Hi, folks. I am writing this post to support the nine fabulous women who took the first session of the Aeolian Shawl knit along with me last night at K2Tog. This gorgeous shawl is designed by Elizabeth Freeman and is a free pattern on Knitty.
The purpose of writing about the class/knitalong on my blog is to reinforce what we discussed about each section of the shawl. There’s a lot of information coming at people in each session and I promised to write notes here so, if they get stuck in the two weeks between each of the three sessions, they can come here and hopefully get Unstuck!
So, here’s what we covered in Session One:
We started the shawl with a tab cast on, casting on 3 stitches using long-tail, not a provisional cast on. We worked in garter stitch for 17 rows. Then we picked up and knit 7 stitches across the long side of the tab, then picked up and knit 3 more stitches across the cast on edge for a total of 13 stitches. This gave our knitting the appearance of a little swag having from our needles.
We decided to use a border of 3 garter stitches at each side of the shawl. This means that on EVERY ROW we slip the first stitch as if to purl with yarn in front (wyif). We then knit the two remaining stitches before the body of the shawl (the charted parts), and we knit the last three stitches of every row.
The charts are worked as follows: the border stitches (the frame of three garter stitches at each side” ARE NOT charted. Work them first (slip the first purl wise wyif and then K2). Then go to the chart and work the row you are on. That should take you to the center stitch. The center stitch is also not charted. Work the center stitch, then repeat the chart from the beginning. That should take you to the last three stitches of the row, which form the garter stitch frame. Work the last three stitches in garter stitch (knit all stitches).
We should have at least four stitch markers on our needles – one after the first three stitches, one before the center stitch, one after the center stitch, and one before the last three stitches.
We begin working the shawl with the Set-Up Chart. We work this chart ONCE ONLY, then move on to the Yucca Chart.
This shawl is modular. That means you can shorten it or lengthen it by doing more or fewer repeats of two particular sections – the Yucca Chart and the Agave Chart. BUT, you must do an even number of repeats of the Yucca Chart and you must use the Final Agave Chart for the last repeat of the Agave section.
We talked about how to place a bead on a knit stitch – using a crochet hook (size 14), place a bead on the hook. With the hook, slip the stitch to be beaded off the left handed needle and onto the hook. Use your right hand to push the bead down over the end of the hook and onto the stitch. return the stitch to the left-handed needle without twisting it, and work it as directed .
We also talked about a few tips that apply to all lace knitting. First – use lifelines, dammit. I use them after every repeat of a chart, but you may use them as frequently as you like. Also, use a Post-It note to mark your place on the shawl. I always put my post it ON TOP of the row I am working so I can see how the stitches I am making should align with the stitches below. And the pointier the needles, the better.
Your “homework” is to complete the Yucca Chart as many times as you like and the Transition Chart to Row 15. We’ll cover how to make nupps – they come in on Row 17 of the Transition chart – in the next class. YEAH!