Lizard Ridge afghan
from Knitty, Fall 2006
Started: October 11, 2006
Finished: November 16, 2006
Noro Kureyon, colorway 116-- 19 balls
Patons Classic Merino, Black-- 1 ball (more than 1/2 of the 100gm used)
US 8 (5.0mm) 24" circular needle, Addi and size f crochet hook for edging
What can I say? :) Checklist stuff first.
I used 18+ balls of Noro Kureyon, knitting from 2 balls at the same time and alternating colors as directed in the pattern. I followed the pattern as written, except for the modifications I'll rewrite about below.
I used only one colorway, and knit the entirety in panels instead of blocks. I knit until the end of the skeins and just added a new one in when needed. When adding in colors (or compensating for knots!!) I just spit spliced. I didn't really make an effort to keep the colors the same when adding in a new ball; I took skeins and pretty much worked them in a grab bag way, working a dark or light starting yarn into a dark or light end of skein if I could, but not a big deal if not. When I spit spliced knots that joined non-similar colors, I just went for it and spliced them where the knots were. I didn't switch or change out colors if they lined up to the same color from the previous skeins, so what you see is an example of the kureyon patterning every other row.
I used mattress stitch to seam it up, and edged it with the black Patons merino wool. On the second row of the crochet edge, I skipped 3 stitches instead of 2-- I think on my sc (1st) row of crochet, I picked up too many and the resulting second row was bunchier than it should have been... my "waves" looked more like peaks, so not wanting to redo the 1st row (I've not crocheted before!!) I went with this. Still a little "peaky" but that's okay.
I wet blocked it in Kookaburra woolwash, and just laid it out to dry (first squeezing the water out in towels, etc.) I didn't block it to any measurements, just tried to make the edges even and the panels straight. They're not perfectly straight, but I'm okay with that... neither am I :)
1) I knit garter ridges instead of stockinette for the non-short row rows; so rows 1-3 garter (knit every row), row 4 as written, rows 5-9 garter, row 10 as written, rows 11-12 garter. This made the afghan less shibori like when knitting it; the pieces generally were flat pre blocking.
I really enjoy the texture of the garter ridges, even though they are less pronounced after the wet blocking. The garter edges also made seaming *much* easier for me... I used the ridges as markers to make sure my seams were straight and even. I think the line of garter ridges across the afghan helps with the horizontal continuity, and also gives a visual "clue" as to when there is a color/skein change as the colorway is darkish and there were overlapping colors between the 2 skeins.
2) I broke yarn and wove in the ends while knitting instead of carrying the yarn up the sides. I actually do consider this a mod, especially seeing the panel where I did carry the yarn up the side compared to the next three where I wove in the yarn ends as I went... the carrying yarn panel was "shorter" (more compacted) than the others, even though the floats were as loose as I could make them without flopping on the wrong side (WS). I was a bit uncomfortable with the loose yarn on the WS (I didn't plan to and won't back the afghan), and doubly so for the panel that would be on the far right edge and edge of the blanket-- so I'm happy those fears were allayed this way.
[edit, friday nite... i thought i'd posted too many pics, but here's one of the entire WS of the blanket since some of you were interested in the back (i like it too!)...
btw, i haven't trimmed the ends yet, wanted to take photos first to show how deep they were woven in-- but i will be cutting them down before its given to gma.]
It took a bit more yarn to do this (weaving in ends while knitting), but not much. (I wove in the ends over approx. 2.5-3" where carrying the yarn up the side would take less than an inch, depending on the place in the pattern.) Now, there was no way I would have ever have done this if I wasn't weaving in the yarn ends as I went-- it would drive me crazy as I hate finishing. Luckily I was taught how to weave in yarn ends while knitting from JP Pett-Ridge during a colorwork class (and was accepted to Yarnival! vol 1.3 for showing off the technique! w00t!), and definitely think its a great way to go with this afghan.
The elephant in the room? What about the Noro Kureyon?
Knots in Noro, who knew?! ;) 17 in 19 balls, most not keeping the color continuous and joining dissimilar colors. Vegetation? Yup, picking out stuff as I knit-- straw, hay, farmland stuff. Even all of that, I loved it. I like the "rustic," not super processed feel of the wool and I didn't mind the knots in this project. It wet blocked softer than it started, and is warm and makes a nice afghan. However, part of the new love I feel for the the Kureyon is how much it makes me think and wonder how they make it-- how they arrange such delicate color transitions while spinning long colors, all in a mass-production way. The knots really detract from that; I wouldn't want to try and guess where stripes will repeat in the Kureyon, but I hate missing out on the gradual color changes when dissimilar colors are knotted together. I'll use it again sometime, but for smaller projects... I don't see myself knitting sweaters anytime soon, but I'm not averse to it. I want to know how they do it though! (Yarn spies, call me!) :)
[edit, November 29... Rachel pointed me to her discussion with Noro/KFI re: knots in their yarns, and her discussion also includes some background on the base fiber and spinning it; very interesting stuff! Also check out the links here 1, 2, 3 from Anne's discussion with Jeffrey Denecke of KFI, Noro's USA distributor, about her Noro Knot Experience. Yes, *that* *same* J. Denecke from yarn recall/no cashmere in Debbie Bliss/Noro fame...]
The Patons Classic Merino was the real eyeopener for me... $5 for 100gm/223yd, comparable to Knit Picks Merino Style but heavier weight, often on sale at craft stores. I've never tried it but I'm glad I did. I stopped myself from getting a few armloads for making toys for the kid (with the current $10 threadless tshirt sale, and my yarn binge last weekend, its for the best anyway!!)
Jack London was a Knitta, yall.
(See the pre-at at's in the background?)
Roundup... I loved it. I loved knitting it, I loved the final product. I'm awfully pleased with it, and think that I may make it a bit of tradition to knit my grandma an afghan every year (and I can start earlier this time!) Maybe the Great American Aran Afghan or Barbara Walker's Learn to Knit afghan... I've batted that idea around before, but I really like the result and scope of this project so I think I'll do it. Need to think about it more after the holiday though!! :)
One last shot for scale...
Previous posts on Lizard Ridge:
October 12, 2006
October 16, 2006
October 18, 2006
October 23, 2006
October 24, 2006
October 26, 2006
October 30, 2006
November 4, 2006
November 10, 2006