven Rocks Scarf, Part 5 - Just Keep Knitting

You know how when you go on a long journey, it's really fun at the start but then you hit a long slog in the middle where you can't stop yawning and even new scenery looks boring because oh-my-gosh-why-isn't-it-over-yet and after a long time, you start to realize that you're close to the end and it's all easy again? Well we're at that point in knitting Raven Rocks scarf.

Last year, I drove almost all the way across the USA from my house to Las Vegas (a little more than 2,100 miles!) and while it was all fun, like knitting a scarf, it did get a little boring about Oklahoma. From now on, I'm calling the middle section of any scarf "Oklahoma." You have to push through and then you get to Arizona, which is amazing. 

Don't tell anyone I'm making up metaphors on the fly. My metaphors are terrible. Let's skip the metaphors.

Last time we met, we worked some short rows to go from increasing to just knitting the scarf straight. Hopefully, you were successful with the short rows.

Because I'm designing on the fly, on the needles, and without much planning, I need to know how much I can knit so that I don't have play (fingers crossed) crazy yarn chicken at the end of the scarf when I switch back to decreasing. I tossed the ball of yarn on my very cheap scale and weighed how much yarn it took to get to where I am - 2.11 ounces. Now I know about how much I need to have when I switch back to short rows and decreasing.

If you'll remember back to the last increase rows we worked, we stopped at a weird spot in the pattern--after Row 14, not a full repeat. Then there were two more rows worked across the scarf in the short row section. That means when we start the main chart, we're not going to start on Row 1. Let's instead start on Row 17.

I marked the spot to START the main chart with a light blue border. I totally get it, this feels awkward and wrong and, when I send the pattern off to my tech editor, I'll ask for opinions if this is "wrong", but here's my reasons: After working so many repeats of the increase sections, I'm used to the pattern rows as they were charted. If I change Row 1, then I'm confused again and my brain feels like it needs to relearn the chart. And now the chart looks familiar, just without increases.

So start this chart on Row 17, then continue repeating the entire chart until your scarf is as long as you want the middle section, or until, when you weigh your yarn, you have the a little more than what you used in in the increase sections. But - and don't forget - you'll need to finish the main chart at Row 14 again. And this is marked by a light green border.

I'll let you in on a happy little accident that I stumbled on while working out the decrease chart: you've already done the next step once. It's short rows! But that's for next time.