Saturday, August 26, 2017

Design Series: Raven Rocks Scarf, Part 6 - The Beginning of the End

Let's be cliche; all good things must come to an end. And the beginning of this end is a scale. Why is it that a scale always lets me down?

I think I'll skip the preambles and the rambles and the ambles and just dive into what next steps are in Raven Rocks. I've got a bunch of ideas brewing in my brain for some of the other hundred (hundreds?) skeins of yarn in my studio and I want to get back to me needles.

Since I'm designing this on the fly and on the needles, I thought I need to be a little more scientific about how to know when I should start decreasing. I assumed (uh oh) I know how to do math but nope, and, spoiler alert, I ran out of yarn. But the good thing about me running out of yarn is hopefully now I know how to write the pattern so that you don't run out of yarn.

Where did we leave off? We were knitting the long "plain" no-increase section of the scarf. Probably by now, you've settled into the comfortable rhythm of lace knitting and texture stitches. And I'm coming along to shake it all up. Not really, though, we're just adding in a decrease and every row will be quicker and quicker. But just like before, we need to work some short rows.

The interesting thing that happened when designing the scarf was I discovered that I could put the short rows in basically the same spot of the pattern and so I don't have to re-do the short row chart. I can just say "go back and re-read the short row section and do that" and ta-da! Done.

After you finish the short rows, there are a series of four decrease charts, but only one is worked multiple times. The others are one-off charts just to get from Point A to Point B. All of the symbols are the same as you've been using all along, so that's super handy/fortuitous.

Here they are in the order you should work them:

The first chart begins the decreases and transitions you to the beginning of what you recognize as the row repeat.

The next chart will be repeated a bunch of times, basically until your last time you don't repeat the stitch repeat section marked in red more than once. This will transition you to the final lace chart.

And now just a few more rows of lace:

And finally, the decrease rows for the border so that we get back down to the bind off. Don't be thrown off by the gray wedge of no-stitch stitches now looking like it goes the other way. We explored briefly why the gray wedge flips back and forth to keep the edges "straight" in a previous post.

Congratulations! You've finished knitting. You're SO close to being done. Now you can cast on another one in another color and whiz through. Think of all the people that will love to have a scarf like this!

What's next? Finishing. Yeah, we finished knitting. But now we need to wash and block and dry and weave in ends. This is one of those things that is a little more than magical and I don't hate it. It's not like seaming a sweater, which if I'm honest, even I don't love.